Court 17 sees numerous students leave in light of COVID-19

Since the announcement of an entirely online spring quarter due to COVID-19, over 120 students have left Court 17 according to Associate Director for Residence Life Ramon Borunda. Residents of the on-campus housing were notified on March 20 by Housing and Residence Life that there would be an option for those who wanted to vacate their rooms in light of the virus. While Residence Life did not ask for a reason as to why a student was leaving, Borunda shared their take on the matter from what they had seen and heard.

“[It] is a result of the university moving to online learning,” Borunda said. “Anecdotally, from conversations with residents or individual email communication, that residents decided to move out because it would be less expensive to live from home as they would not have access to campus during this quarter. Others also departed as means to be closer to family during this precarious time.”

Further, students who chose to submit a housing appeal request were able to leave as soon as March 24, and were given until April 3 to make their decision. Students who opted to vacate early faced no early termination fee and were not charged with the living fee for spring quarter. 

According to their website, despite most of the campus being shut down, several essential workers are continuing their jobs to ensure that the campus itself is maintained and those still residing on campus are safe. Campus Safety and Security are still patrolling campus and limiting access to buildings. Officers have been instructed to wear the correct protective gear and enforce city and state ordinances on social distancing. Custodial staff have also been retained to ensure the campus is as clean and sanitary as possible. 

“Our next steps for our remaining residents are working with the residents that remain in the building and have roommates to be reassigned to a single-occupancy space if they choose to do so. We want to encourage all social distancing guidelines to the best of our ability and are working with residents to provide them with adequate accommodations,” Borunda Shared.

In spite of the situation and the limitations it presents for on-campus life, Borunda reaffirmed that those still on campus would receive any support and help they may need.

“Despite getting lower in our numbers our engagement will not cease to exist,” Borunda said. “We want our residents to know that we’re here for them if they have questions beyond housing. Additionally, many of our campus partners like advising, the Career Development Center and [Counseling and Psychological Services] have offered to host Zoom sessions for our residents as well.”