I hope you have had a restful winter break and are looking forward to arriving on campus soon! We are preparing for your return and look forward to having you back in our residence halls. I want to especially welcome residents who are new to UWRF or who lived at home last semester but will be living on campus this spring.
Thank you for your renewed commitment to health and safety of our community as we begin spring semester. For those of you who lived on campus this fall, some aspects of living on campus will remain the same, but you can also expect some things to change. Our goal is to increase opportunities for social and academic engagement while continuing to keep COVID-19 in our residence halls at bay. Your hall director will reach out next week outlining exciting changes in the guest policy, the return of hall councils, and plans for in-person events happening in the residence halls.
As you prepare to return to campus or move-in for the first time this academic year, please review the following return-to-campus protocol.
COVID-19 Testing Expectations and Residence Hall Access
As Interim Chancellor Connie Foster noted in her message sent earlier today, students living in the residence halls are expected to complete a COVID-19 test each week of spring semester. Doing so will minimize spread and maintain a healthy living environment in each residence hall. Ultimately, this commitment to testing and low-risk behaviors will allow communities to socialize in greater ways than last semester.
You must complete a COVID-19 test prior to accessing your residence hall. Door access will not work until you have been tested. Two options are available:
- Complete a COVID-19 Test at Home
- You may submit a testing exclusion form for review and approval prior to returning.
- Complete a COVID-19 Test On-campus
- Click here to schedule an appointment. There are limited appointments each day. Schedule early, especially if you want to return on a particular day.
- The campus testing center will be open Thursday, Jan. 21-Sunday, Jan. 24.
- Students returning with approved assistance animals must plan accordingly, as there will be no access to the residence halls prior to completing a COVID-19 test.
If you return after January 24, you must still be tested before accessing your residence hall. Starting January 25, the on-campus testing center will only be open Mondays-Fridays. An appointment is required. Please plan accordingly.
Preparing to Return
The return-to-campus dates are Thursday, Jan. 21-Sunday, Jan. 24. Riverside Commons will open at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 21, for meal plan participants. Classes begin on Monday, Jan. 25.
As you prepare to return to campus, I strongly encourage you to follow health and safety guidelines.
- You may bring one guest to assist in bringing items back into the residence halls. Guests must wear a mask and practice physical distancing while in the residence hall.
- You and the person assisting you are strongly encouraged to self-quarantine or minimally limit exposure to those outside of immediate family units prior to arriving on campus. If you or your guest are not feeling well, please wait to return to campus.
- Travel to campus thoughtfully. Depending on your method of travel to campus, be sure to wear a face covering, physically distance, avoid stopping in high-risk areas, and practice good hygiene.
Move-In for New Residents
If you are moving into the residence halls for the first time, please note the following:
- Complete the required COVID-19 test requirement as described above.
- After completing your COVID-19 test, report to your residence hall and call the Resident Assistant on duty. The phone number will be posted to the doors to the residence hall.
- Meet with a hall staff member to complete the check-in process.
Other things to consider:
- You may bring one guest to assist you with move-in. Your guest must abide by all policies including wearing a face covering and maintaining physical distance from others.
- Remember to bring your Student ID.
- Park only in designated spots and abide by parking permit requirements. Visit the Parking webpage for more information.
We look forward to having you all back on campus and want to foster a positive start to the semester. Please join us Tuesday, Jan. 19, from 5-6 p.m. to talk more about what to expect this spring and answer any questions you have. Parents and family members are welcome to attend as well.
I am energized by the potential this spring holds for UW-River Falls and especially our residence hall communities. Thank you for acting in partnership with Residence Life staff as we embark on a new, exciting semester.
With Falcon pride,
Karla Thoennes, Ph.D.
Director of Residence Life
University of Wisconsin-River Falls