March 18: University Housing

Dear Mason Patriot,

Our top priority remains the health and safety of you, our students. We know you have questions and concerns and we thank you for your continued patience as we have created a plan about residency and move out.

In order to minimize the risks to students and in light of the university’s decision to extend alternative virtual instruction for the remainder of the semester, we will begin to close the residence halls for the semester to all but those with exceptional circumstances. We will complete the process outlined below by 9 p.m. on Wednesday, March 25.

  • Effective immediately and through Wednesday, March 25, residents will be able to access their space to retrieve basic belongings. If you have what you need, there is no need or requirement for you to return.
  • Please ensure that good social distancing measures are adhered to during this time to retrieve belongings.
  • Departing residents will not have access beyond Wednesday, March 25 for the foreseeable future.
  • Please note that the stated timeframe above is not a formal moving out period. Students will have the option to return to their residences after Monday, April 13 to formally move out, once the university has a better sense of the situation and we can allow for appropriate social distancing.
  • Use this parking pass when removing belongings between now and March 25th or moving out of the halls after April 13th.

Requests for an exemption

Students who need to stay past Wednesday, March 25, will be required to show exceptional circumstances. Based on the guidance we’ve received, we know that by greatly reducing the number of students in residence, we will reduce risk and we can more easily manage social distancing and health concerns that may emerge.

The Mason Housing Portal will make request for exemption forms available starting Wednesday March 18. Please note: all students seeking an exemption must file a new request form.

Approvals will be granted within 24-48 hours and will be granted in exceptional circumstances where it is impossible for residents to return home. Examples include:

  • International students whose residence is outside the U.S. who are unable to return home
  • Student employees who have been identified as critical to on-site operations
  • Students who must continue in an internship, clinical placement, or practicum which requires on-site presence
  • Students whose personal circumstances prevent them from returning home. Examples include:
    • Absence of an off-campus home
    • Home is quarantined
    • Home presents a safety/health threat to self or others
    • Students for whom returning home would prevent them from accessing courses remotely because of inability to access internet/technology capability at home – please note the university will be working with these students to eliminate these barriers and will expect them to return home when they have been addressed.
All requests must include supporting documentation where necessary, including:
  • Names of supervisors with contact information for verification
  • Any correspondence supporting your request to stay
Students who are not approved will need to depart campus by Wednesday, March 25.  Please know that our top priority is the safety and well being of our residents.

Limited Services and expectations after March 25

To keep our community safe, all residents who are approved to remain on campus should understand the following conditions and limitations:
  • Dining options and hours will be limited, as will other services and HRL desks will have modified hours and services.  Public safety officers will continue be on campus.
  • No programming or events will be held in the halls during this time.
  • You should limit travel to the minimum necessary and practice good hygiene and social distancing for the safety of yourself and those around you.
  • Guests will not be permitted in the halls during this time.
  • We may need to make room changes or moves at any time to ensure health and safety.
  • If you are tested for COVID-19 you will be moved to a location for isolation for a minimum of 14 days or until cleared by health professionals.
  • If you are exposed to COVID-19, you may be moved in order to facilitate a 14-day quarantine.

We know we can count on students to comply with these rules as well as all those in the student code of conduct which will continue to apply during this time.

Formal Moving Out Period

Beginning the week of April 13, we anticipate creating a staggered move-out schedule through the end of the semester. This will allow for appropriate social distancing for a safe move-out process.  More specific details will come out once we have more information. We regret that requests to move out in the meanwhile cannot be accommodated.

Refunds

At this time, we are exploring ways to refund students not returning. We realize this action prompts several questions and concerns and we will be following up with more communication soon to address this. Please continue to check your Mason email.

We thank you for your patience while we work together to navigate the far-reaching impacts of COVID-19. You are in our thoughts and we wish you nothing but the best during this time.  We are so proud of our resilient Mason Nation and thank you for your patience, resilience and cooperation.

Sincerely,

Dr. Christopher J. Holland
Chief Housing Officer
Posted in Uncategorized.