One of Pittsburg State University’s annual traditions includes “Move-In Day” where students living in the dorms come to or return to campus. However, this Move-In Day had some significant changes as compared to previous years.
Pitt State held their Move-In Day over a period of three days starting on Friday, Aug. 14 and ending on Sunday, Aug. 16, as opposed to a single day in previous years. Pitt State implemented this change to better mitigate contact between students and reduce the potential spread of COVID-19. Additionally, students moving in checked in at the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts instead of their individual dorms first where each student received a test for COVID-19. Professionals from the Bryant Student Health Center, along with students from the Irene Ransom School of Nursing were administering the tests. As required on campus, housing staff led by Connie Malle, handed out masks featuring the signature splitface Gorilla on them also to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
“Everything went pretty smooth,” said Mary Leritz, an administrator at Pittsburg State and mother of sophomore in sports and recreation management Bailey Leritz. “She (Bailey) was one of the first scheduled to check in. She went to the Bicknell to do the check in by herself and we met her at Willard Hall. She was done with the check in process in about 5 minutes.”
Leritz also commented on the changes to move-in policy implemented.
“It was… nice to have a smaller number of people moving in at the same time,” Leritz said. “Everything for her was up in her room by the time other families started bringing things in.”
Leritz, like many parents, said she does worry about her daughter in this new environment but that she trusts Pitt State’s health and safety precautions.
“Of course, I worry – as a parent you can’t help it,” Leritz said. “I feel that she is as safe at Pittsburg State as she would be doing anything else… I actually feel better about her living on campus than if she were living off campus. There is more control over who comes in and out of the dorms. I know that there are going to be positive cases. There’s no doubt about it, but my daughter is just as likely to come in contact with someone who has COVID at the grocery store. It also helps me have some piece of mind that she’s in a single room.”
Bailey Leritz was just one of many moving in during the weekend. She was excited for the school year to start, as was Alexis Denton, freshman in family and consumer sciences.
“It will be a lot different this year, but I’m still excited,” Denton told PSU Marketing and Communication department. “It will be a memorable year, no matter what.”
Denton also commented that she hopes the university remains open in full, as she wants the “full freshman year experience to the extent that she is able.”