Story contributed by Marissa McCardell
Broadcast journalism student
When implications from the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, closed the Ole Miss campus to students, they had just five days to pick up their belongings.
Ole Miss junior and Dacula, GA native Sydney Stephen says the notification came at a particularly stressful time.
“I feel like for us college students it was a lot to take in to have to go back home and have to adjust and understand that there is a virus going around where we really can’t do anything, and we are so used to just go, go, go all the time,” Stephen said.
Stephen says many of her fellow students just couldn’t make the March 14-18 pick-up windows work.
“They should have done a schedule to allow students to come at different times versus just opening it all up those few days because those days couldn’t have fit for most students or other people couldn’t have the transportation to get there,” said Stephen.
In fact, Ole Miss Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Jim Zook says that the university is working on a plan for students to be able to get the rest of their things from their on-campus housing.
“Student housing is putting together an appointment-based system that will allow at some future date for students to go online and pick a window of time that works for them,” Zook said. “We’ll set that up in a way that limits the amount of people at any given time to promote social distancing.”
For now, though, all residence halls and university-owned apartments are closed, except those that are housing some students who needed accommodations.
In a March 19 statement, university officials reassured students that their belongings will be there for them when they do return.
“All residence halls and rooms will remain locked until further notice, so your rooms and the possessions in your rooms will be secured,” the statement read.