Move in day 2018 | photo by Michael Krieger | The Wright State Guardian
On-campus housing will see many changes this fall in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus and to keep residents safe.
Students living in residential housing can expect a different move-in day experience, additional gathering rules and increased cleaning.
Move in day drive-through style
Move in day is usually characterized by numerous volunteers, golf carts, and Rowdy Raider, but it will look a bit different this year.
There will be no golf carts and volunteers will not help students move their personal belongings.
“In the past, we’ve had hundreds of upperclassmen come and help freshmen move in… but because of social distancing rules students will need to move in their own things,” said Dan Bertsos, director of Residence Life and Housing.
Students are permitted to bring a maximum of two people with them to assist on move in day.
Additionally, move in day will be spread out and staggered over four days. Residential housing students will move in on Aug. 20-21 and students living in on-campus apartments will move in on Aug. 22-23, according to Bertsos.
Students will receive a welcome kit with a variety of items in a drive through style fashion in order to maintain social distancing.
“We’re passing out a very expensive welcome kit called a ‘Wright Start Kit’ with everything from the student’s keys to hand sanitizer,” said Bertsos. “It’s going to look a lot like driving through a fast food window where you pick up some food.”
The welcome kits will also include a mask, thermometer and a voter registration form, according to Bertsos.
Additional rules and guidelines
Usually students have the opportunity to choose whether they want to live in a single, double or triple, but this fall all students in residence housing will be living in a single by themselves.
Apartments will remain the same occupancy as before.
Due to low enrollment numbers, Wright State has the space to provide single rooms for all students in housing.
“Right now we have 1,500 people living on campus this year. Our normal capacity is 3000,” said Bertsos. “Last year at this time we had 1,800 students living on campus.”
However, there is a larger percentage of the first year class living on campus, according to Bertsos.
Students in housing will be expected to follow university protocols such as wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing.
“If [a student] is in a room by themselves then, of course, they don’t need to wear a mask. We are also going to limit any kind of casual gathering to four individuals so we can assure proper social distancing at least in a smaller number,” said Bertsos.
Visitation to campus housing will also be limited. Visitors and guests will not be permitted in student housing, according to Wright State’s website.
“We are trying to do what we can to create that bubble on campus, especially on individual floors,” said Bertsos.
If students do not follow the new housing protocols, one of the consequences may be losing their housing, according to Bertsos.
“Initially, like with any conduct situation, I think we are going to make an effort to explain why we need to have them conform to the kind of regulation,” said Bertsos. “For the student who chooses not to do so, the potential for some kind of student conduct approach may exist. We’ve got to watch out for the greater good of the community.”
Positive tests on campus
When a student tests positive, the first step is connecting with a physician to get a prescription for a test. If students do not have a physician, WSU will connect the student with Wright State Physicians to get them a prescription.
The student will then be monitored daily until the test results come back to see how they are doing, according to Bertsos.
“If it turns out that it is positive, again in compliance with the Center for Disease Control (CDC), they require that we have student housing or some other location available to move that student to so they can isolate,” said Bertsos. “In our case, we have housing on campus set aside for that purpose.”
“With CDC guidelines, they require a minimum that we’re getting common spaces, like bathrooms for example, and what is referred to as a ‘touch point’ … at least twice a day, and we are planning on doing more than that,” said Bertsos.
Hand sanitizer and Wipes will also be available in and around commonly used housing areas.
“Common areas will be closed off to general use of residents. This includes most floor lounges, Honors Community fitness center and recreation room, and Forest Lane and Honors Community kitchens,” according to Wright State’s website.