When I was heading back to the University of Mobile, I was unsure of just how different my move-in day experience would be. Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, I knew that some changes were going to be made in how the faculty and staff controlled the coming crowds.
Though I was a bit nervous initially, I quickly realized that there was absolutely nothing to fear as UM did a wonderful job of making sure that both everything and everyone was appropriately following the new COVID-19 move-in day plan!
One of the first things that the University of Mobile did was enact a plan to help lessen the number of people on campus during the official move-in day. On Aug. 8, UM welcomed back a handful of students as they set up their dorm rooms and prepared their on-campus living spaces for the start of the new semester. Once these students had finished moving-in, they were free to return home and wait until the pre-scheduled move-in day to head back to school.
Though I know this tactic was originally set in place to help keep everyone safe during the pandemic, I thought that having an early move-in date was a particularly wonderful opportunity for the students who live relatively close to campus.
To further aid in keeping everybody socially distanced, the University of Mobile extended move-in day to a weekend-long event. Both first-time and returning students were able to choose a date and a time to head to campus and unpack their belongings. This lengthened move-in schedule allowed students and faculty to remain as safe as possible while complying with the new COVID-19 distancing regulations. Though this new process was a bit different, the overwhelming excitement of new people arriving at UM each day perfectly made-up for the unfamiliarity of the situation.
In addition to keeping everyone as socially distant as possible, the University of Mobile made sure that they communicated their new processes both clearly and concisely so that they could better ensure a smooth transition into college life. In the weeks leading up to the extended move-in dates, UM made sure to keep their students informed with countless emails and reminders on what do when arriving on campus.
To keep everything running smoothly throughout the three move-in dates, the university set up stations where students would be temperature-checked, turn in important forms, and pick up their dorm keys. By the time you pulled up to your dorm, all that was left to do was move-in! The faculty and staff were amazing at keeping the line of vehicles moving in a timely fashion and were amazing at directing drivers in the correct direction.
If move-in day was any form of a precursor to how the remainder of this semester will play out, I know for sure that all UM students will be in good hands! With such excellent communication and strategic decisions being made by the faculty and staff, I fully believe that the University of Mobile is ready to overcome any challenge presented by COVID-19.