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Southern welcomes students back to campus with modified move-in day

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BATON ROUGE - The Southern Jags are quickly adapting to the changes necessitated by the spread of COVID-19, this is illustrated by how quickly university officials implemented health/safety measures students and campus visitors would be required to follow on move- in day.

On Tuesday, August 4, students and their move-in helpers are following university directions in relation to coronavirus-safety.

As nearly 1,000 new Jaguars make their way onto campus and into dorm rooms, the process may be a bit different from previous move-in days, but the incoming students are making the most of their new circumstances.

Four check-in times over the course of the day will reduce the number of people in the buildings at one time. Students will have two hours to move in and a very limited number of move-in helpers. 

University officials appreciate the student's willingness to follow the new protocol.

"The move-in process had to change," Tracie Abraham, Southern's executive director of student services and residential life said. "We could not cram everybody in the lobbies of the facilities because we would not be in compliance with the social distancing guidelines."

Abraham and her colleagues realize that incoming students who'd hoped to share their move-in day alongside lots of family members who'd accompany them for moral support, have had to change their expectations for the day.  

"Families come, grandparents come, little brothers, sisters, everybody comes to help move in," Abraham told WBRZ during a Monday, August 3 interview. "However this year, we can't allow your entire family to come. Tomorrow that's probably going to be the biggest change, that they're going to have to move all those things by themselves, and we won't have all the help."

"It's going to look totally different," Abraham said. "Families will drive in and remain in their vehicles. We will give them their entire move-in packet under the tent and the students will go directly to their room."

Southern is enacting strict regulations when it comes to this, allowing only two guests per student. The two guests who help the student move in will receive wristbands and be required to leave campus as soon as the moving process is complete. 

This new protocol has been implemented to ensure the health/safety of all students, staff, and others on campus. 

"We're just trying to make it a safe environment as possible for all the students," Abraham said.

Students seem to realize this, and on the morning of move-in day, despite the new circumstances, many appeared happy, relaxed, and positive about the upcoming semester as they followed move-in day regulations. 


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