On campus housing, dining change as pandemic persists

Order ahead feature lets students grab and go


Just like how the community has changed because of the coronavirus pandemic, SRU has undergone changes that have altered the way students live on campus.

SRU altered on-campus housing and dining for the fall 2020 semester to ensure the safety of students and faculty and to maintain social distancing.

Residents of North and Rhoads Halls were relocated to the residential suites of Building A, Building B, Watson Hall, Building D and Building E, said Director of Housing Daniel Brown in an email sent to North and Rhoads Hall residents.

SRU President William Behre made this decision to limit contact between students, asĀ  North and Rhoads Halls feature traditional halls that require students to share a bathroom with multiple other residents while the residential halls require no more than two students to share a bathroom.

Students that were moved to the residential halls received a COVID-19 Social Distance Housing Waiver to provide additional funding in order to reduce the housing price to students’ original housing rate.

The university created a residential model to put one resident in each room, rather than the residents having roommates like previous semesters.

In further efforts to maintain social distancing, students who live close enough to campus were encouraged to commute to SRU to limit the amount of on-campus housing residents.

Guests, defined as anyone that does not live in the same building or hall, are not permitted in residential halls this semester.

Every student has their own part in mitigating this virus, and it starts with wearing a mask, said Patrick Beswick, director of residence life.

“We are our siblings keeper,” he said. “If we do our part, and they do their part, we will get through this together.”

The office of residence life is hosting virtual office hours via Zoom with professional staff members to answer any questions that residents may have. These virtual office hours are available from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. every Monday through Friday.

As part of SRU’s reopening plan, dining options have been limited to Boozel Dining Hall, Starbucks and Umami. Boozel Express is closed this semester, but Umami is operating in the Boozel Express space.

There is a designated entrance and exit in Boozel Dining Hall, and a different entrance for Umami.

All dining options are takeout only. For Umami, students are able to order ahead or order there and eat outside or in their own residence.

Ordering ahead through the GET app has been in place for T&B Naturally, located inside the Bailey Library, and Quaker Steak and Lube for a few years now, said Christopher Cole, director of auxiliary operations and student services.

Although those venues aren’t open this semester, students are now able to order ahead for Umami at Boozel Express.

Cole said setting up a new venue for GET ordering required them to purchase additional hardware and build the menu on the app. They are in the process of setting up the order ahead option in the GET app and are hoping to launch the feature by next week, he said.

Boozel Dining Hall food options are similar to that of previous semesters, with exceptions including some of the previous food stations being combined. Boozel still has dining options available for students who are vegan, vegetarian, gluten-sensitive or allergic to certain foods.

To adhere to university safety precautions, all utensils and containers will be disposable, and hand sanitizers will be available to students when entering buildings.

As for the other dining locations, T&B Naturally, Flatz Express, located in Watson Hall; Campus Drive Grill, located outside of North Hall; Quaker Steak and Lube and Rocky’s, located in the Smith Student Center will all be closed this semester.

Other on-campus living requirements include students having to wear a face mask or covering when inside all buildings, unless in their residence hall room. SRU provided students with SRU-branded cloth masks when they checked in during move-in week.

Students should maintain at least 6 feet between them and others in hallways, common areas and all other public spaces.

Elevators and laundry rooms in residence halls should only have one person in them at any given time.


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