Fall 2020 Housing FAQs
Please visit this page for updates and information about how COVID-19 impacts campus housing. The University will continue to monitor the rapidly changing COVID-19 climate and follow the recommendations and guidance from the state, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Indiana State Department of Health and local healthcare providers. Housing policies and procedures will be reviewed and adjusted as needed.
Is the office open?
The Housing and Residence Life office is open. Summer hours are Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and closed on weekends.
Fall 2020 hours will begin Monday, August 17. Fall hours for the HRL front desk will be Monday-Thursday 8 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday 8 a.m.-8 p.m., Saturday noon-8 p.m. and Sunday noon-10 p.m. The full-time central office staff will be available Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
The HRL office is a high-traffic area and it is important to minimize risk to students and staff. If your questions or concerns can be handled by phone or email, please consider doing so rather than in person. If you need to meet with staff in HRL, please schedule an appointment.
Are you still accepting housing contracts?
Student housing will be open for the fall semester. The University will open campus housing to a maximum of 85% occupancy. As long as space is available, contracts will be accepted.
What is being done to prepare housing for the fall semester?
There will be apartment buildings left intentionally vacant with individual bedrooms and bathrooms reserved for possible quarantine use. Special training and contact tracing protocols will be given to all those who work in Housing and Residence Life, including all resident assistants.
Classes are online after Thanksgiving. Will the housing contract be prorated?
The housing contract is for an academic year. The contract ends for the fall semester on December 18, 2020. All residents are able to stay through the end of the semester and dining services will be available. Fall housing costs will not be prorated.
If classes go fully online, will housing be refunded?
The terms and conditions of the housing contract have not been changed. Should the University close student housing for any reason within the dates and terms of the contract, the determination regarding potential credits to student accounts would be made at that time.
If classes go fully online, what happens to my meal plan?
If the University closes and moves classes online, fall meal plans will roll to the spring semester.
Guest Policy Update
To maintain the health and safety of the USI campus, only students assigned to an apartment or residence hall room are permitted in their assigned living space. No guests are permitted in residence hall rooms or apartments. Overnight guests are not permitted. Staff may still need to enter these living spaces in performance of their job duties.
Guests will be allowed to help students to move into their apartment or residence hall. See Fall 2020 Move In for information about guests.
The University will continue to monitor the rapidly changing COVID-19 climate and follow the recommendations and guidance from the State, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Indiana State Department of Health and local healthcare providers. The guest policy will be reviewed throughout the semester and updates made as needed.
Room Change Request Update
In an effort to protect residents and minimize the risk of COVID-19, room change requests will only be reviewed for emergency situations. If you feel your situation warrants a room change, please complete the room change request form on myUSI. HRL staff will contact you and if approved, you will be notified by email with details on how to complete your move. If you feel unsafe in your living environment, please contact your area coordinator or Public Safety immediately.
Face Coverings on Campus
While on the USI campus or University owned and operated facilities, faculty, staff, students, contractors, vendors and visitors are required to wear a face covering when in buildings, including in classrooms. Face coverings must also be worn in open office spaces and outdoor areas where physical distancing is not possible. Face coverings are not required in private offices or when in a space alone.
One face covering for each student and employee will be provided by the University. The Dean of Students Office and Housing and Residence Life will coordinate distribution of student face coverings.
Cloth face coverings should be laundered regularly.
Face Coverings in Residence Halls
Students living in residence halls should wear a face covering inside the building when in hallways, lobby, elevator, stairwells or other common areas.
At the beginning of the semester residents will complete a roommate agreement about cleanliness, personal property, study time and more. We have found students have a better living experience if they speak about things before they become an issue. In addition, residents should discuss and agree on a plan for the following:
- Will residents wear face coverings or other PPE in the common areas of the residence hall suite or apartment?
- How will residents practice physical distancing in common areas of the residence hall suite or apartment?
- How will residents communicate with one another if one becomes symptomatic or has known exposure to someone who tested positive for COVID-19?
What if I think another student is sick?
If you believe another student is sick, encourage them to notify the University using the Self Report Form.
If you are listed as a close contact (being less than 6 feet away from the person for more than 10 minutes), you should be contacted by the University. If you have not been contacted but are concerned about potential exposure, you can talk with the Dean of Students office (812 464-1862) or email Dean of Students.
How can I stay informed?
This page will be updated as needed with information that impacts on campus residents.
Isolation vs. Quarantine
Isolation keeps someone who is sick or tested positive for COVID-19 without symptoms away from others, even in their own home/apartment or suite.
Quarantine keeps someone who was in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 away from others.
Important Reminders About Isolation and Quarantine
These reminders are for both on and off campus students.
- Remember if you have been asked to isolate or quarantine, you SHOULD NOT be around others until your isolation or quarantine period has ended. This means no visitors and avoiding others who may live in the home with you.
- You SHOULD NOT leave your home to go anywhere unless it is to medical appointments.
- If you are in quarantine and receive a negative test result, that does not mean your quarantine time is over. You could still develop symptoms.
- You cannot leave isolation or quarantine until you are notified by USI.
- Once isolation or quarantine is over, you should continue to practice safety measures. Wear your face covering, wash your hands and stay six feet away from others.
Prepare a COVID-19 Emergency Bag
Prepare a COVID-19 emergency bag ahead of time in case you need to isolate or quarantine. Plan to spend 10-14 days in isolation or quarantine. You will not be able to return to your room to retrieve personal items after relocating to a temporary space. HRL will provide some items. Make sure you include:
- Important papers/your ID/insurance information
- Sheets, blanket, pillow
- Bath and hand towels, washcloths
- Cloth face coverings
- First aid kit
- Toiletries including deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, body lotion, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste
- Soap, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes to disinfect surfaces
- Prescription medications
- Non-prescription medications such as pain relievers and fever reducers
- Prescription eyeglasses and contact lens solution
- Multiple changes of clothing/sleep apparel
- Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
- Paper and pencil
- Books, games, puzzles or other activities
- Electronic devices, charging equipment, etc.
For students relocated to a quarantine or isolation space, HRL will provide the following in the room:
- Paper plates, bowls, cups, disposable utensils
- Hand sanitizer
- Trash bags, paper towels
- Toilet paper, Kleenex
What happens if a student gets sick?
All students should take their temperature daily and ask themselves:
- Do I have a temperature over 100 degrees today?
- Have I had a temperature of over 100 degrees in the past two weeks?
- Have I traveled anywhere in the past 14 days?
- Have I been in contact with someone with known or suspected COVID-19 infections?
- Do I currently have, or in the past 14 days have I had any of the following?
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Or at least TWO of these symptoms:
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
If you answered YES to the screening questions, then REPORT that you are possibly sick with COVID. Complete the Self Report Form.
What should a student do next?
If the student is on campus for class or work, please GO HOME. Housing residents should follow the instructions given by the University. Housing residents may be temporarily moved to a building set aside for quarantine or isolation. Please refer to the above Isolation and Quarantine section for information on preparing an emergency bag and items Housing will provide.
Call your health care provider for advice. Call BEFORE going in for care. You may be able to receive care by Telehealth.
If you do not have a health care provider, you may contact the University Health Center at 812-465-1250 to schedule an appointment.
How will a student in quarantine or isolation get food?
The University will offer food service delivery to residents who must quarantine or isolate. Students are not required to use USI’s food service delivery and may order their own food from off campus food options which offer contactless delivery. If students have a meal plan, that meal plan will be charged for the food received from USI during isolation or quarantine. If students don’t have a meal plan, they have the option to have the charge for food received from USI during isolation or quarantine to be billed to their student account. (This does not include ordering delivery from the C-store.) More information about the on campus food delivery will be provided to students once the University determines they need to isolate or quarantine.
What happens if my roommate or suitemates get sick?
If your roommate or suitemates get sick, you may be asked to quarantine for 14 days. Encourage your roommate or suitemates to notify the University using the Self Report Form. If you are listed as a close contact (being less than 6 feet away from the person for more than 10 minutes), you should be contacted by the University. If you have not been contacted but are concerned about potential exposure, you can talk with the Dean of Students office (812 464-1862) or email Dean of Students.