Back to Campus During the Coronavirus
September 4, 2020
UNC’s move-in looked a little different this year, with new procedures in place to prevent possible virus spread. What stayed the same was a sense of hope and excitement for the coming year.
UNC’s move-in looked a little different this year than past years. There were no throngs of students milling about, no large family and friend groups carrying boxes and suitcases and no cookies being handed out to volunteers. In order to keep students, families and friends safe from any potential spread of the coronavirus, UNC Housing extended move-in to take place over the course of a week, providing time to space out move-in time slots and prevent congestion in hallways, stairwells and doorways. Signs reminded people to follow social distancing guidelines and everyone wore a mask.
There were still similarities to previous move-in days, though. UNC President Andy Feinstein showed up to help. Rooms were decorated. Goodbyes were said.
Two first-year students moving into North Hall were ecstatic to see each other in person, after initially connecting via Facebook and meeting up for coffee near their homes over the summer. Brooke Oswald, a Nursing student from Parker, Colorado, arrived with her family — both her parents graduated from UNC in ’91 (below).
Her roommate, Maddie Scicchitano (below, checking in at the front desk of North Hall), is a Business student from Aurora, Colorado. Scicchitano chose UNC because of its stellar Business program, the location close to home and the not-too-big-not-too-small feel.
Scicchitano says the move-in process was smooth and easier than she expected, and she already knows her next step at UNC. Neither of her parents attended a four-year college, but her grandmother was in a sorority at the University of Texas, so Scicchitano knew she wanted to join a sorority — rush is happening virtually and in small, socially distanced settings this year. She's excited for the college experience — everyone has been welcoming, she says, and she looks forward to being able to attend athletic events and participate in clubs and philanthropy work once the coronavirus threat is past.
After her parents left, Scicchitano says, they called and reminded her how proud they were of her.
(Below, Scicchitano unpacks the car with the help of her family.)
Elaina Rollins (below, center) came to UNC from Houston, Texas. Now a sophomore, she was excited to get back to Lawrenson Hall's pet-friendly community this August with her dog, Hunter, after being home since March. Her parents would have preferred she stay home, she says, but she was ready to regain her independence and continue growing up at UNC.
She had the choice to participate in some in-person learning this fall, but she elected to complete her coursework fully remote and says it's going well so far. She hangs her mask by the door to make it easy to remember, especially when taking Hunter outside.
Now, safely back on campus, she spends time studying, learning remotely and hanging out with a few close friends for outdoor picnics, socially distanced but no longer socially distant from her school friends.
(Below, Rollins waves goodbye to her parents after moving back to campus.)
—Written by Rebecca Dell