This message is also being sent to all parents and guardians for whom we have email addresses. We ask that students please share this message with their families.
As some of our residence hall students begin removing their belongings from their rooms today, we’re all feeling sadness at the thought of our semester together getting cut short. The COVID-19 pandemic has robbed seniors of the comfort and routine of their last semester at Marquette, and it has prevented all of us from having the chance to learn, live and celebrate together. It’s normal to feel anger and grief – we, too, certainly have at many moments throughout the past few weeks.
Some of you have questioned why we are beginning the move-out process now, when some families are worried about having to retrieve belongings from the residence halls. There are several important things we would like you to know:
- This is not a university mandate. We are providing the option to students and families to safely remove their items from residence hall rooms.
- The move-out process will be carefully managed to ensure social distancing best practices are followed and to limit the number of students moving out at any one time.
- The City of Milwaukee’s “safer-at-home” order specifically exempted universities that are working on student relocation from residential facilities, so that we may provide that service safely to students and families who choose to move out now.
- We need to minimize the number of student workers needed to operate 15 front desks.
- We need to consolidate students who must remain in the residence halls because they have nowhere else to go (including some international students) and ensure we have rooms with private bathrooms available should students become ill and need to be isolated.
- As good neighbors, we are trying to clear our residence halls to help our local hospitals with overflow housing if there is a surge in coronavirus cases.
In the spirit of cura personalis – care for the whole person – we do not intend to make blanket decisions without considering students’ and their families’ unique circumstances. As such, we have offered several choices to appeal to as many situations as possible:
- Sign up for a time to retrieve your belongings in the next two weeks (more than 1,000 students have already signed up). The process will be managed to ensure social distancing best practices are followed and to limit the number of students moving out at any one time. Students can also request a designee to pick up their belongings or fill out an exemption form to pick up their items later in the To sign up for a checkout time, visit the Campus Living Portal on CheckMarq. Checkout times begin today, Wednesday, March 25.
- If your family does not feel comfortable coming to campus at this time, fill out this exemption form now. We will determine a time later in the semester when you may do so and will be in touch in mid-April.
- If your family is not able to return to campus this semester, you can contact our moving partners, who will work with families beginning in April.
Finally, we have had some questions from parents of students living in apartments. The university-owned apartments are fully operational, the leases are valid and are being honored, and it is up to each individual student to determine whether they will continue to live in their apartment. The difference between a housing agreement (for students in the residence halls) and those with apartment leases (whether through the university or not) is that landlords, including Marquette, cannot ask students to vacate a lease except in the case of eviction. It is important to note that there are many students living in apartments who have nowhere else to go – Marquette is their only safe option.
In this time of anger and frustration, let us demonstrate our Catholic, Jesuit mission by giving each other the grace of understanding. Please know we have a dedicated and compassionate team of student affairs professionals who have been working nonstop for several weeks to help our students and families deal with these unprecedented circumstances.
We wish you all good health and many blessings now and into the future.
Dr. Xavier Cole
Vice President for Student Affairs
Executive Director, Housing and Residence Life