University housing move update

D

ear students and parents,

All of us at Quinnipiac hope you and your loved ones are staying healthy and safe. We are writing to provide an important update for students whose belongings remain in university housing, and details on when they may be able to retrieve their items.

Update on Connecticut and our region

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont has issued restrictions on travel and social gatherings of over five people, with a goal of decelerating the rate of illnesses, hospitalizations and, tragically, deaths. Our neighboring states of New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts also have seen high rates of infection. First responders (fire, police) and frontline health care workers are increasingly at risk as our hospitals and towns try to keep up with the volume of people needing medical care. 

Gov. Lamont last week announced a “medical surge plan,” identifying alternate accommodations and living spaces as overflow for the health care system and providing first responders and health care workers a safe place to self-isolate. He also has deployed the National Guard to start setting up beds and medical stations on the campuses of many of the state’s public universities. Local authorities also have issued requests for accommodations of first responders for the same critical purposes.

Packing up rooms

Given these developments and vital community needs, we are preparing space on our campuses to support first responders and health care workers. Starting on Tuesday, April 14, we will begin packing up rooms for all students whose belongings remain in university housing. Belongings will be packed by university staff, who will receive special instruction for carrying out the task with care and discretion. 

Beyond our responsibility to our communities, taking this action now will accelerate the move-out process when students are permitted to return and retrieve their belongings, thus reducing significantly the concentration of people and amount of time spent together. And it will enable our employees to begin cleaning and preparing university housing for the new school year. We recognize that many would prefer to pack their own belongings. Unfortunately, given the current health crisis and community needs, it is not possible – nor would it be compliant or responsible – to bring back that many individuals into the community at this time.   

Retrieving belongings

Here is some important information on the packing process, the care we will take, and when we hope students will be able to return to retrieve their belongings:

  • Each student’s belongings will be packed in their entirety in boxes and will be sealed and protected.
  • Items that do not obviously belong to any particular student (e.g., a lamp or microwave) will be left out or in an open box, to be claimed by the appropriate student owner when returning to campus to retrieve belongings.
  • Packed belongings will remain in students’ rooms or living spaces unless those spaces are needed by first responders and health care workers, at which time belongings will be removed, labeled with your names, and stored with care in the People’s United Center – a temperature-controlled environment. 
  • We will invite students to return to campus to retrieve their belongings as soon as the health crisis is mitigated and the governor has relaxed his guidelines. We are hoping the move-out period will be around May 22 – June 5, but that may change depending on evolution of the COVID-19 health guidelines. Lockers on the North Haven campus can be emptied during this same period. 
  • All students will be required to retrieve their belongings during the move-out period, and families will be offered timeslots to sign up and return to campus. An online schedule will be created and sent to you in the coming weeks to efficiently manage and space out the retrieval of belongings to maintain appropriate social distancing. We want to emphasize that this date is subject to change, depending upon whether and when various restrictions are lifted in Connecticut. We will update you again on May 11 regarding expected move-out dates.
  • If students are unable to retrieve their belonging during the scheduled window, they must submit a special exception request to have their belongings stored at the People’s United Center until the beginning of the fall semester. More details on that exception process will be available in the coming weeks when we finalize the online scheduling. 

No doubt, this is not the way you would choose to move out at the end of the school year. These decisions are being made in very difficult and unprecedented times. We ask for your understanding, cooperation and flexibility in enabling us to manage the various needs to which we are responding. We will continue to communicate frequently and transparently about any actions we take in hopes we can lessen the uncertainty or anxiety you may be experiencing. 

We have tried to address many of your common questions about the move out in our Frequently Asked Questions posted to our COVID-19 website. If your question is not answered there, you may send a question to our online Support Center at COVID19SupportCenter@qu.edu

I deeply appreciate your cooperation during this global crisis, your adaptability to these very different learning and living circumstances, and your support of our collective efforts to be of assistance to first responders and health care workers who are making such sacrifices on behalf of all of us.  

Be well,

Monique Drucker, EdD
Vice president and dean of students