Residential student move-ins ‘pretty organized’

Whitaker Proll-Clark, Reporter

Lines for indoor COVID-19 saliva testing and 30 mph winds were among the greetings California Lutheran University’s roughly 620 residential students received as they returned to campus for the spring 2021 semester on Jan. 15, 18 and 19.

About 400 returning students and 220 new students moved into the residence halls on Cal Lutheran’s Thousand Oaks campus.

Director of Residence Life Chris Paul said in an email interview that move in “was definitely a bit different this year but overall, it went very well.”

Senior Resident Advisor Sophia Ojeda said the move in overall was “pretty organized” because of the staggered move-in dates Residence Life assigned.

“Res Life assigned a certain time for everybody to move in so that there weren’t a ton of people in the halls,” Ojeda said in a phone interview.

Prior to their respective move-in days, students were asked to get a saliva test on campus for COVID-19.

Junior transfer student Eli Moore said testing was required for all residential students if they had no proof of a recent negative test in Ventura County.

The saliva test “took a little longer than expected,” Paul said. 

“More time was needed for the saliva test because the students had to collect their saliva into a tube, which can be a long process,” Moore said.

The testing was moved indoors due to winds over 30 mph. 

During move in, “four health services staff” and “five residence life staff” aided in checking students into their digital system and administering COVID-19 tests.

Paul said that during a non-pandemic year “it is so hard to make sure everyone knows what they need to do before move in.” However, this spring “it seems like the majority [of] students knew they had to… get a COVID test prior to gaining access to their room.”

Moore said once students were checked in and tested they could begin moving in.

“At least on my day it was pretty hectic because there was a 45 minute line to get into [the Residence Life office] to get COVID tested,” Moore said.

Moore also said his wait was in the hot sun, which made it difficult to get enough spit in the tube for testing.

“What they didn’t tell me was that I had to complete my health check online, so I was stuck at the door for a little bit,” Moore said.

Ojeda said she was happy that more people were on campus because last semester was like a “ghost town.”

“It was nice to just see people in the halls and [at] the two programs that we had, like the all-hall meeting and the two socials… makes your job as an RA a lot easier,” Ojeda said.