‘Mask Up. Move In.’: Bucs are back on campus as move-in weekend begins Friday with new safety measures

Local Coronavirus Coverage

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – This weekend is East Tennessee State University’s move-in weekend, but it doesn’t look quite the same as it has in the past.

Campus staff said due to the coronavirus, move-in has changed from previous years to keep both students and their families safe.

Move-in day looks different this year at ETSU because of COVID-19, but that doesn’t mean students are any less excited to start the new year.

RELATED: Bucs are Back: ETSU provides update on reopening plans for fall semester

“What I’m excited for is starting on my own, and learning accountability, and having the responsibility to start and just meet all the new people on campus,” said incoming freshman McCray Hall.

1,800 residents are in their dorms with the other 900 students coming in over the weekend.

ESTU leaders decided to keep dorms at half occupancy this year, with only one person per dorm room.

“I mean there’s pros and cons to it,” said Hall, “I think the best thing about having a single person per dorm is obviously the safety precautions, and I think privacy is another good thing. But at the same time, a bad part about it is you’re not going to have such a close bond with someone in your room that you’re living with day in and day out.”

RELATED: ETSU President: ‘About 20 percent’ of classes to be held in-person this fall

There are several new procedures students and parents have to follow while moving in this year.

“There are three different time slots during the day, so they will arrive in the morning, the afternoon and the evening,” said Dr. Jeff Howard, Associate Vice President for Student Life and Enrollment. “They have a window of like three hours to check-in.”

Students can have up to two guests to help them move in, and everyone should wear a mask while on campus.

“If you are at Buccaneer Ridge Apartments, you are checking in at the clubhouse, and if you are assigned anywhere else on campus, you’re checking in at the Welcome Center parking garage,” said Dr. Howard.

Welcome Week will include Zoom club meetings and a drive-in movie.

“It’s going to take a little extra effort on the students’ part to engage this year,” said Dr. Howard. “So take advantage of these virtual opportunities if you’re going to be a residential student. We’re going to have some opportunities to meet some students in residents halls, as well as in the dining hall and Culp Center.”

Students also had to sign a safety pledge stating they would follow all campus rules regarding COVID-19.

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