RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Monday marked the first day of classes for the fall semester at North Carolina State University.

N.C. State welcomed its largest freshman class in the school’s history.

“It just shook me how big the crowd was, like wow, there’s a lot of people here,” said sophomore Ellis Hurley.

“It can be overwhelming, but it’s also really nice because it’s cool to build connections with new people and meet new people,” said sophomore Morgan Ayscu.

The University said out of more than 36,000 students, about 57 percent have shown proof of vaccination.

That is up 4 percent from Friday.

Officials expect that number to keep growing.

If students aren’t vaccinated, they need to get tested weekly.

Tests are offered on campus and automatically uploaded to their account, or students can upload results from off-campus sites.

If they miss two weeks, they face disciplinary measures from probation to suspension to being removed from student housing.

“I feel really safe because last semester before the vaccines rolled out, the second semester they really had it under control with the weekly testing and all that,” said senior Vincent Allen.

All students and faculty, vaccinated or not, need to wear masks inside unless eating or drinking.

“I feel pretty safe. The crowds are back, but you wear masks inside, I think it’s pretty safe,” said sophomore John Vargas.

“I’ll probably still get tested occasionally just to be sure that I don’t have COVID,” said senior Kay Sumpter.
Students said they’re excited to be back and hope it can stay that way.

To make it so it’s not too clustered, the University is assigning everyone who is unvaccinated certain days for them to get tested.

However, people who are vaccinated and want a test and can do walk-ins.