Campus housing promotes safety
Dorm living is a cornerstone of the college experience. From bonding with roommates to grabbing a late-night snack from the dining hall, living on campus offers students the opportunity to meet their peers and expand their independence. In 2020, however, living on campus looks a little different than previous years.
CU Denver’s main on-campus housing space, Lynx Crossing (formerly known as Campus Village Apartments), is open to students for the fall semester but with strict safety protocol in place. The CU Denver Housing & Dining team converted all dorms to single living spaces, so students do not have roommates, and added hand sanitizer stations throughout the building. Additionally, the Housing & Dining department converted the dining hall to fit under 25% of its normal capacity, while increasing the amount of seating in the courtyard. Currently, only 375 students live at Lynx Crossing; in a typical year, 715-722 students occupy the space, according to Kade Ross, the Director of Housing & Dining at CU Denver.
When any member of CU Denver faculty, staff, or student body enters campus, they are required to complete daily attestation forms, which include a temperature check. This practice, along with other campus-wide protocols like social distancing, is required for students living on campus as well.
According to Ross, the process of transforming the campus into a socially-distant, pandemic-friendly space began in April of this year. Working alongside Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Life & Residential Education, Meloni Rudolph Crawford, and Associate Vice Chancellor for Student and Community Engagement, Genia Herndon, Ross developed a plan for the fall semester, being careful to align with CDC guidelines.
“The biggest challenge has been trying to navigate changing guidance as new information is learned and balancing that with providing students with the most ‘normal’ experience possible. It required me and my entire staff to rethink everything from how packages are picked up to how we program for students,” said Ross. “We opened and not everything was perfect, but we had solid plans in place that were designed to be adaptable, and as we learned new things or saw something wasn’t working quite right we course-corrected.”
Housing plans vary throughout Colorado colleges and universities. CU Boulder, for example, is enacting a cohort model, where students live with other students in their academic fields of study. Students at Colorado State University will still have roommates, and all living spaces are open for the semester.
Safety is a top priority for CU Denver, and campus community members, especially those living on campus, are tasked with helping achieve that mission. “It really comes down to considering the actions taking place when you’re in the community and when you leave the community,” said Ross. “We have all been inundated with best practices, and sometimes conflicting opinions but I believe we have all been given the simple tasks that will keep us safe.”
This is a selection from the September 09 issue. To view the full issue, visit: https://online.flippingbook.com/view/140769/