Students report a smooth dorm move-in experience after a peculiar year

After a year of remote and hybrid learning, students reflect on an uneventful transition to residence hall life.


Jake Capriotti

Students and their helper guests moved into NYU’s 22 residence halls during three move-in days. Students new and returning seemed undeterred by the university’s COVID guidelines surrounding move-in and reported a generally smooth process. (Staff Photo by Jake Capriotti)

Lauren Ashe, Staff Writer

Students streamed through the doors of NYU’s 22 residence halls, boxes in hand and families in tow, during the fall 2021 move-in days between Aug. 27 and Aug. 29. Many students — both new and returning — stayed home for a year of remote learning, and this semester marks the first time residence halls are running at full capacity. Despite the university’s COVID-19 guidelines, including indoor mask-wearing and a one-guest policy, students generally reported a smooth move-in process.

The university introduced more effective safety measures to protect against the spread of the highly transmissible delta variant, which is causing a surge in infections and an uptick in breakthrough cases among vaccinated people. These safety measures limited the usage of large bins for transporting belongings and encouraged students to take one elevator trip during their two-hour move-in period. Students were also allowed a single helper, who was given a wristband during check-in after showing proof of full vaccination or a negative PCR result within 72 hours of arrival. 

Some students said that NYU’s general COVID-19 policies, such as proof of vaccination and mask-wearing, were necessary, but other move-in guidelines were excessive. CAS first-year Sedem Apedo reported that some of the guidelines were not strictly enforced.

“I do not believe the ‘one person, one trip’ policy worked because I personally could not bring my items up in one trip,” Apedo said. “However, the move-in staff were understanding and let me take multiple trips. This also allowed each person in my family to go up and see my room before they left.”

Gallatin first-year Jordan Spencer also believes that the single-helper policy was impractical, but understands that the rise in cases of the delta variant is a cause for concern.

“Having one helper and expecting everyone to make one trip is unrealistic,” Spencer said. “I’m in Third North, so we are bringing things for a bathroom, bedroom and kitchen. To put all of the stuff in one bin and make one trip just wasn’t possible, at least in my situation.”

Other universities in the New York City area implemented similar or more lenient move-in protocols compared to NYU. At Fordham University, students were allowed to have three people help them move in as long as they provided proof of identity and vaccination. Columbia University required all guests to register ahead of time in order to assist with moving in. 

Despite the somewhat overwhelming return to campus, most NYU students agreed that their move-in days were smooth and uneventful.

“My move-in day went really well,” Liberal Studies first-year Ife Giwa said. “I was the first to move in in the entire building and didn’t have to wait in line. Overall, despite how emotional of a day it was, the physical transition was a very smooth one.”

Contact Lauren Ashe at [email protected].