After months of uncertainty about what college life will look like, students living on campus this fall got a glimpse as housing and roommate assignments were released Sunday.
All residence hall rooms will be either single or double occupancy, and the 12-person suites in Lincoln and Morrill Towers will be limited to six people total to allow for increased physical distancing in common areas and restrooms, university spokesperson Dave Isaacs said in an email. These changes fall under the responsibility of the Safe Campus and Scientific Advisory Subgroup of Ohio State’s COVID-19 Task Force.
“This guidance is paramount in determining the reduction in residence hall density and what additional measures could be implemented for student safety,” Isaacs said.
Sonam Rustagi, a second-year in economics, expected to live in a four-person suite in Blackburn House this fall. When her roommate later opted to live off campus, she was assigned a single room, reducing the suite’s capacity to three.
“I’m glad that there’s reduced capacity because it’ll keep us safer despite having to share a bathroom,” Rustagi said.
Isolation housing will be available for on-campus residents who test positive for COVID-19, and quarantine housing will also be available to those possibly exposed to the coronavirus. Isaacs said that specific locations for these accommodations have not yet been determined.
A new subsection of the 2020-21 housing contract holds students liable for any “damages, liabilities, loss or expenses related to COVID-19 that they may incur as a result of continuing to reside in University Housing.”
“These changes are included in the introductory highlights section at the beginning of the contract for student/family review,” Isaacs said.
The housing contract also states that certain services, including dining options and residence hall programming, may be reduced at any time for health and safety purposes.
Visitors, including overnight guests, will not be permitted in residence halls, and a student’s BuckID will only grant access to that student’s assigned building.