Tuesday, August 11, 2020 - 12:00
You learned in today’s message from the President that since the state of New Jersey has not advanced to Stage 3 of reopening, classes will be delivered remotely this fall. Though most instruction will be remote, university housing will be open in the fall. To balance our commitment to a strong residential experience that supports student success with the health and well-being of students and the surrounding community, there are significant modifications to the residential experience that we want you to be aware of as you make your housing decisions.
All students who have applied and received confirmation of a fall 2020 housing assignment at this time can continue to live on campus if they choose to do so. No new action is necessary to secure this space. The number of currently assigned students falls within our reduced occupancy model, limiting the overall occupancy of assigned residence halls to 65%.
No new housing applications will be accepted at this time. That said, should spaces be available within our reduced occupancy model after all fall assignments are confirmed according to the timeline in this email, we will communicate with students the process and set of criteria to prioritize spaces for those who are interested in on-campus housing.
We recognize the stress involved in the room selection process, and we would like to honor your current housing assignment wherever possible. We may not be able to do so in all situations should a larger number of students change their housing decisions over the course of this week. We will communicate directly with students by Wednesday, August 19, if we need to reassign you to maintain minimum building safety occupancy or in order to adhere to CDC guidance by minimizing the number of users of each common-area bathroom.
Students who no longer wish to live on campus this fall will need to cancel their housing assignment by 5pm on Monday, August 17. Students can cancel their housing assignment by logging back onto their housing application through MyRider, selecting the 2020-21 academic year, then selecting “Cancel Application” in the upper right side. Canceling your application will trigger an automatic reversal of room and board charges, which will appear on your student account within 2 business days of cancelation. Detailed instructions about canceling housing is available online. Students who cancel after this date, but before the start of the semester on August 31, will receive a $500 late cancellation fee on their student account (which given the challenging financial circumstances, we have discounted 50% from our usual cancellation fee). We appreciate your attentiveness to the cancellation deadline, as it allows us to effectively plan for housing this fall. Students who cancel after the start of the semester, will be subject to the published refund schedule.
- Monday, August 17, 5 p.m. - Cancellation deadline for fall 2020 housing (to avoid $500 cancellation fee and/or other housing costs)
- Wednesday, August 19 - All fall 2020 assignments are confirmed and students can begin making appointments for a socially distanced move-in
- August 22-August 29 - Move in dates
- August 31 - Classes begin
As a reminder, all students entering New Jersey from outside of the United States, or from the domestic states that fall under the New Jersey advisory (currently 33 states and U.S. jurisdictions as of today), are required to quarantine for a 14-day period prior to engaging in community on campus. It’s important to note that this list is updated regularly and can change at any time. Students who are entering New Jersey from states that get added to this list at a later time will still be required to quarantine. Please refer to 14-day quarantine requirement email for more information.
Considerations for living on campus fall 2020
While we are all excited to welcome students back to campus, we must exercise caution and assure adherence to state guidelines for colleges and universities. While New Jersey remains in Stage 2 of the state restart plan, the state places limitations on what will be available to students on campus, and we want to provide information to frame expectations for a realistic view of life on campus, which will include the following. These can be revisited if/when state guidance changes.
- Guests in the residence halls are limited. Residential students can only have one additional guest in their room, and that guest must be from the same building. No external or out-of-building guests will be permitted in the residence halls. Students that reside in suites and apartments will be limited to no more than two additional people beyond assigned residents in their suite/apartment.
- Residence hall lounges will be restricted for use and will remain locked. Microwaves will be relocated for residential access and will be cleaned and disinfected on a regular basis. Laundry rooms will remain available to students.
- Indoor dining is not permitted. Meals will continue to be available as take-out. Outdoor seating areas will be provided. Rider Dining Services will also be offering food delivery to residential students to one of five delivery zones across campus.
- Indoor common-areas on campus (e.g. SRC, Crans, BLC) will be available for individual academic use, but cannot be accessed as group convening spaces.
- The library may have limitations for space access. More information will be available shortly. The library is developing a curbside pickup program to allow students to request and receive materials by appointment.
- The Student Recreation Center will be utilized for some group meetings, but will be closed for fitness and recreational activities.
- While the University is fully operational and all student services will be available to students, many of the appointments and office hours will be facilitated remotely.Residential students who are identified as close contacts to someone testing positive for COVID-19 or who are COVID-19 symptomatic will require quarantine. Residential students who themselves test positive for COVID-19 will require isolation. Residential students who require quarantine or isolation and who have a permanent address within 75 miles of campus must return home for the quarantine or isolation period before returning to their residence hall. We will provide isolation and quarantine spaces for students outside of this radius or with extraordinary circumstances.
- All students will be expected to adhere to the Shared Responsibility Pledge. Among other behaviors, this includes but is not limited to, not participating in large gatherings, adhering to quarantine guidelines, wearing a face mask or covering in all indoor locations outside of your individual residence hall room, and completing CampusClear on a daily basis. Students who fail to adhere to the COVID Shared Responsibility Pledge will be referred to the Office of Community Standards and students held responsible may face immediate removal from housing.
- Meetings and events will be allowed on campus in accordance with state guidance and campus event guidelines that align with social distancing standards, but in-person gatherings will be minimal. Student engagement will be encouraged via virtual connections and outdoor activities as much as possible. Tents will be available on campus to create additional outdoor spaces. An email is forthcoming regarding meetings and events.
Students living on campus may want to pack a little lighter this semester to make moving easier. Consider essential items and avoid bringing things that are unnecessary (e.g. additional furniture, etc.). Be sure to pack an appropriate supply of face coverings. You may want to consider packing things to make connecting outdoors easier (e.g. picnic blanket, towel or folding lawn chair).
If you have questions related to housing, please contact Residence Life at [email protected], or participate in one of our scheduled Residence Life Zoom drop-in hours every Monday-Thursday 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Log-in with this Zoom link.
Additional questions related to the Resolved and Ready plan can be emailed to [email protected].
I know how disappointing the news of the transition to remote instruction and the resulting changes to the on-campus and residential experience is for many of you. I share your disappointment — promoting a vibrant on-campus living and learning community for students brings me the greatest joy. You and your families are faced with challenging decisions about the fall semester, weighing many factors to determine the environment that will best align with your personal and academic goals and foster your success. All of us at Rider are here to support you in the path you choose.
Dr. Leanna Fenneberg
Vice President for Student Affairs