As part of our initiative called Curious Cornhuskers, an anonymous reader asked The Daily Nebraskan, “Did UNL Housing use prison labor for move-in this year?”
Keith Zaborowski, associate director for operations and support at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, said in an email that University Housing did not use prison labor for move-in this year.
However, there was still a team behind the move-in process. University and Student Services, a move-in service, handled unloading and moving belongings into the rooms at each hall, according to Zaborowski.
“There were a lot of different groups of people that were involved with move-in and the logistics of assigning move-in times to about 5,400 students,” Zaborowski said. “With all of the moving parts, it took a while to create a plan and effectively communicate it to the students and all of the groups of people associated with a move.”
Besides USS, UNL Parking and Transit Services helped with traffic at the Bob Devaney Sports Center, the UNL Police Department helped handle traffic concerns and UNL Athletics allowed the use of the indoor track for checking in. The University Bookstore, NCard Office and the University Health Center helped with check-in, and several garbage haulers in Lincoln provided dumpsters for trash and cardboard recycling, according to Zaborowski.
The move-in process was different this year compared to the past. Unlike previous years, curbside move-in was provided for students to limit contact due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Usually, students unload and move everything themselves, but this year all of that was done for them. After students were assigned a move-in time, they reported to the Devaney Center to check-in and pick up books and forms. Then, students pulled up to their dorm and USS unloaded their vehicle, according to Zaborowski.
There was also a restriction to how many people were allowed in the dorm rooms during move-in. The number was restricted to two guests and the student.
“For students, it was easier since most of their belongings were moved directly into their room,” Zaborowski said. “From a staffing standpoint, it was a little more difficult since we had staff at Devaney and in all of the halls.”
During the official four-day move in, several hundred people were working each hour to help the move-in process, according to Zaborowski.
“We received a lot of positive comments about move-in.” Zaborowski said. “Parents were appreciative of having their student’s belongings move in and being able to go right to the room and unpack.”