What students, parents can expect when at the TU Arrival Center

When students who plan to live on campus make their way to the TU Arrival Center at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown New Orleans, they will be guided through two days consisting of COVID-19 testing and orientation sessions to support their return to campus.

Students should check in at the Arrival Center 48 hours before their scheduled move-in day to campus housing. First-year students are scheduled to move into their residence halls from Aug. 10-13, and returning students are scheduled to move in from Aug. 14-17. Upon arriving at the center, students will immediately have their temperatures checked along with any symptoms they may have and then will be directed to the Campus Health Processing Center for COVID-19 testing. According to Scott Tims, assistant vice president of Campus Health, a total of 10 testers will be present at all times.

Under observation, students will self-administer a short nasal swab for the COVID-19 test, which will be sent for analysis to the Tulane School of Medicine, Tims said.  

After testing, students can relax and settle in from their travels, either at the Hyatt Regency Hotel or locations in the area – it is not mandatory that students stay at the Arrival Center at the Hyatt, but it is highly encouraged.

During the second day at the Arrival Center, students and parents will attend information sessions designed to give them an understanding of what the fall semester will be like, said Erica Woodley, assistant vice president and dean of students.

“Parents and students will have the opportunity to hear from city officials and health experts about the public health behaviors necessary for a safe fall, as well as more specifically how Tulane is working to promote safety. There will also be sessions on Tulane values and behavioral expectations as well as what students can expect from the academic perspective,” Woodley said.

Campus Health nurses will speak with students to make sure they have completed their health requirements and to conduct one-on-one education sessions on COVID-19 and campus life, according to Tims.

Additionally, offices and services that students and parents may need to visit, which are traditionally on campus such as Financial Aid, Accounts Receivable, Advising, Success Coaching and the Goldman Center for Student Accessibility, will hold virtual appointments in private rooms throughout the Arrival Center, Woodley said. The Tulane Bookstore will also be present and self-guided activities for students and parents will be available.

All attendees at the Arrival Center, including information session presenters, will be socially distanced and required to wear masks.  

“We will need everyone to be diligent about wearing face coverings, social distancing and hand washing within the space. We have worked through staggered arrival times for the educational sessions, in order to prevent elevator issues, so it’s important that people honor those,” Woodley said.

On the final day at the Arrival Center, students would have received their COVID-19 test results via email. A negative test result will permit students to continue with the move-in process. 

Brian Johnson, assistant vice president for Housing, Residence Life and Campus Recreation, said students will go to a designated location at the center to receive an arm band indicating they have been cleared to proceed to campus. Students will then proceed to the center’s departure lounge at their scheduled time to receive their residence hall room key and to board the shuttle with one family member allowed. Students can bring two large pieces of luggage and one carry-on-style item when boarding the shuttle.

Once students arrive to campus, resident advisors will be available in the residence halls to answer questions. This year, there will be no move-in volunteers to assist with moving items to students’ rooms in order to limit the number of people in the residence halls and minimize the handling of personal belongings. Instead, students were able to use Housing and Residence Life’s new Ship-to-Room model to have their boxes delivered to their room before arriving, Johnson said.

Johnson said that students have mailed in more than 20,000 boxes with their belongings to campus. 

Woodley said that the university has worked diligently through this process and with Hyatt Regency staff to facilitate a safe arrival and move-in experience.

“Tulane is a family, so rest assured that we are caring for you like family,” she said.