Northwestern University students move into dorms changed by COVID-19

EVANSTON, Ill. (WLS) -- It's move-in day for some Northwestern University students who were invited to come back to campus with some changes to adjust to the pandemic.

"I got to Zoom with a few people I'm about to meet a lot of the time, but it did not feel the same," said Lilah Weisman, freshman.

Even though Weisman started her first year at Northwestern in the fall, this is her first time on campus as a student. She spent her first quarter online.

"For the fall, we found out that we weren't actually coming to the dorms about a week before my flight, so that was definitely really difficult," she said.

But finally, winter move-in date kicked off Monday morning with some modifications.

"Normally it's concentrated to one day, but we spread it out so that less students are in each building at one time for move-in," said Cindy Liang, resident advisor and Northwestern senior.

Liang said she's had to adjust her social programming for her new residents.

"We've had just a lot of things online," she said. "For RAs, we're supposed to have community builders where you come up with creative ideas every week to 'hang out' with our residents."

Students moving in Monday will also have to take extra precautions.

"We're going to have our quarantine period. They're calling it Wildcat Wellness with all these different stages, like we got to stay in our rooms for a couple days and get tested twice," Weisman said.

For Weisman's father, the extra precautions offer him comfort.

"It's been such a journey to get to this point," Jon Weisman said. "We've been through so much. I'm so excited for her to finally be here and get to be with people instead of seeing them on screen."

Weisman is a freshman theater major from Los Angeles, and said while her move to Chicago was different from what she imagined, she's just happy to finally be here.

"I'm just hoping that this, at least, will give me a way to ease into everything and just start the experience," she said. "I'm really just excited to meet people, most of all, even if it's from a distance."
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