On Friday, May 1, University Housing’s 10 day move-out period began for students still living on campus or who left their belongings in residence halls. University Housing planned a structured move-out process from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. to ensure the safety of students and minimize the spread of COVID-19.
According to Donna McGalliard, assistant vice chancellor and executive director of University Housing, over 1,100 students out of the 9,000 students who live in University Housing, signed up for move-out appointment times as of May 1, and over 700 of these were within the initial hours of announcing the appointments. As of May 1, about 650 students were still living on campus, according to McGalliard.
“It tells us, in a way, that students are anxious to get back and get their items, and maybe see some people if they can coordinate their move-out appointments, obviously while physically distancing,” McGalliard said.
University Housing has collaborated with Waste Reduction and Recycling, Wolfpack Outfitters and other campus partners to make sure the process is smooth for all students.
In light of COVID-19 social distancing guidelines, McGalliard said students are limited to only two moving assistants and are asked to coordinate with their roommate to avoid the same appointment time and maintain social distancing. Additionally, no more than one moving group is allowed in an elevator at a given time, and students are encouraged to come with personal protective equipment, like masks and cleaning supplies.
University Housing’s leadership team will be cleaning and restocking residence hall bathrooms daily. They will also be wiping down surfaces like door handles and elevator buttons. RAs and RMs are not required to return to campus for move out.
Heather Cashwell, program manager for Waste Reduction and Recycling, said University Housing typically works with Waste Reduction and Recycling during move-out to provide students with an opportunity to donate unwanted belongings through Wolf Pack-N-Give. This year, instead of setting up donation stations, students are instructed to leave belongings they want donated to TROSA inside their room. Non-perishable foods for the Feed the Pack pantry should be taken to a designated room in the residence hall upon moving out.
“[TROSA] is a rehab facility for people that are getting back into the workplace and getting trained after adverse events in their life,” Cashwell said. “They have a lot of different components to their business … and they have a thrift store in Durham that sells a lot of materials that we donate to them.”
Additionally, students who have rental textbooks from Wolfpack Outfitters can drop off their books at Pullen Hall during the move-out period according to Jeff Halliburton, senior director of Campus Enterprises and retail services.
Halliburton said students who do not live on-campus or have their rental textbooks at home will receive a prepaid UPS shipping label, so they can return their textbooks with no extra charge until the rental return deadline, May 29.
“We probably had over 2,000 students who had rental books this semester who rented from Wolfpack Outfitters,” Halliburton said. “We are working on the finishing touches currently with UPS, so students will be able to package up their books and drop them off at any UPS drop-off point that is close to their homes.”
According to Halliburton, there are about 4,000 rental textbooks that need to get back to campus. However, once the textbooks are received on campus, Wolfpack Outfitters will quarantine the books for two to three days, in order to ensure proper sanitization. Then employees will begin to check the textbooks and go through student accounts.
For students unable to make it back to campus, University Housing has two approved vendors, Handled: Campus Moving and Storage and On Demand Storage, to store students’ belongings. Students can pay these vendors to purchase packing and shipping or item storage, but are still responsible for mailing their keys back to University Housing to finalize their check-out. More information on key return can be found here.
For more information regarding move out, visit University Housing’s website.