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Introducing Grad Gatherings

Section 1

April 9, 2021

Hello Graduate and Family Housing Residents,

In January 2021, Student Housing implemented a new Zot Bubble policy to provide an avenue for social interaction among graduate students and families. We have heard residents’ concerns. With reduced COVID case counts among graduate students and concerns raised by student leaders, we have now developed a new Grad Gatherings policy for on-campus Graduate and Family Housing residents. The new policy is less restrictive and follows the current California Department of Public Health guidelines for gatherings. As an institution of higher education in California, UCI is required to follow state and local guidance (superseding CDC recommendations), which does not yet provide fewer restrictions for vaccinated individuals.  State guidance has not changed for Institutions of Higher Education since September, but we expect it to change soon. As state and local guidance changes, we are committed to evaluating and rolling out revisions to Student Housing policies.   

A few highlights of the new Grad Gatherings policy that align it with current state guidance on gatherings:

  • Gatherings should be limited to no more than 3 households and no more than 2 hours. 
  • Event hosts are expected to collect the names of all participants in the event contact tracing is required. 
  • Gatherings are strongly encouraged to be outdoors in all tiers but required to be outdoors should we return to the purple tier. 
  • Households need to physically distance themselves from each other. 
  • Participants need to wear masks, except for when eating/drinking. 

 Other things to note about Grad Gatherings:

  • Graduate and Family Housing residents are no longer required to register gatherings or essential workers.  
  • Per the Graduate and Family Housing guest policy, revised in April 2021, other guests are discouraged unless they are a member of your Grad Gathering group or an essential worker. 
  • Participants are expected to follow all standard COVID health and safety practices (conduct a daily symptom check prior to participating, wash hands frequently, limit sharing items, stay home if you are sick or experiencing symptoms). 
  • To the extent possible, participants in Grad Gatherings should maintain a stable group over time. Participating in multiple gatherings with different households or groups is strongly discouraged given the increased risk of spreading the COVID virus.

Linked you will find the full Grad Gatherings policy. The new policy will be added to the Student Housing website shortly and you will soon see an update to the Graduate and Family Housing Approved Activities chart to reflect the new policy. Lastly, we understand that these updates may not provide as much flexibility as you hoped they would.  Please know that we will continue to monitor state guidance with the intention of relaxing the policy further when these standards permit.  

If you have questions about the policy, feel free to contact your community housing office.

Sincerely,

Tim Trevan, Executive Director
Student Housing