Students navigate COVID guidelines for move-in week at SDSU

Education

More than 3,800 students will soon call the South Dakota State University campus home. That’s how many students are moving into the residence halls. The move-in process has already begun at SDSU. This year, there’s more time to move in due to COVID-19 safety precautions.

This year’s move-day has a lot more moving parts.

“Actually it’s been more like a move-in month,” Doug Wermedal, associate vice president of student affairs, said.

As of Tuesday, there was no bumper-to-bumper traffic, nor was there herds of eager families elbow-to-elbow on a crowded campus. Instead, the move-in process started in late July. Students had the last few weeks to drop off their stuff. On Monday, certain returning students could start moving in. New students will move in this weekend, and the rest of the returning students on Monday and Tuesday.

“It’s kind of stretched out a little bit, but it’s still going to be a true Jackrabbit welcome,” Rebecca Peterson, DIR. Housing and Residential Life, said.

The goal is to space everyone out over a longer period of time for the sake of social distancing.

“I moved in yesterday and saw nobody,” Taylor Cooper, returning student, said.

That’s a far cry from Cooper’s experience last year.

“There were cars everywhere. It was just people going inside and outside constantly,” Cooper said.

This year students can only bring two people to help them.

“Versus in the previous year, it was kind of you bring as many people as you could so you could get it done as fast as possible,” Jharett Bloomenrader, returning student, said.

You’ll also find fewer volunteers here to help with the move-in process. They’ll still welcome everyone and give directions, but be hands-off — literally.

“We will have golf carts to run belongings from the most distanced space, but we won’t actually be picking up the belongings. The families will load the golf carts,” Wermedal said.

There are also signs directing students and their helpers to wear masks while moving in. Returning student Karst Hunter hopes to see that part continue throughout the semester.

“Get everybody back. Hope everyone stays safe and keep their distance and everything. Just respect everyone else,” Hunter said.

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