Greek life students at the University of Connecticut received email notification Wednesday that they will not be able to live in their assigned houses in Husky Village, just days before UConn’s scheduled move-in weekend.
The move affects 115 residential students along with six RAs, according to university spokeswoman Stephanie Reitz.
“Husky Village will be used as utility space for other students during the semester to reduce the risk of illness and enable greater quarantine capability in the event that it is needed,” the email read. “Organizational belongings will be stored in chapter rooms and these rooms will be locked so that belongings will not be accessible to others.”
The decision comes after UConn also decided to deny housing to out-of-state students taking only online classes earlier this week, a move that was met with frustration from prospective residents and their families.
Reitz said Husky Village will be used to quarantine residents coming from “hot spot” states for the quarantine period based on Connecticut’s travel advisory. After that, the spaces will be used for students who contract COVID-19 and need to be isolated.
“Husky Village will be used as a space where students who’ve been exposed to the virus will live during their individual self-quarantine periods,” Reitz said. “With several small buildings and relatively few rooms (eight or 15), the space in those buildings is among the most easily managed for this use, rather than trying to provide self-isolation areas in portions of larger buildings and trying to ensure the student populations in each portion remained separated.”
Lindsay Chapman, an incoming fifth-semester sociology and psychology major and the president of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority at UConn, said she is disappointed in the university’s lack of a timely response and minimal communication on the national level.
“What is the most frustrating is that they’ve known since June that they would need a space to quarantine students who test positive so I don’t understand why they would wait to make the decision on what that space would be until now,” Chapman said. “Also, even though Husky Village is UConn housing, everything inside the house/remodeling/etc. comes from our national headquarters and they weren’t informed about it.”
The email stated that the new housing assignments will reflect each student’s preferred housing rate. Students affected will also need to log into MyHousing and sign up for a new arrival time ahead of this weekend.
Reitz said the decision to move students from their original assigned housing was not an easy one and does not reflect the university’s view of Greek life on campus.
“We really would have preferred not to do this, especially so close to the students’ move-in period, but there weren’t feasible alternative spaces that met the requirements we have to satisfy for health and safety,” Reitz said. “We also specifically want to assure members of fraternity and sorority life at UConn that this isn’t meant in any way to indicate a lack of respect for their organizations, which we value very much as a critical part of UConn’s campus life and institutional personality.”
Taylor Harton is the associate news editor for The Daily Campus. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.