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Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Campus

UH residence halls to remain open throughout term


Residence halls will remain open after classes go online following Thanksgiving break | Christopher Charleston/The Cougar

Residence halls will remain open after classes go online following Thanksgiving break. | Christopher Charleston/The Cougar

The UH residence halls, including The Quad, will remain open throughout the academic term. Facilities will continue operations following the transition to online classes after the Thanksgiving holiday.

Amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Student Housing and Residential Life plans to implement a variety of COVID-19 prevention procedures to modify move-in and residential life. 

“Residents and Student Housing and Residential Life staff must review and follow CDC recommendations for living in shared spaces, which includes maintaining social distancing,” said UH spokesperson Shawn Lindsey. 

To maintain social distancing, students will be required to reserve a move-in day and time between August 17-22 using a sign-up system that will become available on the MyHousing portal beginning July 20.

In addition to staggered move-in times, the number of carts and resident guests will be limited, according to the Fall 2020 move-in guide

Throughout the year, SHRL projects to make changes in space usage, interaction with staff and resident expectations related to personal cleaning and disinfecting, according to their website. This will include increased sanitation and signage. 

Community bathrooms and “high-touch spaces” will be sanitized multiple times daily during weekdays and at least once on weekends. Signs will be posted throughout residence halls as reminders for social distancing and other health guidelines. 

SHRL has not released a definitive plan regarding the mitigation of viral spread in shared rooms or bathroom areas, such as those available in Cougar Village I, Cougar Village II and the Moody Towers.

For some students, the continued threat of COVID-19 has raised concerns surrounding on-campus living. Computer science sophomore Shannon Lombardo, who lives out of state, initially planned to live on campus this fall but later decided against it. 

“Originally, I was going to (live on campus) because I really want to experience campus life, but considering (COVID-19), I feel like everything on campus is going to be dead,” said Lombardo. “I’m not too worried about myself getting (COVID-19), but I’m a lot more worried about getting it and giving it to my high-risk family members.” 

The ongoing rejection of social distancing measures and mask wearing in other public spaces, such as grocery stores, also generates worry. Hotel and restaurant management senior Joel Vaughan does not plan to live on campus this fall and said that he would be concerned if he was. 

“Seeing how people completely ignore safety protocols in local grocery stores and other local areas, I could imagine college kids would do the same,” said Vaughan. “But they should definitely enforce the wearing of masks.” 

All students, faculty and staff will be required to wear a mask on campus, as per the mandatory face covering policy instituted by President Renu Khator on June 24. 

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

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