Restarting Binghamton: What to expect during move-in days
Binghamton University has developed a process that will allow students to move into their residence halls as quickly and safely as possible later this month.
On-campus students will begin moving into their residence halls Wednesday, Aug. 19 — but the move-in process will look much different than in years past. And, rather than moving all incoming first-year students in on a Sunday, with returning students coming back on Monday, the move in will take place over seven consecutive days. Students new to campus will move in from Aug. 19 to Aug. 22, with returning students moving in Aug. 23, 24 and 25.
All students have selected or been assigned a specific time to move into their residence hall, and will need to abide by that time, said David Hubeny, the University’s executive director for emergency management.
“This will help us in a couple of ways,” Hubeny said. “First, staggering the students over more days and throughout those days will help us accommodate COVID-19 testing before they move in. Secondly, it will help us maintain social distancing during the actual move-in process.”
Those who show up early to the testing/check-in site will be asked to wait until their assigned time.
Upon entering campus, all cars will be directed to lot F at the Events Center, where students will be tested for the coronavirus while their two family members or companions remain in their cars. (Restrooms and limited Wi-Fi will be available.)
“We plan on using a nasal swab rapid test that will provide results in about 30 minutes,” said David Hubeny. “The tests will be administered by students and faculty in the University’s nursing and pharmacy programs, following all public health protocols for safety.”
Students will be asked to self-screen prior to coming to campus, and if they are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, they are asked to remain home and only come to campus when they have been medically cleared to do so.
The University expects to be able to analyze up to 150 test samples on site per hour, with a maximum number of about 1,000 students moving in on any given move-in day, Hubeny said.
Individuals may test positive for weeks after infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Therefore, students with a history of COVID-19 within six weeks of arriving on campus should consult with Decker Student Health Services Center staff at 607-777-2221 prior to arrival regarding the need for them to be tested during move-in. Documentation of test results, treatment and recovery will be required in advance of their arrival on campus.
Students who test positive during the move-in process will be advised to return home to isolate until they have been medically cleared to return to campus — likely for a minimum of 10 days of isolation. A dedicated, virtual advising room will be available to them adjacent to the testing site and staffed with people to can help answer their medical questions as well as questions about holding onto their housing slot and managing class registration. If a student is unable to isolate at home, the University has prepared designated isolation space on campus.
Students who receive a negative result will check in with Residential Life in the West Gym, adjacent to the Events Center, be given card access to their residence hall, and proceed to the hall to move in their belongings.
“We’ve been encouraging students to pack lightly for move in because they will be moving themselves in,” Hubeny said. “We’ll have laundry carts ready, but we are not allowing anyone other than the resident students into the halls for move in — or throughout the entire semester.”
Students who require accommodations moving in should already have been in contact with Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) to confirm arrangements. If a student needs assistance as a result of a disability and hasn’t yet made arrangements with SSD, contact that office immediately at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Parents and friends are encouraged to FaceTime, phone or connect with students through other means as they move into their rooms, Hubeny added. “For safety reasons, we aren’t allowing guests into residence halls, but we hope students will find ways to connect with their parents and friends during the process.
“Once students have moved their belongings in, they will be able to spend time with their parents to run errands or grab a bite to eat off campus before they say goodbye in person,” he added.
Should any of these plans need to change as move-in days approach, the University will use its website, social media and campus signage to communicate the changes to students and those helping them move in.