Residence Life During COVID-19

Overview

The University continues to monitor and adjust our policies in housing for the safety of our residents on campus as well as the larger campus community. 

In keeping with Executive Order 155, the University has allowed students to return to the Residence Halls for the academic year with reduced occupancy and the implementation of specific safeguards, which are described in this plan.

Housing occupancy has been reduced by deliberately leaving rooms vacant and eliminating all triple or quadruple room options. Overal occupancy has been reduced from 5,200 to 3,200, which is about 67%.

Infection Prevention Measures

In addition to the social distancing achieved by decreasing the housing population, all students, staff, and visitors in residence halls are required to comply with the University’s requirements for social distancing, face coverings, hand hygiene, Hawk Check completion, and compliance with temperature checks upon entry to the residence halls. Students are expected to present evidence of completion of daily Hawk Check, with the current date, prior to leaving or entering a residence hall.

Residents are encouraged to take their temperatures and monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19 each day and should report elevated temperatures or other symptoms to the University Health Center via Hawk Check. Students are also able to get their temperatures checked at any of our building’s front desks, as well as the Hawk Crossings and Village offices.

Quarantine Requirements

The Office of Residence Life has created a thorough quarantine and isolation policy that is outlined on our specific webpage. This document is intended to serve as a reference for students and the community effected by the coronavirus and are required to quarantine and/or isolate. Students assigned to quarantine/isolation will be provided specific information that should be followed by the University Health Center and Residence Life. Any official, student-specific communications will supersede the general guidance provided in this document. Read additional quarantine and isolation instructions.

Safe Move-in Procedures

The following procedures have been implemented in all residential communities:

  • Plexiglass installed at all front desks.
  • Contactless swiping procedures.
  • Designated entry and exit locations.
  • All students, staff, and visitors must comply with the University’s face covering protocol at all times.
  • Montclair State employees are assigned at strategic locations to monitor compliance.
  • Students, staff, and visitors are required to complete the Hawk Check questionnaire daily.
  • Resident students must be tested for COVID-19 and results must be posted to the MyHealth Portal one week prior to arrival on campus for each semester.
  • Students who believe they are at high risk for COVID-19 can contact the Disability Resource Center to discuss their options.

Depending on the needs of specific residential communities, additional precautions may include:

  • Directional lines and arrows on the floors to promote social distancing while waiting.
  • The use of stanchions to separate areas and encourage safe traffic flow.
  • Weather pending, doors and windows may be opened to enhance ventilation.

Specific Move-In Instructions for Spring 2021

We have made significant adjustments to our movein process to ensure that social distancing protocols are met while still allowing you ample time to move onto campus.Please pay close attention to the below expectations and information on how to sign up for a specific movein date and time.

  • Masks: You and guest(s) are required to wear a mask while moving in and walking within the building and when social distancing is not possible.
  • Hawk Check: We are asking all students to start completing Hawk Check daily at least seven (7) days prior to your arrival on campus.
  • COVID Testing: All students must submit a negative COVID test taken no more than five (5) to seven (7) days prior to your arrival on campus. Submit Your Negative COVID Test.
  • Guests: Each student will be limited to one (1) guest to assist with the movein process. Reminder that all guests, including those who help you move in, must complete Hawk Check at least 12 hours before coming on campus.
  • Social Distancing: Please pay close attention to all signs in the buildings with specific directions on social and physical distancing protocols.
  • Moving Bins: Moving bins will be available for use. We recommend you wear gloves as you unload your cars and load the bins. You may bring your own hand truck if that makes you more comfortable.
  • Elevators: We will limit the use of elevators to one family per elevator car.
  • Student ID Cards: You will need your ID card for movein.

Steps to be Move-in Ready

  1. Double check your assignment and roommates in RMS.
  2. If there are concerns, please email Residence Life at reslife@montclair.edu.
  3. If you did not already complete this for the fall semester, Complete your Emergency Contact Information in NEST.
  4. Submit Your Negative COVID Test
  5. Submit Your Flu Vaccination.
  6. Complete Your Safety Plan
    1. You are required to complete a safety plan in the event of academic or housing changes as they relate to COVID if you have not already completed this in the fall. Complete Your Safety Plan Now.
  7. Please make arrangements to satisfy your account balance.
    1. Spring bills are due Tuesday, January 19. Get More Information about Bill & Payment Plans.

Reminders

  1. Students are asked to remain on campus as much as possible. Leaving and mixing with those outside of our more controlled and frequently tested environment increases the possibility of exposure to the virus.
  2. For our community’s safety, we have implemented a waiver policy to leave campus and urge our residents to stay within our campus community, if possible! In order to get formal approval to leave our campus community, you must apply for a waiver a minimum of one (1) business day (Monday – Friday) before the time you would like to leave campus, in order for it to be reviewed and approved. You may apply via the Leaving Campus Waiver Form during the Spring 2021 semester.
  3. You must complete your Hawk Check daily. You are required to show the front desk staff your daily Hawk Check verification email each time you enter or exit your residence hall. Staff will verify the date of completion.
  4. Temperature checks will take place when entering the residence halls.
  5. Staff are required to verify the identities of persons entering the building. This is completed by checking identification cards and visually verifying that person presenting the card matches the image on the card. Face coverings may be briefly lowered to allow for this visual confirmation. Please maintain a distance of at least six feet from other residents while this process takes place.
Training

All residential staff and students will be trained on these procedures during the first floor meeting of each semester. 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.

Testing

All residential students will be required to be tested 5 – 7 days prior to their scheduled move-in each semester and results must be submitted prior to their arrival. If they test positive, they must remain in isolation until they are cleared by the University Health Center. Students may isolate either at home or in the designated quarantine/isolation spaces provided by the University.

Presently, we have testing plans that include our resident population. We’ve established a focused testing process to keep our infection rates as low as possible, so you can safely stay on campus. This semester, regular testing of all individuals in the residence halls has been implemented so we can identify and isolate those who may have COVID-19, in order to help prevent its spread and monitor the rate of COVID-19 infection within the Montclair State community. For more information, visit COVID-19 Testing.

Visitor Policy

Outside visitors will be restricted and their presence monitored. Non-residents will be limited to those with a compelling reason to be in the building (such as meal delivery, emergency personnel, residence life staff, 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 or move-out and related activities. Off-campus family and friends may not be present in the halls beyond providing assistance to move-in or move-out.

Effective April 13, 2021, residents are permitted to have one (1) other residential guest per room or unit at a time. This is subject to change. Any updates to the guest policy will be sent via email.

  • Please Note: Residents of apartment communities are required to comply with this policy. If students in apartment communities are found to violate this policy, they may be relocated to a traditional hall that requires guest registration or be dismissed from housing for non-compliance.

For the purpose of guest registration, a “room” is defined as a unit (apartment, suite, room, etc.) within the residence hall. All residents of a unit should discuss their plans and make necessary arrangements to ensure they do not exceed the allowed number of guests. Expectations regarding guests should be established via the Roommate Agreement.

As a reminder at this time all common area lounges and other common spaces are open at reduced capacity. Students must follow proper guidelines, including no congregating or eating in the kitchen.

As recommendations from state and federal agencies change, we will review and update all policies.

Entry to residence halls is through a card access system only, and residents will only have entry access to their particular residence hall. The University will continue its practice of registering all guests using a student identification card or photo ID.

Sanitization and Cleaning

Increased cleaning has been implemented throughout the residence halls for high touch surfaces, common areas, and all public areas and shared hall bathrooms three times per day.

Residents are provided with guidance and information on appropriate cleaning products to have on hand prior to their arrival on campus. Consistent with existing practices, residents are responsible for cleaning private and suite bathrooms. At the time of move-in students are provided a cleaning solution to use. University-supplied cleaning products are refilled as necessary.

Selection Criteria

Every effort is 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
Social and Physical Distancing

Common or shared kitchens in a residence hall are open for the purpose of cooking, with limited occupancy, frequent cleaning and no furniture for congregating. Common area kitchens implement single use protocols that include sign-up for use, increased sanitation before and after use, and inspection following use.

Common areas and lounges are open, with furniture appropriately spaced to allow for social distancing. The maximum capacity for these spaces is limited to 10 people. All attendees at indoor gatherings must wear face coverings and stay six feet apart.

Signs are installed to inform residents of required procedures and to promote good hygiene.

Occupancy on elevators is limited.