USF move-in gets underway with new COVID-19 precautions

Sunday marked the first day of the University of South Florida's move-in week for students. However, campus was a lot quieter than in years past. 

In order to make sure students and parents were welcomed to campus in the safest way possible, the university made a few changes to their move-in day operations.  

Megan Stacey is one of USF's incoming freshmen. She was forced to miss her senior year prom, and her graduation was delayed due to COVID-19. However, she’s not letting the virus stop her from getting her college experience.

“I think I was just like trying to make up for not having senior year, so I was like, 'I’ve got to go.' I’ve got to just get out there, start making new friends and stuff like that," said Stacey. 

But just like her year ahead, move-in day came with a few changes. 

“We have an older child who just graduated from Flagler over in St. Augustine, so we did the same move four years ago. Now it’s a different situation, different school, but it’s going well," said Becky Stacey, Megan's mom.

To prevent the usual move-in day chaos and crowds, students were given time slots for when they could move in. They were also asked to stay in their cars with their masks on in order to check in and get their keys. 

“It’s weird because there’s no one in my dorm yet, I don’t think," said Stacey. "I was the only one. Normally you would like move in with your roommate, you would see them at the same time, but my roommate doesn’t move in till later today.“

Stacey’s freshman year will be mostly online. She’ll have to wear a mask while on campus, and USF says social distancing will be enforced. 

“I mean there’s a reason for it. It doesn’t really bother me," said Stacey. "I know there’s phases.”

USF is currently under Phase II of their reopening plan. Under Phase II, only 50% of the university's employees are allowed to be on campus at one time. Common areas like the libraries and student centers are open but with limited hours.

It’s a new type of college experience in the midst of COVID-19, but a year Stacey won’t soon forget. 

“I’m so excited, I can’t wait," said Stacey

Students will continue arriving through next Sunday, August 23. Classes are set to start on August 24.