Central Virginia college students scramble to clear out

Central Virginia college students scramble to clear out

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Students at Virginia State University had to scramble to get out of their dorm rooms Tuesday evening after Coronavirus concerns caused their school to change their move out date.

The university originally informed students they would have to vacate by Wednesday but after monitoring guidance from health leaders, they moved up to check out to Tuesday -- leaving students just over 24 hours to clear out.

"Everything's shut down,” student Jaelon Hodges said.

Tuesday afternoon, it was a mad dash to clear the halls.

Kasiah Blake is stuffing everything she can into one suitcase. "Literally my whole life,” she said with a laugh.

She has a flight to catch. "I'm packing to go to Miami, Florida."

Last-minute packing after she learned she had to be out of the dorms Tuesday, after initially being told Wednesday.

"Once they actually dropped ‘you have to be out by Wednesday’, I was like yeah, this is serious. We gotta go,” Hodges added.

Students all across Central Virginia are clearing college campuses amid Coronavirus.

At the University of Richmond, students got some disappointing news this week. Graduation will have to postpone. School leaders hoped they could move forward with having commencement in May but after new guidance from the CDC, they decided that won’t be possible.

Students are on Spring Break now but they won't return next week as classes will now be taught online.

Over at VCU, the university’s President uploaded a video to communicate with the campus. "There is no playbook on what to do in these kinds of situations and there’s very little history that we can really draw from,” Dr. Michael Rao said.

Students got an extra week of vacation this week as everyone works to navigate a new normal.

VSU Senior Corey Vickers is worried about what will happen with his upcoming graduation.

"Everybody’s just thinking about all the work they put in over the last three and a half years, almost four years to get to this point. It’s just heartbreaking. Everyone’s family, friends, parents have already bought hotels, tickets, plane tickets, all of that stuff,” he said.

Still, those students say despite the inconvenience and disappointment, they understand the need for safety first.

So far only the University of Richmond has said it will postpone graduation.

All campus events at Virginia Union are canceled for the rest of the month.

Copyright 2020 WWBT. All rights reserved.