September 10, 2021 | NEWS | By Cameron Howell | Photo by Tamar Crump
Early in the morning of Aug. 18, a line of people wrapped around the building of Boettcher Health Center. As the line extended, Colorado College put up small tents and set out water for the incoming students as they waited for a COVID-19 test underneath the hot Colorado sun.
Incoming first-year students and returning students were required to receive a negative COVID-19 test before they moved into their housing assignment. First-years specifically were given the opportunity to sign up for a COVID-19 test and move-in time slot for either Wednesday, Aug. 18 or Thursday, Aug. 19. Students were allowed two guests who had to check in at the parent and family orientation tent set up on Worner Quad in order to assist the student with their move-in.
“I think that it was one of the more seamless move-ins I’ve ever been a part of,” said Kaylee Crivello, Residential Life Coordinator (RLC) for Mathias Hall, Arthur House, and Brenton Hall.
Nina Antonio ’25 chose Wednesday for her scheduled move-in and had to wait in the long line for her COVID-19 test before she could move her belongings into Loomis Hall. “It was kind of stressful because the COVID line was like two hours long,” Antonio said.
Abby Parrish ’25 moved in on Thursday, Aug. 19, early in the morning. Her wait in the COVID testing line was quick and before long she headed over to the tent to get her gold card and, most importantly, her new Crazy Creek, a collapsible, camping seat. “That was definitely a highlight,” Parrish said. “I was really excited about the Crazy Creek.”
Parrish moved into Mathias alone at first, where she was able to reorganize before her roommate moved in. “I walked to campus by myself, so that was cool, already having that independence,” she said. “My mom didn’t come with me or anything.”
About half an hour after Parrish moved in, her mother arrived with her stuff and they moved her belongings into the room and decorated it together.
Returning student volunteers were given the opportunity to assist first-year move-in. This meant they got to arrive to campus early, help with move-in, and be a part of New Student Orientation.
Ellie Gober ’24 helped out at South Hall. “We basically brought carts to the parents’ cars, had the parents fill the carts with all of their kids’ belongings, and then we helped push the carts up the stairs and up the elevator to their room and then left,” Gober said. Overall, she said the whole process felt COVID-19 safe.
“Everyone was wearing a mask the whole time, we were outside for the majority of our interactions, and then once we were inside, we were not with the parents or students for very long,” Gober said.
Compared to the class of 2024’s move-in experience, Gober thought it was a much better environment. “I moved in last year, and we were all alone,” she said. “We did everything ourselves with no help.”
Clare Quinn ’23, a residential advisor (RA) for McGregor Hall, helped to check first-year students into their respective halls. This involved marking their arrivals on Banner, giving them the key to their room, and distributing room inventory forms.
Quinn said the first-year students were looking forward to the move-in process, and that the South Hall residential staff made it more welcoming.
“They were very excited, and we would always cheer for everyone as they walked in,” Quinn said. “It was definitely an exciting time, playing music, having people walk in, and seeing a bunch of people.”
In Mathias Hall, there was a similar energy. “This is a pretty fun thing that we did, we had music playing, we had RAs clapping and cheering as any new student walked into the room,” Crivello said. “Students would get really embarrassed like ‘oh, they’re clapping for me.’”
Last year, first year students experienced a very different move-in. Each student was only allowed one person to accompany them during the initial move-in process. Then, after their first COVID-19 test, they had to be in enhanced social distancing until they received a second negative COVID-19 test result.
“It was a little bit stricter, and the masks outside policy was also having to be enforced during move-in,” Quinn said.
Crivello said that in addition to some COVID-19 guidelines for last year, the administration had their own sets of difficulties. “So, because of the way that students moved out in March of 2020, we didn’t have the same key logs, we were missing a lot of keys, we didn’t have the same inventory information,” she said. “There were a lot of things that were not ready.”
This year’s move-in process shaped up to be a definite improvement. “Last year we were still in the ‘figuring out how to be COVID-19 safe’ phase and we were doing what we could to keep students safe,” Crivello said. “I was really pleased with how move-in went this year, and I hope students were too.”
On campus, COVID-19 safety regulations stayed the same for the most part. Mask wearing and social distancing was required, and hand sanitization was available throughout campus.
Crivello said the residential life team did a lot of administration work to be ready. “All the rooms were cleaned, everything was organized alphabetically and ready for a student to check in, so there was definitely a lot of administrative preparation to get us where I feel is expectation-level move-in,” she said.
At the end of the two days, over 500 first years were moved into their new rooms for the upcoming year, eagerly making friends and exploring their new home for the next four years.
“The best parts were also the most uncomfortable parts, going out and meeting people was definitely uncomfortable that first day, but if you stick it out, it’s definitely worth it,” Parrish said. “The move-in day was definitely the day where I met a lot of people that I’m friends with today.”