Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Hundreds of students return to UIS for the start of fall semester 2020 classes

Nearly 900 University of Illinois Springfield students returned to campus for the start of Fall Semester 2020 classes during Move-In Week, held Aug. 17-21.

All students were required to pre-register for a move-in time slot in order to reduce congestion and support physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“With COVID-19 we’ve created quite a different process, but it’s working out really well,” said Brian Kelley, director of UIS Residence Life. “Typically, students would have come to their communities to check-in, but this year we’re actually having them come through TRAC.”

At The Recreation and Athletic Center (TRAC), students and their helpers get their temperature checked and students take a required saliva-based COVID-19 test developed by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

“As soon as we got here, we went and did the testing,” said Toinette Flowers, a parent with a sophomore attending UIS. “Nobody was in line. We went through with no problem. It was really easy.”

After students are tested for COVID-19, they receive their room keys and a “sani pack,” a special UIS 50th anniversary fanny pack that includes two UIS branded face masks, a digital thermometer, a door opener and hand sanitizer.

“The saliva tests were a little bit new and stuff, but I’m glad they’re taking precautions and everything,” said Kayla Krpan, an incoming UIS freshman. “It’s all such a crazy thing going on right now.”

Residence Life informed parents and students about the COVID-19-related move-in rules, such as masks and physical distancing being required, in advance.

“I think people are cautious of the year ahead, but what I've seen everyone's been very respectful of the rules we've set out there around wearing masks and being physically distant and really just honoring what people are asking them to do, so that's been really exciting to see too,” Kelley said.

For Krpan, who is from Bartlett, Illinois, living on campus was an easy decision.

“I feel like living on campus is a must for college,” she said.

Even though Kelley knows this won’t be a typical academic year, he’s excited to have students back on campus.

“We're really excited to make sure all of our students get moved in safely and look forward to the year ahead,” Kelley said. “We just want to make sure we're welcoming them all home to UIS for the year ahead.”

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