2020-2021 Student Housing Agreement Addendum FAQ
The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff is USF’s highest priority as university leadership plans for resuming additional operations on campus. We feel it’s important to communicate clear expectations about what students can anticipate when returning to our campuses, in order to allow them to make informed decisions. In response to multiple questions regarding the 2020-2021 Student Housing Agreement Addendum, we have developed the below FAQ regarding the addendum.
How and why was the 2020-2021 Student Housing Agreement Addendum issued?
We have been in detailed conversations with university leadership and the workgroups formed to plan for resuming additional on-campus operations on how to proceed with providing an opportunity for students to live on campus. Based upon the information we have at this time, we expect we’ll be able to keep the residence halls open for the entire year. However, like other aspects of university operations, we have to prepare contingency plans in case COVID-19 conditions change. As we approach the fall and we know COVID-19 remains present in our society, we have to establish and communicate clear expectations so that students and families know what to expect when they return to our campuses and can make decisions that are in their best interest.
How does USF’s approach to the 2020-2021 Student Housing Agreement Addendum and on-campus housing operations compare to other state universities?
Each university throughout the state of Florida and the nation are taking into consideration the needs and nuances of their own campus environment and population. Plans are still being developed at each state university and we will know more in the next couple of weeks after plans are approved by the Florida Board of Governors at a meeting on June 23. Many institutions are considering Addendums to their student housing agreements or contracts. All are implementing measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, following CDC Guidelines, making modifications to their campus and residence halls, and relying on the campus community to practice positive social responsibility and role modeling including face covering, physical distancing and good personal hygiene.
Does the addendum cover both the fall 2020 and spring 2021 semesters?
The Addendum covers the term of the Student Housing Agreement (August 2020 to May 2021).
Why is there a July 1, 2020 deadline to accept or decline the terms of the addendum?
USF is providing June 10 – July 1, a 21 day window following initial notification, for students to make the decision based upon the best information available at the time. Students will have until July 1, 2020 to submit a request for cancellation in the housing portal without cancellation penalty. The deadline is one week following the Board of Governor’s meeting on June 23. In order for students to be able to properly prepare for their on-campus residential experience, it is important to be able to communicate to students about the availability of housing.
Will there be more information available about course delivery formats prior to July 1, 2020?
USF continues to work on academic plans in a thoughtful and comprehensive manner. Final class schedules may not be available by July 1, 2020.
Can students request an extension for the July 1, 2020 deadline?
The July 1 deadline will not be extended. After July 1, 2020 standard student housing agreement cancellation procedures and fees will apply.
If I decline to accept the terms of the 2020-2021 Student Housing Agreement Addendum, what is the cancellation process?
If you decline to accept the terms of the Addendum, you may opt out of living on-campus for the 2020-21 academic year and will have until July 1, 2020 to submit a cancellation request in the housing portal with no cancellation penalty. The steps to do this are below.
1. Login to the Housing Portal
2. Select Requests.
3. Select Cancel Application.
4. Select the housing application period for which you wish to cancel.
5. Select the application you wish to cancel.
6. Complete the 2020-21 Student Housing Cancellation Request. Please indicate the
addendum as the reason for your cancellation request.
7. Submit the request.
I cancelled my agreement due to the 2020-2021 Student Housing Agreement Addendum before July 1, 2020 but I was still charged a cancellation fee. Why was I charged and what should I do?
If you cancelled your agreement and did not indicate the addendum as the reason for your cancellation, you may have been charged a cancellation fee in error. All cancellation requests received between June 10, 2020 and July 1, 2020 will be cancelled without a fee. If a cancellation fee was charged in error, that fee will be credited. No further action is necessary.
What happens if I choose to cancel my housing agreement after July 1, 2020?
After July 1, 2020 cancellation terms will follow the 2020-2021 Student Housing Agreement (Section III.3.c) terms. This information is also included below.
|Status in Assignments Process
|July 2, 2020 – August 1, 2020
|July 2, 2020 – August 1, 2020
|August 2, 2020 – August 20, 2020
|August 2, 2020 – August 20, 2020
|After August 20, 2020
|After August 20, 2020
|Half of the remaining charges for the agreement
Can students apply to live on campus in the spring only?
We plan to open the Spring 2021 housing application process on September 1, 2020. Students are welcome to apply for a Spring only contract at that time. Assignments will be offered based upon space availability and are not guaranteed.
Will hall rates be affected by the addendum?
No, hall rates are approved by the USF Board of Trustees and will not change for the 2020-2021 academic year.
If the university shifts entirely to remote instruction, can students remain in their residence halls?
Yes, student can remain in their residence halls.
Will scholarships or financial aid be affected if a student chooses not to live on campus?
Each financial aid package is unique to the student. The student should reach out to Student Financial Services at email@example.com to seek guidance about their financial aid before finalizing their decision.
What added health and safety measures will be in effect within residence halls?
Housing & Residential Education will be following CDC Guidelines and implementing both changes to the environment and practices within the residential community aligned with health and safety standards. Some examples are increased cleaning of high touch surfaces, installing additional automatic fixtures, adding Plexiglas barriers at service areas, and launching a comprehensive signage and health promotions campaign to educate the community on best practices.
How will laundry rooms and elevators operate?
We are walking the space with our campus medical professionals and will be following their guidance. At this point, our plan is to add signage to instruct students to practice physical distancing and limit capacity or the number of residents in these spaces at any one time. Following these guidelines to help promote a healthy environment will be a shared responsibility with all members of our community.
Will communal lounges be shut down completely?
We are still working through the details but anticipate restrictions on the use of common space including lounges and multi-purpose rooms based upon health guidance and to align with CDC guidelines around physical distancing and the use of space on-campus.
How will the new visitation rules be enforced?
Following expectations to help promote a healthy environment will be a shared responsibility with all members of our community. Residents will be expected to follow the visitation restrictions as the do other university policies and standards.
Under what circumstances would a student be moved into a different room/suite/apartment?
We have a very student-friendly room selection process that allows students to assign themselves to a specific room in a specific building. This is an unusual level of control when compared to other university housing operations across the country. We want students to find the space that works best for them and we do our best to allow students to remain in those spaces. It is rare that we move students out of the originally assigned space without their request. However, these are unusual times and we want to be sure students understand the standard Agreement language and that we may have a need to consolidate students or to move students from one room or building to another.
Will students be able to stay in the residence halls after Thanksgiving, if they desire, and be allowed to come and go?
At this time, we anticipate residents will have access to the residence halls following Thanksgiving Break and will ask them to consider restricting travel if they plan to stay on campus for the remainder of the semester. Only the Holly, Magnolia, Poplar, and Horizon residence halls plus the Greek Village will be open on the Tampa campus during the winter break. This is the same approach we use in any year.
If you have additional questions, please e-mail our office at firstname.lastname@example.org.