An altered semester begins as first-year students move into Little Building

First-year students began to move into Little Building Friday, while adhering to COVID-19 safety regulations. Unlike previous years, the new student move-in process will be parsed over four days, rather than one, to allow for social distancing during the pandemic. 

For the most part, the process mirrored the excitement of years past. 

Clad in light blue shirts, tutus, and hair ribbons, orientation leaders and street team members excitedly applauded incoming cars, packed to the brim with boxes and bedding. Masked students transferred their things into carts to haul up the elevators. And purple balloons lined the walkways leading up to an orange standing sign brandishing the words “Little Building.”

A chalkboard in the newly-opened Tatte on the corner of Boylston and Tremont St. read “Welcome Emerson.” 

The college has blocked the right lane around the intersection for families’ cars, and two Emerson College police department officers stationed themselves around the scene to guide traffic.

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Incoming students are only afforded two hours and the help of one move-in support person to set up their dorms. Any additional family members were told to wait in the Piano Row gym or leave campus for the duration of move-in.

At least a dozen student move-in assistants were also on hand to keep everything moving. 

All incoming first-years underwent COVID-testing at the Tufts Medical Center immediately before arriving at Little Building. Each received a card after being tested that shows they are then permitted to enter on-campus facilities. These students checked in and picked up their initial meal pack in the Little Building lobby as well. Now they will remain in quarantine while they wait for their test results, which the college expects to arrive within 24 to 48 hours.

The remainder of the first year class will move in this weekend. 

Resident assistants, orientation leaders, international student peer mentors, move-in assistants, and a limited number of returning students have already arrived and received a COVID test. Most other returning students living in on-campus housing come back next week.