Residential Life COVID-19 Housing Updates

The university is tracking COVID-19.

Get updates at coronavirus.wustl.edu.

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