Important Information regarding COVID-19 & Housing

In the face of the worldwide COVID-19 outbreak, Wichita State University's first priority is the health, safety and well-being of our entire Shocker community. Below you'll find the latest information and answers about the university's wide-ranging response to the pandemic.

  • Housing and Residence Life will plan for an extended Move-In process over 7 days, August 8th to 15th, in order to maintain social distancing guidelines. Students received an email in Mid-June asking them to select an arrival timeslot. Students will report directly to their buildings to check in and will be issued a rolling moving box. Move-In volunteers will not be assisting with moving students' belongings this year, in order to minimize contact between individuals.
  • Housing and Residence has adjusted its contract dates to align with the university's plan to discontinue in-person instruction after November 20th and to not begin instruction until February 1. Students will only be billed for housing through the campus shutdown date of Nov. 20 for fall, and Feb 1- May 15 for Spring. Students will have the option to stay over the Extended Winter Intersession and will be billed if they choose to stay. See our Housing Rates page for specifics.
  • Wichita State is currently offering testing to students with a known exposure or presentation of COVID-19 symptoms AND also mandating testing of all students living in and employees working in Housing and Residence Life, student athletes and certain students and employees associated with clinical programs. If you feel you need to be tested for COVID-19, please visit Student Health or contact your doctor.

As more information becomes available, the university will continue to update its COVID-19 website https://www.wichita.edu/covid19news.


FAQs regarding Housing during COVID-19 Pandemic

The Wichita State Pandemic Team is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation and making contingency plans. As these plans are made, the FAQ section below will continually be updated.

Student Health Services is also continually updating its website with information relevant to the campus community. 

Thank you for your understanding and flexibility during this time.

 Is WSU Housing and Residence Life mandating COVID-19 testing?

In response to the COVID-19 worldwide pandemic and national emergency, Wichita State University (“WSU”) is implementing policies and procedures based on current recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) and other state and local public health authorities to ensure the safety of the community. This includes testing of both symptomatic and asymptomatic WSU students, faculty, and staff in those areas that are conducive to the spread of COVID-19.

Accordingly, beginning Friday, August 7, 2020, WSU will begin mandatory testing for all Housing and Residence Life (HRL) residents.   

COVID-19 testing will be administered by Student Health Services and will consist of a saliva collection test. Testing will be free to all residents and HRL staff.

Testing for residents will take place in Shocker Hall Building A Multipurpose Room and The Suites Media Room from 8:30am – 12:30pm daily beginning Friday, August 7th through Friday, August 21st. Students are required to complete at test within 24 hours of taking occupancy of their room.  If you have already moved in, please plan to complete your test on Friday, August 7.

You will be required to sign an informed consent prior to administration of the test. For those residents who are 17 years of age or younger on the date of collection, you will need to have a consent form completed by your parent/guardian. A link to that form can be found here.

You cannot consume any food or beverage, chew gum, brush your teeth, or chew tobacco within 30 minutes of the test.  If you have, you will not be able to complete the test.

When you arrive to the testing areas you need to:

  • Wear a mask at all times until told to remove to complete the saliva test
  • Bring your WSU ID
  • Bring your mobile device for the registration process

Information on how you will receive the results will be provided on the day of testing. Our health professionals will answer any questions you may have upon arrival at the testing site.

The health, safety, and well-being of our entire campus community is a responsibility we all share. We appreciate your cooperation with all University-issued COVID-19 related protocols and procedures.

 

What is the plan for Move-In?

Below is a basic outline of how Move-in will occur:

      • Students received an email on June 22 requesting that they log in to their Housing portal and select a Move-In timeslot. Timeslots will start on Saturday, August 8th and run through Saturday, August 15th. There will be a limited amount of timeslots for each building at each hour.
      • Students are asked to limit the amount of guests they bring with to Move-In to 3, and consider not bringing individuals who may be considered high risk in relation to COVID-19.
      • Students will park at their respective building, come in to the lobby, and check in. Students will be encouraged to wear a face covering while checking in. HRL staff will issue the student a moving cart to assist them in getting their belongings up to their room.
      • Once the student is moved in, they are expected to move their vehicle to their assigned parking lot and return their moving cart to the front desk.
Do I need to quarantine before coming to campus?

The state of Kansas’ Health Department (KDHE) is currently requiring individuals coming from certain high risk states to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival within the State of Kansas. If you are currently living in or traveled to one of the states or locations listed below, you will need to quarantine appropriately prior to the start of fall move-in. Please view our Quarantine FAQ page for more information.

    • Florida
    • Cruise ship or river cruise passengers
    • International travel to the following:
      • Countries with a CDC Level 3 Travel Health Notice With Restrictions, including China, Iran, European Schengen area, United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland and Brazil. International travelers must follow CDC guidance and protocols
    • Others needing to continue quarantining:
      • Anyone subject to a travel-related quarantine for a state or country previously on the travel-related quarantine list must complete their 14-day quarantine period. 
        • This includes travel to Arizona between  June 17 and July 27.
        • International travel to Bahrain or French Guiana between July 14-27. 
Do I need my Shocker Card to move in?

Students are encouraged to visit the Shocker Card office before Move-In. The office is now open Monday - Friday, 9am to 2pm. If you are unable to do so, HRL will require you to provide an alternate form of identification, and will issue you a temporary card for building access until you're able to go over and get your Shocker Card. 

If I need to stay in campus housing past November 20th, what do I do?

Students can choose to stay for one or both Intersession periods. Winter Intersession will run from November 21 to December 31 and Spring Intersession will run from January 1 to January 29. Residents will complete a separate contract and will indicate if they would like to stay for one or both Intersessions. Students will be billed for the entire Intersession they select, regardless of the actual amount of days they choose to stay on campus over that time. Residents will be able to stay for the entirety (or come-and-go) once they have paid. We are encouraging students to return home if they are able, but any students who wish to stay and pay the Intersession rates will be allowed to stay. The Intersession contract will be available to complete later in the Fall semester. All residents will be notified once the application goes live.

What do I do if I'm going home for Winter Break?

If you are leaving for the Extended Winter Intersession, you will be able to take what you want home, and leave the rest of your belongings in your room for when you return for the Spring semester. There will be further instructions on how to leave your room as the intersession approaches.

Will I get a discounted rate for fall with the adjusted academic calendar?

Yes. The rates have been adjusted to reflect the new academic calendar. See our rates page for specific rates.

Can I have guests in my room/apartment this fall?

Each resident will be limited to having a maximum of 2 guests in their room/apartment at any given time. This is to ensure that we are following the health guidelines in place by the County. Roommates must still consent to having guests in shared spaces, even if the guest lives in the same buiding. Residents are still responsible for their guests' behavior.

What do I do if I think I might have COVID-19?

If you recently traveled to an area experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak and feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, within 14 days after you left the area, you should:

  • Seek medical care right away. Call ahead before you go to Student Health Services (316-978-4792), doctor’s office or emergency rooms, and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms. For WSU students, Student Health Services; (316) 978-4792; is open 8-5 Monday through Friday. SHS is not a high complexity lab and cannot test for COVID-19.
  • Avoid contact with others.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds to avoid spreading the virus to others. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
Is there an expectation in the HRL Handbook in regards to COVID-19?

Yes.

The list below are all expectations during the COVID-19 pandemic and failing to follow any of these are not a violation of the code of conduct.  However, intentionally putting others health and safety at risks may result in disciplinary charges through the Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards.

Additionally, this is a complex, challenging, and fluid situation which continues to evolve rapidly. All information in this statement is subject to change as deemed necessary by Housing and Residence Life in accordance with guidance and recommendations issued by federal, state, and local public health and government officials.

Personal Wellness Checks

    • You should check yourselves for one or more of the following symptoms:
      • Temperature greater than 100.4 F/38 C
      • Cough
      • Shortness of breath
      • Difficulty breathing
      • Chills, repeated shaking with chills
      • Muscle pain, headache, sore throat
      • New loss of taste or smell
    • If any of the symptoms above apply to you, we ask that you work with Student Health Services to better determine if you have COVID-19 and develop an Action Plan.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • Wearing of face coverings is expected while in the residence halls (common areas, hallways, dining hall, etc) and if you are outdoors with other individuals. The only exception to not wearing a face covering is if you are walking alone outside, or if you are in your assigned apartment/suite (as long as that has been pre discussed and agreed to in your roommate agreement).
  • You may use other PPE you deem appropriate for yourself, even if you are not expected to do so.

Sanitizing/Cleaning and Personal Hygiene

  • The HRL Facilities team will clean all common areas (Laundry, Kitchen, Lounge, Media Spaces, etc) in the residence halls regularly.
  • It is good practice to clean the common areas in your apartment/suite daily. These would include bathrooms, kitchens (if they exist), living rooms, etc. in your apartment/suite. This will allow us to minimize exposure to other suitemates who may be using these areas as well.
  • Hand sanitizer will be provided at Information Desks and departmental gathering spaces as available. If supplies are running low, please let an HRL Staff member know ASAP.
  • It is recommended that you wash your hands regularly.

 

In accordance with State guidelines, Housing and Residence Life at Wichita State University is ensuring that all individuals follow self-isolation/quarantine measures if they are traveling from any of the places listed on the Kansas Department of Health and Environment Travel & Exposure Related Isolation/Quarantine webpage.  More details in regards to this can be viewed here.   

Will Student Conduct & Community Standards get involved if the above expectations are not followed?

Intentionally putting others health and safety at risks MAY result in disciplinary charges through the Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards.

Will students be sharing rooms for the 2020-2021 academic year or will all rooms be turned into single occupancy?
At this time, we are planning to move forward with shared room spaces.  However, we have policies in place so if a student becomes ill, they (and their roommates) will have options for quarantine.  
Do I need to quarantine myself before moving into campus housing if I’m around someone who traveled to a state on the CDC’s list? 

For example: My brother travels to Florida and then comes home a few days before I move in, do I need to quarantine for 14 days before arriving?

 

No, if the people you were around were not in direct contact with COVID-19, you are not considered to be at risk and can move in at your scheduled time.  However, the people that traveled would not be able to accompany you to campus for move in.

If school goes online this year, will we receive a refund from housing?

Similarly to last year, we would stop the housing bill on a certain date and send any refunds to the Accounts Receivable office to then distribute.  Any questions about billing should be directed to their office at wsuacctsreceivable@wichita.edu or you can call them at 316-978-3333.

 
If we decide to cancel our housing contract due to Covid concerns, will we be charged the cancellation fee?  

There may be a cancellation charges added to your student account, but you have the right to appeal the charges.  For more information on the appeal process, please contact housing.wsu@wichita.edu.

Will someone be on site during campus housing move-in to check students for symptoms?
No.  Unfortunately, we don’t have the staff available during that week to check every student that is moving in.  We just ask that students and their guests be mindful and not come if they feel sick with COVID-19 symptoms.  We encourage students to limit the number of guests helping them move in and to use masks and social distance from other families as much as possible.  Our staff will be disinfecting common spaces and moving carts often.
If I am going through Sorority recruitment, when can I move in?

If the student is a recruit, they can move in on August 7th.  They do not need to sign up for a move in timeslot, but they should make sure they are on the list of participating students that we receive from the Greek Life office. 

 

I’m trying to get a hold of my roommate to get to know them before we move in.  How can I reach them?
The best way to contact your roommate is by Shocker email or through the housing portal.  Their screen name is the prefix to their Shocker email, so you can email your roommate at their screenname@shockers.wichita.edu or you can message them through the portal. 
Can I see my individual room during the summer?
After rooms have been deep cleaned and turned over for the school year, we can not allow anyone in them. At this point in the summer (mid July), this cleaning has already happened. However, we do have tour rooms in each building that we can allow you to see!