Their smiles may have been hidden behind face masks, but it was clear how excited Brock University students were to move into on-campus residences over the weekend.
With in-person classes set to resume next week, nearly 2,000 mostly first-year students moved into their new on-campus homes during a designated two-hour time slot over the span of three days from Sept. 4 to 6.
“It’s been a wonderful weekend,” said Brock Interim President Lynn Wells. “It’s just a delight to see all these students coming back, being with their parents moving into residence.
“Everybody I talk to is just so excited about university life resuming in a real way after a year and a half of virtual learning. We realize there are still challenges around the pandemic, but we’ve taken a lot of steps to ensure the safety of the campus — between the vaccine mandate, our masking requirements and all of the screening that we’re doing. We’re really committed to make this a safe fall.”
‘Move-in Day,’ a single-day event with hundreds of student volunteers helping to move in residence students’ belongings, was extended this year to a three-day ‘Move-In Weekend’ to follow public health guidelines and allow for physical distancing. In lieu of student volunteers, residence students were allowed to bring two ‘helpers’ to help them move in.
Emma Jakob, a first-year Concurrent Education student from Whitby brought her parents Tom and Shannon to help her move into Quarry View Residence. Jakob took a ‘gap year’ during the 2021-22 academic year, so she and her parents are excited for the return of in-person learning.
Jakob said she chose Brock for her post-secondary education because of its reputation for student mental health support.
“I really like the mental health services (Brock) focuses on,” she said. “(University courses), especially taking a double degree, can be very mentally draining and difficult. I wanted to pick the university I knew could offer me the best support in that way. I’ve already met with my case manager, and she is an absolute gem.”
As part of the move-in welcome process, residence students were given coloured lanyards and wristbands representing the seven different buildings to help them identify other residence students.
“Being a part of the residence community allows students to bond with a larger group of students right off the bat,” said Jamie Fleming, Brock’s Director of Residences. “There is certainly a convenience factor of living on campus in the hub of where all the activity happens, but there is also the benefit of developing friendships with other students, some of them lifelong.”
It’s for these reasons Jakob said she chose to live in an on-campus residence.
“It’s a really good way to get to know everybody in the University and get involved with the community,” she said. I’m five steps away from people who could be my classmates or people who I’ll see walking around campus every now and then. It also keeps me close to campus, which is really nice. I’m so excited to be here.”