COVID-19 — Staying On Campus

As the university continues to monitor the spread of the novel coronavirus both globally and within the state of Nebraska, University Housing and Dining Services remain committed to supporting our students.

Students should to return to their permanent residence to limit personal interactions. For those students who do not have other housing options or choose to remain on campus for other commitments, the residence halls and dining services will remain open. Halls that originally planned to close over spring break now will remain open.

We urge all students to make the choice that is best for their personal health and safety. Any student experiencing any distress should contact the caring professionals at the Counseling and Psychological Services office. For assistance, call 402.472.7450.

Room Reassignments

Why has the university made the decision to move students within the halls?

The novel coronavirus continues to impact communities throughout the United States and the world in unpredictable and unprecedented ways. In order to best support the health and safety of students, we need to adjust our course so we ensure we can continue to provide resources to those students who truly have no other housing alternatives and remain living on campus.

As the campus shifts to essential services only, we continue to reduce the density of the campus population, reducing the risk of exposure to those who remain on campus. Many students have made arrangements to return home. We also recognize that some students will not be able to return home right now. While the university will ensure that we have sufficient residence hall rooms available for students who truly have no alternatives, we need to offer an environment conducive to optimal social distancing. Reassigning students now also allows us to prepare to respond to future community needs.

Why were specific residence halls selected?

Reassigning students to the suite- and apartment-style halls is our best option to promote the health and safety of the students and staff for the following reasons:

  • Individual bedrooms and a reduced number of students sharing bathrooms will increase social distancing.
  • Residents will have full-sized refrigerators and microwaves, providing students more independence for storing and heating food.
  • Moving students out of other halls will make future space available should the need arise for people to quarantine or isolate.
Where will students be reassigned?

All students will move to one of four buildings: The Courtyards, University Suites, Eastside Suites, and Knoll Residential Center. Students who reside in all other buildings will move to a new room assigned to them by University Housing. Students will only have NCard access to their own residence hall.

When will students move?

Students will receive detailed instruction sent to their @huskers.unl.edu account approximately 24 hours before their moving timeline begins. We advise students to start packing now. The email sent to students will include a specific date and time, new room assignment, and information about moving assistance.

Who will students room with?

We will do our best to keep current roommates together or near one another in the new space. Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate room or roommate requests at this time.

Will I share a bedroom with another student?

No, all students will have individual bedrooms to promote social distancing. This is the reason we are moving all students to spaces where they can have their own bedroom and share a bathroom with as few individuals as possible.

Will I be charged more to live in a new space?

No additional charges will be imposed. Students choosing to stay on campus and move will be charged according to the contract they signed at the beginning of the year, or the amount of the new space – whichever is less.

What if I had a previously approved accommodation for my space?

We will ensure all previously documented accommodations are replicated in students’ new room assignments. If you have need for additional accommodations, please seek assistance from Services for Students with Disabilities at 402-472-3787.

What if I currently live in gender-inclusive housing?

Those currently living in gender-inclusive spaces will continue to be provided accommodations with other students approved for gender-inclusive housing.

I’m a Village resident and already have a private room. Why do I have to move?

We anticipate using The Village to respond to community needs for quarantine or self-isolation in the future. While we understand moving may be an inconvenience, your reassigned accommodations in Courtyards will offer a similar living environment near dining services.

Will I be able to return to my original room assignment?

No. We cannot predict how long the present situation may last.

I have not yet checked out and I cannot return to campus by Sunday, March 29. What will happen to my belongings?

If you cannot make it back to move out by Sunday, March 29, University Housing will coordinate a process to pack and store your items. Please contact the Residence Life office at 402-472-3885 or reslife@unl.edu for more information.

Will you provide assistance with the relocation process?

Yes, our staff will provide a truck to transport your belongings from your current hall to your new hall. We also will supply boxes for packing your belongings as long as supplies last.

Returning to Campus After Spring Break

Based on guidance from the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, we ask any student who may be returning from travel in areas in the United States that have widespread transmission of COVID-19 to self-quarantine for 14 days before coming to campus, even for essential reasons. This includes anyone who visited or traveled through these areas of the United States.

This is in addition to prior warnings regarding international travel.

If you are ill or immuno-compromised, do not return to campus at this time.

If you are experiencing symptoms like fever, cough, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, or have been exposed to someone who is sick, do not return to campus.

If you cannot return to Lincoln to gather your belongings, please contact Residence Life at reslife@unl.edu to indicate that you will not be able to move out. Your belongings will be removed and stored. 

Dining Services

Dining Services will move to a daily meal pick-up for students with meal plans beginning Friday, April 10. Students can use their NCard for access to visit the Red Cloud Room in the Willa Cather Dining Center between noon and 2 p.m. each day to pick up meals for lunch and dinner as well as snacks. Herbie’s Markets at Cather and Knoll will remain open for breakfast and snack items.

Hours of operation

Safety and Environment

In-Hall Shared Spaces Closed

Until further notice, all lounges, game rooms, recreation rooms, and fitness rooms in our residence halls will be closed and locked (unavailable to students) to promote social distancing, prevent the spread of illness, and allow more time for cleaning of other parts of the residence halls.

Bathroom Cleaning Instructions for Current Residents

Under regular circumstances, University Housing staff enters all suites/apartments to clean the bathroom every two weeks. After consulting with experts at UNMC and UNL's Environmental Health and Safety office, it was determined it is in the best interests of residents and staff to suspend cleaning services. Limiting room entries will help prevent possible exposure and potential spread of the virus.

To help residents keep their bathrooms clean, University Housing will supply one cleaning kit per bathroom each week. Items will be provided to clean the toilet, bathroom sink, and shower in the unit. Bathroom cleaning kits will be placed in resident mailboxes every Wednesday. Video instructions for cleaning the toilet, sink, and shower can viewed here. Printed instructions can be downloaded here.

Safety, Security, & Conduct

  • The safety and security of our residential students remain our top priority. For those students who opt to remain living on-campus, our staff continues to perform rounds of the building. In addition, we are still operating the following 24/7 front desks to assist residents:
    • Courtyards
    • University Suites
  • The Student Code of Conduct and all applicable University Housing policies are still in effect and being enforced.
  • Visitors and guests to UNL, particularly to our residence halls, are strongly discouraged.
  • If you are a residential student and you feel you’ve been exposed to the novel coronavirus, please call the University Health Center, 402-472-5000. If you are directed by a health official to self-quarantine, please contact (by phone) your Residence Director or the front desk of your building/complex. Staff contact information, including front desk phone numbers, can be found below.

Staff Contact Information

  • If residents need assistance or have a question, please contact the front desk or your Residence Director. A full listing of staff and contact information can be found here.
  • Front desks can be reached at the following phone numbers:

Modified Community Development Plans

  • Due to the limitations and guidance placed on gatherings and events, Residence Life is currently not offering social or educational events within the halls. This is based on recommendations from the State of Nebraska and the Center for Disease Control.
  • Our staff will seek to identify strategies to provide social and education experiences in different contexts using technology as best we can.
  • At this time, we are placing our efforts in checking in with students individually so we have an accurate understanding of the plans for each of our residents. If you are a residential student, and have not checked out of your space, expect a staff member to reach out to you soon by phone and/or email.

Room Assignments & Room Moves

  • University Housing is unable to accommodate any room changes at this time; a room freeze is in effect while students are moving out.
  • Students who remain in university housing this semester are guaranteed a space and should be prepared to relocate if/when we need to consolidate housing on campus in to one or more residence halls.

Communicating with Your Roommate(s)

We ask students to communicate with their roommates about the safety measures necessary to keep from getting the virus. More information can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/prevention.html

While social distancing is not possible in a residence hall room/unit, there are measures that can be taken to ensure a safe space for all students involved, including the following:

  • Vigorously wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after being in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid gatherings of more than 10 people at one time.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing; throw used tissues in the trash. If a tissue isn’t available, cough or sneeze into your elbow or sleeve, not your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes doorknobs/handles, light switches, desks, computers, phones, keyboards, sinks, toilets, faucets and countertops.

Maintenance Requests

In order to take COVID-19 precautions, Facilities Operations has suspended non-emergency repairs until further notice. Emergency tickets include fire, life and safety concerns, heating and air conditioning, critical plumbing or electrical issues. At the current time, on-call student live-in staff and on-call professional staff will continue to respond to calls from Residence Life staff.