Coronavirus has decimated a vast number of our population, and the pandemic has caused a massive stirrup in our society’s structure. Stay at home orders were implemented following the social distancing protocols. But despite the nightmare, it’s time to wake up, head into reality, and thrive.
The vacation is over! It’s time to get back to business. Schools are re-opening their doors to welcome another academic semester.
The pandemic’s impact did not spare schools; it will be significantly felt and observed. No longer will some hallways and corridors be filled with boisterous kids and teenagers. Different learning modalities are made available for students, from remote classes to face-to-face lectures in classrooms, even hybrid types wherein a mix of two will be practiced. Study areas and other communal areas will also observe limited incapacity to promote social distancing. Campuses have released health guidelines to be enforced strictly to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
This academic year will definitely go down in history; everything is surreal yet so real. It resembles being transported to a different dimension, into liminal space, not knowing what to expect except that there is so much to compromise and sacrifice.
Students are back in colleges and universities. Dormitories on-campus and apartment units off-campus will then be swamped by young adults yearning for college education away from their homes. Students can still be accommodated in on-campus housing facilities. Even occupancies in rooms will be adjusted to a reduced capacity. The room setup configuration includes changing the rooms from double to single occupancy and rearranging furniture, and enhanced disinfecting areas. Enforcement of these changes can somehow create an environment similar to what the usual was with less interaction. Less number of residents, less cramped.
The said practices will be observed until the pandemic has been eradicated. Such change will create “housing havoc” as the demand now is higher than the supply. Students outnumber the housing facilities. The only solution is for these students to look for houses they will call home for the semester off-campus. It may also be an excellent time to decide to start a real estate investing venture while real estate is in the buyers’ favor. Real estate investing promises good returns as the buyers dominate the real estate market.
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Given that there is a higher demand, the question lies as to, “Is the number of off-campus housing enough to provide a home to students?
Take a look at how the “new normal” has taken over the housing facilities in three universities in Florida.
The University of Florida in Gainesville has six housing villages on- campus. Villages consist of different halls, all with other characteristics and specifications. They all come in varying price ranges depending on where the Living Learning Community, the said hall is included. They offer housing for undergraduates, graduate students, and students with families. Because of the pandemic, Gators are expected to adhere to the restrictions and guidelines of the university.
University of Tampa
University of Tampa’s on-campus housing is not guaranteed to provide accommodation to all the students. Still, it has 12 high-end residential halls that offer state of the art facilities to provide students with the utmost convenience and comfortability. Shared rooms are often assigned to new students and freshmen; however, single rooms are often preferred by upper-class continuing or graduating students. Rooms in residential halls are fully air-conditioned with cable tv, wardrobe, dresser, desk, and chair. High-speed Wi-Fi internet is accessible to students, as well as ethernet connections in their respective rooms.
Due to the pandemic, a comprehensive and operational safety plan to combat the spread of the Coronavirus was conceptualized and is being enforced throughout the Spartan community. Safety measures are to be practiced at all times, on campus and in dormitories.
The University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida
Incoming first-year students are required to live on-campus for two semesters, subject to other terms and conditions. Seven apartment buildings comprise the five residential colleges and university villages at the University of Miami. UM supports and promotes Gender-Inclusive Housing, giving equal opportunities and housing privileges to all gender orientations. Full-time degree-seeking undergraduate students only are to be accommodated in Coral Gables’ student housing units. Laundry facilities are available to residents free of charge in each residential area. Apartments in University and Lakeside Village have in-unit washers and dryers. Machines are operated via a mobile app. Meal plans are available and mandatory to be purchased by all undergraduate students.
Pets are not allowed in any on-campus housing units. Students can personalize their rooms, but there are restrictions that they need to look into; any damage that may be incurred will be paid for by the student.
Following the mandated health protocols, the University of Miami has health and safety guidelines enforced strictly and religiously throughout the campus.
If there’s one thing all these universities have in consensus, that is, to reduce all the rooms’ occupancy capacity. Move-in days are by appointment to avoid the influx of students and families moving into the residence halls. “Move-in is starting over two weeks earlier than normal, and students must sign up for a move-in arrival time,” says Tamara Jones, associate director of Housing and Residence Life. “The maximum number of residents checking in per day is approximately 700, spaced out in two-hour increments. This is to allow for physical distancing.
Since on-campus housing facilities are not operating in full capacity, there is a shortage of rooms that students are forced to lease off-campus at a much higher rate. Some are struggling with rental fees for the off-campus house they were leasing as some of them have gone home. Said units are not being occupied, but the contract still stands. On top of that, they are more exposed to other risk factors because of the commute they have to make to and from the campus and their apartments.
At this point, when the entire globe is struggling to survive and fight the threat against Coronavirus, it pays to practice common sense at all times and to observe the protocols and health guidelines intentionally.
Disclaimer: The blog articles are intended for educational and informational purposes only. Nothing in the content is intended as legal or financial advice.