COVID-19 Policies and Guidelines for Residential Living

Our Approach

In accordance with public health guidance, the Office of Residential Life has reduced occupancy in the residence halls and assigned students to single rooms/bedrooms without a roommate. We believe this to be an important step in helping to mitigate the spread of the virus. Additionally, community bathrooms will undergo a more intensive and frequent cleaning process. Adequate quarantine and isolation space has been allocated in the event that residents test positive and need to be relocated. Residential Life staff intend to use social media platforms to engage with students and build community while restrictions on in-person gatherings remain in place. More specific information regarding our policies and guidelines is listed below.

Community Standards

Face masks

Students are required to wear face masks in public areas at all times. “Public” is defined as anything outside of a private room/bedroom. Community bathrooms are a slight caveat in that masks may need to be removed to perform personal hygiene, but should be worn otherwise.

Public spaces

Lounges

Students are expected to take reasonable steps to maintain six feet of distance from one another regardless of how the furniture is staged. It is not possible to remove and store all of the furniture that exists in the residence hall lounges. Instead, we encourage students to adapt themselves and the furniture to the situation at hand.

Kitchens

Only one student may use a community kitchen at a time. All cookware and utensils have been removed and will not be available for use or checkout. If a student expects to do frequent cooking, they must supply the necessary equipment and remove it from the kitchen once they are done. Larger appliances (e.g. refrigerator, stove) remain. It is recommended that students consult the prohibited items section of the Residential Life policies page before making purchases and bringing things to campus.

Community bathrooms

Students are still expected to wear masks to the extent possible and maintain reasonable distance from one another within the context of community bathrooms. Individuals will need to be afforded grace in navigating these intricate spaces. Only for the purposes of personal hygiene (e.g. showering, washing face, brushing teeth) should masks be removed.

Stairwells

At no time should students gather in stairwells or obstruct the flow of traffic. Our residential facilities do not provide the opportunity for one-directional stairwells. Students are expected to use the stairs solely as passing spaces and proceed in a single file fashion to their destination.

Laundry rooms

The laundry room should not be used as a gathering space or for folding articles of clothing, which should be done in the privacy of a student’s room. Machines are operated using an app-based system that allows individuals to monitor the status of the wash/dry cycle, which provides a unique advantage. Students should maintain reasonable distance from one another while utilizing the laundry room. Additionally, clothes should be transferred and removed promptly and not left unattended for a prolonged period or they are subject to removal.

Guest policy

There will be significant restrictions on guests, both in terms of the number and qualification. Students are permitted one guest per person, and that individual must also be someone living in College housing. No overnight guests will be permitted whatsoever.

Any extra bedroom furniture that may exist in a residence hall room should not be interpreted as an opportunity to use it. Those who have friends or family visiting from off-campus must plan to congregate elsewhere and outside of the residential setting. The rationale is to limit students’ exposure and establish parameters for any contact tracing that may be required. The one caveat to this rule is move-in day (see below).

Administrative controls

ID Card Access

Students will only have card access to their respective building of residence. Additionally, off-campus students will not have card privileges for the residence halls whatsoever. This is a departure from the previous policy, which provided for any student in campus housing to have access to any residence hall and for off-campus students to have access during specific hours.

Room Change Process

The room change process is suspended until further notice. This is due to students being assigned to rooms by themselves and the importance of everyone remaining stationary. As such, requests for reassignment will NOT be granted.

Note: This policy does not apply to formal accommodations facilitated through the Office of Disability Services and related circumstances for which compliance is required by law.

Quarantine/Isolation Space

Appropriate spaces have been allocated for the purposes of quarantine and isolation. Should a student test positive for COVID-19 and the College’s Health Center staff indicate that they need to be relocated for the safety of the campus community, that directive is mandatory and the student is expected to comply. A specific process has been established that will allow for immediate occupancy and meal delivery. Any student who feels ill should be proactive in contacting the Health Center to discuss their concerns and be evaluated.

As a precautionary measure, students will be encouraged to have a “go bag” packed and ready to go. This is in the event that they need to hurriedly relocate. Staff will work with those in transition to the extent possible, but time will be of the essence and it is important to be prepared. A list of suggested items for the go bag items is posted in the College’s COVID-19 page.

Break Housing

The residence halls will close for Spring Break on March 17 at 12:00 PM and re-open on March 27 at 9:00 AM. Students who do not request break housing will be expected to vacate and return when the halls re-open. More information about housing over Spring Break can be found on the Break Housing webpage.

Policy Violations

Violation of these policies or insubordination may result in disciplinary action and student conduct implications including but not limited to suspension, expulsion, or removal from College housing. It is important that all members of the residential community take an active role in helping to stop the spread of the virus. Given the unprecedented nature of the pandemic, it is important to remember that individual behavior will need to be curtailed in order to try and keep everyone safe, and that doing so is not always comfortable or convenient.

Move-In (Spring 2021)

Students NEW to campus housing for Spring Quarter will move in at the following dates and times:

  • Saturday, March 27 from 1:00-5:00 PM EST
  • Sunday, March 28 from 1:00-5:00 PM EST

*Those who currently live on campus for Winter Quarter do NOT need to move out between terms and may return to campus beginning Saturday, March 27 at 9:00 AM. No check-in process is necessary. ALL of the above (new and returning) will be required to sign up for a testing time through the Health Center in advance.

ONLY students will be permitted in the Hicks Center; accompanying parties will be asked to wait outside or in their vehicles. While the move-in window is relatively condensed, this is when Genemarkers, LLC is available to facilitate entry COVID-19 testing. The dates and times are not flexible. Students can spend as much time as they want continuing to settle in after they receive a test and their room key.   

Staff will be available throughout Hicks to answer questions and point students in the right direction. After being tested in the Banquet Room (Hicks, lower level), students will receive clearance to be able to obtain their room key from Residential Life in the Student Development Office (Hicks, upper level) and directed to their specific residence hall. Individuals are expected to quarantine during the 48-72 hours until they receive their test result. This means they are only permitted to leave their residence hall rooms to use restroom facilities (in a community bathroom setup) and to go to the Dining Center to pick up meals. They may not gather in public spaces, other students’ rooms, or leave campus.    

Students must be sure to settle any outstanding health requirements prior to their arrival on campus. If not, they will be routed to the Health Center upon arrival, which will significantly delay the process. Should the issue be un-resolvable, the student will be denied the ability to move-in. 

Campus Safety will be available to produce student IDs for those who may have lost the one that was mailed to them or never received one to begin with. The availability of other services will be communicated later. For example, the Bookstore (located in Hicks), is expected to remain closed but may have a curbside pickup option. 

The check-in times above will be strictly adhered to. Keys will not be issued to students who arrive late and have not been tested. They will not be permitted to stay on campus and Campus Safety/Residential Life will not let them into rooms after hours. Should someone not make it to campus in time, they will need to secure other accommodations off-campus and come back during the next available testing and check-in window. Requests for exceptions will NOT be granted.  

Late check-ins will not be permitted. Students are permitted to have up to two (2) people help them move in. Everyone must wear a face mask for all interior spaces at all times. Parents and families should plan to depart campus as soon as they are done unloading to help ease the flow of traffic.

Residential Living Agreement

Students living on campus will be required to submit the Residential Living Agreement prior to moving in. This serves as an acknowledgement of their understanding of the above policies and guidelines. However, responsibility for violating them will come regardless of whether or not they submit the form.