Tuve residents relocated to Towers two weeks before finals

While most students are studying for exams or finishing semester-long projects, Tuve Hall residents are packing up and moving into the towers.

Seventeen Tuve residents, the majority of them international students, have until May 13 to move from their current rooms into a newly assigned room in either Stavig or Granskou, according to an email sent last week by Jenna Baltzer, assistant director of Campus Life.

Baltzer cited four reasons for the move, including:  

  • Students who plan to stay on campus during the summer will be moved to the Towers anyway 
  • Students will be more comfortable in the Towers with air conditioning and elevators 
  • There will be concentrated sanitizing and cleaning
  • Viking Advisers will have an easier on-call rotation 

Kibbish said Campus Life wanted to provide students with the opportunity to move before it gets too hot, and that because there are still students returning to campus to collect their belongings, they wanted to limit exposure to the on-campus students.

“We’re getting into those really hot days, and Tuve is like an oven,” Kibbish said. “It’s already starting to feel warmer than usual, and because there’s no air conditioning there, we wanted to ensure the safety and health of our students.”

For Tuve resident and junior Emily Liberko, the rising temperature wasn’t much of a concern.

“I was planning on staying for the summer anyway, so I knew I was going to have to move,” Liberko said. “I just wasn’t expecting to have to move before finals.”

For Liberko, who is preparing for finals, she says she wishes the decision to move Tuve residents would have been made earlier.

“I think if they would’ve done it a little earlier or a little later, it would’ve been more manageable, rather than three weeks before finals,” Liberko said.

Where the move began

The consolidation of all students on campus to the Towers began after the decision to move all classes online for the remainder of the semester was announced. 

Students in Bergsaker, Solberg and East were emailed by Director of Campus Life Corey Kopp on April 8 with a deadline to move to the Towers by April 15.

Tuve was not included in this first phase of consolidation, and Liberko says Tuve residents were given no indication that they would eventually have to move to the Towers as well. 

“It sounded like it was just the Southside [moving] here because they didn’t communicate with us at all,” Liberko said. “I didn’t get any sort of information from [Campus Life] during that time.”

Waiting to move Tuve residents was out of concern for safety, according to Kibbish.

“We did want to do it earlier, but we wanted to watch the state numbers of [COVID-19] cases,” Kibbish said, as Campus Life wanted every student to be safe before the decision was made. 

Where are they moving?

The majority of Tuve residents will be placed in Stavig. Campus Life is providing the students with hand trucks and moving carts to assist with the process.

Liberko, however, says this is not helpful, as there are no elevators in Tuve. Students living  on higher floors still have to bring their belongings down the stairs before loading them into the carts. 

Baltzer said that moving to the Towers will mean bathrooms and common areas that are regularly sanitized, while still allowing students to social distance.

“There will be no more than 10 people on your floor, meaning we are using half of all rooms and you are sharing a bathroom with no more than 4 other people,” Baltzer said in the email.

On Liberko’s floor in Tuve, there are only two students currently sharing the women’s bathroom, and she said she’s worried about what being around more people will mean for her health.

“The cleaning staff can clean more often, but there are still more people,” Liberko said. “I don’t know what everybody else on the floor is doing in terms of social distancing and being careful.”

Moving out and moving forward

Kibbish urges any students who are feeling frustrated or overwhelmed with the move to reach out to her. 

“They can reach out to me and we can figure something out,” Kibbish said. “I don’t want students to have more stress on top of school. I would much rather have a student slowly moving over than feeling stressed and anxious and frustrated.”

As for Liberko, she says she still wishes decisions would have been made earlier and more transparently.

“I think it would’ve been helpful to have had some decisions made earlier or [to have] included students in the process a little bit more,” Liberko said. “If they had emailed me when they were moving the Southside and said ‘hey, we’re moving some people; we might be moving you in a month’ I think even that might’ve been enough information because then I would’ve had time to pack up non-essentials and get ready.”

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