FAQ: Changes to Fall 2020 Housing

Based on a number of factors, including assessing health risks, examining local hospital bed availability, and listening to you, we have made the decision to increase the agency students have over their curriculum and where they live this fall. 

  • Students can choose to come to campus, where they will likely have some hybrid face-to-face and online learning or can choose to take all of their courses online from anywhere.
  • Only one student will be assigned to each bedroom across campus, which will limit the number of students living on-campus.

Please review these FAQs for any questions you may have regarding the changes that RL&L and Stetson has implemented for the fall 2020 semester.

Note that we have arranged for rooms at local hotels and reached out to students that may be assigned these rooms. We have created a comprehensive FAQ page with information regarding this housing option.

What is the rationale for changing the occupancy to one student per bedroom?

At Stetson, we believe deeply in the educational benefits of living on campus and have been working diligently for months to make significant adjustments to create a safer living and learning environment within the range of CDC guidance and recommendations on community-living environments. Since the pandemic began earlier this year, we have maintained your safety as our top priority. In late May and early June, we made the determination based on existing information and factors at the time that we could operate safely with shared bedrooms. A primary factor in that decision was specifically the low and declining rates of COVID19 cases in the state and local area. We maintained at that time that all plans were subject to change if conditions changed. Unfortunately with a spike in COVID cases in Florida and many other states, we feel the need to adjust our plans.

Based on a number of factors, including assessing health risks, examining local hospital bed availability, and listening to you, we have made the decision to increase the agency students have over their curriculum. Students can choose to come to campus, where they will likely have some hybrid face-to-face and online learning or can take all classes online this term. FOCUS orientation can be taken face-to-face (in small groups by FSEM) or in an online format, and we are working to prioritize courses like first year seminar to have an option for students to meet face-to-face where possible. We have made the decision to only have one student per bedroom in residential buildings across campus. We know that students will be spending larger amounts of time in their rooms as use that space as their primary study location due to limited face-to-face activities on campus, at least for the start of the term. This level of occupancy also give students needed privacy to fully participate in classes which may be online or hybrid.

When will my final housing assignment be available?

Our goal is to have new room assignments no later than Friday, July 31st. Given the increase in academic agency to take all classes online, we are hopeful that everyone who wants to live on-campus this fall is able to do so.

What is the timeline for this new housing procedure?

Our tentative timeline for this process is below. Please know that we will do our best to complete this process as quickly as possible.

  • July 15, 2020
    • Communication of the occupancy change and reassignment process.
    • RL&L staff will return all housing applications for fall 2020-2021 back to draft mode.
  • July 21, 2020
    • Deadline for students needing and desiring to live on-campus to resubmit their application in Housing Central (accessed through myStetson).
  • July 22, 2020
    • All assignments are cancelled for students who are not living on-campus (did not resubmit an application or are on the waitlist). Credits should appear on student accounts within 48 hours.
    • RL&L staff will begin the process of reassigning most students on campus.
  • July 31, 2020
    • Our goal is to have all students reassigned by July 31 if possible with all residential students having new housing assignments and bills.
    • Students scheduled to arrive before July 31, 2020, will have their new assignment communicated to them prior to their arrival on-campus.

Will my room assignment change?

The process for the occupancy reduction will require a significant reassignment of most students and a prioritization of who is able to live on-campus (see FAQs). Given the increase in academic agency, we are hopeful that everyone who wants to live on-campus this fall is able to do so. Our goal is to have new room assignments no later than Friday, July 31.

  • Some students will remain in their current assignments if we can or reassigned to a similar location if at all possible.
    • Students with Accommodations
    • Resident Assistants
    • Students with pets
  • Most students will be relocated to a similar location if at all possible.

Will the change to one person per bedroom be for the entire semester?

Our intention is to have one student per bedroom for the entire fall 2020 semester.

  • If conditions significantly improve during the fall semester and we feel we are safely able to have shared bedrooms, students in rooms that are designed as shared bedrooms may first opt to pull-in a roommate from the waitlist by choice, then with prior notice, RL&L staff will begin assigning roommates to shared bedrooms to some buildings.
  • We do hope and expect to resume close to full capacity for the Spring semester. A clear process will be established and announced by mid-October for Spring semester assignments and room change requests.

Will my room rate change?

We are endeavoring to maintain current billing rates students currently have where possible. Room rates will all stay the same since we reserve the right to assign a second person to rooms designated as shared bedroom capacity if conditions improve or circumstances require it. We expect to resume normal operation of shared bedrooms in the Spring 2021 semester. This is analogous to a student who has a roommate who leaves is not charged for that vacancy during a typical semester.

How is it decided who gets a housing assignment?

Because we do not know if the demand to live on-campus will exceed our capacity, below is the university’s established prioritization for living on-campus and the assignment order unless otherwise noted:

  1. Students currently living on-campus for the Summer session
  2. International students
  3. Academic programs/classes which require in-person instruction
  4. Out-of-class commitments which require in-person participation for students who live more than 45 miles away (e.g. athletics, ROTC, internships)
  5. Incoming students who live more than 45 miles away
  6. Continuing residents who live more than 45 miles away and are under 90 credit hours
    • In priority for housing in order from lowest credit hour to highest.
    • In assignment order from highest credit hour to lowest
  1. Students who resubmit their housing application after July 21.
  2. Students living within 45 miles
    • In priority for housing in order from lowest credit hour to highest.
    • In assignment order from highest credit hour to lowest

If there are more students who want to live on-campus than there are rooms for, what happens?

If more than students apply than the beds we have available, a waitlist will be created for all students that we are not able to immediately house. Students will be notified within 48 hours of the application deadline if they will be on the waitlist. Any student with unique circumstances requiring that they live on-campus should indicate that information on their application and it will be reviewed by RL&L staff if the student is on the waitlist.

I live within 45 miles, but do not have transportation, what do I do if I am on the waitlist?

Any student with unique circumstances requiring that they live on-campus should indicate that information on their application and it will be reviewed by RL&L staff if the demand to live on-campus exceeds our capacity and a waitlist is established.

How long will the waitlist be maintained, if there is one?

We do know that students will change their mind and endeavor to house as many students as possible before classes begin. We will maintain the waitlist throughout the fall semester. As vacancies occur, we will contact students on the waitlist. If conditions significantly improve during the fall semester and we feel we are safely able to have shared bedrooms, students may first opt to pull-in a roommate from the waitlist by choice, then with prior notice, RL&L staff will begin assigning roommates to shared bedrooms to some buildings.

Which housing facilities will be utilized?

We will make determinations about which buildings are utilized after the application re-submittal deadline and determination of demand. We do expect for all building and bathroom room types to be used (apartment and residence halls with private bathroom, suite bathrooms, and community bathrooms)

Will my meal plan change?

Students living in the apartments are normally exempt from the meal plan requirement. If a first- or second-year student is reassigned to an apartment, they will not be able to waive their meal plan. Students not remaining on-campus will need to either cancel or change their meal plan through one-stop if they so choose.

Will Community Kitchens still be closed at the beginning of the semester?

Yes. We understand that there are some students who live in residential communities without meal plans and those students rely on the community kitchens for food preparation. Closing the community kitchens to food preparation is a recommendation from the CDC and is part of the larger multi-faceted approach to risk reduction in the community (congregate) environment. It is imperative that we have those spaces offline during the highest level of risk and are hopeful that we would be able to open those spaces up at some point during the semester. Given that, you may not want to purchase a full semester meal plan. 25 block plans, 75 block plans, and 115 block plans are available for purchase anytime and may be a great option while the community kitchens are inaccessible. For the fall semester, the purchase price of a lower plan may be credited toward the price of a higher plan if you choose to upgrade to a higher plan during the semester. If the community kitchens are reopened during the semester, meal plans cannot be canceled, so please plan accordingly.

Will I keep the $400 credit that has been applied to my account for leaving campus early in the spring?

Yes, the housing credit is applied to your fall bill, regardless of whether you are living on or off-campus.

I have a housing accommodation, will my assignment change?

The process for the occupancy reduction will require a significant reassignment of most students and a prioritization of who is able to live on-campus. Students with accommodations will remain in their current assignments if we can or reassigned to a similar location that meets their documented accommodation needs.

Could housing close during the fall semester?

Of course we cannot make guarantees, but in none of the possible situations do we foresee Stetson closing all housing during the fall semesters based on our experience and what we know now. One person per bedroom greatly increases our ability to maintain our residential environment regardless of what happens. Stetson did not fully close at any point during the Spring 2020 semester: we maintained residential housing, classroom availability, educational experiences and select student services throughout the Safer-at-Home, government-mandated period. Should a second Safer-at-Home mandate be ordered, we anticipate a similar approach to prioritizing students’ needs and a continuation of their education progress during that time.

If I live on-campus this fall and something happens related to the pandemic, what is the refund schedule?

Residential Living & Learning and Dining Services follows the university tuition refund schedule outlined in the bulleting for all withdrawals from the university with no adjustments for closures due to hurricane evacuations or other events. However, for fall 2020, the refund schedule for housing and meal plans is adjusted to the following broader refund schedule for students who move out of their housing assignment due to pandemic related conditions or a closure of housing for that reason before the end of the term.

fall 2020 housing and meal plan refund schedule in case of closure due to COVID-19 pandemic*

100% refund for week 1 (until 8/20)

75% refund for weeks 2-4 (8/21-9/10)

50% refund for weeks 5-7 (9/11-10/1)

25% refund for weeks 8-10 (10/2-10/22)

0% refund after week 10 (10/27-11/25)

*requires move-out with key turned in to RL&L by the close of business

I have a pet. Will my assignment change?

The process for the occupancy reduction will require a significant reassignment of most students and a prioritization of who is able to live on-campus. Students with pets will likely remain in their current assignments if we can or reassigned to another animal friendly location.

What if I am concerned about the air quality in the residence halls?

For some years, Stetson has been installing UVGI light in the HVAC systems in the residence halls with air handlers. Working with engineers, Facilities Management is taking additional steps to reduce the transmission of airborne pathogens through supplemental devices for designated shared bedrooms in traditional residence halls. This proactive action by the university has increased the wellness of buildings and set a foundation to limit airborne transmission of pathogens.

The air quality of all buildings will be increased through the use of high-efficiency HVAC filters and changing filters on a more frequent basis. In addition, the flow of outside air will be increased to exchange the air as much as reasonably possible. All occupied spaces will maintain HVAC system operation for maximum space occupancy. This allows for maximum fresh air supply, regardless of reduced occupancy or use.

What is the guest and visitor policy?

The guest and visitor policy follows the tiers that have been shared which allows more freedom and flexibility as the prevalence and risk of COVID-19 increases or decreases.

Tier 1: No Stetson guests or non-Stetson visitors in residence halls or apartments except move-in which will be limited to 2 people.

Tier 2: No non-Stetson visitors in residence halls or apartments. Only 1 Stetson guest in the room or apartment at any time (Face coverings required by all present.) No overnight Stetson guests.

Tier 3: Only 1 guest or visitor in a room at any time (physical distance of 3 feet if face coverings are worn by all present, or 6 feet if no face coverings are worn.) No overnight Stetson guests or overnight non-Stetson visitors. 

I am registered for classes that are face-to-face or hybrid and cannot commute. If I can't live on-campus I can't continue at Stetson this fall. What do I do?  

Students may take their classes fully online this semester.  Please fill out the Course Engagement Form which is under the One Stop Tab in mystetson in the forms section to indicate your preference to engage virtually this semester.  Once you have done this check what format your current courses are offered.  If they are all online (OL) and/or hybrid (HY), you do not need to make any changes.     If you have classes that are listed as face-to-face (FF), then you will need to change into online (OL) or hybrid (HY) sections by going to MyStetson > One Stop > Registration> Add or Drop Classes.  

Students can watch this video tutorial on how to search for courses and make changes to their schedule (add and/or drop courses) here.

For students who do not have a place to live this fall and need to live on-campus or their living environment at home is not conducive to studying, please indicate that information when you submit the online form.

I'm an incoming first-year student and the modality of my current FSEM no longer works for my schedule. I can't add or drop FSEM on my own, what do I do?

First-year students cannot make changes to their FSEM course on their own. You’ll need to work with your New Hatter Advisor to make these changes. Check your Stetson email for your New Hatter Advisor’s contact information. If you don't have that information, contact academic.advising@stetson.edu for help. 

I'm a continuing student but the upper level courses I need this semester aren't offered in the modality that I need them in. What do I do?

Reach out to the chair of the department for your major. They'll be able to help provide you with advice and recommendations on how to move forward. You can contact the chairs today.

I'm looking for only face-to-face (FF) courses but can't find all the courses I need in that modality. What do I do?

This semester, a limited number of classes are being offered in the face-to-face (FF) format but the hybrid (HY) format will offer you the most flexibility. Through the hybrid (HY) modality you will be able to get that valuable in-class experience while being able to choose from so many more course options. 

I've never taken an online (OL) class before, but this is the only modality that works for my current situation. What's that like?

Check out the Strategies for Online Learning guide for helpful tips and information!

Students will also be able to work with Success Coaches in the fall to help build strategies for success while engaging in an online environment.  Email studentsuccess@stetson.edu once the semester starts to set up your first Success Coach meeting!