Courtesy of The Catholic University of America
By Angela Hickey
Since the evacuation of campus in mid-March due to the outbreak of coronavirus, students have been unable to return to campus due to the D.C. area’s extended “stay-at-home” order. Any remaining students were told to return home as soon as possible, being forced to leave many of their personal belongings in on-campus dorms and upperclassmen apartments. With the “stay-at-home” order not due to be lifted until May 15th at the earliest, students are left to wonder just when they will be allowed to retrieve their belongings from campus.
After the final decision was made to close campus for the remainder of the spring semester and continue courses online, many students who remained on campus during the spring break were forced to evacuate and return home.
Now that campus is empty, aside from a few administrative staff members, students are left wondering when they will be allowed to return to their dorms and retrieve their abandoned belongings, which doesn’t look like a possibility any time soon.
At the moment there has been no set day for students to retrieve their items from their dorms. But, the university has provided alternate options for those who wish to use them. Catholic has made the decision to collaborate with local D.C. shipping companies who have offered to provide their services to many college students who are in immediate need of their belongings or are unable to make the trip to D.C.
Found on the “COVID-19 FAQ for Students”page on the CUA website, students have the option to have professional movers come pack belongings and have them stored in a containment facility or shipped directly to the students home. But, if neither of those options are right for you, students with any extraordinary circumstances can make a request that can be reviewed by the Office of the Dean of Students.
Junior Sarah Campbell experienced difficulty retrieving her Epipens from her dorm, after emailing the dean’s office and getting a response suggesting that she provide the school with her dorm information and where the medication was located.
“My medication is located in a very private place that I did not want the school to go through. Having the school go through my things, disrupting the way that they are, not only made me anxious about what they would disrupt but also who they would send to retrieve my meds,” she said. “During this chaotic time, the last thing I should have to worry about is my medical concerns outside of coronavirus.”
She expressed frustration with the continued construction in Seton Hall and people going in and out of her room, and the possibility of workers unknowingly carrying the virus.
Sophomore Kelsey Nowack, a Wisconsin resident, also expressed frustration with her belongings stuck on campus.
“I think in theory the moving and storage companies are a good idea, but I wouldn’t use them,” Nowack said. “I already pay enough money to attend CUA, I definitely don’t want to pay to get my stuff back.”
With there being no set date as to when students would be allowed to return to campus, most of their personal belongings will have to remain in their dorms for the foreseeable future.