Chowan Students Greeted By Reality of Moving In During A Pandemic
Move-in weekend looked quite different this year. Absent were many greater community members from local churches and businesses welcoming students and their family members to campus while serving them lunch. Absent were student-athletes and volunteers helping students move-in. On the other hand, processes were streamlined and the "welcome" to campus was adapted to accommodate the realities of life during a pandemic – COVID-19. While masks hid the bright smiles normally seen on these days, you could see the excitement and hope in everyone's eyes.
Some students were already on campus having been part of an early self-isolation group, and fall student-athletes moved in on August 17th. Resident Assistants and other campus student leaders moved in on August 20th. The rest of the student community returned following a three-day move-in event beginning August 22nd. The typical move-in weekend was extended over three days, with students moving in at staggered times based on residence hall room locations to allow for proper social distancing and assessment of students.
When students checked in at the Hawks Athletic Center, they were screened, which included their temperature and heart rate checked and answered pertinent questions following CDC Guidelines. After their assessment, all students were given two additional face masks and a hand sanitizer before completing the rest of their check-in process.
"The University community worked diligently to prepare for the return of students this semester, and special care has been given in meeting their needs," shared Kirk Peterson, President. "Vital to that plan is our students, faculty, staff, and approved guests following specific guidelines to ensure everyone's safety. From my observations during move-in weekend, the Chowan community rigorously followed protocols for move-in. If we remain as committed to the same practices in the following weeks, we can have a safe and successful semester."
Students and their family members who assisted them in moving in were seen wearing their face masks, except for the occasional photo op, or when taking a break and enjoying the "Food Truck Oasis" provided by Campus Ministry and Student Life. By adhering to guidelines and moving in during their designated times, families were not bottled necked and were able to maintain proper social distancing.
In the weeks leading up to the return of students to campus, the University communicated consistently with students, faculty, and staff, and established a reopening resource webpage (chowan.edu/reopening) for all to review and understand the established guidelines. To support this, the University also created a designated email for the Chowan community to ask any questions they may have regarding the reopening and plans for the fall semester. To be transparent as possible, the University leadership also held live open question and answer sessions in the month leading up to move-in.
The Chowan community is expected to complete a daily self-health screening through #CampusClear each day before arriving on campus or leaving their residence hall; this also includes any approved campus guests. All students, faculty, and staff are required to sign the community compact, Chowan Strong- Safer Together, our agreement to care for self, others, and this place established by the Vice President for Student Affairs, Dr. Montrose Streeter, and the Student Government Association (SGA).
Updates will continue to be provided at chowan.edu/coronavirus and chowan.edu/reopening for the Chowan Community.