Survey Raw Responses: What was the biggest challenge or lesson learned with your housing move-in process?
APPA > Survey Raw Responses: What was the biggest challenge or lesson learned with your housing move-in process?
Quickly designing an appointment-based move-in model. Spreading move-in out over 2 weeks meant we had to prep rooms sooner, needed different inspection and sign-off processes, and more flexibility on room assignments.
The actual move-in, with scheduled times, worked well. However, students were permitted to withdraw from housing up until one week before move-in and we pivoted to online instruction only for undergraduates one week after classes began. We began the semester with one outside cleaning contractor to sanitize rooms of students testing positive, however we had to bring more outside contractors on board due to rapidly evolving situation. Our in-house housekeeping staff provided regular sanitization of common spaces and bathrooms in all residence halls except those dedicated to isolation and quarantine.
Move-in was more spread out than usual and worked well for reduced waste volumes. The timing added additional work load for more days but still kept overtime down from year’s past.
Union demands and communication challenges with different campus constituents.
Housing move-in worked well and as planned.
Getting students to follow social distancing protocols, mask wearing, etc. while off campus. Off campus parties, gatherings, etc.
The weakest link was the student staff. Despite innumerable training sessions on the importance of modelling the desired behaviors (masks where required, physical distancing, hand sanitizer, small gatherings) we had to provide reminders frequently on the importance of walking the talk on these behaviors. Frequent reminders made the difference!
The students were brought in on separate days and separate times. All in all it ran fairly smoothly. Most classes are being held online except for labs.
The biggest challenge was in housing residence students who were required to self-isolate, although the process went very well.
Educating the returning students on social distancing and wearing of masks, teaching new policies and promoting leadership by example from Faculty to Staff.
Housing move-in had been a four day process in the past. This year we increased it to eight days and asked students to sign up for a reserved time. This worked well.
Extending move-in from 2 days to 5 days allowed for social distancing and was a more pleasant customer service experience.
Certain issues arose with parent/ student assistance and difficulty maintaining social distancing
A lot of late arrivals because of delayed international travel.
Controlling the media fueled hysteria surrounding a virus with a low mortality rate. Everyone focused on cases without putting it into perspective. Looking at the entire population of my state, there was a 0.03% of dying from COVID. Lifetime odds of dying by drowning is 0.08%.
The de-densifying of public and academic spaces to ensure we would still be able to meet the education needs of our students and faculty as well as keep them as safe as possible.
Spreading it out over multiple days.
By increasing the number of days used for move-in we had a more orderly process. It went more smoothly than in the past.
Residence Life was understaffed for the drawn out (weeks long) process. They underestimated how much they depended on volunteers during traditional move-in.
Challenge: Scheduling staggered move-in dates. Lesson learned: Staggered start reduced influx of work orders for physical plant. Reduced congestion during move-in allowed for ease of flow.
Operating with an already lean support staff to complete regular tasks as well as reshaping the physical attributes of the built environment to fit the COVID expectations.
Maintaining distancing protocols.
Managing incoming foreign students and the need to have them self-isolate for 14 days. And having flexible contingency plans in place to be able to quickly respond to any outbreaks, which thankfully have yet to occur.
It went smoother than usual.
Even though we encouraged families to come back early (gave them two weeks prior to school starting), there was still SO MUCH congestion in the dorms the day before classes started. Not sure how we could have done better.
Planning how to clean the rooms in a timely fashion.
Slow & steady…
Getting the students moved in while still keeping with the recommended 6 ft. social distancing during the process.
Multiple days in a row of move-in, including weekends. Way too many long days back-to-back for over a week straight.
Some students didn’t follow the guidelines (i.e. went to building and roommate let them).
The scheduled check in times worked and allowed students to come to campus early and drop off their belongings. Campus was much cleaner with no treat stations and no water bottles being given out.
We used a longer time frame for the move-in. Helped control social distancing measures.
We phased the move-in over several days and throughout each day.
Having students schedule times to move-in was very helpful.
Last minute housing cancellations.
To be flexible and understand that not all students/parents would be happy with whatever plan was implemented and some would elect to stay at home for the semester.
Follow the rules.
Creating enough space to place COVID students. We ended up renting apartments in the local community and have made arrangements with 5 local hotels in the community. We started with only 1 hotel and realized quickly we would need more.
Spreading the registration/move-in over several days was a smart move. Allowing no-penalty cancellation for housing was also appropriate given the circumstances.
Gathering the resources needed such as thermometers and other PPE.
Assuring parents we made student safety the top priority.
Try to stay ahead of the curve, purchase items before others do.
Keeping people apart the 6 foot social distance requirement.
The time to prep properly. Always be ready for the unexpected.
Adhere to social distancing guidelines and how to implement them safely.
Allow extra time, plan for the unexpected, react, and move forward.
All move-ins were scheduled very specifically, with a strict time frame to be adhered to.
The students are not adhering to the rules of social distancing, especially freshmen.
I feel this process worked well.
Maintaining and enforcing our policies for students and staff.
Went pretty smoothly.
Keeping team organized. Less help with lack of volunteers.
We screened our students with rapid testing prior to issuing the room key on move-in day. The testing company shipped the tests and equipment to us and the company did not set up the equipment in advance of move-in day, so we experienced some delays in getting the testing started. It is the case of operations 101, but was challenging working with the company who resides outside our area.
One of the biggest challenges was dealing with student belongings – they left in March for spring break and never returned. We held opportunities for students/families to recoup their belongings this summer – many did not come – so our custodial team had to move it all back to newly assigned rooms. Careful consideration of all perspectives in the development of plans and communication are key to the success of any plan.
Dealing with uncertainty on a daily basis.
The biggest challenge so far is getting students to wear their mask.
Keeping students separated until test results were confirmed. Not doing so resulted in quarantining students who were healthy but exposed to a roommate and therefore needed to be quarantined.
Space requirement changes in labs & classrooms & lecture halls 2. Outside air change (to more frequent) & what it does to equipment (more humid air coming in at greater volume & greater frequency).
The creation of additional classroom spaces required to handle spaced out in-person learning was a huge challenge.
Assigning specific times for student move-in and limiting the number of people on campus to help their student move-in resulted in much less chaos. It allowed us to stay on top of any issues that came up.
The slotted timed move-in worked well and will most likely be kept well past COVID.
We phased move-in over two weeks. Worked well.
The check in procedure was quickly overwhelmed. Plans for cleaning and maintenance must be ready before hand and thoroughly communicated with staff. We seemed to find changes being made without notification which complicated things.
Overall the return to campus went smoothly from a Facilities perspective. We were able to plan enough in advance on our action items. The biggest challenge came from working around stakeholder’s summer vacations.
Good, honest communications with faculty, staff and students about how the university would approach startup of fall semester. Having a plan for dealing with and getting the word out about wearing PPE, classroom cleaning, move-in over several days, longer period between classes during the day, back-up plan for online classes for quarantine and isolation students.
Challenge: maintaining community cohesion and establishing confidence through communications. Lessons-learned: (1) the campus grapevine thrives even in diaspora. Consolidate information in a central location, and designate one or two people to disseminate official policy and reporting. (2) Acknowledge that this is a novel, evolving, situation, and be transparent about decisions being made to improve our response as we learn more. An educated community will respond to demonstrated leadership, better than opaque decisiveness. (3) Make larger info distributions simple and clear, addressing the timeliest awareness of policy or procedures needed. But over-communicate in the background. Answer every question you receive, and make those records searchable for those that want to wade in.
How to deal with families that came early as we have never had time appointments in the past. Most students complied, but we were not fully equipped to handle the ones that did not.
The biggest challenge was scheduling student testing in conjunction with arrival.
Making sure that our density was kept to the minimum.
We have always scheduled student move-ins to reduce crowds and parking, but further schedule planning was required to limit numbers on elevators and floors.
Creating a time for students to move-in so all students were not all there at once.
Impact of off-campus gatherings is exceedingly difficult to guard against.
A big challenge was not allowing a mass move-in as is usually the case. Students were allowed to have two family members help them to move-in at a pre-scheduled time. The allotted time was two hours. This was much different than pre-COVID days.
Having enough time to prepare for student’s return.
Making sure we had plenty of’ PPE, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, etc.
Still getting adjusted to the new normal.
Recognition that, even as students were moving to campus, they may still be uncomfortable with their decision to live on campus.
Working with the parents to follow our protocols.
Adherence to scheduled check-in times.
That staggering moving worked well.
Multiple moves due to spending first night in hotels while awaiting test results were not well understood in advance.
Residence Life Staff need to all be healthy and COVID free in order for a smooth move-in process.
Length of time it took to move-in…….
We spread out our move-in process over a full week. While it taxed Housing and the volunteers, the process went very smoothly with minimal complaints from parents. We are urging Housing to make this a standing process in future years, regardless of the existence of a pandemic. It allowed our facilities staff to be able to respond quickly to any calls we received – during a normal move-in over a two day period, our facilities folks couldn’t respond as quickly to calls.
We did scheduled move-in and all students needed a negative test to arrive on campus. This was also true for all faculty and staff.
Staggered move-ins starting the 2nd week in August. First year move-ins over a longer period to allow separation.
Coordinating social distancing & providing masks; Getting parents to cooperate; Ensuring students continued to honor agreement to not gather in 10 or more groups.
There were a tremendous amount of HVAC related preparations and our work order system is old and antiquated so it was hard to track and share.
Early drop off and coordinating drop off of stored items.
Weeding through all the information (sometimes conflicting) on what to do with HVAC. [And that Sororities and Fraternities generally are not heeding the advice of social distancing and masks.]
Our institution did pre-arrival testing which caused us to completely redo the way our move-in process was coordinated. Overall move-in went pretty well, we did have some students miss the check in points, but we adjusted the next day and closed those gaps.
A reservation system worked very well and could be used in the future to spread out the move-in process.
It was a slower process than normal.
Scheduling time slots to reduce building traffic was key.
We spread out over a week vs. a 2 day move-in. Students and parents were very pleased with this method.
Trying to plan for every possible scenario.
We have a very small number of students living on campus and all classes are remote, which was a change from our original plan. The biggest challenge with students living on campus was the continual changes as to which buildings would be used and what they would be used for. Trying to respond to HVAC recommendations in housing for standard housing, quarantine and isolation spaces.
Social distancing and capacity density issues, along w/ limiting friends and family to assist w/ move-in.
Managing different levels of customer expectations across the spectrum of students, faculty and staff.
The extended move-in duration and process worked better than the past move-ins. The team is considering adopting this moving forward with or without the pandemic.
Had to react to new information, and implement a 2 week delay.
Things change and we need to be flexible and adapt quickly.
Nobody knows what tomorrow will be and our biggest challenge is COVID.
We used an on-line appointment system and outside (tent) check in to reduce density. This model was built on lessons learned from move out that occurred in March (spring semester).
We’re still in week one, and the details of successfully testing all of our students twice a week still has kinks, but it gets better every day. We’re also ironing out details of policies for those who aren’t students, faculty or staff to be on campus in controlled or limited ways (contractors, deliveries, necessary visitors, etc.) As with other campuses, there are already instances of parties/gatherings off campus that are requiring direct responses.
We decided to close 50% of the resident housing spaces.
Unfortunately, I was not directly engaged so I am unable to provide meaningful feedback other than it went well.
Space out the move-in over several days.
Families will not limit the size of the move-in party, even when directed to do so. Are we being too restrictive in the name of safety at the cost of mental health for the student and their family members?
Not moving our belongings from last year early enough. This made prepping the spaces for the students returning this fall much harder than it needed to be.
Students following direction.
Timing is important. Keeping people apart and spreading out move-in is crucial.
Maintaining COVID-19 protocols and being patient during these stressful times.
The plan was in place but not implemented. The decision to not allow the students on campus was made before the plan went into effect.
Housing is handled in Student Affairs. I have heard the issues have been with students currently infected who need isolation accommodations.
Meeting CDC, local and State guidelines that were vague and constantly changing.
Maintaining proper distancing and addressing suspected or actual positive infected students/staff.
We can’t control the situation as it deals with COVID and students in off-campus housing. There were significant COVID-cases related to off campus housing.
Biggest challenge was the landscape changing daily.
Spreading student move-in over more days makes for a better overall experience.
No issues because we are a military institution so directions were given and orders were followed.
Communication of rules, requirements, and protocols.
Getting people to abide by the set times and follow PPE protocols.
Students had appointed time slots for move-in, over a one week period versus the normal “weekend”.
Be flexible, kind and patient.
Scheduling the move-in process over 4 days went more smoothly than the previous 2 day process. Provided more time to get to know the new students.
Scheduling student arrival to coordinate with testing schedules given flight changes etc.
Move-in ran smoothly.
Keep It Simple, Staff! Residence Life and Facilities Operations staff are very capable of working closely and effectively together under pressure. Working relationships developed over a summer of planning for move-in days were key to keeping the many processes on track.
Services were reduced, the return schedule was spaced out quite a bit, and it was spread out over several days in early August, as opposed to one day, to accommodate as much as possible for social distancing. Students were required to bring only bare essentials, limited to one vehicle and only two extra people to assist. Challenge: some thought the limit to one vehicle meant only one vehicle at a time.
It would have been better if students got tested before they returned to campus and then start the regular testing.
For several reasons, to include students opting to go online/not reside on campus, we’re down 1/3 of our student residents. So, move-in was very smooth, but that’s in part due to the significant decrease in residents.
Challenges in getting fast turnaround on pre-arrival testing of students, plus conflicting messages between official communication channels and “what people heard / read” shared on social media (parents).
Even the best plans are subject to last minute changes.
We had to stagger times students came back and also had the pre-drop off items a week before.
The staggered reopening to different areas of housing made managing processes much more difficult.
Spreading out the housing move-in was very helpful. We were highly understaffed to address all the campus preparation, including housing, and had to outsource, but our decision was made late. If we had made the outsourcing decision earlier, there would have been (likely) fewer occupancy related issues.
COVID testing procedures were not clear to people running the actual move-in operations. No direction was given to people regarding what to do with results.
Tracking student activity and COVID compliance with off campus activities.
We learned we needed more time to setup up our campus.
Things don’t always go as planned and being able to adapt on the fly is critical. Having backups for systems or contacts in multiple departments to help solve problems quickly is essential.
We had to expand our move-in to include multiple dates. Students were assigned a day and time to check in which helped lower the number of people at any given time to help minimize contact with each other.
Communication; manage the process of arriving on campus to assist with the student’s move-in.
Spreading it out over more days made the individuals moving in more spread out, quicker and more comfortable. It did create a situation of some students in res halls sooner with no classes yet.
Contactless move-in procedures were quite a change. However, with fewer people moving into the halls it went very well. Residents adhered to their scheduled move-in time. Lines at the elevators were minimal. Biggest change or lesson learned was making sure everyone understood the plan including the residents moving into the halls. Managing expectations was the challenge.
Testing students before allowing to move-in at their scheduled time.
There were so few (less than 300) students making the process much easier to manage. Each student was assigned a move-in date and time. This was a well facilitated process by our Residence Services Department, with strict COVID guidelines being followed. Elevators and all touch point surfaces were disinfected after each scheduled move-in time.
Enforcement of scheduled times for drop-off.
Took much more time than anticipated.
Make sure the plan is communicated to all parties that are involved and efforts are coordinated through one central point of contact.
Our facilities are host to many classes this semester and next. Faculty of particular departments have elected without notifying the Registrar’s Office, to move to online instruction.
Everything we do takes more time. We did not do the best and did not allow enough time between scheduled activities.
We extended move-in by several days which spread out the process, and actually seemed to work better. However we had fewer students this semester than normal.
Scheduled appointments to space out the timing/numbers and this approach served us well.
Move-in by appointment helped with social distancing while still giving customer service.
Keeping positive and structuring the reopening of campus to adhere to all federal, state, and local guidelines. Maintaining constant contact with campus community. Keeping a stiff upper lip when sharing not-so-good information regarding the supply chain being interrupted with so many orders. Trusting the Procurement department to secure best pricing and timely delivery of PPE. Active participation and taking my role on the COVID 19 Task Force very seriously. We met every week beginning on March 6th. I used my APPA Town Hall meetings as both an informational resource and as a litmus test for my campus operations. I feel good about our process at Cabrini University.
Process of students returning is still underway. Don’t know yet.
Scheduling the move-in times and limiting the number of family members worked great.
Lots and lots of miscommunication.
Worked well. Had move-in scheduled over May days with specific times for each person.
Be prepared for the reopening with the 6 feet distance, and supplies for sanitation. I don’t think that anybody can be fully prepared for this.
Spacing the time frames out allowed for a more relaxed process. We might do it again in the future.
Timing of decision to go online was very close to the start of the Fall Semester, so we needed to plan for different scenarios.
Many of the residential students didn’t stay on campus during their 14-day self-quarantine, but rather went back home to wait until classes started. Not sure of the effectiveness of their self-quarantining while off campus.
We did all of the testing and check in processes in a central location (athletic center) where we could create a good, socially distant flow. This was a change from our previous plan to have multiple check in locations (like previous years).
Our teams did not get enough time to prepare rooms for student arrival after they were released from being used as alternate housing for first responders.
Frequent, clear communication.
Extending move-in over 10 days as opposed to 3, thereby lessening the onslaught of families hitting campus all at once.
Enforcing the 3 W’s with students when not on campus. Wear a mask, wash hands and wait 6 feet from the other person.
The problem was getting everyone tested before move-in.
We are still waiting to see the results of our efforts since the faculty & students have only been back on campus for 1-1/2 weeks.
Extensive pre-planning done early resulted in very few issues. Enforcing mask wearing remains the primary challenge.
Instead of the normal move occurring in one day we spread it out over a week to accommodate COVID testing. May continue this practice even after COVID.
Plan early, tight coordination, allow for errors and positive COVID tests.
Challenge was the length of time that opening took place. Usually completed in a day but was extended for physical distancing to 6 days. Took a lot out of staff members and limited the number of volunteers we could use.
Scheduling 2 hour blocks for move-in.
Trying to get everyone to think outside of the box as opposed to trying to fit the “new normal” into existing processes and protocols.
Requiring negative tests of residence students before they arrived. Many areas of the country still do not have adequate testing capability.
Scheduling students and limited family in stages/phases was a challenge.
Scheduling student move-in over multiple days was far less stressful for university employees. However, students and their families received far less volunteer support in moving their goods into university housing.
We requested every department on campus submit a return to work plan in line with our campus hybrid strategy to ensure proper campus preparation. The majority of departments waited until the last minute to submit their plan which had a significant impact on our cleaning and maintenance strategy.
Lots of residential keys went missing in between belongings drop-off and official move-in.
A longer time period for check-in appointments.
We did expand the timeline for move-in from one weekend to 4 weekends in August. Also, we had all students tested for COVID or provide a negative test result before moving in. Quarantine spaces were made available for positive results and for those waiting for results.
Communication around “we are in this together” and are responsible for our own safety and that of those around us. Getting students to model the correct behaviors was critical.
Student full participation is key.
Reservation process (assigned date/hour for move-in) worked very well and may be implemented in the future.
Having adequate time to space the move-in’s from a physical distancing standpoint was important.
Manage expectations for students, parents, and staff; communicate well and often, be transparent, show progress and state goals and outcomes.
This process went very well also. The process of doing this over 5 days instead of 2 days was really the best approach for this process. We got lots of positive feedback from parents as well as students and also staff.
Re-routing queues and allowing for spacing; holding people to scheduled check-ins.