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On-Campus Residents Able to Safely Return to Their Permanent Residence Must Do So

Section 1

March 18, 2020

Dear On-Campus Student Residents,

I am writing to follow up on two critical items related to financial aid and housing. In a March 13 message to students, it was stated that on-campus student residents choosing to return home for the Spring quarter could impact their financial aid packages. Today, the U.S. Department of Education has informed us that student aid packages will not need to be adjusted, should you choose to return to your permanent residence for Spring quarter.

We understand that some on-campus student residents have made decisions not to return to their permanent residence based on previous information. Given the news that financial aid packages will not be impacted by changes in housing status, I write to reiterate the message sent from Tim Trevan, Executive Director of UCI Housing. Our developing public health circumstance compels our decision: if you are able to return safely to your permanent residence, you must do so.

Please understand that these decisions are not easy to make, and are made in consideration of keeping our students, staff, and faculty healthy. As our founding Dean of Public Health, Bernadette Boden-Albala, has emphasized over the last several weeks, we all have a responsibility to do what is required to promote public health during the current emergency.

It is a public health threat for large numbers of students to reside in a contained campus living environment. If students do not return to their permanent residences at higher numbers, then there is a higher risk to all residents of acquiring COVID-19, merely because of the higher number of people in the immediate surroundings. It is also more likely that residents will make others sick, including those in populations that are more vulnerable. More significantly, we want to help ensure that you do not become a threat to your loved ones.  

Keep in mind that the resources you need for your academic success will be available to you wherever you decide to learn from in the Spring quarter. All classes will be taught remotely. Student services are also offered remotely. Additionally, there will be no campus events for the Spring quarter as any gathering inconsistent with social distancing will be restricted. In-person and on-campus resources have ramped down to minimal operations. Dining halls will only be serving boxed meals.

If you are an on-campus student resident and do not have a permanent residence to return to, we will work with you. You are part of the UCI family, and we are committed to finding a solution so you can have adequate housing.  

Not all on-campus student residents will be able to return safely to their permanent residence. There are multiple factors that we understand will require some students to remain in on-campus housing. For these reasons, if you are able to return safely to your permanent residence, you make it possible for us to create a much safer environment for those who do not have that option.

I understand that some of you may need a little more time to finalize your decision. I am issuing a directive to extend the deadline for you to inform us to Friday, March 20 by 5 p.m. If you already indicated you are staying, but would like to adjust your plans to return home or move off-campus, please update your survey response. We will work with you to ensure that you receive the proper refunds and fee adjustments. If you have a lease with ACC, please follow ACC’s process to cancel your lease as ACC has agreed to allow UCI students to terminate their lease early without a cancelation penalty or rent being charged once you have left the unit.

Please stay up-to-date on the campus status at uci.edu/coronavirus. Should you need support, counseling, or other help, please reference the Coronavirus Information Hub for resources to manage through this difficult time.

I thank everyone for their commitment and attention. Making these personal adjustments is an act of community citizenship and compassion and I appreciate your flexibility and understanding during this difficult time.

Response Links:

Students living in UCI Student Housing Communities (Arroyo Vista, Campus Village, Mesa Court, Middle Earth, Palo Verde, and Verano Place), Housing Gateway: “Spring Quarter 2020 – Housing Plans 

ACC residents (Vista del Campo, VDC Norte, Camino del Sol, Puerta del Sol, Plaza Verde), Online Form at https://www.emailmeform.com/builder/form/eSj9GC26Hhi


Hal S. Stern, Ph.D. 
Interim Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
Chancellor's Professor, Department of Statistics