Western Carolina University students who left personal belongings in on-campus residence halls as the university began to dramatically curtail operations in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic in March will be allowed to retrieve those items during a gradual and controlled 10-day move-out schedule.
Through a new process announced by WCU’s Department of Residential Living that is designed to maintain social distancing practices, students will be required to register for a time slot between either 8 a.m. and noon or 1 and 5 p.m. beginning Friday, May 1, through Sunday, May 10. Students must register at onlinehousing.wcu.edu.
Residential Living staff will limit the number of students per building allowed to move out during each four-hour block of time. The university also has asked students to limit the number of individuals who come to campus to help them move out to only the number of people necessary to pack and carry items from residence halls to vehicles.
All individuals coming to campus for the move-out process have been asked to wear masks while inside and around the residence halls. Students and their move-out helpers will not be permitted to stay in the residence halls overnight, and university officials are discouraging overnight stays in Jackson County.
However, in recognition of the fact that some students will be traveling from several hours away, the university has partnered with Jackson County officials to notify operators of local lodging facilities that students and those helping them move out should be allowed to reserve accommodations for a maximum of a one-night stay.
Those students and families are being encouraged to restrict travel only to and from WCU, the lodging facility at which they hold reservations (if applicable), and essential businesses such as gas stations and restaurants serving via take-out and drive-through options.
“We know this is a difficult time to travel, but WCU falls under the definition of an ‘essential business’ in the governor’s stay-home order and move-out is an essential function for the university at this time of year,” said Sam Miller, vice chancellor for student affairs.