TEMPE, Ariz. - Saturday, Aug. 8, marks move-in day at Arizona State University for local students, but it looks different than any other year since social distancing is being practiced during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year, it’s more like a move-in month, as the school has staggered start times to try to keep everyone socially distant.
It’s less noisy, the excitement is tempered, but the smiles are still there under face masks as parents helped their kids move into their dorm rooms Saturday morning.
Arrival times are staggered far apart and once local students decorate the rooms, they have to go back to their homes and not yet start living in the dorm rooms.
"They’ll return next weekend to actually get their keys to start living with us. Again, this has been a staggered process to create as healthy of an environment but also a physically distanced environment," said ASU Dean of Students, Dr. Sharon Smith.
She represents students at the downtown campus.
She says in total 13,000 students will move on campus and keeping it COVID-19 free will be the obvious priority.
"Everyone is given a community of care kit," Smith said. That includes hand sanitizers, disinfectant wipes, a digital thermometer and also tips to continue to remain healthy.
"It seemed like everybody is doing their job to stay safe and safely parked. They had me COVID tested, they had everything, so I feel pretty safe," said student Camron Bryant from Tempe.
He's an incoming freshman and says he looks forward to finally living on campus.
"I don’t know what I expected with all of (coronavirus). I expected it to be a little more interactive but it’s still fun coming in being a freshman on move-in day," Bryant said.
His mom Robyn said it’s a stressful move-in day. "I’m excited for him but I am a little concerned with my other kids and him coming home," she explained.
Students outside of Maricopa County will move in later in August.
Bryant's mother, Robyn, says it’s unfortunate her son didn’t get to have normal graduation festivities due to the pandemic, but is already planning festivities for his ASU graduation.
"We didn’t get to have the 2020 graduation fun and party so I’m looking forward to 2024," she said.
For more on how the university is handling the pandemic, visit this link.