From the Director – 2020 and Fall Reopening Plans

2020 has certainly been an unusual and challenging year for many of us so far. With the abrupt end to the spring semester, the cancellation of many summer programs, the planning for various fall scenarios, and responding to the social justice issues that face our nation, this year more than ever has demanded hard work and new ways of thinking.

I hope everyone is doing well and I hope you and your families are staying safe and healthy. By far, what I miss the most right now is being able to walk through campus and visit with our staff and students. Whether you are on campus or working remotely, know that I appreciate everything you are doing to support our division during these uncertain times, and I cannot wait to see you when we can all be back on campus together. Thank you to our University Apartments staff who continue to serve our residents, meeting every new need, while increasing other efforts and modifying services as we navigate the situation with COVID-19.

In University Housing, our commitment to our residents and staff remains the same, and we are doing all we can to plan for a safe and healthy experience on campus this fall. We are working closely with campus and local health officials to prepare for reopening.

Campus has now announced UW-Madison’s plans for the fall, and we will be sending more details to incoming residents and families in our own Housing announcement.

Some high-level changes in residence halls and dining include:

  • Occupancy will be similar to normal, including double rooms, with some reduced density
  • Room assignments, which normally go out in June, will be delayed until mid-July
  • Isolation spaces will be set aside for students who test positive for COVID-19
  • Additional fall move-in dates will be added to reduce crowds
  • Cleaning and sanitization processes are being enhanced
  • Dining services will include more options for touchless ordering, delivery, and take-out items, while self-service options will be eliminated, and access to our dining locations will only be for Housing staff and residents
  • We have not finalized the plans for the residence halls after Thanksgiving Break.  As of this time, we are not anticipating any reductions in housing rates
  • Updated health and safety protocols are being developed
  • All students in the residence halls and Housing employees will be tested for the coronavirus every two weeks and will be required to wear face coverings
  • Common area spaces will be adjusted to promote physical distancing
  • In-house catering will be discontinued for the fall semester

We’re also counting on our residents and all of you to make safe choices to protect the health of our entire community. Throughout the summer, we promise to keep you informed as the situation evolves with regular updates. Together, I know we will work through successfully every challenge presented to us!

Jeff Novak
Director of University Housing