Photo of the seal on the oval

The Office of Student Life released its finalized return to campus guidance Thursday. | Credit: Lantern file photo

From move-in to office hours to couches in common rooms, Ohio State’s guidance for returning to campus amid the COVID-19 pandemic will affect many aspects of campus life.

The Office of Student Life released its finalized return to campus plan Thursday, detailing new physical distancing and sanitization policies which will impact residence halls, Greek Life, student organization events and other campus operations.

“Student Life’s strategy will align with university decisions and follow federal, state and local guidance,” the document reads. “This document is intended to be organic and evolving; it will be updated as additional decisions or guidance is provided, with dates and version numbers on the front cover.” 

Students with university housing contracts who test positive for or are exposed to COVID-19 will be moved into isolation or quarantine housing, respectively, if they cannot or choose not to return to their permanent residences. Students living off campus and without university housing contracts are advised to self-isolate or self-quarantine within their residence.

No visitors, including overnight guests, will be allowed in residence halls, the guidance states. Students’ access to residence halls via BuckID will be limited to their own building.

According to the guidance, furniture in common areas will be marked and arranged to promote physical dstancing, and multi-seat furniture such as couches will be removed. Common spaces will be disinfected daily. 

The guidance states that off-campus, university-managed Greek housing is expected to follow university guidelines on physical distancing and other health protocols, but the university will not directly enforce these guidelines.

“Though leases do not allow Ohio State to dictate housing occupancy, information will be shared with house corporations and alumni advisors on guidance being followed by Ohio State for on-campus housing and meals,” the document reads.

An addendum will be added to current university dining plans to accommodate changes in on-campus dining options. The changes have not yet been made available.

Student services, including Student Health Services and Counseling and Consultation Services, will conduct many appointments remotely with Zoom, Skype and over the phone. 

Face masks will be required for all in-person student services appointments unless not permitted for health reasons, and physical distancing must be enforced at all times. Waiting-room seating and reception lines will be altered and appointments will be staggered at 15-minute intervals to maintain physical distancing. 

Student organizations are required to follow all guidelines when using Student Life facility space, according to the guidance. 

Professors offering in-person office hours will only be able to do so in rooms where it is possible for people to be 6 feet apart and appointments must be spaced 10-15 minutes apart, the guidance states. Masks are required during these office hours.