Campus Living revises guest policy, reimbursement schedule
Updated housing agreement lists changes to on-campus housing for fall semester
Students living on-campus will not be permitted to host guests in their rooms, according to the updated 2020-21 housing agreement released by Campus Living last week.
Under the revised guest policy, “students may only enter the residence hall or apartment where they reside.” In addition, students may not host anyone in their room, including residents of the same floor or building.
This decision follows guidance from the CDC, which recommends that “non-essential volunteers and visitors in shared areas should be limited or avoided” in its COVID-19 Guidance for Shared or Congregate Housing. UB has also stipulated that off-campus guests are not allowed to enter the residence halls.
Brian Haggerty, Senior Associate Director for Residential Life at UB, noted that students will still have the opportunity to socialize in designated common areas and outdoor spaces across campus, but that this policy was developed to reduce public health risks.
“We understand that some students would prefer to socialize with minimal restrictions, but we are prioritizing precautions that limit unnecessary exposure to others in their living environment as a means of allowing students the best chance at maintaining their health, while they fulfill their academic commitments,” Haggerty said.
Students were notified of the new policy in the updated housing agreement released last week. If students are found to be in violation of the policy, “the first course of action will be re-education, and verbal and written warnings,” Haggerty said.
If the problem persists, Campus Living could enact more serious sanctions, like Campus Living Probation or the termination of a student’s housing agreement. Haggerty did not say how UB intends to enforce this policy, or if resident advisors or community assistants will be asked to help with enforcement.
“It is important to remember that every element of this plan was developed with the goal of providing the safest environment possible for all members of the university community,” said Haggerty.
Campus Living also released a number of other changes for the fall semester.
In response to COVID-19, all rooms — triples, quads and value rooms — were converted into doubles. As a result, Campus Living implemented a standard housing rate of $8,843 for all residence halls, not including Greiner Hall, based on a maximum two-person occupancy.
Campus Living said that rates reflect “lower than original projections for single and large double rooms,” although prices still increased from 2019-20 in the Ellicott, Governors and South Campus residence halls.
The housing contract for fall semester normally runs through the end of finals week, but it has been adjusted this year to reflect the early end of in-person instruction, which will wrap up prior to Thanksgiving.
In the event that housing is terminated because of public health concerns, Campus Living will offer reimbursements according to the reimbursement schedule.
Students will begin returning to campus on Aug. 22, first with new international students, then with new domestic students and finally with returners. Classes will begin on Aug. 31 and be held in-person until Nov. 24.
Justin Weiss is the senior features editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org