Students not approved to remain on campus given 24 hours to leave, return home

On Monday March 23, Valparaiso University gave students currently living on campus without “essential needs” a little over 24 hours to vacate their on-campus housing and to return to their permanent residences. 


In an email sent to residential students, Valpo outlined the requirements that needed to be met to be considered a student with “essential need.s” According to the email and Valpo’s COVID-19 information website, students need to fit specific guidelines in order to stay on campus. 


“Essential needs are defined as those who are verified as international students or students who cannot find another place to stay due to the student having a family member at home who is in a higher risk health category, students with food or housing insecurity, or students with physically or emotionally unsafe home environments,” Valpo said on their COVID-19 information site. 


Students who also live 500 or more miles from campus and “cannot find a place to stay in the interim” are also seen as having “essential needs.”


Students who do not fit these requirements must leave campus by Tuesday March 24 at 8 p.m. 


If students are not able to move all of their personal items in this short time period, they may return to campus after April 7th to retrieve their belongings.  


Students who returned to campus were required to fill out a “Spring 2020 Campus Housing Request Form” which Residence Life then used to determine which students had “essential needs” and which students needed to leave. 


According to a student currently living on campus, students did not receive confirmation if they were approved to stay or not until Monday March 23 around 7 pm, giving those who were not approved only about 24 hours to leave campus and arrange living situations if needed. 


Valpo had made this decision in light of Indiana Governor, Eric Holcomb’s executive order to Indiana residents to stay home, except for essential errands. The stay in home order begins Wednesday March 25, at 12 am and lasts until at least April 7th. 


In the email, Valpo also informed residential students who are currently not on campus that they are unable to return to campus to retrieve their possessions from their on-campus housing until after the stay in home order lifts on April 7th. 


According to Valpo’s COVID-19 information site, students who are not approved to be on campus during this executive order will not be permitted into on-campus housing buildings until they receive an email indicating it is safe for them to return to campus to finish moving out. 


An email from Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, David Phelps, came Tuesday morning stating Valparaiso University’s campus is moving to deliver most of their services remotely, effective 10:59 p.m. CDT.


The Christopher Center for Library and Information Resources and the Campus Bookstore will be providing online and remote services only, and access to all academic buildings will be prohibited for students and those who do not normally have keys to a specific building, the email stated.

Meal access in the Harre Union will be limited and changes to hours will be communicated in a future email. Lastly, campus transportation will be suspended effective at 9 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24. 

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