Monday, September 27, 2021

2,500 students move on campus over the weekend, less dorms open

September 1, 2020
People sanitize carts at Wilson Hall during move in Aug. 31, 2020.
People sanitize carts at Wilson Hall during move in Aug. 31, 2020. —
Photo by Annie Barker | The State News

Michigan State President Samuel L. Stanley Jr.’s Aug. 18 announcement canceling all in-person classes and asking students to stay home left many with concerns, unclear about whether or not anyone would be allowed on campus. 

Students who were already on campus feared having to leave. Students relying on resources like internet availability and housing would no longer have access to those resources. Other students faced similar challenges because of this decision.

“I think they could’ve been more clear about the decisions,” business freshman Naomi German said. “A lot of things were changing really quickly and kind of close to when we were supposed to be moving in."

While the majority of students intending to stay on campus have to stay home for the semester, MSU is still expecting around 2,500 students to fill the dorms. Aug. 20, an application to reside on campus was available through students’ housing accounts. 

The application process was short, according to environmental studies and sustainability freshman Delaney Hudson.

“It asked for your name, email address, and an explanation of why you needed to be on campus and that was it,” she said. 

After all of the applications were submitted, they were reviewed by the housing assignments team. 

“I know absolutely that the team who was reading them tried to be generous because the students who might be in a bad situation may not have the words to explain what they’re going through,” Chief Communications Officer for Residential and Hospitality Services Kat Cooper said.

Those who submitted an application were notified about their status by 5 p.m. Aug. 28. 

With fewer students living on campus, fewer dorms will be open. Case, Wonders, Wilson, Holden, Owen, Holmes, and McDonel Halls will house residents. Akers Hall will be used as isolation housing for students who test positive for COVID-19. 

To maintain social distancing guidelines, the move-in process is different than in previous years. Students were given a specific time slot to move-in. Once they arrived, students had 20 minutes to unload their items. It is expected that there were no more than five families moving in within any 30-minute time period. 

Cleaning practices were heavily implemented during move in. A garbage bag was placed in each cart after it was sanitized, and only one family was able to ride in the elevators at a time. Masks were required to be worn, and social distancing was enforced.

Before students were asked to stay home, MSU planned to have two people in each dorm. The furniture was arranged for residents to be 6 feet apart sleeping head-to-head. Now, there is only one person per suite.

While MSU has increased safety measures for residents, there is still uncertainty about what the spring will look like. 

“We will have a further application process to determine spring housing. We don't know yet what that looks like,” Cooper said.

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