RMU updates housing contract with COVID-19 safety measures

The contract now includes guidelines for masks, social distancing and group sizes

Garret Roberts, Editor in Chief

MOON TOWNSHIP — As the discussion on returning to schools and universities continues across the nation, Robert Morris University has released new guidelines attempting to make students’ return more organized and safe.

RMU released their updated move-in plan and housing contract via an email to resident students on Wednesday. The updated contract, which requires safety practices such as wearing masks in public areas and voluntarily assuming the risk of returning to campus, will ensure safety measures for all students enrolled.

Updates to the student housing contract include:

  • No changing the pre-approved layout of multiple occupancy rooms.
  • No entry to residence halls where you are not an occupant.
  • No guest visits.
  • Compliance with restrictions on group sizes and physical distancing in residence halls.
  • Agreement to mask wearing policies in all residence hall common spaces.
  • Adherence to signage maximizing social distancing across campus.
  • Agreement to relocate to isolation spaces if showing symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Agreement to not return to campus if travelling home for Thanksgiving break, instead shifting to online instruction until the end of the semester. (The fall semester has also been adjusted in various ways to account for this process.) Students may remain in their dorms over this break if they wish to stay on campus, as residence halls and dining facilities will remain open.

The contract also includes a new portion to accommodate for another move to online during the semester and the possibility of a “hybrid learning environment” that would occur with a spike in COVID-19 cases. By signing the contract, students are agreeing that their tuition for classes will not change if the learning environment moves to another format. 

“Our policy will be the same as it was in the Spring 2020 semester: We are committed to providing a high-quality academic experience, regardless of whether instruction is delivered in person or remotely,” said Jonathan Potts, vice president of Public Relations and Marketing for the university. “Tuition and related fees will remain the same, and students will receive the same financial aid package they would have received for on-ground instruction.”

This contract does not mean that students will not be reimbursed for room and board if another campus shut down were to occur, Potts clarified. Instead, the university would evaluate the situation similar to the process used last semester.

“The term ‘fees’ in this context does not refer to room and board charges,” said Potts. “We will make a decision regarding room and board costs in the event of a campus shutdown when and if that happens.”