How living in Ball State's residence halls will look like in fall 2020

<p>The newly renovated Schmidt/Wilson halls which are part of the Johnson B Complex will be open to students for the 2017-18 academic year. The residence hall will be home to the Theatre and Dance and Design Living Learning Communities. <strong>Reagan Allen, DN</strong></p>

The newly renovated Schmidt/Wilson halls which are part of the Johnson B Complex will be open to students for the 2017-18 academic year. The residence hall will be home to the Theatre and Dance and Design Living Learning Communities. Reagan Allen, DN

In light of the COVID-19 global pandemic, Ball State Housing made some adjustments to the housing options available for students living in residence halls, according to its website and emails forwarded to residence hall students.

The following are a list of changes outlined by Housing for students living in residence halls at the start of the fall 2020 semester:

Moving in:

After room assignments are sent out, students will receive an email with directions to schedule an appointment, which will be available starting early August, to bring their belongings to campus.

During their scheduled appointment time, students will receive their room key and may bring their items and place them into their assigned rooms. Housing is unable to house students until either Aug. 19 or 20 depending on the premium or standard plans.

Appointment slots will be scheduled by residence hall and will be coordinated to reduce the volume of people using common spaces at any given time.

Anyone entering a residence hall will be asked to wear a face mask as they move belongings into their rooms. Students are also asked to limit the number of personal belongings they bring to campus this year to make cleaning and disinfecting easier.

If a student is unable to utilize the appointment system, they may move in on the appropriate contract date or between Aug 21-23.

Modified Room Preferences

Students can choose whether they prefer to live in to live in a double-occupied room or a single-occupied room by filling out a form available in their 2020-21 housing application.

Filling out this form does not guarantee a specific room accommodation, the website states. Students are required to complete the form by 5 .m. July 1 and and final room assignments will be sent out via email in mid-July.

Single Rooms

Students can request a single room if they prefer to do so or previously thought they would share a room, but have changed their minds.

If a student is vulnerable to COVID-19 complications, they should speak with their health care provider about what housing accommodation is best for them.

Ball State's residence halls, the website states, are designed to house students in double rooms. Due to space constraints, a limited number of single rooms are available on a first come, first serve basis in order to provide space for all students wanting to live on campus.

These single rooms will be assigned based upon the date of request and the housing deposit date. Students choosing to live in a single room may be placed in any hall and they cannot request specific halls at this time. Housing cannot guarantee students will be placed in the same hall that they initially signed up for.

In case a student chooses to live in a single room and their roommate wishes to have a roommate, or both students intend on living in single rooms, housing assignments will be changed, and they will be moved to different rooms. Requests to stay in the previously assigned room will be done according to their housing deposit date.

While Housing will try to accommodate as many speciality requests as possible, it is not likely that roommates will be allowed to live in single rooms next door to each other.

Double rooms

Housing will assist students who would like to share a double room with a roommate. It will also provide detailed guidance on how to clean and sanitize surfaces within the shared room.

If both students agree to live together in a double room, they can keep their preferred roommates, provided they fill out the Modified Room Preferences form.

In case a student wishes to have a roommate, but their roommate leaves, Housing will work with the student to identify other options. Generally, however, the student will be assigned a new roommate.

Freshman residency

All students will still be required to live in university housing for two semesters unless they will be 21 years of age prior to the beginning of the term for which they are enrolling, have 24 or more semester hours of Ball State accepted credits achieved after their graduation from high school, are married or are a custodial parent of a dependent child, or are living with their parents in the parents' primary residence within a 60-mile radius of campus.

The address of the parents at the time of a student's application for admission to Ball State will be considered the parents' primary residence. Transfer students are strongly encouraged to contact the Office of Housing and Residence Life prior to signing any off-campus lease to determine their eligibility to live off-campus.

Students who meet any of the following requirements qualify for an exemption from this policy:

  • Live with their parents within a 60-mile radius of campus.
  • Enrolled in fewer than 9 semester hours.
  • Have primary custody of a minor child.
  • Are in a marriage recognized by the State of Indiana.
  • Will be 21 prior to the first day of classes of their first semester of enrollment at Ball State.
  • Have lived in Ball State's residence halls for two semesters but not achieved 24 credit hours.

Having already signed a lease with an off-campus landlord will not be considered as a reason for an exemption.

Exemption requests must be filled online and received by the Housing office no later than 30 days prior to the beginning of the first semester of enrollment.

Chronic health conditions

Students with chronic health conditions who would require special accommodations should consult with their health care provider to discuss the risks of living in a residence hall.

Housing encourages students to reach out to their office as soon as possible to discuss their needs and answer questions. There will be a spot to identify health conditions on the Modified Room Preferences form.

Quarantine and Isolation Accommodations

If a student is exposed to, or become sick with COVID-19, the university will work with the student to have a room on campus while self-quarantining or isolating. Students will need to work with their health care provider to make sure that staying on campus is the best choice for them.

Quarantine housing will be provided to students who have had close contact with an individual who has had symptoms or tests positive for COVID-19, and have the recommendation of the medical director of the Health Center.

Students will live in quarantine housing for 14 days, or until the director of the Health Center provides authorization to leave quarantine to ensure they have not contracted COVID-19.

Isolation housing will be provided to students who have tested positive for COVID-19. Students will be required to live in isolation housing for the period of time recommended by the CDC and until clearance is given by the Health Center to return to campus activities.

Students who need to quarantine or isolate will not be permitted to do so in their regular rooms and will be moved into specially designated space on campus for the 14-day duration.

They will have the option to move home for the quarantine or isolation period if their health care provider and family believe it is preferable. No visitors, including family members, will be permitted in quarantine or isolation housing.

If a student leaves campus and travels internationally, they are requested to quarantine for 14 days before returning to campus.

Safety practices

Apart from deep-cleaning and disinfecting all rooms prior to move-in, cleaning and disinfecting other high touch surfaces and areas and disinfecting equipment being made available in all common areas, Housing has put in place some additional practices.

While visitors to residence halls will be allowed, they will not be permitted to stay past midnight. There will be a limit of three people allowed in a residence hall room at any given time, including the resident and roommate, and visitors will not be permitted to stay overnight.

Water fountains and water bottle filling stations will be turned off. Students are encouraged to bring bottled water. Kitchenettes and some other common spaces will be closed following CDC guidelines. A complete list of common spaces that will be closed is still being finalized.

Students will be asked to wear a face mask when in any public areas of their residence hall to help reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.

While a number of hand sanitizing stations will be available in residence halls and other campus buildings, students will be responsible for bringing personal cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, and other disinfectant products for use within their room.

Thanksgiving break

Residence halls will be closed during Thanksgiving break through the end of the fall 2020 semester, the website states.

Students returning for the spring 2021 semester will be permitted to leave their belongings in their rooms over the extended break period.

In rare circumstances, a student with compelling reasons may be permitted to stay on campus with advanced special permission of the director of Housing and Residence Life.

Plans are still being finalized for billing procedures among other things for the fall 2020 semester. Students and parents will be updated on new developments via email from Housing, on its social media page and updates posted on its FAQ website.


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