Housing implements new move-in policies to address safety concerns

Article Originally Published by Ileana Garnand on North Texas Daily

The university will spread out the fall housing move-in process across five days and implement new policies in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Housing plans to have a staggered arrival schedule to reduce the number of people inside the dorm buildings at one time.

Students will reserve a specific time to move into their rooms, choosing from a list of time slots meant to minimize foot traffic in every building, floor and individual wing.

Move-in will start on August 14 and continue through August 18, university Senior Communications Strategist Amy Armstrong said.

Everyone present in the dorms during move-in— including housing staff, residents and students’ families— will be required to wear masks at all times.

Faculty and staff volunteers will be utilized “only in situations where social distancing can still take place,” Armstrong said. It is unclear what all the aforementioned situations include.

“I’m wondering if we’ll be allowed to be in resident rooms, or if we’ll be in common areas only acting as facilitators,” Alexa DeCarlo, a resident assistant at Rawlins Hall, said.

Unlike previous years, volunteer movers will not assist students in unloading and moving students’ belongings, due to safety concerns. While faculty and staff will still be present to help facilitate the move-in process in a safe manner, it is unclear how large the volunteer pool will be.

“I know a lot of student [organizations] and faculty volunteers would help in previous years, so I’m not sure how fast the process will end up being,” DeCarlo said.

Both housing staff and incoming residents will receive a self-monitoring form a few weeks before returning to campus, Vice President of Student Affairs Elizabeth With said during the June 22 Reopening and Safety town hall.

“The social responsibility [of self-monitoring] is going to be critical for our success in the fall,” With said.

Despite the elevated risk of contracting COVID-19, many students are still planning to live on campus.

“I still worry about COVID, not as much about how I can handle it but more my ability to spread it,” Vanessa Duerson, an incoming psychology freshman and future resident at Maple Hall, said. “At some point, the only thing you can do is take as many precautions possible.”

Duerson said she is curious as to how the social side of college life will persist amid the university’s social distancing and mandatory mask policies.

“I know it probably won’t be the same as any normal freshman year,” Duerson said. “But I’m just excited to be in an institution of higher learning.”

Featured Image: Crumley Hall, along with all the housing facilities on-campus, are set to follow a new process for the upcoming move-in. Move-in will take place from August 14 through August 18, this will reduce traffic within the dorm building and prevent the spread of COVID-19. Image by Ricardo Vazquez Garcia

Source: North Texas Daily