Fall semester will see significant alterations to on-campus living

The+Office+of+Housing+and+Residential+Education+released+a+plan+Thursday+for+altered+on-campus+living+for+the+fall+semester.

Media: Courtesy of Jin Ko

The Office of Housing and Residential Education released a plan Thursday for altered on-campus living for the fall semester.

By Charlie McKenna and Diana Bravo

Residential life on campus during the fall 2020 semester will look significantly different than it has in past years as part of the college’s reopening plan “One Emerson Flex Learning,” according to a college official. 

Residence halls will limit the maximum number of students in a room to two, leave rooms open for students who are exposed to COVID-19 to isolate in, and potentially house students in local hotels, a community-wide email from Director of Housing and Residential Education Christie Anglade announced Thursday night. 

“The Housing and Residential Education team understands that there will continue to be several questions regarding on-campus housing,” Anglade wrote. “Once more information is established, we will develop a number of ways to communicate information, including opportunities to connect with us on a live and virtual platform.” 

Students currently placed in triples will receive new housing assignments soon, the email said. A separate email from Anglade to Residence Assistants obtained by The Beacon indicated that because of the new social distancing measures, some students may be put up in local hotels in place of on-campus residency.

The college has housed students in hotels when the student population was greater than the dorms could hold in previous years. In 2005-2006, students lived in a Hilton Doubletree prior to the opening of Piano Row, and in 2007, 130 students were housed in two hotels near campus—the Hilton Doubletree and a Courtyard by Marriott. 

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Anglade also detailed additional precautionary measures that will be in place in residence halls to protect against COVID-19, including requiring face coverings in all areas outside of a student’s suite, limiting the number of students in communal spaces such as laundry rooms and elevators, and instituting personal wellness checks.

Campus dining will also be affected by the new measures Anglade said. She did not offer any additional details, instead writing that the college will follow relevant state and local guidelines.

The college’s reopening plan will drastically alter student life amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as students will be required to wear masks in all campus spaces and undergo regular symptom monitoring.