GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – East Carolina University had a variety of activities planned for students and faculty returning to campus beginning Wednesday.
About 5,200 students moved into residence halls Wednesday. Chancellor Philip Rogers said he’s optimistic this school year will be close to normal. Rogers said he is also very aware of the delta variant.
“They shouldn’t make any mistake about it,” said Rogers. “Nobody should make a mistake about it. There are going to be cases. There are going to be clusters. We’re prepared for that. We’re aware of that and we’re going to work through that surge. These next four to six weeks are going to be the most vital moments of this process and we’re going to manage through it as best as we can.”
Many freshmen, like David Hughey, are excited to live on campus.
“I’m very excited because we didn’t have much of a senior or junior year of high school,” he said.
So far, only 41 percent of students have reported they are vaccinated. ECU leaders are hopeful that number will rise.
“Even if the number were higher, we would still be concerned because we really do, the safety is important for us,” said Dr. Virginia Hardy, vice chancellor for student affairs.
The university is offering incentives for students who get their COVID shots.
“A gift certificate to one of the food vendors, to Chic-fil-A, to Starbucks,” said Hardy . “Getting tickets to the football game and being able to meet the team.”
More than 400 beds at College Hill are set aside for quarantine space.
From Tuesday and continuing to Saturday, heavy traffic and some delays will be expected near ECU’s main campus the Grady-White Boats Athletic Complex as students and their families arrive to move into residence halls.
- Charles Boulevard between Greenville Boulevard and Fifth Street
- 10th Street between Greenville Boulevard and Evans Street
- 14th Street between Elm Street and Charles Boulevard
- Greenville Boulevard between 10th Street and Arlington Boulevard
- Fifth Street between Elm Street and Reade Circle
A full test of the system, including text messages and outdoor speakers, will take place at noon Friday, August 20. The university will conduct limited tests of select functions of the ECU Alert emergency notification system on August 18 and August 19 at noon.
According to ECU officials, “Preliminary numbers show 28,247 students have enrolled at ECU this fall, which includes 4,225 freshmen, 1,934 new graduate students, and 1,822 new transfer students. Additionally, 89 new students are enrolled in the Brody School of Medicine and 50 in the School of Dental Medicine. About 5,200 students are expected to begin moving into residence halls this week in advance of the first day of class on Aug. 23. Official enrollment is measured on census day on Sept. 3.”