UW-La Crosse asking students to move out of residence halls because of COVID-19; Western closing campus to public

UW-La Crosse asking students to move out of residence halls because of COVID-19; Western closing campus to public

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The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse is implementing a plan for students living in its residence halls to move out because of COVID-19, according to a message sent to students Tuesday.

The decision follows the university’s move Monday to have instruction be online for the rest of the semester.

“Our main concern, of course, is the safety and health of our students, faculty and staff, and also the safety of the community,” Chancellor Joe Gow said. “We want to do everything we can to prevent or slow the spread of the coronavirus.”

According to the message, students who are currently on campus should move out as soon as possible. Students who are away from campus are being asked to sign up for a time slot to move out to not only minimize the number of people in any area in a given time, but also to allow for swift move-outs.

The university is allotting two hours for each person to move out. Time slots are scheduled Thursday through Tuesday.

Students who need to stay on campus will need to submit a request to remain in the residence halls. UW-L hopes “to process these requests quickly and provide a response to your request within 24 hours.”

“We couldn’t just say, ‘Everybody’s out of the residence halls,’” Gow said. “There are some students who have nowhere else to live. We want to honor our commitment to them to provide a place to be. Some of those students are international students who can’t get back to their home countries. Other students are financially independent; they don’t have parents that they can go and live with.”

Gow said the university hopes to have at least one residence hall completely empty so that it could serve as a quarantine space for students, staff or faculty if needed.

Meanwhile, Western Technical College is closing all of its campus locations to the public effective Thursday, according to a Wednesday release. The school’s residence hall will also begin the process of closing this week.

“We recognize these past few weeks have been ever-changing and unprecedented,” Western President Roger Stanford said in a release. “We appreciate our students’ understanding as well as our employees’ continued commitment to students.”

According to the release, classes at Western “will begin using alternative delivery methods, as possible, starting Monday.”

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