Top 5 Considerations for Campus Housing

Top 5 Considerations for University Housing Programs Right Now

Sarah Hardy, housing product owner for CBORD shares her thoughts. 

If your campus is closing, where will your on-campus residents live?

There are so many questions that come to mind with students who must remain on campus. Do they have internet access at their place of relocation? Do they have a place to relocate at all? Many residents do not have internet access outside of campus, and in order to continue their education through online classes, they need to remain on campus.

Do you have students who need to be isolated?

If so, what kind of room do you provide, and does it include private bathrooms? Think about what their day will look like. They will need food, safety, and the support of residential staff. Quarantined students cannot have contact with anyone until they are cleared, but still require food, a safe space, and contact with housing staff.

Are you sending staff home, working in shifts, or using skeleton crews?

If you are consolidating staff, then you may need to also consolidate your residents living on campus. Navigating what space you have versus the easiest moves for your residents can be tricky. ResCenter’s occupancy summary chart and facility advanced find functionality can help you locate the spaces to move the residents to quickly and easily.

Are your dining halls and restaurants closing? Do you offer pickup and delivery options? How do you get food to students in isolation?

To help your residents observe social distancing, you want to reduce the number of people in any given location at one time. Many schools are creating sack meals and delivering them to the residents so they can stay in their rooms. Schools with GET CBORD Student are also setting up food pickup locations and offering safe, convenient delivery options.

If you need help knowing how to feed these students, watch our on-demand webinar to learn how to transition campus dining from a traditional model to grab-and-go and delivery. Several universities will share what they are doing to provide food to on-campus residents.

Have most of your residential staff members returned home? What’s the most efficient way to staff on-campus housing while minimizing the risk of infection? How can your staff interact with residents while practicing social distancing? With fewer staff completing more tasks, how do you reassign responsibilities?

Assigning full-time staff to double-up with others and care for the residents remaining on campus will help them feel they are not alone. As they continue to care for on-campus residents, they should also practice social distancing. Educate your team thoroughly and frequently on necessary precautions to take in res halls and how they can interact with and care for isolated or quarantined students.

eRezLife Software has helped support the move to remote work by allowing them to put documentation processes online, such as weekly reports, staff management, and interaction logs. Making these processes accessible anywhere and providing robust reporting has supported our customers as responsibilities have shifted. Housing offices have been able to implement new COVID-19 weekly reports, which include records of digital interactions such as social media posts and recaps of online community discussions to further their residential education while maintaining social distancing.

Will you need to refund or give a credit to residents who have returned home?

ResCenter can help you with prorations using the check-out function. Using your predefined proration schedules removes the need for staff to calculate how much to credit each resident. If your university is not issuing refunds but providing credit for the fall 2020 semester, you can also track who these residents are using a patron attribute. By marking or assigning attributes to residents who’ve moved out, you can later run an advanced find to use when making fall 2020 assignments or tracking who should not receive a charge for fall 2020 room/board.

How do you provide programming for residents when they need to be practicing social distancing?

The feeling of belonging and connecting to an on-campus community is crucial to a student’s success and well-being. Residents remaining on campus will have many questions, concerns, and needs. When they can’t gather in groups to attend programs, you’ll need to find ways to deliver information remotely.

Virtual programming is a great way of doing this. You and your staff can make YouTube videos sharing information on how to stay healthy. You can offer short video snippets of dorm room workouts, a book club reading, or discuss your favorite Netflix shows. Consider gathering information from or even hosting a professor online to share their knowledge with residents. Work with on-campus counseling services to help coordinate discussion times or counseling services for residents. Have fun with virtual programming and think outside the box!

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