Waterloo, Guelph campuses adjust long weekend move in for thousands of students

As thousands of students return to Waterloo and Guelph campuses and move in to residences, local post-secondary schools are adjusting how to welcome them back while keeping public health in mind.

In 2020, schools like Laurier University didn’t have a big move-in day due to the pandemic.

This Saturday, those like first-year student Joshua Cournoyea from Niagara Falls are part of a hands-off approach.

“We don’t allow students to help other students move in like it used to be, the traditional way to move in,” said Chris Dodd, the director of residence at Laurier. “You’re not allowed to have a guest of any kind, and students are not allowed to visit students on other floors to prevent movement between the buildings.”

Students have two hours to check in, unload and unpack what they can, and only have two family members or friends inside the building to help.

Dodd adds that he’s not too worried about congregating on campus and that most students have been generally respectful of the rules during the pandemic.

Students like Geoffrey Eowen are planning for a low key move-in weekend in terms of socializing, much to the approval of parents like Lydia Cournoyea.

“Hopefully a lot of the kids are vaccinated,” she said.

Laurier students living on campus must be vaccinated at least once, with their second one scheduled for at least a week within moving in.

At the University of Waterloo, students in residences must be fully vaccinated by no later than Oct. 17.

“I’m fully vaccinated, so I’m not really stressed about that,” said first-year law student Anna Sokolovoski. “I just really like the campus. They’re really welcoming here.”

Over 4,500 UW students have been moving in throughout the week to allow more space for everyone to do so safely.

At the University of Guelph, students are only allowed one visitor in their unit at a time and who also must live in the residence. Parties and social gatherings are not permitted.

Officials for all three schools are reminding students who live in residences to wear a mask where required, physically distance, and follow the rules in the common areas.