Housing FAQs

General

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

Are University Residence Halls open this year?

Yes, UW-Madison is returning to in-person instruction for the fall 2021 semester, and University Housing plans to have all of its residence halls open for the 2021-22 academic year. We will continue following guidance from health experts to maintain a safe, supportive environment and a great on-campus living experience for our residents.

Will UW-Madison be offering in-person courses in Fall 2021?

UW-Madison is returning to in-person instruction for the fall 2021 semester. There are a small number of hybrid and online classes, but most classes will be taught in-person.

What kind of programs will be offered this fall for residents?

In the residence halls, we hope to return to offering some in-person events and activities in the fall, depending on the situation at that time. More information will be shared as it becomes available.

How are policies enforced?

Staff perform nightly rounds of all resident floors and all resident entrances are monitored by security cameras and a 24-hour electronic locking system. All residents are expected to adhere to policies in the Student Housing Handbook. Violations of COVID-related policies can result in removal of students from their residence hall and revocation of their Housing contract with no refund.

What is UW-Madison's authority to implement these policies?

UW-Madison has authority under State law to protect the health and safety of those on campus. Policies of the Board of Regents also empower the Chancellor to develop public health polices and require those on campus to comply with those policies.

As a parent I would prefer to handle this for my student as this transition is stressful enough for them. If I give you all their information, can I just handle all of this for them?

Since the Housing contract is in the student’s name and they are responsible for the outcome, it is best for us to work directly with the student. This is a great opportunity for students to learn responsibility and self-advocacy skills. If you want to help, a great way to do that is to talk with your student prior to them contacting us so they feel prepared to reach out.

What health resources are available to students who feel sick and may have COVID or have mental health concerns due to COVID?

If students are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, symptoms of anxiety or depression, or any other medical concerns, please call University Health Services (UHS) at 608-265-5600. UHS has a 24/7 nurse advice line and a 24/7 mental health crisis line for concerns that arise after hours and on the weekends. If a student is experiencing a life-threatening emergency, they should dial 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room.

  • Medical: 608-265-5600 (option 1) – if you have general COVOD-19 questions
  • Mental Health Services: 608-265-5600 (option 2)
  • 24/7 Mental Health Crisis: 608-265-5600 (option 9)

Will it be safe to live in fully occupied residence halls?

UW-Madison and the Madison community plan a return to nearly normal operations this fall, with full classrooms and no capacity restrictions on sporting events or businesses. Likewise, we are strategically engaged in planning for a safe return to fully occupied residence halls. As national vaccination trends continue to increase, we anticipate a high percentage of COVID-19 vaccination among students for the fall. As we assess, evaluate, and plan, we will continue following the advice of health experts. The best way to be safe and have a normal campus experience is to get vaccinated. Remember that UW-Madison offers free COVID-19 vaccines to students. If you need more information regarding our vaccine appointments, please visit https://covidresponse.wisc.edu/covid-19-vaccine-information/. Housing will also continue following health guidelines for cleaning and safety protocols to limit the risk of transmitting the virus.

Will Housing be providing quarantine or isolation spaces for residents who get COVID-19 or who are exposed?

Yes, University Housing will be providing isolation and quarantine housing for residents who test positive or who have had exposure for COVID-19.

My residence hall doesn't have air conditioning, can I request a window unit?

Students are not allowed to bring their own air conditioner. Housing will only install air conditioner window units for students who require air conditioning for disability and medical-related reasons and who are not assigned to a room with central air. Instructions for requesting an air conditioner for a fee are available in the “Application” process of My UW Housing after a student has received their assignment.

What is the current requirement for mask wearing on campus?

All students, employees and visitors to campus are required to wear masks when inside campus buildings, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status. Residents and visitors are expected to wear a face-covering at all times while outside of a resident’s room. Face coverings must be worn while in hallways and common areas such as dens and kitchens, restrooms, and in the lobby. Face coverings are not required when it is not conducive to performing a task (i.e. brushing your teeth, showering, eating, drinking, etc.) More information on masking requirements for campus can be found here.

How do I sign up for winter break housing?

All residence halls will close for winter break at 7 p.m. on Thursday, December 23, 2021. To stay until Noon on Friday, December 24, 2021, residents will be able to fill out a request form in early-November. This option will be available at no cost. If you need to remain on campus during winter break, you will be able to sign up in My UW Housing after fall break for an additional fee of $500.

Vaccination & Testing

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

Why is UW-Madison making vaccination against COVID-19 optional rather than required?

As we’ve done throughout the pandemic, we’re escalating our approach when needed to respond to increasing cases locally. We’ve reinstituted a mask requirement, we’re considering broadening testing requirements and we’re prepared to take additional action if appropriate, in coordination with System President Tommy Thompson and other System chancellors.

What testing will be required for unvaccinated residents?

Students in residence halls who are not vaccinated must test weekly for COVID-19. This testing will be provided at no cost. They will also be required to test within five days prior to coming to campus and upon arrival at move-in. Failure to comply with testing requirements may result in student conduct discipline up to housing contract cancellation.

Am I at risk for COVID-19 if I am vaccinated but my roommate is not?

Congratulations on your choice to be vaccinated! This is the best choice you can make to protect yourself against COVID-19. The COVID-19 vaccines authorized by the FDA are highly effective vaccines that prevent severe illness and, in most cases, prevent infection. Because of this, the CDC has adjusted their recommendations to allow those who are fully vaccinated to return to activities similarly to before the pandemic. This is a sign that the vaccines are working, effective, and performing very well at preventing severe illness in the real world.

Recently, the CDC updated their recommendations to include indoor masking in public settings in areas where there is high transmission, regardless of whether a person is vaccinated or not. The primary goal in this recommendation was to reduce the potential for someone who is fully vaccinated to experience a breakthrough infection and pass it on to others who are not able to be vaccinated (those who have underlying health conditions and children who are 11 and younger). And it was meant to help encourage unvaccinated people to continue wearing masks, since unvaccinated people are most at risk of COVID-19. The personal risk of a vaccinated person experiencing a breakthrough infection is very low. In fact, in many states, less than 1 percent of vaccinated people have been diagnosed with COVID-19.

The COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective and reduce the negative impact of COVID-19, helping render it like other respiratory illnesses we experience each year. But for those who are unvaccinated, they are still at risk of contracting the virus and experiencing negative outcomes, including hospitalization or worse.

Given that you are vaccinated, an unvaccinated roommate does not pose a major threat to you because your vaccine still offers the highest level of protection.  If you were to experience a breakthrough infection, the risk of experiencing more than minor symptoms is low. The CDC does not currently even recommend that you quarantine if you are in close contact of someone who tests positive for COVID 19. However, since you could experience a breakthrough infection, they do recommend that you test 3-5 days after your last known exposure and monitor yourself for symptoms.

Will there be a religious exemption to the required weekly COVID-19 testing for unvaccinated residents?

Similar to last year’s COVID-19 testing requirements, there is not a religious exemption for testing of unvaccinated residents. Weekly testing is required for all unvaccinated residents. The only exception is for individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 90 days.

I already had COVID-19. Do I still need to do the weekly testing if I am not vaccinated?

If you tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 90 days and have recovered or test positive prior to move-in, submit your test results to MyUHS. Inactive viral particles in your system could produce a false positive for up to three months, which could result in you being moved to isolation housing. Therefore, students with a documented positive test result are exempt from required testing for 90 days from the date of their positive COVID test. Beyond 90 days from a positive test, previous infection does not exempt unvaccinated residents from the weekly required COVID-19 testing.

What health guidance is there for unvaccinated students?

If you are unvaccinated and testing to monitor COVID-19, here are some additional steps you can take to protect yourself:

  • Continue to wear face coverings in indoor settings and while on public transportation
  • Maintain physical distancing of 6 feet indoors when possible
  • Follow good hand washing practices and use hand sanitizer
  • Avoid touching your face Comply with Move In and Weekly testing requirements
  • Get tested if you learn that you had exposure to someone with COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms.

Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself and help our campus to return to normal. We strongly encourage you to get vaccinated this summer if you haven’t already. Any student arriving on campus who has not yet been vaccinated will have an opportunity to receive a no-cost vaccine.

I was vaccinated off-campus, how do I let you know?

If you are being vaccinated off campus, including by a UW Health clinic or by a UW Health provider, wait until you have received either the single dose of a one-dose vaccine or both shots of a two-dose vaccine. Then choose one of the two methods below:

Give UHS permission to access your record in the Wisconsin Immunization Registry  Complete this form (This option is currently available for faculty and staff).

OR

Upload your record directly to MyUHS:

  • Log into MyUHS using your NetID and password.
  • Select “Enter my COVID-19 Vaccine information.”
  • You will be prompted to upload a copy of your immunization record. This can be an image file (PNG, JPG, JPEG) or a PDF. Attempting to upload other kinds of files will result in an error message. Accepted records include:
    • The official Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccination card you receive at your vaccine site. It must contain two patient identifiers, such as name and date of birth; vaccine lot number; vaccine name (for example, Moderna, Pfizer or Janssen/Johnson & Johnson); date of vaccination (there should be two dates for Moderna and Pfizer); clinic name (must be an official clinic name; if the clinic was a chain pharmacy, please include the store number). The example below shows these fields.

A sample CDC vaccination card showing the five fields — noted above — that must be filled in.

Allow up to five business days for the record to be reflected in your MyUHS account. While the record is under review your Medical Clearance information will indicate “awaiting review.” Once it is approved, this field will say “satisfied.” Your Badger Badge will turn green once it has been two weeks since your final dose and your record has been approved.

If you received your vaccination in Wisconsin, and cannot find the record in WIR, contact the WIR Help Desk at 608-266-9691 or email DHSWIRHelp@dhs.wisconsin.gov.

My roommate is an international student. What will be their testing and vaccination requirements?

International students who will be living on campus and are not vaccinated yet with an FDA/WHO-approved vaccine have been asked to move in early. This will allow for testing 3-5 days after international travel and a self-quarantine period before other roommates move in. International students that cannot arrive early in Madison, will stay in a temporary room until they have completed their quarantine period and have tested negative for COVID-19. As with all students who are not fully vaccinated, they will be required to test weekly until they are fully vaccinated. These steps, along with the anticipated high vaccination rate of students and employees, provide a strong level of protection against COVID-19 for our residents. More details are posted in our International Students FAQs.

Assignments

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

When will students get their room assignment information?

Room assignment information is sent to residents via their @wisc.edu email account. For academic year housing, that information is typically sent in June. For those joining campus starting at the spring semester, that information is typically sent in early January.

Will there be triple and quad resident rooms this year?

Yes, as our campus returns to normal operation, with demand for on-campus housing being higher than ever, we expect to have many first-year students living in triples and quads this year. Some students will also start the semester in converted lounge/den spaces, as we do in typical years. These spaces provide similar amenities for residents as traditional doubles and allow us to accommodate more students who want to live in the residence halls. Triple rooms are a common practice at many of our peer universities, and resident satisfaction has remained mostly positive in triples.

I will be living in the residence halls, but I don't want to share a room - can I have a single?

University Housing has a limited number of single rooms in certain residence halls, but the vast majority of our resident rooms are doubles and triples, as well as some quads. Most residents will have a roommate. If you are unsatisfied with your room assignment and are interested in changing rooms, you can fill out a room change request form starting the first week of classes in My UW Housing and indicate your preferences on room type and buildings. If we are able to offer you a room change, we will email you the room change offer.

I already know that I want to change my room to a different one in another residence hall. How do I start that process?

The room change process typically opens on the first day of fall classes and remains open until late spring semester. For 2021-22, the room change process opened on September 8. The process is open for any student who is reserved or currently residing in on-campus housing through their  My UW Housing portal.

What will the Lowell Center be like for residents?

This year, approximately 261 beds in the Lowell Center will house undergraduate students as part of University Housing. Lowell was originally built in 1961 as a private residence hall and has operated for many years as a campus hotel. It offers a mix of singles, doubles, and triples, each with a private bathroom. Residents will have typical residence hall furniture and storage space in their rooms, along with access to high-speed internet, TV service, laundry facilities, and shared spaces for studying and socializing, similar to other residence halls. On-site Residence Life staff will provide student support and programming throughout the year. Convenient on-site dining service will also be available in the Lowell dining room. Lowell is located near Memorial Union, Memorial Library, and State Street with beautiful views of Lake Mendota.

I have a question about my hall assignment. How do I reach out to Housing to talk to someone about it?

Feel free to fill out our contact form if you have any questions or concerns about your assignment. We typically reply to submitted questions within three business days. Filling out the form once is sufficient. We will return your message. Multiple contacts inhibit our ability to get back to you and other students in a timely manner.

I want to cancel my housing contract. What should I do?

If you are attending UW-Madison, once the contract has been signed and the advance payment has been made, it becomes a legally binding contract for the entire academic year and we do not release students from the contract unless we are in a position where demand for housing exceeds occupancy. If you wish to cancel, you should submit a cancellation request in your My UW Housing portal as soon as possible. If we were able to offer a contract release, we would send you an email with a release offer, which you would need to respond to by the given deadline. Until that time, you should not make alternate housing plans since you would still be financially responsible for all charges under the contract.

I was assigned to a triple room, but I only wanted one roommate. Can I be assigned to a double room?

As our campus returns to normal operation, with demand for on-campus housing being higher than ever, we have many first-year students living in triples and quads this year. These spaces provide similar amenities for residents as traditional doubles and allow us to accommodate more students who want to live in the residence halls. Our triple rooms have been verified by our Facilities staff to ensure that there is sufficient space for three students, their belongings and furniture in the room. Triple rooms are a common practice at many of our peer universities, and resident satisfaction has remained mostly positive in triples. Students were notified of this update in our Fall Housing Update email that was sent on June 1st. We are unable to make changes to room assignments during the summer. To be fair to all students, our online room change process opens after move-in on Tuesday, September 8 at 8 am in My UW Housing.

Triple & Quad Rooms

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

Will there be triple and quad resident rooms this year?

Yes, as our campus returns to normal operation, with demand for on-campus housing being higher than ever, we expect to have many first-year students living in triples and quads this year. Some students will also start the semester in converted lounge/den spaces, as we do in typical years. These spaces provide similar amenities for residents as traditional doubles and allow us to accommodate more students who want to live in the residence halls. Triple rooms are a common practice at many of our peer universities, and resident satisfaction has remained mostly positive in triples.

I was assigned to a triple room, but I only wanted one roommate. Can I be assigned to a double room?

As our campus returns to normal operation, with demand for on-campus housing being higher than ever, we have many first-year students living in triples and quads this year. These spaces provide similar amenities for residents as traditional doubles and allow us to accommodate more students who want to live in the residence halls. Our triple rooms have been verified by our Facilities staff to ensure that there is sufficient space for three students, their belongings and furniture in the room. Triple rooms are a common practice at many of our peer universities, and resident satisfaction has remained mostly positive in triples. To be fair to all students, our online room change process opened after move-in on Tuesday, September 8 at 8 am in My UW Housing.

How can you fit three or four people in a room? Aren't these triples and quads former double rooms?

Our Residence Hall Facilities team has assessed all of our spaces to ensure that spaces being used for three roommates provide enough space for extra furniture and living space. These rooms have been configured to maximize the best layout and space for triple living. These spaces being used for triple living are comparable to what our peers are using in other Big 10 campuses as well. In addition, spaces used for 4 roommates are significantly larger as they were spaces that were formerly used for dens or study rooms.

I'm in a quad, this isn't what I expected. I'm concerned that these spaces will be too crowded to live in.

The spaces that are being used as quads in our halls were formerly dens or study rooms. These spaces have been evaluated by our Res Halls Facilities to ensure there is plenty of space for four roommates to live in. Each quad provides 4 sets of furniture and 2 refrigerators in the room. We have not yet been able to post specific photos/measures for every quad space in our halls, however we do have a virtual tour and photos of one of these spaces in Witte Hall.

I'm in a triple room with a walk-in closet that used to be a double. How will we divide up the closet space among the three of us?

Triple rooms in Dejope, Leopold, Ogg, Smith have one large walk-in closet for all residents to share. The closets are flexible with a variety of shelves and partitioned hanging areas. They are not strictly designed with one area per resident, so three residents can easily divide up the space in a way that works for all. Closets in these buildings can be seen in photos and renderings on their respective web pages.

Do residents in a triple or a quad pay a lower rate for housing?

Costs for triple and quad rooms are among our lowest resident rates. They are based on the rates established for similar triple and quad rooms that we have used in past years, approved by the UW Board of Regents. These rates also compare well with similar rooms at other Big Ten universities. Rates for all of our buildings and room types can be found on our Billing & Rates page.

Waitlist

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

I am currently on the waiting list for University Housing, will you be able to offer me a contract?

Unfortunately, no. We do not anticipate reaching any students on our waiting list for Academic Year 2021-22. Each year, our goal is to offer housing to as many students as are interested. We have a limited number of spaces and can only guarantee housing to those who were offered and completed a contract by their given deadline. We continue to closely monitor cancellations and would only reach out to students through their @wisc.edu email with an update in the highly unlikely event that we reach them on the waiting list. Campus Area Housing is a great resource on campus for assisting students in seeking off-campus housing options. Their website has an option to search for housing and roommates.

Are there students who will not get to live on campus this fall?

We have additional students on a waitlist who have been informed that we are unlikely to have space for them. These are students who did not sign up for Housing by our contract deadline. We regret that we cannot accommodate all of the students who want to live on campus, but there are still physical limits to the number of spaces we can provide. It is our responsibility to provide a safe living environment with high-quality resources and support without compromising the overall residence hall experience. University Housing has committed to accommodating these first-year students to support their transition to college. Transfer and exchange students are admitted later in the annual process, so our offerings to them are often limited by the amount of available space remaining, and this year, we unfortunately do not expect to have space to offer to these groups. We continue to monitor cancellations in the event we would be able to offer additional contracts.

Are there any first-year students who were not offered a Housing contract?

We offered Housing contracts to all first-year students who were accepted to UW-Madison, and we expect to house all of them who completed a contract and deposit by the May 1 housing deadline.

If I wasn't able to live in the residence halls this year, are there ways I can still take advantage of Housing programs and services to support my first-year experience?

The Center for First Year Experience (CFYE) offers many resources available to first-year students. From first year interest groups, Go Big Read, and How-to Guides, there are lots of options to explore. Other campus offices assist students, such as the Center for Leadership and Involvement (CfLI) which connects students to more then 700 student organizations and other leadership opportunities on campus. Other great places to get involved can be seen here: https://newstudent.wisc.edu/information-for/students/.

Where can students live if they are not in the residence halls?

The area around UW-Madison offers a large amount of conveniently located private housing for students. The Campus Area Housing service is UW-Madison’s official resource for students searching for privately-owned rentals. Many of these properties offer social opportunities, affordable rental rates, and amenities comparable to the residence halls.

Learning Communities

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

I got placed in a learning community but I don’t want to be in one or pay the fee.

We do our best to place students in the communities that they ranked in their preferences, however, we always see a large number of students preferencing the same buildings. Because of this, it is possible for students to be placed in any hall or community on campus, even if they did not rank or prioritize it in their preferences.

Past learning community residents report a high degree of satisfaction with their living experience and the support they received in exploring academic and career interests. The learning community fee covers some of the costs of the additional services, programs, and staff that are made available to you while living in the community.Your level of involvement in the community is entirely up to you.

I saw something about a Learning Community Seminar. Is this something I have to do? Is it required?

Each learning community offers a for-credit seminar only available to residents in that community. The seminar explores the theme of the learning community while connecting you with other students, faculty mentors, and industry leaders. You get to take a class with friends while getting insider tips on being successful in college and your future career. Most seminars are 1-credit and easily fit into your course schedule. We strongly encourage you to enroll in the seminar in order to make the most of your experience, but it is not required. If you have more questions, you should talk with your academic advisor.

Move-In

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

I want to change my move-in date, what do I do?

Assigned times allow us to spread out activity evenly to allow for distancing and parking needs. Depending on the availability of open slots, you can change your assigned move-in date/time if it does not fit your schedule in My UW Housing up to two days before your assigned move-in date.

I have questions about room dimensions, furniture and other items so I can get all the right things for Move-in. How do I get that information from you?

We have lots of the information listed on our website. Browse to your residence hall and on that specific hall page, you’ll find approximate room dimensions and floor plans for most room types in that building. In addition, there are floor plans and 360-degree virtual tours to see how other students arrange items in their room. If you have additional questions than what can be seen here, please contact us and we’ll get back to you. Please note that there can be some variability among room dimensions within each hall, and it’s not possible for us to catalog every measurement, so we encourage you to wait to purchase too many items until you arrive and see your actual room.

Will I be allowed to have family or friends to help me move in?

Yes, there is no limit on the number of support people allowed in the halls to help you move in. Masks are required inside all UW-Madison buildings, including any common areas in residence halls outside of the resident rooms. If you have unvaccinated individuals assisting you, we ask that they practice physical distancing (6 feet) when in contact with other individuals.

Can I send packages or items before move-in?

Yes. If necessary, residents can ship packages prior to their move-in date for pick-up. Due to storage space constraints, do not ship large items, and do not ship items more than one week prior to your move-in date. All US Mail and packages are received and distributed by your hall desk. Mail is placed in your mailbox. Packages are logged, placed in storage, and an email is sent to your @wisc.edu account notifying you a package is available for pickup. You must have your Wiscard (or another form of ID) with you to receive your package, but you do not need to print out the email notification. Addresses for each residence hall are available on their individual hall pages.

Resident Experience

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

How are Housing staff supporting residents?

Housing staff are working hard to balance health guidelines with providing support and programs to residents. The staff can be a great resource, including staff in our Hall Desk, Residence Life, and Facilities areas.

Where can I go to study outside my room?

Study rooms and lounges in the residence halls will be available, possibly with some capacity restrictions. We anticipate that many other campus study spaces will also be available with reduced capacity. Details will be shared as more information becomes available.

Can we use the kitchens in residence halls?

Kitchens in the residence halls will be open for the 2021-22 academic year. Some additional guidelines may be still be in place this fall, and more details will be shared when information becomes available

What health resources are available to students who feel sick or have mental health concerns?

If students are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, symptoms of anxiety or depression, or any other medical concerns, please call University Health Services (UHS) at 608-265-5600. UHS has a 24/7 nurse advice line and a 24/7 mental health crisis line for concerns that arise after hours and on the weekends. If a student is experiencing a life-threatening emergency, they should dial 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room.

  • Medical: 608-265-5600 (option 1) – if you have general COVOD-19 questions
  • Mental Health Services: 608-265-5600 (option 2)
  • 24/7 Mental Health Crisis: 608-265-5600 (option 9)
  • COVID Health Line: 608-265-5600 (option 8) – if you are not feeling well and are concerned your symptoms may be COVID-19 related

How are students of color being supported in the halls?

The Center for Cultural Enrichment (CCE) in Witte hosts drop-in hours for residents. In addition, the CCE plans to host virtual events for residents that will be shared on social media and resident newsletters.

The Multicultural Learning Community (MLC) in Witte has multiple events and spaces each week for residents. In addition, MLC House Fellows are accessible for all residents of the MLC.

What happens after I move-in? When should I expect to meet with my House Fellow and other residents?

After move-in you can expect to participate in building-wide meetings which will be held every evening during move-in days. At this meeting, Residence Life staff will help share information important for your hall, help get you connected to resources on-campus, and provide a chance to meet other residents in your hall. You’ll also take on online Canvas course within the first few days after move-in which will cover safety information, resident expectations, resources, and more! There are also in-person social events planned the entire week starting 8/29. You can expect to have a house meeting about two weeks after move-in.

Dining

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

What Dining facilities are open?

Visit our Dining locations and hours page to see the latest updates and schedules. All of our Dining locations are open for the 2021-22 academic year.

What if I have special dietary needs or restrictions?

Students with dietary needs should continue to work with our dietitian.

Who is allowed to use Housing’s dining locations?

Most of our dining locations are open to anyone on campus this fall, including students, faculty, staff, and the general public. One location, Liz’s Market, is only open for dine-in to Housing residents. Other guests may order food for delivery from this location through Starship Technologies app.

Why are you making the change from a la carte to all-you-care-to-eat?

Due to COVID-19, the entire food service industry in the US is experiencing unexpected delays due to product availability and staffing shortages. By moving from an a la carte service to all-you-care-to-eat, this will allow us to provide a better dining experience, hopefully shorten lines and wait times, allow us to maintain large variety in our menus, high quality food, and a great value. It also provides us with more flexibility in our staffing so that we can better serve guests.

Will the change to all-you-care-to-eat affect the variety of food offered?

No, we have an executive chef on staff as well as unit chefs for each market which create menus and help to ensure variety in our service. And actually, all-you-care-to-eat program will give us more flexibility in our menu offerings as we have more freedom to interchange offerings at each of our venues within the markets.

How does all-you-care-to-eat service help with supply chain issues and also staffing shortages?

All-you-care-to-eat service allows Dining to control the flow of students into the marketplace. For example, instead of having 300 students walk into the marketplace all at one time it naturally spreads them out a bit creating a better experience for both staff and students. This type of service also gives us the ability to choose whether a food venue is served or self-serve allowing us to move staff as necessary to prioritize our service. Yes, some students will eat more, but this service style will also provide them the ability to try more types of food in smaller portions.

How does all-you-care-to-eat service help with longer customer lines?

In a la carte service, guests are currently experiencing lines in several places in the market. There are lines at each venue and then also in the check-out as individual choices need to be rung up. In all-you-care-to-eat format, guests will pay upon entry and only experience lines entering the market instead of in several locations. Also, due to the fact that they are paying a standard fee upon entry, the cashier line will move much quicker.

How does the pricing of all-you-care-to-eat compare? What if I only budgeted to spend $5/meal or less?

The all-you-care-to-eat pricing at Gordon Ave. and Four Lakes Markets is the same that we have been using in recent years at Rheta’s Market. There are still options to help meet any budgetary restrictions you may have. Two of our locations, Liz’s and Carson’s Markets offer a la carte dining, where you pay for what you take. You can also pre-order your food for pick-up using the GrubHub app or order your food for delivery using the Starship app. Both of these options allow you to use a la carte dining inside of all-you-care-to-eat. Our Flamingo Run convenience stores in Gordon, Four Lakes, and Rheta’s Markets now have expanded grab-and-go options that are also sold at a la carte prices. Above all, if you are having major concerns please reach out to us at Housing Dining at dining@housing.wisc.edu and we will work with you to address your concerns.

What can a student do if facing financial hardship?

UW-Madison is currently distributing $28.6 M in emergency pandemic aid to students in need. Any enrolled UW–Madison student experiencing emergency financial hardships that render them unable to meet immediate, essential expenses can request emergency funds from the university. All students in all programs can request funds, including students who already received an automatic emergency grant if their emergency financial hardship exceeds the automatic grant amount. Students may submit an Emergency Support Request using the online form in their MyUW Student Center (Student eForms tile, in the Financial Aid folder). Requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and funds will be offered within one to three business days. In addition to direct financial support, UW–Madison continues to connect students with resources to meet and navigate basic needs (e.g., internet/technology, child care, housing and employment) and food assistance. University Health Services has also provided information on available healthy food at https://www.uhs.wisc.edu/prevention/food-assistance/.

Can I still order GrubHub for pickup or Starship delivery?

Yes, download the GrubHub app and add UW-Madison as your home campus location. Select your market of choice as the order vendor and place your order. Be sure to add your Wiscard to your account to get your 30% resident discount. Use NOMS promo code to get $3 off your first order. For delivery, download the Starship Technologies app, order your food, and watch your food come to you. Be sure to upload your Wiscard and use it to pay for your order to receive a 5% discount. GrubHub and Starship both continue to be a la carte services.

Will all-you-care-to-eat service create more food waste?

No, we use a trayless system for all-you-to-eat so residents take what they would like. Residents are welcome to come back as many times as they would like to take additional food, and this helps reduce food waste. In addition, University Housing Dining takes any leftover unserved food from the Dining Markets and creates pre-packaged frozen microwaveable meals. These meals are available at no cost to any student on-campus facing food insecurity. To learn more about this program and where you can pick-up food see our Instagram and Facebook pages.

Where can customers go for food when Gordon and Four Lakes are closed (between meals or late night)?

Our convenience stores, Flamingo Run, are open daily at Gordon from 8am – 10pm and at Four Lakes from 10am – 10pm. They offered snacks, beverages, and expanded grab-and-go options to residents as well. Other options in the Southeast neighborhood for dining options include: Flamingo Run in Rheta’s Market (open daily from 9:30am – 11pm), and Starbucks in Smith Residence (open daily from 7am – 7pm). Other options in the Lakeshore neighborhood include: Bean & Creamery in Four Lakes (open M-F from 7am – 9pm, and weekends 9am-9pm), Liz’s Market in Waters Hall (which offers a la carte service) is open M-F 11am-7:30pm and weekends 11:15am – 7pm, and Carson’s Market (also offers a la carte service) is open M-F 11am – 8pm. Food is also available for delivery through Starship Technologies during open times.

Will seating areas be open between meal periods?

No, because staff need to clean and prepare the market between every meal serving period, both the dining room and market will be closed to the public.

Will seating areas be open for studying or socializing?

At locations where they have all-you-care-to-eat service (this includes Four Lakes, Gordon Ave., Lowell, and Rheta’s Markets) residents who have paid for a meal are welcome to use the dining rooms during meal service periods. Dining rooms will be closed between service meal periods. At locations where they have a la carte service (Carson’s and Liz’s Markets), residents are welcome to use the dining rooms during open hours. Residents and guests will need to observe all COVID and masking regulations while in the dining rooms and markets.

Can I carry in outside food?

In all-you-care-to-eat locations, no outside food will be allowed in the dining room or markets.

How does all-you-care-to-eat service work?

All-you-care-to-eat or buffet style service means diners will pay for their meal upon entry to the market. In order to help manage food waste, these locations will have trayless service. Diners are able to return as many times as they would like during the meal period to enjoy additional servings.

Why don’t you have trays at these locations anymore?

Going trayless at all-you-care-to-eat service locations helps reduce food wasting by offering pre-portioned options and encouraging diners finish their servings before going back from more.

Can I visit with friends if I’m not eating?

No, as guests have to pay to enter the market at and these dining rooms are only open to diners at all-you-care-to-eat locations. Due to the staffing shortage and high volume of diners, these spaces need to stay open for those individuals actively eating.

Who can I talk to if I have dietary concerns or if I’m unhappy with these changes?

Please reach out to us through our Contact Us Form. We have staff providing timely responses to questions and concerns received there.

Can I still change my dining plan tier?

Residents were able to make changes to their dining plan through August 15, 2021. Those changes are locked in for the Fall Semester. If you would like to change your dining plan tier for the spring semester, you can do so in My UW Housing starting November 25 – December 15, 2021.

Where can I get coffee and ice cream on campus now?

In the Southeast Neighborhood, there is a Starbucks location in Smith Residence Hall. We also offer chilled coffee drinks and ice cream in our Flamingo Run in Gordon Dining & Event Center. In the Lakeshore neighborhood, there is a Bean & Creamery Coffee & Ice Cream Shoppe located in Dejope Residence Hall. To see hours and locations visit our dining hours page.

Is Dining going to start running out of items, or substituting products?

The supply chain issues that the entire food service industry are experiencing are expected to last quite awhile. While we do experience some daily shortages and product availability issues from our suppliers, it has not affected the variety of options we have on a daily basis. There may be times we may run out of a product or entrée, but we work quickly to replace it with another option that we have on hand. Sometimes these changes need to be made quickly, so you may experience some differences between our posted online menus and what you see on the serving line at each venue. These quick changes are to constantly provide variety as quickly as possible. However, if there is something you would like to see on our menus, please share that with us in our Contact Us form.

If products change, how can I check for allergens or other dietary needs?

The line signs printed and displayed at each venue will always be accurate to what is being served. You can always check those to verify any dietary need or food accommodation. But above all, if you have a question or need please let us know and reach out to a staff member working. We are always happy to help.

I have a dietary need (vegan, vegetarian, halal) or food allergen. With this change, will I still be able to find enough options that I can eat at the markets?

Please reach out to our Housing Dietitian at dietitian@housing.wisc.edu so that we can make sure your concerns due to these service changes are addressed and taken care of. We are more than happy to work with students to make sure they are taken care of. There is also additional information about dietary needs and how we can work with individual needs here: https://www.housing.wisc.edu/dining/nutrition/.

Sellery Renovation

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

Will the Sellery renovation still be proceeding in the Fall?

Yes, the Sellery renovation is moving forward as planned during the academic year. Construction workers will not have access to resident rooms or spaces or entering any resident spaces during the school year. There will always be separation between workers and students. In addition, all resident rooms will have window air conditioning to help minimize noise and dust from construction. This project will be very similar to the recent renovation of Witte, which received mostly very positive feedback from residents.

How will you manage the construction noise concerns that students may have in Sellery?

We have agreements with the construction contractors that they cannot start construction prior to 8am to help limit morning disruptions. Unfortunately, as with any project, residents can expect some noise, dust, and vibration during daytime hours, but we work very hard to keep it manageable and not too disruptive for students. We recommend that students consider bringing noise cancelling headphones. Questions or feedback about the Sellery renovation project can be directed to sellery.renovation@housing.wisc.edu.

Will there be study spaces available for students in Sellery beyond their rooms?

Residents will have access to the dens on some floors for studying and gathering. However, some of these dens will be closed for renovation this academic year (such as A-Tower dens). To provide other options, we are preparing other nearby spaces to be additional study spaces for Sellery residents to use. As soon as we have those spaces established, residents in that area will be made aware of those options.

Do Sellery residents get a discount during the construction?

While Sellery Residence Hall is under renovation, residents in Sellery will receive a discount on their Housing bill to acknowledge any potential inconveniences. The discounted rate will be displayed on their semester tuition bill. Students benefit from a savings of $300 annually, split between both semesters. During the renovation, Sellery residents also receive a free air conditioner in their room and free use of the laundry room.

This is the same discount that was given to Sellery residents during the first year of the renovation and to Witte residents during their similar renovation project. Sellery and the Southeast neighborhood are very popular locations among our students, and with the discount, Sellery residents benefit from some of the lowest double room rates in the Southeast. Our rates, which are approved by the UW Board of Regents annually, cover many fixed per-resident costs, including programming, staff support, maintenance, supplies, dining operations, academic resources, and furniture. We operate as a self-funded, not-for-profit operation at UW-Madison, reinvesting our revenues to continuously improve the quality of our services and facilities. University Housing works hard to keep our costs as low as possible, and we offer some of the lowest on-campus housing rates of any Big Ten school while providing exceptional facilities, programs, and experiences.

International Students

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

What are the COVID-19 requirements for international students living in the residence halls?

Requirements for international students traveling from outside the U.S. will vary based on their vaccination status, but all air passengers coming to the United States, including U.S. citizens and fully vaccinated people, are currently required to have a negative COVID-19 test result no more than 3 days before travel or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 in the past 3 months before they board a flight to the U.S. A list of other requirements based on vaccination status is available on the UW-Madison COVID-19 Response site. International students arriving from an international location who are not fully vaccinated will be required to arrive at an earlier date to ensure the appropriate self-quarantine period prior to other residents arriving.

I'm an international student living in the halls and have been vaccinated for COVID-19, do I need to plan for anything special during move-in?

If you have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 with a vaccine on the World Health Organizations (WHO) Emergency Use Listing (EUL) or U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), upload your vaccine information to UHS for approval as soon as possible, prior to arrival.

Once approved:

  • You do NOT need to move in early
  • You do NOT need to self-quarantine
  • You can move into your assigned residence hall upon arrival
  • Self-monitor for symptoms upon arrival
  • Test on campus 3-5 days after arrival
  • You do NOT need to participate in weekly testing

I am an international student living in the halls and I am NOT vaccinated for COVID-19, what do I need to do?

If you are NOT fully vaccinated with a vaccine on the WHO EUL or FDA EUA, you will have to self-quarantine. Please arrive early enough to self-quarantine before your roommates arrive. If you cannot arrive prior to August 24, we will work with you on quarantine accommodations. You will have to test 3-5 days after arrival and then test weekly thereafter unless you become fully vaccinated. Please follow the guidelines outlined in the testing/vaccination guide for international students living in residence halls.

Here are dates to consider:

  • The recommendation to arrive on August 20 or prior is to accommodate the self-quarantine period recommended by the CDC in your assigned residence hall.
  • If you arrive on August 24 or prior, you will have sufficient time to self-quarantine in your assigned Housing space and test to complete this recommendation.
  • If you arrive on or after August 25, you may be placed in temporary housing to accommodate this recommendation and will not be permitted to move into your assigned Housing space until you have completed the self-quarantine and testing requirement.

The guidelines tell me to self-quarantine when I arrive because I am not vaccinated. What does self-quarantine mean?

Self-quarantine involves limiting your activity outside your home and avoiding contact with others. When self-quarantining in the residence halls, you should limit your activity outside your room to only essential errands, such as medical appointments (including COVID-19 testing), getting food or groceries, academics, and work (with precautions). Students in self-quarantine must follow all public health guidelines, including use of masks, testing, physical distancing, and hand washing.

Quarantine and Isolation

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

Will the residence halls provide isolation and quarantine housing in fall 2021?

Yes, to provide for a responsible community at UW-Madison during the pandemic, University Housing has repurposed designated areas to be quarantine and isolation spaces for residence hall students affected by COVID-19. Students living on-campus who are exposed to COVID-19 or who test positive for the virus have the option of returning to their permanent home for the quarantine or isolation period or being placed in one of these spaces.

What spaces will be used for quarantine and isolation housing?

For fall 2021, we have a limited number of separate spaces set aside on campus and in the Madison area for quarantine and isolation housing. This includes:

  • A small set of apartments in the Eagle Heights community
  • A set of open rooms in Lowell Center (separate from other resident spaces in the building, to be used until mid-October 2021)
  • Other spaces in campus/Madison-area hotels if needed to accommodate additional residents

We have worked carefully with campus health experts to select appropriate spaces and carry out this plan in a way that does not create added risk for other residents or the community.

What is the difference between quarantine and isolation?

Quarantine housing is for unvaccinated residents who have been contacted about medium or high-risk exposure to COVID-19, such as the roommate of a COVID-positive student. They are placed in a designated quarantine space for a minimum of 10 days until cleared by UW-Madison University Health Services (UHS) to return to their regular room. Isolation housing is for residents who have tested positive for COVID-19. They are placed in a designated isolation space for a minimum of 10 days until cleared by UHS to return to their regular room.

If I am required to be in quarantine or isolation, how will I continue with my in-person classes?

Students unable to attend in-person class meetings for COVID-19-related reasons (or for any reason) should contact their instructor to discuss options for access to course materials and activities. Instructors are encouraged to be flexible and supportive of students in such circumstances. Students who must miss multiple class sessions should talk with their instructor and with their academic advisor about the best course of action. If multiple students in a course section must miss in-person class meetings for COVID-19-related reasons, every effort should be made to avoid a disruption of in-person instruction. Instructors should work with their department, school, and college to explore ways to provide students who cannot attend in-person sessions access to course materials and activities.

Note: students with a documented accommodation need related to in-person instruction should contact the McBurney Center. The McBurney Center will work with the student and instructor to explore the possibility of reasonable accommodations.

I noticed that students in these quarantine and isolation spaces will be able to leave for "essential business". What does this mean?

The international students who are self-quarantining before the start of classes are able to leave for essential business. During the academic year, undergraduates in quarantine and isolation are expected to stay in their apartments until they have been cleared to return to their residence hall community. These students are already required to have a negative COVID-19 test prior to air travel into the U.S., and they have not had any known contact with a positive case. Out of an abundance of caution, they are self-quarantining before moving into their residence hall, which has fewer restrictions than a full quarantine.

In contrast, during the academic year, undergraduates in quarantine and isolation are expected to stay in their apartments/rooms until they have been cleared to return to their residence hall community.

Will students in quarantine and isolation have their own transportation method rather than using the 80/84 bus? These busses tend to be very full during busy periods.

Yes, students will be provided with separate transportation to their quarantine and isolation spaces. They are also able to call for this separate transportation once they have been cleared by UHS to return to their residence hall room. Once their time in isolation and quarantine is complete, they are allowed to utilize public transportation.

Will students in quarantine and isolation also have access to and be using common spaces (such as gyms, laundry rooms, etc.)?

No. Students in quarantine and isolation are expected to limit their time outdoors and remain in their assigned space most of the time except for essential business (work, medical appointments, food, etc.) or in the event of an emergency. No visitors will be allowed. When outdoors, students should wear a mask, social distance, and not gather. When exiting the building, they should use the most direct route and only use an elevator one at a time (if available) when needed. Staff will monitor these spaces for adherence to all quarantine and isolation policies.

What precautions will be put in place to ensure that students in quarantine and isolation spaces are following the guidelines? How will they be reinforced?

All residents are expected to adhere to policies in the Student Housing Handbook. Violations of COVID-related policies can result in the removal of students from their residence hall and revocation of their Housing contract with no refund.

Who will be staying in isolation and quarantine spaces?

Initially, these spaces will mostly be used by unvaccinated international students who tested negative for COVID-19 prior to traveling. These undergraduates are required to self-quarantine after arrival in the United States for 3-5 days before testing again for COVID-19 and then moving to their residence hall. They will be required to wear masks in public and are asked to only leave the designated space for essential business (work, medical appointments, getting food, etc.). They will be following protocols similar to those for new international graduate students who move into University Apartments. During the academic year, these spaces will be used on an as-needed basis by undergraduate residence hall students who have had potential exposure (quarantine) or who test positive for COVID-19 (isolation).

What can I do if I see residents violating quarantine and isolation policies?

The UW-Madison Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards has a form to fill out to report a public health concern. Please be aware that the more specific information is provided, the better we will be able to act on the report.

Are there any back-up plans if the number of student who are in need of quarantine and isolation space exceeds the capacity available? Will buildings in other areas be requisitioned in the future?

We have reached out to additional campus partners and community businesses that could assist with providing additional spaces should that be needed.  If Housing-designated quarantine and isolation spaces become full, residents that are required to quarantine or isolate may need to do so at their permanent home or find their own space off-campus — they may not return to their residence hall or participate in any in-person UW-Madison activities until they are cleared by Housing staff.

If I'm in quarantine, can I return to my residence hall sooner if I get a negative COVID test?

No, students who are quarantined due to close contact with a positive case of COVID-19 must remain in quarantine for a minimum of 10 days until they are cleared by UHS. The virus can have an extended incubation period, so quarantined students cannot return to their residence hall earlier than 10 days, even with a negative test result.

My roommate went to isolation and I want my room cleaned. What can I do?

Time since roommate has been in your room

CDC Recommendations

Options

Less than 24 Hours Clean and disinfect the space Contact your hall desk to radio a Building Supervisor for assistance in cleaning/disinfection
More than 24 hours Cleaning is sufficient; disinfect is optional Check out a cleaning kit from your hall desk to wipe down areas of concern in your room
More than 3 days Nothing additional is needed Check out a cleaning kit from your hall desk to wipe down areas of concern in your room

I’m an Eagle Heights resident. Where can I find answers to questions I might have about isolation and quarantine spaces in my community?

University Apartments has a separate Frequently Asked Question page all about isolation & quarantine spaces in Eagle Heights. You can find additional information on the University Apartments FAQ page.