Healthy fall housing details for new and returning students

We recognize that our 2020 fall semester may look a little different than other semesters at SMU.

Residence Life and Student Housing (RLSH) is committed to providing a great residential experience while also supporting student health and wellness.  We are looking forward to having you on the Hilltop this Fall!

The University has implemented new processes and procedures to best support the health of our students, including enhanced cleaning, the wearing of face coverings, modified programs to allow students to engage with their community safely, and extended move-in dates for residence halls to give everyone a bit more space (information coming in late-June). You can read more about SMU’s “big picture” fall plans here.

Given the dynamic nature of this time, we recognize some students may face unique situations. To best support our students, the University is providing two additional residential options for Fall 2020.

  1. A one-semester exemption for the fall semester to the requirement that all first- and second-year students live in on-campus housing.
  2. A one-semester request for a single room for the fall semester.

Students will make their request under the “Healthy Fall at SMU” section of the SMU Housing Portal. This new portion of the Housing Portal opens on June 17 and will close on June 30.   These are optional processes, and students who are comfortable with the preferences in their housing application do not need to do anything at this time.

Fall Semester Housing Exemptions:

Students may request a “one semester only” housing exemption from one of three categories.  Approved exemptions will be for fall 2020 only.  Students granted this exemption will be expected to live on-campus for spring 2021.  Decisions related to possible exemption extension requests for spring 2021 will be made during the fall semester.

For students with a Financial Aid Indicator:  Please note, our records show that your financial aid may be impacted by a housing exemption.  Prior to completing an exemption request, we recommend reaching out to your Financial Aid advisor for specific details to your aid package. (link).

  • Local Students: Students who wish to continue living with their parents, guardians, aunts/uncles or grandparents at a residence within 45 miles of the SMU Dallas campus, can apply for this exemption.  Decisions will be made based on the home’s location from campus, the living arrangement identified, and the student’s academic course load.
    • Local students exempted from housing for a semester will be required to purchase a modified meal plan from Dining Services. The meal plan includes a Block 25 package and 750 Flex Dollars for $1012.50.
  • Remote Students: SMU will offer a process for students to request a fully remote academic semester to students away from the Dallas area who are unable to travel to campus (such as those constrained by international travel restrictions) or who have significant personal hardship concerns.  More information on the process to request this academic option will be announced by SMU on Friday, June 19.  Students who wish to attend class remotely should complete both the RLSH “Healthy Fall at SMU” exemption process within the SMU Housing Portal AND the request for a fully remote academic experience.  Both processes need to be complete by June 30.  Decisions on this exemption will be made based on the University’s approval of enrolling in the SMU Remote program.
  • Disability Accommodation: Students with disabilities related to Covid-19 (such as severe asthma or who are immunocompromised), who would otherwise be able to live on campus, can apply for a one-semester exemption. Students pursuing this one-semester exemption must complete both the RLSH “Healthy Fall at SMU” exemption process AND request a Disability Accommodations and Success Strategies (DASS) accommodation (link to DASS).  Students should reach out to DASS immediately, to begin the intake process. Decisions will be made based on the recommendations from DASS.

Fall Semester Single Room Assignment:

Due to increased exemptions, RLSH may have additional converted single rooms available for students who request increased space to support social distancing.

Returning Students:

Students who request a Fall single in a one-semester converted single (a room which normally is occupied by two students), must acknowledge that the single room is for one semester.  Students will be placed in any single room available on-campus, and may not be assigned to their current community.   We expect that most singles will be in spaces with community restrooms.  Students will be assigned to single spaces as space allows.

Prior to the beginning of the spring 2021 semester, students in these converted single spaces will be expected to either move to a new room or be joined by a roommate in their space.  Information about this process will be provided towards the end of the fall semester. Final determinations about students moving or getting a new roommate will be made based on space availability and Residential Commons affiliation.

New Students:

Students who previously indicated a preference for a single room on their housing application will be considered for our standard single occupancy rooms when assignments are made for new students.  Standard singles are in high demand, and few first years are normally assigned to a single.  For fall semester, new students have the option to request a one-semester converted single (a room which normally is occupied by two students).  Students may request a one-semester converted single, regardless if they preferenced a double or a single on their housing application.  Students will be assigned to single spaces as space allows.

Prior to beginning of the spring semester, students in these converted single spaces will be expected to either move to a different room or have a roommate move in to their space.  Information about this process will be provided towards the end of the fall semester. Final determinations about students moving or getting a new roommate will be made based on space availability and Residential Commons affiliation.

Students can complete the “Healthy Fall at SMU” Covid-19 Exemption Process and the One-Semester Single Process through June 30, 2020.  Students should complete all supplemental documentation (DASS and Remote Courses) by June 30, 2020.  Both processes can be accessed through the Housing Portal (link).

RLSH staff will work to make decisions by mid-July, and will notify new students of their assignment at the conclusion of that process.

 

 

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