College Safely Welcomes Second Wave of Student Move-Ins

Dickinson’s second cohort of students moved in the weekend of Feb. 5 to 7—many of the students in this group will stay on campus for the remaining 11 weeks of the semester.

According to George Stroud, Vice President and Dean of Student Life, just under 500 students moved in during this period. That group joined 500 other students who had come to campus in January to bring a total of roughly 1,000 students on campus. 

“We were pleased with how move-in went—both of them, to be quite honest with you. This was a brand-new process—one that he had never worked on on this campus before—and it went very smooth,” Stroud said. He added that “the students and the families did an excellent job following all the guidelines that we had issued and making sure that everyone felt safe moving.”

President Ensign added that “George and his team and everybody involved in testing really did an extraordinary job.” Despite hiccups due to winter weather, Ensign was pleased with the operation noting that almost every department on campus has contributed personnel to the testing operation. She was also happy with the second session of signing into the college. “They were so spirited, those kids,” she said.

Students had been required to take a test at home and return a negative result before coming to campus. “There were a few people who did turn up positive at home and so didn’t come,” Stroud said, “That was smart of us to do that because had we not, we would not have found out about those positive tests until maybe two days after the person had already been here on campus.” 

Though students staying the whole semester were initially scheduled to move in during the weekend before classes began with the students who are on campus until spring break, President Ensign announced on Jan. 7 that there would be a change in dates. The move-in dates for students spending the entire semester were changed in an attempt to comply with requests from the Pennsylvania Department of Education and Department of Health that colleges move students in later in the semester. President Ensign wrote that “based on those recommendations, and on the high positivity rate in Cumberland County,” college needed to change its initial plans.

Those students who wished to stay the whole semester due to extenuating circumstances were required to apply for permission. Some students were able to petition further to return at the originally scheduled date despite the change. Many of the students that petitioned to spend the whole semester on campus are student athletes, who officially began practices on Feb. 15, following the one-week stay-at-home period. 

Due to the success of the home test and move-in procedures, the move in process following spring break will be similar. The college expects the second cohort to keep the number at a similar number of students to the current cohort.