Campus Coronavirus News

Uncertainty surrounding fall housing plans leaves students with mixed feelings

Student Housing and Residential Life have not announced how residence halls will proceed during Fall 2020. | Christopher Charleston/The Cougar

As the coronavirus is still present in the Houston area, students have mixed feelings while finalizing their fall housing plans with no announcement from Student Housing and Residential Life about residence halls. 

The uncertainty of future residential life has not stopped some students from preparing for living on-campus again. 

“I reserved a two-bedroom furnished dorm earlier this year, and I’m going to keep it,” said media production junior Angelina Pieniazek. “I’ll have my own bedroom, anyway; might as well have some company in the living room, too.”

Computer science junior Rafaela Carandang said she is not stressed about potentially having a roommate, because she plans to be as sanitary as possible and follow social distancing guidelines.

“I will take more precautions so that I won’t be too stressed about potentially getting COVID-19,” Carandang said. “In reality, I could get it from anywhere, and so can (my roommate) if we’re not being careful enough.”  

However, other students, such as accounting junior Chanel Chineme, are a little more hesitant when it comes to the possibility of having a new roommate. 

“I’m worried about living with someone new after (the coronavirus outbreak), but I trust they’re taking the same safety precautions as me,”Chineme said. “I think (a) roommate’s hygiene and cleaning should be the most important thing since we will be living directly in Houston, one of the most populated areas with people from all over the world.”

While some students have confidence that their future roommates have been socially distancing, others are still cautious about living in a residence hall and the exposure to other students that comes with it.

“I’m more concerned about catching (the coronavirus) from someone down the hall or in the laundry room just because we’ll be in closer proximity,” Pieniazek said. 

Pieniazek said she is anxious for this upcoming semester since no official statement of housing plans has been announced. 

“My biggest fear is UH deciding to go online for this fall semester too, and then closing housing since no one will be on campus,” Pieniazek said. “If the school closes everything for online classes, then I’ll be stuck in a difficult situation for the school year.”  

Despite the difficulty of predicting what the logistics behind the upcoming fall semester will be, some students plan on returning and picking up where they let off in the spring. 

“Even with the consideration of this pandemic, I never considered taking a gap semester or a gap year,” Carandang said. “My family values education very highly, all of my siblings including myself, were awarded perfect attendance for school every year, and this upcoming year will not be an exception.”

For more of The Cougar’s coronavirus coverage, click here.

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Correction: An earlier version of this story misspelled Angelina Pieniazek’s name.

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