DePaul announces new guidelines for on-campus housing


Alayne Trinko / The DePaulia

Freshman Amber Gray paid for a larger room but was assigned a single suite instead. This, and multiple other cases, made students question the Housing Department.

DePaul’s Department of Housing published updates in regards to on-campus housing for fall quarter. 

The update, published Wednesday by Director of Housing Rick Moreci and Director of Residential Housing Rod Waters, details how on-campus housing will adapt to the university’s earlier announcement of adopting a primarily digital presence for the fall quarter amid rising COVID-19 cases.

Students who wish to live on campus for the fall quarter are required to complete the Request for Campus Housing form by 5 p.m. on Friday, August 17.

“A committee of University staff and administrators will work thoughtfully and quickly consider housing needs, verify necessary information and respond to all students who have completed a form with a decision no later than Wednesday, August 19 by 5 p.m.,” it reads.

“This is not an application to live on campus. Residents already filled those out,” said university spokesperson Carol Hughes. “This is a request form to request permission to still live on campus and will likely take around five minutes to complete. Students need to know if they are approved to live on campus, thus the quick turn-around time.”

Criteria for housing approvals are as follows: 

  • Students dependent on campus resources like housing, dining and technology.
  • Students with safety and security concerns in their current living environment.
  • Students who have classes and/or labs that will meet in-person. The update requests that students “wait for further info before submitting a request if in-person course work if your reason for living on campus.”
  • International students who are already in the U.S. or who need to stay in U.S. for educational Visa requirements.
  • Student athletes who need to remain on campus for fall sports/practices deemed necessary by NCAA.

“We hope to accommodate as many students in need as possible but will be keeping in mind the need to reduce the overall density on campus,” the update reads.

It is still undetermined if any classes will be held in-person for the fall quarter, an aspect discussed within the announcement. When asked how said criteria will be impacted in the event of no in-person classes, Hughes stated that classes constitute “only one of the criteria students may be using to live on campus” and there are still “several other criteria for students who need to live in housing for other reasons.”

In regards to fall sports — which were formally canceled by the NCAA hours after the announcement — Hughes stated that athletes will remain a part of the criteria.

“It is likely that fall athletes will still need to be on campus to practice for when sports resume,” Hughes said. “This is also part of the criteria already.”

If approved for housing, students will “likely be assigned a single room,” but will still be charged a rate of $3,367 per quarter, the typical rate for a double room. According to the update, most students will be given new room assignments.

“A double room rate is lower than a single room rate,” Hughes said. “So, essentially, students will live alone but pay the lower rate as if they were sharing a room.”

Students assigned to the University Center, located in the Loop, will still have the option to live there, but it is recommended that students choose to live on the Lincoln Park Campus “if feasible.”

Hughes said it is “unknown at this time” if any resident halls will be closed for fall quarter.

New quarantine options, designed for students coming from out-of-state, have also been adjusted. 

Originally, students coming from outside the state had the option to move in on either August 16 or 22 in order to quarantine on campus to abide by restrictions placed by Chicago’s Emergency Travel Order. The update specifies that these dates are no longer eligible for out-of-state students to move in. 

“Move-in for students from states affected by the travel order will likely be scheduled in the August 26 – Sept. 2 time period,” the update reads. “All other students will likely move back Labor Day Weekend.”

When asked about the role student employees will play in assisting students on move-in days — a role typically involving close contact — Hughes stated that they will assist with “contactless check-ins.”

“They will not be physically helping students move in their belongings,” she said.

Additionally, there will still be students working as resident advisors, though Hughes said the live-in housing staff will be “reduced in numbers.”

“They will receive special training on COVID-19 safety measures and how to effectively communicate with their residents at a safe distance,” she said.

Those who choose to opt out of on-campus housing will be issued an automatic refund for all housing and dining charges for fall quarter.

The announcement comes following reports of COVID-19 in Lincoln Park housing, with cases occurring in both Centennial and Sanctuary Hall.

Hughes declined to comment on the status of the infected persons, citing patient privacy.

Editor’s note: The DePaulia has reached out to DePaul’s Department of Housing and is awaiting comment.

Update (8/13/2020): The story has been updated to include comment from university representatives.