Officials will consider six exemptions for students who wish to remain in on-campus housing after spring break, and resident advisers will be relieved of their duties at the end of the week in anticipation of online classes and closed residence halls.
Students who live in a foreign country or permanently at GW, have a financial hardship, do not possess sufficient technology to complete online coursework at home, have paid employment or are student-athletes who have to attend an athletic event may be allowed to remain in campus housing, according to an email sent to on-campus residents Wednesday. Those not living in on-campus housing after spring break will be credited the nightly rate of their room until residence halls re-open, the email states.
All students living in residence halls were sent instructions on how to apply to remain on campus through the online Campus Living portal. Students must submit the application by noon on March 18, according to the email.
“The spread of the COVID-19 virus presents unique challenges in college and university residence halls with the close proximity of living spaces and shared amenities increasing the risk of rapid community transmission,” the email states. “The transition to online courses, suspension of student activities and reduction of students remaining in on-campus housing are intended to promote social distancing and enable continuity of services in the event of increased disruption as the response progresses.”
Most classes will move online starting March 23 until at least April 5 as part of efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19. All in-person student organization events are suspended during that period, and the Student Association elections have been postponed for two weeks.
Students may be asked to move rooms to consolidate vacancies, according to the email.
“Given the uncertain nature of this evolving public health emergency, students are encouraged to carefully consider the absolute necessity of remaining on campus if alternative options are available,” the email states.
Students who remain on campus will only have GWorld access to their building and individual unit, and professional staff will remain in the residence halls, according to the email. “Essential” services like the GW Police Department and mental health resources will remain operational to the “fullest extent possible” but may adjust or limit operations based on how COVID-19 evolves, the email states.
RA and resident director duties will be suspended beginning Friday to help students focus on transitioning to an online course load and determine housing for the two-week residence hall closure period, according to an email sent to all RAs Tuesday, which The Hatchet obtained.
“Please continue to be safe and follow recommendations and services that are available to all of our students,” the email states. “We appreciate all that you provide residents and know that many of you may receive questions from your residents.”
This article appeared in the March 12, 2020 issue of the Hatchet.