Residents at Texas Woman’s University received an email Tuesday asking them to move out of residence halls if possible amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
With most classes moving online for the rest of the semester, Monica Mendez-Grant, vice president for Student Life, sent residents an email Tuesday morning encouraging them to move to their permanent residences if they are able. Move out will begin Wednesday and run through March 22. Residents moving will follow a staggered checkout process in compliance with social distancing guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19.
Those moving will not be charged a fee for breaking their housing contracts, though whether they can expect refunds or not is still being discussed, administrators said.
“Everyone who can go home and return to their permanent residence is encouraged to do so,” Mendez-Grant wrote. “However, for students who need to remain on campus because there is no other option, our residence halls and dining services will remain open for you.”
Staff will remain available for those staying on campus. Housing and Dining, Student Health, counseling services, Disability Support, Student Life, the library, the Center for Student Development, the student union and Financial Aid have been deemed essential and will remain open. TWU will continue to pay affected students in the Federal Work Study program following guidance from the U.S. Department of Education.
Students feeling ill have been asked to remain off-campus and arrange an alternate check-out schedule.
The move comes just days after the City of Denton and Denton County declared public emergencies late Friday in response to a growing number of local COVID-19 cases. With new recommended guidelines from the White House, state closures of restaurants and bars, and Governor Greg Abbott’s decentralized approach to the coronavirus placing responsibility locally, TWU said the decision is aimed at promoting health during this time.
“Our primary concern is for your safety and well-being,” Mendez-Grant said. “If you are able to go home, we encourage you to do so. We know that preparing to move on short notice is not easy, and we appreciate your flexibility, patience and understanding as we continue to work through this difficult time.”
Large bins will not be available for check-out, and residents are asked to bring no more than two to three people to help with moving.
Mendez-Grant encouraged unity in the uncertainty that lay ahead.
“I have enormous pride in our community, and I trust that this will be a time for us to come together to support each other in the challenging days ahead.”
The Lasso is continuing to reach out to campus officials to answer questions and keep the TWU community updated with the latest information. Questions and tips can be submitted here.