Failure to inform of check-in rules was irresponsible


Move-in is already hard enough as it is.  We have to pack up everything we think we will need in the next four months and carry it with us to school. 

But adding the stress of an unexpected vaccine and test requirement made this year’s move-in that much more difficult.

ULM sent students living on campus a letter on Aug. 3 stating, “students and guests will need to bring and provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test within two weeks of moving in.”

With the COVID cases in Louisiana, ULM’s decision to make sure students have the vaccine or test negative before check-in is a step in the right direction.

It increases the chance of our campus being COVID free as we start the semester.  

But the way ULM informed students and enforced this new regulation was not clear or efficient.

The letter Res Life sent out was labeled as nonprofit mail.  According to the USPS, typical delivery times of nonprofit mail range from one to 10 days within the U.S.  Move-in for all students was Aug. 13 and 14.  

This means that some students may not have been informed about this new check-in protocol until three days before move-in.This is not enough time to make plans or prepare to be vaccinated or tested.

Also, the letter states that the proof of the negative test has to be within two weeks of moving in.  But before check-in after the letters had been sent out, ULM changed the requirement to say you have to test negative three days before moving in.  

The only problem is that they didn’t inform anyone of this change.

Students called and asked the Department of Enviromental Health and Safety if at-home COVID tests could be used at check-in and were told that those tests would be accepted if they showed proof of purchase within three days. 

However, at check-in, they were told that they needed to be tested again. 

This led to much confusion as the new rules for check-in had changed.

ULM expected us to follow these new protocols for a safer start to the year, but then failed to accurately inform us on what the protocols were or how to follow them.

If Res Life had sent that letter a month in advance of move-in and ULM had sent students an email telling us of the changes occurring, we could have been prepared.  But instead, move-in was full of uncertainty and chaos.

In the future, students should be notified earlier about important dates and deadlines, especially when they’re COVID-related.