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Staff Members Volunteer to Help Students Retrieve Belongings from Residence Halls
In light of the decision to conduct all classes remotely for the remainder of the semester, the University of New Haven, working with local health officials, created a voluntary program adhering to current health guidelines that enabled students to collect their personal items and move out of their residence halls.
March 25, 2020
By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications
Alexandria Ferrante ’23 returned last week to the University of New Haven’s campus from her home on Long Island to collect her things from Bixler Hall. The earlier than normal move out was in response to the coronavirus global pandemic that led the University to decide to conduct all classes remotely for the remainder of the semester.
Though moving out was not mandatory, Ferrante wanted to retrieve some belongings she needed to complete the semester. She said she was impressed by how smooth the move-out process was and the number of precautions in place to keep everyone safe.
“The boxes on wheels that were provided to us were especially helpful,” said Ferrante, a forensic science major. “Everyone here was willing to help. I was also glad to see the handwashing stations outside the residence halls.”
Working with local health officials, the University created a voluntary program for students following current health guidelines on social distancing that enabled students seeking the opportunity to collect their personal items to do so.
The University allowed only 20 people into a residence hall at a time and limited students to a two-hour window. While students and their families were allowed to bring multiple cars to campus and family members with them, only the student and one other person were allowed to enter the residence halls.
Staff members from across the University volunteered their time, and the University police were there to help students and to make sure that everyone got what they needed safely.
“I believe in serving my University community anyway I can, especially during this unprecedented and challenging time," says Ryan Hagen, director of campus recreation. "I wanted to be there for our students and reinforce that we are always here for them.”
Endeavoring to keep everyone safe, the University made gloves and sanitizer available, as well as handwashing stations outside the residence halls. Porters stationed inside wiped down the interiors of residence hall elevators and the buttons after each use.
Tabitha Robinson, of Bristol, Conn., was on campus helping her daughter collect her things.
“I appreciate that everyone was very friendly and willing to provide us some extra help,” she said.
Students who were not able to get back to campus have been permitted to leave their belongings in their rooms, where they’ll be secured. Students who decided to leave their items behind will not be charged, nor will it impact their eligibility to be part of a program the University is currently evaluating that would provide a pro-rated refund (for graduating students) or credit (for returning students) for room and board.
“Things have gone well, and we’ve gotten lots of positive feedback,” said Will Frazier, an area coordinator for the University's Office of Residential Life, who was on campus helping students and their families. “Everything went smoothly, just like on Move-In Day. We’ve taken a lot of precautions, and we will continue to do so. This has been a challenging situation for staff too, but we’re impressed by the resilience the students have shown."
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