The Office of Residence Life made the decision to open its residence hall lobbies to guests on Sept. 11, changing a previous decision at the beginning of the semester.
With the start of a new semester amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the residence halls had been closed to guests to combat spreading the virus. The main goal of residence life is to keep residents safe while also allowing them to socialize.
Shannon Kaczmarek, director of residence life, said she is excited to see the lobby spaces open and used to help create community.
“Our core belief is that every person is made in the image of God,” Kaczmarek said. “They deserve a safe space they can call home where they can belong and grow.”
Restrictions will be in place, such as masks and physical distancing, to ensure the safety of the residents.
The lobby spaces will be open daily from 9 a.m. until 2 a.m. Sunday-Thursday. They will close at 5 a.m. on the weekends, and there will be a google form to allow for an easy check-in/out process.
Although there may be a few additional challenges, this is meant to be an even better way for students to have community.
Eboni Wescott, sophomore communications major from Roswell, New Mexico, is a resident assistant in Dillard Hall and is looking forward to the community the residence hall lobbies will bring.
“I’m excited for [students] from other residence halls to be able to all hang out together,” Wescott said.
Students will continue live in the residence halls until Thanksgiving break and the university’s shift online.