Residential Life COVID-19 Communication

Message from Residential Life about Move-In updates for Returning Residential Students, August 14, 2020

Dear Returning Residential Students,

We look forward to seeing you on campus this year and excited to have you move in soon!This email addresses many questions about move-in and provides information as you prepare to arrive on campus (also linked as a PDF).Thank you for your patience as we finalized move-in details to help you prepare to travel to campus.

COVID-19 Testing During Move-In
It is important to know that students will be required to complete COVID-19 testing prior to moving into the residence halls on their assigned move-in day. Testing will be administered by public health professionals who work for Washington University’s Habif Health and Wellness Center. Results from COVID-19 tests administered prior to move-in with a provider other than Habif Health and Wellness will not be accepted. It will be crucial that students arrive at their assigned date and time as each time slot will be created to evenly distribute the student population in order to support physical distancing. While checking in, we anticipate that each student will take approximately 20 minutes to complete the full check-in process. Wait times at the testing location will vary depending on a number of factors. Any guests/helpers who are accompanying students will not be allowed to enter the check-in and testing facility.

Assigned Move-In Days
Your assigned move-in day is available for viewing via your WashU Housing Portal. All students will be given an exact time to arrive the week of August 24th.  We ask that you arrive on your assigned move-in day and time to help our staff best support the process of required testing. If your assigned move-in day or time does not work with your travel plans, please email our office directly so that we are able to work with you. Our ability to be flexible in changing your date and time will be limited, but we will do our best to provide support. While we are only able to provide a move-in date at this time, students should anticipate  to receive a check-in time  between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Students and families who experience unexpected travel delays that force them to miss their move-in day will need to communicate with our office to receive instructions for your arrival. Our move-in process must prioritize COVID-19 testing of all students before they are permitted on campus. If you experience a travel delay, please contact us by sending an email to reslife@wustl.edu.

Housing Assignments
Housing assignments will be available for viewing on Monday, August 24th. Following the release of housing assignments, you will have until August 31st to cancel, should you choose to do so, without penalties. If we do not receive a cancellation by August 31st, you will be financially responsible for the terms of your contract. If you are awaiting a decision from the Special Housing Selection process, please check your email for updates regarding your status. We will not be able to accept requests for specific placements or roommate requests. We will do our best to honor existing roommate requests by assigning those students near or adjacent to each other.

Important: If you are no longer living in Residential Life managed housing and you receive a move-in date, please log onto your WashU Housing Portal and cancel your housing contract

Students with an approved group early arrival
All students with an approved early arrival should have received communication from your respective programs. Testing requirements will also apply to your arrival to campus. More information will be provided to you as an early arrival as it relates to details of the specific day of your check-in.

Finally, we acknowledge that this is a difficult time for you and your families and we will be doing our best to ensure that move-in is a smooth arrival to campus. We will need your help in adhering to the move-in procedures we have provided in the linked pdf and on our website. We believe the information we are sharing here should answer most of your recent questions. More information will be provided about move-in prior to students arriving on campus. If you have additional questions regarding move-in, please email Residential Life at reslife@wustl.edu.

Sincerely,

Office of Residential Life

Message from Residential Life about Move-In updates Incoming First Year StudentsAugust 14, 2020

Dear First Year Residential Students,

We look forward to seeing you on campus this year and excited to have you move in soon!This email addresses many questions about move-in and provides information as you prepare to arrive on campus (also linked as a PDF).Thank you for your patience as we finalized move-in details to help you prepare to travel to campus.

COVID-19 Testing During Move-In
It is important to know that students will be required to complete COVID-19 testing prior to moving into the residence halls on their assigned move-in day. Testing will be administered by public health professionals who work for Washington University’s Habif Health and Wellness Center. Results from COVID-19 tests administered prior to move-in with a provider other than Habif Health and Wellness will not be accepted. It will be crucial that students arrive at their assigned date and time as each time slot will be created to evenly distribute the student population in order to support physical distancing. While checking in, we anticipate that each student will take approximately 20 minutes to complete the full check-in process. Wait times at the testing location will vary depending on a number of factors. Any guests/helpers who are accompanying students will not be allowed to enter the check-in and testing facility.

Assigned Move-In Days
Your assigned move-in day is available for viewing via your WashU Housing Portal. All students will be given an exact time to arrive the week of August 24th.  We ask that you arrive on your assigned move-in day and time to help our staff best support the process of required testing. If your assigned move-in day or time does not work with your travel plans, please email our office directly so that we are able to work with you. Our ability to be flexible in changing your date and time will be limited, but we will do our best to provide support. While we are only able to provide a move-in date at this time, students should anticipate  to receive a check-in time  between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Students and families who experience unexpected travel delays that force them to miss their move-in day will need to communicate with our office to receive instructions for your arrival. Our move-in process must prioritize COVID-19 testing of all students before they are permitted on campus. If you experience a travel delay, please contact us by sending an email to reslife@wustl.edu.

Housing Assignments
Housing assignments will be available for viewing on Monday, August 24th. Following the release of housing assignments, you will have until August 31st to cancel, should you choose to do so, without penalties. If we do not receive a cancellation by August 31st, you will be financially responsible for the terms of your contract. If you are awaiting a decision from the Special Housing Selection process, please check your email for updates regarding your status. We will not be able to accept requests for specific placements or roommate requests. We will do our best to honor existing roommate requests by assigning those students near or adjacent to each other.

Important: If you are no longer living in Residential Life managed housing and you receive a move-in date, please log onto your WashU Housing Portal and cancel your housing contract

Students with an approved group early arrival
All students with an approved early arrival should have received communication from your respective programs. Testing requirements will also apply to your arrival to campus. More information will be provided to you as an early arrival as it relates to details of the specific day of your check-in.

Finally, we acknowledge that this is a difficult time for you and your families and we will be doing our best to ensure that move-in is a smooth arrival to campus. We will need your help in adhering to the move-in procedures we have provided in the linked pdf and on our website. We believe the information we are sharing here should answer most of your recent questions. More information will be provided about move-in prior to students arriving on campus. If you have additional questions regarding move-in, please email Residential Life at reslife@wustl.edu.

Sincerely,

Office of Residential Life

Message from Residential Life to all Juniors and Seniors, August 4, 2020

Dear Juniors and Seniors,

The announcements for fall 2020 that were released by Chancellor Martin, Vice Chancellor Wild, and the Office of Residential Life  on Friday, July, 31 communicated that, in order to comply with public health guidance from the American College Health Association, the CDC, and other national and local experts, 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 and seniors. We want to be clear that the Office of Residential Life will have some capacity to provide housing for juniors and seniors, but we cannot guarantee housing, given the public health decisions we had to make to reduce density on campus and set aside space for quarantine and isolation housing. We will know more about our housing capacity later this week and plan to share an update with you on Friday, August 7th.  

Due to the recent changes, we have created a Special Housing Selection Process. This process allows students with extenuating circumstances that would prevent them from living at home or off-campus to apply for Residential Life housing. More information about this process can be found on our website. To help students and families make informed decisions about their housing, we have provided considerations and resources below:

  1. The campus and the St. Louis’ experience will look very different than it has in previous semesters due to the pandemic, including the behavioral expectations for students on and off-campus. Students should consider if remote learning is a viable option for them. The behavioral expectations are detailed in the WashU Community Pledge and Policy Acknowledgement that was announced in Dean Wild’s message on Friday.
  2. If remote learning is not a viable option for you, we recommend that you use the WashU Apartment Referral Services (ARS) website to conduct your off-campus housing search or look for roommates. Private landlords apply to have their listings available on the ARS website and the Office of Real Estate regularly updates the postings available based on student feedback. Listings from landlords with negative feedback from students have been removed from the website to ensure a more informed experience. 

For those needing to remotely search for an apartment, many landlords have adjusted operations so that potential tenants can have an effective remote search. Please review the apartment search tips below. These tips are also available on our Neighborhood C.A.R.E. website.

  1. Take time to understand your own needs. Consider what is most important to you in an off-campus apartment. This could include location, price, various amenities/features, number of roommates, noise, parking availability, and transportation needs.
  2. Ensure that you know what is included in the price of rent and what is not. Many private apartments/landlords may not have amenities like parking, internet, TV/cable, electric, water, waste management, laundry, etc. built into the price of rent. It is important to ask any potential landlord what is or is not included in the price of rent. Additionally, ensure that what is provided is specifically stated in the lease.
  3. Ask for a video tour of the apartment unit. This could be done live over a video call or be filmed in advance. A video tour helps you better understand the layout of the apartment unit and how you would utilize it. A live video call gives you the opportunity to ask specific questions about the unit, inspect specific amenities/appliances, or examine other things that are important to you as if you were there.
  4. Do not feel the need to sign a lease right away. Leases are legally binding documents that ensure you are responsible for the agreed to financial obligations. They are generally difficult to terminate, so it is important to know what you are agreeing to and to be comfortable with all of the terms. After viewing an apartment you are interested in, ask for a copy of a blank lease so that you can review it. Be sure to ask clarifying questions to the landlord if there is anything you do not understand. If you feel it is needed, it is also okay to consult legal counsel before you sign.

We know this is a difficult time and we have asked you to be flexible in the shared commitment for the safety of our WashU community. If you are in need of assistance while searching for housing, Evan Keil, Assistant Director for Off Campus Undergraduate Student Life, will be available to assist students with anything related to off-campus living, including searching for housing. He can be reached at evank@wustl.edu or (314) 935-2930. 

Before reaching out to our office, please review our frequently asked questions here. For information about Dining and or Parking, please view information on their sites. Additionally, we can be reached by email at reslife@wustl.edu. We ask that you are patient in receiving responses as we work to support and provide accurate and timely responses. Sincerely,

Office of Residential Life

Washington University in St. Louis

Message from Residential Life to all Residential Students, July 31, 2020

Dear Students,

Following the Chancellor’s announcement this morning, you may have questions as it relates to housing. In response to the current public health situation and recommendations from medical and public health professionals, the university has made the decision to move to single bed room occupancy in all residential buildings. While we normally guarantee housing to all students during all four years, that will not be possible in the current environment because of health and safety concerns and the need to de-densify our campus. There will be some students – juniors and seniors – who were planning to live in Residential Life housing who 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.

Here is how we will prioritize housing assignments:

  • First-year students are guaranteed housing and will live on the South 40, which is where all new students live during their first year, every year. Even though everyone will be living in single rooms, we will attempt to honor existing roommate requests by assigning those students near or adjacent to each other.
  • All sophomores who submitted a housing contract with Residential Life will be provided with housing, but very few will live in the rooms they were assigned in the spring. Sophomores will be assigned across the South 40, the North Side, and some will reside off-campus. We will work to try to keep groups together as much as possible.
  • Juniors and seniors who request housing through Residential Life will be assigned through a special housing selection process, although we cannot guarantee a housing assignment. We know that some students face difficult personal situations and it is our goal to ensure that those students who were planning to live with us in the fall still have comfortable options. Junior and senior international students who were planning to live in Residential Life housing and who are unable to return to their permanent residences will be provided with housing. Additionally, we will consider a student’s health and medical needs, financial circumstances, the safety of a student’s home situation or other individual situations where it is determined that the only reasonable option for a student is for them to return to campus housing. We will review cases and make decisions in a way that is trauma-informed, student-centered, and that prioritizes support for our most vulnerable students. In almost all cases, juniors and seniors will be required to live off campus.

Housing Assignments Changes

Following the cancellation deadline, Residential Life will assess availability of housing and make available an active housing waitlist for juniors and seniors who do not have extenuating circumstances, but wish to return to campus.

To manage the need to reduce density and provide students with single-room living options, the Residential Life has secured approximately 450 additional beds near campus. These units will be assigned directly by the Residential Life and they are located in apartments near campus, Everly on the Loop, and the Moonrise Hotel. All of these options are fully furnished and shuttle service will be available to and from campus. Additionally, housing rates for the fall have been temporarily adjusted to simplify the overall rate structure. There will be a traditional housing single rate, a modern housing single rate, and an apartment rate.

Any sophomore who previously submitted a housing contract and who is now no longer interested in a Residential Life assignment should cancel their housing contract by 5 p.m. CDT August 5. Housing assignments for those with existing contracts who do not cancel by August 5 will be finalized by August 24. Following the release of assignments, those students will have until 5 p.m. CDT on August 31 to cancel their housing contract without penalty. To cancel your housing contract:

  1. Log onto your WashU Housing Portal
  2. Select request forms
  3. Select room cancellation from drop down
  4. Choose the appropriate contract cancellation for Fall 2020 – Spring 2021 and complete the remaining steps.

Special Housing Selection Process

The Special Housing Selection Process was created for two purposes:

  1. Waitlist – To allow rising juniors and seniors who are interested in living in Residential Life housing to add their names to a waitlist. 
  2. Exception Process – To provide an option for rising juniors and seniors who are experiencing significant hardship, are in an extenuating circumstance, and who believe they absolutely cannot live at home or off-campus in non-Residential Life housing, to apply for Residential Life housing through an exception process. If your situation does not meet this criteria, we ask that you refrain from applying. It is expected that all other alternatives have been examined, including participating in remote learning at your permanent residence and finding housing at non-Residential Life options before submitting an application to this process.

Special Housing Selection Process Timeline

  • Friday, July 31, 9:00 a.m.CDT the application will open (scroll down for link)
  • Monday, August 10, 11:59 p.m. CDT the application will close for requests.
  • Tuesday, August 11 – Friday, August 14 the committee will review all requests.
  • Monday, August, 17 decisions will be communicated via WUSTL email.

More information and how to apply to the waitlist and exception process can be found on our Special Housing Selection website.

Remaining Storage Items for Returning Students

If you are a sophomore who is choosing to return to St. Louis and your belongings were packed and stored by the University following your departure in March 2020, your items will be delivered to your designated fall room assignment prior to your arrival. Rising juniors and seniors who will be living in non-Residential Life properties and had a Residential Life housing contract will be able to select an option to have their belongings shipped to them in the St. Louis area free of cost.

If you choose not to return to St. Louis for the 2020 fall semester, the University will continue to safely store your belongings through September 30, 2020 as communicated in previous emails to students. We encourage you to contact the appropriate moving company to make alternative arrangements. 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.

Moving to Campus this Fall

As you begin to make plans for move-in, keep the following in mind when coordinating your travel to St. Louis this fall.

  • First-Year student move-in will take place beginning on Friday, September 4 and continue through Sunday, September 6.
  • Returning student move-in will take place beginning on Wednesday, September 9 and continue through Saturday, September 12.

All students will be administratively assigned a move-in day that will be shared by Friday, August 14 on your individual WashU Housing Portal. To monitor the number of students moving in throughout the day, move-in arrivals will be managed by timeslot to maintain safety protocols in response to COVID-19. Your move-in time will be updated following the release of your housing assignment. More move-in information will be available at a later date on the Residential Life website. We will not be taking requests for individual early arrivals. As you begin to evaluate your needs for the upcoming semester, we ask that you are flexible in the shared commitment for safety. If you have any questions about housing for the upcoming year, review our frequently asked questions here before reaching out to our office. Additionally, we can be reached by email at reslife@wustl.edu. We ask that you are patient in receiving responses as we work to support and provide accurate and timely responses.

Sincerely,

Office of Residential Life

Message from Dean of Students Rob Wild  and Ronné Turner, Vice Provost of Admissions and Financial Aid to First Year Students, July 31, 2020

July 31, 2020

Dear new Washington University students and families,

As we have shared previously, we are so thrilled that you have chosen Washington University and we want to again extend our welcome to you, as our newest members of the Bear Family!  Without a doubt, your first year at WashU will be historic and memorable. You will find that when we face challenges at Washington University, we tackle them head on, with determination, creativity, and care for our community. This year has presented us with a great challenge and we want to share more today about how we will approach the fall semester in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

By now, we hope you have had the opportunity to review the message from Chancellor Andrew D. Martin and Provost Beverly Wendland related to our fall planning. There are many important details in that message about the return to campus.

There is one thing we need all of you to do by 5 p.m. CDT, on Wednesday, August 5. Now that you have seen our detailed plans for fall, you will need to submit an Intention for Fall Study form to indicate whether you plan to study in-person or remotely.

For first-year students who may be considering a gap year, please see the University’s official policy and note that any requests to defer enrollment must be received by 5 p.m. CDT on Wednesday, August 5. Individual requests will be reviewed and decisions rendered no later than August 15.

We also want to provide some additional updates that may help you to determine if in-person or remote study is best for you.

WashU Community Pledge and Policy Acknowledgement

We know this has been hard for all of you. Many of you did not get to experience an in-person high school graduation. Your summer plans likely were made more difficult by the conditions where you live and the uncertainty we all are facing. We know you are excited about your future at Washington University and we can’t wait to meet all of you. But the start to your college experience will also be different than those who came before you. We know we can do this, and we also know that if we are willing to work together, and if we all agree to abide by our public health principles, many of us can be together on campus.

Please carefully review the WashU Community Pledge and Policy Acknowledgment for Students. We are asking that you make sure you will be able to adhere to this Community Pledge, including public health requirements for those of you who are coming to campus, and that you all understand  the policies in place for the fall semester, whether you will be studying on campus or remotely. The Community Pledge will be part of a COVID-19 education and training module that you all will be required to complete through our online learning platform Canvas before the semester begins. You’ll be provided more information on the module soon.

In order for us to be together, we all must agree to:

  • Wear face coverings at all times when we are indoors (except in suites and apartments with only your roommates) and when we are outside and unable to maintain 6 feet of physical distance;
  • Physically distance at all times – this means we must stay 6 feet apart from those people we do not live with in individual suites and apartments – AT ALL TIMES;
  • Monitor symptoms and stay home if we are not feeling well – there will be a daily self-screening tool for all of us who are coming to campus that will help us do this together;
  • Practice great hygiene by washing our hands regularly for at least 20 seconds and following other health recommendations.

Staying Connected and the Academic Experience

We know not everyone will be able to be here in person, and to support those of you who can’t be with us on campus this fall, please know we are hard at work developing new and innovative ways to stay connected – whether that is through virtual connections with our hundreds of student groups, the online courses being developed by our world-class faculty, or the plans we have in place to support and connect students with employers and internships through our career services. Your academic deans will send additional details about your academic program shortly.

Arrival to Campus and Testing

The First Year Center will continue to be your source of information about Bear Beginnings, your welcome and orientation to WashU. We are adjusting Fall Welcome to reduce the size of our in-person events and will provide a virtual experience for those who choose to take their classes remotely. Details about Get Your Bearings online orientation and Fall Welcome are available on the New Students website.

Very soon, those who are planning to come to campus in person will be arriving from all over the country and around the world. We are asking every student and family coming to significantly limit their interactions with others for two weeks before departing for campus. Additionally, we are developing plans to test students who will be living in University housing for COVID-19 when they arrive in September. The University will not accept test results administered prior to arriving on campus. If you are taking classes on campus, you will receive a care kit that includes a mask/face covering and a thermometer. More information will be available when we communicate detailed information about our move-in process later in August.

Housing

Washington University is known for its world-class residential life program and the many outstanding housing options we provide to our students both on and near campus. The biggest challenge we face related to housing our students this fall is density. We have carefully considered and studied many options for the fall given our existing housing portfolio and options that are available to us near campus. We have decided on the plan below – a plan that prioritizes student safety and that of our community while also allowing for students to be able to live together in a community and study on and near our campus.

In response to COVID-19, the American College Health Association has recommended placing all students in single bedrooms. All students living in on- and off-campus Residential Life managed properties will be assigned to single private bedrooms. This will reduce our on-campus residential density to no more than 65% of the normal capacity, and will limit the number of people sharing bathrooms. Residence hall lounges, study rooms, kitchens, 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.

First-year students, you will live on the South 40, which is where all new students live during their first year, every year. Even though everyone will be living in single rooms, we will attempt to honor existing roommate requests by assigning those students near or adjacent to each other.

Transfer students, we know that many of you are still seeking housing. Residential Life may be able to provide housing for some, but not all transfer students. The First Year Center and Residential Life will provide more information about housing resources in the Transfer Student Edition of the Bear Bulletin on Monday, August 3.

For the 2020-21 academic year, we also will be lifting the first-year residency requirement for students, so if you wish to seek alternative accommodations, or live at home (for students from the St. Louis region), you will be able to do so this year. This change is both for students who wish to take classes in person and for those who wish to take their courses online.

Housing assignments will be finalized by August 24. Following the release of assignments, students will have until 5 p.m. CDT on Monday, August 31 to cancel their housing contract without penalty.

It is also important to share that in light of the pandemic, we are reserving a significant number of beds on campus to be used as both isolation housing for COVID-positive students, and quarantine housing for those who have been exposed to COVID and need a place to self-quarantine based on the recommendations of our medical team. Staff from Habif Health & Wellness Center will monitor students staying in isolation and quarantine housing. We will ensure the students in university isolation and quarantine housing have meals delivered and that they do not need to leave their rooms. In many cases, COVID-positive students will be assigned to share apartments with other COVID-positive students while they recover. Students told to quarantine will be assigned to stay in a room by themselves. Quarantine and isolation housing will be available by referral from Habif Health & Wellness Center to all students, regardless of whether they have an existing Residential Life contract.

Finally, 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 until the public health situation improves. There will be exceptions for a limited number of family members related to move-in – those details will be communicated soon.

Later today, Residential Life will send a follow-up communication with important and detailed instructions to students with current housing contracts.

Town Halls

We are planning several town halls next week, and we hope you can join us as we answer questions and share additional information about the fall semester. The town hall schedule and information about how to participate are available on the WashU Together website.

International Students

We understand that this spring and summer brought on many changes to U.S. governmental guidance around your visa status throughout the pandemic. We are glad that the current policy provides you the most flexibility to maintain your status and safety while studying at WashU. The Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) will continue to provide summaries of relevant guidelines and be your main source of information regarding any updates. Please look for a communication from OISS later today regarding questions and information on next week’s town hall addressing the details for international students returning to campus.

Financial Support

We know the current pandemic has affected every single one of you. We want to make sure you know that we are here for you. For some, these past few months have created financial strain. Please reach out to your individual financial aid counselor in Student Financial Services if you have questions about your individual situation. Families whose financial circumstances have changed significantly are also encouraged to apply for need-based aid, even if they didn’t qualify in the past.

We also will be opening a crisis fund as an additional source of support. Information about the crisis fund will be available next week. In addition, we have worked hard this summer to make sure there is extra technology support available to all students eligible for financial aid who may need a new computer. Finally, we want to be clear that in the event the University needs to move to alternate operations again as a result of the pandemic, our housing and dining will remain open for students who are in a situation where they are not able to travel home.

We want you to know how much we are looking forward to meeting you!  Washington University is a great place to work, teach and study, because of you, our very talented students!  We look forward to being together with you soon, whether in person or virtually. We know we can do this if we work together!

Sincerely,

Ronné Turner, Vice Provost of Admissions and Financial Aid

Robert M. Wild, Interim Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

Message from Dean of Students Rob Wild to Returning Students, July 31, 2020

July 31, 2020

Dear returning upper-division students and families,

I hope all of you are safe and well. We have heard from many of you this summer – we very much appreciate the many ideas and suggestions, and the words of encouragement from so many, as we strive to face together the big challenges before us this fall. Our goal throughout our planning has been driven by our desire to bring as many of us back together in person as we can while also implementing appropriate measures to protect the health and safety of our community. We know we are at our best when we are together.

By now you have had the opportunity to review the message from Chancellor Andrew D. Martin and Provost Beverly Wendland related to our fall planning. There are many important details in that message about the return to campus.

There is one thing we need all of you to do by 5 p.m. CDT, on Wednesday, August 5. Now that you have seen our detailed plans for fall, you will need to submit an Intention for Fall Study form to indicate whether you plan to study in-person or remotely.

I want to provide some brief additional updates below.

WashU Community Pledge and Policy Acknowledgement

We know this has been hard for all of you. Hard to be away from your friends, your student groups, our faculty and staff, and the campus we all love. While we know the campus experience this fall won’t be the same as when you left, we also know that if we are willing to work together, to follow our public health principles, many of us can be together.

Please carefully review the WashU Community Pledge and Policy Acknowledgment for Students. We are asking that you make sure you will be able to adhere to this Community Pledge, including the public health requirements for those of you who are returning to campus, and that you all understand the policies for the fall semester, whether you will be studying on campus or remotely. The Community Pledge will be part of a COVID-19 education and training module that you all will be required to complete through Canvas before the semester begins. You’ll be provided more information on the module soon.

In order for us to be together, we must agree to:

  • Wear face coverings at all times when we are indoors (except in suites and apartments with only your roommates) and when we are outside and unable to maintain 6 feet of physical distance;
  • Physically distance at all times – this means we must stay 6 feet apart from those people we do not live with in individual suites and apartments – AT ALL TIMES;
  • Monitor symptoms and stay home if we are not feeling well – there will be a daily self-screening tool for all of us who are coming to campus that will help us do this together;
  • Practice great hygiene by washing our hands regularly for at least 20 seconds and following other health recommendations.

Staying Connected and the Academic Experience

We know not everyone will be able to be here in person, and to support those of you who can’t be with us on campus this fall, please know we are hard at work developing new and innovative ways to stay connected – whether that is through virtual connections with our hundreds of student groups, the online courses being developed by our world-class faculty, or the plans we have in place to support and connect students and employers and internships through our career services. Your academic deans will send additional details about your academic program shortly.

Arrival to Campus and Testing

Very soon, those who are planning to return to campus in person will be arriving from all over the country and around the world. We are asking every student and family coming to campus to significantly limit their interactions with others for two weeks before departing for campus. Additionally, we are developing plans for testing students who will be living in University housing when they arrive in September. The University will not accept test results administered prior to arriving on campus. If you are taking classes on campus, you will receive a care kit that includes a mask/face covering and a thermometer. More information will be available when we communicate detailed information about our move-in process later in August.

Housing

Washington University is known for its world-class residential life program and the many outstanding housing options we provide to our students both on and near campus. The biggest challenge we face related to housing our students this fall is density. We have carefully considered and studied many options for the fall given our existing housing portfolio and options that are available to us near campus. We have decided on the plan below – a plan that prioritizes student safety and that of our community while also allowing our students to be able to live together in a community and study on and near our campus.

In response to COVID-19, the American College Health Association has recommended placing all students in single bedrooms. All students living in on- and off-campus Residential Life managed properties will be assigned to single private bedrooms. This will reduce our on-campus residential density to no more than 65% of the normal capacity, and will limit the number of people sharing bathrooms. Residence hall lounges, study rooms, kitchens, 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.

While we normally guarantee housing to all students during all four years, that will not be possible in the current environment because of health and safety concerns and the need to de-densify our campus. There will be some students – juniors and seniors – who were planning to live in Residential Life housing who will have to make alternative plans for the fall. Unfortunately, all housing contracts submitted by juniors and seniors will not be accepted, and there will be an addendum required for sophomore students who have submitted a contract. Juniors and seniors may reapply for housing through Residential Life. Details for how to do this will be shared soon. 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.

Here is how we will prioritize housing assignments:

  • First-year students will live on the South 40, which is where all new students live during their first year, every year. Even though everyone will be living in single rooms, we will attempt to honor existing roommate requests by assigning those students near or adjacent to each other.
  • All sophomores who had a housing contract with Residential Life will be provided with housing, but very few will live in the rooms they were assigned in the spring. Sophomores will be assigned across the South 40, the North Side, and some will reside off-campus. We will work to try to keep groups together as much as possible.
  • Juniors and seniors who request housing through Residential Life will be assigned through a special housing selection process, although we cannot guarantee a housing assignment. We know that some students face difficult personal situations and it is our goal to ensure that those students who were planning to live with us in the fall still have comfortable options. Junior and senior international students who were planning to live in Residential Life housing and who are unable to return to their permanent residences will be provided with housing. Additionally, we will consider a student’s health and medical needs, financial circumstances, the safety of a student’s home situation or other individual situations where it is determined that the only reasonable option for a student is for them to return to campus housing. We will review cases and make decisions in a way that is trauma-informed, student-centered, and that prioritizes support for our most vulnerable students. In almost all cases, juniors and seniors will be required to live off campus.

To manage this need to reduce density and provide students with single room living options, Residential Life is in the process of securing approximately 450 additional beds near campus. These units will be assigned directly by Residential Life and they are located in apartments near campus, Everly on the Loop, and the Moonrise Hotel. All of these options are fully furnished and shuttle service will be available to and from campus.

Any sophomore student who previously submitted a housing contract and who is now no longer interested in a Residential Life assignment should cancel their housing contract by 5 p.m. CDT August 5th. Housing assignments for those with existing contracts who do not cancel by August 5th will be finalized by August 24. Following the release of assignments, those students will have until 5 p.m. CDT on August 31 to cancel their housing contract without penalty.

We know many students will decide to study remotely this fall as a result of the pandemic. This may create some additional housing space and we will be running a waitlist for those juniors and seniors who want to be considered for openings should they become available.

It is also important to share that in light of the pandemic, we are reserving a significant number of beds on campus to be used as both isolation housing for COVID-positive students, and quarantine housing for those who have been exposed to COVID and need a place to self-isolate based on the recommendations of our medical team. Staff from Habif Health & Wellness Center will monitor students staying in isolation and quarantine housing. We will ensure the students in university isolation and quarantine housing have meals delivered and that they do not need to leave their rooms. In many cases, COVID-positive students will be asked to share apartments with other COVID-positive students while they recover. Students told to quarantine will be assigned to stay in a room by themselves. Quarantine and isolation housing will be available by referral from Habif Health & Wellness Center to all students, regardless of whether they have an existing Residential Life contract.

Finally, 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 until the public health situation improves. There will be exceptions for a limited number of family members related to move-in – those details will be communicated soon.

Later today, Residential Life will send a follow-up communication with important and detailed instructions to students with current housing contracts.

Town Halls

We are planning several town halls next week, and I hope you can join my colleagues and me as we answer questions and share additional information about the fall semester. The town hall schedule and information about how to participate are available on the WashU Together website.

International Students

We understand that this spring and summer brought many changes to U.S. governmental guidance around your visa status throughout the pandemic. We are glad that the current policy provides you the most flexibility to maintain your status and safety while studying at WashU. The Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) will continue to provide summaries of relevant guidelines and be your main source of information regarding any updates. Please look for a communication from OISS later today regarding questions and information on next week’s town hall addressing the details for international students returning to campus.

Financial Support

We know the current pandemic has affected every single one of you. I want to make sure you know that we are here for you. For some, these past few months have created financial strain. Please reach out to your individual financial aid counselor in Student Financial Services if you have questions about your personal situation. Families whose financial circumstances have changed significantly are also encouraged to apply for need-based aid, even if they didn’t qualify in the past.

We also are re-opening the student crisis fund as an additional source of support. Information about the crisis fund will be available next week. In addition, we have worked hard this summer to make sure there is extra technology support available to all students eligible for financial aid who may need a new computer. Finally, I want to be clear that in the event the University needs to move to alternate operations again as a result of the pandemic, our housing and dining will remain open for students who are in a situation where they are not able to travel home.

I want you all to know how much my colleagues and I have missed you these past four and a half months. Washington University is a great place to work, teach and study, because of you, our very talented students!  I look forward to being together with you again soon, whether in person or virtually. I know we can do this if we work together!

Sincerely,

Robert M. Wild

Interim Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

Message from Dean of Students Rob Wild and Executive Director of Residential Life Kawanna Leggett, May 13, 2020

Dear Students,

We are pleased to announce that we have finalized our plans for helping students with their belongings that were left behind in the residence halls when the university made the decision on March 11 to suspend “in person” activity on campus, ask students to return home, and move to alternate instruction.  We have been committed to developing a plan that is safe and as convenient as possible for our students and families.  We appreciate your understanding and patience as we know our plans have evolved significantly since March.

Lofts residents items were all packed and stored, in temperature controlled local facilities due to the need to provide space for emergency responders. This email is to inform you of your options below. Please review in detail. You will be receiving an email next week with an opportunity to officially select your choice. 

OPTIONS EXPLAINED

OPTION 1: LEAVE MY ITEMS IN STORAGE

  • As a Lofts resident, your items have been placed in local storage facilities. 
    • You can leave your items in the storage facility. Storage will be paid until September 30 at no cost to you.
      • If you are returning to campus and living in Residential Life housing, your items will be delivered to your fall assignment by move-in day. 

OPTION 2: SHIP MY ITEMS FROM STORAGE

  • In this option, a university-approved moving company will ship your items at no cost to you to an address of your choosing. 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Before contacting Residential Life, we ask that you carefully view the frequently asked questions provided on our website. If your question does not have an answer, please reach out to our office by email at reslife@wustl.edu or by phone at 314-935-5050. Please note that we are experiencing high call and email volumes and we will get back to you as soon as we can.  

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

RESUMED OFFICE HOURS

During this move-out period, the Residential Life office (located on the South 40) will be open Monday – Friday, from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm. We ask that individuals looking to come into the office continue to practice safe social distancing and health recommendations to protect our employees in the office. 

JUNE 1 – JUNE 15 | MONDAY – FRIDAY

Our office will be hosting a daily webinar from 9:00 am – 10:00 am to answer any questions in an effort to supply sufficient support during high demand times. Links will be available to register on the Residential Life website by June 1. 

CARS REMAINING ON CAMPUS

If students have a car on campus and are able to return, we recommend retrieving vehicles during the 24hr time frame. If students are not able to come back to campus, they need to contact Parking and Transportation at parktrans@wustl.edu with the make, model, color, license plate number, and location of their vehicle, to discuss available options for storing or shipping their vehicle.

BIKES REMAINING ON CAMPUS

If students have a bike on campus and are able to return, we recommend retrieving bikes during the 24-hour time frame. If students are not able to come back to campus, they need to contact Residential Life at reslife@wustl.edu with the make, model, color, type (mountain, road, hybrid, etc…), serial number, if known and location of their bike, to discuss available options for storing or shipping their bike at student’s expense. 

Sincerely, 

Kawanna Leggett

Executive Director, Residential Life

Rob Wild

Dean of Students

University Updates (Commencement, Plans for Fall, Student Belongings, Financial Support) From Dean of Students Rob Wild, April 29, 2020

April 29, 2020

Dear Washington University Students,

This has been an historic and unprecedented end to the 2020 spring semester at Washington University.  We hope all of you continue to be safe and well, and that you are in the process of completing your final spring assignments and preparing for the summer ahead.  We miss all of you terribly – the campus is not the same without you around!

I am writing today to share several updates, as it has been a few weeks since my last communication.  Please know that while there is still a great deal of uncertainty about the fall, we are working diligently here in St. Louis to develop plans that are flexible and aimed at containing the further spread of COVID-19 as the campus prepares to reopen.

Commencement

To our graduates, you are almost to the finish line!  In a few short days, most of you will have finished your degree requirements.  Let me be among the first to share my congratulations!  As the Chancellor communicated previously, we all were devastated to lose the opportunity to celebrate your graduation with you in-person on May 15 as we had planned.  But a committee, led by Chancellor Emeritus Mark Wrighton, has been working hard to develop plans for an alternate, in-person Commencement celebration for you and your families that will take place at a time in the future when we can celebrate safely together.  Taylor Chen, our senior class president, and several other students have been a part of that committee and we are hoping to announce our plans very soon.  As a WashU graduate myself, please know how proud and honored I am that I will soon be able to call so many of you my fellow Washington University alumni.  Go Bears!

Plans for the Fall Semester

We know all of you are eager to return to campus and we are eager to have you back!   I am serving on the Chancellor’s Fall Contingency Planning Committee that is working to develop our plans for next year.  We will definitely have a fall semester but it is still not determined yet whether we will start classes on August 24 in person as we have planned, or if we will adjust our start time or how we deliver instruction.  For an institution like Washington University, our strong preference is to have an “in person” experience, where students, faculty, and staff can be together on campus as a full community. However, we may need to make some changes for the fall to make sure we can provide the great experience and education we know all of you expect from WashU, as safely as possible.  We also know that you and your families want to plan for the fall semester soon, so the Fall Contingency Planning Committee is working toward making decisions about the fall semester as early in the summer as possible and practical.

Belongings in the Residence Halls

We know that we still have many students with belongings in our Office of Residential Life managed properties on- and off-campus.  We cannot yet allow students to return to St. Louis to retrieve their belongings, as St. Louis County and St. Louis City remain under “stay at home” orders.  However, we are working toward several options for reuniting you with your possessions that we hope to announce in the next month.  We know these plans have changed since we first communicated with all of you in March, so we appreciate your patience as our plans have evolved to likely include:

  • Setting windows of time this summer where students can register to return to campus in a safe and orderly fashion to pack their rooms, retrieve their vehicles, and return home. We will do this once public health officials in both St. Louis and at Washington University provide us with guidance that we can begin this process.  We will provide guidelines for those returning to campus to help minimize the spread of COVID-19 and keep you and our community safe.
  • Providing convenient storage options here in St. Louis for students who want to store their belongings here rather than take them home.
  • For those unable to travel to St. Louis to retrieve their belongings, providing the option of having their belongings packed, shipped, or stored.

As soon as we receive clearance from local officials that it is safe to begin this process, the Office of Residential Life will contact all students living in Residential Life housing with dates and additional details.

Financial Impacts to the University

As some of you may have heard recently, universities around the country – including WashU – are facing serious financial challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The costs associated with the shortened spring semester, the cancellation of in-person spring and summer programs, the dramatic reduction of clinical revenue on the Medical Campus, and the increased technology costs related to providing online instruction and transitioning to remote business operations have all put a strain on our resources. Across the entire University, we are making difficult financial decisions to ensure that we can continue to support our students, faculty, and staff now and when we all return to campus together.  One of our most difficult decisions this week was to temporarily furlough approximately half of our Student Affairs team whose work on campus has been substantially reduced as a result of the current situation. Furloughing members of our team through the summer provides them continued access to their WashU employee benefits as well as unemployment compensation from the State of Missouri and the federal government.  Even though some of our team members are not available over the summer, we want to make sure you know we are still here for you if you have questions or need support.  As we plan for your return to campus, our priorities remain clear – we will continue to provide an outstanding experience for all current and future WashU students.

Supporting You

We know this pandemic has changed the lives of everyone in our WashU family.  The uncertainty about our future, the collective anxiety we face, and loss of in-person relationships we all cherish is hard.  We want you to know we are here for you if you need us.  If you are facing continued financial challenges as a result of the pandemic, we encourage you to reach out to your counselor in Student Financial Services.  If you need to speak to someone from WashU Cares, our mental health team at Habif Health and Wellness Center, or would like a referral to someone in your home community, we are here to help.  Additionally, please know that the resources we are providing in these areas are being adjusted based on current demand for service. Should students’ need for service increase beyond the capacity of those we have retained, we will bring other staff back to work with you.  Some useful resources and tips are available from the Habif Health and Wellness Center team here.

Please know we are thinking about all of you and your families every day.  It is the anticipation of being back together as a WashU Family later this year, and celebrating Commencement with the Class of 2020 that keeps us going, brings us hope and inspires us to work harder to meet these important goals.  Please let us know if you need us, keep in touch, and stay tuned for more news soon.

Rob Wild

Interim Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs (effective June 1, 2020)

Update on Refunds from Vice Chancellor for Finance Amy B. Kweskin and Dean of Students Rob Wild, April 1, 2020

Due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic and in the best interest for the health and safety of the WashU community, Chancellor Martin announced on March 11 that we would shift to online instruction and restrict access to campus. Because of these steps, the university will be applying credits to student accounts for certain charges related to students’ on campus experience for the 2020 Spring semester. Credit balances will result in the issuance of refunds.

The following University charges will be credited on a prorated basis of March 11:

  • Housing for students living with Residential Life and Fraternity/Sorority LIfe
  • Student parking fees
  • A portion of student health and wellness fees

The following credits will be applied on a student-by-student basis:

  • Lost wages from work study
  • Meal plan balances

Note: Student health insurance will not be impacted. Students who have purchased health insurance through the university for the spring semester will retain coverage through July 2020. Further details can be found here.

Refunds

We will begin issuing refunds to students in early April. We know that receiving these refunds as quickly as possible is important to you and your families, and we are working diligently to properly credit each student’s account. We anticipate issuing one refund per student. This is a significant undertaking that will take some time. We ask for your patience as we work through this process.

Direct Deposit

In addition, in this unprecedented climate, it is impossible to guarantee timely postal delivery of refund checks. We urge you to sign up now for direct deposit. To do so, students should log into WebSTAC. Select Billing & Bear Bucks -> Pay/View My Bill -> Sign up for direct deposit refunds. 

Personal Items on Campus

Please note, for students who have left belongings or vehicles on campus, we don’t yet have a plan to share about when and how students will be able to retrieve these items. We will share that information as soon as we have it, but it likely will be several more weeks before we know more about the accessibility of our campus to students, faculty, and staff.

WashU Crisis Response Fund

Many of you have asked how you can help our community through this extraordinary time. If you would like to donate refunds to the WashU Crisis Response Fund to assist students and employees with financial needs, University Advancement has created a Donate Form. Donations of refunds can be made through 8:00 AM, Wednesday, April 8, 2020. After that, if you would like to help, please visit: alumni.wustl.edu/Pages/default.aspxNOTE: Students who receive institutional or governmental need-based aid are not eligible to directly transfer their refunds to the WashU Crisis Response Fund. 

Applying Refunds to a Future Academic Term

We have also received requests for refunds to be credited to students’ accounts for the 2020 – 2021 academic year. To apply your refund to the Fall 2020 semester, please contact Student Billing at student.billing@wustl.edu no later than 8:00 AM, Wednesday, April 8, 2020. 

Contact Information

For questions about housing refunds, contact Residential Life at reslife@wustl.edu.

For questions about dining balances, contact Dining Services at diningservices@wustl.edu.

For questions about parking, contact Parking & Transportation at parktrans@wustl.edu.

For questions about work study, contact Student Financial Services at financial@wustl.edu.

For questions about health insurance, contact Student Support & Wellness at studentinsurance@wustl.edu.

Additional information regarding the university’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, reimbursement of charges, and online instruction, can be found at: emergency.wustl.edu/coronavirus-disease-covid-19/covid-19-faqs/. 

Stay safe and be well,

Amy B. Kweskin, Vice Chancellor for Finance & Chief Financial Officer

Robert M. Wild, Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Transition and Engagement & Dean of Students

Message from Dean of Students Rob Wild and Executive Director of Residential Life Kawanna Legget, March 14, 2020

Thank you for your continued patience as we are working through the details of how to coordinate returning your belongings to you from the residence halls. We know this has been an extremely challenging and uncertain time for you, and I want you to know we are right here with you, as we are experiencing this highly unusual time together.

A group of university staff has been working tirelessly to develop a plan to pack, ship and/or store your individual items. This email details how we will go about categorizing items and the timeline for getting your items to you. Please pay careful attention to the information below.

Student belongings will be categorized in three different ways:

  1. Essential Personal Items and Academic Essentials (these include items such as medicine, prescription eyewear, travel documents, laptops, textbooks, and other academic materials that are necessary for completing spring coursework)
  2. Other Personal Items
  3. Items for Storage

Please complete the request form on the WashU Housing Portal as soon as possible to help our office complete this enormous task. In the form, you can sort your items into these categories, and provide any necessary details to describe your items. This is important because it will help us to accurately identify items to be packed, shipped, and/or stored. Any high-value personal items will be stored over the summer. We are expecting a high volume of traffic on this form, so please be patient and if you are not able to access the form initially, please a wait a short time and try again.

Since academic courses begin remotely on March 23, our goal is to have your essential academic materials and other essential personal items to you as close to March 23 as possible. This does not include items shipped to international addresses, which may take longer to arrive. We are aware that once we ship these items, some will make it to you on time and some will not. Faculty members have been asked to accommodate students, given the circumstances.

For other personal items, we are planning to ship those to you by April 15. We will send details next week about your items that will be stored. We are using a professional moving company to assist with packaging of your belongings. Fed Ex will be handling shipping and will be insuring all packages.

If you do not complete the form by 8:30 a.m. on Monday, March 16, we may not be able to ship your priority items to you in time to arrive by March 23. 

We understand that this situation is likely causing you to experience stress and anxiety. These are very challenging circumstances for all of us. We have made our decisions with the safety of you and the rest of the community as our top priority and I am grateful for your continued patience and understanding. The most important thing you can do to help us manage the situation at this time is to complete the shipping form as soon as possible.

I hope to send more information tomorrow and through the weekend as needed. You should continue to reach out to our call center at 314-935-8300 or 888-319-3527 if you have questions.

Sincerely,

Kawanna Legget

Executive Director, Residential Life

Rob Wild

Dean of Students

Message from Dean of Students Rob Wild, March 12, 2020

We know the last 24 hours have been stressful and difficult for our entire community. I know that this is not how any of us wanted to finish the academic year. The decision to extend spring break and ask all students to complete their semester from home was a difficult one for us, but we know it was the right decision for the health and safety of our entire community.  This is a time when we need to come together as a WashU family and face this challenge together,  so I am asking for your help and patience today and in the days and weeks ahead. As Chancellor Martin said yesterday, “In extraordinary times, we must pull together to help one another.”

These are indeed extraordinary times. We received hundreds of calls and questions yesterday and our team is working around the clock here in St. Louis to try to answer questions and address feedback. I wanted to share several important reminders and a couple of updates today. All of our decisions are based on our top priority – keeping you safe and working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among our WashU family.

We are developing a plan to pack and ship items home to students at the university’s expense. Details regarding these plans will be communicated as soon as they are finalized.

  • If you are a current residential student in an extenuating circumstance and need to remain in Residential Life Housing beyond March 15, please sign up through the Housing Portal by Friday, March 13 at 9 am. Residential Life will notify students who have submitted a late stay request of their status by Friday, March 13 at 2 pm.
  • If you are a current residential student from the St. Louis metropolitan area and you have not been to one of the restricted locations in the past 14 days, you may come to campus to retrieve your belongings and return home.  We are asking that you please do this by 5 pm Sunday, March 15. Please note that Europe and Northern California have been added to the list of restricted locations overnight. Please bring as few people with you as possible, and keep in mind that anyone helping you also must not have visited any of the restricted locations in the past 14 days.
  • If you are not from St. Louis, please stay home or return home. For the health and safety of the community, please do not come back to campus. Do not attempt to come here this weekend or next week. With the exception of the small number of students who have approval to be here, card access for all Residential Life properties will be shut down at 5 pm, Sunday, March 15. Unfortunately, we will not be able to grant exceptions or permission to return to campus.
  • If you have left an essential personal item in your Residential Life space that you need immediately – medicine that you cannot replace or travel documentation that prevents you from returning home – please contact the call center at 314-935-8300 or 888-319-3527 and we will attempt to work with you to send those items to you. Please do not call Residential Life to retrieve other items, including clothing, laptops or course materials. As noted above, we are working on a plan to ship those separately and are doing our best to have those to you before online instruction resumes on March 23.  Your schools and faculty members are aware that some students may not have their laptops and course materials when online instruction resumes, and they will work with you if you are in that position.
  • For students living in Quadrangle Housing, Quadrangle will continue to work directly with you.
  • For undergraduate students who live in off-campus, non-university properties, we encourage you also not to return to St. Louis, but your ability to enter those properties is, of course, at the discretion of your individual landlord.
  • If you have left a vehicle on campus in one of our parking areas, there will be a time in the weeks ahead when you can come and retrieve it.
  • If you are an international student who needs travel documentation to return home,  please contact the Office of International Students and Scholars at 314-935-5910 or oiss@wustl.edu.

We understand the anxiety and difficulty of this situation. These are very challenging circumstances for all of us. We have made our decisions with your safety and the safety of the rest of our community as our top priority and I am grateful for your continued patience and understanding.

I hope to send more information tomorrow and through the weekend as needed. You should continue to reach out to our call center at 314-935-8300 or 888-319-3527 if you have questions.

Rob Wild

Dean of Students

Message from Residential Life, March 11, 2020

We’re writing as a follow-up to the university message regarding the ongoing public health concerns posed by novel coronavirus (COVID-19). As you have heard all students living in Residential Life housing may NOT return to their residential community and campus at this time.  All students will be completing their academic course instruction online from their permanent home residence. This was a difficult decision, but one that we believe is in the best interest in the health and safety of our community.

We know this announcement will lead to many questions.

For students who have stayed here over Spring Break, you will have until Sunday, March 15 to make arrangements to travel home.

For students who are away from campus for Spring Break, you should plan to go home.  You are not permitted to return to campus – even if you are local. If you were considering coming to St. Louis before returning home, you should go home first and not come to campus.

While we are requiring all residential students to go home, we recognize there will be a small group of students who have extenuating personal circumstances that may prevent their departure from campus, or who may need to return here. Students seeking to extend their stay for such circumstances must complete the late stay request form in the WashU Housing Portal no later than 9am on Friday, March 13.  There will be several circumstances under which exceptions will be considered:

  • If your home is in a country or region currently designated by the CDC as Warning Level 3 due to COVID-19 and you did not travel home for spring break, or if your home is in a country subject to other travel restrictions.
  • Approved NCAA student athletes currently participating in spring sports.  Please note this approval may change subject to University, Conference, or NCAA guidance in the coming days.
  • Extenuating personal circumstances preventing you from returning home – these decisions will be made on a case by case basis.  If you need emergency financial assistance, please contact Student Financial Services (314-935-5900) or you can reach the University hotline by calling 314-935-8300 or 888-234-2863.

Students who are approved to stay on campus will have access to campus services, including dining, however those services may be limited.

We understand providing timely updates is key, as this decision presents a major disruption to your life now and over the next few weeks. By Friday, March 13 the Office of Residential Life /Student Affairs  will begin sharing specific information about plans to help all residential students access their belongings. These options may include allowing some students to return to campus prior to the end of the semester to pack their belongings and/or making arrangements for shipping or storage of student belongings. This communication will also include information about potential partial refunds of housing and dining fees.

We appreciate your patience during this difficult time and will make every effort to ensure a smooth transition for all of our residential students. Should you have questions before our next communication please contact the Office of Residential Life during our office hours of 8:30am-5pm at (314)935-5050.

Kawanna Leggett

Executive Director for Residential Life

Rob Wild

Dean of Students