By Katie Ward
Catholic University is preparing to welcome more students back to campus, which has been confirmed by the Office of Housing Services.
The most recent statement was from President John Garvey, emailed to the university community on November 18.
“In the spring we anticipate holding a majority of our undergraduate classes in person (or, for those unable to attend, in a hybrid fashion),” Garvey said. “And we have invited all our undergraduate students (not just freshmen) to apply for single-occupancy housing. We expect to fill all of our available rooms.”
Over 600 students submitted the spring 2021 housing interest form, according to the Office of Housing Services.
Upperclassmen students returning to campus for the spring semester will be housed in traditionally first-year dorms like Flather, Regan, and Ryan Halls. This decision was made to avoid requiring current freshman residential students to relocate in between semesters.
Only one student will be assigned per room in residence halls with double, triple, or quadruple rooms. Housing Services said that enhanced cleaning of community bathrooms is planned and will follow CDC recommendations.
Housing assignments were given on a first-come, first-serve basis after students were able to fill out the interest form. Housing Services stated that it was decided that all students who submitted the interest form would be accommodated.
“I got assigned to live in the Mills so I will not be staying in a freshman dorm, but I know my friends who do have to are not happy about it,” said sophomore Riley Smith. “But in reality we are lucky to be coming back to campus at all, so I don’t think it is our place to complain.”
Upperclassmen students have had varying reactions to the spring semester news.
In an email to students on December 2 about the opening of the spring 2021 housing waitlist form, Housing Services said that all students living on campus, whether underclassmen or upperclassmen, will be required to participate in a meal plan, a change from past years.
President Garvey’s November email included mention of a vaccine possibly being approved by the FDA in the near future, but that it would not occur soon enough to affect planning for the spring semester.
“Even when a vaccine becomes available, it will be distributed first to people who are most at risk,” he said. “Meanwhile the course of the virus is unpredictable, as the current spike in infections shows. Safety will remain our first priority. We must be prepared to change our responses if conditions warrant.”