Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has issued an executive order directing Michigan residents to shelter in place in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The order remains in place through Friday, May 15, at 11:59 p.m.
Please continue to take this public health threat seriously and exercise social distancing and other precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Monitor your health, and if you become ill or feel you have symptoms of COVID-19, contact Sindecuse Health Center at (269) 387-3287 before seeking its health services in person.
Housing staff will remain accessible and check in with you via phone. For safety and security reasons, there may be a need for you to relocate to another on-campus room. Should that need arise, you would be notified of this change and given parameters to follow for a successful move.
- No guests or visitors are permitted in your room.
- Effective Saturday, March 28, Grab'n Go options from the Valley Dining Center will be discontinued. Hoekje/Bigelow will serve grab'n go options from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. and 4 – 7 p.m. During the dinner hours, a packed continental breakfast will be available for pick-up. For the most up-to-date information on locations and hours, please visit the Dining website.
- There will be no front desk operations and limited office hours and mail services during this time. Please call the phone number listed in your lobby to reach staff with questions.
- The 2019-20 Housing Contract, WMU Student Code and Community Living Expectations remain in effect during this time. For a refresher, please visit https://wmich.edu/housing/info/policies.
- Housing and dining rates will not be credited or adjusted for students approved to remain on campus, regardless of usage during that time.
We are committed to providing financial consideration for your shortened time in the residence halls and utilizing meal plans. Information about the housing and dining credit will be emailed once details are finalized.
The University apartments and Spindler Hall remain open. Students may depart if they choose. Those who stay should adhere to the governor's stay-at-home order and follow safety precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- No guests or visitors
- Exercise social distancing of at least 6 feet
If you decide to move out, please return your key to the drop box located at Faunce Student Services. The box is on the railing at the front doors that face the whale. Students who opt to leave early are not eligible for a refund since the apartments and Spindler Hall are open.
At the front desk, you will find a checkout checklist with a checkout envelope and label. Before you check out, work through that list (see below) and checkout only after it is completed.
Who Can Help and Staying Safe
Students may bring a maximum of two helpers to assist with move-out. Helpers must be free of COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing). Residence halls have bins and limited cleaning supplies available to assist with move out. Some may have concerns about communal use of these items. All students and helpers are welcome to bring their own items that make them feel more comfortable such as gloves, dollies, and sanitizing supplies.
Be Safe. Please avoid close contact, defined as within 6 ft of another person for 10 minutes or more. Please wash and sanitize your hands often, cover coughs, and do not come to campus if you are sick.
To prepare your room for check-out, please complete the following:
Students are limited to two (2) helpers who are not displaying symptoms of COVID-19 or may have been exposed. Students are encouraged to bring their own supplies to facilitate move-out including gloves, masks, dollies, etc. Carts will be made available.
- Remove all belongings.
- Empty wardrobes/dressers/desks.
- Remove posters/pictures from walls.
- Remove tape/stickers from walls and furniture.
- Western Heights - leave hooks, tape and stickers on the walls
- Wipe down all surfaces.
- Clean bathrooms (if applicable).
- Clean and close windows.
- Remove decorations from door.
- Empty recycling bin.
- Take all trash to outside dumpster.
- If you have a microfridge, clean, defrost and leave in your room.
- Turn off lights.
- Lock door.
- Check mail in mailbox. Pick up packages from the office/desk.
- Change your address in GoWMU.
- My Self-service > View/update My Personal Information > View/Updated Addresses and Phones
- Call all companies you receive mail from – mail forwarding takes a few days, and some mail like magazines is not forwarded.
Staff will check your room after you are gone. If there are any damages, photos will be taken and appropriate charges assessed.
Thank you for your patience as we determined an appropriate credit for your account due to early move-out. For students who checked out of the Residence Halls from March 11 to March 24, 2020, credits will be applied as follows:
- A $1,000 WMU account credit for residents with a meal plan during the 2020 spring semester
- A $500 WMU account credit for residents without a meal plan during the 2020 spring semester
Students must meet the following criteria to be eligible for the credit:
- You must have been living in the residence halls during the 2020 spring semester until March 11, 2020. These credits are not available to students who moved out of the halls on March 10, 2020, or before.
- Students who checked out between March 11 and March 24, 2020, and vacated the premises, will have the credit applied to their student account.
- If during this same time period you notified the University that you vacated the residence hall and plan to retrieve belongings before April 25 (assuming government-mandated shelter-in-place orders permit doing so), the credit will be applied to your account at the time you pick up your belongings. If you do not retrieve your belongings by April 25 (assuming government-mandated shelter-in-place orders permit doing so), you will forfeit this credit.
- Students are not eligible for the credit if they live in the halls between March 25 and April 25.
- You have not received institutional funds for room and board, including, but not limited to, student athlete scholarship recipients, resident assistants, and room grant recipients.
What Happens Next
You may receive a refund if the total credit is greater than the total amount due on your student account. The appropriate credit for your account will be applied first to any outstanding charges, then to spring 2020 tuition, then to fees. We will issue a payment for any credit balance that remains. Refunds will either be transmitted directly to the financial institution established by you for e-refund or mailed to the mailing address established on your account.
Important Financial Aid Information
This credit may change the calculation for your student financial assistance. This calculation is determined by U.S. Department of Education policy, by which the University must abide. Please contact Bronco Express (wmich.edu/broncoexpress) to determine whether this credit may impact your current financial aid award. It is your responsibility to check with Bronco Express to understand how this applies to your situation.
How the Credit was Determined
The residence halls were scheduled to be open for 111 days during spring 2020. Students were asked to check out of the halls by March 24, forfeiting 33 of those days. About half of the costs of operating a residence hall are variable and about half are fixed. A variable cost varies from day to day. Examples are perishable food and student staffing. Fixed costs are incurred for the entire year, cannot be liquidated, and make it possible for the facilities to exist and operate. Examples are building debt service, contracted services and building maintenance. We are confident that this is on-par with similar approaches elsewhere in Michigan.
Students forfeited about 29.7% of their time in the halls. The variable portion of that loss is approximately 15%. Using that calculation, and rounding up, the University arrived at a $1,000 credit.
About half of the cost of a room and meal plan is the room portion and the other half is the meal portion. The room-only credit of $500 is half of the credit of $1,000.
Is Dining staying open?
Grab-n-go options will continue to be served for lunch (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.) and dinner (4 to 8 p.m.) at Hoekje/Bigelow Dining Center through the end of spring semester and into the summer sessions. Packed bags with continental breakfast items will be available for pick-up during the dinner period.
Beginning April 25, students can purchase meals at the door for $9/meal when using Dining Dollars on their Bronco ID card. The Dining Dollars Bonus Rate ($9) is effective through summer II (August 14).
Dining Dollars can be purchased online, using your student account or a credit card, at any time and are immediately available for use. Grab'n Go meals may also be purchased using cash or credit/debit cards, but the normal guest meal rate of $10 will be charged.
Check Dining’s website for updates on locations and hours.
- Is the city bus service running?
Kalamazoo Metro will suspend service until further notice. Instead, Metro will offer Metro Connect, a shuttle service, for those needing to go to the grocery store, pharmacy, medical services, or work for essential workforce. The purpose of your trip will be verified when you call to schedule. To schedule Metro Connect, call (269) 350-2970 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Shuttle hours are:
- Monday through Friday: 6 a.m. to midnight, with work and medical trips only after 7 p.m.
- Saturday: 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. for work and medical trips only.
- Sunday: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. for work trips only.
Saturday and Sunday use of Metro Connect will need to be pre-scheduled the day before. Rides with Metro Connect will be free while the city buses are suspended. The suspension of regular bus routes is intended to assist with efforts to slow the spread of illness throughout Kalamazoo County. Updates on Metro’s service to Kalamazoo County is available on the web on Facebook: Metro Transit.
What if I need to stay?
Students with extenuating circumstances will be permitted to remain in residence halls during summer. Details and sign up forms are in the housing portal. Please see your hall director or contact Residence Life at (269) 387-4735 for more information.
If I stay, do I have to move?
Students will not be asked to move. However, students in low-occupancy buildings will be given the option to move to a building with more people around. Students eligible for this option will be contacted by their hall director.
What if I can't get back or live too far away to return? If I have already left and am from a far away (eg. out-of-state), how can I retrieve my belongings? Can I have someone retrieve them for me?
Due to the evolving nature of this global situation and the governor's stay-at-home order, we do not know when we will next be able to facilitate access to residents' belongings. You may leave them in your room until at least 7 p.m. Friday, April 24. If shelter-in-place orders have not expired by then, we will communicate when it is again open to return to campus. Please contact your hall director to provide us information so we can keep you updated.
What if I already took all my stuff home but just have my keys?
You can mail them back. Click on the form link.
I already went home and turned in my keys. Do I need to do anything else?
No. You're all set.
- What is happening with mail?
Students who are on campus will still receive mail and packages, but they may not be delivered daily.
Students who are no longer on campus will have mail forwarded, if it can be forwarded; magazines, newspapers, non-profit mail, standard mail and presorted standard mail are not able to be forwarded. Packages delivered by USPS will be forwarded. Packages delivered by FedEx, UPS, Amazon, etc. will not be accepted, and the company will return them to the sender.
Please update your mailing address in GoWMU: My Self-Service > View/Update My Personal Information > View/Update Addresses and Phones.
It is also important that you call up companies you receive mail from and update your address with them so you still get all of your mail and get it on time.