Residential Life and Housing Coronavirus Update

April 7, 2020

FAQs

How much is my residential life and housing credit/refund?
During this stressful time, the University has committed to providing a credit/refund for a portion of your housing costs, these credits will be posted to your student account on April 9, 2020. 

  • Students with a 9-month contract will receive a credit of $1,150.
  • Students with a 12-month contract will receive a credit of $1,450.
  • All housing credit will be applied to your student account.
  • Applicable credits will be visible on students’ accounts on April 9, 2020.

Am I eligible for a housing credit/refund? 
Eligibility for the refunds does not apply to students who have remained on campus during this crisis period, students who were not originally responsible for room costs, or students who were removed from their housing contract for any reason prior to this crisis. 

When will I receive my housing credit/refund? 
Eligible students will be able to see credits on students’ accounts on April 9, 2020. 

What was the rationale for the housing refund amount?
The determined refund strategy takes into account various fixed costs, including personnel, debt and operations of Residential Life and Housing. As an auxiliary enterprise of the university, on-campus housing operations are required to be self-supporting. 

What about my personal belongings still in the residence hall?
Residential Life and Housing will communicate the procedure and dates of when those items can be picked up. At this time we do not have a specific date as we continue to monitor state and health guidelines in relation to COVID-19. Our priority is the health and safety of our students and families and we will be diligent and flexible to avoid any inconvenience for our residents and their families.

When do returning students select on-campus housing for 2020-2021? 
Students that completed a 2020-2021 housing application before Feb. 7 that have not yet selected an on-campus space will be able to participate in the room selection process beginning April 13. Any students seeking on-campus housing for 2020-2021 that did not complete an application before Feb. 7 may apply for housing when the application re-opens on May 1.

April 1, 2020
(This Message Only Applies to Honors College Residents) 

We are hopeful this message finds you and your family in good health. We are glad you are part of our university community and hope you are adjusting well to remote learning. We are looking forward to the time in which we can welcome all of our students back to Richmond. Given the recent stay at home order issued by Governor Northam on March 30, 2020 we are clarifying information about collecting your items and/or returning your residence hall keys. 

If you had belongings in your room, then your belongings were inventoried, boxed, labeled and relocated to storage with Richmond Commercial Services (RCS). You will be able to pick up belongings from RCS located at 3215 Williamsburg Rd., Richmond, VA 23231. RCS is open Monday - Saturday 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. You must contact RCS at (804) 380-7224 to schedule a time to pick-up your belongings beginning June 11, 2020. This new date time frame is a direct reflection of the stay at home order issued by Governor Northam and an effort to protect the health and safety of the community. Should this date need to be modified, then we will communicate that update to you. Your belongings will remain in storage until August 30, 2020. Once you schedule a pick-up time with RCS, please remember to bring a photo ID and also plan to return your Honors College key to RCS when you pick up your belongings.

If you have returned to campus and collected your belongings, but did not return your key, please mail back your room/mailbox key(s) to the following address: 

Residential Life and Housing
207 N Laurel St
Richmond, VA 23220-4126

Resident's should include a note in the mailer listing their Full Name, Building, and Room Number. 

If you already returned to campus, collected your belongings and returned your key, then you do not need to do anything further.

Thank you for your patience and understanding during these unprecedented times.  If you have any questions please reach out to Residential Life and Housing at vcuhousing@vcu.edu

Update from March 19, 2020

The University has decided to suspend in-person classes and cease the regular operation of its on-campus housing due to the risks associated with COVID-19 (Coronavirus). At this time, we have asked all residential students to find alternative housing arrangements. Only a small number of emergency approved residents will be allowed to stay on campus. Classes will be taught online beginning Monday, March 23, 2020 for the remainder of the semester. 

In an effort to help streamline our communication channels, we are highlighting some of the most frequently asked questions that we have received in this email. If you do not collect all of your belongings, we will communicate additional information to you at a later date when you can come and collect your items. If you have reached out in recent days with a question or request that we address below, we are using this email to address all of these questions. You will not be receiving an additional duplicate communication if information regarding your inquiry is outlined below.

What if I need to retrieve items for class?

If you have the necessary items at home to complete your online classes, you do not need to return to campus at this time to collect any belongings. We will communicate to you when there is an appropriate time to gather your belongings. We ask that all residents who return to campus to retrieve items, to please take the proper precautions. When making travel plans, please arrange for your return to campus to be as brief as possible. Students must bring their student ID and room key for easy and quick access to their room. Below are the times that you can return to retrieve items from your on-campus housing assignment:

  • Thursday, March 19, 2020 from 1 p.m.. - 4 p.m. 
  • Friday, March 20, 2020 from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. 
  • Saturday, March 21, 2020 from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. 
  • Sunday, March 22, 2020 from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. 

Do I need to check-out?

Residents will have the opportunity to express check-out until Sunday, March 22, 2020 at 4 p.m. Residents who have all of their belongings for class do not need to check-out at this time. We will communicate when you are able to return and retrieve the remainder of your items. If you are checking out before Sunday, March 22, 2020 then we do encourage you to bring carts or dollies to assist you as we do not have them available in all of our residence halls. You are being asked to limit family and friends to assist you with moving to no more than two people. 

What if I completed the same-room sign up for 2020-2021?

Residents that completed the same room sign-up for next year and are not approved for emergency housing, must vacate campus by Sunday, March 22, 2020 at 4 p.m. Same room sign up residents have the option to leave their belongings in their room. If residents choose to leave belongings, we will communicate additional information at a later date when residents can return to campus.

When is the remainder of the 2020-2021 room selection process being completed? 

This timeline is still being reviewed by Residential Life and Housing. Once a new timeline is decided, we will communicate broadly to all residents with a completed 2020-2021 housing application that has yet to select a space. This communication will be sent to residents VCU email address once a new timeline is established. 

What if I cannot make it to campus before 4 p.m., Sunday, March 22, 2020? 

Residence halls are closing normal operations at 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 22, 2020. Anyone not able to make it to campus by 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 22, 2020 are being asked not to return to campus. Residential Life and Housing will communicate with you when residents are able to return and retrieve the remainder of their items. 

What about my mail on campus? 

The VCU Residence Hall Central Mail and Package Center located at 207 N Laurel Street will be open for package pickup:

  • Thursday, March 19, 2020 from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Friday, March 20, 2020 from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 21, 2020 from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Sunday, March 22, 2020 from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Hours will decrease in the upcoming weeks to only Wednesdays from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. on March 25, April 1, April 8, April 15, April 22, and April 29. 

For students who have left campus, all USPS packages and first-class mail can be forwarded at the student’s request. To request this service, please complete the Forwarding Request Form by 5 p.m. on March 27, 2020. Any USPS packages or first-class mail remaining after March 27, 2020 for students who have not completed a Forwarding Request Form and have left campus, will be returned to the sender.

UPS, FedEx, and DHL packages will be returned to the sender unless the recipient provides a prepaid shipping label for RLH Mail Services to ship the package to their requested address. If a resident wants to provide a prepaid shipping label, please email the PDF version of the label to reshallmail@vcu.edu.

What about my housing refund?

The university will be issuing refunds/credits for housing. Information regarding refunds/credits to your student account will be communicated to students by April 9, 2020. Given the circumstances, the university payment plan due date originally scheduled for April 9, 2020 will be postponed to May 4, 2020, and the May 2, 2020 due date will be postponed to May 26, 2020.  

Thank you for your continued patience during these extraordinary times.

Update from March 18, 2020

Given the recent update from the University and guidance by the CDC and Virginia Department of Health, students currently registered to remain on campus must vacate campus by Sunday, March 22, 2020 at 4 p.m. EST. The current situation is serious and potentially life-threatening. Students currently residing on-campus and those previously approved to remain on campus over the past few days must make plans to return home.

Emergency Petition to Remain On Campus 

At this time only the following groups will be permitted to request to remain in on-campus housing

  • International students that can no longer travel home and cannot make alternative arrangements
  • Students that would be otherwise homeless if they are unable to remain in on-campus housing

Students meeting one of the two categories outlined above must complete the Emergency Petition to Remain on Campus by Friday, March 20, 2020 at 8 a.m. EST. This is a new form. We understand that students may have spoken to staff within the Division of Student Affairs, Residential Life and Housing, and provided information in an earlier form but that information is no longer valid. Completing the form does not mean students are automatically approved. Notification of the decision regarding their request will be sent to to VCU email accounts by noon on Saturday, March 21, 2020. Those approved to remain on campus through the emergency petition process may be asked to move to a different residence hall. 

In addition, students who have a high financial need vacating housing may apply for consideration for financial assistance. There are limited funds available for consideration. Please complete the Dean of Students Emergency Fund form as soon as possible and no later than Friday, March 20 at 9 a.m. After completion of the form, a representative from the Dean of Students office will contact you. Please email vcudean@vcu.edu if you have questions. 

We are asking students to use this time to collect their belongings, so they are prepared to begin online classes. If students choose not to collect all of their belongings, we will communicate additional information at a later date of when they can come and collect their items. All residents must vacate campus by Sunday, March 22, 2020 at 4 p.m. EST.  

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