New students, parents converge on Burlington for UVM move-in day

Published: Aug. 26, 2021 at 6:05 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Incoming University of Vermont students were welcomed to campus Thursday.

For the first time in two years, smiling unmasked faces could be seen outside around campus for move-in day, as parents dropped their excited students off to school in one of the safest states in the nation.

“I guess we’re trying to reign our emotions in, until an hour or so from now,” said Timm Williams, a parent from Leicester.

“It’s just really emotional. She’s my baby. She’s my last one in my house, so yeah, I’m happy she’s in Vermont. I’m happy she’s at the campus and really excited for her to start her new adventure,” said India Kenyon, a parent from Rhode Island.

For students, it’s time to turn a new leaf, especially after COVID dominated the end of their high school careers. “For the whole past year I was at home, so it feels kind of like a completely different turnaround from what I’ve been used to, so that’s good for growth,” said Anoushka Pschorr of Leicester.

“I definetley overpacked. I have a lot of stuff. I think it was difficult to decide what I needed but I think I got everything,” said Abbi Kenyon of Rhode Island.

UVM is celebrating its largest first-year class ever, including more from beyond New England than they’ve ever had. UVM President Suresh Garimella says it’s because Vermont and UVM’s COVID response has been so good. “I just think people are thrilled to be here in Vermont and having a very near-normal experience,” he said.

The university is requiring “day-zero” testing for students along with recently reinstituted indoor masking. All students are also following the university’s COVID compliance mandates for vaccinations, with some exceptions for religious or health reasons.

Parents say they are happy they got an unexpected year at home with their children, but are excited for them to grow. “New friends, new experiences, getting out of the house, getting away from us, and learning about herself,” Williams said.

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