On-campus housing for the fall semester will experience a new series of safety restrictions meant to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Already in effect, these restrictions began with a spaced-out series of move-in days. Compared to the prior move-in windows of three to four days, UTD has allotted 12 days for students to enter their new housing while social distancing. Students will also be required to wear masks when walking through public areas in university housing.
To maintain social distancing past move-in days, students will be barred from gathering in groups larger than five. Additionally, the usage of shared spaces like laundry rooms and common areas will be limited to three to five people at a time.
The University Commons entrance halls, which previously hosted various social gatherings, will no longer accept reservations. Amenity equipment including pool tables and ping pong tables will also be prohibited from use until further notice.
Peer advisors who have undergone extensive training during the summer semester will be responsible for enforcing these new restrictions. However, assistant vice president for Residential Life Ryan White said guaranteeing campus safety would require a mutual effort from students.
“While PA’s will certainly enforce all rules pertaining to the campus, our hope is that each resident will take responsibility for adhering to these guidelines and restrictions,” said White. “Community safety is going to take active participation from both staff and students.”
Given that PA’s have traditionally hosted various community engagement events within UC, White said these events will be shifted to a mostly virtual format to allow for resident interaction. University Village residents can expect to face similar restrictions on gatherings, only without the direct enforcement of PA’s, White said.
Dean of Undergraduate Education Jessica Murphy said that students found to be in violation of campus safety regulations would be dealt with on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the code of conduct.
If a campus resident tests positive for COVID-19, they will be required to self-isolate in a designated room in student housing. Student Health Center director Lea Aubrey said that these students would also receive care packages from the university during their recovery.
To prevent potential exposure to others, Aubrey said that students can access the SHC remotely to evaluate their symptoms. Those determined as presenting significant symptoms will then be able to access COVID-19 testing kits through the university at a reduced price of approximately $54.
For more university COVID-19 resources, see the Comets United webpage.