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Rollins Announces Single Occupancy Model for Fall 2020

An update from Rollins President Grant Cornwell and Rollins Provost Susan Rundell Singer.

July 30, 2020

We write to convey important news about changes to our plans for the fall semester.

Rollins’ current plan for reopening this fall—professionally crafted by so many—rests on certain assumptions that seemed plausible three months ago when we began to plan in earnest. To our deep disappointment, those assumptions have not come to pass. The prevalence and transmission of COVID-19 nationally, and in Florida, are such that we must modify our current plans.

Our number one priority has been and remains the health and well-being of our Rollins community. Therefore, in an effort to further reduce the density of our residence halls, we will be assigning every room as single occupancy. This means, of course, that we can accommodate fewer students on campus and that some students who have received room assignments may no longer be assigned to campus housing. We are hopeful that we can accommodate most students who wish to live on campus and urge all who are interested to apply.

This has been an extraordinarily difficult decision, understanding as we do the role of residential living in the Rollins learning experience. Our thinking has been motivated by guidance from our medical and public health advisors who have helped us shape plans around safety, risk reduction, and mitigation. In determining who will be invited to live on campus, we have endeavored to consider student needs, both academic and social.

Recognizing the importance of an on-campus experience for students joining the Rollins community for the first time, our single occupancy model for the 2020 fall semester will prioritize new students—first-year and transfer students. We will also honor housing requests already received from seniors, and we will offer housing to RAs, Fall RCC peer mentors, students with ADA accommodations, international students, and U.S. citizens living abroad who have already requested housing.

All other students interested in on-campus housing will apply by special application and be considered as space permits. In a subsequent correspondence, Dean Hayner will convey the process and timeline for housing allocation.

To reiterate, for this fall only, each student in residence will be assigned an individual room, meaning no one will have a roommate this semester. In traditional residence halls, all students will pay the double-room rate regardless of room type. Students in Lakeside Neighborhood and Sutton Apartments will have individual bedrooms and bathrooms, or in the case of some units in Lakeside, semi-divided doubles with private baths for each student. To further our efforts to reduce density in campus dining areas and since Lakeside and Sutton are equipped with kitchens, students residing in these facilities may opt out of the dining plan and will have different rates. Dean Hayner’s letter will provide additional details.

This housing plan only applies to the fall 2020 semester. Should conditions permit, we plan to reassign housing for the spring semester at full occupancy. Students not living on campus this fall will receive information on reapplying for spring housing at a later date.

While the campus residential capacity is being reduced, students living off campus who wish to attend classes in person are welcome and encouraged to do so. The academic program will consist of a wide-range of modes of instruction, ranging from on-campus and in-person to virtual; faculty have designed their courses to optimize student learning and many will use a mix of in-person and virtual modes. Your faculty are refining their instruction to align with where students are living and learning—on campus and at a distance from Rollins. You will receive letters from your faculty describing how each of your courses will be conducted on August 6.

Resources such as the Olin Library, Kathleen W. Rollins Hall, and all dining options will be available to all Rollins students. We will communicate further detail about specific changes to campus, such as reduced seating in common areas, and the availability of other campus services and facilities.

The remainder of the opening plan communicated on July 10 remains unchanged.

The pandemic has challenged all of us in ways we could not have envisioned a few months ago. Our faculty and staff have responded with creative solutions that honor our mission and respect the well-being of our community. The goal of our plan to reduce residential density on campus translates to a reduction of risk and exposure for the health and safety of the entire Rollins community. We are grateful for your patience and resilience as we all work together to continue your Rollins education in the safest environment possible.