backtoschool

Students hoping for a more normal year after some restrictions are lifted at Virginia Tech

New River Valley News

BLACKSBURG, Va. (WFXR) — Saturday was the first of five move-in days at Virginia Tech.

The university says they had about 2,000 first-time students roll their suitcases and storage bins into their dorm rooms the morning of Saturday, Aug. 14.

Mia Haygood began classes at Virginia Tech last year during the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’ll be interesting to see how it’s actually different this year, hopefully,” remarked Haygood. “All of my classes were online last year. I had a couple that had some in-person meetings, but all of my lectures were online.”

This year, she’s hoping to get the first-time experience she didn’t get last year.

“I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how the dining halls are more non-COVID. I’m definitely interested in clubs this year, because I’ll be able to go in person,” added Haygood.

Her parents say hopefully with more restrictions lifted, she’ll be able to do more social activities.

“Last year was really tough because of the pandemic,” said her mother, Denise Haygood. “You didn’t know how things were going to go. Would they be stuck in their rooms, would they make friends?”

The staff at Virginia Tech say they’ve been gearing up to allow that to happen.

“I would say this year we just have more events for students. We have 180 events that will happen through the first 10 days of school,” said Sean Grube, Director of Housing and Residence Life.

Virginia Tech is now asking students and their guests to wear masks while indoors. However, outdoor restrictions are not in place.

“It’s a little bit easier for students and their families to get around, but we’re still concentrating on keeping everyone safe,” Grube explained.

When it comes to moving in over the next week, they have a new system in place.

“There’s no formal check-in process. Students just have to come here, and they go straight to their room, and they’re able to move in. That’s different than what we’ve done in years past. One thing we learned through COVID is that time slots really help cut down on traffic throughout campus,” said Grube.

Grube says they have about 150 families who are moving in every hour.

Virginia Tech is also providing vaccination clinics on campus.

“This year — a lot easier. All we’re worried about is where are we going to eat lunch. That’s our big worry,” commented Denise Haygood.

Virginia Tech expects to have just under 10,000 students on campus this fall.

First-year students will have until Tuesday, Aug. 17, to move in while upperclassmen have until Sunday, Aug. 22. Classes then start on Monday, Aug. 23.

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