FAIRBORN — For the Wright State Raiders, this whole weekend is devoted to “Operation Move-In,” as students in the residence halls begin their first days of what is likely to be an unconventional school year.
The university’s traditional “Move-In Day” has been spread out over the course of four days. This staggered approach to moving in is meant to reduce crowding in the residence halls to minimize the spread of COVID-19.
Approximately 1,260 students are moving into single-occupant dorms across 29 residence halls and apartments. The university has adjusted to the new protocols.
In a normal year, Wright State has a fairly unique check-in process. More than 400 volunteers help new and returning students settle into their dorms. The so-called “golf cart brigade” helps shuttle students around campus, and offers new students the opportunity to get to know some of the faculty and staff they may see around the university. President Sue Edwards has been known to pilot a golf cart herself. This year, however, it’s a little different.
Check-ins are scheduled by appointment. Students first arrive on campus in Lot 4, where Residence Life staff is available to give directions and answer questions. The check-ins are a drive-through, contactless process.
Students are permitted two helpers to transfer their things into the residence hall. Carts used to transport their belongings are sanitized after each use.
“This new system is much more measured,” said Dan Bertsos, director of Residence Life and Housing. “We took the best ideas from other schools, and made it our own. Our families are being well-served, but we’re always bettering the process for next year.”
Students receive a “Wright Start” kit that includes hand sanitizer, masks, a thermometer, reminders of campus safety protocols, and instructions on how to register to vote and request an absentee ballot.
Voting resources may seem odd starter pack material in the middle of a pandemic, but according to Bertsos, it’s a great opportunity to get college students involved in public citizenship.
“We do this anytime there’s an election of significance,” he said. “We did this during the midterm election as well. It’s critical to getting students engaged and informed.”
Classes at Wright State start on Monday, Aug. 24.