Juan Forero pulled into the Florida Polytechnic University campus on Aug. 17 eager to settle into his residence hall room and get started on his senior year.
The move-in experience was different than in years past, but Forero welcomed the shift – especially now that the world’s focus has changed to minimizing the spread of COVID-19.
“I felt very safe – everybody was wearing gloves and masks and I really appreciated all the extra steps they took for our safety,” said Forero, who is majoring in computer engineering. I feel like the organizers did a good job at making sure everything ran smoothly.”
The new move-in procedures call for students to schedule their arrival time and then make their way to their rooms in an orderly, physically distanced process.
In less than an hour, a move-in team had labeled and loaded all Forero’s belongings into bins, transported them to his room, and unloaded them inside his door.
“It would have taken me hours and hours on end to move everything up,” said Forero, from Tampa, Florida.
Students began moving into the residence halls on Aug. 16, and move-in extends through Aug. 19. The four-day event is twice as long as in previous years to allow more space and time for students to get settled into their rooms.
Once inside the residence halls, students are finding an environment that has stepped up its cleaning and sanitizing procedures. There are also new features in place like hand sanitizer and temperature screening stations, as well as furniture layouts that have been optimized for physical distancing.
Paul Carey, Florida Poly’s assistant director of residential life and student experience, said students moving into the residence halls this year are limited to one adult guest who can help them get settled. And although the experience this year is different, he’s pleased to be able to offer a bit of normalcy to a group that has had many life events disrupted due to the novel coronavirus this year.
“I’m excited to welcome back students, especially those new students who have had a tough year missing out on high school momentous events like prom and graduation,” Carey said. “I’m excited for them to start a new chapter in college and I am trying to give them the perfect move-in day while making sure their safety is our number-one concern.”
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