CMU Welcomes Students Back To Campus In COVID-19 Reality
Central Michigan University became the first major public college in the state to welcome back students, move-in began Thursday.
It’s a different kind of move-in, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In an effort to socially distance, instead of one day and a flood of students and families moving in all over campus, this year it’s spread over four days. Each student selected a two hour time slot to move.
“Just watching how everybody’s being cautious is a little eerie,” says Alfonso Salais, a parent from Lansing.
Masks, sanitizer, smaller crowds, move-in 2020 has a unique COVID-19 feel to it.
“I wish they hadn’t come back but I understand money and politics and everything involved,” says parent Sherri Williams.
“I think that’s the main concern right now for us,” says Salais, “Is that they complete their semester and come home. That’s what we want.”
Whether parents are comfortable with it or not, a majority of CMU students chose to return to campus instead of continuing virtual learning.
“We’ve been looking at how the cases have been less here in Isabella County compared to other counties around the state of Michigan,” say Salais.
Central is doing what they feel they can do to make it as safe as possible but need students to buy in.
“If we’re going to do this and pull this off and our students want to be here throughout the year and want to remain on campus,” says Tony Voisin, vice president of student affairs, “We need everyone’s cooperation.”
“But at the same time we just worry because you know it’s college,” says Williams, “And we know kids are going to be kids.”
Already problems have popped up. A recent social media video showing students leaving quarantine earlier this week. The school says they are aware and caught the students on camera.
“When they move into those facilities, they are given an expectation for what they can and cannot do,” says Voisin, “Unfortunately some people choose to not pay attention to those as much as we need them to. Now it’s our turn to really reiterate the expectations to them and we have already done that and we will continue to do that.”
Classes begin for CMU on Monday, about two weeks before most colleges in Michigan. Voisin says other schools have already reached out to find what protocols work and which do not for CMU, before they invite their own students to campus.