After previously being directed not to return to campus after spring break, UCF’s on-campus residents now have four days to retrieve their belongings from their rooms.
Despite the email being sent to only some members in on-campus living communities, it urges students to return to their permanent residences, with no promise or word of a refund.
“Belongings must be removed and residents must formally checkout by 6:00 p.m. Wednesday, March 25,” the email reads. “All access will be shut off at this time.”
Knight News has made several attempts to ask if any kind of housing assistance or reimbursement has been a topic of discussion, but UCF refuses to comment directly on the matter.
UCF spokeswoman Courtney Gilmartin said in a Sunday email that UCF continues to follow guidance from state and federal officials, keeping students’ health and well-being in mind.
“UCF is actively reviewing the impact moving to an online platform has had, and the university will share more information about this and other areas as soon as it becomes available,” Gilmartin said when Knight News asked about refunds for housing. “We ask for continued patience as we work through this unprecedented situation.”
The University of Florida announced it is developing plans for issuing refunds, rebates, or credits to students who may no longer be able to utilize their university residence hall and its dining plan contracts, according to its website. The website was updated Friday.
“Each student’s funding situation is different based on their financial aid or how they paid their contracts,” UF’s website reads. “We will be working with students on their individual cases.”
In the update, UF confirmed the university will be adjusting to an “S/U Grade option policy” — or an optional satisfactory and unsatisfactory policy — to allow students additional flexibility.
In a follow-up email prior to publication — asking for comment after providing insight as to actions other schools are taking, in comparison — Gilmartin did not mention UCF’s housing but said the COVID-19 situation is unparalleled.
“As mentioned, COVID-19 is an unprecedented situation,” Gilmartin said in an email. “As decisions are made at the state and university levels, we’re regularly sharing that information with our campus community. When we have more information to share, we will.”
At Florida State University, residence halls are closed to visitors, and students who departed Tallahassee will not be able to return to campus for any reason until further notice, according to FSU’s website — it was updated Thursday.
FSU said in the update that students who stayed in residence halls during spring break and did not leave Tallahassee will be allowed to stay on campus for the remainder of the semester.
The Instagram account Do Something, FSU — a group of students who are advocating on behalf of the student body, according to their most recent posts — confirmed to Knight News that FSU is refunding students their money.
The email sent to UCF on-campus residents on Saturday reiterates that students who have already left campus should not return — it states instructions will be made available at a later time to those individuals.
“Residents that are not physically on campus at this time will receive further communication on when to return to campus,” the UCF Housing Portal reads. “Do not return to campus until you receive further instructions from us.”
The email states students without a summer housing agreement are required to signup for an appointment and provide an address to have mail forwarded to. It is not immediately known if individuals with a summer housing agreement received a different email and a different procedure.
UCF states all residents need to vacate their rooms unless they have an extenuating circumstance — if a student thinks they meet the requirements for an extenuating circumstance and obtain prior approval, the request can be submitted on the UCF Housing Portal.
The circumstances cited in both the email and UCF Housing Portal are:
- International student unable to travel.
- Resident without permanent housing
- Resident with other hardships to be reviewed on a case by case basis.
LIVING SOMEWHERE ELSE
COVID-19 MOVE OUT INSTRUCTIONS
- The email and UCF’s Housing Portal — which are only accessible to students who live in a UCF-affiliated community — are the only sources for this information, currently.
- For those who believe they are eligible for an exemption to UCF’s required move out rule, the portal is where residents who need to start the process will request it.
- On-campus residents have to inform the university of the room’s status:
1. I am not currently staying in my room assignment and I left belongings in the room.
2. I have already completed a move-out.
3. I am currently residing in my room assignment.
REMAINING IN HOUSING
- UCF’s Housing Portal states an individual in the circumstances outlined below can request the COVID-19 Extenuating Circumstances Exemption form.
- If approved for the extenuating circumstances, residents may be required to consolidate in a different location on campus, the email states.
- The UCF Housing Portal states limited exceptions will be made for residents.
ALREADY MOVED OUT
- If a resident has moved out all belongings and returned the key, the “Express Check Out” form is the next step.
- If the resident did not return the keys or leave them in the room, “please place them in a heavy duty envelope with your Name, UCF/VID Number, and Room Number, and mail them …” to the address listed on the form, the portal states.
- This is also where a forwarding address for mail is established.
- Apollo Community
- Hercules Community
- Lake Claire Community
- Libra Community
- Neptune Community
- Nike Community
- Towers I – IV
Rosen College Campus
- Rosen College Apartments
UCF created a website to keep track of the updates and modifications to campus.