FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The University of Arkansas will require masks in indoor spaces on campus as Arkansas continues to battle the COVID -19 delta variant.
The U of A tells us they are expecting a full house. Over 6,000 students will be living on campus. Early move-in started Wednesday but the bulk of students will arrive Thursday through the weekend.
There are some safety measures to keep in mind. You must wear masks indoors regardless of your vaccination status. There are some exceptions in the dining area and while you’re in your own room. Hand sanitizing stations have been placed in residential halls and throughout campus.
Changes were made to the move-in process to allow for more social distancing. Arrival appointments are required and time slots are staggered throughout the day.
Director for Residential Education, Takama Statton-Brooks says students will be back in class in person and should expect a more traditional semester.
“We are back to regular operations in the residential dining hall which is really nice to see students in there mingling with one another. We do have some safety precautions with our events we just want to make sure while they may have more students attending them that we are doing to provide sanitation stations,” said Statton-Brooks.
She adds students are encouraged to get vaccinated. The university is offering incentives like scholarship packages, parking permits credit and gift cards.
Students who are fully vaccinated will have to quarantine if they develop COVID symptoms or if they test positive for the virus. Students should plan to quarantine off-campus, but there is a limited number of on-campus rooms available if needed.
University officials say there are always concerns when you have so many people come together but they are ready. Adding that if everyone does their part to reduce the spread of the virus then classes and campus events will be able to continue in person with little to no interruptions.
Students I spoke to say they are glad to be back on campus grounds.
“I’m rushing and really looking forward to that.. and meeting new people and just really the whole social aspect and to dive into my major. I think the purpose of going to college is to meet your people and I think being in person really helps that… and it makes it easier to meet people and find your place,” said freshman student, Chloe Brown.
“I get the whole college experience, being in the dorms and on campus, and I’m really excited about that,” said Emma Herold, a student university.
“It’s really fun to be here and get to do all of the normal move-in and the normal things, it feels a little normal,” said Ellise Parker a freshman at the university.
Students will get to experience some larger-scale events this year, like welcoming week to help connect them with their academic programs. For students who want to get re-acclimated to campus life, there’s the razorback reboot program.
Moving in will continue through the weekend and the first day of school is set to begin n august 23rd.