Fewer students Mooov-In to UT residence halls amid coronavirus pandemic

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Business freshman Ali Merchant moves into Jester West during the early check-in Mooov-In on Aug. 18, 2020. To prevent the spread of COVID-19, face coverings were required for everyone throughout the Mooov-In process and students could not bring more than two guests to campus to help them move in.

Photo Credit: Jamie Hwang | Daily Texan Staff

Around 3,600 students will be settled into the University’s residence halls by the end of this year’s Mooov-In, which began Tuesday. That’s less than half of the number of students who moved into campus housing compared to the past two years.

There are also several new requirements due to the coronavirus pandemic, including social distancing and mask-wearing. 

Traditionally, Mooov-In is a two-day process that welcomes students living on campus into the University’s 14 residence halls, said J.D. Castro, an assistant director for residence life at University Housing and Dining. But Castro said this year, Mooov-In has a very specific purpose: a swift and safe transition into the residence halls. 

“We’re trying to make it more of a stop-and-go event,” Castro said. “We’re not going to have the opportunity to have them stop and mingle. (Residents will) quickly transition into the residence halls.”

Resident assistant Gabriel Parada said the procedure for Mooov-In is mostly similar to last year, save for new COVID-19 guidelines such as extending the event to be a week long.

“Mooov-In will be different because it won’t be as jam-packed, so it’s more spread out this time around,” biology sophomore Parada said. “Some of the preparations include a more spread out Mooov-In schedule, a mask policy, a maximum of two guests to help with moving in and social distancing.”

 

Students and staff are required to wear facial coverings, and only students can enter the UFCU Disch-Falk Field to get their ID and pass. Castro said the Mooov-In area has 6-feet markers, plexiglass barriers separating students from staff and parking spots in every other space.

Payton Hall, a radio-television-film freshman, said she felt safe because everybody was wearing masks and there was hand sanitizer everywhere.

Zia Virani, an elementary education and psychology freshman, said she felt the Mooov-In process was planned out nicely. 

“I love how there are masks required everywhere on campus and even off campus,” Virani said. “It’s really safe.”

Lauren Haughey, a radio-television-film freshman, said there were a lot of people on the field, but it moved fast. 

“I feel like everything is really clean and organized,” Haughey said. “There wasn’t music, but it wasn’t too bad. It was just kind of quiet.”

In previous years, Mooov-In featured a variety of social opportunities, including a Hook ‘Em dinner, a photo booth and different campus partners available at tables to talk to incoming freshmen, Castro said. 

“I would describe the previous Mooov-In as more of an event,” Castro said. “It was a big thing.”

Parada said he is excited for the new students to live in the residence halls. 

“I am excited for Mooov-In,” Parada said. “RAs have been in the residence hall for a bit by ourselves, so it will be nice to see some new faces.”