CARBONDALE (WSIL) -- SIU Carbondale's first day of move-in kicked off Wednesday with some new rules.
Freshman who lived in even numbered rooms and within three hours of campus moved in Wednesday morning. Freshman in even numbered rooms who lived farther away moved in during the afternoon.
All had to wear masks and socially distance.
These new precautions make move-in 2020 different than other years, but school officials say the rules are needed for the community's safety.
"With all the safety measures we have in place right now, with social distancing and masking and no visitors into the dining hall, it is a different feeling. But it's one that we needed to put in place to keep all of our students as well as our SIU community safe," said SIU Senior Associate Director of University Housing Jim Hunsaker.
The students moving in decided to not let COVID-19 keep them from taking full advantage of college life.
"Just to have the whole experience. Because, I mean, yeah, I could have done college in my basement, but where's the fun in that? I would rather move in and meet people," said incoming SIU freshman Parker Jordan.
And school officials are determined to give students that experience, safely.
"We're gonna incorporate the students into campus life as much as we possibly can. This pandemic is gonna end at some point, and we want them to be able to navigate the university system that there are tons of opportunities for them to get involved in campus life," Hunsaker said.
Despite the reassurances, Parker's father, Tony Jordan, still worries about his son's safety.
"My biggest fear is that we're gonna move him in, and in two weeks we're gonna move him out. And that's not what I wanna do. I want him to stay in school and be safe," Tony Jordan said.
Even with all the precautions, parents want their kids to be smart and follow the rules.
"It's all about personal responsibility, you know? We all have to do our part. If we don't, we're never gonna get out of this," said Tony Jordan.
SIU move-in will continue throughout the week, with more freshman moving in Thursday and returning students moving in throughout the weekend.