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Return to normal for University of Scranton students

The University requires all students and staff to be vaccinated, except those with medical or religious exemptions.

SCRANTON, Pa. — Overcast skies and some light rain didn't put a damper on move-in day for hundreds of incoming freshmen at the University of Scranton. 

If anything, the day was much brighter than move-in day a year ago. 

"I'm really hopeful. I know that last year was a little rough for some of the freshmen coming in cause they didn't really get the same experiences, but I think we're going to be able to get to know our classmates a little bit better just because they seem to be lightening up on the restrictions a little bit," said Martine Sirianni of Media. 

The University requires all students and staff to be vaccinated, except those with medical or religious exemptions. 

Those who cannot get vaccinated will undergo regular COVID-19 testing throughout the semester and will have to check in daily with a wellness app.

Students say they feel comfortable socializing since they know others around them are vaccinated.

"It's definitely a lot more reassuring knowing that everyone is fully vaccinated so that like, we don't have to risk going online or anything," said Michael Howard of Mayfield. 

While students, their families, and staff are thrilled to be able to be back on campus with a seemingly normal move-in day. Masks aren't behind them. On-campus, they're required any time you step foot in a building.

"I was a little scared at first. I wasn't sure if we were going to get it or not and started thinking about it, and there are so many people here, and so much going on and I want her to be able to fully participate, so I'm actually very happy that they're all vaccinated," said Lisa Lyons of Buck County. 

After a year of online schooling, students say it's going to feel great to be back in the classroom. 

"It kinds of felt like you were a little distant from the actual classroom when you were on zoom and everything," Howard said. "So It didn't really feel like a conventional school year, and I'm excited to kind of have that back this year."

Come September 13, university officials will decide whether those vaccinated will need to continue to mask up in campus buildings. 

Students start classes on Monday.