Please review frequently asked questions carefully for Residential Life’s response to COVID-19 as it relates to the 2020 fall semester. Questions will be updated regularly to reflect any changes in procedure.
HOUSING ASSIGNMENTS FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Clarification: Residential Life managed housing includes the South 40, Northside (Village, Village East, Lopata House, Millbrook) and Off-Campus Housing properties (Greenway, Lofts, University Drive, Rosedale Court, Kingsland Avenue, and Washington Avenue apartments).
Juniors and seniors – who were planning to live in Residential Life managed housing will have to make alternative plans for the fall. Unfortunately, all housing contracts previously submitted by juniors and seniors will not be accepted, and there will be an addendum required for sophomore students who have submitted a contract. Priority will be given to those with special circumstances, and depending on our overall cancellation numbers, we may have additional housing spaces become available that we will assign by a waitlist system. Please see our Special Housing Selection process for information about the waitlist and extenuating circumstances.
Priority deadline for accommodations passed in early December 2019. All applications received by December 6, 2019, are currently being reviewed if not approved by the Office of Disability Resources. Any applications received following the priority deadline will continue to be reviewed by Disability Resources.
Yes. If you are a returning student, you may be assigned to a hotel space off-campus that will be supported by Residential Life staff. More information will be provided once housing assignments are completed in August.
As we transition to single room occupancy, residents will no longer have roommates. We will do our best to keep roommates close together and returning groups together. We will not be taking additional considerations/requests for roommates.
Yes. We have currently waived all penalties for cancellation through August 31st. We ask that you review your housing assignment and situation carefully as you consider your return to campus.
Housing will be very limited on campus due to de-densifying our spaces to single occupancy bedrooms. We understand that this is a really difficult situation, and we are also disappointed that we can’t provide housing for all of our juniors, seniors and transfers. However, this is a much needed step as a matter of protecting the health and safety of our students and our community during this pandemic. We are following the public health expertise and guidance of the American College Health Association, the CDC, and other public health officials and in switching to single rooms, we hope that this will limit the spread of the virus when students return.
- We do not guarantee housing for transfers. We will be prioritizing transfer students who are either incoming first year or rising sophomores. Rising junior and senior transfers are encouraged to review the Special Housing Selection Process as we can’t guarantee housing.
Yes. It will take all students to help reduce the transmission of COVID-19. Housing assignments are being reviewed to adhere to CDC public health guidelines regarding physical distance requirements. Updated assignments will be available for view for ALL students on Monday, August 24th.
- First-year students will be assigned to the South Forty campus.
- Rising sophomores will be assigned to limited South Forty spaces, Northside and off-campus housing facilities.
- Rising juniors and seniors are not guaranteed housing.
- Students with approved housing accommodations assignments may be adjusted by location, but will still be honored.
Yes. Students will be expected to sign the Housing Contract, which discusses specific behavioral expectations, in addition to leases that are required for some off-campus locations.
Yes. You will receive a revised housing contract that will be available for viewing on Monday, August 24th. Once available, you will have until August 31st to confirm your housing contract via the WashU Housing Portal.
Students who travel outside of the St. Louis region during the Thanksgiving Break will not be allowed to return to campus and will have to complete their courses remotely.
Residential students are encouraged to remain on campus over the Thanksgiving Break in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19 virus.
- While it is our greatest hope that all students, faculty and staff will remain safe and healthy, given the high transmission rate of COVID-19 locally and nationally, we will have cases reported within our community. When a member of the University community tests positive, is presumed positive or has been exposed to someone with COVID-19 (see CDC guidelines on exposure), that individual must report this information to Habif Health and Wellness Center (students) or Occupational Health (employees).
- Members of the University community should respect the privacy of their fellow colleagues and peers and avoid sharing another person’s confidential health information with others. The University has obligations under HIPAA, FERPA, ADA and other federal and state laws, and, depending upon the circumstances, such disclosures may constitute a violation of these laws and University policy.
- The University will have a process in place for sharing information about the general health of our community, including de-identified positive cases.
- Learn more about reporting and response to COVID-positive cases or exposure on the Danforth Campus.
- Isolation Housing: Individuals have tested positive for COVID-19 and who need a place to recover where: they are not in contact with non-COVID-19 positive individuals, they can be monitored daily by Habif staff, and food delivery is feasible. Medical directives indicate that COVID-19 positive students in isolation housing CAN live together in suites or apartments.
- Quarantine Housing: Individuals who have been in close contact with someone who is COVID-19 positive and may be awaiting results from a COVID-19 test, or individuals who feel ill and have taken the COVID-19 test and are waiting for results. They need to live in a private space, with a private bathroom and have food delivered. Quarantine typically will last up to two weeks. Quarantined students cannot live in a suite or an apartment with other people.
- Details regarding these protocols are still being finalized and will be communicated prior to arrival. It is of key importance you reflect on these mitigation strategies and protocols while you consider whether or not you want to live in university housing this year.
- Residence Hall Room Capacity: Residence hall room capacity is limited to the number of people who can be present while maintaining physical distance of at least six feet between individuals. Masks or face coverings must be worn at all times if more than one person is in a room. Students are highly encouraged to socialize outdoors whenever possible, always adhering to public health requirements regarding masks and physical distancing.
- Common Spaces: Residence hall lounges and other common spaces will be reconfigured and marked to allow for physical distancing. In some cases, furniture will be moved or removed entirely to create more space.
Public health and other data strongly support that universal masking substantially reduces transmission of COVID-19. The main purpose of the mask is to prevent the wearer from expelling small virus-containing droplets of saliva or mucus into the air and infecting others. Wearing a mask reduces the likelihood that an infected individual could spread the virus to people around them (colleagues, co-workers, faculty, staff, students, family, friends, etc.). This is especially important to reduce the spread from infected people who may be asymptomatic. It also provides some protection for the wearer. Therefore, to reduce the spread of the virus, and to protect the health of all our faculty, staff, students, and other community members, Washington University is requiring universal masking.
- Only visitors whose presence on campus for mission-critical purposes will be allowed on campus. Mission-critical visitors include:
- Admitted students
- Finalists for faculty and/or leadership positions
- Families of current students for drop-off or pick-up only
- Vendors and consultants hired for mission-critical University work
- Others depending on circumstances and approval
- Requests for permission to bring visitors on campus will be reviewed and approved through a University process. Approved, mission-critical visitors who come to campus must follow all health requirements, including wearing a mask or face covering, physical distancing, and enhanced personal hygiene and hand-washing. A screening process for visitors will be implemented to make sure they are checking for symptoms before coming to campus.
- To help ensure the safety of our residential communities, our guest policies will be changed for the fall semester. Residential Life properties will only be accessible to the students who live there and the staff who work there. Guests, including those who live in other residential spaces on campus, will not be permitted for the foreseeable future. This policy and others will be evaluated as needed throughout the course of the coming year.
- Please also see responses to visitors on campus in the FAQ.
- Face coverings must be worn at all times outside private rooms in the residence halls. Residents will not be allowed to enter personal spaces of other residents and will be expected to engage in the recommended practices of self-hygiene and physical distancing in all residential spaces.
- All common-area kitchens will be closed. Some amenity spaces (e.g. makerspaces, fitness rooms, computer labs, recreation rooms) will be closed; we are in consultation with experts to determine which spaces can be safely maintained and which will need to be closed.
- Furniture in common spaces will be reduced and arranged to support physical distancing
- In general, gatherings (including RA programs) in social spaces will be limited and otherwise moved to remote delivery. Residential Life will propose guidelines and expectations for student gatherings and programs campus-wide, and our ultimate strategy will comport with these guidelines prior to students arrival.
At this time, current plans are for the 2020 fall semester. Our de-densifying of the residence halls will continue as we monitor the public health conditions. Adjustments will be made as we respond to COVID-19.
Fraternity houses are a part of Residential Life Managed Housing. Any students assigned to housing should follow the instructions communicated through the university information as it pertains to their class year. This includes the August 5th cancellation deadline. Please connect with your Campus Life contact with direct questions regarding fraternity housing.
Yes. The university will provide isolation housing for all students who test positive unless they are able to isolate in an off-campus location. It also will provide quarantine housing for students who have been directed to quarantine due to exposure, pending test results or other circumstances. The university will conduct follow-up procedures for all students, faculty and staff to determine that they are cleared to return to campus following a positive test. It also will provide meals and other essential services to meet needs of students who need to be quarantined or isolated in the university-provided quarantine and isolation locations. The amount of time students must remain in quarantine or isolation will be determined by current CDC guidelines.
No. The requirement for first-year students to live on campus has been waived for the 2020-21 academic year.
At this time, we are only making housing assignments for students who are returning to Residential Life housing for the fall semester. We hope these assignments will carry forward into the spring semester. Students who choose to study remotely for the fall semester will be advised of the process for applying for spring semester housing in November. There are many variables that will determine what will be available in spring, and we will work through those details as the situation continues to evolve. It is our hope that we will be able to accommodate as many students as possible who apply for Residential Life housing for the spring semester.
We do not yet know the answer to this. It is likely that the conditions related to COVID-19 will require us to provide a reduced density housing environment for the full academic year. We also do not know yet how many students will receive Residential Life housing for fall. We will re-evaluate the situation in November and if we can make more housing available in the spring, we will do so.
It is our hope that fall housing assignments will carry through to the spring semester. We will need to reevaluate as the situation continues to develop, and will work to minimize disruption to our students as much as possible. However, we cannot guarantee that students will not be asked to move at some point during the academic year.
Yes. Students may cancel their housing contracts without penalty until August 31 and switch to virtual learning.
MOVE-IN FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Students are asked to significantly limit their interactions with others in the 14 days prior to departing for St. Louis for the start of the fall semester. This includes staying at home as much as possible, washing your hands frequently, wearing a mask if you must be in contact with anyone outside your home, and keeping at least six feet of distance between yourself and others outside of your family. Please monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 and if they develop, seek medical advice before coming to St. Louis. Do not come to campus if you have symptoms of COVID-19.
Every student living in residential life housing will be required to take a free COVID-19 test within 24 hours of their arrival to campus. We are planning on using a saliva test that will be administered through the Habif Health and Wellness Center and provide results within 24 hours. Students are going to be asked to quarantine in place while awaiting the results of that test.
Testing will be available for students at the Habif Health and Wellness Center for students who are symptomatic or who were exposed to someone who is COVID-19 positive.
Students may be contacted by Habif Health and Wellness Center to take a COVID-19 test if they were identified as being exposed to someone who is COVID-19 positive through contact tracing.
- The move-in process will occur over multiple days to ensure appropriate physical distancing during that process. More specific information will be provided shortly after fall room assignments have been confirmed and communicated.
- Up to two family members or supporters may accompany a student during their assigned move-in time. Professional vendors will be provided to assist with the moving of belongings for First Year Move-In. Outside moving vendors will not be allowed on campus.
- To help us reduce community spread, before move-in and during move-in procedures will be outlined via our website.
- Belongings to be moved in should be limited in size and number Please only bring essential belongings that you can easily take with you at move-out.
All students will be administratively assigned a move-in day and time from the move-in dates below. Assignments are being done in order to control for the number of arrivals in accordance with Center for Disease Control (CDC) public health guidelines. As the university is coordinating testing students who will be living in Residential Life housing when they arrive in September there is no flexibility on assigned time frames.
- First Year Students: September 4, 5, 6
- Returning Students: September 9, 10, 11, 12
Up to two family members or supporters may accompany a student during their assigned move-in time. Professional vendors will be available to assist with the moving of belongings for First Year Move-In on September 5th and 6th.
The move-in process will occur over multiple days for First Year students and returning students with all residential students receiving pre-assigned timeslots to ensure appropriate physical distancing during the move-in process. More information about move-in can be found here.
The Deneb STAR program is considered a scholar program. Please connect directly with your program leader for move-in information if you are a member of the Deneb STAR program.
Students should physically bring their items to campus on their selected move-in day. Sending large and bulky items to mail services on campus may result in significant delays in the student receiving their items.
Please connect directly with your coach for move-in information if you are a member of a fall sport.
Please view move-in information here for detailed procedures. Information found via this page will be officially updated by Monday, August 17th.
STORAGE FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- Students who will be returning to Residential Life housing will have their items delivered to their room, designated by the fall room assignment process prior to their arrival.
- Rising juniors and seniors who will be living in non-Residential Life properties will be able to select an option to have their belongings shipped to them in the St. Louis area free of cost.
- The university will continue to safely store your belongings through September 30, 2020 as communicated in previous emails to students.
- Handled Moving Company – Contact Handled at firstname.lastname@example.org to make alternate arrangements for your items. You are able to schedule a time for pick-up from the storage facility, choose to have items shipped home, or extend the time your items are in storage. You are responsible for all associated costs with these options.
- UTrucking Moving Company – Contact UTrucking at (314) 266-8878 to make alternate arrangements for your items. You are able to schedule a time for pick-up from the storage facility, choose to have items shipped home, or extend the time your items are in storage. You are responsible for all associated costs with these options.
Follow-up with the moving company that stored your items, either Handled or UTrucking, for more information on rates and length of time that your items can be stored. Contact Handled at email@example.com and UTrucking at (314) 266-8878
Follow-up with the third party that stored your items, either Handled or UTrucking, for more information on rates. Contact Handled at firstname.lastname@example.org and UTrucking at (314) 266-8878.
Yes. If you have not had any items shipped or had less than 4 boxes shipped, you are able to get up to four (4) total boxes shipped over the course of our entire process. For example, if you have had zero (0) boxes shipped, you would be allowed four (4) free boxes at this time. If you have had two (2) boxes shipped previously, you would be allowed an additional two (2) boxes for free at this time.
Yes. You need to provide all of the necessary information for your friend or family member to either Handled or UTrucking directly when you are setting up your pick-up date. Your friend or family member will also need to have a picture ID with them in order to verify that they are who the items are being released to.
- We are not cutting locks and/or collecting left bikes at this time, so you can leave your bike on-campus. However, we may begin collecting abandoned bikes in Summer 2021.
The university will take a number of steps to provide financial support to students in light of changes that will be in place during the fall semester.
- Student fees for dining and the housing single room rate will be adjusted to reflect the shorter fall semester with final exams being conducted remotely over winter break.
- If this were to occur, the university would offer students the ability to seek an exception to remain in residence on campus on a case-by-case basis if international travel restrictions or other significant extenuating circumstances prevent them from returning home.
- Should the university decide that all students should return to their primary residence during the course of a semester as a result of the pandemic or other emergency, the university would provide a prorated refund of room costs to students who were living in Residential Life housing. Students receiving full financial aid would also be eligible for this prorated university housing refund to provide additional support if they are required to return to their primary residence. Students enrolled in meal plans would receive a refund of any unused meal points.
- For undergraduate students and families whose financial situations have changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Student Financial Services is available to discuss assistance that may be available. Graduate and University College students should contact their respective deans’ offices for assistance.
- The university is re-establishing the Crisis Response Funds for undergraduates and graduate students for those who are struggling financially. More information will be available soon.
- The university will ensure that all undergraduate students have access to a computer.
DINING FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Dining Services is currently evaluating meal plan requirements for Fall 2020 and will announce rates and requirements on or before August 14 on the Dining Services website.
- Students will be required to have a meal plan for living in alternate housing.
- Students will be allowed to adjust down if they are moving to alternate housing.
- Dining Services Website
Dining Services will have all of our locations open with the exception of Law Café for the upcoming academic year. Our hours have been adjusted to allow for adequate cleaning and sanitizing while still providing plenty of dining opportunities around campus. We encourage students to visit https://diningservices.wustl.edu/where-to-eat/ for the full list of up to date hours of operation. Indoor seating will be available at a reduced capacity to allow for physical distancing. We are adding outdoor seats for increased physical distancing as well as converting a number of locations on campus to dining/study spaces where students will be able to have a space to sit and eat safely.
All of our menu’s will provide options for students with a variety of dietary needs. We are introducing a new top 8 allergen free station at the Bears Den and expanding the availability of Kosher and Halal pre-packs on campus. All of our menus are reviewed by the Dining Services Dietitian and students with specific concerns are encouraged to reach out to Rebecca Miller, email@example.com to schedule a time to talk about their dietary needs. We will also have an allergen menu available for pre-order through the GrubHub campus app, items ordered through the allergen menu are prepared in a separate kitchen by trained staff to ensure your safety.
Students who are in isolation or quarantine housing will receive a daily delivery of meals, snacks, and drinks from Dining Services. These meals are designed to provide a student with everything they will need while in isolation or quarantine. Students will have the ability to pick meals that meet their dietary needs including vegan/vegetarian, allergen, and cultural menus.
Dining Services is setting up all dining locations on campus to ensure physical distancing can be maintained while in line as well as sitting and enjoying your meal. Tables and seats have been spaced out and plexi-glass table dividers installed to provide protection to students while eating. Menus have been updated to ensure we can serve guests as quickly as possible to keep lines and wait times at a minimum. Mobile ordering will also be available for all locations so you can place an order and pick-it up without having to wait in line. We will also be introducing automated opportunities for students to have a custom made salad or bowl 24/7 while we are unable to offer a traditional salad bar. All of our dining services staff have been thoroughly trained in new sanitizing and safety practices and are screened daily per WUSTL campus guidelines before they start their shift.
PARKING FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- WUPD will provide law enforcement services to the Danforth Campus 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. WUPD officers also provide supplemental police and security patrols in the neighborhoods adjacent to campus. Additionally, WUPD officers coordinate with these local police agencies to provide joint patrols in the neighborhoods
- To supplement police patrols, WUPD coordinates patrols with security officers to provide an added level of safety. These security patrols concentrate on high foot traffic areas and residential areas.
- These patrols, both on and off campus, are conducted by police officers and security officers on foot, in vehicle and by bike.
- Washington University in St. Louis has a long history of working with local municipalities to assist our students who live in the local neighborhoods. WUPD coordination with local police agencies is an integral aspect of this mutual work with the University and these municipalities.
- WUPD patrol officers work daily with officers from Clayton, University City, St. Louis Metro and Metro Transit to provide security to the neighborhoods, as well as the Danforth Campus. Additionally, regular strategic planning meetings are held with these agencies on a regular basis to help coordinate response to any situations or events.
- In the event of a serious university-wide emergency, WashU students, faculty and staff will receive an emergency message, or WashUAlert, providing basic information about the type of emergency, safety instructions and how/where to get additional information. You can learn more about the emergency notifications by visiting the following link on the Emergency Management website: https://emergency.wustl.edu/tools-resources/washu-alert-system/
- The University also provides safety information to our community by issuing Crime Alerts and Security Memos to the campus community. These communications provide information regarding recent criminal activity as well as safety strategies that can be implemented.
- For information regarding Crime Alerts and Security Memos, please visit the following link on the Emergency Management website: https://emergency.wustl.edu/tools-resources/washu-alert-system/subscribe-to-crime-alerts-security-memos/
- WashU Safe is a safety app developed by WashU public safety departments and the Office of Operations and Technology Transfer, with software assistance from AppArmor Mobile. Using the latest mobile technologies, this app offers updated features to address and promote student, faculty and staff safety on and off campus, including important safety alerts and access to campus safety resources. For more information, including downloading instructions, visit the below link: https://emergency.wustl.edu/tools-resources/washusafe-app/
WUPD will continue to provide safety escorts to community members via foot/bike. Escorts are provided 24 hours a day; 7 days a week. To obtain an escort, community members can call Dispatch at 314-935-5555 and a staff member will work with the community member to coordinate the quickest response.
We are currently reviewing and revising our shuttle system in order to accommodate more off-campus students. This will include new routes and additional shuttles to meet the demand given the density limitations we will have this fall. Updates to the shuttle system will be provided on the WashU Campus Shuttle System (https://parking.wustl.edu/campus-shuttle-system/) in the coming days and weeks.
Given the guidelines for density and physical distancing, we plan to increase the number of vehicles we use on some of the shuttle routes. This will be based on past ridership data, access to other options (e.g., Metro), and information regarding expected student population densities off-campus. While some of the routes may see an increase in round-trip travel time, our intent will be to maintain a 20-minute or less headway to and from campus. We will closely monitor ridership and travel times throughout the fall and be prepared to adjust as needed. Updates to the shuttle system routes and schedule will be provided on the WashU Campus Shuttle System (https://parking.wustl.edu/campus-shuttle-system/) in the coming days and weeks.
Please choose “I plan to study remotely.” All classes with an in-person component will be available to students regardless of whether they are living in Residential Life housing.
The form is not binding, but intended to help us plan for the number of students who will be on campus this fall. If a student makes a choice and then needs to change from in-person to remote learning later (or vice versa), that will be accommodated. The student may fill out the Intention for Fall Study form multiple times if needed.