University of Iowa students experience more normal move-in day, fewer restrictions

Published: Aug. 16, 2021 at 6:40 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - University of Iowa students began moving to campus this week as the fall semester gets underway.

“It’s kind of a different feel,” Joan Prisner, a University of Iowa parent, said.

Prisner and Lauren Joniak were one of many families on campus on Monday, helping move their son and brother into his dorm.

“Certainly things are different. You do have a little concern with all these kids kind of being in close proximity, but I know that the University is doing things to help keep them safe,” Prisner said.

This year, move-in procedures are different, including the university not limiting students to two moving-helpers like last year.

“It was really smooth. We had our scheduled time and pulled right in,” Prisner said.

They also are not requiring masks and will have volunteers on-site to help.

“We have volunteers to help with moving by pushing carts, and unloading cars and essentially that’s how it will work,” Sarah Hansen, vice-president for student life, said.

Right now, the university is not implementing any mask or vaccine mandate for students or staff, but new school President Barbara Wilson says that may change.

“I’m hoping that we don’t have to change what we’re doing,” Wilson said. “I’m pleased to see, as I walk around how many students are carrying masks, if they’re outdoors, or putting them on when they’re inside.”

There will also be no plans to test students randomly. Wilson said they will be monitoring county statistics and changing their approach if need be.

“Those of things we’re looking at, positivity rates, hospital rates, and the testing of our wastewater,” Wilson said.

However, the lack of mandates has some students upset.

“It’s not safe for students who are coming back who might be immune-compromised or just regular students who may get the virus. We don’t know the long-term effects of COVID,” Kaitlyn Lindgren, a Ph.D student, said.

The university said that, starting Monday, they’ll have a walk-in vaccine clinic on campus for students where they can also get tested.

“Especially first-year students as they swing through and pick up their swag for OnIowa, they can head right downstairs and get the vaccine for free,” Hansen said.

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