Residence Halls Cleared Out Over Coronavirus Concerns

All+students+still+living+on+campus+have+moved+into+the+Riverfront+Building%2C+leaving+First+Street+Residence+Hall+empty.+

Santiago Ochoa

All students still living on campus have moved into the Riverfront Building, leaving First Street Residence Hall empty.

Ryan Lanxton, Writer

Due to coronavirus concerns, all students living on campus were ordered to clear out of their dorms by Sunday, March 22.

In an email sent out to all residents on Monday, March 18, administration urged anyone still living on campus to move back to their permanent residences. 

New developments in the COVID-19 pandemic make it clear that we need to decrease the density of people on our campus,” said the email, which was sent out on behalf of Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Christopher Giordano. “For those of you who still remain in the residence halls, you need to return home for your own health and safety, as well as the health and safety of others.”

Residents were given the option of remaining on campus as long as they filled out a request to stay, providing they had a good excuse to remain. The deadline to fill out this request was Thursday, March 19.

Every student who was able to move out by the March 22 deadline was eligible to receive a $900 credit. This amount could either be credited towards next fall’s housing cost or into the resident’s student account.

“The virus cut my living on campus short, I basically was not able to live there anymore after spring break,” said Giorgia Pasqui, a UM-Flint student who was living on campus. Pasqui has since moved to her parents’ house about an hour away.

The clearing out of the residence halls were part of a wider effort by the university to ensure the safety of everyone on campus from the coronavirus. As part of CDC recommendations and continuing efforts by the State of Michigan, many public areas and close-quarter places have been closed, such as schools, many business’ and sporting venues.

Pasqui said she does not know of any students who were remaining on campus, with residents not given much time to organize their belongings and move out. “The only concerns I heard from friends were that we only had a few days to fully move out,” said Pasqui.

It is still unclear when exactly residents will be allowed to move back into their dorms. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued an executive order to effectively place the entire state into a lockdown last Monday. UM-Flint itself cancelled all classes and events until the end of the semester in April. Currently, health officials are not sure when exactly the coronavirus’ threat will subside enough to allow for life to return to normal.