Housing and Residence Life Hosts Town Hall for Returning Students
Tech's upperclass students will move into campus housing beginning Aug. 13.
Georgia Tech’s upperclass students will move into campus housing beginning Thursday, Aug. 13. Because of Covid-19, this year’s move-in will have a drive-thru check-in process. Housing and Residence Life held a virtual town hall on July 23 to answer questions from returning residents.
Jenny Cotton, executive director of Housing and Residence Life, led the Q&A and was joined by Sheree Gibson, director of Residence Life; Alex Becking, associate director of Residence Life; Ryan Greene, interim director of Housing Administration; Sherry Murray, interim assistant director of Residence Life; and Chris Taylor, senior director of Housing and Residence Life Facilities. Morgan Miller, director of communications for Campus Services, moderated the event.
Housing and Residence Life announced in an email Friday that residents are now able to cancel their housing agreements with no penalty until Thursday, July 30. More information is available at the Housing website.
I may be commuting to campus this semester. What will visitation with individuals who live on campus look like?
Sheree Gibson: For the first eight weeks we are asking that residents not have visitors in their rooms or apartments. As we continue to monitor what’s happening in the city and state, we will determine if that request will continue throughout the semester. If you want to visit a friend who lives in the same building as you, that is acceptable.
How will we be able to physically distance ourselves in an apartment where we share bathrooms and a common area? Will Tech move to two students per apartment?
Jenny Cotton: We are not moving to two students per apartment. We have limited our shared bedroom capacity to two students, but apartments will continue to share common spaces which may include the bathroom. At the beginning of the semester you will review this information as well as your roommate agreement with your RA. To clarify, shared bathrooms are common throughout all of our facilities.
What should I do if my roommates aren’t being safe about Covid-19 and I feel that their actions outside of our apartment are putting me and our other roommates at a greater risk?
Sheree Gibson: The RAs will communicate with everyone regarding expectations and implications. We also will limit the number of people who can change rooms. So we will be monitoring the impact that changes will have on roommates.
Are we allowed to move in after the designated move-in dates if we are unable to move in on the given dates?
Alex Becking: Yes, you can move in after the given dates. If you come after hours you can contact the RA on duty and come to the desk the next day to get your keys.
If the university enacts Contingency 3, which is moving all classes online, does Housing intend to again ask students to leave campus? If students are asked to leave campus will Housing offer a prorated refund?
Jenny Cotton: We take our guidance from the Board of Regents. If we switch to fully remote classes but keep the residence halls open, then we would not issue a refund because students would be allowed to remain on campus and our services would continue. If they decide to close the residence halls, like last spring, then yes, we would issue a prorated refund because we are no longer allowed to house students.
If someone becomes infected, what are the quarantine procedures for them, for their roommates, and for the whole building?
Jenny Cotton: We have a quarantine isolation protocol that follows CDC guidelines. It will vary case by case depending on where the student lives, if they have a confirmed test, how many roommates they have, and where their apartment is located within the building. We will assess this in conjunction with Stamps Health Services. The infected student’s level of contact with others will determine how we proceed with the quarantine process for roommates and others in the building.
Will meals be provided for students required to quarantine even if they are not on the meal plan?
Ryan Greene: Yes, anyone who is under quarantine will be provided meals because they are not allowed to leave the quarantine space. There will be a flat charge per meal, and it will be billed directly to your student account. We also will take into consideration any dietary concerns to ensure that the food we’re providing meets your needs.
Are there any concerns regarding the HVAC systems increasing the spread of Covid-19?
Chris Taylor: The HVAC system will not take the air from your neighbor’s apartment and pull it into your apartment. It takes the air from your space and either heats it or cools it. The air in the hallway is handled through an air filtration system on the roof. We will be installing the highest rated MERV filters available, and we will inspect and change those regularly.
There has been limited detailed communication via the mobile app. Will this information be published in a written, finalized Georgia Tech plan of action?
Morgan Miller: Last Friday most returning students received an email that mentioned downloading the mobile app for move-in along with screenshots of how to use the app. If you try to open the app this weekend, it will say “closed for training” because it doesn’t open until Monday morning for you to choose your move-in time slot. This information isn’t currently on the website; it’s only in your emails. But we will add it to the website. The app will also be an important tool this fall for dining.
The app is called Transact Mobile Ordering, and you can download it now. Then choose Georgia Tech Connect, select an app icon, and then log in using your Georgia Tech login. From there, you can see Campus Check-In.
Will there be a block sign-up sheet for move-in for each residence hall and apartment building? How many people are allowed to help a student with move-in?
Sheree Gibson: You will need to use the mobile app to sign up for your move-in time. We are asking that you bring no more than two people to help you move.
When will we know about the locations for drive-thru check-ins?
Alex Becking: If you live in North Avenue South and East, you will go to the North Avenue South Garage. If you live in North Avenue North and West, you will go to the North Avenue North Garage.
Sherry Murray: For West Campus, check-in will be in front of Fitten Hall. There will be signs to direct you to the correct buildings and unloading zones.
If you are moving in late, can it be after classes have started?
Alex Becking: Yes, but please let us know when you plan to arrive and we will hold your space for you. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
When will transfer students hear about their housing? Is there still housing available?
Jenny Cotton: We are including transfer students with upperclass students. So, information for upperclass students also applies to transfer students. If you have specific questions please send those to us. Otherwise, please follow the upperclass communications.
Ryan Greene: We have gone through our wait lists a few times. We are close to occupancy across campus. Let us know if you have a specific question about where you stand regarding your housing assignment.
How will obtaining food from dining halls work? Can we carry out all meals? And, who do I contact regarding removal of a meal plan that I didn’t sign up for?
Ryan Greene: We are adding dining options such as food trucks and pop-up food stands to spread individuals out across campus. We’re providing more grab-and-go options in our dining halls and in our retail areas. There will be limited seating available in Brittain Dining Hall and North Avenue Dining Hall. When you enter you may dine in if seating is available, or we will ask you to get your food and go if there isn’t any seating. We will shut down between meals to thoroughly sanitize. And we will clean seating areas between guests. If you have questions about your meal plan, please visit the BuzzCard website.