MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — What usually takes a weekend is now going to take a whole week because of Coronavirus concerns. Saturday marked the start of a slow, spread out, protracted, and an incremental move-in week at the University of South Alabama.
Getting into your dorm Saturday starts with a stop at a health screening tent. For the first time, every car coming up has a pre-scheduled move-in time. Students are eager to meet new people like their roommates.
“So we’re finally meeting each other that’s super exciting and we’re going to rearrange our room and make it super amazing,” said freshman Nicole McDaniel with a smile. In a normal year like 2019, this residence hall would be flooded with people in the parking lot, marching up and down the stairs with stuff. This year the flood’s down to a trickle. Parents are happy with the change of pace.
Jeff Brenner, parent: “You’re not backed up on everybody, you’re able to take your time to get things into the room and her roommate doesn’t show up until later so it keeps everyone separated,” said parent Jeff Brenner. College dorms are known for their cramped quarters and students I spoke with say they’re optimistic and will do everything they can to stay healthy this semester.
“Right now I’m not too concerned, I trust my fellow classmates and students to partake in social distancing and keep ourselves to ourselves and not each other,” said freshman Victoria Lee. Hanging over any school, anywhere is the threat of a Coronavirus outbreak, most parents I spoke with believe the staff at USA is doing all they can to minimize risk.
“I do believe it is what it is and we are where we are, schools need to open we have to get the economy going again,” said parent Jeff Fleming. The University has a Move-in page here. Their handbook is here.
To give you an idea of how things have changed, below is my story from last year: