Housing and Residence Life is committed to fostering engaging residential communities where students will learn and grow as they pursue their academic degrees. We are also committed to creating environments that follow best practices regarding community health during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Below are responses to some important questions you may be asking about what to expect when you join us on campus this fall.
What physical differences will I see when I arrive?
- Plexiglass shields will be installed at reception desks, and furniture will be removed or relocated to promote social distancing between students and front desk staff.
- Posted signs will remind staff of their requirement to wear facial coverings when interacting in close proximity to others. Similar signs will remind students to follow CDC guidance and University policies by washing their hands, wearing face coverings, practicing social distancing, and refraining from sharing personal items like cell phones or drinking cups.
- Hand sanitizing stations will be posted at the exterior entrances of all residence halls in addition to stations currently installed at the main doors.
- Some study lounges, meeting rooms, and common area restrooms will be locked to reduce the total space needing to be cleaned daily. For those that remain open, furniture may be removed and/or relocated to encourage social distancing.
What sanitation and cleaning practices will HRL implement to keep our communities safe and healthy?
- HRL staff will continue to clean and sanitize all public spaces such as community bathrooms, lounges, and entrances in each residence hall at least once daily and will include additional sanitization of high-touch and heavily-trafficked areas daily - particularly main pathways, front doors, elevator buttons, etc.
What will HRL staff do to contribute to safe and healthy communities?
- HRL staff are expected to maintain 6 feet of separation between themselves and others while working on campus. When 6 feet of separation cannot be maintained in shared workspaces, common areas, or other workplace situations, HRL staff are expected to wear a face covering.
- Group sizes will be limited when working together in residence hall rooms and while completing daily tasks including safety and security rounds, cleaning, and maintenance.
- All employees are required to complete COVID-19 Awareness training and HRL Managers will be responsible for monitoring compliance of direct reports.
What responsibility do students have in keeping our communities safe and healthy? What can students expect pertaining to this responsibility?
- Every Niner has a community, social, and personal responsibility to help keep our residence halls safe and healthy. New and/or different expectations may be asked of students to uphold this responsibility as guidance from health officials evolves. HRL will work to keep students informed of these expectations via email, verbal requests, and guidance from HRL staff, and through posted signs and publications (e.g. the Resident Handbook).
- Residential students are expected to clean and maintain their assigned room, suite or apartment as recommended by Housing and Residence Life staff.
- Students will be asked to practice social distancing, refrain from gathering in large groups (i.e. 10 or more), and to wear face coverings/masks whenever they cannot maintain social distancing.
- Adherence to health and safety requirements applies to all residents and their guests, and extends to all aspects of life in the residence halls, including bedrooms, bathrooms, community kitchens, lounges, courtyards, and other common spaces.
- Staff may remind students to follow community expectations and meet their responsibilities. Students who choose not to comply with community expectations may be asked to meet with a professional staff member to discuss what it means to be a Noble Niner living in community.
- Students should plan to participate in facilitated conversations between their room/suite/apartment-mates and Resident Advisor in order to develop roommate agreements that outline responsible social distancing practices, in-room guest permissions, cleaning expectations, and sharing of items within their living space. These conversations may be difficult and uncomfortable as people navigate through different perspectives on these community health practices. Students are expected to remain civil and respectful as they work to find ways to compromise and collaborate with their peers.
- In alignment with the CDC’s guidance to limit the presence of non-essential persons in shared areas, in-room guest privileges will be adjusted to allow a maximum of 1 guest per bedroom in the unit. A unit with 1 bedroom is authorized a maximum of 1 guest, a unit with 2 bedrooms is authorized a maximum of 2 guests, a unit with 3 bedrooms is authorized a maximum of 3 guests, and a unit with 4 bedrooms is authorized a maximum of 4 guests.
- When hosting guests, students must always do so with respect to their room/suite/apartment-mates and the agreements made with one another. Furthermore, students should exercise individual due diligence to keep themselves and others safe and healthy.
How will students and HRL staff continue to connect and build community?
- Students can anticipate a variety of platforms, both in-person and online, which will be used to build community and connection within the residence halls.
- Social and educational programming will still occur within residential communities. Whenever programs occur in person, they will respect social distancing guidelines by limiting attendance, utilizing larger or outdoor spaces, or having multiple dates to attend. The specific implementation of each program will be dependent on the audience and the intent of the program.
- Students can still expect to receive direct support from their Resident Advisor (RA) and other hall staff. Professional staff will continue to be available to students by appointment. Students can expect RAs to host community building events as indicated above and to check in on individual residents to assist with their transition or continued experience in the halls.
What should I do if I am sick or believe I have been exposed to COVID-19?
- Residential students will be asked to contact the Student Health Center if they experience any COVID-19 symptoms or if they learn that they have been exposed to COVID-19. If self-quarantine or isolation is needed, residential students will be asked to return to their permanent residence to await test results, receive medical care, and recuperate. If a student is not able to return to their permanent residence, alternative residence space, linens, and meal delivery will be provided to the student in an area separate from the general housing population.
What else do I need to know to prepare for living on campus this fall?
- At any time, the University may request or require a resident to leave on campus housing when the resident’s continued presence in the residence halls poses a health or safety risk for community members.
- Not all residential spaces are appropriate for self-quarantine or self-isolation, and in those situations where a student is required to self-quarantine or self-isolate, students may not be permitted to continue residing in their assigned residential space. If a return to the student’s permanent or off-campus residence is not possible, alternative housing arrangements will be provided.
- Residential students are required to comply with requests from Housing and Residence Life to leave their assigned space due to COVID-19 or other public health emergencies, and failure to do so is a breach of the Contract for Residential Services and may subject a student to emergency removal from their assigned space.
- A student’s removal from their assigned residence hall to isolate or quarantine does not constitute a termination or violation of their housing contract.
- In the event Housing and Residence Life must relocate students as part of a community health strategy to mitigate the spread of disease or infection for an extended period of time and alternative housing is not available, the University and/or UNC System will provide guidance regarding students’ eligibility for reimbursement of any housing charges.
If you have any additional questions, please review our COVID 19/Fall 2020 Related FAQs here.