Students currently housed in some dorms of Florence Moore, Gerhard Casper Quad, Governor’s Corner, Lagunita, Stern and Wilbur residence halls will be required to move, according to an email sent by Residential & Dining Enterprises (R&DE) on Thursday. Students told The Daily they are concerned about the potential spread of COVID-19 and challenges in moving belongings between residences.
The decision was made to “ensure we can provide support for students remaining on campus” and to “allow the university to respond should we need more space for individuals requiring isolation,” wrote Undergraduate Housing Assignment Manager Jennifer Padilla-Wong. The announcement closely follows the cancellation of plans to invite frosh and sophomores to campus for winter quarter.
Students in Kimball, Ng, EAST, Murray, Robinson, Schiff, Yost, Adelfa, Naranja, Sally Ride, Twain, Junipero, Trancos and all houses in Florence Moore were reassigned.
Students assigned to new housing will choose hour-long time slots on Jan. 21 through 24 to move their belongings, according to Francesca Malayary ’24, who is moving from Lantana to Crothers Hall. The number of students able to reserve each moving time is capped at 12 people in Malayary’s case.
Information initially provided about the consolidation on Jan. 11 described the process as one that “prioritizes friend groups” and “keeps the density of houses low” while maintaining a “critical mass of students in each space for safety and security.”
R&DE spokesperson Jocelyn Breeland did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Some students expressed worries about increased risk for COVID-19 as a result of the housing reassignment. “My main concerns with the consolidation process is that there is generally going to be more crowding in the dorms,” Malayary wrote.
According to Malayary, there were “a good amount of people who’d gathered as a dorm before with some people not wearing masks.” She is worried that if her current housemates are friends with people in her new residence, it could lead to “larger gatherings, both in and out of the dorms.”
Tom Nguyen ’24, who is moving from Florence Moore to Roble, shared similar concerns: “A more densely populated housing leads to more interaction even if we are given separate rooms.” He fears that more students in shared spaces — including bathrooms and dining halls — could lead to the increased spread of COVID-19.
Nguyen added that the process of moving belongings across campus could be difficult. (The University will work with students to provide packing boxes and materials but will not provide professional moving assistance, according to the Winter Quarter 2021 FAQ released on Jan. 9.)
“Lugging heavy suitcases down three flights of stairs is strenuous,” Nguyen wrote. “Getting access to a vehicle to transport the luggage across campus is also not a possibility for some individuals.”
E Ju Ro ’24 wrote in an email to The Daily that she is “truly so annoyed” about moving again, especially because her first move-in process was “incredibly draining and difficult.” The international frosh shared that she had essential items delivered to her on campus: “I have more stuff to move now than I did when I first moved in.”
Originally living in Kimball and reassigned to Branner, Ro said that the housing reassignment is “really stressful overall” especially as she tries to settle into dorm life and after courses have started.
Jerri Anna Roper ’23 wrote in a email that while she was not reassigned housing, she is “nervous” about the possibility of getting a new roommate in her two-room double in EVGR-A. She believes that the University is “asking a lot from full-time students” to move to a new dorm.
Resident assistants and students granted special circumstances housing arrived on campus between Jan. 4 and 10. Frosh and sophomores who planned to live on campus during winter quarter and did not apply for special circumstances housing have the option to apply until Sunday, according to a recent FAQ.
This article has been updated to reflect that the Lantana dorm will remain open to accommodate the increased campus population.