Just as it has changed everything else, COVID-19 has made Gonzaga’s move-in week look different to students and staff this year compared to years in the past.
The online semester has led to new housing protocols for freshmen and sophomores at GU who have been relieved of the mandatory on-campus housing arrangement for the school year.
With a large majority of Zags deciding to return to Spokane to complete their remote and hybrid courses, GU’s Housing and Residence Life implemented a phased move-in approach to limit the exposure of students and their families to COVID-19 during move in.
“I think it has been going really smooth and everyone has been super nice,” said Claire Civula, a freshman resident of Catherine and Monica Hall.
With just about 80% of students coming back to campus there are expected concerns among students.
“Each student moving in was allowed no more than two family members with them during opening weekend and had to move in during their allotted time period so there would be no lack of social distancing between each student, their family members and each roommate,” the “Student Arrival & Return to Gonzaga Guide” said.
Many students felt that GU’s approach for the move-in weekend was very well thought out and safe considering the circumstances.
“Eighty is better than 100,” Civula said. “The phased move-in approach is somewhat effective and I like that I had the option, at least, to stay home.”
The phased move-in was implemented not only with student comfort in mind, but with limiting the general number of people. This proved effective as daily foot traffic going in and out of residence halls was less than what would’ve been seen on a normal return to campus.
Sophomores who also occupy a large part of on-campus housing were eager to reunite with their friends and start up where they left off in March.
“I had so much more space to move in and I felt like this approach just made the entire experience way less stressful compared to last year,” sophomore Annie Stang said. “It definitely reduced how many people we are being exposed to.”
While originally implemented for health reasons, the new move-in approach proved to be less overwhelming in general for incoming students.
In addition, phased move-in for the fall semester has allowed students to maintain social distancing.