Residence to offer 'household model' in the fall to limit contact between students

Hospitality Services yet to release protocol for dining halls

Household model encourages students to live, eat, and socialize with the same small group.
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When Phoebe Schneider, ArtSci ’24, applied for residence and paid her deposit in June, she wasn’t sure what to expect.

According to the University, residences will be organized in a “household model,” with students living in floor-based communities alongside other students in their same program of study. The idea is that students will live, eat, and socialize with the same small group.

“This model aims to help reduce the number of contacts among students living in residence and limit the potential spread of the virus as the pandemic continues,” the University wrote in a statement.

Queen's did not establish this model prior to the June 8 residence application deadline.

“The University hadn’t really put out any information about whether classes would be online or not,” Schneider said in an interview with The Journal. “And then after they announced things would be done remotely […] I was a little bit unsure of what was going on, and while Queen’s did send out a couple emails giving updates […] it was a little difficult to get concrete information for specific questions I had.”

READ MORE: Undergraduate acceptances increase 14 per cent for 2020-21

Schneider has been offered a space in residence in the fall and plans to accept. If she weren’t accommodated in residence, she likely would have stayed home in Prince Edward Island for the fall term.

She said she felt the University was fair in distributing spaces and that it’s been a “pretty equitable” process. She feels that, since June, Queen’s has been clear in communicating what residence will look like in the fall, except for how dining halls will work.

Queen’s Hospitality is still developing an operations plan for the fall.

“I think, in general, they’ve been pretty transparent about the fact that they don’t really know what’s going on either and how things are evolving, and that they’ll keep adjusting things depending on the COVID-19 situation and how things are looking,” Schneider said.

Residence was not guaranteed this year. Due to physical distancing guidelines, only single rooms are available in the fall term, meaning that residence is at nearly half capacity—only 2,300 students are being accommodated. This arrangement might change in the winter term, depending on direction from Public Health.

Students were offered rooms on a priority basis, with nursing students, those admitted under specialized pathways, and students with special circumstances given the highest priority. Applicants were asked to submit a Personal Circumstances form by June 30 to supply this information.

The remaining spots were filled through a random lottery, leaving some students on
program-specific waitlists.

The University contacted applicants during the week of July 13 to 17 to let them know whether they secured a spot in residence and which waitlist group they’re in.

Students will receive their specific room assignment on July 29. Those who choose to decline their spot in residence will receive a full refund of their residence deposit.

Move-in is scheduled to happen over several days, beginning on August 31. However, international students who need to complete the required 14-day quarantine in residence must arrive by August 17 and pay the daily room and board rate of $50, which includes accommodation and food.

READ MORE: Queen’s makes masks mandatory in all indoor public spaces

In the fall, no guests—including non-residents of Queen’s Residences, residents from a different building, and residents from a different room—will be permitted inside residence buildings. Group gatherings will be restricted based on Public Health recommendations, and common spaces will be limited. Students will be encouraged to use the stairs rather than the elevator.

Students must maintain a physical distance of two metres and wear a mask where physical distancing is difficult to maintain. Students are also expected to practice vigilant hand-washing and uphold hygienic behaviour in shared spaces—cleaning kits will be provided.

Residents must also follow all instructions from Queen’s University staff, stay up-to-date on their immunizations, and abide by the information in the Residence Contract and Residence Community Standards.

Should a student develop symptoms related to COVID-19, they must follow the established protocol for disclosing the information. Designated isolation rooms will be available for students who are required to self-isolate.

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