Marlin Nation was greeted back for the new semester with many of the same procedures that were in place for the Fall. For move-in day, students were staggered across move-in times on Jan. 24, 2021 to allow for adequate time and social distancing between roommates, and to allow ample space for families assisting their students with this process.
Before students could be assigned a move-in timeslot, all community members returning for in-person instruction were required to submit a negative COVID-19 test and complete a 14-day quarantine period. To put this in perspective, students were encouraged to begin their quarantine on Sunday, Jan. 11.
This protocol was identical to what was required to return in the fall semester. Once students sent in their negative COVID-19 test result, they were assigned a time slot that varied from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in two-hour increments through an email from the Office of Residence Life on how to proceed on this very exciting day. Similarly to the Fall, students were allowed to bring up to two helpers to assist them in move-in.
Once students arrived on campus, they proceeded to an assigned location to have their temperature checked as well as anyone that was with them. After they received the “green light,” they were issued a room key and allowed to proceed with unpacking and moving in their personal belongings.
Unfortunately, some students arrived outside of their two-hour move-in time slot and were told they could not return until the next day for move in. The Office of Residence Life was happy to accommodate them on Monday, the first day of the spring semester.
David Stuebing, Director of Residence Life, expressed how smoothly the spring move in process went. He indicated that the vast majority of students were up to date on their emails, followed directions and were able to move-in without any hindrances. Stuebing jokingly stated that the only struggle experienced during the move-in process was the staff complaining about having to stand outside in the cold.
He indicated that the majority of planning for the move-in of the spring semester was facilitated by the Office of Residence Life. However, it would not have been possible without collaboration from the offices of Student Health Management, COVID Safe and Security.
Due to the success of the new move-in procedures that had been tested in the fall, Stuebing indicated that administration just built off the template they had created from the previous semester.
Lastly, he would like to remind all students to read all emails from the institution, as the university prides themselves on effectively communicating and conveying pertinent information. Each member of Marlin Nation is responsible for knowing the information that is communicated through their email.
The overwhelming consensus of students is that they are happy to be back on campus, excited for the new semester and are eager to create new memories with their friends. Looking back to before the start of the fall semester, many did not think it was possible to remain on campus for an entire semester, but the university community persevered. The administration seems to be confident that the student body will be able to remain in Virginia Beach for the spring with students’ continued support and flexibility.