VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – Friday was the first day for freshmen to check-in at Stetson University, but this year, it’s drive-thru style.
Music welcomed the caravan of cars as they waited in line for temperature checks, and confirmation that students tested negative for COVID-19 and a reminder to always wear face masks.
“There are concerns, but all we can do is just stay safe and they’re doing that here,” Trisha Rice said.
Trisha Rice and her niece drove from New York and said the university has reassured them with its safety protocols and gave each student personal protection equipment, along with campus shirts.
“I think it’s worth it to be here. I’d rather be here than at home on my computer,” freshman Madison Rice said.
Stetson University told News 6 3,500 students are enrolled for the fall, 60 percent of those students are learning on campus and are required to check-in on a phone app daily to show they’re symptom-free.
“This is my year to go to college, so why wait because of a pandemic,” freshman Jaytwon Peoples said.
Officials said they've changed the rules for housing. Instead of having 2,000 spaces, they have just over 1,200 students in dorms and 300 students in hotels and only allowing one person per room.
“If we need to isolate a student because they’re displaying symptoms then we can do that isolation in their room. We can bring them food. We can keep them safe,” said Noel Painter, Executive Vice President, and Provost. “The demand for coming back to campus and having a real college residential experience has been really impressive. There is an energy that I think a lot of people have really missed that we’re glad to have back.”