Office of Residence Life closes down residence halls

Students have till Tuesday to leave their dorms

By Dora Totoian and Madison Pfeifer | March 12, 2020 9:00pm
The University of Portland Residence Life has asked all students currently living in the dorms to move out. Unless students receive special approval from Residence Life, students must move out by 12:00 p.m. on March 17. The image above is from 2019-20 move-in day.
Media Credit: Jennifer Ng / The Beacon

Students living on campus have to leave their residence halls by Tuesday, March 17 unless they have a specific reason that receives approval, according to an email sent to all resident students from Director of Residence Life Andrew Weingarten. The email comes after University President Fr. Mark Poorman’s announcement that the school was suspending in-person classes

Reasons for staying on campus include but are not limited to nursing clinicals, education field work, international student status and financial hardship, according to Weingarten. 

Students can visit this link to complete a request to stay on campus. The Office of Residence Life and hall directors will evaluate each request individually and try to respond to students within 24 hours. 

“In essence, we are closing the residential halls (including Haggerty & Tyson) until further notice in order to protect our most vulnerable members of our communities,” Weingarten said. “We do not know when all will be able to return during this semester.”

Weingarten outlined how hall staff plans to assist students with moving out. This includes opening up trunk room space for storage (students living on-campus next semester will have first priority for space), planning check outs, move outs and key returns, and having dumpsters outside the residence halls.

“UP’s housing contract states that proper move-out and check-out involve the removal of all personal items. It also states that spaces need to be left in clean condition,” Weingarten said. “These will be important considerations for students looking for reimbursement of room charges. Hall Staff are arranging for extra cleaning supplies to be provided in residence hall lobbies.”

Earlier in the day, Vice President for Student Affairs Fr. John Donato sent an email to all students saying that residence halls would remain open starting at 12:00 p.m. on March 17 only to students who received prior approval to remain on campus. 

Items not removed from dorm rooms after the “traditional” move-out day of May 1 will be packed up and stored and/or shipped to students during the summer, for a fee of $150 and any shipping costs. After noon on March 17, only students approved to remain on campus will have key card access to the dorms. 

The university will stay open with essential services, such as the Health and Counseling Center and Bon Appétit, though dining hours will be limited. Donato also wrote that the university will reimburse students for room and board expenses through a refund for adjusted room charges. 

Students will receive reimbursements for room and board after the spring semester. They will be based on how many nights students didn’t occupy their rooms after the check-out process on March 17, and they will also receive refunds of their unused meal points balances. He also said that the University of Portland may be available to provide limited financial assistance to students unable to cover the cost of travel home, with priority given to those most in need. 

Donato also noted that programming on campus will be very limited, but certain services, like, the Career Center and the Office of Campus Ministry will remain open, though Career Center appointments will be virtual. He also emphasized that students exhibiting medical symptoms of COVID-19 should contact their primary health providers or the Health and Counseling Center before making any appointments. 

In the case that a UP health care provider determines a student needs to be tested for COVID-19, the student will be directed off-campus to a local urgent care facility or emergency room. If students must self-isolate based on the local health authority’s recommendation, students may need to relocate within residence halls. 

The university’s student health insurance, PacificSource, has eliminated co-pays, deductibles, and co-insurance when provided in-network for COVID-19-related testing and office visits. Students not on the university’s insurance plan should contact their insurance providers directly to determine costs. 

Starting on March 17, the Bauccio Commons will also be the only dining hall on campus. Until Tuesday, other dining sites will have altered schedules:

Bon Appétit Hours by upbeacon

Maddie Pfeifer is the News and Managing Editor for The Beacon. She can be reached at Dora Totoian is a reporter and the Opinion editor for The Beacon. She can be reached