LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Michigan State University will welcome a record number of first-year students this year, and they start moving into dorm rooms on Thursday.

The record number totals more than 9,800 new Spartans and President Samuel Stanley Jr. today said they’re ready for anything ahead of the school year.

“So, in terms of people coming to the campus for the first time, this is going to be an all-time record,” he said.

As that record number is set to move into the dorms, he said he will personally be right there to lend a hand.

“You know, hopefully, I’ll be ready to do my share of the lifting,” Stanley said. “But it’s wonderful when we can welcome students to campus for the first time and their families as well.”

While the crowds this year are expected to surpass those of the past, Stanley said the university still has its eyes on the pandemic and potential spread of COVID-19.

“We’re still requiring vaccination for the incoming students coming in, and about 97% to 98% have complied with that,” he said. “Which means they need to show they’re vaccinated and have had at least one booster and that’s our requirement.”

He adds there is also testing available for the MSU community and masks are optional for most of campus.
“So, there’s parts of campus where masks will still be required and that’s in our medical clinics and for students doing work in the medical field or so on. When they’re going about, they’ll be required to mask and there may be certain other areas where masks are required, but right now, for most of campus it’s not required.”

Despite some initial overcrowding, Stanley doesn’t think having three students in some dorm rooms, referred to as ‘transitional rooms’,  will pose an additional risk.

“So, I don’t think that three in a room, probably from a medical point of view, creates a greater risk than two in a room, in terms of transmission,” he said. “I think that once you have another person in a room then the possibility of you getting infected are probably not different than if you had two, or they’re probably marginal.”

Of the record-setting number of first-year students, 565 of them include students from Ingham, Eaton, Clinton, and Shiawassee Counties.