First-year students arrive at UMass Amherst for a more normal semester

Hampshire County

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – With vaccinations being a requirement for students this year, the class of 2025 is much closer to the college experience we saw before the pandemic.

As soon as families pull up to Pierpont, “Minute Movers” swarm their cars. Ready to welcome new students in.

“I’m excited about it,” said freshman Michael O’Toole. “Looks like a great dorm. Enough space honestly. More space than I thought it could be.”

Michael opted to take the stairs meantime, looking forward to what this year could bring. He’s already met his RA, Carter Gudell.

“As nice as Amherst is in the summer when it’s quiet, it’s nice to have the students back,” Carter told 22News earlier.

Bins on wheels moved in and out of the dorm, each one filled with everything a student could need from red bull to rugs. Meantime students and parents are happy to have a more normal semester.

“Well, we’re paying for it, he might as well go to school is the way I see it,” said Scott Sigman from Andover. He was at UMass with his son, Zach.

“I’m going to be able to go in-person and meet a bunch of new kids and it’s not going to be as bad with the Covid regulations,” Zach added.

Vaccines, a requirement before stepping on campus. That was a decision made by UMass that was just upheld by a federal judge. Masks are also required indoors on campus. However, the story of a parent sending off their freshman finally got to happen.

“He’s been very excited for a long time,” said Mara Hochberg. “I’m managing as the mom. Had my few moments before, could have them again but excited for him.”

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