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The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

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Students cope with unprecedented move-out procedures

Students moving out of residence halls had to follow mandated social distancing guidelines. PHOTO: MITCHELL SHIELDS ’22/THE HAWK

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Office of Residence Life has implemented new move-out protocols for on-campus residential students. Physically-distanced move-out appointments are being offered from May 1 to May 23.

“We realize that many students need essential items and course materials from their campus rooms,” wrote Jessica Moran-Buckridge, Ed.D., director of the Office of Residence Life, in an email to The Hawk.“Though students are not required to move out at this time, we will move ahead with offering students physically-distanced move-out appointments which began on May 1.” 

Move-out appointments are scheduled in three-hour blocks and are limited to 10 students per shift to assist with physical distancing, according to Moran-Buckridge. Students and families are required to maintain standard physical-distancing protocol while in lobbies and common areas. Elevators are restricted to one family or group at a time, and waiting areas are marked on lobby floors. 

“The Office of Residence Life has limited roommates and suitemates from scheduling simultaneous appointments,” Moran-Buckridge said. “While staff will be remotely available to assist with questions, this will be a contactless move-out process.”

Students are granted swipe access to their building through their student IDs only for their scheduled times and are only allowed two additional people to assist with move-out.

Students have been asked to reschedule their move-out appointments if they or a member of their immediate family is exhibiting any symptoms of the coronavirus.  

Students and family members are required to wear their own face masks and bring their own cleaning supplies for move-out. Although St. Joe’s housekeeping staff is continually disinfecting high-touch surfaces, like elevator buttons and door handles, students are encouraged to do so as well throughout their move, Moran-Buckridge said.“After students fully move out, rooms and buildings are cleaned by housekeeping staff,” Moran-Buckridge said. “Our housekeeping vendor, ABM, is using current CDC and industry-standard recommendations and guidelines throughout their cleaning process.”

Given the current situation, Residence Life does not have the capacity to offer donation bins in residence halls or manage a large-scale, end-of-year food collection as they did in previous years, Moran-Buckridge said. 

Vanessa Samuel ’22  moved out of Rashford Hall on May 10. Samuel called moving out “surreal” due to how empty the entire campus and buildings were.

“I felt like moving out this year was even sadder since you don’t know when you’re coming back to campus,” Samuel said. “If we’re being realistic, we don’t know if we’re coming back in the fall, depending on how things go with the virus. For me it was like saying goodbye to campus.”

Before her May 10 move-out appointment, Samuel had to sign up for multiple move-out times due to Residence Life rescheduling move-in times, making her and her roommates sign up again.

“They pushed back the move-out dates at least twice and that was kind of a big mess,” Samuel said. “The first time, we halfway moved out. It really caused a lot of confusion. Moving out was definitely hard on that end. Even though they gave us a lot of dates, they kept pushing it back and back.”

In an email to students on April 8, Residence Life wrote that the move-out process would be postponed from April to May based on updated governmental and health organization guidance and asked students to re-submit a move-out form. However, if students already signed up for a date in May, they did not need to submit another request.

Samuel said she was the only one on her floor while she was moving out. Moving out with a small number of people in the building helped ease her and her family’s worries of doing so amidst  the coronavirus pandemic.

“I signed up for a 9 a.m.-12 p.m. slot, early in the morning, because I had a feeling that most people would try to shoot for later in the day,” Samuel said. “We were the first ones to pull up in the parking lot, and when we saw how empty it was we weren’t worried at all.”

As for the fall, Samuel believes that implementing the same social-distancing protocols and sign-ups should definitely happen.

“We should follow those social distancing guidelines and not have too many people move in at once,” Samuel said. “Thinking about freshman dorms, having 12 people in one suite, is that a good idea?”

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