Carts, catamounts, and COVID-tests. Those words describe Move-in Day at the University of Vermont.

But like everything else, moving in looked a little different for the 800 students who returned to UVM Tuesday.

After dropping off their belongings, students headed straight to the Dudley H. Davis Center to be tested.

“Today is a great day. We’ve been waiting for this and planning for this all year practically,” said Annie Smith, University of Vermont’s Vice Provost.

That planning included setting up a testing center, designating residence halls for quarantine spaces, and limiting rooms to single and double occupancy. Smith emphasized some of the additional changes.

“…Modifying signage, modifying common areas, bathrooms, kitchens, taking out any furniture that we needed to remove, and then putting up a lot of signage,” Smith added.

However, one Catamount – born and raised in Vermont – won’t be living in the dorms this semester. She said it was a hard decision to make but one she thought was safer and cost-effective.

“Looking at colleges that have opened, some of them have already decided to shut down which is kind of scary, but I just think it’s probably a better idea to save some money at least this semester and just stay safe,” said Basmala Fadel, a sophomore biology major.

Another student who plans to live on campus. He admits remote learning, especially for nursing students like him, will be a little challenging, but he’s optimistic.

“…My friends…we’re kind of all on the same level of optimism. We just want to have a good year here, and we’re just trying to the make the best of it,” said sophomore Trevor Albano.

Vice Provost Smith says students who don’t comply with the guidelines could face a $250 fine or suspension. But Smith is confident students will honor the Green and Gold Promise, a pledge all have been asked to sign.

“I think our students are great, I am very optimistic that they will do everything they can to keep all of us safe and healthy,” said Smith.

 A thousand more students will make there way back by Wednesday. For UVM catamounts, optimism appears to be the general spirit.