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Update: Housing Working Group

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University of Denver

Meeting Held June 1, 2020

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Internal  •

The primary objective of the group at this time is to determine how to de-densify the residential housing on campus for FY 2021, and to manage housing assignments, contracts and grants for all undergraduates and graduate students who already submitted housing applications before the pandemic. We also must help study abroad students to find housing in the Denver area.

The group created five “concept living” scenarios that analyzed the CDC risk level, financial implications, number of students per bathroom fixture, occupancy level, number of displaced residents, and quarantine needs from full-occupancy to one-person-per-room. The working group provide their recommendation and evaluation to the chancellor and the concept that was chosen offered a combination of (a) one-person-per-room for each room below 200 square feet using a community bathroom; with (b) family-style suites for doubles.

This option has a “moderate risk level” according to the CDC’s guidelines for its likelihood of helping contain the spread of the virus. For DU, it minimizes financial impact, and mitigates the number of students who will be displaced from our housing system to live off campus.

The group also worked to temporarily suspend the requirement that second-year undergraduate students live campus, and also temporarily expanded the first-year student live-on requirement to a 45-mile radius from campus. Simultaneously, the group ensured that housing grants be extended to all second-, third- and fourth-year students who had housing contracts for next year but are choosing to take advantage of one of these temporary policy changes. Finally, study abroad advisors have now been assigned to assist HRE so juniors who were unable to study abroad and now need housing options.

Looking ahead, the working group has pivoted to evaluating housing options near campus or at local hotels, with the hope of finding accommodations for those displaced by the dedensification requirements. We are seeking options at similar prices to on-campus residency. We are also working with FSLA to ensure that dedensification recommendations of the campus are understood by the various fraternity and sorority houses, and that the chapters to finalize their occupancy and communication strategies.