Loyola officials suspended students moving into residence halls in the coming weeks, according to a community wide email sent Aug. 6.
The announcement — signed by Loyola President Jo Ann Rooney, Provost Norberto Grzywacz and other university officials — said the university is halting Aug. 17 move-in because of “current health conditions” and “uncertainty in the months ahead,” citing the current trajectory of COVID-19 cases in Chicago.
“With predictions of increased outbreaks in the coming months … we simply cannot put our on-campus residential students in harm’s way and risk further disruption to them and their families if they needed to move home mid-semester because of an outbreak,” the email read.
The email also mentioned the “complex logistics” of students coming to Loyola’s campus from “hot spot” areas and having to quarantine for two weeks at the beginning of the semester due to Chicago’s emergency travel order. Of the students who were set to live on campus, the email said 700 would come from “hot spots.”
Originally, students were going to live in single occupancy dorm rooms and in nearby hotels in order to de-densify campus, The Phoenix previously reported.
Loyola spokesperson Anna Rozenich said 1,900 students had housing contracts for dorms during the fall 2020 semester. She also said the university will issue refunds to students who put down housing deposits before the first week of classes.
For students in special circumstances — such as students with housing insecurity, international students and students with in-person courses — Rozenich said Loyola’s Department of Residence Life is working with them to find other housing arrangements.
Loyola’s Chicago-area campuses will still be open — with limits — for the fall 2020 semester, according to the university’s Return to Campus guidelines. These guidelines include having members of the Loyola community wear masks and practice social distancing when on campus.