COVID-19 Updates: Residential Life shares plans for housing

Amidst the on-going pandemic, ResLife releases the latest strategies for campus housing.


(towert7 / Flickr)

UMass students received an extensive email on Monday from Residential Life containing the school’s most recent plans for housing. Jean Ahlstrand MacKimmie, director of residence education, and Dawn M. Bond, director of residential operations, explained that while ResLife is still “building out the logistics” for how students can retrieve their belongings while also practicing social distancing, no one — except authorized personnel — should be on campus. 

[P]lease do not come to campus and attempt to move out of your room,” they advised. “Our plan for move-out will include specifics regarding scheduling and instructions on process, which are intended to safeguard all involved.”

The email also includes information for students who are unable to transition off-campus such as who can stay, how to apply and the expectations the school has for its residents after March 21.

Who can stay:

  • Students whose permanent residence is located outside the U.S. and they’re unable to return home.
  • Student employees who are deemed to be “critical, [and] on-site student employees” by their department.
  • Students completing internships, clinicals or practicums and their departments consider their presence required.
  • Students who have personal circumstances that prevent them from returning home (i.e. part of the foster care system, independent student, no permanent address, unable to access equipment, internet or technology for online learning, etc.).

How to apply: 

  • Students can apply for housing through their SPIRE by Wed. March 18, where they must state the circumstances that require them to stay on campus. They can expect notification of their status by noon on Friday, March 2o at the latest.


  • No programming or social events will be held.
  • Students must remain on campus and guests are prohibited in residence halls. 
  • Students must pay tuition, fees, and room and board costs associated with your housing assignment.  However, financial aid will continue.
  • Currently, students will keep their room assignments, but this might change to ensure communal health.
  • Students who test positive for the COVID-19 will be relocated to complete isolation for 14 days minimum. Those who have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus will be moved to space where they can complete a 14-day self-quarantine.
  • Students must adhere to “the highest of standards for student behavior during this time.”

Additionally, in an email sent on March 12, the Student Government Association extended its support by creating a team that will both inform the resident population and advocate for students who have been significantly impacted by the current situation. This includes, “those who are homeless, food insecure, international and out-of-state students, and all student workers.”

We will be communicating information around housing, dining, and refunds around certain fees to the student body,” wrote SGA. “We will continue to hold ourselves accountable to the students we are elected and appointed to represent, and we are committed to continuously learning how the campus expects us to lead and welcome all input.”

Students can reach SGA at (413)-545-0342 or contact Residential Life Student Services at (413)-545-2100, Mon. – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.


Email Brianna Silva at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @brisilvv.

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