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COVID-19: Residential Closure - March 17, 2020

Residence Life and Housing
Mon 3/17/2020

Subject: COVID-19: Residential Closure 

 

Dear Resident Students,

Yesterday, we received communication from President Clark informing us that effective Monday, March 23, 2020 all classes will be moved to a fully on-line course delivery mode of instruction through the end of the Spring 2020 semester. In addition, he stated that all residential students (except for those with approved hardship cases) are requested to move out of their respective residence hall room, suite, or apartment by Sunday, March 29, 2020 when the residence halls will be permanently closed.

Also, following guidance from Governor Baker on Monday, March 16, BSU has implemented short-term telecommuting for employees. This means that while all offices and business functions of the university remain open, limited staff is available in person to assist you. Please be patient as offices bring service delivery online. In the meantime, emailing and calling departments with questions or concerns should continue with uninterrupted service. Recognize, however, that in certain offices –like Residence Life and Housing— high call volumes and a high volume of email messages may slightly delay our response to you. We are doing our best to keep to a commitment of a 48-hour response time (at the latest).

We are in unprecedented times, and we recognize for some it is causing a great deal of anxiety and stress for you and your families. We are in this together. We want to do our best to provide as much care and support not only for each of you, but also for all members of our staff and faculty and our own families, as we continue to put plans in motion to assist you with your individual needs and your questions.

Please be sure to refer often to BSU’s COVID-19 webpage. A Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page is found on the left-hand column. Student FAQs on the BSU COVID-19 website.

Meanwhile, the information below will provide guidance to you. While you begin preparing yourself for all on-line learning, and you try to settle your environment for the remainder of the semester, here are a few answers to questions that you may have:

Now that the residence halls will permanently close on Sunday, March 29, how do I check out of my room?

Please be mindful as we coordinate this moveout process, we are aligning with the CDC’s recommendations of social distancing and limiting gatherings of individuals within our residential spaces.
All residence halls will be opened during the following dates and timeframes for check out. Each resident student will be able to sign up for a one-hour time block on the dates listed below:
Friday, March 20 – 9am – 6pm
Saturday, March 21 – 9am – 6pm
Sunday, March 22 - 9am – 6pm
Monday, March 23 - 9am – 6pm
Tuesday, March 24- 9am – 6pm
Wednesday, March 25 - 9am – 6pm
Thursday, March 26 - 9am – 6pm
Friday, March 27- 9am – 6pm
Saturday, March 28 - 9am – 6pm
Sunday, March 29 - 9am – 6pm

All students must complete the Residence Hall Check-Out Schedule   to indicate which day, date and timeframe they plan to check out starting Friday, March 20. This will also be available on our website.

Am I going to get a refund for my room and meal plan?

The University is currently focused on the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff as well as moving rapidly to transition to online / remote learning for the remainder of the semester. Regarding pro-rated housing and meal plan refunds/credits, we are working through a process in coordination with the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, and additional information on refunds/credits will be forthcoming once next steps are determined. Please keep checking our BSU COVID-19 website at www.bridgew.edu/covid-19 and the FAQs section as we will post information there once it becomes available.

Will anyone who wants to stay on campus be able to do so?

No. However, Residence Life and Housing has developed an Extenuating Circumstances Request Form . If you believe you have an extenuating circumstance, you must complete this form. This form has been available since Wednesday, March 11, 2020 and will close on Sunday, March 22, 2020 at 11:59 P.M. No additional requests will be accepted after this time. Thus far, we have been able to provide an answer within 24 hours. Students with approved hardships will be allowed to remain in the residence halls and will be provided services.

Be aware students granted permission to remain in the residence halls will most likely be relocated to a different room assignment and residence hall.

All resident students are being asked to identify other housing options to do our part in limiting the spread of the coronavirus. Our guidance for the health and safety of our community and the extended community is to limit the number of individuals remaining in the residence halls during this closure, therefore, only those with extreme hardships will be approved. For example, it is likely that extenuating circumstances such as a student who is homeless, or who has welfare and safety at risk, or a student is here from another country or state, would be approved. Whereas circumstances such as “I would study better in my on-campus room” or “I am too anxious not to be on campus” are generally not being approved. Each request form will be reviewed individually, and we must keep the current health crisis at the forefront of our decision-making.

Are there dining services available for students who remain on campus?

Residents who are given permission to remain in residence on campus will have access to grab and go meals through the Bears Den. Hours of operation are Monday – Friday 7:30 am – 6:30 pm and Saturday and Sunday 10:00 am – 6:30 pm.

Things to consider while moving out of your residence hall:

Safety Precautions

  • Students should maintain proper social distance from others during move out.
  • Students should engage in frequent and thorough handwashing, or if facilities are not close by, should use hand sanitizer before and after using shared resources.
  • Students should be mindful to avoid touching their faces during this process.
  • Students who are sick or coughing are encouraged to wait to move out at another time.
  • If students find themselves ill or coughing, they are encouraged to wait to move out at another time and should immediately email our office at reslife@bridgew.edu.

Mailroom Information

Mailroom hours of operation are Monday – Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. The mailroom will be providing additional hours for students moving out on Saturday, March 21st, Sunday March 22nd, Saturday, March 28th and Sunday March 29th from 8:30a.m. – 4:45 p.m. Please keep this in mind if you need to obtain any mail or packages. All mail should be transferred to your permanent address so mail will no longer be delivered to campus. To do so, please go to usps.com, click on “quick tools” and then to “change my address”.

As more information becomes available, the university website will be continuously updated and we will continue to communicate as the situation evolves. For all other questions or concerns please email reslife@bridgew.edu or contact our office at 508-531-1277. We are open Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

We appreciate the amount of patience you have shown thus far, and we appreciate you recognizing that this is the right thing to do while we do our part to lessen the spread of COVID-19 to our friends and family, members of our BSU community, and community members at large who are most vulnerable.

Sincerely,

Justin McCauley
Director of Residence Life


Elizabeth Ching-Bush
Assistant Dean of Students for Residence Life and Housing