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UNM announces new dorm rules for the fall semester

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

Dorm life in 2020: Students will have their own room, but can’t have their girlfriend or boyfriend over for the night, or even to visit.

University of New Mexico is finalizing plans for bringing students back to campus for a fall semester that will be unlike any other. A 15-page reentry plan was released this week that outlines new rules and regulations for those living on campus.

“What can’t be overemphasized,” the document states, “is that choosing to live on campus this fall will come with additional responsibilities.”

UNM is planning for a hybrid fall semester. Most coursework will be done remotely, but some instruction will take place in person.

On-campus living is also being modified in an effort to make the facilities safer during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wayne Sullivan, director of Residence Life and Student Housing, said just under 2,000 students will be able to live on campus. In a normal year, the school has a capacity to house about 3,000 students, he said.

Traditional dorms will have one student per room. The student living there can have one visitor during the day, but the visitor must also be a resident of that hall.

And no overnight guests are allowed, according to the policies.

Masks must be worn when students are outside of their own room. There are restrictions on congregating with others inside and immediately outside the facilities.

The new policies threaten students with disciplinary action for violations.

Sullivan said each dorm has a hall coordinator who lives in the building and will be tasked with enforcing the rules.

The dorms will be under a tight lock-and-key system.

No one other than residents, a limited number of university employees and those called for maintenance emergencies, for example, will be allowed inside the dorms.

“We are very much trying to keep that to a minimum,” Sullivan said of visitors. “We don’t want there to be unnecessary interactions.”

There will also be an exception allowing students one friend or family member to help them move into the building. Students have to sign up in advance for the day they plan to move in.

Apartment-style dorms, where students have their own rooms, and share a living room and kitchen, will also have new policies. Students must wear masks in the kitchen and living room areas, for example.

If students test positive for the coronavirus, Sullivan said the university has designated several apartment-style dorms for them while they recover.

Out-of-state students will move in Aug. 7 through 9, at which time they will begin a two-week “self-monitoring” period where they have to maximize social distancing, avoid shared spaces, take their temperature twice a day and be prepared to isolate or quarantine if asked.

In-state students will move in between Aug. 13 and 16.

The document says that the university is still making decisions about whether or not getting tested for the coronavirus will be required.

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