In a recent email, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Carl Lejuez addressed the University of Connecticut community with important updates about housing over the winter session. The email said all students currently living on campus who wish to return for the spring semester will have the opportunity to remain along with their belongings in their current housing assignments over winter break, and to check the Residential Life website for more information.
We are very happy our administration has ensured that undergraduates staying here for the spring will be able to keep their housing assignments over the winter if they need to. National circumstances including the anticipated, more deadly second-wave of COVID-19 as well as endemic housing insecurity and poverty today may pose a threat to our undergraduates. It is likely unreasonable and unsafe to ask all undergraduate students to return home for the winter and this would increase the odds of outbreaks at the beginning of the spring semester.
However, we are uneasy about the lack of financial accommodation for students looking to keep their winter housing. The “Winter Recess Housing” page of the Residential Life website lists standard fees for winter housing, despite the current substandard financial security of most Americans and likely many UConn students. Given these extemporaneous circumstances, many undergraduates could be faced with the choice of keeping themselves and loved ones safe or returning home due to financial concerns. Furthermore, helping students to remain in winter housing if they elect to do so only lowers the risk of the outbreaks that could occur from thousands of undergraduates returning for the spring semester.
“We are very happy our administration has ensured that undergraduates staying here for the spring will be able to keep their housing assignments over the winter if they need to.”
The idea of any undergraduate staying in winter housing given the current social situation on campus is unfortunate. But far more unfortunate is the risk to the physical and financial wellbeing COVID-19 has already posed to undergraduate students across the country, and UConn can do great work to limit the worst effects of these on our community members. The Daily Campus hopes that Residential Life and the rest of the administration work together to ensure that all students, during these uncertain and dangerous times, will have access to secure, safe housing regardless of their ability to pay.