NORMAL — While some universities have suspended moving out of residence halls during Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s shelter-in-place order, Illinois State University is continuing the process of having students pick up their belongings.
ISU spokesman Eric Jome said the university received “clarification from the governor’s office” that continuing with the moving-out process is permissible.
However, he said, “If parents or students say, at this time, ‘I don’t think I want to drive down,’ they can make arrangements” for belongings to remain where they are.
Jome said students have been given scheduled times to move out, similar to what is done during the move-in period, “to promote social distancing.” ISU staff are on hand to assist with the move.
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign gave students until 2 p.m. Saturday to remove their belongings and said residence halls would be locked after that.
Bradley University in Peoria has told students not to return to campus to retrieve belongings.
Counting every Illinois State University student in the 2020 census has been made more difficult by the campus moving to online-only classes because of the coronavirus pandemic. That could translate into a huge loss of money for the town of Normal.
Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and Western Illinois University students have been told not to return to campus for their belongings until after the shelter in place order is lifted.
Northern Illinois University is allowing students to move out at any time through Sunday, but they must request appointments after that.
More than 6,000 students live in university-operated residence halls and apartments.
Jome said about 200 students will remain on campus, “some international students or others with extenuating circumstances” that prevent them from leaving for another location.
They will continue to have access to Watterson Dining Commons, but only for to-go meals, said Jome.
Classes resume Monday on an online basis at ISU and many other schools. In a video message distributed Saturday to the students, faculty and staff, President Larry Dietz said, “Our primary mission is to educate students but our top priority is and must be the safety, health and well-being of the entire university.”
Contact Lenore Sobota at (309) 820-3240. Follow her on Twitter: @Pg_Sobota
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