Student Check-Out Postponed Until “Further Notice”

Governor Issues Executive Order to Remain in Place


Ben Wyrick, Bridgewater College

Blue Ridge Hall, August 2019

Holden Andrews, Editor in Chief

Bridgewater, Va. – On Tuesday, March 30, Bridgewater College students received an email from Residence Life stating that scheduled check-out appointments were cancelled “until further notice” due to Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s executive order issued Monday, March 29. 

For students who had yet to come back to campus to retrieve their belongings, their plans were put on hold. 

The email, sent by Suzanne Mullins, director of residential and community life, said, “Once Virginia has been given the clearance to return to normal operations, we will contact everyone to finish the check-out process. At that time, we will issue new dates and times for students and families to schedule a time to come to campus to complete checking out.

“I am upset that I have to wait until June to go back to school and retrieve my belongings,” said senior Jason Moughon. “Since Bridgewater was taking the proper steps by limiting the number of people moving out of each building, I don’t understand why we still cannot retrieve our stuff.”

Students began moving out on March 21; they were given a three-hour window and only 10 people were allowed in each residence building at a time.

“After reviewing Governor Northam’s Executive Order 55 and working to follow the CDC guidelines, we made the decision to postpone check-outs at this time. We believe this decision is consistent with both the letter and spirit of Governor Northam’s order and with our concern for the safety of our students and their families,” Mullins said in an interview over email. 

Northam’s Executive Order number 55 states that Virginia residents must stay at their place of residence – with a few exceptions – due to the effect of COVID-19 on Virginians. Northam said during a press conference on Monday that the call to stay at home, “has been a suggestion to Virginians; today, it’s an order.”

Mullins said that students’ rooms would not be entered, which is for both the student’s own privacy as well as to prevent the exposure of COVID-19. 

She added that “Basic utilities such as water and electricity will not be turned off. This means that appliances, including refrigerators, will not be turned off. As we will not be entering rooms or apartments, we will not be opening or emptying out refrigerators.”

“It sucks emotionally, but logically, it makes sense. It’s important to keep things in perspective since we are all trying to navigate our way through this pandemic,” said senior Brett Lysohir. 

Mullins suggested that any students who have questions should visit the college’s FAQ page on the coronavirus or email [email protected].