With students moving in about a week earlier than originally planned at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University Housing adapted to the many challenges that arose.
Such challenges included the students who were living on campus during the summer having to move into their fall semester room, and having all the rooms and buildings ready and clean before the move-in days, according to Keith Zaborowski, associate director of residence life.
With students about to move into the residence halls, housing has published a list of updates for moving in safely during the scheduled move-in time spanning August 13-16, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, amid the coronavirus pandemic. Updates include limits on how many people can be in each building, curbside move-in, the length of move-in and assigned move-in times for each student.
Zaborowski said UNL hired University and Student Services to assist with curbside move-in. Students and their families can drive to their residence hall buildings where movers will unload their belongings into a cart and bring the cart to the students’ room.
Every student is permitted only one vehicle during curbside move-in, but that does not include U-Hauls or campers. If family members bring additional vehicles, they must park the additional vehicle in a parking garage and wait to move items until the move-in day has concluded, according to housing’s move-in website.
Zaborowski said the amount of students moving in early went down drastically from the previous year, which had 40% of students moving in by the first day of move-in to about 10% of 6,000 total students moving in this fall.
There are four academic groups moving in early: Engineering Readiness Academy, First Huskers Program, Nebraska Tech+Engineering Career Institute and Nebraska College Preparatory Academy, according to Zaborowski.
Also, Zaborowski said there are six departments which are bringing students back early, such as Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps, Campus Recreation, Women’s Center, Office of Academic Success and Intercultural Services, LGBTQA+ Center and athletics.
Students who lived on campus during the summer will move into their fall semester residence hall early as well as housing student staff, like resident assistants and desk workers, according to Zaborowski.
In previous years, students had to sign up for a move-in time, but they have now been assigned a day and time that corresponds to the floor and room they are living in this semester, Zaborowski said.
Students should arrive at the Bob Devaney Sports Center to receive a move-in packet, their NCard, room keys, a hang tag for the move-in vehicle and a campus map, according to Zaborowski. The hang tags come in four colors and four numbers which correlate to what parking lot area the students and families will have to wait in for the curbside move-in movers, according to Zaborowski.
Students will give the hang tag to a USS worker at the hall when they pull up, and this will allow the USS worker to know who is moving in and where the student’s room is located, according to Zaborowski.
Zaborowski said the parking map will direct students to the hall they are checking in and where they can temporarily park while they are moving in that day. It is short-term parking and it is long enough for students to move in and get settled, according to Zaborowski.
If a student has a UNL fall parking permit, they should park in their designated lot after their car is unloaded, according to Zaborowski. He said students can pick up a UNL parking pass from Parking and Transit Services.
Zaborowski said there is a maximum of four people per elevator, and students and families will have to take the stairs instead of the elevator since social distancing has to be maintained and the curbside movers will be using the elevators. However, Zaborowski said if someone has a mobility issue, they will be allowed to take the elevator.
The items students need to bring are mostly consistent with years past, such as toiletries, backpacks and clothing, but there are new additions such as a thermometer, hand sanitizer and face coverings, according to the move-in website.
Taegan Jacobs, a freshman undeclared major, said in a text that she is moving to Schramm Hall this fall semester at UNL.
Jacobs said she is fond of the new guidelines in place for move-in because she can worry less about the coronavirus pandemic and focus more on the excitement of starting college.
“I think it’s great they’re requiring masks and are spacing the move-in dates,” Jacobs said in a text. “It definitely makes me feel more comfortable moving during a pandemic.”
Although Jacobs said she is glad there is a limit on the amount of people going in and out of the residence halls, she said she feels disappointed she cannot bring more people with her, like family members in addition to her parents who will help her move in.
“I’m the first of my siblings to go to college and move out, so I’d always imagined bringing them with to help me get settled and see where I’m staying,” Jacobs said.
Jacobs said she felt relieved when she heard the curbside move-in was going to be part of her move-in process, because she said it will be much more efficient than moving all her belongings up and down the stairs with her parents.
“I’m honestly surprised UNL — or any school, really — is even allowing students back,” Jacobs said. “I've been waiting all summer for an email telling us we can’t move in.”
Jacobs said despite having some worries about being on campus during the coronavirus pandemic, she is ready to start her first year of college on campus.
“I am very excited to be moving into the dorms this year,” Jacobs said. “The global pandemic does put a bit of a damper on that excitement, of course, but I guess it is what it is. I know moving into a college dorm isn’t really going out on your own, but I am excited for the freedom.”