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University of Findlay welcomes new students for fall 2020 semester

Fresh faces being welcomed onto Findlay’s campus for move-in day and new student orientation.
Published: Aug. 13, 2020 at 7:19 PM EDT
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FINDLAY, Ohio (WTVG) - This year’s campus-wide move-in day looked quite a bit different for the University of Findlay than in years past.

1,086 masked up students traveled to campus Thursday to move into their student housing, all in preparation for the start of classes for the University of Findlay on August 17.

“There’s so much uncertainty and I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to move in today, so I’m just really excited,” said incoming freshman Rene Chelsie.

Chelsie, alongside her mother, joined the socially distant crowd moving onto campus.

Each new student was led into Findlay’s Memorial Union Hall where parents were not allowed in order to limit the number of guests that surrounded each other.

Once inside new students were given IDs, move-in packets, and University of Findlay face masks.

The masks are part of the university’s Oiler Start Safe and Stay Safe initiative.

“We have to work with them to issue them their keys, do all the check-in things we need to do. We’re taking temperatures, we’re going to give them a mask when they arrive even if they already one. And once we are at that point, they’ll be able to go back out, join their families, and then head over to park closer to where they are going to move in and out,” said University of Findlay Vice President of Student Affairs Dave Emsweller.

Emsweller detailed the changes of this year’s move in.

“Normally we have move-in volunteers who help move students in, but we did away with all of that because we’re trying to limit the total number of people,” said Emsweller.

Student Residential Directors and Advisors were on hand at every student housing building to help with the arrival of new Findlay Oilers.

The Residential Directors and Advisors have been on campus for more than two weeks in order to prepare for more than one thousand new students.

“It will be a lot of just getting people comfortable, showing them where everything is, and talking to them about how things are a little bit different this year with COVID,” said Residential Director Gracie Goodman.

Goodman who works at one of the all-female dorms on campus is entering her fourth year at the University of Findlay. She remembers her move-in day and can sympathize with students moving in during this challenging time.

“I think they’ll definitely be a lot of mixed emotions, a lot of nerves, and hopefully still excitement to get back here. It’s really exciting that we’re still in person so I’m happy about that, so everyone will still get a little bit of that college experience, but things are probably going to be a little more nerve-racking for the time being,” said Goodman.

The University of Findlay’s restart plan is centered around the safety of all students.

Dave Emsweller believes that the campus can maintain safety and tradition all at the same time.

“Social distancing has become the term that everyone uses, and I understand that, but I think a lot of universities, not just us… we want to use the term physical distancing because even though you need to be physically distant from people, you don’t need to be socially distant from them. We still want them to interact, talk to each other, have experiences together, but be physically distant,” said Emsweller.

New student orientation activities are planned throughout the weekend before classes begin.

Group activities will be limited in size and students will continue to have to wear a mask.

The university feels confident that their restart plan and campus staff can lead the way for a safe start for the school year.

“We’ve all been trained these past few weeks to really accommodate for that, and be there for all the residents so they still get that college experience and still feel excited to start the journey right here at Findlay,” said Goodman.

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