Cedarville University announced its plans for a “touchless” Getting Started Weekend for new students as they arrive on campus this Friday, ahead of the start of classes Monday, Aug. 17.
To start with, the university said new students will be able to check in without leaving their cars, and while waiting in the drive-thru can tune in on the radio to FM 99.5 to hear student leaders welcome them to campus and deliver instructions.
After check-in, the new students can use the Events at CU app to get GPS coordinates for their residence hall, where they will be met by more student leaders who can help unload cars.
The university said that student leaders will wear facemasks, protective gear and a blue or yellow wristband indicating they have gone through a self-symptom diagnosis and temperature check before beginning their shift. Those helping unload cars will wear a new set of gloves for each student.
Once unloaded, new students and their parents can attend online “Getting Started” sessions.
Jacket Fest, the university’s new student party, will be held in three separate locations, tied together by a single sound system.
In total, Cedarville University said it expects to see 920 new students this year.
CU said that it already began some of the changes to its introduction for new students months ago with an online course called Yellow Jacket Prep, which started at the beginning of July, as well as introducing new students to one another through the university’s STING small groups.
Although these changes are largely a response to the coronavirus, CU Director of Campus Experience Brian Burns said they hoped that most of the changes will remain after the pandemic has passed.
“With the danger of COVID, we want to have a safety mindset in order to build trust and to gain confidence,” he said, “But we didn’t want all of our changes to be just for COVID. Our mindset has always been trying to make things more effective and efficient.”