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August 2020 KU Student Housing Plan Highlights

As of June 25, 2020
A series of Frequently Asked Questions regarding moving in to KU Student Housing is available here.

Living on campus is an important part of the Jayhawk Living Experience and student success at KU. Student Housing remains dedicated to supporting residents’ personal development through intentional connections and crafted support. We also acknowledge the uncertainty students may be feeling due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the changes to their daily life.

To help reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19, we are making important adjustments to on-campus housing for 2020-21. All decisions and policies are informed by guidance from public health authorities and designed to achieve the goal of an engaged living and learning experience for residents.

Building Operations

All Student Housing facilities will operate differently compared to previous years. Living on campus is a privilege, and it is up to EVERYONE to ensure that our living communities remain safe and healthy.

All residents will need to follow KU’s directives and expectations regarding public health guidelines. In Student Housing, this includes:

  1. Wearing a face covering when outside your assigned space and in public areas (hallways, lobbies, elevators, laundry, etc.).
  2. Washing your hands frequently and/or using hand sanitizer.
  3. Practicing physical distancing, which includes observing capacity limits posted for elevators, lobbies, and other spaces.
  4. Conducting daily personal health screenings, and reporting to health care providers if you have a high fever, cough or other COVID-19 symptoms.
  5. Cleaning your room (including private bathrooms inside suites and apartments) multiple times per week in accordance with the CDC-recommended cleaning procedures and products
  6. After your move-in date and through at least Sept. 8, no guests or visitors will be allowed inside any Student Housing facility. Only residents assigned to a specific building will be allowed in that building. This is to protect the on-campus housing community as the fall semester begins.

KU Student Housing will:

  1. At check-in, provide each resident with two washable cloth face coverings and a bottle of hand sanitizer. Residents are strongly encouraged to also bring additional face coverings and personal protection supplies. See our What to Bring packing list.
  2. Increase the cleaning and disinfection frequency of common high-touch areas, including elevator buttons, exterior door handles, and community restrooms throughout each day.
  3. Have disinfection kits available to residents for use in shared community spaces. The kits contain cleaning supplies and instructions so residents may disinfect the spaces before and after use.

Room Assignments and Building Occupancy

Most KU Student Housing buildings will operate near capacity. You will still have the choice to live with roommates or suitemates and accept the shared responsibility to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 through actions both inside the living spaces and throughout the greater KU community. Roommates will be treated as a “single household” and, for this reason, will not be required to wear a face covering inside their room, suite, or apartment.

In some buildings, to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19, Student Housing will reduce the number of residents using community bathroom spaces. This means room assignments may change to other floors or buildings. If your room assignment is affected by this change, we’ll notify you as soon as possible. Roommates will be re-assigned together wherever space allows.

Fall 2020 Private Room Request is available. Submit your request by July 6 for initial consideration. Priority for private spaces will go to those who show documented medical need for one, and who have been approved by University Academic Support Centers. Remaining single spaces will be assigned based on individual preferences and needs. Because of building configurations, singles are not available in every community.

If you are not willing to accept the updated expectations of living in KU Student Housing as stated above, you have until July 15 to cancel the housing contract without cancellation penalties. Cancellation requests received after July 15 will be subject to contract cancellation penalties. For information on cancelling your KU Student Housing contract, click here.

Move-In Dates and Overview

In order to provide necessary physical distancing, move-in will occur over a longer period of time than in previous years. Move-in appointments will be required. During the week of July 6, each resident will receive an email with a sign-up link to reserve a move-in day and time for your arrival to campus.

To help reduce the amount of residents moving in at the same time in some of our larger buildings, we will offer an early staging period for residents who are within a reasonable distance (about a one- or two-hour drive) to Lawrence. The move-in scheduling link will offer you a staging appointment between Aug. 7-15. You may unpack during your appointment and leave your belongings in your locked room. You will then return to Lawrence for the fall semester after 5 p.m. Aug. 21.

If you are unable to travel to Lawrence in early August to set-up and stage your room, you will select from available move-in times just before fall classes start. You will arrive in Lawrence for move-in and stay for the fall semester.

Full move-in details are still being finalized, but here are a few important updates:

  • You, and your move-in group, may be required to fill out a health pre-screening questionnaire before arriving to campus. Details will be shared once available.
  • We may need to limit number of guests in the building. With this in mind, please limit the people who accompany you to no more than three additional people.
  • You, and everyone in your move-in group, will be required to wear face coverings inside and outside of the buildings.
  • We strongly encourage you to limit the number of items you bring to campus. There will be no volunteers or additional helpers to carry your items. A limited number of carts may be available, but you will have to disinfect the cart before and after use. To expedite your move, consider bringing your own dollies or carts.
  • Elevators will have limited occupancy. There will be signs to tell you how many people may use an elevator at one time.
  • Dates for scheduled staging and move-in are anticipated to be:

New Resident Move-In Options

Residence Halls and Stouffer Place

Aug. 7–15 Appointment blocks to stage room and then depart campus. Return to campus after 5 p.m., Friday, Aug. 21.

August 20–23 Move-in appointments for those who could not schedule staging time.

After August 23 Appointment schedule TBA.

Scholarship Halls

Aug. 20–22
(No staging appointments)

After August 22
Appointment schedule TBA.

Returning Resident Move-In Options

Apartments

Aug. 18–23

After August 23
Appointment schedule TBA.

Residence Halls

Aug. 7–15
Appointment blocks to stage room and then depart campus. Return to campus after 5 p.m., Friday, Aug. 21.

August 20–23
Move-in appointments for those who could not schedule staging time.

After August 23
Appointment schedule TBA

Scholarship Halls

Aug. 20–22
(No staging appointments)

After August 22
Appointment schedule TBA.

You will only be allowed to move in on dates listed, unless pre-approved by an academic unit at KU (such as Band or ROTC) and also pre-approved for early move-in by Student Housing.

If you’re participating in sorority recruitment, select a move-in appointment like other residents. You will not need to move in early due to the modified virtual format of sorority recruitment.

Scholarship Hall Information

Scholarship halls and the shared nature of their cooperative living environment present unique challenges. We are currently working with public health officials to create protocols specific to this community and its needs. At this time, you should expect the following:

  1. Scholarship Hall kitchens and the cooperative food management program will be suspended for the entire fall semester, except in Miller Hall and Watkins Hall, where the individual small kitchens can operate without interruption. In the other 10 halls, the scholarship hall meal plan money for fall semester will be placed on your KU ID as a KU Dining plan, and you will purchase meals at a KU Dining venue. For the fall semester, scholarship hall residents will receive the KU Dining Blue Flex plan, but pay the published scholarship hall meal plan rate.
  2. Residents will remain responsible for cooperatively cleaning their hall, and all residents are required to participate in the cleaning shift rotations. Additional resident shifts will be added to meet CDC recommendations for disinfecting and cleaning shared community areas in each scholarship hall. Residents will be provided with necessary personal protective equipment, as well as training regarding appropriate safety and cleaning practices.
  3. In Miller Hall and Watkins Hall, due to recommended guidelines for physical distancing, sleeping areas will be moved from the shared community porches to the individual student rooms. Desks will be moved to the former sleeping porches for the academic year. We will work with the residents in Watkins and Miller to address how these changes affect the community.
  4. As with all other KU Student Housing buildings, scholarship hall residents will be required to wear face coverings when outside your individual, assigned spaces.
  5. All programs, including events, meetings, and traditions, will need to be approved by scholarship hall senior staff in advance. Local health department guidelines must be followed for the program to be allowed. More information will be shared with residents soon.
  6. For at least the first two weeks of the semester (through September 8), no guests will be allowed inside scholarship halls. This also means no scholarship hall resident may visit any other scholarship hall. This includes sibling hall programs, events, and traditions. This action is to protect the scholarship hall community.
  7. For policies and procedures that are in place to protect the public health of the campus, the scholarship hall judicial board process will not be applied and the student conduct process will be used to hold students accountable to the shared community expectations.

If you are not willing to accept the updated changes or expectations of living in the scholarship hall community, you can 1) request a room change to an available residence hall or apartment space, including rate changes, or 2) until July 15 cancel the housing contract without cancellation penalties. Cancellation requests received after July 15 will be subject to contract cancellation penalties.

Quarantine and Isolation

For on-campus residents who test positive or may have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus, we will provide dedicated rooms for quarantine and isolation.

The University of Kansas follows directives from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, including mandates for travel-related quarantine. The current KDHE list may be found online. More information will be shared with residents from quarantined areas regarding expectations for your move-in and arrival on campus.

Academic Calendar Change

Due to changes in the KU academic calendar, most residents will be required to leave Student Housing just before Thanksgiving when all buildings shift to limited operations. Only residents with extenuating circumstances and who register in advance, will be allowed to stay in Student Housing for the remainder of fall semester. If you are returning for the spring 2021 semester, you may leave your belongings in your room over the extended break. If you leave at Thanksgiving and complete the check-out process, you will receive a prorated credit for part of the fall semester housing charges. Plans are still being finalized for the fall housing credit and spring 2021 move-in dates.

Final thoughts

The cornerstone of our commitment to residents is shared social responsibility by all members of the community. We must all embrace these new procedures to be vigilant in protecting not only ourselves, but every member of the Jayhawk community. We know this will be challenging, and not how we are accustomed to living. If we can all continue to make the commitment to our health and that of those around us, we are confident KU Student Housing can be an engaging and vibrant community that promotes public health and best practices for preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Previous updates

As of June 15, 2020
Living on-campus is an important part of the Jayhawk Living Experience and student success at KU. Student Housing remains dedicated to supporting residents as they develop into the best versions of themselves, through intentional connections and crafted support. We also acknowledge the uncertainty students may be feeling as a result of the extraordinary public health crisis facing our country and the changes to daily life that have affected us for months.

To help reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19, we are making some important adjustments to on-campus housing for 2020-21. All our decisions and policies are informed by the best available guidance from public health authorities and the CDC. Our decisions are also designed to achieve the goal of an engaged living and learning experience for all residents.

The cornerstone of our commitment to residents is shared social responsibility by all members of the community—we must all embrace these new procedures to be vigilant in protecting not only ourselves, but every member of the Jayhawk community. We know this effort is hard, and not how we are accustomed to living. If we can all continue to make the commitment to our health and that of those around us—we believe that KU Student Housing can be an engaging and vibrant community that promotes public health and best practices for preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Overview of KU Student Housing Operations for 2020-21

  1. Most KU Student Housing buildings will operate near capacity. Additional shared community behavioral standards will be in place to prioritize residents’ health and wellness.
  2. We will schedule move-in by appointment to help achieve physical distancing throughout the process. Details about move-in options will be shared soon.
  3. Students will still have the choice to live with their selected roommates or suitemates. Roommates will be treated as a single household and, for this reason, will not be required to wear a mask inside their room or suite. Student room assignments may change to other floors or buildings to reduce the number of residents using community restrooms.
  4. Although most single occupancy rooms are full, a limited number have been reserved by KU Student Housing. Priority for those spaces will go to residents who require a single room because of documented medical need that has been approved by University Academic Support Centers. Because of building configurations, singles are not available in every community.
  5. Scholarship halls and the shared nature of their cooperative living environment provide unique challenges. We are currently working with public health guidelines to create protocols specific to the scholarship hall community and its varying building types. Additional information will be shared soon.
  6. The Student Housing contract cancellation schedule has been revised. It allows students until July 15, 2020 to cancel their contract without cancellation penalties should they not be willing to accept the shared community expectations around public health and safety that will be in place for 2020-21.
  7. Revisions to the KU Student Housing Handbook will include requirements and guidance related to public health and hygiene practices. Residents must agree to these procedures to remain living in KU Student Housing. The 2020-21 Student Housing Handbook will be shared soon.
  8. To reduce the possible spread of COVID-19, KU Student Housing will implement the following policies and protocols:
    • Face coverings or masks will be required in Student Housing facilities when outside the individual’s room/suite/apartment. This expectation is for all students, staff, and guests.
    • We will increase the cleaning and disinfection frequency of common “high touch” areas, including elevator buttons, exterior door handles, and community restrooms throughout each day.
    • We will place signage in public areas, including elevators and floor lounges, limiting occupancy to a specific standard.
    • Shared community spaces such as laundry rooms and floor lobbies will be furnished with cleaning supplies and instructions for students to disinfect the space or equipment before and after every use.
    • We reserve the right to amend guest visitation policies to restrict (or prohibit) non-residents from entering KU Student Housing facilities.  
  9. A limited number of rooms are being set aside in KU Student Housing in order to provide quarantine and isolation space to residents who are being tested for or are already confirmed positive for COVID-19. The use of appropriate physical separation will be as directed by Watkins Health Services or other health authorities in Douglas County.
  10. We highly recommend students stay on campus during the entire fall semester as much as possible to help reduce the possibility of coming in contact with someone who has COVID-19 in the greater community. As the COVID-19 environment continues to evolve, it is important to research any area students may seek to travel and understand the risks involved.
  11. For students with KU Dining plans: KU Dining’s operational plan will follow current guidelines from both the local Douglas County Health Department and Kansas Department of Health. With reduced seating capacity in many venues to allow for physical distancing, there will be options for takeout. KU Dining’s plan may change throughout the semester to address any changes in COVID-19 requirements.
  12. As updated guidance and procedures are announced by KU and public health officials, KU Student Housing will update our 2020-21 operational plan for our facilities.

Academic Calendar Change

Due to changes in the KU academic calendar, most students will be required to leave Student Housing facilities just prior to Thanksgiving when all buildings shift to limited operations and the semester concludes through on-line instruction. Only students with extenuating circumstances will be allowed to stay in Housing facilities during and after Thanksgiving. A registration process to stay after Thanksgiving will be established. Students who are returning for the Spring 2021 semester will be permitted to leave their belongings in their rooms over the extended break period. For students who leave at Thanksgiving, a prorated credit for part of the fall semester housing charges will be provided. Plans are still being finalized for the fall housing credit. Information regarding Spring 2021 semester move-in dates is also still being finalized.


More than $200,000 in annual scholarships to returning residents
Academic success: More than 94 percent of first-time, full-time freshmen in student housing enroll for the next semester
5,100 residents choose student housing each year
Residence hall rates are almost $2,000 less per year than the national average for public schools
— College Board
$4 million alumni gift funded Krehbiel Scholarship Hall
Options include suites, private bedroom with shared bath, two-person rooms, scholarship halls, and apartments
Oswald and Self residence halls opened in 2015
One bill covers all costs: room, food, utilities, and wireless Internet
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities