Res Life adapts to new COVID guidelines

Colin Hanke ® Staff Writer |
Photo by Kjerstin Hall ® Staff Photographer |

Due to the ever-changing nature of the COVID-19 global pandemic, on-campus housing for students looks a little different this year. 

The number of students who contracted the COVID-19 virus is actually low compared to the first couple of weeks of school. (All COVID-related information can be found on the University’s webpage.)  

It is important to note that the Department of Residential Life is committed to ensuring the safety of students and trying to give students the best possible experience given the current circumstances.  

Nicole Faust, one of the Department of Residential Life staff members, said, “When Residential Life learns that a student has tested positive for COVID-19, we work with the student to move them to designated housing where they can isolate safely. Or alternatively, the student may return to their permanent address to fulfill their isolation period.”

When a student moves to a designated housing location, Residential Life provides them with hot meals delivered to their room, laundry service, mail and package service, pharmacy pickup/delivery service and trash-pickup service. The staff also provides refrigerators and microwaves in every room, according to Faust.

Faust said strict limitations are in place for quarantined students. Staff follows up with Student Health Services to ensure students have access to a health care provider if necessary.   

When a resident tests positive for COVID-19, Residential Life follows up with that student’s roommates or suitemates and offers support for them to ensure they have a safe living environment. 

“Being a CA (Community Adviser) this year is definitely different, and I work in a different atmosphere compared to last fall,” said Nina Tulashie, a McElroy CA. “Enforcing policies is hard because I don’t want to get people in trouble, but ultimately it is important for people to follow them so everyone can be safe.”

Tulashie also noted that building relationships with residents is more challenging this year because enforcing housing policies is more persistent than it was in previous years.  

Residence hall students are also encouraged to practice social distancing to ensure that the on-campus infection rate doesn’t reach a point where they have to close campus.

Header photo: A student walks through the lobby of Preska Residence Hall Sept. 22, 2020 in Mankato, Minn. (Kjerstin Hall/MSU Reporter)

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