Ithaca College administrators and students shared information regarding Spring 2021 move-in and the on-campus experience.
The most recent All Student and Family Gathering of the semester was held Dec. 9 and included a panel of three students who spoke about their experiences during the fall semester as well as what can be expected on campus next semester. Members of the college’s administration also provided more information and answered questions about the spring semester.
The meeting was initially supposed to be held Dec. 10, the first night of Hanukkah, but was moved to Dec. 9 to accommodate Jewish students and families celebrating the holiday. The college has previously scheduled events on Jewish holidays, leading to criticism from some members of the campus community.
Spring 2021 Move-In and Housing
Housing assignments were finalized Dec. 7 and students were emailed their assignments along with a time slot to sign up for a move-in and testing time for the spring semester.
Marsha Dawson, director of the Office of Residential Life and the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards, acknowledged that the sign-up process webpage was not working for some students Dec. 9, but she said it is working again and students should be able to sign up. She said students are still able to sign up for a move-in time until Dec. 21.
Laura Davis, assistant housing director, said the Office of Residential Life is working to monitor move-in availability.
She said there are still many time slots open, especially Jan. 27 and 29 and Feb. 1, 3 and 5.
Students will arrive on campus and immediately go to the Athletics and Events Center to get tested for COVID-19. Students will then receive their room keys and be able to move into their rooms while they wait 24–36 hours for their test results, as said Nov. 5 at the All-Student Gathering.
Dawson said the college is recommending that students still quarantine for 14 days prior to arrival, despite the change in New York state quarantine guidelines.The college is also recommending students get tested for COVID-19 and get their flu shot, she said.
“If you are not well, if you have tested positive, if you are sick, please stay home,” Dawson said.
Reginald Briggs, associate director for Dining Services, said students will receive two bags of nonperishable food for their quarantine period.
“People have to think of it almost like a camping trip,” he said.
He said most of the food is snacks, as not all students will have refrigerators or microwaves to store or heat food while quarantining for 24–36 hours. Briggs said that students with dietary restrictions will still be accommodated in dining halls. The allergen-free station in the dining halls will remain open and have its own staff, utensils and kitchen appliances. The same goes for the kosher station, Briggs said.
Dean of Students Bonnie Prunty said there will be welcome events for freshmen when they get to campus. She said there will be different events depending on if the student deferred enrollment or was enrolled for the fall semester.
Students who were enrolled, active students and students who participated in the summer orientation will participate in the spring welcome events, Prunty said. Freshmen events will occur over several weekends in February, the first being held the first weekend all students are on campus, Feb. 6.
She said there will still be events before Feb. 6 for students who arrived earlier to participate in. Students who deferred will have a virtual orientation that will take place throughout January.
College Librarian Lisabeth Chabot said the library will be open from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. Sunday. She said that after working to de-densify the library, approximately 250 students can be working in the library at the same time.
Sophomore Julia Colucci works for the Office of Student Engagement and was on the panel at the gathering. She said clubs will remain active in the spring, but the office is encouraging clubs to hold meetings and events virtually. During the fall semester, there were 121 active clubs, she said.
Senior Joshua Webster-Heenan, a Fitness Center student employee, said the center will be open in the spring but will look and work differently. He said cardio equipment has been spread out to ensure there are 6 feet between stations. Students will also need to sign up to use the equipment and have a 45-minute time slot to complete their workouts.
Senior Lillian Marcelonis said that it is important for students to hold each other accountable for their actions on and off campus. She said students have a responsibility to both the campus community and Ithaca residents to follow guidelines and be safe. Members of the campus community and Ithaca residents can inform the college about possible COVID-19 rule violations through the Community Agreement Reporting Form. The form allows the college to make sure students are following COVID-19 guidelines.
“We all want to be at school so I think mostly it’s that drive to be in person because we all miss it so much, and I think that it’s also helpful to have open conversations and honest conversations with the people you’re around,” Colucci said.
Briggs said there will be one-way traffic in dining halls and food will be served to students. He said the grab-and-go program will be expanded and all students will use reusable green containers to transport their food.
The Campus Center Dining Hall, Terraces Dining Hall, Towers Marketplace and other retail dining will all be open, he said. There will only be one service line in the dining halls, and all the food offerings will be the same, Briggs said.
“The big difference that you’re going to see with the retail outlets is that everything needs to be ordered through Grubhub,” he said.
Students will order their food from retail options through the Grubhub app and be able to pick it up there, he said.
Briggs said Towers Marketplace will also be open until at least 9 to 10 p.m. Because of New York state COVID-19 guidelines, restaurants cannot be open past 10 p.m. and Briggs said he is unsure how that will affect Towers. He said that students will have the option to use meal swipes at Towers rather than using Bomber Bucks for retail food.