By Tatyanna Carman
International and out-of-state students that come from places under the New Jersey travel advisory are required to quarantine on campus once they arrive at Rider before interacting with others, according to Associate Dean for Residence Life Roberta Butler.
Butler said that as of Aug. 27 there are over 300 students whose permanent address is one of the states in the current travel advisory.
“Students were informed that Rider expects they complete a 14-day quarantine before interacting with others on campus, but they had the option to do so on campus or in another off-campus location in New Jersey,” she explained. “Around 100 of these students are quarantining on campus.”
Butler said students that are quarantining on campus will not be charged for the additional two-week quarantine housing, but students “will be automatically billed a daily meal plan cost of $12.55 based on move-in date.”
“Students can pick up a full day of meals, once per day in Daly Dining Hall,” she said. “The daily meal package will include lunch, dinner and breakfast for the following day, along with snacks and beverages.”
When asked how the responses have been like from students who have to quarantine, she said the students have been positive, understanding and have been upholding the related expectations.
Senior English major Daniel Arroyo is one of the out-of-state students that had to quarantine on campus. He said he understood why the university required this 14-day quarantine on out-of-state students and added that “being on campus would be kind of worrisome if this wasn’t required.”
“I mean, the school doesn’t know if everyone has been sticking to guidelines, hopefully everyone is, and this is a very difficult virus to track, so it’s a safer solution rather than to just let everyone back with no safety measure,” he said.
He traveled from Las Vegas, a three-day trip by car, to Rider to live on campus during his senior year.
“If it wasn’t my last year, I feel like I would have been fine with either option, staying home or going back,” Arroyo said. “But knowing that I have a small amount of time left in my [undergraduate career], I wanted to physically be here for it if it was possible. I also think that being in a home environment for academics just doesn’t mesh well for me. It’s so easy to feel unmotivated in a space that isn’t usually associated with schoolwork.”
Arroyo said that quarantine has been “pretty tame” and he has only gone out of his room to get groceries and essentials.
Arroyo also gave advice to other students that are quarantining.
“I would just say to find something to focus on, which should be easy since school is just about to start,” he said. “14 days of having to be isolated can get boring really fast so having something to do or setting tasks is a good way to pass the time.”
He is most looking forward to human interaction after leaving quarantine.
“Sure I’ll be able to somewhat get that back being on campus in very compromised ways, but I’m excited for the day where I won’t have to be so conscious and worried about what I do, where I go, who I’m around, etc., when I’m in public,” Arroyo said. “I feel like we all have taken that normalcy for granted. Not to say that that’s a bad thing because we didn’t know something like this would be taken away from us like how it has. But I think we all now realize how great we had it before: living without all the precautions and the worry of being in contact with this virus in the back of our heads.”