College Sets Underclassmen Move-Out Dates to Accommodate Graduation

Sarah Manderbach '22, Opinion Editor

Residence Life has set underclassmen move out dates to before finals week in order to accommodate for an influx of guests for senior graduation.

As the end of the semester approaches, many on-campus students are wondering what the plan is for moving out at the end of the semester. On April 6, Residence Life and Housing sent an email out to the student body titled “Move Out Information” regarding all move out dates, times, and procedures for underclassmen. The email stated they must move out by noon on May 9th  since that is when residential spaces for students will close.

Associate Dean of Residence Life and Housing and Conduct Amanda George confirmed this date for upperclassmen and said that the set move-out date for graduating seniors is May 16. 

The decision on move-out dates was made by the college’s Implementation Team. According to George, “The Implementation Team decided that we would have the two seven week sessions on campus. It was also decided that faculty would offer remote exams.”

Another major factor was graduation. “We anticipate more people on campus the weekend of May 15 as we welcome more seniors and families to campus to celebrate during the graduation ceremonies. De-densifying campus allows us to hold these celebrations safely,” said George.

With this change from the initial move-out dates for 24 hours after a student’s last final, some students may have conflicts arise with move-out now being the weekend before finals week. 

“If a student is not able to successfully complete their finals off campus, we encourage them to reach out to Residence Life and Housing via email, so we can work with them on alternative arrangements,” said George.

George Stroud,vice president and dean of Student Life, said this conversation surrounding move-out dates started last fall during conversations about how and whether to bring students back to campus for Fall 2020. 

“In trying to make those decisions, we need to look at the entire semester. And that’s when we started talking about possibly moving up the move-out date. Then, in addition to not only how we were coming back, we were also at the same time having conversations about commencement,” said Stroud. “In the fall, at that time we had not made a decision as to how commencement was going to work at that point but we knew we wanted to have an in-person commencement.”

“Once we made the decision as to how commencement was going to work, the goal was to de-densify campus enough so that we would minimize the risk of anyone getting sick by bringing back other people into the community–the other people being the other people being the other seniors and the families who will be participating in the commencement ceremony,” said Stroud.

Some students express their dissatisfaction with the new deadline for moving out. Jocelyn Wright ’23 said, “Personally, I’m frustrated because students now have to pack and travel the weekend before finals start instead of actually getting to study for those finals.” 

Wright added that although the move-out date was on the college’s calendar for a period of time, she did not feel the study body was contacted about it in a timely manner. “I think [this] was especially an issue because people have been scheduling vaccination appointments. I guess technically the information was there for us to access, but why look at the finals schedule if your final dates are all on your syllabi already?”

“While we’re close, we hope, to the end of this, we’re not there,” said Ensign. “But we really must still keep to those values, health and safety, and George [Stroud] is right, we’ve got to make sure the campus is not so full that we risk a major superspreader event.”

Regarding student response, Stroud said that it has overall been positive.

“Has there been some pushback? Of course, but I think as we explain the reasons why, I think most students understand it, and understand that we did try to put some measures in place to make sure that everyone was thought about,” said Stroud.

President Ensign said this decision draws back to the college’s priority of the health and safety of its students that guided its decisions throughout the pandemic. 

“It’s inconvenient for students, it’s difficult, but we announced this quite a while ago, so I hope students have been preparing and I think student life is handling this as well as they can,” said Ensign.

Brendon Subramanian ’23 said “It’s completely ridiculous, especially because it was ‘announced’ via the registrar’s office, which not a lot of people really check. It’s not anything students should have expected to have found on their own.”

Stroud said that as with other circumstances, the college is accounting for exceptions to this plan, and is reviewing petitions for those who wish to stay on campus beyond their expected move-out date. George said that it is hard to say how many students will reach out regarding alternative arrangements. “We are being flexible with folks, so I would encourage them to reach out.”