University Housing COVID-19 Updates
Southern Oregon University is offering housing for the summer session, and we are planning to offer in-person services for the 2021-22 academic year, while continuing to prioritize safety and wellness.
All University Housing plans will align with Oregon Health Authority and local health authority guidance. More detailed information for campus-wide plans can be found on the university reopening website.
For information on SOU COVID-19 Cases: https://sou.edu/campus/covid-19-and-sou/#notifications
COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement
Jackson County has experienced a sharp increase in COVID cases over the past few weeks, almost exclusively among those who are unvaccinated. Our hospitals are full, with care being limited as ICU beds and emergency rooms are overwhelmed.
SOU issued a requirement this spring that students and staff must receive the COVID vaccine (with limited exemptions) in order to participate in in-person classroom and other experiences in the fall. We are requiring students to complete the form attesting to their vaccination status as soon as possible to help us in fall planning.
We are concerned that without enough vaccinated students, we may need to limit some in-person classroom and other experiences. It’s Up To You to get vaccinated and ensure the safest learning environment for you, your fellow students and the SOU community.
If you have not yet received your vaccination, please do so immediately. Check Jackson County’s website (or your specific county’s public health website) for vaccine information and locations.
If you haven’t completed the Vaccine Attestation Form, please click on the link and do so as soon as possible. You will soon receive phone and text reminders.
Increased efforts of sanitizing have been taking place in all of the SOU residence halls since March 2020.
High-touchpoint areas in residence halls are sanitized regularly and include:
- crash-bars on exit doors
- door knobs and handles
- faucet handles
- laundry machine handles/buttons
- elevator buttons
- soap dispenser levers
- paper towel dispenser controls
- light switches
- handrails in stairwells
For Fall 2021, The Hawk Dining Commons will remain open and provide essential services. Food stations will no longer be self-serve, but will be staffed with a server who will plate the food for all residents. Seating areas have also been reconfigured to allow for proper social distancing and will be sanitized regularly.
Additionally, extra hand-sanitizer stations have been added to The Hawk, along with designated social-distancing locations.
University Housing staff will ensure that residence halls are secure and promote a healthy environment for students to focus on their academics. Student-staff will complete nightly rounds through all of the buildings and,along with the full-time Professional Staff, are still on-call 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week.
In observance of social distancing, we will be hosting small group in-person events/programs. Students should also expect small or digital engagement activities, and more personal interactions with their Resident Assistants. Students will also be texted from Housing staff as another way to meet their needs and stay in contact with them.
Residence Halls - Frequently Asked Questions
Will the residence halls be open for Fall 2021?
Yes, the residence halls will be open for Fall 2021. If there are changes, students will be notified via their SOU email. Students will need to have a negative COVID test in order to move in/ come back to the halls.
What will room assignments look like with COVID-19 measures being put in place?
As we have been given guidance, the room spaces are adequate in size to allow for roommates and appropriate social distancing.
How will dining in The Hawk work?
Dining staff will serve the meals to the students, and there will be no self-serve dining options. We are continuing to work with University Leadership, while also following the guidelines provided by the State of Oregon.
Do I have to eat meals in The Hawk Dining Commons?
No, you will not have to eat meals in The Hawk, as SOU Dining will still provide a to-go option for students in an environmentally-friendly container, if you wish to eat elsewhere.
What if the day and/or time doesn’t work for me or my family to check into the residence halls?
If the day and/or time you were told does not work for you, you can request to change your date/ time on the housing portal.
Where will I need to wear a face-covering?
Students will be required to wear a face-covering anytime they are in an indoor public space, in order to help keep our SOU community safe. This includes, but is not limited to walking in the hallways, using common spaces such as laundry rooms, and walking to and from classes. Additionally, students are required to wear a face-covering outdoors whenever six-feet of social distancing cannot be consistently maintained.Students will also be required to wear face-coverings in all dining facilities while they enter, exit, and wait for their food. The expectation in The Hawk Dining Commons is to wear a face-covering all of the time, except while in the act of eating/drinking.
We encourage students to think of their roommate or suitemates as members of their on-campus household, and to have conversations with roommates and suitemates about shared expectations regarding mask usage and physical distancing when interacting with people who are outside their “household.”
What additional items should I bring to campus to help keep me safe?
Students should bring multiple masks, as masks should be cleaned regularly.
What happens if my roommate or I get sick while living in the residence halls?
Students will work with the Student Health and Wellness Center if they become sick. University Housing will follow all guidelines given to them to help care for the student. Depending on the student’s needs and the context of their situation, quarantine and isolation housing will also be available to students until they are fully recovered.
Student Apartments & Family Housing - Frequently Asked Questions
Is rent being reduced or frozen?
No, rent for SAFH will not be reduced or frozen. However, our staff are happy to assist in the creation of a flexible payment plan to help individual students navigate the financial impact of COVID-19.
Will I be getting a late fee?
Yes, if your rent is late or overdue you will still receive a $100 late fee on your account. Students are encouraged to pay their rent on time and to create a payment plan with University Housing if they foresee complications in doing so.
I lost my job due to COVID-19, will I get evicted?
If you communicate with our office in advance and develop an approved payment plan with our staff, we will do everything in our power to help our students avoid eviction.
How do I set up a payment plan?
Students can contact Area Coordinator of SAFH Jason Mendoza (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Assistant Director of University Housing Christopher Young (email@example.com) to discuss payment-plan options. You can also create your own plan and submit it for approval through this link: https://goo.gl/forms/lOpOaBRh3n0BMPUD2
How do I make rent payments during this time?
Card payments will ONLY be taken online. Check payments can be mailed in or students can call the desk to be let into the Greensprings building (where the housing office front desk is located). Due to COVID-19, the Greensprings Lobby has remained locked at all times, and the University Housing Front Desk is no longer accessible to the public to help minimize possible exposure. Below is the address and phone number for the University Housing Front Desk:
Southern Oregon University Housing
450 Wightman Street
Ashland, OR 97520
May I still have friends/family visit me during the shelter-in-place orders?
We encourage all SAFH tenants to please refrain from allowing guests into their homes and the SAFH community, which will help reduce the possible spread of COVID-19.
Is the laundry room still open?
Yes, the laundry room will stay open. The Resident Managers (RMs) for SAFH will continue to sanitize the laundry room doors, dryer/washer buttons, and the dryer/washer handles every night.
Because of COVID-19’s impact on my finances/online coursework I want to move out of SAFH early. Is this possible?
In order to request an early move out please complete and submit a lease breakage form as soon as possible (link: https://inside.sou.edu/assets/housing/docs/SAFH_Lease_Breakage_Form.pdf). Typically, ending a lease early involves a lease breakage fee of 1.5 times the cost of your monthly rent. You can petition that the fee be waived by filling out a petition form and explaining your needs (link here: https://forms.gle/d4X8RNH4Ky84Jyp97). A petition form does not guarantee the waiving of fees, but will be considered on a case-by-case basis.