By Claire Crittendon, Katie Peters, Madison Raffone, and Bailey Klingaman– Features Editor, Arts Editor, Copyeditor, and Staff Writer
By March 31, students were encouraged to decide whether to move off-campus or stay while practicing social distancing to decrease the spread of the virus throughout campus. Those who stayed are inhibiting East, West and North Halls. According to Associate Vice President for Administration Diane Parker, there are currently about 70 students still residing on campus.
On March 18, Residential Life released an email detailing eligibility for pro-rated refunds, and loose plans for “re-locating many residents after March 31, 2020 in order to maintain social distancing standards while keeping as few residence buildings as possible active.”
Per the aforementioned email, Valentine Dining Hall ceased offering sit-down dining, substituting boxed meals. The 1851 Cafe provides a limited menu. All other campus food services have ended operation.
Students on campus are encouraged to remain socially distant for their safety. Each hall typically consists of contemporary suites, in which each student resides in their own room with a shared bathroom between two residents. Lasell has partnered with GCA Janitorial Services and has their entire crew on campus.
Residence halls such as Gardner, Carpenter and Case House will stay open to ensure that if a student were to show symptoms or test positive for the virus, they would have a safe area to quarantine themselves. According to Parker, they are prepared to house one person per bathroom.
As for campus amenities, the mailroom is running on a limited schedule, and without its student workers in person. Campus Postmaster Ted Woo is covering all jobs that cannot be done remotely. Shuttle services ended on Friday, April 10 for the remainder of the academic year.
According to Residential Life, “Brennan Library, the Athletic Center gymnasium, the Edwards and McClelland Fitness Centers, most administrative offices, and all other public spaces have been closed… for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester.”
These modifications have been made to the Lasell University Student Handbook: “Only the student assigned to a room may be in that room. Students may not congregate in a residential room, guest registration is suspended and no guest may enter any University residence building … Violations of the policies will likely result in immediate suspension of housing privileges.”
Residential Life also stated students remaining on campus should formulate back-up plans “in the event that we are required to close our residences entirely.”
Junior Ruth Kehinde is one of around 70 students, and one of 10 resident assistants (RAs) to remain on campus. “I decided to stay on campus because, being from Brooklyn, New York, there’s over 1000 cases there. Probably even more accumulating as we speak.”
“Duty is and isn’t the same,” said Kehinde, explaining how both duty locations and times have shifted. Instead of gathering in duty huts, RAs now complete duty from their rooms, and shifts are set from 7 p.m. to midnight, daily. In addition, RAs are now only required to do one round through the three open residence halls.
Senior Gabby Miller is another student staying on campus who misses the structure of normalcy. “None of my classes are doing online regular zoom meetings… it’s also kind of frustrating because I don’t have any forced time where I have to sit and do my work,” she says.
Senior Luke Scholand, a New Mexico-native, says he “feel[s] as though Lasell did a good job on handling the situation.” Though lonely at times, he did not want to make the drive home. “I miss my friends and baseball, but it’s okay for the time being.”