ROCHESTER, Minn. - College students have faced many new challenges this year and for those moving into dorms, one Rochester school is doing its best to make the experience as normal as possible.
Over the weekend, 125 students moved into University of Minnesota Rochester. They've already started online classes and now they're back on campus to prepare for in-person class that begins on Monday. The Interim Director of Residential Life, Mariah Pederson, said the dorms will pretty much be at full capacity with a total of 250 students.
Staff at UMR is following a plan they call the 'UMR Maroon and Gold Sunrise Plan.' It's a four step process that will slowly introduce the students back to more of a normal routine. For the first 10 days, they have to stay in their room unless they have class, an emergency or need to get food. Then from there, they will continue to move forward following the guidance from Public Health. Until then though, Pederson said everyone was ready to make this experience a memorable one. "Staff is usually here, all hands on deck. We love welcoming students back. We love being able to help them carry their items up to their room and get them settled in," explained Pederson. "Because of the pandemic this year, that's just not an option. So we had staff here to greet students and families, welcome them to UMR. But unfortunately, that physical aspect of carrying items to rooms is just something that we weren't able to provide this year."
The students moved in at a scheduled time and could only have 2 movers helping them. Everyone was screened for COVID-19 symptoms and had their temperature checked. "We have just been preparing diligently for move-in weekend and watching other institutions around us as well and I think we've learned some really great things that we'll be implementing," said Pederson. "So we have lots of protocols, processes and guidelines in place. All of our decisions have been guided by Public Health and the Minnesota Department of Health, so we really feel like we're at a really great space to welcome students back and we're really excited."