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Penn State Housing Makes Changes to Fall Move-In Process Amid Pandemic

by on July 31, 2020 3:59 PM

Penn State Housing released its plans Friday for fall move-in amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

"In an effort to promote the health and safety of campus and local communities, Penn State is staggering move-in dates, limiting the number of students permitted to move into residence halls on campuses each day," according to a university news release At all locations, first-year students will move in first, followed by returning students."

The university’s updated move-in guidelines will bring first-year students on campus beginning Monday, Aug. 17 through Thursday, Aug. 20. Upperclassmen can begin moving in on Friday, Aug. 21. Students can’t move in any earlier than Aug. 17.

Students can go to eLiving now to schedule their move-in times. When hovering over “My Info,” they will be able to select “Schedule Move-In” to pick their time slot. Students are encouraged to coordinate with their roommate(s) to avoid moving in on the same day.

These move-in appointments aren’t permanent, though. Should a conflict arise, students will be able to modify your selection and adapt plans as needed.

Upon move-in, students will head over to the Bryce Jordan Center to check in and receive their room key, parking pass, and other paperwork between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. On Sunday, Aug. 23, students moving in will need to check in at their respective commons desks. As always, students will need to present their Penn State ID when checking in.

According to Penn State, families will receive just 20 minutes to unload their vehicles at their respective housing areas, but the university hasn’t said how that will be enforced. It’s also unclear exactly how long students have to move in during their time slots.

Penn State asks families to limit the number of people helping with move-in as much as possible. Everyone must wear face masks and practice social distancing from other parties moving in.

Before arriving, students are advised to self-quarantine at home for at least seven days. They’ll also need to follow other pre-arrival guidelines, including reading and digitally signing the "coronavirus compact," which acknowledges their responsibility for following public health requirements and expectations.

Additionally, those currently residing in “high-risk” areas with a higher prevalence of the coronavirus may receive one of 30,000 saliva tests in the mail. Each test will come with UPS shipping information and be sent to a laboratory for analysis. Students who test positive are not permitted to return to campus until cleared by a health care professional.

Staff and student workers who are involved in high-density arrival and move-in activities, such as check-in, also will be given the at-home test or if already in the State College area will be required to be tested in the new Testing and Surveillance Center at University Park.

The university didn’t provide details about picking up wheeled storage bins, possibly hinting at their removal due to the coronavirus pandemic and public health guidelines. Housing didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Student will be required to take part in Extended Orientation the night they arrive and the following day, which will include a meeting with their RA and an overview of updated residence hall guidelines.

More updates about fall move-in, dorm room checklists, and parking information can be found on Housing’s website.

For off-campus students, State College area apartment complexes are scheduling move-in days and times throughout the month of August. Some that have received borough approval for traffic changes and street lane closures were required to submit health and safety plans for inside and outside buildings during move-in times. 

Matt DiSanto is a Penn State student and writer for Onward State.
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