Bradley move-in weekend marks a return to some normalcy



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PEORIA (WEEK) — College students are making their way back to the River City for the start of Bradley University’s Fall semester.

“Everyone’s just happy to be back,” student volunteer Nathan Milianti said. “Everyone seems to be happier.”

Returning students started moving in Friday morning, many eager for a return for some normalcy this Fall.

“A lot of [the students] were remote last year, but we are focusing on in-person this year,” Bradley public relations specialist Haley Krus said.

Sophomores like Brianna Cook say they are hopeful this Fall will be their first true college experience, in stark contrast to 2020.

“”I’m really excited to get back into in-person classes,” Cook said. “It was really hard to make friends last year. It’s not like you can give someone your Snapchat from six feet away.”

Bradley is requiring masks for everyone indoors to start the semester, but not outside for the vaccinated. Masks are “strongly encouraged” outside for the unvaccinated. Some students say they aren’t phased about having to wear masks this Fall, as long as the classes are in-person.

“The masks don’t really take away from it in my experience,” sophomore Tyler Colander said. “I’ve been talking with a lot of people from my floor, and they seem like they’re all really optimistic about how it’s going to go this year.”

Missing in 2020, volunteers are also back this semester, helping students move in.

“We got a lot of people out here to help,” Milianti said. “All the fraternities and sororities, and people from on-campus clubs to help.”

Students say that has already made their experience more welcoming.

“Last year, we had no help,” Colander said. “It was pretty much just me and my dad moving in.”

All unvaccinated students are required to participate in Bradley’s campus COVID testing throughout the semester. Bradley leaders say they are still compiling data on just how much of its student body and staff are vaccinated.

Move-in continues through the weekend. Bradley’s first day of classes is August 25.

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