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Offering residence rooms on a priority basis

Queen’s residences will operate at half capacity in the fall to follow public health guidelines.

Brant House residence
For the Fall 2020 Term, Queen’s residences will operate at half capacity to follow public health guidelines. 

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Queen’s is unable to welcome all first-year students into residences the way it normally does. But the university has extended a room offer to approximately half of the typical residence population in order to adhere to physical distancing protocols.

Queen’s has determined that up to 2,300 students can live in residence in fall of 2020, which is approximately 50 per cent of capacity. Most spaces were allocated based on identified priority groups, which included students in programs with on-campus classes, students admitted under specialized pathways, and students with learning needs or personal circumstances that create challenges or barriers to academic success in a remote context and students who require access to on-campus support services.

“We were able to accommodate all students in the priority groups that the University had identified and there was some additional capacity. Remaining spots were filled through a lottery among those who expressed interest in joining us for the fall, but did not have a particular priority need,” says Leah Wales, Executive Director of Housing and Ancillary Services.

To help protect the health and safety of the students who will be living in residence, as well as the essential staff who will be working there, there will be changes in the residence environment to comply with public health requirements and enhanced cleaning protocols will be in place.

All students will be living in single rooms and sharing a bathroom with a small number of others and floors are being organized by academic program, to limit the number of people students are in contact with.

“Students will also be required to follow a set of safety measures,” says Wales. “Among other things, guests are not permitted in residence and the size of gatherings will be limited. Students in residence must also practice physical distancing and recommended hand hygiene. When physical distancing cannot be maintained, students are required to wear a mask.”

In the event a student develops symptoms or suspects that they have COVID-19, they must follow an established process for disclosing this information and contacting a healthcare professional. If the student is required to self-isolate, they will be relocated to a designated isolation room.

“Community building initiatives are an important part of the residence experience, and we will be delivering many diverse opportunities for students to connect with each other on virtual platforms. Each student will have a Residence Don, a peer-leader, who helps to build community and support the safety and well-being of residence students,” says Kate Murray, Director of Residence Life and Services. “In addition to the activities in residence, all students are strongly encouraged to take part in QSuccess, a year-long remote peer mentorship program that will connect first year students to an upper-year student and to first-year peers to help them make the most of their university experience.”

Queen’s staff members will be calling all students through July 22 to provide additional information about what it will be like to live in residence in the fall. During these calls, staff members will also answer any questions students might have. Students will be assigned specific rooms on July 29 and will have until Aug. 6 to confirm their residence offer. Move-in will begin Aug. 31 and will take place over several days.

Many first-year students indicated an interest in residence for the winter term only, when more in-person classes may resume. Over the coming months, Queen’s will be considering options, guided again by public health authorities regarding occupancy limitations.

To learn more, visit the Queen’s residence website.

Registration is now open for Q Success.