Addition to housing contract says students can be asked to move out for COVID-19

Monday, June 8, 2020 - 7:39pm

Student housing contract updated to include COVID-19 precautions.

Student housing contract updated to include COVID-19 precautions. Buy this photo
File Photo/Daily

The Community Living at Michigan contract has been modified to reflect the COVID-19 pandemic and accommodations for state-mandated regulations for housing at the University of Michigan. Students who signed a housing contract for 2020-2021 academic year received an email Monday afternoon to accept the new additions to the contract. The contract stated these new conditions will apply to all students living in residence halls and are intended to reduce the spread of the virus in the campus community.

The University of Michigan aims to deliver its mission while protecting the health and safety of our students and minimizing the potential spread of disease within our community,” the new contract reads. “As a resident within M Housing, the 2019 Novel Coronavirus or similar public health crisis (“COVID”) will impact your housing experience as M Housing continues to make public health-informed decisions.”

The new policies are separated into six sections: Health and Safety; Quarantine, Isolation, Separation; De-Densifying Efforts; Dining Services; Cleaning; and Termination. Health and Safety requires all students in residence halls to comply with state-mandated rules concerning COVID-19. All visitors and staff in residence halls are required to follow these rules. 

“This guidance will evolve as the public health crisis evolves and may include, but is not limited to, social distancing, limitations on mass gatherings, wearing a face covering, COVID-19 diagnostic and surveillance testing (including before or upon arrival to campus), contact tracing, disinfection protocols, limitations on guests into residence halls, and quarantine / isolation requirements (including before or upon arrival to campus),” the contract said. 

According to the contract, the University can ask students to leave community living spaces if they become a safety hazard to the community or if they violate the guidelines in the contract. The University can also mandate that students quarantine in alternative housing. 

LSA sophomore Dominic Coletti told The Daily that while he supports the University adhering to public health procedures, removing students from the residence halls during the semester could cause problems with finding off-campus housing. 

“The University is not under any obligation to provide a reasonable reimbursement. They just have to give some of the money back,” Colletti said. “The problem with that is that if you’re kicked out for that reason, you probably won’t be able to find an apartment. Especially if it’s in the middle of a term or if nobody was subleasing, you would probably have to use it at an hotel … (you would) be paying for food, you’d be paying for transportation to campus, all of which may add up.”

In an effort to continue social distancing on campus, students are required to follow any changes that University makes to housing assignments. In any case where they do not have another place to reassign a student, the University will offer reimbursements for housing. 

Cleaning procedures will continue to follow COVID-19 protocols and students will have their own cleaning procedures to be allowed in the future. In the case of any conflict between the rest of the contract and the COVID-19 and Public Health Crisis section, the latter section will apply. 

Summer Managing News Editor Jasmin Lee can be reached at itsshlee@umich.edu