A sampling of undergraduates returned this week to a campus deadened by pandemic-related restrictions. With almost none of the traditional move-in day fanfare, arriving students — encouraged to pack light and not allowed outside help — moved themselves into the brand-new EVGR Building A.
Social-distancing rules and the deflated on-campus population make for a bleak ambience. As if in place of students, signage has sprung up throughout campus. Big rectangular notices urge “STAY SAFE” and mark zone boundaries or forbid visitor parking. Smaller ones insist that members of only one household can use a bench or elevator. Chalk-scrawled notes guide students toward “HOME!”
Under skies that shifted from gray to orange and back again, undergraduates acclimated to the transformed campus and settled into new rhythms — involving many hours spent in apartment-style new digs, with rare excursions to dining halls or the student testing facility.