Students asked to move out of residence halls by Monday, extensions possible

Students prepare to take a shuttle to Logan Airport or South Station on March 13, 2020. Alexander Thompson / The Tufts Daily

Tufts students living on the university’s Medford/Somerville campus and at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts (SMFA) must leave their respective residence halls by 3 p.m. on March 16, according to an email sent Wednesday by the deans of Tufts schools with on-campus residents.

In their email, the deans — James Glaser (School of Arts and Sciences), Jianmin Qu (School of Engineering), Nancy Bauer (SMFA) and Robert Cook (Graduate School of Arts and Sciences)established criteria under which students will be able to remain in their dorms beyond March 16.

Students were able to apply for a housing extension if their permanent residence is in a country designated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with a Level 3 travel warning or if their travel would be impacted by current restrictions. Students who demonstrate “extenuating financial or personal circumstances” will also be considered for an extension.

ORLL notified students of their extension request status no later than 9 a.m. today.

Students applying to stay on campus after March 16 were asked to submit their online petition to the Office of Residential Life and Learning (ORLL) by 5 p.m. on Thursday. Petitions will be considered by the Dean of Student Affairs Office and ORLL staff, according to ORLL Director Joshua Hartman.

“While it is absolutely essential that all students who are able to leave the residence halls by the March 16 deadline do so, we also recognize that not all students will be able to immediately meet this requirement,” Hartman wrote in an email to the Daily. “As always, our primary focus will be on the well-being of our students, and we will work closely with any student whose circumstances make it impossible to depart their on-campus residence at this time.”

In their email, the deans announced that housing fees and financial aid for housing will be prorated. They also warned that anyone granted a housing extension, including SMFA students, will likely be relocated to a different residence hall on the Medford/Somerville campus.

The university will also take measures to clean and sanitize residence halls once students leave for the semester, according to Senior Facilities Director Cory Pouliot.

“This is an unprecedented move-out and some of this will be planned as things progress over the weekend and early next week,” Pouliot wrote in an email to the Daily. “There may be some additional effort required to clean-out each residential hall of trash and items left behind before the final deep cleaning/disinfecting occurs.”

C&W Services, the custodial company with which Tufts contracts, will follow cleaning guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and will use the same disinfectant used by the CDC, according to Pouliot. C&W Services employees will also be provided with protective equipment recommended by the CDC.

Tufts Dining locations on the Medford/Somerville and SMFA campuses are scheduled to close for the rest of the semester on Saturday, according to the deans’ email. However, Commons Marketplace and Carmichael Dining Center will remain open through May 8, and students will be able to use meal swipes and JumboCash at both locations.

Tufts will also prorate costs for remaining meal plan, JumboCash and Rhinobucks balances, according to updates on the university’s frequently asked questions website as of March 14.

University offices will remain open as faculty and staff continue to work as regularly scheduled, according to the email. Certain facilities, including Tisch library, the Steve Tisch Sports and Fitness Center and the Gantcher Center all closed by March 13 to the general public and the Tufts community.


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