May 7: Residential Student Update
I hope that you and your families are safe and well. This has been an unprecedented time for all of us and I would like to personally thank you for your continued patience and partnership as we have been navigating this fluid time. Merrimack College has been working diligently to follow the guidelines set forth by the state of Massachusetts as well as the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH), in order to protect the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff during this trying time.
Today, I am writing to share details regarding our move-out process from residential areas so that students may collect the remainder of their belongings. I know our students have been patiently waiting for these details and I want to thank you again for your patience while we created a plan to remain in compliance with public health and social distancing best practices and ensure students can get their belongings.
It is the priority of the College to protect our student’s health and safety while they collect their belongings on campus. Therefore, the College has developed a staggered move-out process, by appointment, that will open on May 11 and end on May 28. This move-out process follows all public health social distancing guidelines in order to reduce the density of social interactions between students and minimize the continued spread of the COVID-19 virus. The move-out process will include a full 24-hour period between each roommate accessing their shared living space to allow cleaning and electrostatic spraying to occur, further reducing the spread of the virus. We have also tested this procedure on a trial group of students to assure that the process will be as smooth and safe as possible. Finally, Merrimack College is following the new Massachusetts order made by Governor Baker which requires face masks or cloth face coverings to be worn in public places beginning Wednesday, May 6. To protect the health and safety of the Merrimack Community, the College will be requiring all students and visitors who come to campus to collect personal belongings to wear face coverings during the move-out process.
As you can already tell, this move-out process is very different than years past but I believe that the plan that is outlined below in more detail will provide our students with the flexibility needed to make necessary arrangements to collect their personal belongings, as well as minimize the spread of the coronavirus by reducing the density of social encounters between students during the move-out period.
We do not want students to be overly stressed by this move out process. We will work with you if you have concerns or logistical issues. Specifically, we recognize that there will be some students who will not be able to return to campus to collect their belongings for a variety of reasons. For those who face hardship in returning to campus and require assistance to collect their personal belongings, please fill out this brief survey so that we can help you retrieve your personal items.
For those students whose circumstances allow them to come to campus, I ask that you thoroughly read the guidelines below regarding the new move-out process:
- All students coming to campus to collect their belongings must schedule a move-out appointment through myMack. Please note, you must be logged into myMack to access this page, which is located under Student Info → Residence Life. Each appointment will give students access to enter the campus at their designated time.
- If you or anyone in your household has experienced symptoms of or been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 14 days, you are not permitted to come to campus. As a reminder, symptoms of COVID-19 include: fever, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, sore throat, cough, shortness of breath or new loss of smell/taste. If this is the case, please let us know so we can work with you on the best way to be of assistance.
- By scheduling an appointment, you acknowledge that neither you nor anyone in your household has experienced symptoms of or been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
- We expect each move out to take approximately two hours. Your MackCard access will be activated once you check in.
- For your move out, you can bring one individual to assist you, as long as they have also not experienced or been exposed to any COVID-19 symptoms in the past two weeks. You may bring up to two cars if needed.
- Due to the limited number of people allowed onto campus during each schedule block, it is critically important that all students arrive on the date and time that they are scheduled. Those who arrive outside of their scheduled appointment will not be allowed onto campus by the Merrimack College Police Department (MCPD).
- If you find that you are no longer available for your scheduled appointment, you will need to reschedule.
Before you arrive to campus, please be sure to have the following:
- Your MackCard and room key(s).
- Secure and bring PPE (gloves and masks), which must be worn for your entire time on campus.
- Secure and bring all packing materials you will need to gather your personal possessions.
- If you have borrowed any materials from McQuade Library or have any college-owned equipment that needs to be returned, please bring it with you. You will be able to return it at the check-out point.
What to do when you arrive on campus:
- Please use the Elm Street entrance to enter the campus as all other entrances are closed. Check-in with MCPD at the Elm St. gate with your MackCard. Students assigned to Royal Crest may proceed directly to their apartment.
- MCPD will ask you the following questions:
- Have you traveled outside of the country in the past 14 days?
- Have you or anyone in your household experienced COVID-19 symptoms in the past 14 days? (NOTE: The symptoms have been updated by the CDC to include: fever, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, sore throat, cough, shortness of breath, or new loss of smell/taste.)
- Have you or any member of your household been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 14 days?
- Have you brought your PPE (masks and gloves) with you?
Should you answer any of these questions in a manner that may affect the health and safety of campus, you will be declined entry onto campus.
- Proceed directly to your living area, after checking in with MCPD. Do not visit other areas on campus.
- Observe all signage and directions posted in your area.
- Avoid physical contact with others while on campus. Visiting friends in their rooms or other locations on campus is prohibited.
- Pack and remove all of your personal possessions. It is important that you touch only your personal possessions while moving.
- Remove all trash to the exterior dumpsters located in your area.
- The bookstore will be open for returns from 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. for residential students in need of returning their rented textbooks during their scheduled move-out time. All returns will occur in the Dunkin Donuts, located next to the Bookstore. Please remember to wear your PPE gear, practice good social distancing and bring all textbooks with you. If you cannot come to campus or have any further questions regarding returning your books please contact the Bookstore at email@example.com.
Once your move-out is complete:
- Lock your door once you have completed moving your items.
- Please note, a key envelope will be provided to you in your room. It will be taped on the internal side of the main entrance to your unit. Insert your key into this envelope, seal it, and bring it with you.
- Once your move out is complete, return to the Elm St. gate, where you will check out with a member of the Student Affairs team, who will collect your key. Students assigned to Royal Crest may leave their key envelope as well as their parking pass and any remaining laundry cards on their dining room table.
- If you do not check out within your scheduled two-hour time block, a member of the Student Affairs team will contact you to ensure you have exited your living area.
As I mentioned above, during the move-out period, Merrimack College custodial staff will be on hand wiping surfaces and utilizing electrostatic spraying to address cleaning needs. Before your arrival, surfaces of your dorm/suite/apartment will be sprayed, as needed, with an approved disinfectant cleaning solution. Since the start of the academic year in 2019, Merrimack College has and will continue to utilize an approved EPA-registered Green Solutions hospital-grade disinfectant cleaning solution for wiping and electrostatic spraying that is identified on the EPA’s published list that meets the criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2, the cause of the COVID-19 virus. Being neutral without dyes and fragrances the disinfectant cleaner is among the safest disinfection options to residents and staff that may have sensitivities to certain fragrances.
As I have noted in this letter, we are doing everything we can to make this as smooth and as safe a moveout as possible. Please do not hesitate to reach out should you have any questions or concerns, either before or during the process of move out. I and the Residence Life and Student Affairs staff are available to answer questions and help you. Please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 978-837-5175.
Thank you again for your continued patience and flexibility as we continue to navigate this unprecedented time. I know that having the move-out process behind you will alleviate stress and that having your personal belongings will provide much comfort. I wish you all the best as you complete your final exams, papers and projects. Be well and enjoy the summer months.
I look forward to seeing you.