College, students and COVID-19

WWNY College, students and COVID-19

POTSDAM, N.Y. (WWNY) - They used to give you a goody bag and a key. Now, college move-in day is completely different in the age of COVID-19.

We got a close-up look as students showed up at SUNY Potsdam on Tuesday.

“Well, for one thing, I had to schedule a time to come and have them put a swab up my nose,” said Sam Smith, SUNY Potsdam junior.

About 300 students were tested for COVID-19 before moving in on Tuesday. The first big batch of 400 was tested on Monday.

“Attitudes were great, students were great and it went very smoothly,” said Tracy Harcourt, SUNY Potsdam student health services director.

Students have to quarantine on campus until their test comes back. Everyone has signed pledges to abide by all kinds of rules. But will it be enough?

“I think they’re doing a lot here,” said Carter Boyea, SUNY Potsdam sophomore.

“I feel pretty safe here,” said Hunter Boyea, SUNY Potsdam sophomore.

But all the students have watched as other campuses have failed the COVID-19 test and then sent students home.

“Anything could happen at this point. They could make us all quarantine again or do whatever,” said Cheyenne White, SUNY Potsdam senior.

It’s expected some students will test positive. Maybe around 20 or more if statewide averages hold. They’ll have to isolate in special housing on campus.

There’s another test students are going to have to pass and that’s simply following the rules in coming weeks. Students we spoke with have expressed confidence they can do that.

But they’re not sure everyone else can.

“Most people will follow the rules. There’s always the few people that are just like, ‘I don’t really need to follow the rules,’” said White.

SUNY Canton students are also moving in this week. Classes have already begun at Clarkson and St. Lawrence universities.

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