In a statement released on Aug. 26, NC State announced the closure of residence halls and its plans to have on-campus housing residents move out by Sept. 6. This statement came a few weeks after fall semester classes began.
The announcement came after a steady rise in COVID-19 cases on campus, which had already forced students to shift all classes to an online setting Aug. 20.
While on-campus housing is still an option through exception requests, many students who started the year hoping to stay on campus are moving out, less than a month after they arrived. Chris Miller, a second-year studying criminology, said the announcement did not come as a shock.
“I decided to move out a couple of days before they made that announcement,” Miller said. “Whether or not you think college campuses are safe for students, there are plenty of reasons why kids would be sent home. So it wasn’t surprising at all, except for the fact that maybe the move-out process started so soon.”
The move-out process has resulted in a variety of different experiences for students on campus. Ben Kurian, a second-year studying computer science, said the speed of the process affected his friends.
“My friends were really hoping to stay on campus,” Kurian said. “Some of them are looking for subleases so they can stay, so I think it’s safe to say they definitely feel a little hurried.”
When asked how the situation could’ve been handled better, both Miller and Kurian had similar sentiments.
“They should’ve gone either all or nothing,” Miller said. “Either keep everybody, regardless of the number of cases, or just not let anybody in this semester at all. There’s no reason why the University should be willing to let students on campus in the first place, if they knew there was a chance they were going to send them home anyway.”
Both Miller and Kurian said their college experiences were changed in different ways, first by the move to all-online classes, and then by the closing of on-campus housing.
“All my classes were online in the first place,” Miller said. “I was stuck in my dorm room the majority of the day anyway, and now I can be stuck at home. As far as the ‘college experience’ goes, there were no parties, and there were no get-togethers to go to. I won’t be missing out on much, at least this year.”
Kurian said he was concerned over the potential for distractions outside of a classroom environment.
“As a computer science major, it’ll be a lot harder to focus since I need to be in a classroom environment to get more work done,” Kurian said. “And it doesn’t help that I just transferred in from Charlotte. So while I’m sure UNC-Charlotte did or will do something similar this year, I can’t say my time at NC State started off on the right foot.”