March 12, 2020
Dear parents and families,
I wanted to share with you the email below that we just sent to students who reside in university housing here at Washington University. If you have questions please call the WashU Call Center at 314-935-8300 or 888-319-3527.
Dean of Students
Dear Residential Life Students,
We know the last 24 hours have been stressful and difficult for our entire community. I know that this is not how any of us wanted to finish the academic year. The decision to extend spring break and ask all students to complete their semester from home was a difficult one for us, but we know it was the right decision for the health and safety of our entire community. This is a time when we need to come together as a WashU family and face this challenge together, so I am asking for your help and patience today and in the days and weeks ahead. As Chancellor Martin said yesterday, “In extraordinary times, we must pull together to help one another.”
These are indeed extraordinary times. We received hundreds of calls and questions yesterday and our team is working around the clock here in St. Louis to try to answer questions and address feedback. I wanted to share several important reminders and a couple of updates today. All of our decisions are based on our top priority – keeping you safe and working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among our WashU family.
We are developing a plan to pack and ship items home to students at the university’s expense. Details regarding these plans will be communicated as soon as they are finalized.
- If you are a current residential student in an extenuating circumstance and need to remain in Residential Life Housing beyond March 15, please sign up through the Housing Portal by Friday, March 13 at 9 am. Residential Life will notify students who have submitted a late stay request of their status by Friday, March 13 at 2 pm.
- If you are a current residential student from the St. Louis metropolitan area and you have not been to one of the restricted locations in the past 14 days, you may come to campus to retrieve your belongings and return home. We are asking that you please do this by 5 pm Sunday, March 15. Please note that Europe and Northern California have been added to the list of restricted locations overnight. Please bring as few people with you as possible, and keep in mind that anyone helping you also must not have visited any of the restricted locations in the past 14 days.
- If you are not from St. Louis, please stay home or return home. For the health and safety of the community, please do not come back to campus. Do not attempt to come here this weekend or next week. With the exception of the small number of students who have approval to be here, card access for all Residential Life properties will be shut down at 5 pm, Sunday, March 15. Unfortunately, we will not be able to grant exceptions or permission to return to campus.
- If you have left an essential personal item in your Residential Life space that you need immediately – medicine that you cannot replace or travel documentation that prevents you from returning home – please contact the call center at 314-935-8300 or 888-319-3527 and we will attempt to work with you to send those items to you. Please do not call Residential Life to retrieve other items, including clothing, laptops or course materials. As noted above, we are working on a plan to ship those separately and are doing our best to have those to you before online instruction resumes on March 23. Your schools and faculty members are aware that some students may not have their laptops and course materials when online instruction resumes, and they will work with you if you are in that position.
- For students living in Quadrangle Housing, Quadrangle will continue to work directly with you.
- For undergraduate students who live in off-campus, non-university properties, we encourage you also not to return to St. Louis, but your ability to enter those properties is, of course, at the discretion of your individual landlord.
- If you have left a vehicle on campus in one of our parking areas, there will be a time in the weeks ahead when you can come and retrieve it.
- If you are an international student who needs travel documentation to return home, please contact the Office of International Students and Scholars at 314-935-5910 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
We understand the anxiety and difficulty of this situation. These are very challenging circumstances for all of us. We have made our decisions with your safety and the safety of the rest of our community as our top priority and I am grateful for your continued patience and understanding.
I hope to send more information tomorrow and through the weekend as needed. You should continue to reach out to our call center at 314-935-8300 or 888-319-3527 if you have questions.
Dean of Students