Masks and social distancing measures were in place as the school worked to protect students from COVID-19.
Still, freshman Grace Julius couldn’t be happier.
“I’m so excited to be at North Central,” Julius said.
But amid the excitement, there’s also concern after in-person classes for 29,000 students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill were canceled following several cluster outbreaks of COVID-19 on campus. canceled
“We are a smaller school so I feel like the bigger schools have more of an opportunity to have cases going on,” said Kayla Podwidz, North Central College freshman.
The student body of the small private college is only about a tenth of the size of the public university.
“They’ve kept us up to date on what we needed to know. I felt very comfortable sending her,” said Penny Julius, parent of Grace Julius.
Like other schools, students, staff and faculty must wear masks and socially distance while on campus.
“The protocols in place address the kinds of things Chapel Hill is seeing even to the monitoring on our own campus. What’s happening in the community. What’s happening at the state level and looking at whether a change of course is necessary,” said Kimberly Sluis, student affairs vice president at North Central College.
Administrators say after student athletes and students from high incident states were tested, the campus COVID-19 positivity rate is less than one percent.
Meanwhile, new student move in is definitely different this year. What would normally take place in one day has been spread over two days.
“Usually we have both staircases going up and down. This year we have one staircase that goes up. One that goes down,” said Lucas Burris, dorm RA at North Central College.
A few of the COVID-19 outbreak clusters at the Chapel Hill were traced back to residence halls.
“So it’s going to be how to find a way everyone can integrate together while enjoying themselves but not being in too much of a populated area,” said Zachariah Robinson, who is also a dorm RA.
About 50-percent of classes are online or hybrid and dorm occupancy has been reduced 20-percent.
That is enough to give some parents a peace of mind.
Soundbite – DEBRA SCHROEDLE/parent of north central college freshman Timecode @ 24:19-24:28 quinones p2 card
“I’d rather see my child have at least some peace of mind about what this is like and what education is like and what going off to college is like, instead of withholding that and pulling it back,” said Debra Schroedle, parent of a freshman student.
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