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I currently have a housing assignment and I plan to return for on campus classes this fall. Do I need to confirm my housing, or can I simply keep my initial assignment?

Given the new housing options and the need to de-density some buildings, the Office of Residential Life and Learning (ORLL) will embark upon a modified housing confirmation and reselection process.  

All returning students who currently have a confirmed fall housing assignment and participate in the 2020-21 year in person are guaranteed to remain in on-campus housing. While some students will be able to remain in their current assignment, they will need to either pull in friends to live in any vacancies in their room or apartment or understand that another student may be placed in their space. They may also opt to leave their space and reform a residential cohort group with others or opt to leave their space and enter housing selection as an individual. ORLL is committed to providing as many opportunities for choice for students, and more detailed modified housing confirmation and reselection process information will be shared by ORLL.   

Because the circumstances and policies related to on-campus housing have changed since students initially selected their housing (e.g., we have needed to adjust some housing spaces to reduce the number of students sharing a bathroom), students need to enter this modified housing confirmation and reselection process with these new policies in mind.  

Members of residential cohorts will all quarantine together in the event of an exposure, so the importance of students being able to select their housing with this knowledge in mind is important.  

In the modified housing confirmation and reselection process, students will retain their original priority order, should they opt to select a new housing space and/or form a new group for the purposes of residential cohorting.  

The Fall 2020 Intent Form will direct all students with a current housing assignment to enter the housing portal to confirm their desire to live on campus. (Incoming first-year students and transfer students can access the form through their new student checklist; returning students can access the form here.)  

We encourage students and families to review the Fall 2020 Campus Guide for AS&E Students, which provides detailed information about our campus preparations. 

Last update: Tuesday, Jun 23, 2020 - 12:21pm
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If a student at Tufts tests positive for COVID-19, how do I know that I will be safe? Will I be notified?

Any Tufts student who tests positive for SARS-CoV-2 (the virus responsible for COVID-19) will be asked to identify their close contacts. Contact tracing will be carried out in cooperation with local public health departments. Individuals who may have been exposed to someone who has the virus will be notified and provided information and resources for self-quarantining. There will not be a campus-wide notification every time there is a positive test result for a member of our community (which includes students, faculty, and staff).

Last update: Tuesday, Jun 23, 2020 - 12:02pm
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I want to return to Tufts for in person classes, but I do not currently have a housing assignment. What can I do to receive housing?

Students requesting housing for the fall semester should do so as part of the Fall 2020 Intent Form. Housing applications and updates will be collected through the Housing Portal on SIS. 

Once we know the number of students who wish to retain on-campus housing for the fall, the Office of Residential Life and Learning will determine whether we can accommodate individuals on the housing waitlist or other applicants. We recognize the importance of housing decisions, which is why completing the Fall 2020 Intent Form by July 7 is critical. Incoming first-year students and transfer students can access the form through their new student checklist; returning students can access the form here.

Last update: Monday, Jun 29, 2020 - 4:45pm
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What is a residential cohort?

Students living on campus will be organized into residential cohorts. Residential cohorts are small groups, usually housing six to 12 students each. The residential cohort provides students the opportunity for very close personal and social contact with others—including the ability to have a roommate and share meals with others.  

Face coverings are not required when (1) students are in their bedroom and the only other people present are their assigned roommate(s), (2) when eating, and (3) when doing personal grooming. Any time students leave their bedroom and are or may be within six feet of others, including going to common spaces or bathrooms, face coverings are required. (Students will be assigned to use specific bathrooms and limited occupancy in the bathroom spaces will be implemented.) 

When interacting only with members of their residential cohort in residence hall areas, physical distancing should be maintained where possible, but may be relaxed where needed as long as masks are worn. 

Students living in off-campus apartments will be considered assigned to a residential cohort with those people who they share an apartment or house with, as long as the group is no more than 12 people and all people in the apartment or house consent to this model.  

Students are accountable to themselves and the other members of their residential cohort. If a student becomes infected but is asymptomatic or becomes symptomatic with COVID-19, the people most at risk are likely their roommate(s) and others in their residential cohort. Accordingly, students should carefully observe the university’s physical distancing and face-covering guidelines. If one student in a residential cohort is symptomatic and/or tests positive for COVID-19, all members of the residential cohort will likely be required to self-quarantine in their current housing assignment. However, if masks were worn frequently during close interactions with the other members of the residential cohort, it will help minimize spread from the infected person. We will test the other members of the cohort frequently for COVID-related symptoms and presence of virus to identify any infected individuals to prevent further spread. 

New students will be placed into residential cohorts based on living compatibility (as determined by the housing questionnaire). Continuing students will re-engage in the modified housing confirmation and reselection process to determine the best space for them and, if they wish, they will be able to form groups for the purposes of cohorting. In the event that a student does not have a larger group to join, they will be able to select into a residential area and still have the benefits of a cohort experience, as well as the opportunity to meet new people in the process.  

The residential cohort model has benefits and risks. The most significant benefit is the opportunity for close social interaction with a small group of trusted others. An important component of the personal development that students receive from their Tufts education arises from the close connection with other students. This option facilitates those connections while reducing the risk of the spread of COVID-19 in the community by limiting the number of people with whom students have such close contact. Additionally, the residential cohort model allows students to share meals with others. Since eating requires the removal of a face covering, without a residential cohort model, eating would require people to stay physically distanced at all times during meals.  
 
The residential cohort model also provides a mechanism for collective responsibility and peer accountability, which is necessary to safely operate during a pandemic. The residential cohort model also has drawbacks. Spending time with people without physical distancing increases the risk that one could get COVID-19 from them if they are infected, even when wearing a face covering. However, wearing a mask is an important measure to reduce spread of infection. Additionally, being in frequent close contact with a small group of people may tend to increase conflict and emotional challenges. Also, moving to a different housing assignment will be far more challenging than usual this semester, given the very limited space on campus and the residential cohort model. 

Last update: Thursday, Jun 25, 2020 - 11:40am
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Are there any other residential policies this fall that are different than a “typical” semester? 

There are several policies that differ from the past academic year.  

We encourage students and families to review the Fall 2020 Campus Guide for AS&E Students, which provides detailed information about our campus preparations. 

Some important updates to note are the need to wear face masks at all times unless in your own bedroom (and the only other person present is/are the student’s assigned roommate(s)), the need to register gatherings larger than 10 people, and the updated policy prohibiting all guests from outside of the building in the residence halls.  

Last update: Tuesday, Jun 23, 2020 - 12:22pm
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I have questions about fall housing. Who can I talk to?

Many housing questions are covered in these FAQs. For additional questions, visit the Office of Residential Life and Learning website for information about fall move-in. Information about off-campus housing can also be found on the Off-Campus Housing Page. 

We encourage students and families to review the Fall 2020 Campus Guide for AS&E Students, which provides detailed information about our campus preparations. 

If further assistance is needed, contact us at studentservices@tufts.edu.

Last update: Tuesday, Jun 23, 2020 - 12:20pm
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I am currently assigned to housing this fall. Will I get to keep my current housing assignment and when will I receive housing details and roommate information?

Given the new housing options and the need to de-density some buildings, the Office of Residential Life and Learning (ORLL) will embark upon a modified housing confirmation and reselection process.  

All returning students who currently have a confirmed fall housing assignment and participate in the 2020-21 year in person are guaranteed to remain in on-campus housing. While some students will be able to remain in their current assignment, they will need to either pull in friends to live in any vacancies in their room or apartment or understand that another student may be placed in their space. They may also opt to leave their space and reform a residential cohort group with others or opt to leave their space and enter housing selection as an individual. ORLL is committed to providing as many opportunities for choice for students, and more detailed modified housing confirmation and reselection process information will be shared by ORLL.   

Because the circumstances and policies related to on-campus housing have changed since students initially selected their housing (e.g., we have needed to adjust some housing spaces to reduce the number of students sharing a bathroom), students need to enter this modified housing confirmation and reselection process with these new policies in mind.

Members of residential cohorts will all quarantine together in the event of an exposure, so the importance of students being able to select their housing with this knowledge in mind is important.  

In the modified housing confirmation and reselection process, students will retain their original priority order, should they opt to select a new housing space and/or form a new group for the purposes of residential cohorting.  

The Fall 2020 Intent Form will direct all students with a current housing assignment to enter the housing portal to confirm their desire to live on campus. (Incoming first-year students and transfer students can access the form through their new student checklist; returning students can access the form here.)  

We encourage students and families to review the Fall 2020 Campus Guide for AS&E Students, which provides detailed information about our campus preparations. 

Last update: Tuesday, Jun 23, 2020 - 12:17pm
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Can first-year students select their own roommates to help make their own residential cohort, because of COVID-19? 

After examining implications of allowing roommate choosing, we have decided that we will continue with our current practice this year of making assignments based on living compatibility instead of letting students select their own roommates.  

Because the university has decided to move in the direction of supporting residential cohorts, it will be important that compatibility of living styles is prioritized in roommate matching as we may be more limited in our ability to do room changes.  

We have found that incidents of roommate conflicts have decreased when we take the approach of matching students based on living compatibility. In fact, there are more roommate conflicts per capita with our continuing students (sophomore and above) who choose their own roommates and housemates than with our first-year students, who are matched on living compatibility. We continue to adjust and improve our housing questionnaire every year, and while room change requests do happen among first-year students, they happen far less frequently than with rising sophomores, who have the ability to choose their roommates.  

Last update: Tuesday, Jun 23, 2020 - 12:03pm
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Under what circumstances can I decline my meal plan? Will communal kitchens in the residence halls be available?

The only students who can decline a meal plan are juniors and seniors living in apartments with a less-than-six-to-one resident to kitchen ratio and those who, for medical reasons, are unable to participate in meal plans. Sophomores in spaces designated as having a kitchen may choose a reduced meal plan, but are still required to have one. 

All others will be required to have a meal plan and use Tufts Dining facilities. Information about meal plans is available here.

Community/shared kitchens will be closed within residence halls except for those within enclosed apartment spaces and in woodframe houses. To prevent virus spread, students are discouraged from using these spaces. 

Returning students who canceled their meal plans last spring and wish to re-enroll are encouraged to do so before September 1.

Last update: Tuesday, Jun 23, 2020 - 12:02pm
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How does tiered housing pricing figure into this semester/year?

Because most rooms will remain at the same capacity level as planned and students will be permitted to select their housing from a variety of room sizes and types, differentiated housing rates will continue to remain in effect for continuing students. Information about housing rates can be found on the Residential Life and Learning website.

Continuing students will reselect housing during our revised housing selection period.  

As a reminder, as part of Tufts’ continued commitment to meeting the full demonstrated financial need of all admitted and returning students, the cost of each housing tier will be factored in when determining students’ financial aid awards. Awards will be adjusted as necessary to meet the full demonstrated financial need of each admitted and returning student. All first-year students will be charged the base rate for housing since they are unable to select their room size/capacity. 

Last update: Tuesday, Jun 23, 2020 - 12:02pm
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As a graduate student, where can I learn more about off-campus and on-campus housing information? 

Tufts has excellent resources for you if you choose to move to the Medford/Boston area this fall. The Office of Graduate Admissions and the Office of Residential Life have been hosting housing information sessions, and the Office of Graduate Admissions will send a calendar of events like these within the next few weeks. To learn more about the best means of securing housing in the Medford/Somerville area, we suggest that students contact our off-campus student housing office or discuss this topic with students in their program. The rental cycle is typically September to August, so it is best to start to look sooner rather than later.  

The vast majority of our graduate students live off-campus. Our Office of Residential Life maintains an off-campus housing portal. Through this portal, students can find roommates, look for housing, and access resources available to help with the search process. The Office of Residential Life is here to support students through this process. To schedule an appointment for questions about the process, leasing an apartment, and more, email offcampusinfo@tufts.edu.  

Last update: Tuesday, Jun 23, 2020 - 12:02pm
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I have a medical condition that will require special housing accommodations, but I do not currently have the right kind of housing this fall. How do I request a housing accommodation based on my medical need?

All accommodation considerations should be submitted through the StARR Center. The StAAR Center will work with the Office of Residential Life and Learning to support students with documented disabilities to discuss reasonable accommodations. Please note the deadline of July 1 to register with the StAAR Center. (The StAAR Center was formerly Student Accessibility Services and the Academic Resource Center.)

Last update: Tuesday, Jun 23, 2020 - 12:02pm
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These FAQs are subject to change. Please check back here for the latest guidance. If you do not  find the information you are looking for, please send an email to COVID19@tufts.edu.