On May 1, Vice President of Student Affairs Meredith Harper Bonham ’92 sent out a much-anticipated email announcing that students would have the opportunity to retrieve the rest of their belongings starting May 30 and ending June 10. The email also said that housing for the 2020-21 academic year would not be chosen until July 15 at the latest, after the administration has made decisions regarding study abroad programs and the fall semester.
Following the weeklong retrieval period in mid-March, the state of Ohio began to enforce stricter stay-at-home orders that delayed the process for remaining students to return to campus and retrieve their belongings. Recently, however, Ohio governor Mike DeWine announced that Ohio would gradually begin to lift stay-at-home orders throughout the month of May, making a return to campus plausible for students within the coming weeks.
“We have a plan to start opening Ohio back up. It’s going to be gradual—one thing after another. We want to do this in a thoughtful way that engenders confidence and ensures customers and employees are safe,” DeWine tweeted in April.
With these new orders comes a lengthy list of safety precautions to ensure that students are still adhering to proper social distancing practices. As was the case in March, students are to reserve a three-hour time slot and are permitted to take only one other person with them when they move out. This individual is to be indicated on the form sent out to students and should be prepared to show proper identification upon entry. Further, students are asked to wear masks outside of their rooms, avoid interactions while on campus and ensure that they remain six feet away from others.
If students are unable to return to campus, they will be contacted in early June to schedule a virtual walk-through appointment of their room. In this appointment, students will meet with a student employee and a maintenance staff member to discuss which items should be shipped and which should be stored away for the 2020-21 academic year. Students are encouraged to utilize PAKMail and Summer Break Storage in order to pack away the rest of their items.
Acknowledging that students had been anxiously awaiting information about the lottery, Bonham then addressed the housing selection process for next semester. However, with the uncertainty that colleges continue to face about a residential fall semester, the College will put out a decision on the housing process no later than July 15.
“At this time, we are waiting to begin the housing selection process until we have more information regarding fall and full-year study abroad programs. We also are awaiting guidance from public health authorities regarding their recommendations for physical distancing within a residential program,” Bonham wrote in the email.
Students were also reminded that information is subject to change based on state guidance in Ohio. Should they have further questions regarding the retrieval process, they are encouraged to reach out to ResLife via email at email@example.com.