University of Cincinnati students back on campus; administration keeping an eye on COVID-19 numbers in the area

UC Students getting back to class.jpg
Posted at 7:28 PM, Aug 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-19 20:26:45-04

CINCINNATI — Students are back on campus at the University of Cincinnati, and in-person classes start Monday. This comes as other major universities are now pivoting back online as COVID-19 cases pop up.

The usual move-in madness on campus is a little calmer this year.

“I thought it was well-planned, well-thought out. They had you check in, wear masks, really divided it up in time slots,” said incoming freshman Antony Tran.

Everyone moving in this week has to wear a mask, only one or two guests can help and they have a dedicated move-in time slot.

“We have a lot of sanitizing stuff in the dorm,” incoming freshman Ethan Schlesinger said.

Inside student residence centers, extra air filters have been provided by the college.

UC Vice Provost for Enrollment Jack Miner said the university has cut capacity in its residence halls.

"If we believe that a student is symptomatic or if they are going through the testing process and waiting on results, we are able to put them in a space where they are isolated,” he said.

To find space to accommodate all those students, Miner said the school went after every possible space they could including other dorm rooms, hotels and even common areas. The university has less control off campus, where students in the surrounding neighborhoods rent houses and throw parties.

“I think our focus is on really trying to get ahead of that and again I think that's where I think we've been trying to really be proactive and work with our students, our student organizations, our fraternities and sororities to say, 'This is the danger of doing something like that,' so they're making responsible choices,” he said. “Again, these are adults.”

For incoming students, this fall’s blend of online and in-person classes presents another challenge and opportunity.

“I'm pretty hopeful that things will get better,” incoming freshman John Munoz said.

Meanwhile, UC administration will be watching the numbers.

”The train has left the station, the students are here, the students are arriving,” Miner said. “Now that they're here, we number one want to keep them safe, and number two want them to have a positive experience.”