SCRANTON, Pa. — Hugs and kisses were given as parents dropped off their students at the University of Scranton. Its move-back-in-weekend at the university, and students couldn't be happier to be on campus.
"It's definitely nice to be back. I definitely prefer being on campus, rather than being away. It's nice to see my friends and everything like that, and be able to have that support," said Madison Schmerder, a sophomore.
"Excited to be here, excited to see my friends again. I know the U is taking all the precautions they can and to do it in a safe way, so I fully trust them and look forward to being back," said Thomas Murphy, a sophomore.
But in order to be back, students had to submit a negative covid test within 3 days of their arrival — something the University didn't enforce in the fall. Campus-wide COVID-19 surveillance testing and cleaning protocols are still in place.
What's new this spring — winter, fall, and spring sports can resume.
"There's no spectators allowed. But the athletes are back and practicing. So that I think will add an element of normalcy to the semester for some of the students. So I think that's a good step a positive step," said Stan Zygmunt, a spokesperson for the University.
Here, on-campus students are still required to wear masks and social distance as best as possible. Sophomores moving in at Condron Hall tell Newswatch 16 they have no problem following the guidelines as long as they are on campus.
"I would pretty much do anything, just to be able to stay on campus, rather than having to stay home and take my classes online," said Schmerder.
Parents say with a rocky start to last year, they hope their students can get through another semester.
"Last year we had to leave in March and then the fall semester was a little iffy, with all the testing and everything, so a little extended vacation but we're happy she's back, and hopefully we'll get through this semester," said Ken Klein, a parent.
The campus will remain closed to the public.
Classes start for the spring semester on Monday.