Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Student questions about on-campus living answered

Students with on-campus housing appointments should cancel by July 12 to avoid a fee
Collegian File Photo

The University of Massachusetts released their official reopening plan for the fall semester on Monday. Since then, the Collegian gathered several common questions from students about on-campus living that they felt weren’t directly addressed in the FAQs associated with the plan.

All answers came from Mary Dettloff, deputy director of the UMass Office of News and Media Relations. Dettloff also said the University is continuously updating the FAQ page with questions students have asked. They also added that there are more complex issues that are still being thought out, such as “out-of-state students coming from states other than the ones Governor Baker has deemed OK.”

Can you confirm that July 12 and July 31 are the deadlines for on-campus housing appointment cancellations? Why was the deadline set in place before tuition and financial aid are announced?

Yes, those are the proper dates. Announcements were made because ResLife will have the enormous task of working out a housing plan to accommodate as many students as we can house on campus. We need that information sooner from students.

If students cancel their on-campus housing appointment in the fall, will they be guaranteed that housing in the spring?

If students cancel their housing for the fall, they are eligible to pick spring housing, but we cannot guarantee they will get their same assignment that they requested for the fall. It is important to note as well that not all students who want to live on campus will be offered on-campus housing because we will need to reduce occupancy in residence halls to meet [Centers for Disease Control] and state guidelines for social distancing and reducing the risk of spread. Also, we need to set aside a certain number of rooms for isolation and quarantine of students who become sick with COVID-19 or were exposed to someone who has become sick.

Are there plans for international students who have housing on campus but cannot attend due to closed borders? Will housing be guaranteed for international students?

We will work with international students who can arrive later in the year on campus, once the border and visa delays are settled.

How will learning be affected for students who have in-person classes but choose to not return to campus?

They should speak to their advisor to adjust their schedule to an all-remote one.

Is there going to be 24-hour security in every residence hall?

Security in the residence halls will be the same as in a normal year.

Do you have any information on hourly job availabilities for students who return to campus?

We are still awaiting guidance from HR.

Why has UMass decided to not adjust tuition for the fall?

Because the cost of delivering the class, regardless of modality, does not change. We still need to pay the professors and the staff who support the students academically. Also, our faculty and staff have been doing tremendous work over the summer to make the online learning experience better. It is disingenuous for students to compare last semester to what it may be like in the fall. This spring, we had just one week to prepare for online learning. For fall semester, we will have had more time and there has been a lot of work going on this summer to make it better. There is a lot more work involved to make an online course good as opposed to an in-person class.

Will the Student Union be opened and complete for the fall semester?
As of right now, the Student Union will be completed in the fall.

How will dining be affected? Will cafes on campus be open?

As it states in the reopening plan, UMass Dining operations will be modified to meet new state requirements for cleaning, social distancing, customer limits and modified indoor seating. More than 30 campus locations will be revamped. The plan includes new grab-and-go sites, outdoor dining tents and mobile ordering at some retail locations. To protect public health, buffet-style service will be prohibited.

Irina Costache can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @irinaacostache.


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