Freshmen move in, get tested

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SALISBURY – Excited freshmen brought life onto the campus of Livingstone College Friday as they moved into their new homes for the next nine weeks.

It’s been five months since the college hosted students in person due to the global pandemic and the energy was contagious. A deejay at the hospitality tent gave rhythm to the cadence of activity as more than 100 students facilitated a streamlined five-step registration process.

“The process has been smooth,” said Dr. Tony A. Baldwin, enrollment manager and associate vice president for the operations of Student Affairs. “We have not heard one complaint from parents. In fact, they have said we are doing a great job in moving students in and out.”

In addition to a fast-track registration process, students and their parents were allowed only 30 minutes to unload luggage and other belongings into the residence halls to minimize public contact and social gathering.

Donning their own masks, students were also presented Livingstone branded COVID-19 kits, which contained five reusable masks, hand sanitizer and an ID badge.

And in accordance with the school’s screening protocol, everyone who entered campus received a temperature check by an officer of public safety.

“I feel like you guys have over prepared,” said parent Theresa Tudor, whose daughter Ronee is a student-athlete on the track team. “You all probably won’t run into the issues these other schools have had that went back in August, so I feel very confident that she’ll be fine.”

Parent Karen DeLoatch, whose daughter is a freshman, said the COVID tests Livingstone is giving each student upon arrival provides her with a sense of security. “I think you all are doing good as far as testing to make sure no one is sick and to make sure that everyone is safe.”

“Looks like we’re geared up and ready to go,” said Bruce Stanback, the new Livingstone College National Alumni Association president, who toured campus Thursday. “I wanted to stop by to see for myself because alumni will be asking and have asked about the college’s preparations.”

Stanback said he was impressed to see everyone complying with mask wearing and by the six-feet markers throughout the campus grounds.

This summer, Livingstone’s Reopening Task Force developed a comprehensive plan that details eight protocols for reassuming campus operations. The protocols range from screening, security, protection and prevention, and space utilization to disinfectant, food services, quarantine and isolation, and testing. A video playlist of the protocols can be found at www.livingstone.edu under the coronavirus news and updates tab.

“Plan the work and work the plan, that’s what’s happening as we deploy the protocols,” said Dr. Anthony Davis, chief operating officer and senior vice president of Institutional Advancement, who chaired the task force. “The success parents and students are seeing today is a result of our extensive efforts to foster a safe, reopening of our campus; to mitigate our risks; and to reduce our rate of exposure to the COVID-19 virus.”

Livingstone President Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins, Sr., walked the campus and greeted parents and students as they moved in, assuring them that Livingstone is doing everything possible to maintain a safe environment.

However, that will require that students, faculty and staff comply with the guidelines.

“Livingstone is a CDC-compliant campus community, Jenkins said, “which means we support washing our hands to help stop the spread, wearing our masks, social distancing six feet apart and testing for COVID. There will be no exceptions and violations will not be tolerated.”

“Livingstone is creating an environment where students can come to college – with confidence,” he said.

In-state freshmen moved in on Friday and out-of-state freshmen will move in on Sept. 5. Upperclassmen will return to campus Sept. 8-9. Classes will begin on Sept. 10 and run through Thanksgiving break when the campus will close until February. To view the onboarding schedule and academic calendar, visit www.livingstone.edu.

Click this link to view highlights of our move-in day on Thursday: Livingstonemoveinday

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