While most SIUE residents have moved out of their dorms, the ones who are staying have to adjust to a new way of on-campus living.
According to Director of University Housing Mallory Sidarous, there have been two added policies.
The first change is a new policy on residents having guests over.
“We are restricting guest privileges, which means that residents will not be permitted to have people in their apartment that don’t live in their apartment,” Sidarous said. “The exception to that will be that our family residents can go through a process for child care, because that is a little bit different if a parent needs to have a babysitter.”
The second change is in regard to the residents’ mail policies.
“We have reduced [the] times to be able to pick up mail and packages because the commons will essentially be closed,” Sidarous said.
Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Miriam Roccia said about 350 residents have been approved to stay on campus, and most of them have requested to stay there for the remainder of the semester.
She said of the residents who are allowed to stay, the current Evergreen Hall and Cougar Village residents get to stay where they are, and the former residents of Prairie, Bluff and Woodland halls have had to move to Cougar Village.
However, Roccia said the exception to this are the residents who aren’t staying for the rest of the semester.
“Rather than move them for one day, we allowed them to remain in the residence hall they were in, as long as we had that departure dictate in mind,” Roccia said. “Really, from our standpoint, we have consolidated probably 98 percent of students from their residence halls to Evergreen and Cougar Village at this point, with the majority going to Cougar Village.”
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Jeffrey Waple said Melissa McEldowney, the associate director of food services, and Dennis Wobbe, the director of dining services, came up with a plan allowing residents to choose to go online and buy a 14-day food supply.
“We kind of knew that this stay-at-home or shelter-in-place directive was going to come, and so we came up with a way for students who are living on campus to, if they wanted to, purchase a 14-day supply of food,” Waple said.
He said this option is only available to residents staying on campus for the remainder of the semester.
This food package cost $125 for the regular package, and $100 for the vegetarian package. The residents are able to use their meal plan, Cougar Bucks, cash or credit to pay for this.
Roccia said there have been two emails sent out to residents informing them of this kit.
She said, as of Sunday, March 22, Dining Services had a little over 50 takers for this plan as some residents had already been purchasing their own groceries.
“Not all of our students in Cougar Village utilize a meal plan necessarily, so for some of them, they’re very used to grocery shopping. So I would imagine they would not have that need because at this point they’ve received that message twice,” Roccia said.
Waple said they have a backup plan in place in case some residents need food for more than the 14 days: they’ve moved some extra non-perishable food to Eddie’s Kitchen just in case the residents needed more food.
“If we get past 14 days and people still need some things, we’ll provide them,” Waple said.
According to Waple, Cougar Cupboard is providing food to local students who had been using the pantry.
“The Cougar Cupboard, last week, created around 125 boxes for students who use our food pantry, who are also living in the area without the chance to live on campus,” Waple said.
During the week of March 16, 100 of the boxes were delivered to students, according to Waple.
Roccia said she appreciates the patience of the residents and families during this period.
“We are really appreciative of the patience that our University Housing [residents] and their families have exhibited during this time,” Roccia said. “This is really an unprecedented time in history and time here for us at SIUE. This isn’t our normal operation, and so I think it is as difficult for us as faculty and staff to lose that ongoing connection with students.”
Roccia said faculty and staff are doing everything in their power to make sure all the residents staying are taken care of.
“For the students who remain with us, we are committed to making sure that they are safe and that they are well, and we’re able to serve them to the greatest extent possible,” Roccia said.