WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Thousands of students are moving into Downtown Wilkes-Barre this weekend. It comes as back-to-school kicks off amid the ongoing pandemic.
Eyewitness News saw people moving in at Wilkes-University as early as 2 a.m. Many say they’re excited to start the school year because of COVID-19’s impact on academics in 2020.
“The parents are bringing them in from all over and the students start school I believe Monday,” said Ronald Davis who is Wilkes University’s Maintenance lead.
In the wee hours of the morning, with the crickets chirping, students like Milagros Rodraguec moved into Wilkes University, but her story is a little different.
“I am an international student. I came from Panama,” said Rodraguec.
She left her country at 5 a.m. Thursday, not getting to Pennsylvania until midnight.
“I had to take an aircraft and now I’m here,” explained Rodraguac.
Her first year attending college overseas was shadowed by the pandemic. She’s one of the many students happy to be back.
“I like to go back to school. I don’t like online classes. We didn’t learn a lot on the computer because students get confused and don’t pay attention to their professors,” said Rodraguec.
At Wilkes, everyone is required to report their vaccination status. If you’re fully vaccinated, you have to provide documentation. If you’re not, you have to submit an exemption form. Unvaccinated people must get tested for COVID-19 in two to three-week intervals.
Regardless of vaccination status, masks are required indoors throughout campus locations.
As for the maintenance crew, they say right now they’re just focused on the weekend
“For us, it’s chaos. The day shift people help with parents and families. We on nightshift are just cleaning up the messes that go on during the day,” said Davis.
Wilkes University’s first day is Monday.