Living on campus remains an important part of the PLU experience for many students, and, like most of the college-going experience this upcoming academic year, it is going to look and feel different than it has in the recent past. The Coronavirus and the risk of a COVID-19 infection is causing us to examine how we live and learn in community.

The information on this webpage has been updated in line with the University’s August 3rd Fall 2020 Opening communication, and will be updated regularly.

Residential Life and PLU are working on multiple approaches to creating safe and healthy living environments, including enhancing physical distancing, in the residence halls. One important directive is to reduce the number of students living in any community with intentional management of how commons spaces, particularly bathrooms, are used. Our aim is to continue to provide for community, while decreasing use of bathrooms and other common spaces.

In recognition of current circumstances in Pierce County and Washington State, and how our present environment has changed from expectations we all held when housing requests were initially made, all current Fall 2020 residential students must complete a survey indicating updated housing plans and requests, no later than 11:59 pm on Wednesday, August 5, 2020.

Please read through this updated guide and then complete the survey you will find linked in the last section. Failure to complete this survey will place your on campus housing in jeopardy.

Our best case scenario for reducing housing density is for every student residing on campus to be assigned a single room, limiting close contact in your designated home space and in shared bathrooms. This will occur through all residential communities for Fall 2020. All residential students are required to complete the August 3rd Survey in the last section of this guide updating their housing plans and requests no later than 11:59 pm on Wednesday, August 5, 2020.

Students applying for housing will be notified by close of business on Monday, August 10, 2020 if their request has been approved. If approved, notice of residence hall assignment will be communicated at this same time. The University’s ability to grant requests will be shaped by CDC, State and local guidelines, and take into consideration our available facilities and the number and type of requests.

Additional Information:

  • Every effort will be made to assign residents to single rooms in their current residence hall. Should this not be possible, Residential Life will make an alternate assignment using the information available to us.
  • Should two continuing students previously assigned as roommates both be approved for on-campus housing, the resident remaining in the room will be chosen randomly and the remaining resident assigned a nearby available room.
  • For Fall 2020, and while multiple occupancy rooms are not provided as an on-campus living option, the double room rate ($2,585 per semester) will be charged for single rooms. 
  • All traditional double rooms used as singles this fall will include 2 beds, desks with chairs, dressers and closets. All furniture present at move-in must remain in the room. As a safety precaution and means of decreasing contact, loft kits and bunk pegs will not be made available and all beds will be expected to remain constructed as they are found at move-in.
  • Should public health conditions permit, some double rooms will be reintroduced for JTerm and/or Spring Semester.
  • The apartments in South Hall will remain as configured with private bedrooms and limited sharing of bathrooms, kitchens and living room areas. Housing rates for these living options will remain as stated.

As a means of decreasing residence hall density and to further assist students in finding suitable alternative living accommodations, the University Residency Requirement has been suspended for the 2020-2021 academic year. 

Confirmation Of Living At Home (COLAH) Forms WILL NOT be required. Housing cancellations received as a part of the August 3rd Survey will result in a full refund of room and meal plan charges, and no cancellation penalty will be incurred. 

As a result of the shift to all single rooms in order to decrease housing density and increase resident safety, no residents will share a room for Fall 2020.

Should public health conditions permit, some double rooms will be reintroduced for JTerm and/or Spring Semester.

The apartments in South Hall will remain as configured with private bedrooms and limited sharing of bathrooms, kitchens and living room areas. Housing rates for these living options will remain as stated.

Visitation and Guests in Residence Halls: Addendum for COVID-19 Response

The following is an addendum to the University Visitation and Guests in the Residence Halls policy. The phases listed refer to the Washington State Safe Start guidance. While universities in the State of Washington have been granted some ability to set standards outside of the phases in the Safe Start guidance, these phases will be a primary guide for this Residential Life policy. Should campus conditions or local Health Department dictate, additional restrictions may be put in place.

Phase 1

  • Only you and those assigned to your room/apartment are allowed into your space 
    • You will not bring guests or visitors onto campus or into your residence hall or residence hall room
    • Residence hall access is limited to only current residents of that building and residence hall room access is limited to only current residents of that room

Phase 2 – current expectation for opening as of 08.03.2020

  • Only PLU Community Members can be guests in resident room/apartment or residence hall
    • Definition of PLU Community members
      • Current students, staff and faculty 
      • Active LuteCard
    • Rationale for PLU Community Members only
      • Expected to commit to the University with the LUTES Care Pledge
      • Required to complete the Daily Attestation with a reporting structure for accountability 
      • Ease of accessibility should contact tracing  be required
  • Non-PLU Community Members (including family) are permitted on the campus and resident can meet with them outside or in campus buildings approved for guests 
    • Rationale for excluding non-PLU Community Members
      • Primarily an effort to mitigate risk to the campus community by limiting direct contact with individuals outside the campus community
  • Limited to one guest in resident room/apartment per resident at any given time
    • Maximum number of individuals 
      • The maximum number of individuals allowed in a traditional residence hall room equals two times the number of occupants
      • The maximum number of individuals allowed in a South Hall apartment (shared spaces and bedrooms combined) equals two times the number of apartment occupants
    • Rationale
      • To allow for physical distancing and air flow while recognizing the equitability factor of allowing each resident to host a guest
      • Therefore, rooms designed as doubles but occupied as a single will have a maximum of two individuals in the room at any given time
  • Physical distancing is encouraged when possible
  • Face masks/coverings are encouraged, but NOT REQUIRED in resident room/apartment
    • Rationale
      • It is expected that such guests will be part of a smaller group with whom a resident chooses to have regular close contact

Phase 3

  • Only PLU Community Members can be guests in resident room/apartment 
    • Definition of PLU Community members
      • Current students, staff and faculty 
      • Active LuteCard
    • Rationale for PLU Community Members only
      • Expected to commit to the University with the LUTES Care Pledge
      • Required to complete the Daily Attestation with a reporting structure for accountability 
      • Ease of accessibility should contact tracing  be required
  • Non-PLU Community Members (including family) are permitted in the lobby and main lounge areas of your residence hall as posted
    • Rationale for excluding non-PLU Community Members, except from lobby areas
      • Primarily an effort to mitigate risk to the campus community by limiting direct contact with individuals outside the campus community
      • Phase 3 is expected to bring an increase in our ability to gather
      • Restricting access to lobby areas allows individuals maximum control over interactions within those spaces closest to their home (room/apartment)
  • One guest in resident room/apartment per resident at any given time
    • Maximum number of individuals 
      • The maximum number of individuals allowed in a traditional residence hall room equals two times the number of occupants
      • The maximum number of individuals allowed in a South Hall apartment (shared spaces and bedrooms combined) equals two times the number of apartment occupants
    • Rationale
      • To allow for physical distancing and air flow while recognizing the equitability factor of allowing each resident to host a guest
      • Therefore, rooms designed as doubles but occupied as a single will have a maximum of two individuals in the room at any given time
  • Physical distancing  is encouraged when possible
  • Face masks/coverings are encouraged, but NOT REQUIRED in resident room/apartment
    • Rationale
      • It is expected that such guests will be part of a smaller group with whom a resident chooses to have regular close contact

Phase 4

  • Return to standard policy.
  • Follow current campus face covering and physical distancing requirements.

All residence hall common spaces will be available for use when the university is open for in person learning; however, limitations on how spaces are used will be in place.  Residence Hall lounges will have updated maximum occupancies posted and some lounges may also be converted to classroom space for the Fall. Face coverings will need to be worn and physical distancing maintained. In order for the University to adhere to restrictions on the size of gatherings, the number of residents in a particular space at any given time will also be limited in accordance with the size of the room and the activity.

University custodial staff will increase the frequency of cleaning of residence hall common spaces, including bathrooms. Additional cleaning materials will be provided in such spaces and it is expected that individual users will wipe down surfaces and touch points before and after use.

Residential Life is committed to supporting you and providing a safe place for you to live. As always it takes a community to make a residence hall a safe and healthy place and so by choosing to live on campus during this pandemic you declare that you accept and will adhere to the following community standards:

Community commitments:

  • You will follow all current CDC, State and Local recommendations for slowing and stopping the spread of COVID-19, including, but not limited to:
    • Wear a face covering at all times when in your residence hall, with the following exceptions:
      • When in your assigned resident room or apartment
      • While participating in an activity that would be precluded by the wearing of a face covering such as showering or brushing your teeth
    • Wash hands frequently with soap and hot water, drying hands completely afterwards and cover coughs and sneezes with an elbow or a tissue.
    • Maintain a 6 foot distance between you and others whenever possible.
  • Your ability to have guests/visitors in your residence hall room/apartment will be limited to reflect State, Local and institutional guidance.
  • Resident movement to and from campus is not currently restricted provided all personal health and safety measures listed in this document are followed. Residential Life will follow local and institutional guidance and will restrict movement if deemed necessary. 
  • Respect common areas, area closures, and direction of hall staff.
    • You will honor that some residence hall common spaces have restrictions in place regarding the number of individuals present at a given time, and others are closed, in support of limitations on size of gatherings.
    • While using open common spaces — lobbies, kitchens, and bathrooms — you will clean and disinfect surfaces before and after use.
    • You understand that Residence Hall staff will address any concerns that come to their attention, and refer violation of these Standards to Student Rights & Responsibilities, which ultimately may result in loss of on-campus housing.

Personal health responsibility:

  • Attestation – Personal health screening is required to be completed daily before leaving your residence hall room/apartment.
  • If you develop symptoms that are consistent with COVID-19: (dry cough, fever greater than 100.4 degrees F, shortness of breath, loss of sense of taste or smell, loss of appetite), or believe you have come into contact with someone who has COVID-19 you need to contact the Health Center immediately (health@plu.edu, 253.535.7337) and follow all directives given to you by the staff there.
  • If you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19, you will be tested and required to isolate while waiting for results, and, if confirmed positive, until receiving medical clearance.
    • If your condition requires medical care, you may be moved to a health-care or Tacoma/Pierce County COVID-19 care center .
    • You may choose to leave campus for your permanent residence or other location where you can comfortably and safely isolate.
    • You may be required to relocate to one of the designated isolation rooms on campus.
  • If you may have come in contact with someone who has COVID-19, but are showing no symptoms, you may be required to quarantine.
    • If you do not have a roommate, you may quarantine in your assigned space. If you do have a roommate, a single room will be assigned for this purpose.
    • You should not leave your room for any reason except to use the bathroom, if your room does not have a private bathroom.
    • A system for meal delivery during quarantine is being developed and the process for ordering meals will be shared with you by PLU’s Quarantine and Isolation Care Coordination Team.

Guidelines, expectations and requirements may change over time:

  • PLU’s plans will be aligned and consistent with local orders and ordinances of Pierce County, as well as with the State of Washington’s Phased Reopening Model, “Safe Start Washington.” PLU’s plans will also follow recommendations from the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, federal government (Opening Guidelines), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the PLU Emergency Coordination Team.
  • Our knowledge and understanding of the COVID-19 virus continues to evolve, and our policies and plans will be updated as more information becomes available. Refer to the latest updates to the PLU Community section of the PLU Coronavirus web page to stay up to date on announcements and find answers to frequently asked questions.
  • If, at any point of the academic year, PLU should switch fully to distance instruction and learning as a health and safety precaution, all residents will be expected to vacate their campus residence unless otherwise approved to remain.

All on-campus residents will be expected to sign a copy of the above commitments to signify their promise to care for community by practicing compassion and by exhibiting responsible behavior and a clear understanding of the importance of these community standards. Even if the above commitments are unsigned, this list consists of commitments for which all on-campus residents will be held accountable.

Every year, Residential Life publishes a list of items you may be interested in bringing with you to your new home, and a few items we ask you not to bring. This year’s version includes a few changes:

  • You are encouraged to bring additions such as: 
    • face coverings and detergent for washing by hand
    • hand sanitizer 
    • disinfectant wipes
    • a Quarantine kit including non-perishable snacks and drinks to supplement university provided resources
  • You are encouraged to limit what you initially bring to campus for ease of
    • moving in during a limited window of time, with limited assistance 
    • moving out should local/campus health conditions suddenly dictate this
    • heightened cleaning to meet the personal safety needs required in these times

As a safety precaution and means of decreasing contact, loft kits and bunk pegs will not be made available and all beds will be expected to remain constructed as they are found at move-in.

With the notion of  limiting the number of items to campus, there is a great option of purchasing Linens for your bed. Residence Hall Association has a partnership with Our Campus Market to order linens and have them delivered to the campus. It is a great opportunity to maintain social distancing and provide funding for community building programs on campus. For additional information, here is the link.

PLU will provide each student with one cloth face covering. Refer to the PLU Return to Learning On Campus Guide for more information regarding proper care of masks and face coverings. Keep an eye out for Lute branded face coverings, available soon at The Lute Locker.

Hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies will be available for use in shared spaces throughout campus. Basic cleaning, including hand washing, is an incredibly important and effective step for keeping yourself and your community safe and healthy. Please come well-stocked to take care of your personal space and needs.

The University’s August 3rd Fall 2020 Opening communication outlines changes that will impact who will be moving on campus this fall, steps that will be required as a part of this process and the timing of it all. 

  • Residents assigned as a part of the shift to all single rooms will receive notification of this on August 10, 2020. 
  • With Testing in place for all students arriving on campus and scheduled to occur on September 8/9, residential students will be expected to move in 1-3 days prior, regardless of mode of travel. Students will quarantine in their room prior to the test and until results are received if negative, or moved to Isolation if positive. 
  • In order to maintain appropriate physical distancing during the move in process, students will be assigned a check in time over the course of the preceding weekend. This notification will be sent no later than Friday, August 14, 2020.

Quarantine Periods

All residents will be quarantined and tested upon arrival. Students should also expect to be tested periodically throughout the Fall Semester. Following testing, each resident is expected to quarantine until results are received if negative, or moved to Isolation if positive. 

Residents in quarantine will be expected to remain in their room, without visitors, except when using the shared bathroom or picking up delivered food. A face covering must be worn anytime outside of their assigned room and extra care should be taken to clean shared surfaces before and after contact.

Early Arrivals

Students who receive a housing assignment on August 10th and have a previously registered individual or group need to move in early will receive a separate communication detailing steps related to testing, quarantine and move in.

If you require an Early Arrival check in time and have not yet requested it for travel, please complete an Application for Early Arrival.

The Terms and Conditions for Housing Accomodations, which is incorporated into the Master Housing Agreement, provides a mechanism for a student to cancel their housing and receive a prorated refund with a cancellation penalty. This option is available to residents at any time during the semester.

Should a COVID-19 change be experienced in a resident’s individual or family circumstances, causing them to make the individual decision to shift to remote learning only and cancel their housing, they would be able to request an exemption from the cancellation penalty.

Should the University make the health and safety based decision to shift to primarily remote learning at any point during the academic year, residents would be expected to depart from campus and would receive a prorated refund with no cancellation penalty. Students requiring housing would be able to apply to remain and, if permitted, charges would continue as originally assessed.

We are asking for your help. PLU recognizes that in response to changing circumstances we have a need to decrease our housing occupancy to assure proper capacity for serving students and controlling any possible outbreaks. This is one of multiple interacting mitigation measures that we need to have in place to decrease the chance of infections on campus and enhance our ability to keep our community safe.

Please carefully consider the following before taking the survey:

  • Your individual needs related to housing and learning
  • Your ability to meet these needs through an available alternative residence relative to the ability of other students to do so
  • The modality in which your courses will be taught – fully face-to-face, fully remote, or hybrid, and what hybrid likely will mean for different courses
  • The likely nature of your residential experience this fall, as explained in the sections above, compared with past campus experience, anticipated campus experience, and your spring/summer experiences

All students currently registered for on-campus housing for Fall 2020 are required to complete this Survey, no later than 11:59 pm on Wednesday, August 5, 2020. Failure to complete this survey will place your on campus housing in jeopardy.

Updated Housing Plans and Requests Survey

Students applying for housing will be notified by close of business on Monday, August 10, 2020 if their request has been approved. If approved, notice of residence hall assignment will be communicated at this same time. The University’s ability to grant requests will be shaped by CDC, State and local guidelines, and take into consideration our available facilities and the number and type of requests.