Scarlet Knights and Families,   

As you may be aware, Rutgers University–New Brunswick has announced plans for Spring 2021 semester. Residence Life has developed detailed plans to welcome more students to our residence halls with renewed precautions to set you up for success. By working together and doing our part, we can help this Spring be a safe, healthy, and successful one.

Read our frequently asked questions below.

Room Types

We will be housing students in apartments and suites in single occupancy rooms. As a result, we will have a limited number of students living on campus. All Rutgers New Brunswick students are eligible to apply.

Housing Capacity

Any interested student may choose to apply for Spring 2021 housing. We will have space for approximately 2,175 more students to live in on-campus housing.

Applying for Spring 2021 Housing

All interested undergraduate and graduate students may apply for Spring 2021 housing. The application opens October 19 and closes November 16. 

Room Assignments 

Students will be assigned based on seniority (length of time enrolled at Rutgers and graduation year). Room assignments will be made available to residents via email on December 16.

Rules & Expectations

COVID-19 specific policies regarding mandatory regular testing, guest restrictions, and face coverings have been added to our policies and Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 addenda sites. Residents will be required to review and abide by them.

Cleaning

Rigorous sanitizing procedures will follow CDC and REHS guidelines. Touch points in community spaces will be minimized and physical distancing promoted by reducing seating.

Dining

Dining will provide a safe, clean environment for all guests and staff through strict sanitizing protocols demonstrated via continued compliance with NJ State Department of Health requirements and CDC guidelines.

Quarantine and Isolation Spaces

Spaces will be set aside for mandatory 14-day quarantine and 10-day isolation of residents if a student tests positive or is a “close contact” of one who does.

Move-In

Move-in will be regulated and students will need to sign up for a day and time so we can maintain safe distances. More specific details will follow.

As the pandemic and its effects continue to evolve, and decisions about Spring 2021 are clarified, we are committed to be in close communication with our Scarlet Knights.  Please check your affiliated Rutgers email/scarletmail.edu account regularly for updates, and continue to visit our website for coming details.

Warmly,

Department of Residence Life

FAQs

Health and Safety

What steps are Residence Life and Facilities staff taking to support the community’s safety, health, and well-being this spring?

Our campus community’s safety, health, and well-being remain our top priority, and all decisions are made with this as our guiding principle. We will all need to work together this coming semester to continue to support the overall health and well-being of our residence hall and campus community.  During Fall 2020, we have kept our infection rate very low, and we will ask all those students who join us on campus for Spring 2021 to work hard to maintain this.

Our staff has increased the cleaning frequency of high touch-point areas such as public restrooms, elevator buttons, door handles and handrails. We have reduced residence hall occupancy and prepared on-campus quarantine and isolation spaces. Floor lounges and common area spaces have been closed or have some furniture removed to support physical distancing and to limit large in-person gatherings. In-hall fitness centers are closed.

A campus-wide health information campaign based on CDC guidance and University policies and expectations is used to address expectations of residents with regard to practices that support the overall health and well-being of our residence hall and campus community. These expectations include frequent hand washing, face covering requirements, keeping appropriate distance between you and others, limiting people in elevators and common areas, and increased training regarding COVID-19.  

What actions can students take to help keep themselves and their fellow community members safe and healthy?

There are four actions that every member of our campus community must take to keep ourselves and each other safe and healthy:

  1. If you are sick, stay home and do not go to class or work.
  2. Wear a face covering at all times indoors and outdoors when other people are nearby.
  3. Keep appropriate distance between you and others.
  4. Wash your hands frequently or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

Are there plans to increase cleaning in public areas within the residence halls?

Public restrooms and high touch-point areas such as elevator buttons, door handles, and handrails will be cleaned at an increased frequency. 

Hall Occupancy / Housing Contracts / Room Assignments

How many students will live in the residence halls for Spring 2021?

During a typical spring semester, approximately 15,000 residents live on campus in apartments, suites, semi-suites, and traditional style residence halls. For Fall 2020, we have approximately 950 residents in apartments and suites on Busch and Livingston campuses. For Spring 2021, we anticipate an additional 2,175 residents across campus, in apartments and suites (with half-occupancy and all suite halls).

What will happen with my $200 housing deposit?

Only first-time applicants usually pay this deposit. For Spring 2021 applicants, the $200 deposit will be waived. 

What residence halls are being used this Spring and why?

Though we considered multiple factors, student safety was our guiding priority in our decision-making process. The challenges presented by social distancing and cleaning requirements in communal restrooms informed the choice to limit the use of corridor-style residence halls.

Ultimately, to prioritize student safety,  apartment and suite-style housing on Busch, Livingston, Cook/Douglass and College Avenue Campuses will be offered for the Spring semester. These facilities will allow for students to reside in single rooms with minimally shared bathrooms and kitchen facilities.

Once I submit my housing application online, how will the new housing contract be shared? Will the contract be binding?

Students will receive their new contract via email. In their application they are able to view the email address we have on file.  That is where it will be sent. Once a new contract is completed, it is a binding contract unless the reason for cancellation falls under the housing cancellation policy.

If I am offered on-campus housing, can the assignment be declined if placement is not on the campus/area preference? Is there an ability to be reassigned to another campus location?

Please take into strong consideration that residence life’s ability to re-assign a student to a different campus is going to be extremely limited due to the decreased amount of spaces available in housing this spring. With this in mind, a student can decline their housing assignment, however, they are not guaranteed a space on another campus. 

Will the housing cancellation process remain the same? Are there any exceptions?

Before a student accepts a space to live on-campus, they should understand that the housing contract is a binding contract. A student may submit a request for housing cancellation that falls under the housing cancellation policy for consideration towards cancellation. Reasons for cancellation include: graduation, withdrawal from the University, academic dismissal, enrolling and participating in a University approved study abroad program, active military induction, death of an immediate family member/guardian, long term hospitalization of the student, in special circumstances at the discretion of the Assistant Director of Residence Life Administration in consultation with the Director for Student Support or designee upon written request from a resident when there is a material change in the resident’s health/safety or disability status.

How do I find out the cost associated with my housing assignment?

Once students are made aware of their Spring room assignments, rate and billing information can be found by visiting our rates and billing website. Rates are remaining flat for the 2020-2021 academic year, thus current rates listed on the website are accurate. Students will be charged for the type of room that they are in, and will not receive a “surcharge.” For example, a student assigned alone to a space that would normally operate as a double will be charged the double rate and not an increased fee for residing in the space as a single. 

How will Room Assignments be made? Will assignment considerations be a part of the placement process?

Students will need to submit a new housing application for Spring 2021. Assignments will be based on a variety of factors, including your Spring 2020 housing selection number and seniority. Students who were previously assigned a room during spring room selection will receive a new room assignment; we will work to find a new assignment as close as possible to the original selection.

Will I have a roommate?

No matter where you are, you will have the bedroom to yourself. Residents in apartments will share the bathroom, kitchen and living room and those in suites will share bathrooms and living room within their assigned unit. Students who share a suite or apartment will be expected to work cooperatively and follow established safety practices to protect each other’s health and safety. 

How do I request a roommate and when can I do so?

Every effort will be made to accommodate roommate requests however we cannot guarantee all requests as there may be space limitations. Both members of the roommate grouping must be apply to live on campus, and mutually request the other student. You will be able to request an apartment or suite-mate by filling in their name/information on the online application. 

How will residence hall rooms be set-up?

In most of the halls we will be using, the original use is two people to each bedroom.  We will be placing only one person in each bedroom.  All of the extra furniture must remain in the bedroom and may be used by the resident.  You may not share your room with anyone else.  You can use the extra furniture but cannot allow anyone to sleep in the extra bed. 

I selected housing through the medical accommodations housing process, will that assignment be honored for Spring 2021? Do I need to resubmit my medical documentation if I want to live on campus for Spring 2021?

No, all housing contracts have been withdrawn/cancelled. If you have already been approved for your medical accommodation you do not need to resubmit medical documentation because residence life already has your information on file. If you wish to live on campus for Spring 2021, you must reapply for housing.  If you have a specific question about your medical housing accommodation request, please contact rlstudentsupport@rutgers.edu.

What are my alternatives to living in the residence halls?

Students wishing to explore alternative housing options can find information on available rental options in the New Brunswick area and helpful information on leasing, etc. by visiting the Rutgers Off-Campus Living and Community Partnerships website

Resident Expectations

Are there any revised policies for me to be aware of? Will I be expected to wear a face covering?

Yes, all campus community members will need to wear a face covering when on campus, including within the residence halls whenever outside of your suite/apartment. We all need to work together this coming semester to continue to support the overall health and well-being of our residence hall and campus community and public health guidance states the use of face coverings helps to reduce the spread of the virus.

It takes everyone in the RU community to keep our Scarlet Knights safe. All members of the Rutgers community — students, staff, and visitors — are required to act in a manner that demonstrates respect and consideration for those around them, including respect and consideration for the health and safety of all community members.

Residents are required to comply with health and safety laws, orders, ordinances, regulations and health and safety guidance adopted by the University as it relates to public health crises. This guidance will evolve as the public health crisis evolves and may include, but is not limited to, social distancing, limitations on public gatherings, wearing a face covering, diagnostic and surveillance testing (including before or upon arrival to campus), contact tracing, disinfection protocols, limitations and/or restrictions on guests in the residence halls, and quarantine / isolation / separation requirements (including before or upon arrival to campus). Adherence to any health and safety requirements that the University reasonably deems appropriate applies to all residents, staff, guests and visitors and extends to all aspects of residential living, including bedrooms, bathrooms apartment kitchens, living rooms, community kitchens, lounges, computer rooms, courtyards and other common spaces. Residents are expected to review and understand the housing addenda for 2020-2021.  

Will I be permitted to have guests?

There is an interim No Guests Policy in effect. Guests are defined as residents of your residence hall and no other. Residents permitted to live on campus may only have guests who are residents of their residence hall. Not included are residents of other halls, other Rutgers students or anyone not a resident of their hall. The suspension of the traditional guest policy will be reviewed as the year progresses; when the interim policy is lifted and returned to the existing it will be communicated to residents and revised on the Residence Life website. This website will be updated and residents will be notified when changes are made to this interim no-guests policy. 

Community Development / Staff Assistance and Services

Will there be opportunities for students to get to know others in their residence hall and community?

Community engagement and providing opportunities for students to get to know each other is an important part of the residential experience and one of our highest priorities! Engaging in these activities may look different than in the past with smaller in-person gatherings, virtual connection activities, and being mindful of personal space and physical distancing; yet students will have many opportunities to learn, connect, engage and grow together – and even learn new technologies! We have learned during the Fall 2020 semester how to create  opportunities for students to interact, meet new friends, and engage with one another while remaining consistent with public health recommendations and physical distancing requirements. 

How will students meet new people, learn, engage with each other?

Our staff have developed plans for opportunities for students to interact, meet new friends, and engage with one another while remaining consistent with public health recommendations and physical distancing requirements. Residents will have opportunities to participate in community and campus events, and in leadership opportunities in the residence halls and across campus. 

Will staff be available on campus to assist in the spring?

As always, Residence Life staff will be available 24 hours a day/7 days a week/365 days a year to provide support, guidance, and assistance to students. Every resident will have an assigned Resident Assistant who will help them navigate both the rights and the responsibilities that come along with living in a residence hall community. We will also continue to operate campus offices where students can contact our staff if they have questions or concerns.

Interactions between students and our staff will be guided by public health recommendations related to physical distancing so students should expect that some contact with our staff may be in person, in a physically distanced way, and some contact and connection will be done virtually. 

Will services and operations in the residence halls be different this spring?

Campus life has looked different this fall and our team  will continue to adjust operations and services so they can be provided safely, efficiently, and in ways that align with current and evolving public health guidelines for social distancing and for group gathering size limitations. We have learned much this fall that we will apply to spring.

For example, cleaning of “high-touch” surfaces have increased and the focus of our housing and maintenance staff is on maintaining a clean and healthy environment. As such, some repairs that may be less urgent and not related to health and safety may take a little longer to complete.

Residents will also continue to always have access to a Residence Life staff member, including after-hours in the event of emergencies. Residence hall service desk hours may be reduced; however, staff will remain available in-hall and via phone call. Places where students typically gather within the residence halls such as lobbies, kitchens, and even stairwells and elevators will look different and may include directional signage, use limitations, and physical distancing reminders. Practices and policies related to visitors in the residence halls have been modified and adapted in support of the residence hall community’s health and well-being.

Residence Hall Opening and Move-In

How will move-in day be different this spring?

In order to prioritize the health and safety of all of our campus residents and staff, while also maintaining social distancing guidelines, students will be required to schedule a move-in appointment. Appointments will take place over the course of a week. Students will be asked to select a move-in appointment for a specific date and time from a pre-determined number of appointments over the course of a week. Your apartment/suite key will only be made available during your scheduled appointment time, and your ID Access will not be activated until your scheduled appointment. The Rutgers University Police Department and Residence Life staff will be present to help ensure a safe and smooth move-in experience. Some additional guidelines include:

  • Keep six feet away. If you see friends from the community, remain 6 feet away and avoid shaking hands, hugging, etc.
  • Use the next elevator. Wait for the next elevator rather than sharing with another group.
  • Talk Outside. Meet your group outside to avoid hallways or enclosed areas for prolonged periods.
  • Keep hands clean! Frequently wash your hands or use hand sanitizer – and make sure you dry them thoroughly – after touching doors/surfaces.
  • Limit of 2 individuals that will come to assist you. Any individuals who are currently ill or are at-risk should not accompany you.
  • Move-In carts/bins will not be available. If possible, bring your own hand trucks/dollies.
  • Recognize your Resilience. Understand this is a highly stressful and uncertain time for everyone; practice staying calm and patient.

When will the Spring move-in dates be shared?

Currently, Spring move-in week is scheduled for January 13-18, 2021. We expect to finalize the move-in appointment schedule by early January 2021. In order to prioritize the health and safety of all of our campus residents and staff, while also maintaining social distancing guidelines, students will be required to schedule a move-in appointment. Check back for more details.