ACU freshmen move in, hopeful pandemic won’t upend fall term

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB) – Freshman Wildcats are staying positive during the first day of dorm move-in. Most hopeful their fall term will come and go uninterrupted as they further their education still under the threat of COVID-19.

Roommates Joisset Hernandez and Cailyn Alvarado were among the many freshmen hauling boxes and luggage up and down the stairs of ACU’s newest dormitory, Bullock Hall. The nursing majors say they’re excited to embark on their collegiate adventures but are mindful of the virus that’s dominated the lives of their post-graduate professional counterparts.

“It’s just hoping and praying that everybody is safe and that we don’t have to go back into lock-down,” said Alvarado.

Similar sentiments shared by another set of roommates, Brigit Clem and Emma Groves. The pair cautiously optimistic as their first week as wildcats gets underway.

“It’s exciting to finally be on campus, have that first taste of freedom,” said Groves. “I’m not super worried about it because things are starting to go back to normal.”

Abilene Christian University President Dr. Phil Schubert says as of now masks are optional on campus, save for a few classroom that could require tighter quarters. He says the university will still keep track of student/staff cases through an online virus-tracking dashboard. Dr. Schubert adds that current protocols could change if admins see an increase in virus cases.

“We’re going to watch those numbers really closely and if we see reason to be concerned we will tighten up restrictions in order to control the infection,” said Dr. Schubert.

A self-reporting survey on COVID immunizations was conducted ahead of Monday’s move-in day. The university says about 76 percent of the ACU population had responded to the anonymous poll. Results reading that 96 percent of faculty, 69 percent of staff, and 48 percent of residential students to date have been vaccinated.

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