‘U’ creates quarantine and isolation housing coordinator position

Tuesday, September 15, 2020 - 1:53pm

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Maddie Fox/Daily

With viral TikToks and Twitter threads, the University of Michigan’s quarantine housing on North Campus has garnered a lot of attention. Amid claims of unsanitary rooms, poor food service, a shortage of necessary supplies and limited notice to pack, the University has posted a new job opening: Quarantine and Isolation Housing Coordinator. 

According to the job description, the coordinators will be in charge of managing the students in isolation and helping them with any short and long-term needs they may have during their time in quarantine.

“A team of two coordinators will collaborate to support the quarantine and isolation housing program for Student Life,” the description reads. “The Coordinators are responsible for placing students into quarantine and isolation housing, managing data and spreadsheets for various campus partners involved in the Q&I housing process, responding to inquiries and concerns from students regarding immediate basic and on-going needs, and referring students to appropriate supportive resources on campus.”

The University’s Office of Public Affairs did not immediately respond to The Daily’s request for comment.

The new position comes after students sent to quarantine housing complained about their experiences. LSA junior Sam Burnstein, who posted the viral Tik Tok, said he wasn’t given many of the necessary supplies and wasn’t given information about what to pack.

“We were given almost no supplies, we were given no food, no masks, no gloves, no microwave, no bedsheets, no soap, no cleaning supplies, no nothing,” Burnstein said in the video. 

Burnstein elaborated in an interview with The Daily last week, saying he didn’t feel like the University was adequately prepared to house students who were isolating.

“When walking into the apartments here, the whole time I kept thinking, ‘This feels like a big afterthought,’” Burnstein said. “It feels like the University had, like, two or three weeks till the school year starts and they’re like, ‘Oh, we need somewhere to put these students,’ because everything was just very haphazardly thrown together.”

In an email sent to the U-M community on Friday, University President Mark Schlissel addressed some of the concerns surrounding quarantine housing and said the University will begin to take a more engaged approach to check in with students and will provide microwaves. 

“We’re also addressing concerns about the quarantine and isolation housing we’re providing to students,” Schlissel wrote. “Our commitment to providing meal delivery is continuing, and Student Life staff check in with each student daily. From now on in response to feedback, we will be providing microwaves, and all Michigan Dining meals will come in microwavable packaging.”

Daily News Editor Emma Stein can be reached at enstein@umich.edu.