COVID-19

Living on Campus

Living on Campus

Living on campus in the fall of 2020 will be different from previous years.

Guidelines for Living on Campus

Residence Life professional and paraprofessional staff will continue to live on campus and promote a healthy and safe community environment. To abide by social distancing and safety guidelines, Merrimack has eliminated triple and quad rooms, is installing movable barriers in all rooms, and is working to reconfigure common spaces. Face coverings will be required in the residence halls and in any spaces outside of personal rooms, and visitors (including students who live in other residence halls) will not be allowed in residence halls. Residential students are permitted only in their assigned buildings.

Housing Assignments/Residential Groups

Housing will be offered to qualified undergraduate and graduate students for 2020–2021. Students will be housed by their Living Learning Communities, athletic groups will be housed and grouped together, and all remaining students will be assigned by class year within the residence areas.

Students who completed the “Intent to Enroll” form and marked their interest to live on campus have been assigned housing. Upper class housing placements and roommate assignments were prioritized based on a student’s original request made in the spring semester. First year student housing placements and roommate assignments were prioritized based on the housing questionnaire.

Housing assignments and roommate information for all residential students are now posted in MyMack. In addition, each student has been assigned to a residential cohort based on room proximity within the residence halls. To view your assignment, roommate and residential cohort information:

  1. Log onto MyMack, click on student info at the top of the screen.
  2. Click “Residence Life” on the left side of the screen. 
  3. Once there, click on Housing and Roommate Information at the top of the screen, and this will bring you to the page with your housing information. 

If you have any questions about your housing assignment, please email Residence Life

Students will be grouped together by those living in a specific townhouse, apartment or suite. Traditional residential hall rooms with common bathrooms will be cohorted in groups of 4–12 people based on their living preferences. The residential groups will provide students the opportunity for closer personal and social contact with others while living on campus this fall — including the ability to have a roommate and share meals with others. When interacting only with members of their residential group in residence hall areas, social distancing should be maintained where possible but may be relaxed where needed as long as face coverings are worn.

Room changes will be made only in extreme circumstances in order to help maintain the health and safety of students.

Housing and De-Densification

Residential spaces are being de-densified for safety, including elimination of all triple and quad residence assignments. In all bedrooms, movable barriers are being placed for safety.

Fall 2020 Move-In

The move-in process will be phased over the course of a week, beginning on August 17, 2020 and ending August 21, 2020. Please note, your scheduled move-in time and date will not be provided until you have done the following:

  1. Reviewed and signed the Office of Residential Life 2020-2021 Residency Agreement which can be found in MyMack.
  2. Filled out a departure form in MyMack which is a necessary component of the College’s COVID-19 isolation and quarantine policy.  
  3. For new students, you must have completed your immunization documentation in the Medicat Patient Portal.

Once each of these items are completed, and received by the Office of Residential Life, students will then be able to view their assigned move-in date and time in MyMack. Only in severe extenuating circumstances can these move-in times be altered as they are directly connected to your initial baseline testing time. 

The following are important details about the move-in process:

  • This year, students will be assigned a specific day and time for move-in between August 17 and August 21 in order to promote physical distancing and to lower the density of people during the move-in process. The College expects approximately 400 students will arrive on campus each day at their assigned times. 
  • Students will have two hours to complete the move-in process and are permitted two visitors to help with move in. The College will have a limited number of bins available for students to move in their belongings. 
  • Move-in dates and times will be posted to each student’s MyMack account once the student submits their housing agreement, fills out a departure plan and completes all necessary immunization forms. Please see above for further details. 
  • All students are encouraged to pack lightly this fall and focus on bringing only essential and important items to campus. Bringing fewer possessions will also make for a smoother and faster move-in. All students are also encouraged to have a bag of essential items organized in the event that students need to be relocated or if students need to leave campus on short notice.
  • Finally, all students should work with their families to have a plan for vacating campus quickly should the need arise. These plans should be reflected in your departure form to be completed on MyMack. 

Guests and Visitors in Residence Halls

In order to limit the spread of COVID-19, it is necessary to limit contact between people, particularly in residence halls. Therefore, the following protocols will be in place and strictly enforced for the Fall 2020 semester:

  • No overnight guests are permitted in residence halls until further notice.
  • Guests are limited to only immediate family members/guardians and must remain outside. Guests are not permitted inside any buildings.
  • Guest registration must be completed for family members/guardians to come to campus 72 hours in advance through our current guest registration online form. No on-site registration will be allowed.
  • If guests from the same residence hall but of a different room or floor would like to visit an individual in their room, the consent of the individual’s roommate must be given. This will be strongly encouraged and enforced by Resident Advisors.
  • Non-residential students will not be permitted in residence halls. This includes but is not limited to commuter students and graduate students.
  • Residential students are permitted only in their assigned buildings. Residential students may not visit their friends inside other residences.

Furniture in Residence Halls

Furniture in residence halls will be configured to comply with social distancing best practices and therefore cannot be moved or removed. Layouts have been designed with safety and cleanliness in mind.

Residential Hall Cleaning

Students, as usual, are responsible for cleaning their own bedrooms, apartments and other non-common spaces. Students should clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces (tables, hard-backed chairs, doorknobs, light switches, phones, tablets, touch screens, remote controls, keyboards, handles, desks, toilets, sinks) daily in their bedrooms and other non-common spaces. The CDC provides recommendations for cleaning different types of surfaces, including porous surfaces, nonporous surfaces, and electronics.

On a more frequent basis, facilities staff will clean residential common spaces, including common bathrooms. Due to COVID-19, supplemental cleaning of bathrooms in suites and apartments will be regularly conducted by facilities staff for the fall semester.

Residential Parking

In an effort to ensure adequate parking for commuter students, and to avoid the prevalence of leaving campus and risking transmission of the virus, the College is limiting the number of overnight spaces available for residential students. There will be no off campus parking accommodations, and the numbers of overnight spaces will be reduced by more than half. Students who need to have a car for the following reasons can petition for a parking space: (1) Health matters (2) Family support (3) Approved off-campus work. Students who wish to have a car for general purposes will not be granted a parking space.

Residence Hall Parties/Registered Events

No registered events will be permitted inside residence halls until further notice. This policy will be strictly enforced to assure the health and safety of our community. Parties and events will be allowed in spaces on campus such as McQuade’s and Majors and Minors Eatery.

Additional outside venues with fire pits and grills are being added across campus for programs, events and meetings.

Student Organizations and Meetings

The Office of Student Involvement understands the importance of engaging with others in the campus community. Student organizations should be creative and flexible in planning meetings, events and programs while following College guidelines and recommendations.

Student and Office of Student Involvement Sponsored Meetings

  • In-person meetings can be held for a limited number of people. Students must adhere to social distancing guidelines and wear face coverings throughout the duration of the meeting.
  • Whenever possible, virtual components such as Zoom, Google Hangouts and conference calls should be implemented for all meetings.
  • Student groups will have to checkin at the front desk of the Hub upon arrival and use hand sanitizer.
  • All groups will be required to take attendance at meetings through the Warrior Network and submit it to the Office of Student Involvement in the event that contact tracing becomes necessary.
  • All meeting spaces will have a standard setup that includes social distancing of tables and chairs. If the meeting host would like to change the set up, approval must first be granted through the Office of Student Involvement.
  • Students will be asked to wipe down surfaces before and after use.
  • The Office of Student Involvement will hold monthly meetings with all student organizations to review any updates and changes to current policies regarding meetings. No groups over 50 will be allowed on campus.

Student and Office of Student Involvement Sponsored Events and Programming

  • All in-person student organization events will need to be approved by the Office of Student Involvement at least two weeks prior to the event.
  • All events will require a signup ahead of time and must offer a virtual component for students
  • All events must be listed in the Warrior Network App CORQ in order for students to access and sign up for events.
  • If a large number of people are anticipated, multiple locations and “delivery” service for students should be considered. For example, for an instructed paint night, a signup would be required, with an option for supplies to be delivered to students’ residence halls.
  • When weather permits, outdoor events are encouraged.
  • All attendees are required to check-in with the Office of Student Involvement staff or event coordinator upon arrival using the Warrior Network App CORQ, in the event that contact tracing becomes necessary.
  • According to College and state guidelines, face coverings are required at all events.
  • Upon arrival, every participant will be asked to sanitize their hands.
  • Tables and chairs are required to be spaced six feet apart.
  • The Office of Student Involvement will hold monthly meetings with all student organizations to review any updates and changes to current policies regarding events and programs. No groups over 50 will be allowed on campus.

Social Events and Gatherings

Gatherings in indoor and outdoor spaces will be limited in size, in accordance with public health guidelines, both on and off campus. Hosting and attending large parties or registered events is prohibited for the 2020–2021 academic year because such events are incompatible with social distancing that is necessary to reduce the spread of COVID-19. No groups over 50 will be allowed on campus.

Student organizations should refer to the information in the previous section regarding student organization related events and gatherings and work with the Office of Student Involvement to host events within the guidelines. Given our shared interest in controlling the spread of the disease, hosting or attending large parties or other events without approval will be a violation of this policy and result in disciplinary action.

In addition, the division of Student Affairs will be hosting multiple programs and events over the course of the semester to ensure opportunities for social interaction within our community. These staffed events will follow all College event guidelines.

Campus Ministry

Daily Mass will be held Monday through Friday at 12:30 p.m. in the sanctuary area of Austin Chapel for those already on campus and those who have been cleared to be on campus. Live Mass will continue to be broadcast over Zoom for those unable to attend in person.

On Sunday, three Masses will be held for students, at 12:30 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. – and will also be broadcast over Zoom.

When weather permits, both daily and Sunday Masses may be held outdoors on the labyrinth.

Pandemic Safety Policy for Student Behavior

Merrimack will not tolerate non-compliance with our policies and practices as it relates to keeping the campus safe. The Community Standards will reflect changes to our Code of Conduct that will hold students accountable for things like refusing to wear a face covering, or not taking COVID-19 tests.