Dear first-year and returning residential students,

I hope this message finds all of you healthy and safe. Per President Rivera’s fall update message on June 30, Residential Life is providing additional details and information regarding your housing for fall 2020. Given public health guidance, we will determine plans for spring 2021 [corrected from: spring 2020] in the months ahead.

Based on guidance during an in-person walk-through with representatives of the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), we are modifying our traditional residence halls to reduce the number of students living in these spaces. In order to adhere to the MDH recommendations, our residential housing offerings have been modified as follows:

Most students remaining in traditional residence halls (first-year students and returning second-year students) will be assigned a single room. Some larger rooms will be assigned to two students. The MDH categorizes our non-traditional or speciality housing spaces as family/household units (we will refer to them as “pods”). These spaces are considered pods because students share a living/common gathering room, a kitchen, and semi-private or private bathroom(s). All students (except student-athletes), regardless of class year, who are currently assigned to live in non-traditional or specialty housing will remain in those housing assignments.

We acknowledge that this is a lot of information to receive and we want to make it as easy as possible to understand for each impacted population. The information below will address each group as well as provide important information for students on the housing waitlist.

Student-athletes:

  • Student-athletes (first-year student-athletes and returning student-athletes) will be housed together in teams in a hotel to minimize risks that will be created by close contact in training and potentially competition, should that be possible. Hotel room assignments will be based on team affiliations.
  • You will have access to all of the supportive services we offer to students in our on-campus housing.
  • You will travel to and from campus by team via contract buses. You also will receive Metro Transit passes to access public transportation, if you choose.
  • Costs to reside in a hotel will not be more than on-campus housing costs. On-campus meal plans (with to-go options) will be offered, but not required.
  • First-year and second-year student-athletes are required to accept this option, or need to apply for an exemption to the residency requirement for first-year and second-year students. All exemption requests must be received by July 15.
  • If you are a third-year or fourth-year student-athlete, and desire to cancel your Macalester housing contract, you may do so by emailing residential-life@macalester.edu by July 15. Once the housing contract is cancelled, you are responsible for securing your own non-Macalester housing if you desire to live locally.

First-year students who are not student-athletes:

  • First-year students will live in traditional residence halls.
  • In the coming days, you will receive another email from Residential Life to complete a brief new student housing form.
  • First-year students are required to accept this option, or need to apply for an exemption to the residency requirement for first-year and second-year students. All exemption requests must be received by July 15.
  • If you choose to study remotely and wish to apply for an exemption to the residency requirement for first and second-year students, you may do so by emailing residential-life@macalester.edu by July 15.

Returning second-year students assigned to traditional residence halls, who are not student-athletes:

  • Returning second-year students will continue to live on campus.
  • In order to adhere to MDH guidance, we will make room assignment adjustments. Residential Life will communicate any room assignment adjustments directly to those impacted by July 31 via email. All new room assignments will be located in on-campus housing.
  • Second-year students are required to accept this option, or need to apply for an exemption to the residency requirement for first-year and second-year students. All exemption requests must be received by July 15.
  • If you choose to study remotely and wish to apply for an exemption to the residency requirement for first and second-year students, you may do so by emailing residential-life@macalester.edu by July 15.

Returning second-year students assigned to non-traditional or specialty housing, who are not student-athletes:

  • Returning students, regardless of class year, assigned to non-traditional or specialty housing will remain in those housing assignments.
  • The exception is student-athletes in non-traditional or specialty housing, who will be moved to the hotel for student-athletes.
  • Second-year students are required to accept this option, or need to apply for an exemption to the residency requirement for first-year and second-year students. All exemption requests must be received by July 15.
  • If you choose to study remotely and wish to apply for an exemption to the residency requirement for first and second-year students, you may do so by emailing residential-life@macalester.edu by July 15.

Returning third-year or fourth-year students assigned to non-traditional or specialty housing, who are not student-athletes:

  • Returning students, regardless of class year, assigned to non-traditional or specialty housing will remain in those housing assignments.
  • The exception is student-athletes in non-traditional or specialty housing, who will be moved to the hotel for student-athletes.
  • If you choose to study remotely and desire to cancel your Macalester housing contract, you may do so by emailing residential-life@macalester.edu by July 15. Once the housing contract is cancelled, you are responsible for securing your own non-Macalester housing if you wish to live locally.

Returning third-year and fourth-year students assigned to traditional housing, who are not student-athletes:

  • Returning third-year and fourth-year students, assigned to traditional residence halls, will have their housing contract for 2020-2021 voided and offered an alternative hotel option.
  • The college has secured single occupancy hotel rooms for each of you. If you choose to accept this housing, you must opt-in.
  • Costs for students who accept the hotel option will not be more than on-campus housing costs. On-campus meal plans (with to-go options) will be offered, but not required. Shuttle service will be offered and you will receive Metro Transit passes to supplement shuttle service between the campus and the hotels.
  • You are required to inform us of your decision to accept or decline the single-occupancy hotel room offer. Please fill out this form by July 15.

Students on housing waitlist due to fall 2020 study away cancellation:

  • We have secured double-occupancy hotel rooms for each of you. If you choose to accept this housing, you must opt-in. NOTE: You will have a roommate.
  • Costs for students who accept the hotel option will not be more than on-campus housing costs. On-campus meal plans (with to-go options) will be offered, but not required. Students will receive Metro Transit passes, and shuttle service will be offered as a supplement to public transportation between the campus and the hotels.
  • You will have the opportunity to request a specific roommate. The requested roommate must also have been impacted by fall study away cancellation and be on the waitlist.
  • You are required to inform us of your decision to accept or decline the double-occupancy hotel room offer. Please fill out this form by July 15.

We are certain that, after reading this, you will have questions. Future communication will follow with move-in information, additional hotel-related information including the names of the hotel properties and details such as laundry, parking, storage, and other amenities. We are in negotiation with a number of hotels to determine the best option for our students. Once we finalize details around the hotel option, we plan to host a virtual information session. Thank you for your patience and flexibility as we finalize additional details.

Sincerely,
Coco Du
Assistant Dean for Residential Life

 

Published: 7/6/2020