Rowan University welcomes students back to dorms amid COVID-19 pandemic

GLASSBORO, New Jersey (WPVI) -- At Rowan University in South Jersey, thousands of students will be back on campus this weekend.

Freshmen, like Alyssa Bollenderf, were the first to move-in to residence halls on Friday. She is studying film and marketing.

"It definitely is going to be a lot different and everyone will be wearing their masks, social distancing as best as we can," Alyssa said.

The decision to move into a dorm was a family one. Alyssa's mom Heather didn't want her to miss out any longer.

"They've been in quarantine since March. My daughter lost the second half of her senior year and I didn't want to take it away if I didn't have to," said Heather Bollenderf.

Last year, 6,700 students lived on campus; this year, the number has dropped to 5,000. But overall enrollment is up by approximately 1,000 students.

A mix of hybrid and in-person classes are set to start on September 1.

All is quiet at the Triad Apartments on campus and school administrators hope it stays that way.

The four-story dormitory could be used for quarantine if students test positive for COVID-19.

Rowan administrators will be enforcing mask-wearing rules and social distancing on campus.

And of course, they've already seen examples of schools struggling to keep kids apart.

"We saw North Carolina, Notre Dame, and others that all of a sudden, flip of a switch, they had to go back to remote teaching completely. So that's the challenge once all the students are back," Joe Cordona, Vice President of Rowan University Relations said. "They aren't really going to do things on campus that are questionable, because there's a lot of controls. It's what happens off-campus."

The University is reaching out to landlords renting student housing in Glassboro, New Jersey to remind tenants not to throw big parties.

Those who are caught in violation will face disciplinary action.
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