Campus life was put on hold after the pandemic hit UNLV in March of 2020. As UNLV is heading back to a 60 percent in-person classes to 40 percent remote learning this fall and the delta variant at its peak, it’s a battle between balancing safety and a normal semester’s activities.
Students are moving into the residence halls with new restrictions and more time in their dorms due to a large move of in-person classes to remote learning classes.
“We want to make sure that we’re following the mass mandate that we have for university,” Residential Life Coordinator of Dayton Complex AC Monrroy said. “It obviously comes with challenges, just like any other place that has a mass mandate.”
The largest change to the residence halls is the mask mandate in the building and hallways, but not in students rooms.
A UNLV freshman in pre-nursing, Amber Martinez, is not concerned about contracting the delta variant in the dorms as long as she’s taking care of herself and follows public health recommendations.
The process was made easy for residents on move-in days as movers were hired to aid students move their belongings to their rooms. For Martinez, this was a five minute process as she moved from California.
“The housing office does receive calls a lot of times, sometimes from parents concerned about sending their students to live amongst hundreds of people in the halls,” Monrroy said.
Monrroy mentioned that she hasn’t received any information that students may feel unsafe from the lingering virus at Dayton or being on campus. Resident Life Coordinator of Tonopah, Michael Amesquita, was not able to conduct an interview due to falling ill the week of move-ins.
With the move of many in-person classes moving to remote-learning, students may be spending class hours in their dorms.
In case residents do get sick, the dorms have designated rooms for students to temporarily move to until they have recovered.
“If a student has tested positive or has had an exposure to someone who has tested positive, what we do is, we have a set of rooms within each of the residence halls that are designated for folks who do test positive or good to have exposure,” Monrroy said.
Students are checked up on daily and delivered meals selected from a list from the Commons.
The Office of Admissions facilitated a Welcome Week event, called Dude, Where’s My Class on Aug. 20. Guides would take students on a tour of campus as students bring their class schedules and find where their classes are held. According to student engagement specialist for the UNLV Office of Admissions Jason DeMaria, there were over 1,000 people registered to attend one of the guided tours.
UNLV sophomore majoring in psychology, Taizja Lynn Broadnax, was a guide of a couple of these tours.
“As a first-year student, I was virtual and didn’t really know [the campus],” Broadnax said.
Guides like Broadnax took students from the plaza by the Student Union and around campus pointing out buildings and what classes are likely to be held in them.
“What’s unique about this year is we also have the incoming class of 2020, they were unable to be a part of any of these events,” DeMaria said. “We see a lot of people coming in from the class of 2020 and a lot of people coming in from the class of 2021, as well as juniors and seniors who just missed coming to campus that are also coming in to take part in these events.”
There are still many Welcome Week events left. UNLV will be putting on these types of events until Sept. 24, according to DeMaria. There will also be Ask Me booths around campus to aid and assist students find their classes.
“This year specifically, there’s been a huge emphasis on getting involved, coming to these welcome events, going to UNLV Creates and just seeing what the university has to offer because it’s something that we’ve all been deprived of for the last 18 months,” DeMaria said.
Be sure to check the Involvement Centers website to see more information on events on campus.