CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Two thousand College of Charleston (CofC) students are set to be back on campus for the first time since March, after this weekend’s move-in to campus housing.
Some students weren’t sure dorm life was going to be possible this year.
With breakouts at other campuses across South Carolina, leaders say it’s important to stay safe from the start.
“It’s great to be back, have a great semester but let’s be smart,” says Stephen Astor, a sophomore at the College of Charleston.
COVID-19 tests, face masks, and social distancing are among just some of the changes students will face when returning to campus.
“You have to adapt and overcome, it’s a different year,” says Astor.
Unsure if a return was possible, Astor says safety wasn’t a worry when deciding whether or not to return the college’s campus.
“Yeah if I wear my mask and am smart about it, I feel safe going back,” says Astor. “I feel like students will respect each other’s space and be smart.”
With students back, leaders and students are focused on keeping new COVID-19 case numbers down. Astor hopes others will take the new campus policies serious.
“You’ve got to feel like there’s going to be some people who won’t but you’ve got to hope that everyone will take it seriously and we can be in it together and stay on campus,” says Astor.
Outbreaks on other South Carolina campuses have leaders in Charleston on alert. Keith Benjamin, Operating Partner at Uptown Social, says his bar is ready to welcome patrons with caution.
“Yeah there’s a concern that the younger demographic, college kids may not take it seriously,” says Benjamin.
At Uptown Social, Benjamin says staff are taking precautions by strictly enforcing COVID-19 guidelines including social distancing.
“We have mask enforcement outside, we have a manager, we have a security team,” says Benjamin. “If they’re not wearing their mask when they’re outside they’re certainly not going to be permitted to come inside our establishment.”
Students are hopeful the return won’t be a false start, Astor says he’ll be among those taking the college’s new policies seriously.
“Wear your mask, be smart and let’s have fun,” says Astor.
Thousands of students are expected to move in this weekend to make sure everything is ready before in-person classes start on Monday.