Middlebury will offer housing to undergraduate students in 2020–21. The pandemic necessitates several important changes to typical living arrangements. To support student and community health, Middlebury will have a carefully sequenced arrival and move-in process, prohibit visitors (defined as anyone not employed by the College or enrolled for in-person instruction) from all residence halls, modify cleaning schedules, and provide special housing for students to isolate from others when medically necessary. In addition, students will be required to prescreen for COVID-19 symptoms each day, wear cloth face coverings, practice good hand hygiene, practice physical distancing, and follow all other applicable health guidelines in order to limit the spread of COVID-19.
All residential communities will be open in fall 2020, and most housing styles (e.g., singles, doubles, suites, and houses) will be operational. The multiple layers of protection described in this document will be particularly important in residential communities. Frequent cleaning of bathrooms and common surfaces, mask wearing outside the bedroom, and physical distancing make it possible to retain typical occupancy levels in the majority of our spaces while prioritizing student health and reducing the spread of COVID-19. Living with others in the same room is an important part of the developmental experience of a Middlebury education, and this occupancy strategy allows students the opportunity to still share a room with other students.
This year’s room draw process allowed returning students to create groups with up to seven other students to live with or near. Forming roommate groups gave these students the option of selecting individual spaces near their friends or selecting from a variety of small houses, suites, doubles, and singles with up to eight beds. We hope that being able to create a group will allow students to spend time with friends that they are already planning to socialize with this year. Incoming new students, including first-years, transfers, and exchanges, will be matched and housed as roommate pairs or singles by the Office of Residential Life.
After we complete the campus quarantine phase, roommates/suitemates/housemates will be considered like a family unit and, when alone in their room/suite/house, need not wear face coverings. Socializing with anyone other than your roommates/suitemates/housemates requires physical distance to be maintained and masks to be worn by everyone to keep our community safe.
First-year students studying in person this year will be assigned to a double- or single-occupancy room in one of our first-year residential communities: Allen, Battell, Coffrin, Hepburn, and Stewart. First-year students should expect an email from the Office of Residential Life in August when their housing assignment is available to view in the housing portal.
Housing assignments for confirmed returning students living on campus in the fall are under way with the housing selection process running July 13–29. An additional housing selection process will run in August for any returning students who still plan to return to campus for fall but were unable to participate in our July processes.
Any student who believes they have a need for a special housing accommodation based on a documented disability should submit their accommodation request to the Disability Resource Center (DRC).
Please refer to Arrival Procedures for Students for information about Move-In, Staggered Arrival Dates, Quarantine, and Testing.
Arriving on Campus
To encourage physical distancing and to reduce the number of individuals moving onto campus at any given time, move-in times will be based on a sign-up process, and arrival times will be staggered. We will communicate with students directly about move-in later this summer, and more details will be communicated to students via email from residential life staff. Due to the need to control move-in timing and frequency, “early move-in” prior to official move-in dates will not be permitted.
Middlebury will be encouraging students to have only one drop-off guest accompany them to campus. If families traveling long distances require two drop-off guests to enable safe driving, one guest should remain in the vehicle while on campus. Only students will be allowed inside residence halls, so if you are physically able, you will be responsible for moving your belongings in on your own. Physical assistance will be available for those who need it; we will send out an assistance request form within the next several weeks.
Please refer to Protective Health Behaviors regarding Face Coverings, Physical Distance, and Hand Hygiene.
To limit the number of people entering a residential room, lofting will not be possible this year.
Students will be expected to keep their residential spaces clean and to clean shared spaces and surfaces when they begin to use them. Cleaning supplies will be provided for shared bathrooms, etc.
We encourage students to pack light and only bring with them what they truly need. Part of the evacuation plan that each student must develop includes a plan to leave campus with all their belongings at one time. Packing light will allow students to leave campus more easily, if needed. We recommend no more than two or three suitcases of belongings. If evacuation becomes necessary, students will be responsible for arranging storage or disposal of any belongings they are unable to bring with them.
In order to minimize the risk and limit the spread of COVID-19, it is necessary to limit contact between people, particularly in the residence halls, which have high density. Accordingly, guests from outside the College, including Middlebury students who are enrolled to study remotely and living off campus, or students on leave, will not be allowed on campus (including campus residential spaces) during the 2020–21 academic year. Middlebury students enrolled for on-campus study who are living in approved off-campus housing are considered to be on-campus students and may be invited guests in residence halls; they must follow physical distancing, face covering, and other health requirements. Students are discouraged from inviting any students living in other residence halls into their rooms, suites, or residence hall common spaces. This is necessary because the density of the residence halls needs to be carefully maintained to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19. While we understand that students will visit friends in other halls, completely unlimited building access is inconsistent with our need to maintain physical distancing to the extent we are able.
Off-campus students are required to follow the same rules.