Residence Life has responded to the COVID-19 crisis by putting several guidelines in place for students and staff and restructuring other guidelines regarding resident assistants and events.
One guideline impacting Res Life restricts visitations at all residence halls from non-residents – including family members and friends – from outside the halls.
Lauren Carrizal, housing manager in Res Life, said one reason for the guideline is to keep students on campus for the foreseeable future.
“We want to be here as long as possible,” Carrizal said. “We don’t want to be sending students home in six weeks. We, unfortunately, had to make a decision where we are not allowing any visitors at all.”
However, Carrizal said the biggest reason for this rule is to keep residents and staff safe.
“We created these policies to keep people safe and keep them here longer,” Carrizal said. “I know there’re some people who want their friends from other halls to be able to come over, who want their boyfriend or girlfriend to come over, but there are people in these halls that are immunocompromised, and they don’t want people coming in and out of these halls.”
Because of this concern, Res Life is making changes to how it conducts its own business.
“We’re doing a lot of things on Zoom,” said Ryan Randolph, assistant director of Res Life. “If we do any events in person, they will be in huge spaces, six feet apart.
These changes in events for residents has also changed how the staff conducts its meetings.
“RD’s do a lot of community together,” Randolph said. “We would have dinners with each other, hang out and go to each other’s homes, but we’re not doing that [anymore].”
Students will also have to adjust how they build community and hang out with fellow residents in the residence halls.
“Residents are allowed to have other friends from the building in their rooms,” Carrizal said. “Each person is allowed to have two visitors in the room between themselves and their roommate, four being the total. Masks are definitely recommended when people are visiting.”
Although there does not seem to be a solution to this in the foreseeable future, Randolph and Carrizal said Res Life is continually working to create different ways for residents to create community with one another during this time.