NC State students, parents react to new safety protocols during move in for new academic year

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Students at North Carolina State University move into their dorm room ahead of the new 2021-22 academic year. (Emani Payne)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Hundreds of students made their way to North Carolina State’s campus Thursday to move into their dorm rooms before the start of the new school year.

“I’m nervous, definitely nervous, for sure, but I’m really excited,” Wolfpack freshman Jenna Lea said about starting college amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

As the delta variant surges across North Carolina, N.C. State is requiring students be vaccinated or get weekly COVID-19 tests. The university also recently required face coverings indoors to help prevent outbreaks this school year until further notice. 

Lea’s parents are thankful for the extra guidelines, as they say their daughter is vaccinated but one of her roommates is not.

“It’s concerning for us a little bit with her having (an) auto immune (disorder) so we are kind of concerned,” Chad Lea, Jenna’s Lea’s father, said. “Obviously there’s the regular college fears you have with her being 17 and out on her own, but now you have to worry about the pandemic and everything that goes along with that too.”

Additionally, international upperclassmen like Ana Brent are confident the university’s new system will add back some stability to her academic experience and hopefully allow her to stay on campus, in the states, to finish out her college career.

“If you have been vaccinated you just need to have proof of your vaccination, which we upload to a portal, so that’s one way they’re keeping accountability,” Brent said. “But (they’re also) allowing for people to make their own decision if they haven’t been vaccinated.”

Most students said all the changes and new protocols are worth it to be back on campus.

“Yes, I will take it all day long as long as I’m able to be here,” Lea said.

Furthermore, N.C. State is providing on campus locations for students to receive both COVID-19 testing and vaccinations. Students can visit the student health services building to make a vaccine appointment, if needed.

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