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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Residence Life continues to support Aggies during unique time

Students+were+given+the+option+to+mail+in+their+room+keys.
Photo by Kaylee Cogbill

Students were given the option to mail in their room keys.

The escalation of the global situation during Spring Break not only shifted classes online, but it also led to a migration of thousands of Aggies leaving their dorms — both physically and virtually.
Texas A&M’s Department of Residence Life is currently allowing on-campus residents to move out of their dorms online and return their keys by mail. Many Aggies have chosen to pick up their things and physically move out of their dorms after the university announced all classes had moved online for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester.
However, precautions, travel times and shelter-in-place restrictions are preventing a number of Aggies from removing their belongings from their dorms at this time, said Carol Binzer, the director of administrative and support services for Residence Life.
“Several students took their belongings with them over Spring Break and are mailing back their keys,” Binzer said. “There are still a bunch of people who canceled their contracts yet haven’t been able to return and remove their belongings.”
Binzer said to compensate for the loss in revenue from refunds, in addition to taking health and safety precautions, Residence Life will not be performing some of the planned summer renovations to on-campus housing units, such as flooring and kitchen updates. The department has also implemented a hiring freeze for the time being, so no new wages will need to be accounted for.
Additionally, Binzer said students will not see any increases to their on-campus housing rates for the upcoming 2020-2021 year other than the programmed 3 percent. Potential rate increases that could happen to recoup any revenue losses from this semester’s refunds would not happen for another two to three years.
In a letter to the university on March 26, President Michael K. Young announced that A&M would continue to support all students who choose to remain on-campus.
“We have a number of students for whom campus is their primary residence, and others who have chosen to remain on campus because that is the best alternative for their families and their education,” Young said. “To accommodate and support the continued success of those students, we are keeping our campuses and dorms open while taking extensive measures to ensure everyone’s safety, providing monitors for some buildings to promote social distancing and enhanced procedures to promote public health at all of our facilities.”
At the time of publication, the university has not reported that anyone residing on-campus has tested positive for COVID-19. However, Binzer said Residence Life does have a plan in place in case an on-campus resident does test positive.
“Based on working with some of the infectious disease and public health folks, the idea is that if someone on-campus does test positive, we will try to leave them in place,” Binzer said. “We would offer their roommate an opportunity to move, and dining has agreed to deliver meals or groceries to a central place based on a request sheet.”
Binzer said the exception to this idea would be if a student who tested positive lived in a hall with a community bathroom. In that case, she said Residence Life would work to move the student to reduce the risk of the virus spreading from within the communal bathroom.
Despite the shift to online classes for all summer courses, Binzer said summer housing will also remain open for those Aggies who need or want to stay on-campus.
“The likelihood is, someone will get sick, so we’re focusing on how we will manage that without coming unglued about it,” Binzer said. “We’ve chosen to stay open in order for people who have no other place to go — or who just want to stay here — to be able to do that without having to justify their existence. For some of these people, this is their home.”

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