From social distancing to wearing face masks, life in the dorms will look different in the fall

(Archive Photo Jessica Robbins | Collegian Media Group)

The residence halls will open for the fall semester, but with some extra protocols and precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“The shared living experience is an important opportunity for K-State students, and we want to make that experience possible in a way that prioritizes the health and wellness of our students,” vice president for student life and dean of students Thomas Lane said via K-State Today.

In addition to decreasing the overall capacity in the residence halls, Housing and Dining Services will add new conduct expectations to the policies students are required to follow when living on-campus, a press release said.

Social distancing rules will be instituted to limit the number of residents using one bathroom. Also, roommates will be expected to keep a six-foot, socially distanced space between them while they are sleeping in their shared room.

Another area that could change a lot in the fall is how the dining centers operate. With limited seating availability and social distancing, takeout options will be made available. Though all meals will still be offered through the dining halls, the unlimited access plan will not be offered. Instead of regular plates, trays and glassware, all meals will be served on disposable paper products. Face masks will be required in shared spaces — including in the dining centers.

Jardine’s overall operation will stay mostly the same in the fall, the press release said.

Previously, Kansas State announced the whole Strong Community would be closed because of an anticipated decrease in demand for on-campus housing, but Boyd and Putnam Halls will now be used to accommodate the decreased housing density protocols. Also, spaces in Van Zile Hall and Jardine Apartments will be reserved for isolating students who become exposed to or test positive for the novel coronavirus.

If plans need to change, the press release says, residents can receive prorated refunds.

My name is Kaylie McLaughlin and I'm the managing editor and audience engagement manager of the Collegian. Previously, I've been the editor-in-chief and the news editor. In the past, I have also contributed to the Royal Purple Yearbook and KKSU-TV. Off-campus, you can find my bylines in the Wichita Eagle, the Shawnee Mission Post and KSNT News. I grew up just outside of Kansas City in Shawnee, Kansas. I’m a senior in digital journalism with a minor in French and a secondary focus in international and area studies. As a third-generation K-Stater, I bleed purple and my goal is to serve the Wildcat community with accurate coverage.