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Thursday October 28th

Campus & Community Advisory Committee plans recommendations for spring housing

<p>Screenshot from the Campus &amp; Community Advisory Committee held over Zoom on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020.</p>
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Screenshot from the Campus & Community Advisory Committee held over Zoom on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020.

The Campus & Community Advisory Committee met Tuesday to reach a recommendation for the chancellor on housing density and student prioritization plans for the spring semester.

Who was at the meeting?

  • Carolina Housing Executive Director Allan Blattner led the discussion on housing density with Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Jonathan Sauls.
  • Provost Bob Blouin attended as a guest.

What's new?

Committee members discussed and came to a decision on what recommendation they would issue to the chancellor regarding spring housing density and who would be prioritized in housing decisions.

The committee decided with a majority of 17 members to recommend: 

  • That 3,100 single rooms would be allowed to be filled on campus, with a flexible number of open beds left for students with hardships who need housing after the initial housing contract.
  • The University would use the open dorms from fall semester and gradually re-open more dorms as the number of hardship or special circumstance students increases.
  • The committee defined what it means to be a student with special circumstances, giving the examples of nursing students who need to participate in person or others with on-campus academic needs.

This option is unaffected by the 500 quarantine rooms that would be in place under these recommendations.

There were four housing density options discussed:

  • A maximum of 3,900 single rooms with all dorms re-opening.
  • A hard cap of 3,100 single rooms with the remaining currently open dorms.
  • An initial occupancy of 3,100 single rooms with idle beds for students with hardship or special circumstances after the housing contract and re-open additional dorms as needed.
  • An option where the current semester residents of about 1,000 students would remain and open no more spaces.

The committee also decided on its recommendation for student housing prioritization:

  • First priority would be given to students under extreme hardship.
  • Second priority would be given to students with hardship and special circumstances under the category of students who were promised priority after Carolina Housing broke the contract with them.
  • Third priority would be given to students without hardship or special circumstances within the promised priority group.
  • All of these options are under the precedent of pre-entry testing requirements and mandatory testing once or twice a week for students.
  • Blouin opened the meeting to discuss the future of UNC and the movement from its current testing from an outside vendor, to University-reliant testing. Tests cost approximately $95 per individual. Blouin said he wants to move to a cheaper option of around $35 per test in the spring, though he does not know what that looks like.

What happened last meeting?

  • The committee discussed pre-entry testing requirements for both on-campus and off-campus students.
  • The committee agreed on a testing lifecycle app that would tell students when to get tested and send test results directly to the individual. The committee could not agree on contract-tracing methods within the potential app.

What’s next?

Chairperson of the Faculty Mimi Chapman will finalize a recommendation based on discussion and consensus to give the chancellor around noon on Wednesday.

university@dailytarheel.com

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