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Clearing Students Out Of FAMU, FSU Dorms, Leaves Campus Abandoned

Logan Mulderrig sits in a hammock on Landis Green. He says without all the foot traffic, the once bustling area is now peaceful.
Logan Mulderrig sits in a hammock on Landis Green. He says without all the foot traffic, the once bustling area is now peaceful.
Logan Mulderrig sits in a hammock on Landis Green. He says without all the foot traffic, the once bustling area is now peaceful.
Credit Robbie Gaffney / WFSU-FM
Logan Mulderrig sits in a hammock on Landis Green. He says without all the foot traffic, the once bustling area is now peaceful.

Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University and Florida State University are putting in place different policies for residence hall move-outs. These different policies, along with other safety measures have a visible impact.

It's a Monday afternoon in the middle of the Spring semester at FAMU. Classes should be in full swing, and students should be walking on the sidewalk, but this isn't a typical day. There's no sign of students—only service workers and staff.

"It's very empty," says Student Affairs Vice President William Hudson. "I think this is the first time in my history... that the campus has been this empty during the spring." 

The university is asking the nearly 300 students currently still on campus to leave their dorms by April 6. Those who aren't on campus will be allowed to schedule time to get their things after that day.

Hudson notes that students with special circumstances should schedule a meeting, "so that we can adequately identify them but also educate them on social spacing and social distancing through our student health services."

Students with special circumstances can stay in their dorms until the end of the semester. That includes international students, ones who can't afford to go back home, ones that have nowhere to go if they leave campus, and those who have family members that are vulnerable to COVID-19. 

"I miss the bustling of the campus, the students, I think that brings an energy to the city, but we are in a different time now, and we have to abide by the guidelines that have been set so that we can return to some semblance of normalcy," Hudson says.

Less than a mile away, Florida State University's campus  is also mostly empty, save for the few students still jogging along the sidewalk, tending to the university's community garden, and studying on Landis Green. Logan Mulderrig is sitting in a hammock with his laptop. He's a master's student who's graduating this semester.

"Usually, it's bustling right about now, especially on a weekday where people have classes, but right now, it's so quiet and so much more peaceful," Mulderrig says.

FSU students who left for spring break aren't allowed to come back to their residence halls or campus. Those who stayed in their dorms throughout the break can remain until the end of the semester as long as they don't leave Leon County. 

Christina Careri is a senior majoring in Criminology and minoring in psychology. She's spread out a blanket on Landis Green and works on her laptop. 

"People come and go... trying to move out and stuff. There's kind of like a somber vibe," Careri says.

FSU is planning to allow students to come back for their belongings but hasn't announced when that will be.

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