Georgia State housing returns this fall, what to expect

As Panthers return to campus in the fall, some will bring packed move-in boxes as well. Georgia State plans to reopen its dorms with a few adjustments once the fall semester begins.

Similar to the rest of the campus, Georgia State’s housing department will undergo many changes to reinforce resident safety as the university learns to navigate this academic year during the pandemic.

Shannon Corey, interim director and associate director of Residence Life, ensures that University Housing is following CDC guidelines as it prepares to reopen.

“Common areas within the residence hall will be cleaned and disinfected by housing staff,” Corey said. “Residents, as always, are responsible for keeping their personal spaces … clean.” 

Students living in housing are expected to use their own cleaning supplies and follow the CDC’s guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting households during their stay in the residence halls.

COVID-19 tests won’t be required for students to be able to live in Georgia State housing, however, they are encouraged.

“We are strongly recommending that residents get tested prior to move-in,” she said. “We will be following up with residents to provide information about where residents can test free of cost.”

Residents will be expected to take precautions in their personal spaces as well as in the common areas to keep one another safe.

“We follow CDC guidelines which encourage individuals to wear masks, maintain social distance and engage in personal hygiene practices,” Corey said. “These are the same precautions we would ask of students in our residence halls.”

Changes have yet to be finalized regarding how students will be able to use the common spaces and other amenities, but the Residence Life Department has drafted a list of preparations for the fall.

Updates include:

  • Adjustments to the move-in procedure
  • Changes to policy and procedure for office spaces, reception desks, mailrooms, entry into student rooms and health and safety inspections
  • Schedules will be created to increase cleaning in “high-touch areas”
  • Resources will be provided for residents to self-clean bathrooms and commons areas
  • Signs in the housing facilities to encourage social distancing and other personal hygiene practices
  • Modified residential programming model with more virtual/online student engagement
  • Reduced seating or closing common areas and lounges
  • Non-resident visitors/guests will be restricted from entering the residence halls

“University Housing has been cleaning high traffic points such as doorknobs, handrails, drinking fountains, elevators, laundry facilities, etc. even more frequently than usual,” Corey said. “Additionally, public restrooms will be cleaned twice daily, as recommended.”

Although there is an increase in upkeep throughout the facilities, it hasn’t affected the housing costs or the maintenance fee for the residents.

The 2020-2021 housing agreement was updated on May 27 reflecting higher housing prices, but it isn’t due to the new precautions, according to Corey.

“Housing rates typically increase each year and are established with the approval of the Board of Regents,” she said.

Regardless of the restrictions put in place by the Residence Life Department, since all of the facilities in housing will be used and staffed, there won’t be a decrease in housing costs either. 

Students can expect an update from housing before their move-in date to prepare for Georgia State’s new normal.

“A notice has not yet been sent out for these changes,” Corey said. “We are awaiting final approval for our fall 2020 plans.  When our plan is approved, additional information will be shared.”