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Watch now: AU move-in: Freshmen express confidence in Auburn’s protocols

Watch now: AU move-in: Freshmen express confidence in Auburn’s protocols

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Auburn University’s freshmen and their parents seem pretty laid back about the dangers of COVID-19 exposure, if Tuesday morning’s move-in crowd is any indication.

Most of them expressed confidence in Auburn’s coronavirus protocols, including mask wearing, social distancing, medical check-ins, special quarantine dorms and the rest outlined in the university’s A Healthier U plan.

Housing officials report that, some nine days into the move-in process, most everyone has been wearing masks and sticking to the rules posted around campus.

Freshman Alex Peck said his move-in was pretty smooth, despite the muggy conditions and sun pushing temperatures in the upper 80’s by mid-morning.

“I think, given the measures being taken by the university, I’m fine with it,” said Peck, who made the trek down Interstate 85 from Atlanta with his dad Steve.

Wilson Coger, a fifth-generation Auburn freshman from Marietta, Ga., is ready to get to his engineering classes.

“I feel fine and, at the end of the day, everything is going to take care of itself,” he said. “This virus will eventually go away.”

Kyle Kyser said he’s not overly concerned about COVID-19 spread on campus.

“If everyone maintains social distancing, it should be fine,” said Kyser, who hails from Montgomery.

The closest thoughts resembling concern came from Mary Margaret Frank, a Kentucky native who was moving into her Hill dorm with help from her family.

“Yeah, I’m a little bit worried (about coronavirus), but not too worried,” said Frank, who plans to study animal sciences. “What I worry about is being sent home in 6 weeks because of COVID.”

Compliance

Auburn housing staffers know they will deal with students who refuse to wear masks or respect the other protocols. They hope to be able to educate such students and get them to do what they reasonably can to check COVID-19 spread.

“We’re telling our people to concentrate on educating students on the importance of wearing masks … that it’s a state order and campus policy,” said Maureen Young, associate director of university housing. “We’re asking people to follow all of the protocols from A Healthier U, especially telling students they need to be honest with their symptoms when taking their health screenings every morning.”

Upperclassmen Jameela Broadie and Jakayla Cunningham will be Residence Assistants in the Village this year. They’ve been thinking about what to do when students won’t respond to reason and put their masks on.

“Well, it was in their (housing) contract,” said Cunningham. “If they don’t wear one, we have to write them up and contact our boss.”

And what if said students throw big temper tantrums, like the ones made famous on Twitter?

“That's not really something that you can kind of control, like how they react to it,” said Broadie. “So, at that point, we have to take it higher up because it’s a conduct violation.”

Worst case scenario

How will these new campus residents react if the SEC decides to cancel fall football?

“In my opinion, I think people are gonna go crazy. Look, they don't know what to do with all this free time. They don't know what to do without football,” said Cunningham.

“Well, I’d want my money back for the season tickets,” said Josie Fleck.

“I think I’ll be okay, there’s always basketball and other sports,” said Wilson Coger.

“I’d be fine with it,” said Alex Peck. “I’m here for the education.”

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