Despite Interim Housing Director Dawn Miller’s claims that the Department of Housing would be cracking down on their policies to prevent the spread of COVID-19, enforcing social distancing policies in residence halls has proven to be easier said than done.
Miller said students should wear a mask in the common areas and, if possible, in the student’s bedroom.
“The suitemates we are asking to not congregate within the common space of the suite, and when they are outside of their bedrooms, to wear their mask,” Miller said. “And even with their roommate, if they aren’t comfortable, they can wear their mask.”
Some students, however, said this request is impossible.
“I think that’s practically impossible to keep the mask on constantly especially if you have one of the double bedrooms,” Kristina Khalid-Abasi, a senior in General Studies, said. “Because what are you going to do? Sleep in the mask? Wake up in the mask? Not eat in your room? Where else would you eat?”
On move-in day, the desks and armoires were set up in a way that didn’t account for social distancing. Miller said students can move the furniture around to accommodate social distancing.
“Maybe put the head of a bed different than the head of another bed,” Miller said.
However, Lindsey Oxford, a junior in Huger Hall said this isn’t feasible for most students.
“(The furniture) is way too close, and you can leave it up to students to rearrange it, but it’s kind of heavy,” Oxford said. “And you only had one helper, and they were only allowed to be in here for a certain amount of time. You can’t rearrange the whole room. It’s very small.”
Oxford also said students would be sharing the same bathroom with their roommate, and that all four students will be sharing a fridge and microwave.
Two policies designed to help control the spread of the virus are that students must wear a mask in the lobby and must swipe their Cajun Card to get into the dorm hall and at the desk. There are signs to remind students of this.
On Thursday, Aug. 20, in the span of 34 minutes (10:23 a.m to 10:57 a.m), six students entered Huger Hall without swiping their card at the desk, and the student worker stationed there didn’t ask them to. In regards to masks, one student was wearing it improperly, under his nose, and one student was not wearing her’s at all, as one can see on this video.
Friday, Aug. 21, in the span of 32 minutes (2:09 p.m. to 2:41 p.m.), six students were able to enter without swiping their card at the front desk in Huger Hall, as proven by this video.
On the same day, between 2:09 p.m. and 2:32 p.m., one student worker at the desk and an unidentified person, who stood behind the glass, were both talking without masks covering their faces.
This desk worker also allowed one student with his hands full not to swipe and said, “You’re good.”