‘Bittersweet’: Temple students move out of residence halls before fall break

Residence halls at Temple University closed today at 12 p.m. until the beginning of the Spring 2021 semester.

Brian Roth (right), a sophomore risk management major, moves out of 1300 residence hall on Nov. 21. | COLLEEN CLAGGETT / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Nadiyah Timmons packed up her car this morning to move home from Temple University. She won’t be coming back in the spring, instead opting to take classes remotely next semester.

“I’m paying a lot of money to just do nothing and there’s no classes,” said Timmons, a freshman media studies and production major. “It’d just be better for me to stay home.” 

Timmons is one of more than 1,200 students in Main Campus residence halls who were required to move out this weekend or earlier for the remainder of the Fall 2020 semester. 

Students in residence halls had to move out by Nov. 21 until they can return to campus when the spring semester begins, according to a university announcement

Students could apply for extended housing to stay on campus if they experience housing insecurity, inability to access the internet at home or have someone at home who may be at a higher risk for COVID-19, The Temple News reported. 

Timmons is driving home to Atlanta, Georgia, and will remain there in the spring because it doesn’t make sense for her to stay on campus if all of her classes will be online, she said. 

Temple will continue with mostly online learning in the Spring 2021 semester, but will hold some in person classes, The Temple News reported.

Even though she isn’t returning, Timmons is already looking forward to her sophomore year at Temple, when she is hopeful things will be almost back to normal, she said.

“It was kind of sad, but I know that I’m going to come back my sophomore year hopefully,” she added. “I’m just feeling really optimistic for what is going to happen next year, and it’s not like the end of my college career.”

Temple asked students who are leaving Philadelphia to avoid returning to the city until Jan. 19, 2021 to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 during travel, The Temple News reported.

As of Nov. 20, there are 111 active cases of COVID-19 among Temple students and employees, The Temple News reported. 

Brian Roth, a sophomore risk management major, moved out of 1300 Residence Hall this morning to return to his hometown in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, for fall and winter breaks. 

For Roth, returning home for fall break this year is different than last year because he took all of his belongings home with him, and he doesn’t know if he will come back for the spring semester if COVID-19 cases continue to rise, he said. 

COVID-19 cases in Philadelphia have increased at an average of 908 cases per day in the last week, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. There were 1,067 new cases reported on Nov. 20.

“It’s probably safer to take everything instead of having to come back,” Roth said. “Last year, I left a lot of my stuff back at Johnson and Hardwick, I just took what I needed and went. This year, it’s everything.”

Olivia Biordi took Friday and Saturday to move out of Morgan Hall because she only lives 30 minutes away and her older sister was also moving out of her university, she said. 

“Yesterday we got the bulk out and then today was just the final stuff,” said Biordi, a freshman graphic and interactive design major. “But I think it went pretty well.”

Biordi moved all of her belongings out because she isn’t sure if she will return for the Spring 2021 semester, she added. 

“I am still deciding whether or not I’m coming back next semester because it’ll all just depend on, ‘Are classes still fully online?’ ‘Is there going to be another lockdown?’ Biordi said. “Ideally, we would come back.”

Her friends in Morgan Hall had a small movie night before they all moved home for fall and winter break, she added.

Marco Melesio said that moving out was “crazy” and left some of his belongings in his room because he plans to return for the spring semester. 

Melesio is not looking forward to taking finals at his home in Union, New Jersey, he added.

“It’s stressful because I know that once I get home, I don’t even have time to relax because I got to start getting ready for finals,” Melesio said. “I wish we stayed until after, but I get it.”

Isha Dev, a freshman bioengineering major, was upset to leave her friends and roommate today to move home to York, Pennsylvania, for fall break and finals. 

“It’s pretty bittersweet because I’m excited to go home and see my family and friends and be able to drive, but I still want to stay here too,” Dev said.

Dev and her roommate, Sarah Bachman, spent Friday night packing and preparing to drive home, Bachman said.

Bachman, a freshman biology major, is worried about taking her finals at home in Upper Dublin, Pennsylvania, because she doesn’t think she’ll be able to focus there as well as she can in her residence hall, she said.

“I don’t think it’s the greatest environment, and it’s sad that our first semester got cut short, but it’s only a couple weeks so it’s not that big of a deal I guess,” she said. 

Temple suspended most in-person operations on Nov. 20, but it is still unclear which facilities, if any, will remain open under new city COVID-19 restrictions, The Temple News reported..

Hanna Langan, a freshman biology major, said she moved all her belongings out of her room in 1300 because she is hoping to get an apartment for next semester with her roommates. 

“We like to cook, we want a kitchen, we want our own bedrooms,” Langan said. “There’s just a lot more freedom with the apartments.”

Moving out before Thanksgiving was upsetting because Langan thinks of Temple as her home and has enjoyed living in the city, she said. 

“I enjoyed meeting new people, I liked my classes online for the most part,” she added. “So yeah, I’m a little upset but at the same time kind of happy, so I guess it’s bittersweet.”

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