UL Lafayette students move on to campus in a new way to maintain social distance

Leigh Guidry
Lafayette Daily Advertiser

From masks and time slots to smaller moving crews, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette put in several protocols to get students moved in to the dorms while maintaining social distance this week.

Move-in "day" was spread over most of a week, with students arriving at designated time slots to limit the amount of people together at one time.

Those moving to campus were given a specific check-in date and time via their Housing Portal Page for their turn to get in the dorms, with some notable consequences if they miss their time slot.

"Failure to follow the specific date/time will result in waiting long periods of time in the August heat," according to the school's COVID-19 Response website.

They also couldn't have a crew of family members to help carry in the heavy loads. Only one non-resident was allowed in the building to help students move in during the time slot allotted.

Then after their time slot, the non-resident had to vacate the building to allow others to move in safely, according to the school's COVID-19 Response website.

Before they could check in, resident and non-residents had their temperatures checked and completed a questionnaire. If they failed any part of the screening, the resident could not check in at that time.

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University President Dr. Joseph Savoie waves the UL hand sign as he enters the stadium for the 2020 graduation ceremony at Cajun Field Friday, August 7, 2020.

Everyone was required to wear a facial covering for the duration of the move-in process. They were asked to bring their own, but the university did provide a facial covering to those without one. Residents also are required to wear a facial covering anytime they are outside of their residence hall room or apartment.

"Our universities have done extraordinary work to create the safest environments possible for students, faculty, and staff following the guidance of public health experts," University of Louisiana System President Jim Henderson said. "While campus learning and activity will look decidedly different than Fall 2019, we are taking a step toward normalcy. That step, though incremental, is important because for a significant number of students, our universities are the healthiest living and learning environments accessible to them."

The UL residents' suggested packing list even looked a little different this year. School staff recommended dorm residents bring a thermometer, hand sanitizer, multiple face coverings, cleaning wipes for living space and a container that can hold up to 14 days of clothes and supplies in case isolation or quarantine is required.

When it comes to dorm life, common spaces like fitness areas and study rooms are closed and occupancy is restricted this year. 

No more than two residents will share a bathroom or bedroom, and only two people are allowed at a time in the elevators.

The university is requiring anyone entering a residence hall/apartment building to wear a mask while in public spaces, and cleaning efforts are increasing.

All common spaces and high touch point areas such as elevator buttons, water fountains, door handles, public restrooms and laundry rooms will be cleaned at an increased frequency.

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University of Louisiana System President and CEO Jim Henderson

Custodial staff will be going into the suites to clean bathrooms on a scheduled basis. This schedule will be posted in the rooms so residents can be aware and remain in their rooms or not be in the space during these scheduled cleanings, according to the school.

Residents should bring their own cleaning supplies to clean all spaces within their living area.

Some residence hall spaces are being reserved to be used as isolation/quarantine spaces for residents that decide to isolate/quarantine on campus. Housing, Residence Life, Student Affairs, and Student Health Services will work with any resident that needs to isolate/quarantine.

Residents must follow the university’s isolation/quarantine policy, or they will be asked to move off campus, according to the college. They must self-report online if in contact with a positive person, feel symptoms or have tested for COVID-19. 

UL is offering a hybrid model of on-campus and online courses for students this fall starting Monday.