Housing: Questions and answers

UPDATE:

Effective Sept. 18, until further notice, visitors to Kent Campus residence halls will now be limited to Kent State students living on the Kent Campus. Only students living on the Kent Campus may enter the Kent Campus residence halls. This requirement was initiated because of Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s Sept. 17 announcement of Portage County’s COVID-19 Risk Level 3 Red status, as communicated by the Office of the Provost. The Kent Campus resides in Portage County, and as such, must adhere to the state's guidelines for counties at a COVID-19 Risk Level 3 status.


Health & Safety Measures

What if I have a chronic health condition?

Students with chronic health conditions that may impact their ability to live on campus with others should first consult with their healthcare provider to discuss the risks of living in a residence hall. Reach out to Student Accessibility Services (SAS) as soon as possible to discuss your condition. SAS may request documentation from your healthcare provider. If an accommodation is approved, it is important to know that we cannot guarantee your original room, roommate and/or building assignment. Contact SAS by emailing sas@kent.edu or by completing the student application in Access KSU: https://olympic.accessiblelearning.com/Kent/ApplicationStudent.aspx.

Do I need to wear a Face covering in my room?

Your room is considered your space, so if it is just you and your roommate in the space, you are not expected to wear a face covering while you are in your room. However, when there is a guest present in the room, everyone in the room must wear a face covering.  

Do I need to wear a Face covering in my residence hall?

Yes! We expect students to follow the Flashes Safe Seven principles while in any public area of the residence hall to help reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus. Wearing a face covering is part of our Flashes Take Care of Flashes commitment!

What policy changes are occurring to help reduce the possible spread of the coronavirus?

To reduce the possible spread of the coronavirus, all residence hall students and their guests are expected to comply with the Flashes Safe Seven. To practice, support and sustain accountability, please refer to the Flashes Safe Seven Accountability web page to find a listing of relevant policies, requirements and ways to share concerns.

Guest/Escort Policy

The Guest/Escort Policy will include the following important notation for the 2020-2021 academic year:

“Based on the nature of the pandemic, restrictions on guests in the residence halls may be implemented by the University’s COVID-19 Response Team at any time. Residence Services staff will notify students when these restriction periods are in effect.”

Room Capacity Policy

The Room Capacity policy is also adjusted for the 2020-2021 year. The policy limits each student to one guest and includes a number of considerations. The full Room Capacity policy reads: 

  • The number of people permitted in student rooms for the 2020-2021 academic year is informed by an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. Accordingly, the following stipulations are in place when anyone is present in a student room who is not officially assigned to the space.
  • This allowance is temporarily on hold: Each student is permitted one additional person in their room, if both of the following stipulations are met:
    • Consent is established via the roommate agreement completed at the beginning of the year by all students assigned to the room.
    • All people in the room wear face coverings and maximize physical distancing when a person not assigned to the space is present. 
  • More on residence hall policies can be found in the Hallways Handbook.
  • Important Note: Based on the nature of the pandemic, restrictions on people permitted in student rooms may be implemented by the university’s COVID-19 Response Team at any time. Residence Services staff will notify students when these restriction periods are in effect.   
  • Effective Sept. 18, until further notice, visitors to Kent Campus residence halls will now be limited to Kent State students living on the Kent Campus. Only students living on the Kent Campus may enter the Kent Campus residence halls. This requirement was initiated because of Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s Sept. 17 announcement of Portage County’s COVID-19 Risk Level 3 Red status, as communicated by the Office of the Provost. The Kent Campus resides in Portage County, and as such, must adhere to the state's guidelines for counties at a COVID-19 Risk Level 3 status.

Can students have guests in their residence hall room? Can parents visit campus?

Effective Sept. 18, until further notice, visitors to Kent Campus residence halls will now be limited to Kent State students living on the Kent Campus. Only students living on the Kent Campus may enter the Kent Campus residence halls. This requirement was initiated because of Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s Sept. 17 announcement of Portage County’s COVID-19 Risk Level 3 Red status, as communicated by the Office of the Provost. The Kent Campus resides in Portage County, and as such, must adhere to the state's guidelines for counties at a COVID-19 Risk Level 3 status.

This allowance is temporarily on hold: Students can have guests – including their parents – visit them on campus this year! When visiting inside the residence halls, it is important to be aware of the room capacity policy. To help ensure plenty of space for visiting, we encourage students to use the lounges, multipurpose spaces and dining halls to allow more room for physical distancing.

More information about residence hall policies can be found in the Hallways Handbook. Also, read more about visitors on campus.

Reducing the Spread

Other practices to help reduce the possible spread of the coronavirus include:

  • Increased cleaning frequencies following the CDC guidelines for institutes of higher education.
  • The university will provide ample hand sanitizer stations throughout residence halls and dining facilities. Students should follow the Flashes Safe Seven. Students will be responsible for providing their own personal supply of hand sanitizer for use in their rooms.
  • Standardized university signage will be installed throughout the campus that will help guide and direct students to ensure the Flashes Safe Seven are being followed.

What cleaning protocols will be in place in the residence halls?

  • The university has always placed a priority on the cleaning of restrooms and public spaces; cleaning frequencies will be increased following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for institutes of higher education.
  • The university will provide ample hand sanitizer stations throughout residence halls and dining facilities. Students should follow the Flashes Safe Seven. Students will be responsible for providing their own personal supply of hand sanitizer for use in their rooms. 
  • Standardized university signage will be installed throughout the campus that will help guide and direct students to ensure the Flashes Safe Seven are being followed.

Will the dorm rooms be sanitized before the students move in?

The rooms will be thoroughly cleaned and ready for you to move-in! It might also help to know that there were no users of the residence hall rooms this summer, as would been the case during a typical summer.

What happens if someone living in the residence halls is confirmed or probable as being sick with COVID-19?

On-campus students who are confirmed or probable with COVID-19 will be required to self-isolate. Locations for self-isolation include the student’s permanent address or a temporary relocation to a separate residence hall on campus. University Health Services will work closely with the Kent City Health Department through this process and decide the appropriate location for each student’s situation. If a student remains on campus, Residence Services and University Dining Services will ensure that students have all the essential housing and dining needs met during the self-isolation time period.  

Learn more about the university's COVID Response Team, occurrences, reporting & testing


Socializing & Daily Life

What are the benefits of staying on campus if most of my courses will be remote?

While some learning will be in the remote format, we know your educational experience will be enhanced by being on campus, living in the residence halls and having the opportunity to meet and interact ─ in a safe manner ─ with fellow students and professors. Our data demonstrates that students who live on campus are more likely to finish their degree and establish a network of support for future career growth. By being on campus, you will benefit from the university’s access to quiet study spaces, reliable high-speed internet access and library resources. You will also be able to participate in student organizations and have opportunities for student employment. In addition, our recreation center will be open with reduced hours and capacity limits, and dining halls will be open with reduced seating and modified offerings for grab-and-go or sit-down dining. Even if many or all your classes are remote, there will be opportunity to safely engage in a meaningful on-campus experience.

Will the lounges, laundry rooms and kitchen spaces in the residence halls be closed?

No! All residence hall spaces will be open for students and their guests. Standardized university signage will be installed throughout the campus that will help guide and direct students to ensure that the Flashes Safe Seven are being followed.

Will my residence hall have engagement opportunities, programs and events?

Yes! Students will have opportunities to engage with their floor and residence hall community this year! Residence Services staff, student organizations, the Center for Student Involvement and other offices across campus are developing plans to facilitate engagement and follow the Flashes Safe Seven in the process! Our goal is to help reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus, but we will provide as much opportunity for students to interact as possible! Be sure to scan the other frequently asked questions for students for other relevant information.

Will there be a Room Capacity limit, particularly around visitors?

The Room Capacity policy is also adjusted for the 2020-2021 year. The policy limits each student to one guest and includes a number of considerations. The full Room Capacity policy reads: 

  • The number of people permitted in student rooms for the 2020-2021 academic year is informed by an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. Accordingly, the following stipulations are in place when anyone is present in a student room who is not officially assigned to the space. 
  • Each student is permitted one additional person in their room, if both of the following stipulations are met:
    • Consent is established via the roommate agreement completed at the beginning of the year by all students assigned to the room.
    • All people in the room wear face coverings and maximize physical distancing when a person not assigned to the space is present. 
  • Important Note: Based on the nature of the pandemic, restrictions on people permitted in student rooms may be implemented by the university’s COVID-19 Response Team at any time. Residence Services staff will notify students when these restriction periods are in effect.   

More on residence hall policies can be found in the Hallways Handbook.


Housing Assignments

What is the plan for housing assignments?

Allowing for more control with physical distancing and greater control in reducing the spread of the coronavirus, we have a reduced population density plan for the residence halls for the year ahead. The reduced population plan eliminates the option for students to live in triples, quads and overflow housing. Students began receiving their assignments in mid-June, and room assignments will continue on a rolling basis through the opening of the residence halls in August.

Are single rooms available in campus housing?

Yes, we have single rooms throughout campus! Students will be assigned to single- or double-occupancy rooms. Single rooms are limited and are assigned based upon your housing application date. 


Important Dates & Planning Tips

Can I cancel my housing contract?

For students who have secured housing on campus, they can change their decision once the course schedule is finalized. If, once they view their final schedule, they decide to not live on campus, they will be refunded their housing pre-payment if they cancel their housing contract by July 10. Students may cancel housing by emailing housing@kent.edu.

When is move-in?

Fall 2020 move-in will happen over five days to help promote physical distancing in on-campus housing and dining locations. Instructions for move-in, including your specific move-in date and move-in time, can be found here: www.kent.edu/housing/move-information.

Can I sign up to arrive to campus early?

To help promote physical distancing during move-in this fall, move-in will occur over five days. This schedule gives all students up to eight days to get settled before fall classes begin. We expect students and families to follow this schedule to support community health and safety this fall. Instructions for move-in, including your specific move-in date and move-in time, can be found here: www.kent.edu/housing/move-information.

Do I have to move out at Thanksgiving break?

The residence halls will not close for the semester until after finals. However, in support of the university’s academic calendar for the fall semester, and to reduce travel, we encourage students to move home for the holiday break by Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020, and return to campus when the halls reopen in January 2021. Students will receive information for the move home process in early November. The process will be that students notify Residence Services of their departure. If students follow the process, they will be eligible for a prorated room/dining credit for the unused contract dates for the fall semester. The credit will be applied to the student’s account. 

Do I take all my belongings home at Thanksgiving break?

No, students only need to take home their valuables and any items they will need to close out the fall semester through the winter break period. Students will return to their same room when the halls reopen in January, so all other items can be left in their room.

If I decide not to live on campus for the fall, can I sign up for spring housing?

If a student cancels their housing contract for fall semester, their room and roommate selection will cancel. The housing application will open for spring semester late in the fall semester. Students who apply for spring housing will be applying as new applicants for spring housing and should enter their hall and roommate selections again. There is no guarantee but the assignments staff will work to honor all requests based on the date of the application. Watch www.kent.edu/housing for details as to when the housing application will open for the spring semester. 


Costs

How am I being billed for Fall 2020 housing?

Students assigned to housing will receive a bill for the full semester housing costs once their assignment is made. As mentioned in the Thanksgiving Break section above, the residence halls will not close for the semester until after finals. However, in support of the university’s academic calendar for the fall semester, and to reduce travel, we encourage students to move home for the holiday break by Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020, and return to campus when the halls reopen in January 2021. Students will receive information for the move home process in early November. The process will be that students notify Residence Services of their departure. If students follow the process, they will be eligible for a prorated room/dining credit for the unused contract dates for the fall semester. The credit will be applied to the student’s account. 

If I am assigned to a room that was originally a triple-room type, what is the cost?

Students will be charged for the cost associated with their room assignment type regardless of the number of roommates they are assigned. Housing rates vary by room type and cohort. Housing charges can be found here: www.kent.edu/housing/room-and-board-rates.

Will my financial aid be impacted if I do not live on campus?

Living on campus or in an off-campus residence separate from your parent does not impact federal and state financial aid, which includes grants and student loans. Residing with your parent may change your financial aid offer. In addition, if you have a housing specific scholarship and have questions about eligibility, please contact One Stop for Student Services at 330-672-6000 or via the Contact Us form on its website – www.kent.edu/onestop – to submit your question.


Off-Campus Living

What should I do if my classes are remote, but I already signed a lease to live off campus in Kent?

Kent State University does not have the ability to make adjustments to housing contracts made for off-campus housing.

Can I live at home?

Students who live within 50 miles of campus may live at their permanent address for the coming year. Students can submit their exemption to commute from home via this online form.