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Students begin moving back on campus with staggered approach

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Students are moving back in on UNG's Dahlonega Campus over a longer period of time this fall to promote social distancing.

This week continues the staggered move-in of students on the University of North Georgia's (UNG) Dahlonega Campus.

Cadets began a phased move-in Aug. 1 to limit the number of cadets arriving each day. Fewer than 105 cadets moved in per day, and a medical screening was the first stop on campus for each.

Beginning Aug. 12, other residential students will move in across a four-day window, with fewer than 20 students moving into any particular residence hall at a time. Non-cadet residential students were given the option to choose their own move-in time slot.

"Residence Life is excited to offer a socially distant, multiday move-in experience for our students," said Treva Smith, director of Residence Life. "Occupancy in the residence halls will be limited each day to allow students and families an opportunity to move into the residence halls with minimal interaction. For new students, their move-in time will coordinate with a socially distanced in-person orientation session as well."

For Residence Life staff and resident assistants (RAs), the training process — which included COVID-19 protocols and diversity and inclusion information — evolved to fit the realities of the pandemic. Training for 70 RAs last week was spread across the Convocation Center.

Students will be limited to two people to assist them with moving in.

Residence Life will provide carts for students to use during the move-in process. Carts will be disinfected with spray between users. Student Health Services personnel will be available on move-in day for temperature checks and to ensure students have completed a questionnaire about safe practices. Residential students, like all UNG students and employees, will be expected to complete a daily self-check before leaving their residence hall and going to other parts of campus this fall.

"We pride ourselves on the first impression and making students feel welcome," said Jared Patterson, coordinator for first-year transitions with Residence Life. "That's even more important in the current climate. It's a delicate balance between making them feel safe and making them feel welcome."

Students moving in this week also will be advised about new requirements such as cleaning their own rooms, restrictions on in-room visitation and a ban on guests in residence halls.

"UNG has instituted a number of measures aimed at keeping the UNG community safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic, including cloth face coverings, social distancing and enhanced cleaning," Smith said. "Cloth face coverings are required in UNG buildings and facilities. Face coverings are not required in one's own residence hall room or suite, when alone in an enclosed office or study room, or in campus outdoor settings where social distancing requirements are met."

One UNG face covering will be given to each student during move-in. Students also are urged to bring additional face coverings and disinfectant products with them when they move into the residence halls.

William Loudermilk, a senior from Lavonia, Georgia, pursuing a psychology degree, enters his third full year as an RA this fall. This year will be unlike any he has seen before, but his role will still focus heavily on pointing residents to mental health resources when needed.

"While one-on-one communication will look very different this year, I am still available to talk with students and help them find the resources they need," Loudermilk said. 

More information on safe practices for UNG residential students is available on the Nighthawks Together website detailing UNG's fall 2020 plan.

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