KALISPELL — Dean of students Kelly Murphy told MTN News that in years past, Flathead Valley Community College had one big move-in day for all students living on campus.
She explained that this year because of coronavirus concerns, it's different.
"This year we've done five days, where students could sign up for a morning time slot and an afternoon time slot," said Murphy. "And we only allow 15 students per morning or afternoon and they can only bring two people to help with move in."
She said that dorms are at full capacity this year, with a few rooms set aside in case a student has COVID-19 symptoms and need to quarantine. No extra volunteers can help with move-in day, and there are sanitation products available.
First-year student Denali Shaw from Michigan said that he's cautious but optimistic about this school year.
"I guess the stress is not knowing what will happen," she Shaw. "But, there's comfort in the fact that everybody is in it together and everybody is part of the same team and trying to make the best of things."
Cameron Clarke is a returning resident assistant and Flathead Valley native. He said that while things are different this year, he's there to help support students who may be stressed because of the virus.
"We're all trying to get through this together," said Clarke. "We're all having our own issues right now and it's just being emphasized by COVID. And I think, if we can try and stay strong together we can just keeping moving forward."
Murphy explained that students are required to wear masks in the dorms in common spaces. However, she said students don't have to wear them in their private dorm rooms.
Murphy said that dorm activities will still take place to build community among students. However, they will take appropriate precautions like limiting group numbers and holding gatherings outside.