BEMDJI -- The Beavers have returned to campus.

Bemidji State students were back for in-person classes on the first day of the fall semester on Monday, Aug. 23. Move-in day for BSU students was on Thursday, Aug. 19, followed by a welcome weekend and orientation.

On Monday, students filled campus walkways and classrooms at a full capacity for the first time since March 2020 when the pandemic forced most educational institutions into online learning. During the 2020-21 school year, only 500 students were allowed to live in the dorms, but this year the dorms will host 910.

A mask mandate went into effect for the BSU campus on Aug. 9 and will be reevaluated on Monday, Aug. 30, after which the mandate could extend two more weeks or expire Tuesday, Aug. 31, according to BSU’s website.

Students walk through campus on the first day of classes on Monday, Aug. 23, 2021, at Bemidji State. (Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer)
Students walk through campus on the first day of classes on Monday, Aug. 23, 2021, at Bemidji State. (Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer)

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Bemidji State freshman Lyla Stout takes a break between classes on Monday, Aug. 23, 2021, in BSU’s Hagg-Sauer Hall. (Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer)
Bemidji State freshman Lyla Stout takes a break between classes on Monday, Aug. 23, 2021, in BSU’s Hagg-Sauer Hall. (Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer)

Students walk through Centennial Plaza on the first day of classes on Monday, Aug. 23, 2021, at Bemidji State. (Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer)
Students walk through Centennial Plaza on the first day of classes on Monday, Aug. 23, 2021, at Bemidji State. (Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer)

John Gonzalez, psychology professor at Bemidji State, talks with students on Monday, Aug. 23, 2021, in BSU’s Hagg-Sauer Hall. (Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer)
John Gonzalez, psychology professor at Bemidji State, talks with students on Monday, Aug. 23, 2021, in BSU’s Hagg-Sauer Hall. (Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer)

Students walk down steps near the A.C. Clark Library on Monday, Aug. 23, 2021, at Bemidji State. (Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer)
Students walk down steps near the A.C. Clark Library on Monday, Aug. 23, 2021, at Bemidji State. (Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer)