Covid-19 Changes FAQs

Updated 8/6/20

As we plan for fall, we recognize the ramifications of Covid-19 may present a number of concerns for our residents. There are a lot of unknowns at this point; however, we want you to know that Georgia Tech Housing and Residence Life is developing enhanced cleaning protocols, programming and distancing initiatives to prevent the spread of disease, while still providing the community and support to enhance your academic success and promote your personal growth and development. Additionally, we have made adjustments to our policy and procedures - you can find answers to our most frequently asked questions about our plan for fall below.

 

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General

What is Housing and Residence Life doing to promote the health and well-being of residential students in response to Covid-19?  

There are a lot of unknowns at this point, however, we want you to know GT Housing and Residence Life is strategizing cleaning, programming and distancing initiatives to prevent the spread of disease, while still providing the community and support to enhance your academic success and promote your personal growth and development. Additionally, we have made several updates to our department policy and procedures. These changes include, but are not limited to:

  • Increased cleaning and scheduled closing to disinfect common area spaces. 

  • Adjusting the guest policy to ensure that only residents assigned to that building, and select staff, are occupying the building at any given time.   

  • Implementing a modified residential programming model that adheres to CDC social distancing guidelines. 

  • Encouraging resident social distancing and other personal hygiene practices, including the use of a reusable facemask.  

  • Reserving the right to relocate any affected students to another room, hall, or other location in the event of a required self-quarantine or isolation as determined by Stamps Health Services. 

When is move-in?

Move-in for first-years is August 8 and 9. Move-in for upperclassmen will take place on August 14 - 16. More details will be shared in July about the new drive-through check-in process, move-in time slot sign up to maintain social distancing.

Can I get a refund if I decide to cancel my Housing contract outside of the penalty-free window?

Residents have the opportunity to cancel their housing contract without penalty from July 24 until July 30, 2020. Cancellations outside of this window will still incur the regular cancellation penalty.

Students who cancel their 2020-2021 Georgia Tech Housing application between July 24 and July 30, 2020 will not incur the standard housing application cancellation penalty. Those who made the $600 Housing application prepayment will receive a $600 credit to their student account. Those who accepted a delay of prepayment and did not make a $600 prepayment will not receive a credit.

Can I cancel my housing application after I receive my fall 2020 class schedule?

Following the release of course modality, Georgia Tech’s Housing and Residence Life has been consulting with SGA, RHA, our residential students and campus partners to evaluate and better understand the impact on residential students. We are working diligently to provide options for our students in this fluid situation and will continue to do so.

Housing and Residence Life is now offering a limited window to cancel your housing agreement with no penalty from July 24 until Thursday, July 30, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. EDT. If you are interested in this option, please complete your housing cancellation on My Housing on the Resources tab. We appreciate your timely decision as this will allow us to accommodate other members of the Georgia Tech community who are in need of fall housing.

We support you in making decisions that are best for your personal situation. Please understand that in canceling your housing agreement, you are canceling for the 2020-2021 academic year which includes fall and spring housing. Should you determine at a later date that you are in need of housing for Spring 2021, you will need to re-apply for housing when the spring housing application opens later in the fall.

First-year students have the option to request deferment through the Office of Admissions. If Admissions approves the request, the student should cancel their housing contract prior to August 3 to defer their pre-payment to Fall 2021. If students prefer not to defer, they have until the first day of classes to check-in, otherwise, they will be considered a no-show, and their contract will be canceled, with applicable fees, and the room will be re-assigned.

Can I defer my housing contract?

First-year students have the option to request deferment through the Office of Admissions. If Admissions approves the request, the student should cancel their housing contract prior to August 3 to defer their pre-payment to Fall 2021. If students prefer not to defer, they have until the first day of classes to check-in, otherwise, they will be considered a no-show, and their contract will be canceled, with applicable fees, and the room will be re-assigned.

I have been on the Apartment (Option) Waitlist for a while and have yet to get a room assigned. Why?

Covid-19 has delayed Tech Housing’s traditional timeline to assign residents from the Apartment (Option) Waitlist. Housing is working finalize room availability and inventory for the fall semester and will assign applicable residents as quickly as possible.

I heard that Georgia Tech plans to end fall instruction by Thanksgiving and conduct finals via a hybrid format. Can I remain in Housing after Thanksgiving?

Assuming the institution’s academic schedule does not change, residents will be able to remain in housing through the entire calendar year and until the spring 2021 semester begins.

About Move-in

When is move-in?

Move-in for first-years is August 8 and 9. Move-in for upperclassmen will take place on August 14, 15, and 16 for East Campus and August 15 and 16 for West Campus. More details will be shared in July about the new drive-through check-in process, move-in time slot sign up to maintain social distancing.

What considerations for social distancing will be made for move-in?  

The move-in process is being carefully reworked to allow for maximum social distance and adherence to other safety guidelines. 

  • Students will choose a move-in time using the Mobile Ordering App detailed below - those appointments will be widely spaced out to allow us to limit the risk of crowding in hallways and elevators. 
  • There will also be a contactless drive-through check-in process. Here you will get an information packet with maps, your key, and your BuzzCard. 
  • Sanitizing stations and enhanced surface area cleaning will also be incorporated into this year’s move-in process.  
  • This year, masks are required for move-in for students and those helping them. If you do not have a mask, we can provide you one. Volunteers will be present to assist and will be wearing masks. 

Before move-in, students will sign an acknowledgment of responsibility for health awareness and community accountability. . 

 

How do I sign up for my move-in appointment?

Download the Transact Mobile Ordering App. Starting July 27 at 8 a.m. EST, you will be able to choose your move-in check-in window there. You’ll receive a notification on July 27 when “Campus Check-In” is open. You will sign-up for the building you are assigned to on the day and time that works for your schedule. You must sign-up for a slot by August 5 or a time will be assigned to you. Get a head start by downloading Transact Mobile Ordering from the App Store or Google Play Store, choose “Georgia Tech Connect,” your icon preference, and log in with your campus ID.

Can I have help unloading my belongings?

Once you get to your unloading zone, you will have approximately 30 minutes to unload your things from your vehicle to your hall. Then, you can begin bringing items to your room. Bins are available in select areas and we encourage you to bring hand trucks, small carts, or wagons to assist you with your move. Please note that we can only allow the student and two additional people to help into the halls. After your 30 minutes, you will be asked to relocate your vehicle to a long-term parking location to finish unloading and settling in to make room for other residents. Specific details for your move-in will be e-mailed out at a later date.

What should I do to best prepare for my move-in?
  • First, please visit buzzcard.gatech.edu to upload your BuzzCard photo. Please do so as soon as possible to ensure your card is printed ready for pickup at move-in. 
  • Review our recommendations and policies regarding what items to bring.This year, we are asking students to limit what they bring to the essentials. Large furniture like futons are currently prohibited. For the full list of what to bring and what is prohibited, visit housing.gatech.edu/move-in-items-to-bring.
  • Continue to check your email for further details on move-in and visit our page of move-in tips to make your move-in as smooth as possible. 

Safety in our Halls

What is Housing and Residence Life doing to promote the health and well-being of residential students in response to Covid-19?  

There are a lot of unknowns at this point, however, we want you to know GT Housing and Residence Life is strategizing cleaning, programming and distancing initiatives to prevent the spread of disease, while still providing the community and support to enhance your academic success and promote your personal growth and development. Additionally, we have made several updates to our department policy and procedures. These changes include, but are not limited to:

  • Increased cleaning and scheduled closing to disinfect common area spaces. 

  • Providing resources for students to self-clean or wipe down kitchens, bathrooms, and common areas, if desired. 

  • Adjusting the guest policy to ensure that only residents assigned to that building, and select staff, are occupying the building at any given time.   

  • Implementing a modified residential programming model that adheres to CDC social distancing guidelines. 

  • Encouraging resident social distancing and other personal hygiene practices, including the use of a reusable facemask.  

  • Reserving the right to relocate any affected students to another room, hall, or other location in the event of a required self-quarantine or isolation as determined by Stamps Health Services. 

What if a residential student does not feel well and is experiencing symptoms? 

In the event a resident does not feel well or is exhibiting symptoms of Covid-19, we ask them to reference the Coronavirus Decision Tree linked below. Those residents should operate based on that guidance. 

What if a resident is immunocompromised?  

Residents with pre-existing conditions that put them at greater risk from Covid-19 are entitled to some accommodations through the Office of Disability Services. If you are concerned about your health risks, please contact the Office of Disability Services at 404-894-2563 to discuss your needs.

What are the wellness guidelines and community standards?

Wellness Guidelines were sent to incoming residential students on June 23, along with a limited opportunity to cancel housing contracts without penalty by Tuesday, June 30 due to those wellness adjustments and fall 2020 expectations. These guidelines include a number of protocols including but not limited to reducing access to common spaces, enhanced cleaning and adjusted guest policy, and limited face-covering requirements. The purpose of this cancellation window was to allow students an opportunity to cancel due to the enhanced community expectations for safety and cleanliness. Due to the implicit nature of the residential environment, it is imperative that residential students understand and participate in shared responsibilities to enhance safety.   

What considerations for social distancing will be made for move-in?  

The move-in process is being carefully reworked to allow for maximum social distance and adherence to other safety guidelines. 

  • Students will have an assigned move-in time and appointments for move-in will be widely spaced out to allow Housing to limit the risk of crowding in hallways and elevators. 
  • There will also be a drive-through check-in process that will minimize contact and touchpoints. 
  • Sanitizing stations and enhanced surface area cleaning will also be incorporated into this year’s move-in process.  
  • Volunteers will be present to assist and will be wearing masks. 

Before move-in, students will sign an acknowledgment of responsibility for health awareness and community accountability. 

Will Georgia Tech provide on-campus residents with face coverings and any other preventative supplies?  

All residential students will receive a wellness kit upon move-in that includes a thermometer, a cloth mask, health information, hand sanitizer, and tips for accessing other campus services.

What Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) will Georgia Tech Housing and Residence Life staff utilize?

Housing and Residence Life staff will follow the same Institute’s employee PPE requirements as everyone else. More information on these requirements can be found here

Housing and Residence Life staff that must enter residential rooms will be required to wear appropriate PPE at all times.  

How is Georgia Tech assigning rooms to students in light of Covid-19? 

Room assignments are complete for 2020-2021 all with the exception of first-year assignments and waitlist assignments. Those will be made after the close of the penalty-free cancellation period in order to avoid confusion and free up as many beds as possible to accommodate incoming first-year students, transfer students, and upper-class students who are on the waiting list.

The Department of Housing and Residence Life has proposed a model for housing in the fall maintaining double occupancy of residential rooms in traditional buildings that have common bathrooms on each floor.  

All triple and quadruple rooms in traditional residence halls will be eliminated for Fall 2020. We will work to maximize the number of single-occupancy residences available. 

Will first-year residents be able to request a single occupancy room?

Georgia Tech Housing is still finalizing room inventory details and has yet to communicate if any single rooms will be available for the fall 2020 semester. It is the goal of Georgia Tech Housing to offer a limited number of single rooms, but this has yet to be confirmed. If single rooms become available, communications will be distributed to residents via email.

 Does double occupancy apply to apartments? 

No. Apartments are considered single occupancy since there is one person per room.  

International Students

We have heard from several of you and understand some are dealing with unique situations regarding their fall housing plans. The CDC recommends that all students who arrive in the U.S. quarantine for two weeks prior to returning to campus. To better accommodate your needs, we are adjusting our fall housing deadlines and asking you to provide an update on your current status. Please declare your intentions no later than August 3, 2020, by logging into the My Housing portal, clicking on Resources, and then selecting the "International Student Housing Intention Form".

Do all International Students have to quarantine before returning to campus?

No, a two-week quarantine is only required for students coming from abroad. If you are an international student who has been in the U.S. since March or completed quarantine in the U.S. previously this summer you do not need to quarantine. Students who quarantine can use the showers, bathrooms, and laundry, but should wear a mask any time they are outside their rooms. 

I will be arriving from abroad and anticipate a regularly scheduled move-in, including quarantine. Can I quarantine on campus?

If you are able to travel for the fall 2020 semester, Georgia Tech Housing can accommodate those with a fall housing assignment as early as July, 24, 2020 to allow students to quarantine for two weeks after arriving. In order to secure your quarantine room, please submit the International Student Housing Intention Form by August 3, 2020. Please note you may be placed in a temporary assignment at a cost of $50/night plus $20/day for meal delivery. Students coming into the U.S. from abroad who do not have a fall housing assignment are invited to complete the Student Quarantine Request Form, but on-campus housing cannot be guaranteed.

I am planning to arrive after classes begin, how do long do I have before my housing contract is canceled?

International students are permitted to arrive up to 30 days after the first day of class. If you are planning to arrive after the first day of class, please let us know via the International Student Housing Intention Form so that we can secure your space. If you have not arrived 30 days after the first day of class, the housing assignment will be canceled and you will be responsible for the full cancelation amount as outlined in the housing contract.

I need to cancel my 2020-2021 housing contract due to travel or visa complications. What do I do?

If you are an international student who is not able to travel to the United States due to a travel ban or difficulties obtaining necessary travel documents, you can submit proof of reason for canceling through the International Student Housing Intention Form by 5 p.m. on August 3, 2020. After submitting proof of reason, international students may cancel their housing application by 5 p.m. EST on August 3, 2020, without penalty. Any cancellations after 5 p.m. EST on August 3, 2020, will be subject to the normal cancellation fees.

International First-year students have the option to request deferment through the Office of Admissions. If Admissions approves the request, the student should cancel their housing contract prior to August 3 to defer their pre-payment to Fall 2021. If students prefer not to defer, they have until the first day of classes to check-in, otherwise, they will be considered a no-show, and their contract will be canceled, with applicable fees, and the room will be re-assigned.

I have been in U.S. and will not be arriving from abroad before move-in. What do I need to know about my move-in?

First-year move-in is August 8-9, and all other move-in happens from August 14-16. Move-in will entail a drive-through process and other distancing efforts to maintain the safety of the whole community. Find additional move-in information for First-year, transfer, returning upperclass or graduate students found on this page.

Quarantine Process

There are still many details being determined about our quarantine processes, both for students returning to campus and residents who develop symptoms of Covid-19. Please check back here for updates. 

Who is required to quarantine before coming to campus?  

The USG requires that all students who arrive in the U.S. quarantine for two weeks prior to returning to campus, including U.S. Citizens. If you are able to travel for the fall 2020 semester, Georgia Tech Housing can accommodate those with a fall housing assignment as early as July, 24, 2020 to allow students to quarantine for two weeks after arriving. In order to secure your quarantine room, please submit the International Student Housing Intention Form by August 3, 2020. Please note you may be placed in a temporary assignment at a cost of $50/night plus $20/day for meal delivery.  Students who quarantine can use the showers, bathrooms, and laundry, but should wear a mask any time they are outside their rooms. Students coming into the U.S. from abroad who do not have a fall housing assignment are invited to complete the Student Quarantine Request Form, but on-campus housing cannot be guaranteed.

Are there designated areas to isolate or quarantine students who live on campus? 

Yes. Upon notification of a positive case within a residence hall, the Covid-19-positive resident(s) will be moved to dedicated locations for isolation and quarantine.     

Georgia Tech will ensure that students who isolate or quarantine on campus receive accommodations from their instructors, any health services they need, and individually boxed meals delivered to their isolation/quarantine location.   

Belongings for residents who have to be temporarily relocated to isolation or quarantine rooms will have limited and essential belongings relocated to the new space; however, the majority of belongings will remain in the original room until the resident returns.   

What if a residential student does not feel well and is experiencing symptoms? 

In the event a resident does not feel well or is exhibiting symptoms of Covid-19, we ask them to reference the Coronavirus Decision Tree linked below. Those residents should operate based on that guidance. 

I will be arriving from abroad and anticipate a regularly scheduled move-in, including quarantine. Can I quarantine on campus?

The CDC recommends that all students who arrive in the U.S. quarantine for two weeks prior to integrating into campus. If you are able to travel for the fall 2020 semester, Georgia Tech Housing can accommodate those with a fall housing assignment as early as July, 24, 2020. In order to secure your quarantine room, please submit the International Student Housing Intention Form by August 3, 2020. Please note you may be placed in a temporary assignment at a cost of $50/night plus $20/day for meal delivery. Students coming into the U.S. from abroad who do not have a fall housing assignment are invited to complete the Student Quarantine Request Form, but on-campus housing cannot be guaranteed.

Residence Life in 2020

Social distancing requirements are by floor; are friends on other floors in the building allowed to visit/hangout?  

All meeting spaces in residence halls will be closed for the first eight weeks of the semester. Other common spaces that are more essential will have scheduled closings throughout the day to allow the housekeeping team to clean and disinfect the space. Occupancy of those common spaces will be limited to adhere to social distancing practices, including limiting occupancy of community restrooms. Residence hall water fountains are being changed to hydration stations.  

Housing events will have an online component, and a reservation system will be deployed to limit in-person attendance. 

What is the guest policy under Covid-19 operations?  

Due to Covid-19, there will be no guests or visitors allowed in the residence halls for at least the first eight (8) weeks of the semester. The department will assess this decision throughout the semester and provide ongoing, timely updates. Housing and Residence Life defines guests or visitors as individuals who are not assigned a room within the building. Residents who are assigned to the building will be permitted to visit other residents who are in the same assigned building.

We expect residents to adhere to no more than one guest per resident of an apartment or traditional style room at any given time. The RAs will work with roommate and apartment-mates to establish room/apartment agreements about how this will be managed. 

Will there be activities for students between move-in and the first day of class?  

August 8-16 is Georgia Tech's Week of Welcome, an opportunity to familiarize yourself with campus, its traditions, your hallmates, resources, and more. Check out the first events for Week of Welcome by visiting welcomehome.gatech.edu.

 

I heard that Georgia Tech plans to end fall instruction by Thanksgiving and conduct finals via a hybrid format. Can I remain in Housing after Thanksgiving?

Assuming the institution’s academic schedule does not change, residents will be able to remain in housing through the entire calendar year and until the spring 2021 semester begins.