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IU residence halls to close up for online-only periods next semester



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The outside of Briscoe Quadrangle is pictured March 10. Residence halls and dining halls will operate differently for the fall semester as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Izzy Myszak

In an interview with the IDS, IU spokesperson Chuck Carney explained Residential Programs and Services’ housing and dining hall plans for next semester.

Can freshmen live on campus during the online-only periods?

All students will be required to leave IU residence halls for the online-only periods next semester, Carney said.International students and students with no other permanent residence will be the only students allowed to stay in their university housing.

According to a 2020-21 academic calendar released on fall2020.iu.edu, classes will go fully online between Nov. 30, 2020, and Feb. 7, 2021.

Will IU residence halls be able to house all freshmen next semester under single-occupancy arrangements?

No overflow is expected for next semester’s residence halls, Carney said.

Carney said approximately 12,000 RPS housing units will be available to house 11,680 contracted for on-campus housing, including residence halls and on- and off-campus RPS apartments. Of those contracted with residence halls, 8,205 are first-year or transfer students, and 1,675 are sophomore-senior renewals. The vacancies will help reduce the density in the housing facilities.

The Bloomington campus will benefit from the reopening of half of Teter Quad and the newly renovated McNutt Quad and Foster Quad. Collins Center will also be open as the previously planned renovation will now be delayed.

Where will students be quarantined if they are diagnosed with COVID-19?

There will be various housing facilities across IU campus for physical isolation, some of which will be off-campus facilities owned by the university, Carney said.

Students returning to campus from countries or regions designated Level 3 by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days off-campus upon arrival, according to the university website.

How can freshmen still apply for roommates?

According to an email from President Michael McRobbie to the IU community, there will be a “rigorous exemption process” available for students who wish to have a roommate.

Students who have selected a roommate will be contacted by RPS and asked if they still intend to apply for a roommate, Carney said. Updates from RPS will be sent to students’ IU email accounts.

Details regarding this exemption process are still being finalized at the moment, Carney said.

Will residence hall contracts reflect the shortened in-person duration next semester?

Room and board fees of residence halls will reflect students’ actual duration of stay in their dorm rooms, Carney said. 

Carney said given that the academic calendar was just announced and that spring schedules are still tentative, details of the new school year’s housing contracts are still being worked out at the moment, and updates will be published on RPS’s website.

Will RPS apartment contracts be affected by the new schedule and living rules?

The single-occupancy rule will not apply for RPS apartment locations, Carney said, since the apartment contracts are yearlong instead of dependent on semester length. Move-out dates required of residence halls do not apply to RPS apartment housing.

How will on-campus dining be different next semester?

IU will implement measures to avoid crowding and contact in dining areas, Carney said. Occupancy limits will apply in dining areas, outdoor dining and pick-up delivery will be set up, shared items will be avoided and access to buffets and salad bars will be limited. Food service hours will be extended, and physical barriers will be set up at cash registers, pick-up areas and other areas where a six-foot distance might be hard to maintain.

All dining locations where the above guidelines can apply will be open, Carney said.

CLARIFICATION: This article did not previously mention that IU will house international students and any student with no other permanent residence during the online-periods of the school year.

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