FAQs - Housing

What are you doing to reduce the spread of COVID-19 during move-in?

Residential Life is taking multiple steps to make your experience on campus as safe and exciting as possible when you arrive in August. During the move-in process we will be conducting an expedited move-in procedure to reduce the number of people that you come into contact with. Here are specific practices and protocols that will be in place during move-in:

  1. We are adding more move-in dates and times to reduce the volume of students and families on campus at any given time.
  2. We are conducting enhanced disinfection of the many high-touch areas within our facilities — like door handles, light switches, handrails, and tables.
  3. We are cooperating with partners across campus to promote social distancing and current health protocols.
  4. Students will have to schedule an appointment to check-in.
  5. We are limiting the number of people who will be assisting students during move-in, to two helpers.
  6. We are limiting elevators to one family at a time.
  7. We will encourage you to bring your own dolly or cart to assist you with your move-in, as this will speed up the move-in process and we will not be providing volunteer helpers or moving assistance equipment.

Do I need to bring any COVID-related items to campus? 

We encourage all residents to bring with them:

  • 7 Face coverings (washable or re-usable)
  • Hand sanitizer, alcohol-based with at least 70% alcohol
  • Cleaning supplies (i.e., sanitizing wipes)
  • Acetaminophen or ibuprofen
  • Thermometer
  • If applicable and possible, an extra month’s supply of any prescription medication
  • Any resources needed to complete classwork remotely

Will there be any COVID-related items provided?

Yes! The Residential Life office will provide a welcome basket with a mask, small hand sanitizer, and information regarding COVID and living on campus to all students moving in.

What kind of help will be available during move-in?

Due to social distancing guidelines, we will not have volunteers to physically help move your personal belongings.  You can expect to see resident advisors and other Residential Life staff around campus. We will be there to welcome you, answer questions, and support you as you transition to life at STU.

Will there still be opportunities to build community and get involved?

Yes! We are evaluating all residential programming to limit group sizes, while still offering plenty of opportunities to build community and get involved.

Why did Residential Life move to a multi-day sign-up process?

We need to ensure social distancing during the move-in process, so we have created hundreds of time slots during which you can move into your residence hall in groups of 20.  This allows for decreased density in any given hall during the move-in process and aligns with other practices we have instituted to create the safest move-in possible. All students need to sign up for an appointment to move-in so that their files can be prepared prior to their arrival.

What if I have unique circumstances and need accommodations in selecting a move-in time or during the move-in process?

Please send an email to reslife@stu.edu and provide us information about your unique needs and situation.

Do I have a roommate?

Unless you are in a single room, you most likely have a roommate. You will get your roommate’s name and email as soon as you are both assigned.

How do I contact my roommate or suitemate?

You will receive your roommate’s information in your room assignment email/letter in July.

Can I move off-campus mid-year?

No.  Your contract is for a complete academic year (fall and spring). All residents who have signed a housing contract are required to fulfill their responsibilities.

Will lounges, study rooms, and other common areas still be accessible in the fall?

Currently, common areas will remain open for students in the residence halls but will be capped at 10 people.  Residential Life will have health and safety procedure signs posted outside of all common areas. Students are expected to practice social distancing and follow all guidelines posted. Lounges, study rooms, and other common areas may be subject to closure at any point during the semester.

Will students living in the residence halls have to wear a face covering?

Yes. Students will be expected to wear a face covering when traveling anywhere on campus, to and from classes and within the residence halls. You will not be required to wear a face covering in your personal residence hall room.

What if a student living in the residence halls does not feel well and is experiencing symptoms?

Individuals with symptoms or who have had potential, close contact to COVID-19 exposure, are encouraged to contact the Baptist Clinic or their primary care provider to discuss their symptoms and schedule an appointment for testing.  While an individual is waiting for test results, one MUST self-isolate in the designated space provided, not in their residence hall room, or return home.

Will there be designated areas to temporarily isolate students who live on campus if needed?

If a student tests positive for COVID 19, the student will be encouraged to go home for their required quarantine period if possible.  Those within driving distance from STU will be expected to return home during their quarantine period.  However, STU will maintain a quarantine facility separated from the residence halls that will be used only as necessary.   Students should follow the case management program as instructed by Baptist Health Center or their primary care provider.  Housing and Residential Life maintenance staff will deep clean and sanitize the student’s initially assigned room while the student is self-isolating in the temporary room. If the resident has a roommate that was exposed, the roommate may also be temporarily relocated to a separate designated room for the 14-day self-isolation period and may be referred to Baptist Health to determine if a COVID-19 test is necessary.

Will students living on campus be expected to clean their own restrooms?

Yes, unless you live in a residence hall with a community-style restroom. Students with private or suite style restrooms will be responsible for cleaning their own restrooms. You will need to coordinate with your roommate and/or suitemates to ensure that your restroom and common area remain clean and sanitary. Community and public bathrooms throughout the residence halls will be cleaned and sanitized by custodial staff daily.

All residential students need to be diligent in cleaning their individual rooms. Residential life will be conducting additional health and safety checks to ensure that residents are taking proper sanitary precautions in their respective rooms.

Will residential students be provided with cleaning products?

Students with private or suite style restrooms will be responsible for cleaning their own restrooms.  You will need to have your own cleaning products to ensure your restroom is thoroughly cleaned.

What will the overnight guest and visitation policy be?

Overnight guests will not be permitted for Fall 2020 semester.  The residential life team will manage each centralized entrance during the evening hours and will ensure that only residents and their guests are in the building.  All guests will sign in and must leave the halls by curfew.  Visitation Hours will be 10am-12am daily.

Guests will be permitted based on the following restrictions:

  1. Guest must be a currently enrolled STU student
  2. Only 1 guest per resident will be permitted at a time

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

You can contact our Student Counseling services who will offer some helpful tips for dealing with the disruption and uncertainty that COVID-19 has brought to our lives. She also offers individual counseling sessions to help students manage stress, anxiety, and other mental health related concerns. You can schedule an appointment with:

Maria Garavito-Bedoya | Licensed Mental Health Clinician
Director of Student Health
(O) 305.628.6695
Mgaravito@stu.edu

 

Residence Halls and Housing Updates

St. Thomas University cares deeply about the health, safety and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff. In light of the university’s decision to conduct all Spring 2020 classes through virtual or remote instruction, and in an effort to promote social distancing to help stop the spread of COVID-19, we have decided to close all residence halls for Spring 2020At this time, it remains true that there are no confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 on campus. University residence halls will close for the semester on Friday, March 27 at 8 p.m. In order to ensure appropriate social distancing and to help students and their families plan an orderly and safe move-out, checkouts will be conducted in two phases.
  • Phase 1: Students who remained on campus and are living in residence halls currently.
  • Phase 2: Students who already left campus and need to return the halls to retrieve their belongings.

PHASE 1 - STUDENTS WHO ARE ON CAMPUS

All halls will close 8 p.m. Friday, March 27. Housing is using an express check-out process that takes into consideration social distancing and an expedited departure. Please follow the departure schedule below. If you would like to checkout before the day or time that you are scheduled for on the departure schedule, please consult with your RA. Checkout will be available from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day through Wednesday, March 25, 2020.
Last name Date Time
A-D Monday, March 23 Noon
E-H Monday, March 23 4 p.m.
I-L Tuesday, March 24 9 a.m.
M-P Tuesday, March 24 3 p.m.
Q-T Wednesday, March 25 9 a.m.
U-Z Wednesday, March 25 3 p.m.

PHASE 2 -STUDENTS WHO HAVE LEFT CAMPUS and need to return to collect their belongings

All halls close 8 p.m. Friday, March 27. Housing is using an express check-out process that takes into consideration social distancing and an expedited departure. Please follow the departure schedule below.  If you would like to checkout before the day or time that you are scheduled for on the departure schedule, please consult with your RA. Checkout will be available from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day through Friday, March 27, 2020.
Last name Date Time
A-D Wednesday, March 25 Noon
E-H Wednesday, March 25 4 p.m.
I-L Thursday, March 26 9 a.m.
M-P Thursday, March 26 3 p.m.
Q-T Friday, March 27 9 a.m.
U-Z Friday, March 27 3 p.m.
On each floor, you will find the Express Checkout forms, Room Condition Report and with a checkout envelope. Before you check out, work through the list below and checkout only after it is completed. Follow the steps below to complete an Express Checkout:
  1. Completely clear your living space of all personal belongings and trash.
  2. Locate the EXPRESS CHECKOUT MAILBOX found on every floor in each of the residence hall buildings.
  3. There is where you will find an EXPRESS CHECKOUT FORM that must be filled out.
  4. Once the form is complete, place the EXPRESS CHECKOUT FORM and your ROOM KEYS in an ENVELOPE provided.
  5. Write your NAME AND ROOM NUMBER on the outside of the envelope and place it inside the EXPRESS CHECKOUT BOX
  6. Once this is done please NOTIFY YOUR RA that you have properly checked out.
Failure to follow this step-by-step procedure will result in an improper checkout and fine. Failure to return your room key will also result in a replacement fee. Who Can Help while Staying Safe Students may bring a maximum of two helpers to assist with move-out.  Helpers must be free of COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing).  All students and helpers are welcome to bring their own items that make them feel more comfortable such as gloves, dollies, and sanitizing supplies to clean the rooms before they depart. Be Safe. Please avoid close contact, defined as within 6 ft of another person for 10 minutes or more. Please wash and sanitize your hands often, cover coughs, and do not come to campus if you are sick.

TO PREPARE YOUR ROOM FOR CHECK-OUT, PLEASE COMPLETE THE FOLLOWING:

Students are limited to two (2) helpers who are not displaying symptoms of COVID-19 or may have been exposed. Students are encouraged to bring their own supplies to facilitate move-out including gloves, masks, dollies, etc. Carts will be made available. If Items result in damage, staff in a checkout inspection will note charges. Residence Life staff will assess damage and will bill students account after the resident has checked out.
  • Remove all belongings.
  • Empty wardrobes/dressers/desks.
  • Remove posters/pictures from walls.
  • Remove tape/stickers from walls and furniture.
  • Wipe down all surfaces.
  • Clean bathrooms.
  • Clean and close windows.
  • Remove decorations from door.
  • Empty recycling bin.
  • Take all trash to outside dumpster.
  • If you have a micro fridge, clean, defrost and leave in your room.
  • Turn off lights.
  • Lock door.
  • Call all companies you receive mail from
Staff will check your room after you are gone. If there are any damages, photos will be taken and appropriate charges assessed. Whether one or all residents of a room/suite are checking out, an inspection of the entire suite and/or bedrooms (including common areas) being vacated must be completed. All students must return their room in as good condition as it was received - with allowance for reasonable and customary wear and tear.  If there is any damage or need for extraordinary cleaning, the Resident Assistant (RA) will try to establish responsibility among the residents of the room at that time.  This information will be recorded on the room condition report (RCR).  Residents are encouraged to determine responsibility for damages and submit them to rmcnab@stu.edu.  Determination of a responsible party is important because all residents of a room will be assessed a portion of the cost if the responsible individual is not identified.   KEYS Keys must be returned when you check out. The charge for a lost key is $50. All rooms with a lost key will be re-keyed and billed to your student account. ROOM KEYS MUST BE RETURNED TO THE RA PRIOR TO LEAVING FOR THE BREAK. FAILURE TO CHECK OUT PROPERLY WILL RESULT IN A $250.00 IMPROPER CHECKOUT FINE AND CHARGES FOR LOCK CHANGES AND REPLACEMENT KEYS. (IMPROPER CHECKOUT IS PACKING AND LEAVING WITHOUT GOING THROUGH THE CHECKOUT PROCESS, GIVING YOUR KEYS TO YOUR ROOMMATE/FRIEND/FAMILY MEMBER TO PASS ONTO STAFF). For a full list of damage charges, check online at http://www.stu.edu/students/Housing/Damage-Fees.  Items should not be left in the hallway at any time.  Leaving items in the hallways is a violation of the Student Handbook. HOUSING DEPOSIT REFUNDS: Refunds are sent via direct deposit to your bank account.  Please follow the steps below to set up direct deposit. Any refund due to you will be processed once the bank account information has been approved. Direct Deposit Authorization Form for refund: To find the forms you can also follow the steps below: Please also be aware that you will not be refunded immediately after submitting this form. Your bank account information must be verified first. This requires a mandatory 7 day waiting period for approval. Please check your STU email for any notification regarding rejection. Should you have any questions or concerns regarding this matter, please email ksukhan@stu.edu.

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS:

  • What if I can't get back or live too far away to return?  We highly encourage residents to follow the schedule and make every effort to vacate the residence halls by Friday, March 27 at 8 p.m. The process was designed to support social distancing and spread out departures. For those with extenuating circumstances, contact your hall director to learn if alternative arrangements may be made.
  • Is Dining staying open? Yes, Dining Services is open. Grab'n go will be in the Bobcat Café and the Rathskellar.  Both locations will close at the end of business Friday, March 27; however, their operation schedules may change.
  • What if I cannot make my move-out time? We highly encourage residents to follow the schedule and make every effort to vacate the residence halls by Friday, March 27 at 8 p.m. The process was designed to support social distancing and spread out departures. For those with extenuating circumstances, contact your hall director to learn if alternative arrangements may be made.
  • If I have already left and am from a far away (i.e. out-of-state), how can I retrieve my belongings? Can I have someone retrieve them for me? If you cannot return to move out, please get someone to retrieve your belongings who has written consent from you.  Please copy me on the email.
  • What if I already took all my stuff home but just have my keys?  You can return the keys to us in person or mail them to me at the following address below: to us by sending it directly to me at:

Richard McNab St. Thomas University 16401 NW 37th Avenue Miami Gardens FL 33054

Please register the mail so that you can track the envelope.  If keys are not returned by April 1, you will be charged for a replacement key (s).

  • I already went home and turned in my keys. Do I need to do anything else?  No. You're all set.
  • Will there be summer school housing? We are unsure at this time. This decision is connected to the University's decision about summer classes. We will inform you after the pandemic is over.
  • How do I apply for Fall Housing? The Room Selection process (Housing Lottery) will take place online via the Housing Portal at https://bobcat.stu.edu. I will provide you with specific details on how to enter the lottery and secure your room at a later date.
If you have any questions about expectations for move out or how to request an exception, please contact me directly 305-628-6554 or email rmcnab@stu.edu.  For up-to-date information about the university’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit https://www.stu.edu/coronavirus/.

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