Scarlet Knights and Families,   

As you may be aware, Rutgers University–New Brunswick has announced plans for a largely remote learning environment this fall. Residence Life is developing detailed plans to welcome specific populations of students to our residence halls with added precautions to set you up for success. By working together and doing our part, we can help this year 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 minimal number of students living on campus.

Approved Populations

Approved populations include: graduate students, international students, students in undergraduate academic programs that necessitate in-person courses for successful degree completion, students in family housing, students with extenuating circumstances (housing insecurity, etc.), and student athletes.

Re-Applying for Housing

All undergraduate applications have been cancelled. Students falling within the approved populations can reapply between July 6 – July 19.

Room Assignments 

Room assignments will be made available to residents via email by mid-August. More information will follow.

Rules & Expectations

COVID-19 specific policies regarding 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.

Isolation Spaces

Spaces will be set aside for 14-day isolation of residents if a student tests positive for COVID-19. 

Move-In

Additional move-in dates will be added to reduce crowds. Dates and details will be shared as soon as they’re available. 

As the situation continues to evolve, we are committed to be in close communication with our Scarlet Knights as details become available. 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 fall?

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 support the overall health and well-being of our residence hall and campus community.

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

A campus-wide health information campaign based on CDC guidance and University policies and expectations will 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 this fall?

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 live in the residence halls for Fall 2020?

During a typical fall semester, approximately 16,300 residents live on campus in apartments, suites, semi-suites, and traditional style residence halls. For Fall 2020, Residence Life will open with significantly reduced residence hall capacity, using only selected apartments and suites, and only on Livingston, Busch and College Avenue Campuses. This reduction is based on the university’s directive to de-densify hall capacity to facilitate physical distancing between residents and holding spaces for possible quarantine and isolation purposes.

What will happen with my $200 housing deposit?

Only first-time applicants pay this deposit. If you are ineligible to live on campus or no longer wish to live on campus you will be refunded your $200 housing deposit.  

What residence halls are being used this year and why?

Though we considered multiple factors, student safety was our guiding priority in our decision-making process. The bus system at Rutgers presents challenges for maintaining social distancing. Prioritizing safety for students navigating campus informed the decision to reduce the number of campuses on which students will reside this fall. Further, 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, primarily apartment and suite-style housing on Busch, Livingston and College Avenue Campuses will be used for the Fall 2020 semester. These facilities will allow for students to reside in single rooms with minimally shared bathrooms and kitchen facilities.

How did the University decide who will live on campus in the residence halls this fall?

Our staff had hoped to welcome back all residents in the fall and we’re sorry to deliver this news; however, public health guidance informed our decision to reduce residence hall occupancy for the health and safety of our campus community.

With the goal of limiting the overall number of people on campus, housing is being offered to those with a specific need to reside on campus.

  • Graduate students were prioritized due to their success being dependent on research activity.
  • Students residing in family housing were allowed to remain on campus as Rutgers Residence Life serves as their permanent residence.
  • Athletes who are voluntarily engaged in sports were offered the opportunity to live on site.
  • International students who are not able to travel home due to travel restrictions internationally.
  • Similar to graduate students, some undergraduate programs necessitate in-person courses for successful degree completion.
  • Finally, we know that some of our students face extenuating circumstances that deter from a constructive learning environment, such as housing insecurity or unsustainable home environments.

Why were all undergraduate Housing Agreements withdrawn for returning residents who were originally confirmed to live in the residence halls this fall?

We considered all possible options for the fall and regret that many students will not receive their selected housing assignment. In order to reduce capacity on campus, we had to withdraw many housing applications (refer to Residence Life 2020-2021 Terms and Conditions). Residence Life strives to avoid exercising this policy, however, given the extraordinary circumstances and response to COVID-19 it has been necessary to do so at this time. Students who had Housing Agreements and can no longer be accommodated in residence halls for the fall have been notified via email directly. We understand the uncertainty students are facing and appreciate continued patience and understanding. Students may seek additional resources from Rutgers Off-Campus Living and Community Partnerships website.

Once I submit my housing application online, if approved – 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 fall. 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. 

If I meet the qualifications to live on campus for Fall 2020, when will I find out my assignment?

We have had to make room assignment changes for some students in order to reduce occupancy and to prepare for possible quarantine and isolation housing. Students will be notified of their assignment directly via email in August. 

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

Once students are made aware of their Fall 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 meeting eligibility criteria for Fall 2020 housing will need to submit a new housing application for 2020-2021. Applications will be available between July 6 and July 19, 2020. Due to limited number of halls being used for fall semester, it is unlikely that continuing students will be placed in their original assignment selected in Spring 2020.

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 this fall?

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 eligible 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.  

What if I have a personal exemption request due to extenuating circumstances?

If you have a personal circumstance, such as housing insecurity or are in a home environment that is not sustainable, please indicate it on your housing application form. This form should be completed between July 6 – July 19, 2020. 

I selected housing through the medical accommodations housing process, will that assignment be honored for fall 2020? Do I need to resubmit my medical documentation if I want to live on campus for fall 2020?

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 fall 2020, you must reapply for housing by July 19. Please note, being granted an accommodation is not, in itself, a reason to live on campus for fall 2020. A If you have a specific question about your medical housing accommodation request, please contact rlstudentsupport@rutgers.edu 
Eligible populations are as follows: 

  • Graduate students were prioritized due to their success being dependent on research activity.
  • Students residing in family housing were allowed to remain on campus as Rutgers Residence Life serves as their permanent residence.
  • Athletes who are voluntarily engaged in sports were offered the opportunity to live on site.
  • International students who are not able to travel home due to travel restrictions internationally.
  • Similar to graduate students, some undergraduate programs necessitate in-person courses for successful degree completion.
  • Finally, we know that some of our students face extenuating circumstances that deter from a constructive learning environment, such as housing insecurity or unsustainable home environments.

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.

Will I be able to live in the residence halls for the spring semester?

For students whom we cannot accommodate in the residence halls in the fall, we don’t yet know if we will be able to revert to our full occupancy and offer housing for Spring 2021. If we can increase residence hall occupancy for Spring, if it is safe to do so, we will announce plans for the spring semester later this fall. 

How will I receive my Rutgers ID card if I am a new/incoming student?

For all students who have registered for a New Student Orientation Session during summer 2020, your Rutgers ID card will be mailed to you.  If you are a new/incoming student who meets the criteria to live on campus for 2020-2021, and you DID NOT register for a New Student Orientation Session, you may receive your ID card upon your arrival to campus.  Upon activation of your NetID, you will be required to upload your photo which will be used for your Rutgers ID card. Learn more about how to submit your photo online.

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 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 are using the summer to create 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. 

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

Our staff are developing 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.

We are in the process of adjusting many of our existing Living-Learning Communities (LLCs) to operate in a remote capacity which will not require students to live on campus. Students who have been invited to participate in one of our campus’s Living-Learning Programs will have opportunities to meet and engage with fellow program participants virtually. More information on virtual LLC experiences can be found on our website. 

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

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 fall?

Campus life will look different this fall and our team has 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.

For example, cleaning of “high-touch” surfaces will be increased and the focus of our housing and maintenance staff will be 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 year?

Staff from across the University are working hard to prepare for the phased return to campus. We are working on move-in options that take into consideration social distancing guidelines and reduce person to person contact.

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 August move-in dates be shared?

Currently, Fall move-in week is scheduled for the last week in August. We expect to finalize the move-in appointment schedule by early August. 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 the 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 the week. 

Will Living-Learning Communities still be an option for the Fall 2020 semester?

We recognize the incredible value that living on-campus brings to all of our students for building connections with each other and engaging in vibrant and dynamic communities. We are in the process of adjusting many of our existing Living-Learning Communities (LLCs) to operate in a remote capacity. LLC members will not be required to live in residence for fall 2020. Some LLCs will still require online classes while others may be adjusted to become themed communities with no online class component. Please visit our learning communities website for additional details and the application link for our offerings.