Residence Halls

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Residential Life & Housing

The campus residence halls will have reduced capacity for the 2020-2021 academic year, and HSU expects to house up to 1,000 students. Residents will live in single-occupancy situations in nearly all cases, allowing self-isolation if it becomes necessary.

November 18, 2020

Here’s what you need to know:

  • HSU will house 1,000 residents—about 50% occupancy on campus. 
  • Single occupancy bedrooms will be available for every student (at a double room rate) to encourage social distancing and the ability to quarantine away from other students if necessary.
  • Residence Life will continue to review how to provide a housing orientation experience that is consistent with health and safety guidelines.
  • Students will be educated on the importance of social distancing and wearing face coverings. Resident Advisors will be trained on new policies and how to intervene and confront appropriately.
  • Extensive cleaning protocols and isolations measures are in place. 

The University has been working closely with the Humboldt County Department of Public Health. We’ve also reviewed guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and the Association of College and University Housing Officers to incorporate into our plan.

The plan enables the University to house students safely on-campus. Our plan assumes we will have single occupancy in every bedroom to ensure physical distancing, reduce parent’s concerns, and to allow for students to shelter in place in their bedrooms during the pandemic. The plan allows for up to 1,000 residents—about 50% occupancy. In addition, up to 64 bed spaces will be set aside for isolation in Campus Apartments.

 The plan outlines our planned staffing under different occupancy scenarios, as well as cleaning standards and social distancing education for residents.

University Center’s Dining operation will provide meal plans and a la carte options in controlled dining operations to provide social distancing and safe food handling.

Residential Social Distancing

  • Single occupancy bedrooms will be available for every student (at a double room rate) to encourage social distancing and the ability to quarantine away from other students if necessary.
  • On-campus residents will be tested as soon as they arrive on campus and will be tested at the Student Health Center (SHC) twice during their 14-day quarantine period. The SHC will continue offering optional testing for symptomatic and asymptomatic students. The SHC will periodically test student-athletes, based on recent guidance from the state.
  • 14-day quarantine for new arriving students will be provided by allowing move-in up to 14 days before class instruction begins. Students are expected to stay in their room except to get food from the J dining hall or College Creek Marketplace, or get supplies from the Bookstore, separate themselves from others, and do daily wellness self-checks for 14 days. If symptoms appear, contact the Student Health Center immediately for further instructions.
  • Residents will be provided face coverings and are expected to wear them at all times indoors on campus, and outdoors anytime they can't maintain a 6 foot distance from others. This is recommended when off campus as well. 
  • Housing isolation units will be kept offline in our Campus Apartments complex, where the student has their own bedroom and bathroom and can have meals delivered. We plan to have up to 64 bed spaces held offline if necessary.
  • Common areas like our recreation room, meeting rooms, and gym will be closed.
  • Occupancy will be limited for common lounges, living rooms, bathrooms and kitchens. If repeat violations are found, access to common areas will be restricted.
  • Residents will be advised to avoid sharing dishes, drinking glasses, cups or eating utensils. They will be asked to wash non-disposable dining ware with dish soap and hot water or via a dishwasher.
  • Signage will be displayed to limit the number of occupants in elevators, walkways, and public spaces to encourage.
  • Front Desk and Mailroom operations have barriers and/or plexiglass sneeze guards. All staff wearing face coverings.
  • Staff will be limited from entering resident’s rooms unless it’s necessary. Virtual communications via text, cell phone, or email will be encouraged.
  • Passive residential programming will educate residents on how to stay healthy and stop the spread of germs.
  • Residents will check out by completing their online Request to Vacate Form and dropping their keys in a check out envelope at the Express Checkout on the 3rd floor of the JGC.

Housing Operations

  • Housing will offer up 14 days advance move-in before any in-person classes begin to allow for proper quarantine time. For move-ins, Housing will set up staggered move-in times by residence hall to provide for social distancing and avoid group gatherings.
  • Housing is prepared to offer up move-in opportunities throughout the semester as students get more comfortable with travel to HSU, as well as allow students to return home early should face-to-face instruction end early.
  • Housing assignments will be prioritized for foster youth, Educational Opportunity Program, Athletics, SDRC, and then based on application completed date. If the number of applications exceeds the 1,000 bed spaces available, Housing is working with local property managers to provide similar style off campus housing to additional applicants.
  • Housing has updated the License Agreement and Handbook to accommodate COVID-19 risk and operational changes to further help provide a safe and flexible environment for our residents.

Community Education and Accountability

In addition to signage around the residence halls, RA’s and the Residence Hall Association (RHA) will help educate students on the importance of social distancing and wearing face coverings. This will be done through virtual area meetings, Town Halls, programming. We will also launch a poster campaign within the residence halls. Students can assist in designing posters and flyers to promote housing guidelines in various living spaces, as well as what to do if they’re sick. We will find opportunities for positive reinforcement by providing incentives to follow guidelines. Resident Advisors (RAs) will be trained on new policies and how to intervene and confront appropriately. We have a modified guest policy as well as what residents should do when leaving the residence halls and returning.

The student handbook includes COVID-19 adjusted guidelines and how these guidelines are enforced. The Dean of Students Office will also institute accountability practices for students who violate these guidelines at the housing and University level. Residence Life Coordinators will continue to hold students accountable through virtual Community Action Conferences.

Student Engagement & Programming

Residence Life staff is retooling the Residential Curriculum model currently used to develop opportunities for students to engage with our student leaders by providing virtual activities that include academic success in a virtual environment, self-care, mental health management, hall spirit competitions, navigating the first-gen experience on a virtual campus, and many others that will continue to foster peer-to-peer connections. Once permitted to do so, in-person activities can take place with respect to social distance requirements. Passive programming will continue to be implemented using social media, bulletin boards, newsletters, and various other means. Residence Life Coordinators will continue to provide office hours virtually as well as regular resident check-ins.

Cleaning Protocols

  • Housing Front Desk and Mailroom counters and equipment will be wiped down daily with sanitizing wipes/fluid.
  • Residential common bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms and elevators will be cleaned on a daily basis with EPA-registered disinfectants.   
  • Residents will be instructed to wipe down after using the bathroom and to avoid leaving items on counters.
  • Residents will be provided with wipes and hand sanitizer to keep surfaces, buttons, knobs and other touch points, and hands clean after and before their use.

Isolation Procedures

The third floor of our Campus Apartments complex has been set aside to isolate up to 64 residents, if necessary. These apartments are side by side, each with their own bedroom and bathroom facility. The location will provide ease of meal drop off from Dining and keep those residents separate from the other floors in the building which has exterior stairwell and outdoor entry.

Housing will work with the Student Health Center and Environmental Health & Safety in conjunction with Humboldt County Public Health to test for and diagnose COVID-19 cases.