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Source: US State of Connecticut

Testing stations and quarantine regulations are now part of the so-called “new normal,” but student move-in for the 2020 fall semester started Friday, Aug. 14, with the usual optimism that begins anew each late August on campus.

The COVID-19 pandemic sent students home in mid-March of last spring’s semester, so it has been five months since the campus has been alive with the buzz and energy that is the familiar way of life in Storrs.

Between Friday and Monday, nearly 5,800 students are expected to move into residence halls at Storrs and Stamford. Students were tested for COVID-19 before they could begin moving their possessions into their rooms and masks were provided to everyone moving in. They will quarantine on campus until classes being on Monday, Aug. 31. The policies and protocols in place to keep students, faculty, staff, and visitors safe are summed up in the UConn Promise, part of numerous communications to students ahead of move-in.

“I’m excited to be back,” says Ben Taylor ’23 (ENG) of Granby. “UConn knows what they are doing and they have a plan in place that makes me feel a lot safer about coming back. I’ve been waiting for months to be back here. It feels pretty good.”

Taylor’s mother, Carolyn, admits she was a “little nervous,” but is happy her son in back on campus because of the great experience he had as a freshman.

“It was nice to have him home for five months, but it’s nice to get rid of him,” she says with a smile. “And I am sure he would tell you the same thing. Hopefully every stays safe and follows the recommendations.”

Siona Shakoor ’23, from Ansonia, thinks the quarantine period will be a good chance to bond with her suitemates in South Campus.

“I am excited to be back because of the UConn spirit and I think everybody will protect one another,” says Shakoor. “It’s good to be part of a community again.

“My mother is actually feeling pretty good about it. UConn is doing good procedures to get us ready and keep us healthy.”

Jessica Osagie ’22 is from Norwich, and is new to the Storrs campus after attending UConn Stamford.

“It’s really smooth,” says Osagie of the move-in process on Friday. “I was expecting lines with a lot of people, but it is going fast.”

The quarantine period will be fine with Osagie, she says, because there is “Wi-Fi and food.”

Michelle Gonzalez ’21 and her mother were also busy moving all sorts of belongings into a South Campus suite.

“It’s exciting to be with my friends again, however with the COVID, there are worries,” says Michelle. “I hope that everything goes well and my last college experience will be a good one. I missed my friends and being with them all the time. My roommate is my best friend, so the quarantine will be fine.”

Her mother expressed the typical parental concerns, but felt comfortable bringing Michelle back to school.

“We know the University is working very hard and feel like she is doing well and prepared for these times,” says Maria Gonzalez. “I know the students are safe and feel comfortable.”