Nor·mal: conforming to a type, standard or regular pattern;
characterized by that which is considered usual, typical or routine.
If you consult the Merriam-Webster dictionary, this is the definition of “normal” you would
find – and it is what we expect when students are moving back onto campuses in the fall and moving into their Alpha Chi Omega chapter facilities. We expect the normal.
We expect to hug our friends and chapter sisters we haven’t see all summer, expect to have our family members assist with move-in,
expect to have fellow classmates over for study sessions, expect to connect with professors in the classroom.
What we didn’t expect was the curveball of 2020 and how COVID-19 has required every chapter and every academic institution to adopt a “new normal” for students. So what does that look like?
How can we prioritize safety of all while keeping students engaged and on track academically?
We suddenly find ourselves needing to change traditionally normal procedures such as move-in and mealtimes for in-house members.
Members must create Zoom study groups instead of meeting in person.
We ask ourselves: How do we still create that feeling of home in our Alpha Chi Omega facilities with these new procedures?
What does it look like to prepare for COVID-19 in a sorority house and on campus?
The planning for students to move back onto campuses across the country spanned many months and involved Returning Home in the HOUSING OPERATIONS COORDINATOR both college/university and Alpha Chi Omega staff members.
National Vice President Cassie Gerhardt (Alpha Pi, University of North Dakota), who is the associate vice president for student affairs & diversity and associate dean of students at the University of North Dakota, stated that her institution had been planning for students’ return since May,
and even then some plans “weren’t finalized until just a few days before students started returning to campus given changes and updates in best practices.”
Cassie shares, “Move-in processes for our residence halls looked much different than ‘normal’ years.
We facilitated key pick-up from a centralized, drive-thru location rather than a face-to-face process.
Students had to schedule move-in times in order to limit the number of people in stairwells and elevators.
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