Campus life hangs in the balance at the University of Minnesota ahead of Monday vote on move-in date

The University of Minnesota campus has been nearly empty of students for months.  (FOX 9)

Campus life is hanging in the balance for tens of thousands of University of Minnesota students as they wait for the Board of Regents to vote on whether or not to let students move into on-campus housing before the start of the school year.

University President Joan Gabel came out to say she thinks the school should push back the move-in date, which adds uncertainty for students and families.

Mainly freshmen are supposed to move into dorms in less than two weeks.

“For the freshmen, I can’t imagine,” said Andy McKenzie, a University of Minnesota student. “I think they got shafted with this whole thing.”

Pushing move-in day back is something McKenzie says changes the whole college culture.

“Those are crucial times, I think, in figuring out the tone for your college experience,” McKenzie said.

Gabel said she is concerned about issues other campuses have run into and that the University doesn’t meet new federal guidelines on testing.

“I would hate to have my college experience pushed back more than it has to be,” said Sam Hunt, another U of M student.

Charles Goldberg, the general manager of The Graduate Hotel about a block from the U of M, says when Gabel announced her proposals Friday, his phones started ringing.

“We definitely saw an influx,” Goldberg said. “Probably over 50 inquiries about the program in 24 hours.”

The new program Graduate is offering includes student living packages as an alternative to dorm life.

“It really gives them an option to be here on campus and get the experience they deserve while being in a safe and clean environment,” Goldberg said.

For some students, non-traditional situation could be another hurdle in what is sure to be a non-traditional semester as it is.

The Board of Regents is set to meet at 10:30 a.m. Monday to talk about all of this. If they go with Gabel’s proposal, the first two weeks of classes will be entirely online and the move-in day will be pushed back.

A petition

A petition is calling for President Gabel to allow students to opt out of student housing this school year.

The petition, which had more than 2,600 signatures at 4 p.m. Sunday, also asks the U of M to implement some other on-campus safety measures as the school year begins this fall.