While many college campuses across the country locked their doors and sent students home amidst the COVID-19 outbreak, Wayne State University recognized that its campus housing is a year-round home for many Warriors.
“With much of campus remaining closed to the public, we had to quickly adapt to supporting residents as best practices for health and safety were still emerging,” said Tim Michael, associate vice president of student auxiliary services and chief housing officer. “Our role has not changed, which is to help students live safely and successfully on campus in pursuit of their educational goals.”
Working closely with housing partners Corvias and the Campus Health Center, Michael and the Housing and Residential Life team implemented best-practice cleaning standards for all housing, including high-touch surface disinfection; developed strategies for supporting quarantined and self-isolating students; and restricted the number of visitors and guests to housing facilities to help keep each hall and apartment community safe.
The requirement to wear a face covering to enter a campus housing facility was implemented on May 11. In addition, the numbers of riders in elevators and users of common seminar rooms, social lounges and fitness areas have been limited to encourage physical distancing. Guest visitation procedures will continue to be suspended for the fall semester to limit non-resident traffic. Plexiglas barriers will also be used at all reception and service desks, while “contactless” transactions will be emphasized.
Housing has also transitioned its building programming, resident advisor support and check-out/move-out procedures to virtual or limited-contact experiences. “Campus housing has remained open and intends on providing ‘housing that’s home’ for any student needing a place to live now and in the fall,” said Nikki Dunham, director of residence life in the Office of Housing and Residential Life.
All residents will be tested for coronavirus infection as part of the move-in process. The university is also re-envisioning the August move-in process, Dunham said, stretching out arrival days to seven or more from the traditional move-in weekend to reduce crowds and time spent completing on-site check-in paperwork. It will also provide the opportunity for physical distancing during a time traditionally marked by long waits for elevators as hundreds of students move into a building.
“We know that campus housing provides support to students in many ways, from personal growth to connecting resources that help them succeed in and out of the classroom,” Dunham said. “We are looking to new ways to support residents, roommates and the on-campus community while continuing to put the community’s health and safety first.”
To learn more about housing and dining expectations and standards that support Warrior Safe is Warrior Strong for fall 2020, please visit the housing or university coronavirus websites for continuing updates.