ASU asks on-campus students to consider moving out of residence halls

The move follows developments in the spread of COVID-19, including Arizona's first deaths

Students who live in residence halls on campus have been asked to consider moving out if possible, according to an email from ASU University Housing sent to residents on Sunday morning. 

"Given the rapidly evolving circumstances regarding COVID-19 and our interest in ensuring your health and well-being, we are strongly encouraging you to consider the most appropriate housing accommodations for the near future, particularly if you need to be self-isolated or become ill," the email said. 

"If your circumstances permit, we are recommending that you consider moving out of the residence hall to a family residence or a living environment that minimizes your contact with others," the email continued.

The notice stated that residence halls will remain open and that "essential services" will still be provided to students if needed. 

The request comes shortly after UA announced that its students would receive a partial refund for this year's housing due to the "unique and unprecedented circumstances" that required them to leave. 

But ASU and NAU have not made similar promises to students about refunds for housing or meal plans.

"While we understand that some students may choose to depart campus while continuing their studies during this national health crisis, the university remains open and fully operational, continuing to support those who remain," ASU's coronavirus FAQ page states. "Given that, our present tuition and refund policies remain unchanged."

In an interview with azcentral, however, President Michael Crow said the University will "look at it" going forward. 

"The funny thing is that somebody declares a national emergency and they’re talking about bringing out martial law in California. And then people ask us, are we going to give them a refund? Are you kidding me? I mean, that’s what you want to talk to us about is a refund?” Crow said in the interview. “So, like I said, we’re offering full, full service. We’ll sort all of this out at some point, but we’re not going to sort it out now. That’s like 48th on a list of 48 things.”

When the University originally announced a temporary transition to online coursework after spring break, it did not shut down campus residence halls or other campus resources, such as dining halls, libraries and health services. 

However, the University announced on the first day of classes after spring break that courses would be taught online for the rest of spring semester. Afterward, campus dining halls switched to a takeout only model. 

Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego declared a state of emergency in the city last week, asking that bars close for business and that restaurants or bars that serve food pivot to a takeout, delivery or drive-thru model instead of continuing to host dine-in customers. 

Tempe City Council also declared a state of emergency shortly afterward, after which Mayor Mark Mitchell asked that bars and restaurants close their doors and shift to a takeout, delivery or drive-thru model for the time being. 

There are currently 152 known cases of coronavirus in Arizona, with 2 confirmed deaths. The state has tested at least 408 people so far, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services. 


Reach the reporter at Vandana.Ravikumar@asu.edu and follow @vandana_rav on Twitter. 

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