2020-21 Updates

The health and safety of our students living on campus is our priority. In consultation with the University Health Center and university leadership, we currently are establishing new procedures to provide students with a positive on-campus experience while abiding by all local, state, and federal health protocols. These plans may change as we continue to monitor and respond to additional recommendations and guidelines from the appropriate authorities.

UPDATE: The residence hall guest policy has been updated, effective 09/15/20: go.unl.edu/guest-policy

What decisions have been made about student housing for Fall 2020?

The following decisions have been made about student housing for Fall 2020:

  • The residence halls will be open, and bedrooms will have one or two occupants. (No triple occupancy rooms will be permitted.)

    In establishing the plan for occupancy, we considered (1) availability of single beds; (2) risk of exposure; and (3) the student experience (and subsequent impact of isolation on the quality of that experience). As a result, and with proper regard to safety and students’ mental health, we will offer double room occupancy with beds placed 6-feet or more apart, head-to-head. This will minimize health risks and reduce students’ sense of isolation, which is particularly important for first-year students who seek the full Nebraska student experience.
  • Dining centers will increase to-go options and be open. Our goal is to provide high quality dining options while following CDC, Lincoln and Lancaster County Health guidelines. While they may change, current local health directives require:
    1. Occupancy of no more than 50% in dining centers.
    2. Six feet of distance is required between groups dining together.
    3. No groups can be larger than six people.
    Due to precautions for COVID-19, our hours of operation may change with limited notice.

Do I have to live on campus as a freshman if I have health concerns?

Housing accommodations will be made for any student with pre-existing health conditions. A waiver to the live-in requirement can be requested.

Do I have to live on campus if I decide to take all online classes?

Students should consult with their advisors about course planning. For any student with applicable extenuating circumstances, University Housing will offer accommodations. A waiver to the live-in requirement can be requested.

What is University Housing doing to ensure student health and safety?

The health and safety of our residents is of utmost concern. As much as possible and with proper regard to safety, we will observe the CDC guidelines for physical distancing, wearing face coverings, hand washing, and disinfection of our facilities. We are developing carefully considered plans to mitigate the risks of living on campus. Measures to reduce the spread will include:

  1. Required use of personal face coverings in common areas.
  2. Required physical distancing in common areas, lobbies, study lounges and game rooms.
  3. Required physical distancing or virtual participation in activities and hall meetings.
  4. Cleaning bathrooms in traditional halls at least two times per day and cleaning in all common areas and high touch surfaces.
  5. Training all University Housing staff and others working within the residence halls on health measures, signs and symptoms.
  6. Non-resident guests and visitors are asked to follow physical distancing protocols, wear face coverings, and frequently wash hands with warm water and soap for around 20 seconds.
View our quarantine and isolation protocol.

Will there be social or physical distancing in the halls? How?

We will observe the CDC guidelines of physical distancing, wearing face coverings, hand washing, and disinfection of our facilities–and we will expect students to do their part to create a safe community. As we carefully develop plans to mitigate the risks, we will follow a consistent standard of six feet of physical distance. At this point, we will treat roommates or suitemates as a family unit, thus allowing more than one occupant per residence hall room.

The university is in the process of defining limits on the density of classrooms; likewise, we will follow the same physical distancing standards in the dining centers. Since the spacing constraint of six feet will prevent excessive contact, public health experts do not think it necessary to impose a separate group size limitation. Our staff are well-trained to help guide students as we have successfully managed this challenge since March.

Guidelines for the use and cleaning of bathrooms are still being developed.

What are my responsibilities as a resident living on-campus?

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Keep your room clean.
  • We recommend wearing a face covering whenever you’re outside your room.
  • Practice physical distancing from others.
  • Remember that this is unusual time and you and/or others may feel anxious about what is going on.
  • Be kind to one another and remember we are all in this together.

Where can I get help if I am concerned or anxious about COVID-19?

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) offers some helpful tips for dealing with the disruption that COVID-19 brought to our lives. They also offer daily mindfulness sessions or individual counseling to help students take care of themselves. Additionally, students can sign up for a short weekly well-being check-in from Big Red Resilience and Well-being to help them navigate personal well-being.

What should students do if they show COVID-19 symptoms?

Students showing symptoms or concerned about possible exposure should immediately limit interactions with others and contact – by phone or email – the University Health Center or their primary provider.

Students should follow quarantine and isolation protocols as recommended by health care providers.

The Residential Experience
Why live on campus?

Living on campus not only provides incredible academic benefits (increased GPA, retention and graduation rates), but it also offers an immediate opportunity for your student to make new friends and build a community, which eases the transition between high school and college. Also, living on campus provides built-in safety features that off-campus apartments often lack – card-access buildings, Resident Assistants to answer questions and offer support, working security cameras, plus the University Police Department. Finally, our flexible meal plan options take the stress out of day-to-day living for your Husker, making sure they can focus on excelling in their coursework.

What will community building look like this fall in the residence halls?

Resident assistants (RAs) will host events to engage in smaller groups where students on the same floor and in the same hall can build community and get to know one another. Additionally, students will have access to an online portal to engage, find content and connect with peers socially and academically.

Will I still be able to be a part of and live with my Learning Community?

Yes, if you have been accepted to a Learning Community you will be assigned with others in your Learning Community.

Will I still be able to be a part of and live in the Knoll Honors Residential Community?

Yes, if you have been accepted into the Knoll Honors Residential Community you will be assigned to either a single or double suite in Knoll.

Can I have guests in the halls?

UPDATE: The residence hall guest policy has been updated, effective 09/15/20: go.unl.edu/guest-policy

Residents are permitted to have guests and visitors. When possible, we encourage you to connect with friends outside or in communal areas to help physical distance 6-feet or more apart. While guests/visitors are in the halls, they should:

  • Wash hands frequently with warm water and soap for around 20 seconds.
  • Use hand sanitizer that is available in residential buildings and elevators.
  • Wear a face covering at all times when in the residence halls.
  • Maintain a 6-foot physical distance from other individuals.
  • Only gather in small groups where proper distancing can be maintained between all group members and participants.
Anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should not visit the residence halls in-person.

Your Room & Roommates
Will I still be able to keep my roommate now that housing is assigning us?

Staff will attempt to keep roommate pairs together, if possible. However, we can’t guarantee at this time.

Can I request more than one roommate?

Given the directives of the CDC, professional associations, and local health directives, we’re only assigning up to two students per bedroom.

I was hoping to live in a suite with another roommate pair since we signed early. Is that possible?

Currently, you can request a roommate for your bedroom. All assignments are first come, first served based on the signed contract date.

Why can't roommates be guaranteed?

University Housing is doing its best to make sure this can happen, but there are many variables. Roommates might not submit the same preferences or even the same roommates. We also have requests come later in the process and there isn’t space to accommodate. We anticipate that most of the requests that were submitted on time will be successfully matched.

Can I still loft or raise my bed?

Yes, beds may be adjusted to multiple set heights. This can offer a great storage option for students. For specifications, view the bed heights information in the “Amenities Chart” for each residence hall. Available bed heights may vary.

Will my rooming situation (hall, roommate, etc.) change between fall and spring semesters?

If a student stays for fall and spring and pays the storage fee, there should be no change to the rooming situation unless there are unexpected extenuating circumstances. If a student chooses to move out, they essentially will be a new contract when they return and we will do our best to put them in the same room assignment but cannot guarantee.

Will students be required to move out after the semester ends in November?

No, students will not be required to move out. Students who opt to go home until the start of the spring semester can maintain their assigned room and leave belongings behind during the break by paying a room hold/storage fee of $150 per month.

For students who cannot go home or continue to have obligations on campus and in the community, the halls will remain open.

How were the revised contract rates determined?

Contract rates are based on a daily rate for each hall multiplied by the number of days in the semester. Because the fall semester has less days, we have lowered contract rates for all room types. View the full rate chart.

If I decide to cancel due to COVID-19 circumstances, will I be charged a cancellation fee?

No. We are suspending cancellation fees for the fall 2020 semester due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Students who choose to move out at any time during the fall semester will need to provide a 30-day notice for cancellation.

What is the interim period?

The interim period is the time between the end of fall semester and beginning of spring semester. If student chooses to stay during that period, they will be charged for staying (see rate charts). Students can also choose to leave but keep their belongings in their room for a $150/month storage charge or can choose to leave and take belongings. Same room is not guaranteed for spring if student doesn’t pay for storage. While we will try our best, it isn’t guaranteed.

What is the purpose of the storage fee?

The contract only takes into account the days between 8/14 to 11/26 and then 1/22 to 5/8. The storage fee helps ensure we know which students intend to return in the spring and which may not. Additionally, the fee will cover the cost of utilities to operate and staffing to secure the buildings during the interim time.

Winter Interim & Storage

Detailed information about Winter Interim and Storage can be found here: Winter Interim & Storage.