'Sad about leaving': UNC System forces students off campuses in fight against coronavirus

This was supposed to be spring break at NC State. But, just like everything else over the last few weeks amid the coronavirus -- it has been anything but normal.

Emails popped into student's inboxes, Tuesday afternoon, instructing students they need to move off campus by Sunday.

UNC, NC State tell students to leave dorms, dining halls to provide takeout only due to coronavirus

For Tegan Kelleher, it's not the ending of his first year at State he'd imagined.

"No, it's not. I'm sad about leaving. Everything's changing so quickly," Kelleher said.
The news came down Tuesday afternoon from the UNC System -- impacting every campus statewide.

Students were instructed to remain at or return to their permanent residences. A reduction in campus dining operations to takeout or similar options was also announced. It's all a part of the latest move to stop any spread of COVID-19 on UNC campuses.

Sydni Coalson and Carly Grace Sheets were back on campus Tuesday for what they thought would be a brief spring break pit stop. They soon found out they need to pack up for the year.

"While we're here... we get an email from the chancellor saying we're completely out for the rest of the semester," Coalson said.


"So we needed to regroup a little bit on what I needed to bring home," Coalson said.

The system said students who have "significant need" to stay on campus will not be forced off. So there will be exceptions.

No exceptions necessary for Keton Ryan. He was born and raised in Raleigh. His mother was right there to bring him home.

"The silver lining is I get my son home!" said Anita Maniktala. "I do feel for the families that do have to travel. But I do think it's a minute-by-minute decision. It's tough decisions to make."

And there's still a difficult decision about what to do about commencement exercises.

State senior Nick Rosato just picked up his cap and gown for graduation May 15. But coronavirus concerns leave him uncertain he'll actually get to wear it.

"Everyone's kind of in a hurry up and wait situation," Rosato said. "We're kind of hoping everything works itself out. But for right now, we don't know."

A very similar scene played out at UNC-Chapel Hill along with the rest of the system campuses across the state.

Spring break is now extended until March 22. All UNC System schools are set be online instruction only starting March 23.
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