Adjustments to move-in and residential life for the fall semester were discussed in the virtual student and family listening session over campus health and safety on Tuesday.
Students will have four days to move in, compared to the usual one-day event in past semesters. Mari Duncan, Apartment and Residence Life director, said they can choose daily half hour time slots from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 22 through Aug. 25.
Parents, visitors and helpers will be limited to two people per student to reduce the number of people in the halls and on campus, Duncan said.
UTA Housing residents will have to sign an addendum to the university residence contract. The addendum lays out health and safety guidelines such as mask requirements, mass gathering restrictions and quarantine protocols.
While room density has not changed, residence halls with double occupancy or triple occupancy bedroom suites have individual bathrooms, and suites have private bedrooms. Roommates and suitemates are exempt from social distancing rules within their assigned room or suite since they are considered a family unit, said Eric Leidlein, auxiliary services executive director, in an email.
Duncan said the residence halls will limit guests and remove some furniture in common spaces to reduce occupancy.
Guests in residence halls will be limited, with a revised guest policy expected in early August, which is out of respect for the health and welfare of residents, Leidlein said.
Social distancing of six feet will be required in all community spaces. Residents are encouraged to wipe down surfaces in shared areas before and after use, he said.
Community kitchens will have a sign-up process for residents to reserve a time to use those spaces, and laundry rooms may have a similar process as well. Masks are required outside of the hall rooms and suites, including elevators, stairways and common areas, Leidlein said.
Elevator capacity will be limited depending on the size of the elevator, so students are encouraged to use the stairs whenever possible, he said. All public drinking fountains, including water bottle filling stations and ice machines, will be turned off and unavailable for use until further notice.
If a student living on campus tests positive for COVID-19, Duncan said they will first be advised to go to the isolation location pre-identified in their housing addendum. If they do not have a suitable off-campus location, UTA’s Quarantine and Isolation Committee will work with Health Services to determine the appropriate place for the student to isolate, she said.
The committee and Health Services may advise the resident to isolate in their dorm room or move to Lipscomb Hall. Lipscomb Hall, with 332 available bed spaces, will be used to house residents who do not have suitable off-campus accommodations for quarantine or self-isolation in the fall semester.
Students living on-campus will have the option to leave at Thanksgiving or stay until winter break, Leidlein said.
Currently, UTA Housing is around 90% pre-leased in the available residence halls and apartments for the 2020-2021 academic year. Students still looking for campus housing are encouraged to apply while there’s still room, Leidlein said.