March 14 Message to Students: Questions about Campus Housing

To Our Students:

The rest of this semester is not what anyone at Case Western Reserve wanted for you.

In a normal year, these weeks after break see our campus come even more alive. You welcome hundreds of prospective and accepted students, enjoy all manner of celebrations, and then participate in a host of treasured traditions.

But 2020 is anything but normal. COVID-19 is upending every aspect of our lives, with even more changes likely in the days and weeks to come. Our first priority continues to be your health and well-being, and the pace of disease-related developments often requires us to amend or adjust earlier guidance—sometimes within the same day.

Whatever information you receive, please keep in mind that:

  1. we are working to address the best interests of all students, which sometimes means disappointing individuals; and
  2. we aim to be as fair as possible in every decision, including those addressing the financial implications of changes to room and board.

Rumors that the university will act in ways contrary to numbers 1 or 2 should not be treated as truth—ask us instead. Our efforts to provide as timely information as possible means that we cannot address every relevant issue in a single email, and the volume of questions received demands that we triage responses by urgency. When multiple inquiries echo a common theme, we send campus-wide communication so as to update you more quickly.

In that context, below are answers and clarifications regarding some of the most recent common issues:

Will I lose my chance to secure a partial refund or rebate if I am not fully moved out by 5 p.m., March 17?
No. We recognize that the speed of these changes makes it impossible for everyone to pack all of their belongings within four days.

By what date must I have checked out fully to be compensated for the time I have not lived on-campus?
That date has not yet been determined, but rest assured the university will provide ample notice. For now, we can say that the deadline will not be before April 6.

I cannot secure transportation home before 5 p.m., March 17. Can I stay on campus just a little bit longer?
Yes, but please keep in mind that circumstances can change drastically in the next several days. Among the possibilities are: a ban on domestic air travel; a ban on any interstate travel; or restrictions to homes for all except emergency providers.

If you do decide to stay a few days longer, you still must be off campus no later than noon, Sunday, March 22 (just you, not all of your things).

I am a graduate assistant working in Residence Life. Do I have to leave too?
Because so many fewer undergraduates will be living on campus, the number of graduate students likewise can be smaller. If you feel you have an extenuating reason to stay, please contact Residence Life.

My family cannot afford the cost of a ticket to get home—what do I do?
We realize that this major, mid-semester change creates unexpected expenses that some families are unable to afford. In such instances, we recommend you apply to the Student Emergency Fund where staff already have been reviewing and acting on requests.

Again, we are doing all we can to protect the health and well-being of students and also support you during this tumultuous time. We will provide additional information as details are finalized.

Lou Stark
Vice President for Student Affairs

Sara Lee, MD
Executive Director for University Health and Counseling