'This is our year to restart': Excitement and COVID-19 requirements abound for EWU move-in day

<p><!–[photoset id=11457]–></p><p><p>Move-in day for college freshmen can be exciting, nerve-wracking and emotional. But as Eastern Washington freshman Blake Jamison sat inside a car with his family waiting for his COVID-19 test to come back, he was just plain bored.</p></p><p><p>“The results have been a little slow,” Jamison said.</p></p><p><p>Like almost everything else in today’s world, Eastern Washington University’s move-in day looked a little different than in past years. Students planning to live on campus were required to bring a negative COVID-19 test or undergo rapid drive-thru testing in a parking lot near the football stadium before they could get their dorm key and start moving in.</p></p><p><p>The process seemed to go pretty smoothly for the 960 students on campus, who were able to get their free test results in around 15 minutes.</p></p><p><p>“Everyone’s been very pleasant,” said Chis Robbins, EWU director for university planning and temporary COVID-19 testing coordinator. “It’s been fun to see and interact with the students.”</p></p><p><p>Jamison had been waiting for 10 minutes, so he may have been just a bit impatient to get to his dorm and start meeting friends.</p></p><p><p>Once students got through the testing process, they could start enjoying the move-in – while their parents could start stressing out about it.</p></p><p><p>“We’re a little daunted by how much she brought,” Deb Llewellyn said about moving in her freshman daughter, Genet Llewellyn, into the snyamncut residence hall. “But we’re going to make it happen”</p></p><p><p>With all the fuss with testing and vaccination requirements, Genet Llewellyn said she looked forward to doing things in-person again.</p></p><p><p>“I’m really ready to step back into face-to-face education and face-to-face interaction with people in general,” Llewellyn said.</p></p><p><p>After a year of hybrid and virtual learning, the university will be going mostly in-person for the 2021 academic year.</p></p><p><p>Eastern Washington is requiring all students attending in-person to be vaccinated, besides those with approved religious or medical exemptions, as a part of Gov. Jay Inslee’s proclamation stating that all state colleges and universities must have “fully vaccinated campuses” by Oct. 18.</p></p><p><p>The university will be imposing a $250 fine for those who don’t submit vaccine information, and violators will likely receive a written notice first, with an opportunity to pay the fine or show vaccine proof before actually having to pay, a university spokesperson said.</p></p><p><p>Students hope that all the safety requirements will help create a fun and somewhat normal school year.</p></p><p><p>“This is our year to restart,” Llewellyn said.</p></p>