UW News

September 23, 2020

Video: UW students move into residence halls

UW News


Around 4,000 students are moving into the residence halls at the University of Washington this week. This number is less than half the UW’s normal residence hall capacity.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of special precautions are being taken to ensure minimal contact and proper physical distancing during the move-in process. These include requiring facemasks in all indoor spaces, per campus policy, and outside whenever appropriate physical distance cannot be ensured, plus limiting the number of vehicles and family members present during move-in. Volunteers and staff helping with move-in also are following safety guidelines with proper PPE and distancing.

“Because of the situation with COVID, we have made a lot of changes to the move-in process this year,” said Megan Baffaro, student move-in volunteer coordinator with UW Housing & Food Services. “I think we focused a lot on making sure it’s a welcoming experience while also making sure that it’s safe for both volunteers and residents.”

Related: UW announces COVID-19 testing program for students, faculty and staff across all three campuses

Fall quarter begins Sept. 30, and about 90% of classes will be held remotely.

To welcome students — whether they will be living on UW campuses, in the community or at home with their families — the university sent each of them two reusable UW facemasks, along with the Husky PACK Pledge. Developed with undergraduate and graduate student leaders on all three campuses, the pledge promotes a culture of safety by outlining the responsibilities that students, instructors and staff have to each other.

For students living in campus residence halls, a number of safety plans are in place, including setting aside spaces for residents who test positive to be supported as they isolate.

“When students made the decision that they did want to live in residences, we were very excited, and we also understood that to mean they have trust in us, and this is where they want to be,”  said Pam Schreiber, executive director of UW Housing & Food Services.

Additionally, many students are returning to housing in nearby neighborhoods, even as they take all their courses remotely. For those students, the university has offered a sample roommates agreement. Additionally, Student Life continues to work closely with the Greek community to promote health and safety.