2,129 undergraduates move into dorms Feb. 13–15, experience Q-Week

Students noted fast COVID-19 testing and convenient dining

Undergraduate students moved onto campus starting Feb. 13 and transitioned into Quarantine Week (Q-Week).

2,129 undergraduate students arrived during move-in weekend, with first-year students arriving on Feb. 13 and returning students arriving on Feb. 14 and 15, Senior Associate Dean of Housing and Residential Services (HRS) David Friedrich wrote in an email to The Tech. Friedrich wrote HRS has “received encouraging feedback from students about their positive move-in experience.”

Friedrich also included data about the number of students residing in each dorm. Maseeh Hall and New Vassar house the most students, with 288 and 284 respectively. Simmons Hall, Next House, and MacGregor House each house over 200 students; and Baker House, New House, Site 4, East Campus, and McCormick Hall each house over 120 students. 

The Tech interviewed several undergraduate students on their experience with move-in weekend and Q-Week via email.

Morgan Schaefer ’24 wrote that “there were people and signs everywhere directing us where to go” and that “everything ran very smoothly and efficiently” on her arrival day Feb. 13. Katherine Miner ’24 wrote that “the Office of the First Year made instructions incredibly clear.” 

Meanwhile, Toomas Tennisberg ’23 wrote that “I arrived late due to flight scheduling” and “had to find someone to let me in” after a doorbell intercom “cut off without warning.” Tennisberg waited with a friend who was also late until someone let them in.

Regarding her first COVID-19 test on campus, Miner wrote that testing at the Johnson Athletic Center “was also incredibly fast given the influx of first-years moving in.” Miner added that “getting tested was extremely easy” and that “having everything in the Atlas app makes testing so convenient.” 

Schaefer echoed this sentiment that the COVID testing process is “very simple,” while the Atlas application is “not too confusing to use.”

In terms of dining during Q-Week, Miner said that it is “especially convenient” since “you don’t have to travel outside in this brutal Boston winter.” Tennisberg described the process of getting food as “walk in, get food, walk out.”

“The meals are often pretty bland, with less options for those with dietary restrictions like myself,” Miner wrote. She has been “forced to take chances” when “guessing if a meal was safe to eat.” Schaefer wrote that she was “pleasantly surprised” by campus dining “after reading and hearing many comments from upperclassmen and students who were on campus in the fall.” 

Students were allowed a one-hour window daily for exercise outside of their dorms during Q-Week. 

Miner wrote that the one-hour outside time “helped clear my mind from a busy week starting classes” and has spent it “exploring the academic side of campus.” 

Schaefer wrote that “it was hard to fully take advantage of the one hour outdoor time” because of the “cold and snowy” weather. The one-hour time limit “feels a bit too prison-like to place restrictions on the amount of time students can spend getting fresh air.”

Q-Week restrictions were officially lifted noon Feb. 23.