Behaviors & Safety Measures
In our communication to residents on June 1, we let you know that living on campus this fall involves the shared responsibility to help keep everyone safe and healthy. We informed you of the expectation that residents will need to wear a face covering and maintain social distance in public spaces, to wash their hands regularly, and to maintain awareness of potential symptoms, while following other protocols. We also stated that a complete description of responsibilities and expectations will be included in July—and this next section is our fulfillment of that promise.
RLSH will be implementing policies and practices with the goal of the safety of our residents and the greater community. These policies may evolve over the course of the semester, and the most updated version of expectations can always be found online at http://housing.unm.edu/coronavirus.html. RLSH will also include information in the Residence Hall Handbook, which will be electronically provided to you at move-in and will be available online at http://housing.unm.edu/current-students/expectations--conduct.html.
Guests & Gathering Limits
Until further notice, absolutely no guests, except for personal care attendants for students with accommodations, will be permitted in the residence halls at any time. Guests are any person who is not assigned to live in the specific residence hall. Residents may only congregate or socialize, while maintaining social distancing and face coverings, in the residence halls with students who live in their specific assigned residence hall. Students are only permitted to be present in the residence hall to which they are assigned.
Additionally, students are only permitted to have one other person in their room at any time throughout the semester. Apartment style halls may only have 2 additional persons present in the apartment at any time. All persons present in any given room must all live in the residence hall. Any resident groups outside the residence halls but within the outdoor areas monitored by RLSH must abide by current group-size limits set at the department, university, city, state, or federal level.
RLSH has eliminated double rooms until further notice due to the danger posed by students sleeping in close proximity to each other. Due to this restriction, RLSH will also be prohibiting overnight guests in student rooms.
Students found responsible for violating the guest policy should expect, at minimum, they will lose all visitor (limited to persons who live in the same hall) privileges and will be prohibited from having any other persons in their assigned space for the remainder of the semester. Additionally, if it is found that the guest policy is being violated at the same time other RLSH policies are being violated, it is exceedingly likely that the housing contract for the involved residents will be cancelled and they will be expected to vacate university housing.
The only guest exception is during housing move-in and the planned end of semester closure when students will be permitted to have one guest assist them with the moving process during their move-in timeframe. Additional details related to guest presence at the planned end of semester closure will be released during the fall semester and will be dependent on the current status of the health situation.
Any student requesting an individual exception to this policy should reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to be directed to the best individual to evaluate your request.
Housing, other university staff, or emergency personnel with a legitimate business, health, or safety need for their presence in a residence hall may enter any of the residence halls, provided they are wearing appropriate face coverings.
Per the public health order requiring all those in New Mexico to wear a face covering anytime they are not eating or drinking, and the University directive from the Provost requiring that “all students are required to wear face masks, except when in their own dorm room,” all residents are required to wear face coverings anytime they are outside of their assigned bed-space. In traditional and suite style halls, bed-spaces are considered the room a resident occupies. In apartments, bed-spaces are the individual rooms within the apartment, therefore the requirement for wearing face coverings includes the kitchen and living rooms.
For students who believe wearing a face covering will pose an undue burden based on a documented disability, we encourage you to work with the Accessibility Resource Center to request a reasonable accommodation.
In the instance that any RLSH staff must enter the individual student apartments or rooms, students will be required to wear a face covering while the RLSH staff is present.
Students who do not wear a face covering in the residence halls will be addressed through the residential conduct process; but may also be subject to additional disciplinary proceedings under the Student Code of Conduct, through the Dean of Students office.
Historically, RLSH has strongly encouraged students to complete a roommate agreement. This year, roommate agreements will be required for those living in the apartment and suite style residence halls. These agreements will set the foundation for how each apartment will assure accountability within the apartment for the part we all play to keep each other safe.
Required Quarantines for Travel During Semester
UNM is still finalizing requirements for what would be required of students who choose to travel out of the state of New Mexico during the semester. Therefore, students are strongly encouraged to NOT travel out of the state for the duration of the semester.
Housing Conduct Process
Students who are found responsible for violating of any of the health protocols outlined above or those communicated with residents throughout the semester will be held accountable for their choices. RLSH will continue to follow the published Housing Conduct Procedures (available within the Residence Hall Handbook), with appropriate and necessary considerations for physical distancing and alternate mediums for meetings between staff and students to address alleged violations of policy. Due to the risk posed to the greater community by health protocol violations, students found responsible could very likely face removal from campus housing, even on the first offense.
The appeals process for students who are removed from campus housing will remain intact, but appeals must be filed on the grounds for appeal outlined in the Residence Hall Handbook. Please be aware, the appeal process does not guarantee residency for any reason. We are imploring residents to avoid making decisions which put the health of themselves and the community at risk; doing so puts your continued residency with RLSH at risk.
Students found violating housing policies may also be subject to the disciplinary proceedings under the Student Code of Conduct through the Dean of Students Office.
Facility Limitations & Shared Space Restrictions
For those returning to the residence halls, you will notice some instructions for how you navigate the halls that haven’t previously been there. You may see stairwells and hallways limited to single direction of traffic, limits on the number of people in an elevator, signs reminding you of the need for masks, reminders on physical distancing, demarcation on the floor to maintain physical distancing, and clear plexiglass barriers in service areas. As recommendations and best practices emerge, RLSH will work to incorporate those into the residence hall space.
RLSH plans to heavily restrict the usage of common area space and kitchens throughout the fall; the ability to use these spaces will be in accordance with local, state, federal, and University thresholds for in-person interactions. To begin the semester, students should plan that common spaces within the residence halls will either be closed entirely or will have very limited use requirements that must be followed.
As New Mexico and our campus proves our ability to limit the spread of coronavirus, RLSH will reopen shared spaces to the safest extent possible.
RLSH plans to clean shared spaces in accordance with information available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or per direction from UNM Facilities Management. RLSH uses cleaning chemicals aligned with CDC specifications for sanitization and effective reduction of many viruses and bacteria within the residence hall.
For students living in the Traditional and Suite style halls, RLSH will be disinfecting all hard surfaces three times daily, or as otherwise directed by UNM. Restrooms in traditional halls will be disinfected multiple times daily and fully cleaned once daily.
For students living in the suite style halls, RLSH will provide cleaning of these restrooms on a regular basis, but we highly encourage students to also take action to wipe down the surfaces they touch before and after use. Cleaning supplies will be provided in the restrooms for students to use to wipe down spaces.
For students living in the Apartment Style halls, the residents of the individual apartment unit will be responsible for maintaining the cleanliness of your in-unit restroom. RLSH will provide residents with disinfectant necessary to disinfect hard surfaces in your apartment and restroom. A poster of how to clean your restroom will be posted in the apartment. Please follow the instructions regarding product, method, and frequency to ensure the cleanliness of your restroom.
Within common areas, such as laundry rooms and restrooms, where possible RLSH will install physical barriers or take other actions to encourage appropriate physical distancing between students.
Designated Isolation & Quarantine Space
RLSH has set aside a portion of the residential area to serve as space for students in need of quarantine due to exposure risk (not for travel related quarantine) and for those in need of isolation due to contracting COVID-19. Regardless of RLSH setting aside space, the best place for quarantine or isolation is not in on-campus housing. If a resident can go home or elsewhere because they live locally or have family nearby, they should. If a resident does not live locally or have family nearby, then UNM RLSH will work to try to accommodate them. Please note, RLSH cannot guarantee a space for all. Space will be limited and only available for UNM students who currently live in on-campus housing, are enrolled in classes, and are well enough to be on their own (as determined by a medical professional). Students who need medical attention that cannot be delivered remotely should be hospitalized or make other arrangements.
RLSH has been working closely with UNM Student Health and Counseling throughout this pandemic and will continue to do so for the 2020-2021 academic year. RLSH and SHAC will continue to coordinate the use of the quarantine and isolation space.
At the direction of SHAC or other medical professionals, RLSH may require a student to move into the quarantine or isolation space and remain there until medically cleared to return to their original space. Students will be expected to follow all additional requirements of isolation or quarantine. Students who are found to have failed to follow the requirements of isolation and quarantine will likely have their license agreement terminated and will no longer be permitted to remain in campus housing.
Required COVID-19 Testing
UNM is still making decisions related to any COVID testing requirements; once decisions are finalized, that information will be communicated to students via their UNM email address.