Students given one hour to move out of dorms in effort to follow CDC guidelines, Housing and Dining says

Wefald Hall lit up in the evening at Kansas State. Students will be moving out of the dorms through the end of March as the campus shifts to online-only instruction. (Archive photo by Andrea Klepper | Collegian Media Group)

Amid dwindling campus operations and the transition to online-only classes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Kansas State Housing and Dining services announced a new move-out procedure for students living in the dorms.

In an email sent out to residence hall students, Housing and Dining said in order to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s social distancing guidelines students will be allowed — with a maximum of two other people to help — in their dorms for an hour to retrieve their belongings. Any person entering the building must also wear gloves, and community bathrooms will be unavailable. The move-out procedure will take place over a period of ten days, from March 20 to March 30.

“Our goal is to keep people from being in close contact with others,” said Jeff Morris, vice president of communications and marketing, via email. “Social distancing is very important. We also have a large number of people to move out and to be fair to everyone, we have to adhere to a strict schedule”

Residence hall students will be allotted one hour to move their belongings out of their respective dorms. (Archive photo by Jessica Robbins | Collegian Media Group)
Residence hall students will be allotted one hour to move their belongings out of their respective dorms. (Archive photo by Jessica Robbins | Collegian Media Group)

Prior to moving out, students are required to fill out a move-out survey that details when they will be moving out and if there are any conflicts with the allotted time for moving out. Furthermore, roommates will not be allowed to check out at the same time.

The email also read that if students do not move out or communicate with Housing and Dining before March 31, their belongings will be discarded after 30 days. Dining centers will not be open during this time.

Cara Bruce, sophomore in social work and Boyd Hall resident, said she was concerned.

“With the outbreak happening, I don’t really want to get sick,” Bruce said. “Also, HDS are not providing a ton of context or help with moving out. They are not letting us use carts, which is the reason why we can even move in the first place. It’s all a mess really.”

Housing and Dining said carts will not be provided in an effort to limit potential virus transmission.

Bruce said she feels overwhelmed by the situation.

“I just want my stuff back,” she said. “I chose the very first day it could happen because I don’t trust K-State as they have been making statements and withdrawing them left and right.”

On the other hand, Seth Otter, sophomore in mechanical engineering and Putnam Hall resident, said he isn’t worried about the process.

“I’m not very concerned about moving out since I trust our university’s’ judgment about this situation, and I believe they are being completely fair in our current situation,” Otter said.

Otter also said he thinks that though some people might be shocked and angry at the situation, he trusts that overreacting is the right way to go about getting through it.

“It would be better that we overreact for this situation than to later on regret that we didn’t do more in advance,” Otter said. “I feel completely comfortable about what is going on, and as soon this pandemic ends, classes will resume as normal next semester.”

In the K-State Today Special Issue sent out on Wednesday, the university said students who did not live in the dorms after spring break will receive a prorated fund of their spring semester room and board charge.

“We understand this is a hardship and appreciate everyone’s patience and efforts,” Morris said. “We are all in this together and will be stronger because of it.”

Hi there! I'm Julie Freijat. I'm the managing editor of the Collegian. In the past, I've served as an editor on the news and culture desks and worked closely with the multimedia staff. I love science and technology, hate poor movie dialogue and my favorite subreddit is r/truecrime.