Updated: September 07, 2020 10:11 PM
Created: September 07, 2020 06:19 AM
Monday, University of Minnesota President Joan Gabel welcomed incoming freshman to campus during a year unlike any other at the university.
Classes start Tuesday at the U of M, with some major changes for students to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
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Students aren't yet able to move into on-campus housing; those living on campus will be able to move in next week.
Students also won't be able to enjoy on-campus sporting events, at least, not anytime soon.
There is a plan in place to try to start the year started safely, but for those 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS connected with, it was not the start to college they were hoping for.
Starting next week, the campus will have a 9 p.m. curfew, which will continue for a couple weeks before it will be extended to midnight.
However, students are strongly encouraged to stick to their dorms or homes unless absolutely necessary.
Even so, students are still trying to live some kind of a campus life.
"We're just out here mocking and just trying to make the most of what we can with the situation that we're in," Catja Peterson, a university freshman, said. "So just doing little things like this during the day. Everything that we can do, you know, and meeting new people since we can't do much else."
To help ease new students into the start of classes, there have been four weeks of virtual meetings and activities.
But this unusual year essentially kicked off Monday night with a virtual meeting led by Gabel.
"I imagine all of you are feeling a mix of emotions right now: excitement, nervous, wondering what's ahead. Recent months have certainly not what we anticipated or hoped for," Gabel said at the virtual convocation event Monday night. "But throughout all of this, you've demonstrated the utmost character, strength and resiliency. And as you start this new journey, I can assure you that we've thought through everything to maximize your academic research residential and social experiences, but also to support your health and safety, which is our top priority."
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