We recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic has created concerns in many areas of university operations, including the safety of those students who are living in the residence halls. That said, we have made some important changes to the residence halls and dining centers to help reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. This includes outlining our expectations for our community members and emphasizing the responsibility of our residents to maintain a healthy environment.
Each of us must do our part to take care of ourselves and one another - remaining flexible in ever-changing circumstances, adopting new norms and adhering to public health requirements that will limit the spread of COVID-19. All in an effort to make it safe for our communities, students, staff and faculty.
The information below details the measures we have taken to keep our residents healthy.
The health and safety of all our students and staff remains top priority, which is a shared responsibility. We all must work to ensure we are prioritizing our health as individuals and as a community. Below outlines some of our existing protocols as well as additional precautions we are currently taking to provide an extra level of safety and care across our facilities:
Certified Cleaning Agents
We use hospital grade disinfectants that have been validated by the EPA and CDC to be effective against coronaviruses, including the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
We frequently clean and sanitize high contact surfaces such as door handles and countertops.
Hand Sanitizer & Wash Stations
Hand sanitizer is available in public areas where hand washing stations are not as readily available, and each student received a small bottle of hand sanitizer during move-in.
We installed Lexan transaction barriers in locations where face-to-face interactions frequently take place, such as our retail outlets and front desk operations.
Students will be required to wear a face covering when in a public space where it may be difficult to adhere to social distancing guidelines.
Measures are in place to easily allow for social distancing within our residence halls and dining centers. This includes reduced seating, directional traffic and signage, along with the option of taking your meal to-go. There is also a limit on the number that come together in communal spaces within the residential facilities.
Food Safety Standards
All dining staff are ServSafe® certified for safe food handling and service.
Retail customers can self-swipe most pre-packaged items, as well as self-swipe payment.
We have replaced finger scan technology with GETMyCard scanners so customers at the dining centers can access their dining plans via smartphone. They also have the option to self-swipe their ID card.
Customers can use the GET app to order ahead and provide contactless payment.
Unlimited Meals To-Go
Students with a meal plan can choose to take any of their dining center meals to-go.
Virtual Meetings and Programming
Provide staff and students the option to participate in meetings and activities via Zoom.
Students will find changes to services provided in our facilities, including package/mail pick-up and check-out equipment.
We have designated on-campus spaces for both quarantine and isolation.
Some temporary adjustments have been made to meal plans to protect public health and comply with the current state guidance for food service operations:
Throughout our dining locations, we have replaced finger scan technology with contactless scanners. Students also have the option to self-swipe their ID card. Retail customers can self-swipe most pre-packaged items, as well as self-swipe payment.
We will continue to monitor state guidance and make appropriate adjustments within dining should recommendations change.
Will the room and board cost be adjusted for the fall semester since it is ending early?
Yes. The residence halls opened a week early in August to accommodate an earlier move-in schedule and will remain open through winter break. Students are able and welcome to remain living on campus following the end of the fall semester; we do not require or ask that students move out of the residence halls over breaks. There will be no additional cost for the added week of housing. We will, however, be making an adjustment to the dining portion of the housing & dining rates for the fall semester. While there will be one added week of service in August, as well as a combined week to cover Labor Day and Thanksgiving week when the dining centers would normally be closed, the semester is ending three weeks early. Therefore, a one-week adjustment was made to reduce the rate of the Everyday All-Access ($135), Weekday All-Access ($125) and Weekly 5 ($52) meal plans.
Will the room and board cost be adjusted for the spring semester since it is starting late?
Adjustments as follows:Students with a 2020-21 Academic Year housing contract and meal plan – will receive an adjustment on the meal plan portion of their contract for the following plans: Everyday All-Access ($77), Weekday All-Access ($70) and Weekly 5 ($52).Students with a Spring 2021 housing contract – will receive an adjustment on both the housing and dining (if applicable) portion of their contract. A 2-week adjustment will be made for housing (amount varies based on hall and room type) and a dining adjustment will be made for the following plans: Everyday All-Access ($77), Weekday All-Access ($70) and Weekly 5 ($52).Students with a meal plan only – will receive an adjustment for the following plans: Everyday All-Access ($77), Weekday All-Access ($70) and Weekly 5 ($52).
Can I stay in the residence halls over winter break?
Yes. As always, the residence halls will remain open through winter break.
Can I switch to a single room?
Yes. Single rooms are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. There is an additional cost of $1,175 (or $587.50/semester) to switch from a double to a super single room. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your request to modify your reservation from a double to a super single room.
Why are there limited single rooms?
Our traditional residence halls are designed to house students in double rooms. Due to the unprecedented nature of the situation and space constraints, we are only able to provide a limited number of single rooms in order to provide space for all students wanting to live on campus.
Where will I live if I choose a single room?
Due to the demanding nature of the situation and space constraints, students choosing to live in a single room may be placed in any of our traditional halls. We will discuss your options with you prior to making the room change.
Can I stay in my same room if I choose a single?
If a request for a single room is able to be accommodated, the single room will be located where we have the availability. We cannot guarantee students who choose to live in a single room will be placed in the same room or hall that they initially signed up for.
What happens to my roommate if I move to a single room?
Your roommate will remain in your current double room and be assigned (or may request) a new roommate. If your roommate also wishes to be in a single room, they will also be relocated to a single room.
Is it possible for my roommate and I to live next door to each other in single rooms?
We will work to accommodate as many special requests as possible, but please know there is no guarantee.
What specific social distancing measures have been implemented in the residence halls?
We are reducing density within our halls to ensure smaller student-to-student ratios, safe enter and exit practices from buildings and reviewing common area space capacity and usage.
Are any common spaces within the residence halls closed?
No. However, we are limiting the capacity of lounges and recreation rooms to accommodate social distancing guidelines in order to maintain 6 feet of separation.
Are guests allowed to visit me in the residence halls?
Guests are allowed to visit you in your room, however there are limits on the number of people within student rooms.
Are there restrictions on how many people can be in my room/apartment?
No more than double the room capacity is permitted. For example, students in a double room can have no more than 4 people in their room at one time. Students in a 4-bedroom apartment can have no more than 8 people in the apartment at one time.
Am I required to wear a face covering in the residence halls?
Students are required to wear a face covering when in public spaces to help reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. Wearing a face covering is part of the shared responsibility of being on campus and protecting others. Each student received 3 UNI face coverings and a face shield, along with a small bottle of hand sanitizer at check-in.
What happens if I or someone I am in close contact with tests positive for COVID-19 or has symptoms?
Utilizing guidance from the Black Hawk County Health Department, we have developed procedures for working with a student who has tested positive/symptomatic or those that have come in contact with a person who is believed to be positive or symptomatic. We have designated spaces for both quarantine and isolation depending on the situation. Students may also choose to return to their permanent residence for the quarantine or isolation period, with guidance from local public health officials.
If I travel away from campus, will I be required to quarantine before returning to my residence hall?
We highly recommend students stay on campus during the academic year as much as possible to help reduce the possibility of coming in contact with someone who has COVID-19. It is important to research any area you may seek to travel and understand the risks involved in going to various locations within the United States. We ask that anyone who travels internationally to review the CDC guidelines before returning to campus.
What if I have a chronic health condition?
Students who have concerns about an underlying health condition(s) and the risks of living in a residence hall due to COVID-19 should consult with their health care provider prior to coming to campus. Please connect with Student Accessibility Services as soon as possible to discuss accommodations specific to your access needs.
Are there restrictions in the dining centers or other dining venues across campus?
In order to protect public health and comply with the current state guidance for food service operations, there is limited seating capacity in the dining centers. Therefore, dining center access is limited to meal plan holders only; no guests or groups. We replaced finger scan technology with contactless scanners. Students also have the option to self-swipe their ID card. Retail customers can self-swipe most pre-packaged items, as well as self-swipe payment.
What adjustments are being made to meal plans?
The new Flex+ program has been put on hold this year given adjustments are being made to allow meal plan participants more options for meals to be eaten outside of the dining centers. Meal plan participants can eat in the dining center or get any meal to-go. The Panther Booster Pack will be the only booster pack offered this year, as the Purple and Gold packs both come with Flex+.