What To Expect This Fall

  • Yes, we are open! WMU’s residence halls and apartments will be open for students this fall. We are looking forward to welcoming you in August, but some things will be different. Housing options changed, a new move-in process is being designed, and new policies and procedures are in place that focus on student health and well-being.

WMU Students outside

Housing Options

  • What housing options changed?

    Public health concerns, social distancing requirements, and related constraints brought on by COVID-19 required us to temporarily forego the use of some facilities. We realize this news may be disappointing. Please know that we took each decision seriously and made them with great care and consideration. 

    • Halls closed:  Ernest and Smith Burnhams, Henry Hall
    • Ackley Hall (Valley 1) designated a non-food hall, meaning a meal plan is optional (option also available in Britton and Hadley Halls)
    • Learning community changes: 
      • Aviation House moved to Ackley Hall (Valley 1)
      • Education Community discontinued
      • Fine Arts House moved to Harvey Hall (Valley 2)
      • Human Performance House discontinued
      • Honors subsets in business, engineering and fine arts, as well as the Honors STEM/Health option, discontinued – Honors Community remains
    • Single rooms converted back to double occupancy rooms - Building closures due to the Hilltop Village project and COVID-19 mean we no longer have that flexibility. Decisions for full occupancy double rooms were made in consultation with Kalamazoo Health and Community Services Department.
  • Why were Burnhams and Henry closed?

    Both buildings have community bathrooms, which were a concern for public health. Many Michigan institutions are closing residence halls with community bathrooms.

  • Doesn’t Western Heights have community bathrooms?

    Western Heights bathrooms are considered semi-private bathrooms. There are two fully-enclosed bathrooms in each house in addition to a larger, shared bathroom. Shower and toilet stalls in the shared bathroom have three walls and a floor-to-ceiling door. Students will be encouraged to spread out at the sinks. The bathroom is disinfected three times a day, including a daily deep-cleaning. There is a maximum of 36 residents in each single-gender house.

    The decision to keep Western Heights open was made with assurances from county health departments across the state that they are comfortable with the semi-private bathroom set up.

    Western Heights Bathroom
    Western Heights Bathroom
  • Will there be single rooms?

    We are honoring our returning students who already claimed a single room, but the rest of the singles are being converted back to double occupancy rooms. Building closures due to the Hilltop Village project and COVID-19 mean we no longer have the flexibility for single rooms for new students. Decisions for full occupancy double rooms were made with assurances from county health departments across the state that they are comfortable with two people living in a residence hall room.

    The Shilling Transfer Community will still have single rooms.

Housing Contract

  • Will there be housing contract and rate adjustments with students leaving November 20?

    Students are not required to move out of campus housing on November 20.  If you choose to stay, no action is required. It is important to consider that
    many on-campus resources will continue to be available between Nov. 20 and Dec. 18, such as modified dining services.

    If you choose to leave, a credit is available for those meeting eligibility requirements.  Students must complete an early move-out request form in the housing portal by 5 .m. EST October 30, 2020. Credit amounts are as follows:

    • An $860 WMU account credit for residents with a meal plan during the 2020 fall semester
    • A $430 WMU account credit for residents without a meal plan during the 2020 fall semester

    Click here for full information on credit eligibility, time lines, how the credit is applied to your student account, and how the credit amount was determined.

  • Will I need to move out on November 20?

    If you are planning to return to WMU spring semester, you would take home essential items and leave the rest. If you do not plan to return in the spring, there will be a designated date by which to move out.

  • Will there be options if someone wants to stay until December 18 or later?

    Students are permitted to stay in their campus housing up to December 17, at 7 p.m.  If a student needs to stay past December 17, there is still a plan being developed.

  • What if I do not want to live on campus due to COVID-19?

    Students wishing to cancel their housing contracts must submit a cancellation request. A cancellation fee may apply depending on when you cancel your contract and whether or not you are still attending WMU.

    Residence hall cancellation schedule

    No longer attending WMU

     

    Cancel July 2 through July 31

    $100

    Cancel Aug. 1 through 5 p.m. of last business day before the halls open

    $200

    Attending WMU but wish to cancel housing

     

    Cancel July 2 through July 31

    $400

    Cancel Aug. 1 through 5 p.m. of last business day before the halls open

    $500

     To cancel your housing, log into the housing portal then click on the "Contract/Lease Cancellation Request" link. Your request will be reviewed, and you will receive an email reply regarding your contract status.

  • Can I cancel my housing if I have all distance education classes this fall?

    Yes. If all of your classes will be delivered via distance education and you choose to complete your course work from home, you will be allowed to cancel your housing contract with no penalty if you do so by 5 p.m. on Aug. 3. To cancel your contract, sign into the housing portal, click on Contract/Lease Cancellation Request and then follow the prompts.

    Once Housing and Residence Life confirms all of your classes will be delivered via distance education, you will receive an approved cancellation email to your WMU email account and your cancellation will be complete. If you do not cancel by Aug. 3, and you decide to do so later, you will be subject to our regular cancellation policy, which is included in the contract.  If you have any face-to-face classes and you decide to cancel your housing contract, you will be subject to our regular cancellation policy.

    Please note that should you decide to move back into on campus housing for the spring semester, there is no guarantee that your space will still be available, as it may be occupied by another resident.

Move-in

  • When is fall move-in?

    Move-in will be in late August.  New students will be emailed Aug. 7 with their assigned arrival day and time.  Athletes and Bronco Marching Band will receive information from their coach or the band director.

    • New students:  Aug. 27-29 (assigned days and arrival times)
    • Returning students:  Aug. 30 – Sept. 1
    • Apartments:  Aug. 13 for Arcadia Flats and Western View; Aug. 28 for Goldsworth Valley Apartments, Spindler Hal and Stadium Drive Apartments

    New students who are local will be invited to drop off belongings early and return on their designated move in day Aug. 27-29.

    Click here for the fill schedule and details about our move-in process.

  • How will move-in be done safely?

    Student and family health and safety are priorities for fall move-in. We are spreading out arrivals, limiting the number of students and guests during each arrival block, implementing a touchless check-in process and increasing custodial attention to high-use areas. Students are encouraged to do COVID-19 testing with Sindecuse Health Center the day they arrive on campus and prior to checking in at their residence hall or apartment.  

    Highlights:

    • Designated days for new student move-in for Fall Welcome
    • Designated days for returning student move-in
    • Local students within a set radius of Kalamazoo drop off belongings early and return on their Fall Welcome move-in day
    • Assigned a 90-minute move-in block, with blocks capped at 33 students per building
    • Limited to 2 move-in helpers
    • Face coverings/Masks to be worn at all times
    • Touchless check-in process
    • Additional custodial presence
  • Are students required to do COVID testing before arriving?

    Housing and Residence Life and Sindecuse Health Center highly recommend students living on campus to do a COVID-19 test with Sindecuse Health Center the day they arrive on campus and prior to checking in at their residence hall or apartment. Testing is provided with no out-of-pocket costs for students. That means that Sindecuse will bill insurance for those who have it.  WMU will cover co-pays and any remaining balances related to testing. Those without insurance will be tested at no charge. Students received an email July 24 with information and a survey link to confirm if they want to do the COVID-19 testing.  Replies are due by Aug. 10.

    In the event a student tests positive, the student will be provided appropriate guidance from Sindecuse health professionals.  Sindecuse will also lead contact tracing for positive diagnoses in coordination with the Kalamazoo County Health and Community Services Department.

    WMU Housing and Residence Life has identified isolation spaces for students unable to leave campus.

  • When will I get my assigned move-in time?

    New students will be emailed their assigned move-in time Aug. 7. Returning students will get their arrival survey that week. Survey results will determine if move-in blocks are needed for returning student move-in. Social media announcements will let you know the emails are out.

  • When will students return in January?

    We do not know at this time. The University has not announced the revised spring schedule.

Health

  • Are face masks required on campus?

    Yes. President Montgomery communicated four behaviors expected for the campus community in his June 22 email to students, families, faculty and staff. They are:

    • Masks: Students, faculty and staff wear them indoors if you are not alone.
    • Testing and monitoring: Monitor your health, and get tested immediately at the earliest symptoms. Stay home if you are sick. Sindecuse Health Center has rapid-result COVID-19 testing, which offers results on the same day or next day.
    • Hygiene: Wash hands frequently and correctly; clean workspaces and high-touch surfaces thoroughly and frequently.
    • Social distancing: Try to maintain 6 feet of distance all the time.
  • Where will face masks be required in campus housing?

    Students will be expected to wear masks in residence hall public areas, including the lobby, lounges, elevator and stairwells, and laundry rooms. Masks may be removed in your room or apartment. We recommend wearing them in your room if neighbors are visiting.

    The University will provide you with two face coverings at move-in. Consider bringing additional face coverings since a clean one should be used each day.

  • What else should I know about campus housing and public health measures?

    Hand sanitizer dispensers are located in all residence hall lobbies.

    Plexiglas is being installed at all front desks and in hall offices to reduce contact between students and staff while still providing needed service.

    Gloves are being provided for staff who handle and distribute mail and packages.

    All buildings will have signs and markings as reminders of social distancing requirements.

    When inside buildings, please keep right in stairwells and hallways and make every effort to maintain social distancing.

  • What happens if I develop symptoms for COVID-19?

    Get tested immediately at the earliest symptoms. Sindecuse Health Center has rapid-result testing available. Call ahead for a telehealth appointment, and familiarize yourself with their COVID information online.

  • What happens if I test positive for COVID-19?

    Students who test positive for COVID-19 should follow the recommendations of their health professional. Contact tracing for all positive diagnoses will be conducted by the Kalamazoo County Health and Community Services Department.

    Housing and Residence Life has identified isolation spaces for students unable to leave campus. “Isolation” is defined as having received a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, thereby requiring complete isolation from the campus community. Isolation may be achieved through leaving campus to another housing option or relocating to an identified on-campus location, as designated by university health officials.

  • What happens if my roommate or suitemate has been exposed to COVID-19?

    If your roommate or suitemate is notified by a contact tracer that they have been exposed to COVID-19 and you have not, they will move to WMU's quarantine housing or to an off-campus address, and you will remain in your existing room or suite. 

    If both you and your roommate or suitemate have been exposed to COVID-19, you may remain in your existing room for quarantine.

  • What happens if my roommate or suitemate tests positive for COVID-19?

    If your roommate or suitemate tests positive for COVID-19, they will move to isolation housing or to an off-campus location. Once this happens, you will be required to quarantine and avoid contact with the campus community for 14 days. You can quarantine in your existing room or suite, and food will be delivered to you, if requested.

  • What is the difference between isolation and quarantine?

    "Isolation" is required for a student on campus who has tested "positive" for COVID-19. These students will move to the designated isolation hall(s) for 10 days and, if requested, will receive food delivered to their room. Isolation can also be achieved by relocating to an off-campus address.

    A student living on campus will be directed to "quarantine" if they have been exposed to COVID-19, requiring removal from contact with the campus community for a period of 14 days. Quarantine may be achieved by relocating to an off-campus address, relocating to the quarantine-designated hall(s) or quarantining in the student's present living space, depending on how the student was exposed. Food will be delivered to students in quarantine, if requested.

    If a student's roommate or suitemate has tested positive, the student may remain in quarantine in their existing room; the positive student will move to isolation housing or relocate to an off-campus location. 

    If a student was exposed to a positive COVID-19 case outside their room or suite, the student will need to relocate to the quarantine hall(s) or an off-campus address. Their roommates or suitemates would remain in their room or suite.

    If a quarantined student develops systems, they will have access to a telehealth appointment with Sindecuse Health Center. They will also receive written follow-up instructions from Sindecuse, which are also available in the Sindecuse online health portal.

Custodial

  • What will cleaning look like in campus housing?

    Our residence halls and apartment complexes are cleaned by a professional custodial company that specializes in educational and office environments. The crew is on site Monday through Sunday. Custodial practices were developed utilizing Centers for Disease Control and industry recommendations.

    • All high-frequency touch points are cleaned and disinfected multiple times per day.
    • Bathrooms are deep cleaned seven days a week and wiped down (disinfected) multiple times a day along with product stock checks and refills.
    • All public spaces are cleaned with electrostatic disinfecting equipment prior to fall move-in. This equipment will continue to be used during the semesters as needed to disinfect large spaces quickly and effectively.
    • Apartments are being cleaned with electrostatic disinfecting equipment prior the new resident moving in.
    • Check and restock daily the Purell hand sanitizer stations in residence hall lobbies.

    Custodial employees themselves are wearing personal protective equipment, completing a health screening at the beginning of each shift, and practicing social distancing.

  • What are the high-touch surfaces being cleaned?

    High-touch surfaces are cleaned and disinfected multiple per day Monday through Sunday. Examples of high-touch surfaces being cleaned are:

    Public areas:

    • Door handles
    • Light switches
    • Hand sanitizer dispensers
    • Table tops and counters
    • Seating
    • Water bottle filling stations
    • Stair handrails
    • Elevator buttons

    Restrooms:

    • Door and bathroom partition handles
    • Light switches
    • Toilet paper dispensers and paper towel holders
    • Sink faucets and handles
    • Sink counter
    • Shower heads and handles
    • Toilet flush handles
    • Toilet seats
    • Urinals

    Kitchens and house commons:

    • Door handles
    • Light switches
    • Table tops and counters
    • Seating
    • Appliance exteriors and handles
    • Sink faucets and handles

    Telephones (house commons)

  • What cleaning products are being used?

    We primarily use Virex to disinfectant, which is on the Centers for Disease Control’s approved list of chemicals use with viral pathogens like COVID. Virex is also approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Vacuums have triple HEPA filter systems with two external and one internal filter in the paper bag. Electrostatic disinfecting equipment is used for large public areas and vacant apartments prior to occupancy.

  • How are Western Heights bathrooms cleaned?

    Western Heights bathrooms are cleaned three times a day Monday through Sunday. The schedule is below.

    • Early morning:  disinfect and restock bathrooms
    • Mid-morning to early afternoon:  deep clean and disinfect bathrooms
    • Mid-afternoon:  disinfect and restock bathrooms

    Items disinfected (except Sundays) are:

    • Door and bathroom partition handles
    • Light switches
    • Toilet paper dispensers and paper towel holders
    • Sink faucets and handles
    • Sink counter
    • Shower heads and handles
    • Toilet flush handles
    • Toilet seats
    • Urinals

    Deep cleaning involves all surfaces, including walls and doors that make up each shower and toilet stall.

  • Does custodial clean the bathrooms in Valley suites?

    No, they do not. Suite bathrooms are inside student rooms, so custodial staff does not enter the space. Students are expected to clean their own bathroom. We are developing cleaning guidelines that will be placed in each bathroom to help students. The guidelines draw from Centers for Disease Control recommendations.

    Valley Suite Bathroom

  • How will my room be cleaned before I arrive?

    All residence hall and vacant apartment rooms will be cleaned by a professional crew. After a traditional cleaning, they will be disinfected with electrostatic disinfecting equipment.

  • What are my responsibilities?

    Your room or apartment will be cleaned and disinfected before you arrive. Once here, it is your responsibility to clean and disinfect your room, including the exterior door handle. Suitemates work together to clean the bathroom. We will be providing suggested cleaning guidelines.

    Click here for the Centers for Disease Control recommendations for cleaning your home.

Other

  • When will I know information about my roommate?

    July 24 we will email you the name and contact information of your roommate.

  • When will I know information about my suitemates?

    We are unable to provide suitemate information.

  • Can I change my room or hall?

    Residence hall students can change their room in the housing portal July 27 through Aug. 6. After move-in, room changes will be limited based on space and to help reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19.

  • Will guests be allowed in the halls and apartments?

    Guests, defined as anyone not living in your current residence hall or WMU apartment, are not allowed. Students may have one visitor, meaning someone who lives in your current residence hall or WMU apartment, in their room or apartment. Visitors may not spend the night. Roommates and suitemates should consent to a visitor prior to them coming into the room or apartment. Hosts and visitors are encouraged to wear a mask when in the room or WMU apartment. Click here to see the full guest rule.

  • Will common areas will be open?

    New occupancy limits for lounges will be posted so physical distancing can be maintained. Furniture in lounges will match the maximum number of occupants. Should health concerns change in Kalamazoo County, lounges will be closed and students notified.

  • Will laundry rooms be open?

    Yes. Each hall and apartment complex, other than Western View, has a laundry room. New occupancy limits for laundry rooms are posted. Students should wipe down machines before and after use. You can use the WaveVision laundry app to check machine availability before going to the laundry room, see how much time is left until your laundry is done, and get a text message when your laundry is done.

  • What is Dining doing?

    Our colleagues in Dining Services are equally concerned about student health and safety. Their safety precautions for fall are shared on their website.

Apartments

  • Will guests be allowed in the apartments?

    There will be restrictions on guests. Our revised policy is under review by university leadership, with a decision to be announced by July 24.

  • How will my apartment be cleaned before I arrive?

    All vacant apartment rooms will be cleaned by a professional crew.   After a traditional cleaning, they will be disinfected with electrostatic disinfecting equipment.

  • What is cleaning like in the apartments?

    Empty apartment units are cleaned using electrostatic disinfecting equipment prior the new resident moving in.

    Once here, it is your responsibility to clean and disinfect your apartment, including the exterior door handle. Apartment roommates should work together to clean shared spaces. Click here for the Centers for Disease Control recommendations for cleaning your home.

    In public spaces, high-touch surfaces are cleaned and disinfected multiple times a day. Those include door handles, light switches, tabletops and counters, seating, appliance exteriors and handles, and sink faucets and handles.

    Public spaces like laundry rooms and stairwells are cleaned and disinfected Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

  • What is happening in Spindler Hall?

    Spindler Hall is cleaned by WMU’s custodial department. Employees are onsite Monday through Friday. High-touch points and public areas are cleaned and disinfected daily. Bathrooms are restocked and disinfected daily. Empty rooms are cleaned and then have an electrostatic disinfecting process done prior the new resident moving in.

    In Spindler Hall, we will also provide the following:

    • Hand sanitizer dispensers are located in the lobby. They are checked and restocked Monday through Saturday.
    • Plexiglas is being installed at the  front desks to reduce contact between students and staff while still providing needed services.
    • Gloves are provided for staff who handle and distribute mail and packages.
    • The  building will have signs and markings as reminders of social distancing requirements.

    When inside the building, please keep right in stairwells and hallways and make every effort to maintain social distancing.

  • Will Arcadia Flats open on time?

    Arcadia Flats opening is delayed until January. Construction was suspended for six weeks, so the project is behind schedule. Arcadia residents were emailed June 12 with a variety of options. They include:

    • Temporary on-campus housing in the Little Three until the complex opens; Bronco 14 meal plan included at no additional cost in the temporary housing rate
    • Moving to a residence hall for the academic year
    • Beginning the Arcadia contract upon the complex opening in January
    • Cancelling their Arcadia contract; no cancellation fee if cancel by July 10

    If the complex is ready for move-in prior to January, students will be able to move over early.

  • Will common areas will be open?

    New occupancy limits for public spaces will be posted so physical distancing can be maintained. Furniture in lounges will match the maximum number of occupants. Should health concerns change in Kalamazoo County, lounges will be closed and students notified.

  • Will laundry rooms be open?

    Yes.  Apartment complexes, other than Western View, have a laundry rooms. New occupancy limits for laundry rooms are posted. Students should wipe down machines before and after use. You can use the WaveVision laundry app to check machine availability before going to the laundry room, see how much time is left until your laundry is done, and get a text message when your laundry is done.

  • Will I need to move out on November 20th?

    No, Apartment residents are not required to move out of their apartment for the distant education period of November 20th through December 18th. Nor are students required to leave their apartment during winter break, December 19th through January 11th.

  • Can I receive a credit if I leave November 20th?

    Students are not required to move out of campus housing on November 20. Since students are not required to move out of on-campus housing a credit will not be provided to students who choose to leave during the distant education period of November 20th through December 18th. All on-campus apartment residents are responsible for the entirety of their contract.

  • Can I cancel my housing if I have all distant education classes this fall?

    Yes. If all of your classes will be delivered via distance education and you choose to complete your course work from home, you will be allowed to cancel your housing contract with no penalty if you do so by 5 p.m. on Aug. 3. To cancel your contract, sign into the housing portal, click on Contract/Lease Cancellation Request and then follow the prompts.

    Once Housing and Residence Life confirms all of your classes will be delivered via distance education, you will receive an approved cancellation email to your WMU email account and your cancellation will be complete. If you do not cancel by Aug. 3, and you decide to do so later, you will be subject to our regular cancellation policy, which is included in the contract. If you have any face-to-face or hybrid classes and you decide to cancel your housing contract, you will be subject to our regular cancellation policy.

    Please note that should you decide to move back into on campus housing for the spring semester, there is no guarantee that a space will still be available.