Bottom Line Up Front:
- We are planning for increased occupancy on campus this fall.
- Three-year residency requirement will remain in effect.
- Students who have lived on campus for six semesters may choose to live off-campus; students with less than six semesters must be approved via petition to live off-campus. The petition will be available March 17.
- The Housing Application will be available April 7; actual housing selection will take place over the summer.
- We will be offering programming and events in the coming weeks to help students understand the housing selection process and to find roommates.
- The deadline to request disability-related housing accommodations is May 31.
At this time last year, as many of you were returning from Spring Break, the first indications of the reach of this global pandemic started to become more clear. Over the ensuing months, we have navigated many challenges in the residential setting, resulting in numerous changes to housing and the student experience, all guided by public health considerations.
Our experience has shown that conditions can change quickly. Only a few weeks ago, our campus — and much of the country — was in the throes of a significant surge in COVID-19 cases. Since then, we have seen a marked decrease in cases and an increase in vaccine availability. Each change leads to new public health guidance, which remains the guiding light for our approach to housing, and also makes planning for five months from now difficult.
I know you are eager to select housing for next year. By taking time to monitor health conditions and plan, we will be able to provide greater flexibility and a return to some of our previous approaches to residential living. Please review the updates below from our team, and stay tuned to your email and our website for additional details as our planning continues.
2021-22 Campus Occupancy
We continue to evaluate the conditions that will inform campus occupancy, guided by University and public health leaders. We are optimistic that we will be able to increase occupancy from the 2020-21 Academic Year but do still anticipate the need to de-densify some areas of campus.
As we move closer to our housing selection process, we will provide an update on occupancy and building configurations so students can plan accordingly.
Residency Requirement and Housing Guarantee
As we anticipate a return to more normal operations, we want to inform students that the three-year residency requirement will remain in effect for the 2021-2022 Academic Year. As a part of our housing application (see below), students will have the opportunity to petition to be released or, for those who have fulfilled the residency requirement, indicate their off-campus intent. If you have not fulfilled the residency requirement, please note that unless released by the University in writing, you are expected to live in University housing.
As a reminder, students who study abroad during the fall or spring semesters are given credit for that time toward their six-semester residency requirement; summer sessions do NOT count toward that residency requirement. Transfer students who have lived on campus at another institution are given credit for that time toward their residency requirement after submitting proof of residency from their former institution(s).
With added University-sponsored housing, including Deacon’s Station, we are hopeful that we will be able to honor our guarantee and offer to house those seniors who want to live in University housing. Despite the circumstances COVID brings us, we remain confident in our ability to work with our students and families to ensure that students have housing for the upcoming academic year.
Petition to be released from Residency Requirement
Students who have lived on campus less than six semesters have not yet fulfilled the University’s residency requirement and may submit a petition to be released from that requirement beginning on Wednesday, March 17. Petitions must be submitted via our Housing Portal.
- Petitions are reviewed first for individually compelling circumstances and then in the order in which they are received.
- Petition Timeline:
- Students who petition prior to March 24 should expect decisions by April 2.
- Students who petition after March 24 and prior to April 21 should expect decisions by April 30.
- Students who petition after April 21 and prior to May 12 should expect decisions by May 21.
- Petitions received after May 12 will be reviewed on a rolling as-needed basis.
- Students should NOT enter into off-campus leases (or other arrangements) until they receive written approval of their petition to be released from the University’s residency requirement from the Office of Residence Life and Housing.
We plan to open our housing application to currently enrolled students on Wednesday, April 7, 2021. At that time, the following actions will be available:
- Students who have lived on campus for six semesters are welcome to plan to live on campus or pursue housing elsewhere; they must declare their intent in the Housing Portal, including off-campus address registration. We are asking for this intent to be submitted by May 19.
- Students will also be able to begin forming their roommate groups at this time.
We realize that this year has presented unique challenges related to getting to know those in your community. As we ask students to think about where they hope to live next year, we are actively working on ways to help with identifying those individuals they might want to live with for the 2021-22 Academic Year.
We look forward to helping students learn more about the Housing Selection Process as well as how to submit an application for our Residential Engagement Community program. In the coming weeks, our teams will be in touch with strategies to help connect students with other students to form their housing groups. Please stay tuned for future updates from our office on these opportunities!
We remain in active planning regarding the details of our Housing Selection process for the 2021-2022 Academic Year. We do anticipate this process taking place mid-summer, likely sometime in June.
As we prepare for housing selection, housing selection times, a room configuration list, and other details will be communicated from our office. It will be important to check your WFU email daily over the summer so you do not miss these details.
Priority order for housing selection is based on the number of semesters lived on campus. Seniors are those with 6-plus semesters of on-campus housing credits, juniors are those with 4-5 semesters of on-campus housing credits, and sophomores are those with 2-3 semesters of on-campus housing credits.
After careful consideration and review of public health considerations, the University has decided to continue with many of our specialty housing programs. We will continue to offer:
- Gender Neutral Housing and Substance-Free Housing for all students.
- Residential Engagement Communities and Fraternity and Sorority Blocks for our continuing students. Student leaders for these spaces have been contacted with further details.
Given the evolving nature of COVID-19 and University plans, we are extending the deadline for requesting disability-related accommodations to Monday, May 31.
The request forms (student and medical provider) MUST be submitted by May 31 for consideration by the Housing Accommodation Review Committee. While forms submitted after the stated deadline will be reviewed, approved reasonable accommodations are subject to availability of housing.
For more information on our disability-related accommodations process, please visit rlh.wfu.edu/accommodations.
Use a pencil, not a pen. As we move through the next few months, you may see changes to these dates due to the University’s response to COVID-19.
We currently plan to begin welcoming students back to campus beginning August 19. New students will have the opportunity to schedule their move-in between August 19 and 20, and continuing students will have the opportunity to schedule their move-in between August 20 and 22.
Students will be required to schedule a move-in appointment and appointment availability will vary by the community. Students will be able to schedule their move-in appointment as a part of their housing selection process this summer.
A full draft of our 2021-22 opening and closing dates can be found on our website at rlh.wfu.edu.
We recognize this is a lot of information. Please know that our team will be in touch over the next several months as each of these housing processes open. In addition, we will begin to share resources (such as infographics and videos) to help you navigate the housing selection process with ease.
In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 336-758-5185.
Stay well and enjoy the spring weather!
Matt Clifford, Ed.D.
Assistant Vice President of Campus Life
and Dean of Residence Life and Housing