ASU offers $1,500 nonrefundable credit to students who move off-campus

The University requested students with "other reasonable accommodations" move off-campus to mitigate the spread of COVID-19

Students who still live in campus residence halls and have "other reasonable accommodations" have been offered a $1,500 nonrefundable credit to move off-campus by April 15, according to an email from University housing. 

University officials had previously encouraged students living in campus residence halls to consider moving out, but stated that the buildings would remain open to students who chose to stay, as would other campus resources, such as dining halls and health services. 

Now, however, officials feel that it is necessary to ask as many students as possible to move out "because fewer students on campus reduces the risk for everyone," they said in an email sent to on-campus students late Wednesday night. 

The University also partially walked back its previous decision to not immediately provide refunds for housing or meal plans. Wednesday's email said that eligible students will receive a $1,500 credit to compensate for the inconvenience of moving out.

Students who are eligible for the credit will have it applied to their student account on May 15 once they go through the checkout process, a University spokesperson said in an email Thursday afternoon. The credit will be used to pay outstanding balances for this academic year and will carry over to next year for students returning to ASU.

Graduating students who have no outstanding balance will receive a refund for the remaining or entire amount, depending on their individual balance, they said.

Eligible students include students who have moved out by April 15, as well as out-of-state students who moved out before April 1 and will collect their remaining belongings by May 10.

Students who choose to remain in campus housing past April 15 or whose housing and meal expenses are funded by the University are not eligible for the credit, the email said.

The email detailed guidelines for both in-state and out-of-state students moving out of residence halls, saying that students who have already left campus housing need to retrieve their belongings by May 10 or "as soon as local, state, national, or international circumstances allow." 

Students who elect to remain on campus must fill out a request form in order to stay. The form asks students to provide a "short and concise response" as to why they would like to stay.

The email also states that residence halls will remain staffed with "full-time, live-in staff for any support and assistance needed" for students who stay.

"Front desks will also remain operational, as well as on-campus police and security services," the email said. "All safety measures for community access, such as ID card access points, remain in effect."

The University previously 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. 

The increased measures to respond to the virus come after Gov. Doug Ducey declared a statewide stay-at-home order on Monday. The order will last until April 30 unless extended, the same date that President Donald Trump extended social distancing guidelines to the day before. 

The order asks that Arizonans stay at home unless taking part in what Ducey called "essential activities," including going to work, grocery stores or pharmacies, as well as participating in outdoor physical exercise while practicing social distancing measures. 

Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego previously declared a state of emergency in the city in late March, 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, and Mayor Mark Mitchell asked that Tempe bars and restaurants close their doors for the foreseeable future. 

There are currently 1,413 known cases of coronavirus in Arizona, and 29 known deaths so far. The Arizona Department of Health Services has classified the level of community transmission as "widespread."

Editor's Note: This story was updated at 2:10 p.m. April 2 to include specifics on how the nonrefundable credit will get to students. 


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

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