MINOT, N.D. – “That first class when you’re all scared and nervous trying to figure out what you — who you’re gonna sit next to, maybe you recognize someone who just lives down the hall from you saw moving in,” MSU Residence Life Coordinator Abby Graves said.

Graves had that same feeling many college freshmen get when she first arrived on campus at Minot State.

But through living in residence halls on campus — she got comfortable.

“I think some of my closest friends came from living in the halls and getting to go to class together, eat together go to MSU life events together all of that,” Graves said.

And students will still have opportunities — but due to COVID-19 — it will just be a little different.

Most recently, MSU reduced rates for single rooms by $750 per semester as a way to decrease the chance of exposure.

“So if a student wants to have their own room, we didn’t want it to be anything to impede their ability to kind of space out and since we do have a little bit more space in our residence halls to do that,” MSU Residence Life Director Karina Stander said.

But even if students choose to live alone, they will still be in contact with other students in bathrooms and common areas.

Stander says extra cleaning precautions will also be taken by custodial staff on campus, and residents will be asked to do their part.

“Obviously we clean the community baths every day and then encouraging students to wipe them down after they’re using them to space out when they’re in there using them,” said Stander.

Stander also says there have been few calls from students and their families with concerns about the fall semester, but she wants them to know that staff are doing all they can to make campus life as safe as possible.

“We’re making a plan we’re doing things and we’re gonna do what we can to make the world a healthy place,” Stander said.

Stander says so far Residence Hall application numbers are around 300, which is in line with last fall.