University to reallocate student housing, limit density for the fall semester

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Author Sharon Spaulding addresses tactics to allow universities, specifically UConn, to create opportunities for marginalized communities. File photo/The Daily Campus

ResLife at the University of Connecticut is planning on reassigning housing to students and reducing the number of students in dormitories and suites for the fall 2020 semester among other modifications due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to an email and subsequent FAQs sent out to students Thursday morning.

Students who applied for housing and made selections earlier in the spring semester are now able to indicate their continued interest in living on campus through their MyHousing portal. The form must be submitted by July 6, with more communication from the university expected in mid-July, the email said. Housing is no longer guaranteed for all students who originally applied.

UConn has since suspended the requirement for freshmen to live on campus their first year in anticipation of density reductions in living spaces.

“We have been creating plans to limit the number of students on each floor and to reduce the number of students sharing bathrooms in order to provide additional social and physical distancing for on-campus residents,” according to the FAQs, which can be found on the ResLife website.

Students living in traditional doubles will not have another roommate and will instead have the room to themselves. Suite spaces, like Garrigus and Busby, will have two students per room as opposed to the traditional three. 

Some on-campus apartments, such as those with four bedrooms and four bathrooms, already meet reduced density requirements and will not be modified. Students living in Hilltop Apartments, Charter Oak Apartments, and Mansfield Apartments are able to request up to three roommates to live with a total of four students. 

As previously stated in the initial re-opening proposal from earlier this month, students will be mandated to return to campus two weeks before the start of classes to allow for a period of testing and quarantine. However, ResLife is still looking into options for students who, for whatever reason, are not able to complete the 14-day self quarantine. 

On-campus students are also strongly discouraged from going home on weekends or to other places outside of the university. It is not clear whether or not this specific guideline will be strictly enforced and how. 

“As you know, our ongoing concerns regarding student safety and the risks associated with the COVID-19 virus have required us to reduce our available beds for the fall of 2020,” the email said. “This decision currently only applies to the fall and is our greatest hope that we can resume full occupancy for the spring of 2021.”

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