Update from UMass Amherst Residential Life

Dear Residential Student,

As previously announced, the university has suspended in-person instruction and students are asked to stay away from campus for the remainder of the spring semester.

We are building out the logistics for how our residential student population, which totals over 14,000, can return to campus as needed to collect belongings – and to do so in a way that enables social distancing and ensures the well-being of everyone involved, including students, parents and Residential Life staff. Our plan for move-out will include specifics regarding scheduling and instructions on process, which are intended to safeguard all involved. In the meantime, please do not come to campus and attempt to move out of your room.

If you have any questions or require special accommodation related to move-out, please contact Residential Life Student Services at 413-545-2100 Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. We realize how difficult and frustrating the current situation may be for you and we thank you for your patience and understanding.

Students Currently Assigned to Break Housing or Who Have Permission to Stay During the Spring Break Period

Students currently assigned to break housing halls and students who have received permission to stay for the spring break period should plan to complete a proper checkout by Saturday, March 21 at 10:00 am. Belongings should be removed from the space, the area should be returned to its original state, and broom cleaned. Please return the key to your Residential Service Desk.

Students Requesting Permission to Stay after Spring Break

While most of our students will finish their semester away from campus, we understand some students have personal circumstances requiring them to remain on campus after Saturday, March 21. Information about how to request permission to stay on campus beyond March 21, 2020 and university expectations for campus life during this period are below.

Who Should Request to Stay

Only students with one or more of the following personal circumstances should request to stay in their residential assignment after Saturday, March 21, 2020.

  • Your permanent residence is outside of the United States and you are unable to travel to your home country 
  • Your employing department has identified you as a critical, on-site student employee and you accept that responsibility
  • Your academic department has deemed your internship, clinical, or practicum will continue and requires your on-site presence and you have accepted that arrangement
  • You have personal circumstances preventing you from returning home, some examples include:
    • you are an independent student
    • you are part of the foster care system
    • you/your family do not have a permanent address 
    • your home community is quarantined
    • returning to home represents a health/safety threat to you or those at home
    • returning home will prevent you from accessing your courses remotely because of insufficient internet and technology capabilities

How to Request to Stay

Students requesting to stay must complete the following steps by Wednesday, March 18 at 11:59 p.m.

  • Login to SPIRE and navigate to Main Menu > Residential Life > Permission to Stay.
  • Select the reason you are requesting to stay.
  • You may be prompted to provide more information about your request to stay on campus. We understand that the circumstances around your request to remain on campus might be personal, and so any information you choose to provide will be considered private. Information that you share as part of this process will help us refer you to appropriate support services and inform the decisions made by Residential Life.
  • Click Submit. You will see a message that says “your request has been submitted.”
  • Once your request is reviewed, you will be notified of the status of your request no later than Friday, March 20, 2020, at noon.

Expectations for Living on Campus after March 21

Given the unique circumstances of this situation, we want to be clear about our expectations of what campus life will look like during the coming weeks. In an effort to keep our campus community safe, all students who remain on campus must agree to live with the following expectations for campus life:

  • Food, housing and health care will be provided, however, to ensure we maintain proper social distancing, no programing or social events will be held by the university or students.
  • You are expected to remain on campus for the safety of yourself, fellow students and the broader community. Guests will not be permitted in the residence halls. 
  • You are expected to pay tuition, fees, and room and board costs associated with your housing assignment.  If you are receiving financial aid, it will continue.
  • You will retain your current room assignment at this time, however, room assignments may be adjusted at any time to ensure health and safety. 
  • If you are tested positive for the COVID-19 virus you will be moved to a location where you can be in isolation for a minimum of 14 days.  If you are exposed to the COVID-19 virus, you may be moved to facilitate a minimum 14 day self-quarantine.
  • Perhaps most importantly, you must abide by the highest of standards for student behavior during this time.  In addition to being subject to the terms of the Code of Student Conduct and all applicable university and housing policies, students will be asked to leave campus immediately if their behavior in any way compromises the health or safety of anyone on campus, severely disrupts the university environment, and/or uses critical medical resources that are needed for the larger community for avoidable conditions.
  • The UMass Police Department will be operating as usual and are available to assist with any safety concerns that may arise.

If you have questions, please contact Residential Life Student Services at 413-545-2100 Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

We know that the decision to move to online instruction and reduce the residential population has had a significant impact on you, and we are grateful for your patience and understanding as we take these steps to protect the health and wellbeing of our community.

For updates and a comprehensive set of resources regarding the coronavirus, please visit www.umass.edu/coronavirus.

Thank you,

Jean Ahlstrand MacKimmie
Director of Residence Education

Dawn M. Bond
Director of Residential Operations