When the State entered Stage 1 of the pandemic, the University closed its residence halls to all students except for those who had nowhere else to live or for whom it would be an extreme hardship to leave. This practice has continued throughout the summer.
During Stage 2, in keeping with Executive Order 155, the University will allow students to return to residence halls for the fall 2020 semester, with reduced occupancy and all of the safeguards described in this plan.
Housing occupancy will be reduced by deliberately leaving rooms vacant, eliminating all triple or quadruple room options and turning some rooms designed for double occupancy into single rooms. Double rooms will be assigned only on request.
The University will also establish quarantine (isolation) spaces for students who may need them. Specifically:
- Occupancy will be reduced from 5,200 to 3,499 (67%).
- 412 rooms will be reserved for use as quarantine spaces, where students will have private rooms:
- Stone Hall (building closed): 71
- Bohn Hall (building closed): 293
- Hawk Crossings Apartments – two full apartments held vacant to house 2 people per apartment: 4
- The Village at Little Falls Apartments – 11 apartments held vacant in to house 2 people per apartment (with one per bath): 22
- The Heights – students can quarantine in their own single rooms: 16
- Freeman Hall – 2 suites held vacant in Freeman Hall to house 2 students per suite: 4
- Russ Hall – 1 suite and 1 triple room to house one each: 2
More beds may be available if students who have signed up do not move in, but the rooms listed above have been specifically set aside for quarantine spaces.
When New Jersey enters Stage 3 the University may expand occupancy to meet student need to a maximum of 90%, retaining a minimum of 10% for quarantine spaces. All of the following safeguards will be in place.
Social and Physical Distancing
During Stage 2, common areas, such as lounges and shared areas typically open to all residents within a housing facility, will remain closed to comply with the Governor’s executive orders.
When the State enters Stage 3, common areas will reopen, with furniture appropriately spaced to allow for social distancing.
Signs will be installed to inform residents of required procedures and to promote good hygiene. Common area kitchens will implement single use protocols that include sign-up for use, increased sanitation before and after use, and inspection following use. Floors throughout corridors and public areas will be marked with directional arrows, and occupancy on elevators will be limited.
Student move-in for fall will occur over an extended period (August 5-23) and several measures will be taken to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. Daily check-in numbers will be decreased and staggered strategically to limit density in public areas and on elevators, promote physical distancing, and avoid the need for additional staff presence.
Additional precautions include:
- Students will sign documents electronically and check-in online ahead of time when possible.
- Entrance and exits will be specifically designated.
- Floors will be marked with directions and lines for social distancing while waiting.
- Stanchions separating areas and encouraging social distancing will be installed.
- Plexiglass will be installed at desk areas.
- Contactless swiping procedures will be implemented.
- Students, staff and visitors will comply with the University’s face coverings protocol during move-in.
- Montclair State employees will be assigned at strategic locations to monitor compliance with social distancing.
- Students and visitors will be asked to complete a pre-arrival health screening questionnaire and be tested for COVID-19 one week prior to arrival on campus.
- Students will be informed that if they believe they are at high risk for COVID-19, they should contact the Disability Resource Center to discuss their options.
- Doors and windows will be opened to enhance ventilation.
- Students may drop off belongings early and move in later, if they sign up for this and are approved in advance.
Every effort will be made to give students the type of housing requested, subject to availability. Students will be assigned with priority given to students who meet any of the following criteria:
- do not live within commuting distance
- have no safe or reasonable way to commute to and from the University
- whose permanent residence is out of state
- who have no other permanent residence
- whose permanent residence is unsafe
- who are enrolled in programs that require on campus instruction and activities
Infection Prevention Measures
In addition to the social distancing achieved by decreasing the housing population, all students, staff and visitors in residence halls will be required to comply with the University’s requirements for social distancing, face coverings, and hand hygiene. For more information, please see Section I: General Safeguards.
Residents will be encouraged to take their temperatures and monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19 each day, and will be provided with a means to report elevated temperatures or other symptoms to the University Health Center. Consistent with the University’s strategy of reducing campus population density during the final two weeks of the semester by transitioning all remaining coursework to remote delivery after Thanksgiving, students will have the option to sign up for a housing contract that ends on November 25 or one that ends on December 14. Only international students, students who have no alternative housing or no safe alternative housing outside of Montclair State, and students who, in the judgment of the University, have other compelling reasons to stay on campus will be permitted to remain in University housing over the winter break.
Sanitization and Cleaning
Increased cleaning will be implemented in residence halls for high touch surfaces, common areas, and all public areas and shared hall bathrooms three times per day.
Residents will be provided with guidance and information on appropriate cleaning products to have on hand prior to their arrival on campus. Consistent with existing practices, residents will be responsible for cleaning private and suite bathrooms. At the time of move-in students will be provided a cleaning solution to use. University-supplied cleaning products will be refilled as necessary.
Outside visitors will be limited and their presence monitored. During Stage 2, visitors will be limited to those with a compelling reason to be in the building (such as meal delivery, emergency personnel, or maintenance). As an exception, family members of a student residing in an on-campus housing facility who have completed a screening for COVID-19 can assist with student move-in and related activities.
During Stages 2 and 3,students will be permitted only one guest per room at any time. No outside visitors will be permitted in common areas. Entry to residence halls is through a card access system only, and residents will only have entry access to their particular residential hall. The University will continue its practice of logging visitors by name, address, phone, email and date of visit.
International students who live in the residential halls will be required to isolate within their housing assignment for 14 days after arrival in New Jersey. Students will be informed of this requirement in advance so that they can plan on arriving within 15-20 days before the starting date of classes.
Students and employees returning to New Jersey from states with increasing rates of COVID-19 (as identified by the Governor) who live in the residential halls must self-quarantine for 14 days either off campus or within housing assigned by the University for this purpose.
All residential staff and students will be trained on these procedures. Programs will be updated as needed, based on changing circumstances and new information from the State and public health authorities. Awareness and compliance will be monitored throughout the year, and continuing education will be delivered whenever necessary. Any student failing to abide by University regulations will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, including removal from on-campus residence.
All residential students will be required to be tested for COVID-19 within one week prior to moving in. If they test positive, they must remain in isolation for 14 days, either at home or in the designated quarantine spaces provided by the University.
Last Modified: Monday, August 3, 2020 10:52 am