COVID-19 Response

(Winter QUARTER 2020)

Dear UCU Students,

 

First off, we want to thank everyone for being so adaptable during these difficult times. Those living in the house this quarter have done an amazing job being responsible with COVID requirements and respecting one another. We have also been encouraged to see the ways that current residents are staying connected with gap quarter students via remote alternatives. In light of the UW announcing another quarter of mostly-remote classes, the Alumni Board met and discussed a plan for Winter Quarter 2021.

 

Once again, we are limiting house residency to 22 men and 16 women in order to maintain a room density of 2 students or less, while also reserving the Krypt room for possible quarantine. Priority for Winter residence will be given to current residents and Fall gap quarter students, after which we will accept students from the waitlist while below the limited residency. Come Spring, any remaining available spots will be first offered to students who choose a gap Winter Quarter, and if there are more returning students than available spots, we will use a lottery to determine who returns, though we do not anticipate this being an issue. We will distribute a survey asking for decisions with a deadline of November 20th.

 

The house will continue to enforce COVID precautions per UW dorm guidance. Similar to this quarter, residents will be required to abide by a COVID contract as enforced by the house presidents, there will be additional sanitation chores, visitors will be very limited, daily temperature checks stations will be provided, and different procedures will be in place around serving food. Winter gap quarter students are still encouraged to remain involved in the UCU community, attending Monday Night Bible Studies and various online social events.

 

Stay safe,

-The Alumni Board

(FALL QUARTER 2020)

We know that many of you are making very tough decisions about where you will live this Fall Quarter, as UW has moved 80% of classes remote. And it should be stated up front that there are inherent risks to living in a community like UCU during a pandemic, and each individual will have to determine their own tolerance for risk based on personal pre-existing conditions, potential exposure to family members, and finances. There have been lots of discussions with house officers and the Alumni Board to work through concerns and settle on compromises. The foundation for decisions made and our plan to reopen is based on a desire to provide Christ-centered community to students during this challenging time.

 

This Fall Quarter, we plan to limit occupancy to 22 students in the men's house and 16 students in the women's house in order to maintain a room density of 2 or less, consistent with UW dorm guidance. We anticipate being below these limits and if house density is a concern, you may ask for updates on expected occupancy. The Krypt room will be reserved for quarantine situations. New residents will be limited to keep the houses at lower densities, but those who have already been offered spots are not affected.

 

We are asking all residents to let us know their plans for Fall Quarter by August 21st. There are three options:

  1. Planning to return Fall Quarter. All students will be required to sign an additional "COVID code of conduct" agreeing to follow current health guidelines provided by local health agencies as enforced by house officers.

  2. Not planning to return Fall Quarter and not planning to return. This will be treated as a typical move-out and your security deposit will be returned.

  3. Gap quarter. If you have remote classes for Fall Quarter and wish to stay home, we will prioritize you as a returning student in the Winter Quarter. If you plan to take a gap quarter, we ask that you leave your security deposit to limit transactions, but the deposit will be returned when you choose to move out. In a complete return-to-school scenario (e.g. vaccine), officers and the Alumni Board will work together to guarantee placement for all returning students.

While UCU has been open in a limited capacity during the Spring and Summer quarters, students have already done an amazing job at maintaining the community even with remote members, and will continue to do so. Learning from these past quarters, some additional precautions will also be taken at the house to reduce the risk of COVID transmission, including the following:

  • The house will follow current guidelines provided by UW and local health agencies, which may include wearing masks in common areas, limiting visitors, or limiting gatherings.

  • Temperature check stations will be set up in both houses for recommended daily checks.

  • The house will provide disinfectant wipes and will have chores dedicated to disinfecting touch points.

  • A Zoom option will be provided for Monday Night Bible Studies, and in-personal attendance may be limited or alternate approaches taken

  • Meal times may be staggered

Regarding the Fall Retreat, we have not canceled the reservation, but we are planning for other contingencies if we are unable to stay at Lakeside Bible Camp. We plan to provide more guidance in early September when we know more.

(SPRING QUARTER 2020)

With the University of Washington implementing remote classes during Spring quarter due to COVID-19 concerns, some students may decide to live from home during this time. If students choose to stay home Spring quarter, they will still have returning resident status in the Fall. Students not returning will be eligible for return of their deposits, and move out forms should be submitted by this Wednesday (3/25). We are asking students who are choosing to stay home Spring quarter to move out by Sunday (3/29).

As some students have personal situations that make living at UCU their best or only option, UCU will remain open and follow the guidance for UW dorms where possible. Accordingly, capacity during Spring quarter will be limited to 12 residents for the men's house and 8 residents for the women's house, providing each student their own room. Room and Board rates and offered meals will remain unchanged. Students, please use good judgement when deciding where to live, recognizing that living in community during this time has inherent risks and additional responsibility to diligently maintain "social distance". Compliant with the recent “stay-at-home” guidance, we are asking students who choose to live at UCU to refrain from having guests visit the house (including UCU students living at home) while this guidance remains.

With regard to COVID-19 concerns and potential restrictions, the situation is constantly changing, so we ask students to adhere to all guidance from the CDC and the Washington Department of Health. New chores will be added to regularly sanitize common touch points and surfaces and Kate will implement additional rules about sanitation in the kitchen and at meals. Fewer residents with additional cleaning requirements will likely result in additional chore hours for all.

We recognize this is a stressful time and want to thank the students for being gracious and flexible. Some adjustments will have to be made to chore schedules and officer assignments for those remaining at the houses. We encourage all UCU students to remain in virtual contact and will invite all students to attend virtual Monday Night Bible Studies during the Spring quarter.

Please reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns.

© 2020 University Christian Union.

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