CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -Thousands of items are sitting at the University of Virginia’s Slaughter Recreation Center waiting for students to pick them up.
When the pandemic first hit and UVA president Jim Ryan announced students would not return to grounds after spring break, it left many questions, including what to do with items they’d left behind.
“President Ryan announced Housing and Residence Life would ship essential belongings to them, so we did,” Director of Housing and Residence Life Trish Romer said.
With little time, it meant acting fast. “We set up a survey symptom, students emailed us, told us what it is they needed, we went into rooms, gathered those things up and shipped them to them at no cost,” Romer said.
Fast forward to May when the university realized many student belongings would need to be kept over the summer, so it partnered with the Hilldrup moving company.
“We actually packed up 414 people in 16 days,” Romer said.
The process resulted in more than 5,000 boxes and items being collected and thanks to the generosity of the Slaughter Recreation Center, over 3,800 of those items ended up at the fitness facility.
“We’ve done pickups the past two weeks and 160 people have picked up. We have 140ish left and that will happen the week of August 31 through September 6,” Romer said.
The university already pushed the start of in-person classes back. If the pandemic forces UVA to keep classes virtual, stuff still needs to be returned somehow.
“Students that are able to still come and get their items, and we’ll see what’s left and figure out where to go from there on a case-by-case basis,” Romer said.
On Thursday, August 27, some of the boxes will be shipped to a storage facility in Richmond, while others will be brought back to the university for student pick up.