2020 Fall Housing Information

We know this is an exciting albeit stressful time in Spartans' lives. You may have a lot of questions and are looking to find answers, especially in this time of uncertainty. Please know our team is working around the clock to create plans for move-in and beyond that focus on the health and safety of our residents.

Below you will find the latest answers to frequently asked questions. Check back throughout the summer as we will be updating as new information is finalized. We will continue to follow national, state, local and university guidance as we update our plans.

We cannot wait to welcome you to campus this summer! 

What housing changes can I expect?

Changes to housing will include room configurations and furniture arranged to ensure 6 feet of sleeping head-to-head social distancing, enhanced and increased cleaning of public areas, hand sanitizing stations, social distancing guidelines (posters, social media, university emails), etc. Professional and student staff are receiving additional training regarding the health and safety regulations and you will be able to direct questions to your Resident Assistant (RA), Assistant Community Director (ACD), Community Director (CD) or Residence Director (RD), Facilities Staff, or your hall or apartment service center desk.

In addition, Michigan State University will use a contact-less move-in process, including curbside check-in during primary move-in days and greater social distancing between MSU staff, you and other students moving in with controlled unloading times.


How will residential spaces accommodate safe physical distancing? (Updated 6/29/20)

Each residential room will either have:

  • Enough square footage per person that will allow for a radius of 6 feet per person.
  • Bed placement that will allow for at least 6 feet of sleeping head-to-head social distancing, when measured one foot from the headboard. We will continue to ensure furniture placement does not create any egress or code issues.

If at least one of these conditions does not exist, space will be reclassified within our housing system. This impacted a very small amount of spaces, mostly in North Neighborhood, and we are directly communicating with impacted students.

Most rooms will be set to have one lofted and one trundled bed per double room. We ask that if students move any furniture, they ensure they maintain the 6 feet of sleeping head-to-head physical distancing, and keep as much physical distancing as possible overall. We will need everyone’s support to have a safe and successful semester.

Additional guidelines are being developed for residential communities to include cleaning and sanitation protocols, room assignment plans — particularly for those who have health considerations — and overall hygiene practices.


How are the residence halls and other campus facilities being cleaned at this time?

The REHS Facilities team developed and implemented enhanced cleaning and disinfection procedures for residential and dining facilities to follow. These cleaning and disinfection protocols are based upon nationally accepted practices for responding to COVID-19 as well as those outlined in the MSU COVID-19 Non-Healthcare Facility Cleaning guidelines.

The RHS program has two levels of cleaning protocols that have been used for the past several years within its units. Level one is intended for routine cleaning and sanitizing of spaces, which are not suspect for COVID-19, to help decrease the spread of infectious agents that cause routine cold and flu illness. RHS uses stabilized aqueous ozone as a broad-spectrum daily cleaning and sanitizing. Level two is intended to disinfect highly touched surfaces. Both levels of cleaning protocols are currently being used.

RHS currently uses high-level disinfectant products approved for the disinfection of SARS COVID-19 and included on the EPA List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2. Below is a list of common, but not all, frequently touched surfaces:


  • Doorknobs & Handles
  • Drinking Fountains
  • Restroom Dispensers
  • Door Push Plates & Crash Bars
  • Telephones
  • Restroom Partitions & Latches
  • Light Switches
  • Classroom Desks and Tables
  • Restroom Fixtures
  • Elevator Buttons
  • Meeting Room Tables
  • Toilet, Faucet & Urinal Handles
  • Handrails
  • Classroom & Meeting Room Chair Arms
  • Keyboards


What housing options do I have if I am immunocompromised?

If you have a disability or medical condition that impacts your academics, housing, transportation or other areas, you can contact the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities (RCPD) at 517-884-7273 and may be eligible to receive accommodations. RCPD will work with the Housing Assignments Office to provide the necessary accommodations.


What will social distancing look like for fall 2020?

  • All entrances to buildings will have signs and markings as reminders of social distancing requirements. 
  • Students should not hold open or prop open exterior doors to admit others. 
  • After entering a building, individuals should sanitize their hands at the nearest sanitizer station. 
  • Follow all signage and social distancing guidelines throughout the building. 
  • When inside buildings, please keep to the right in stairwells and hallways and make every effort to maintain 6 feet of social distancing. 
  • Elevators will have reduced occupancy, no more than 2 individuals in an elevator at a given time. 


Will I have access to laundry rooms and study rooms?

All public area spaces will have revised occupancy limits to ensure social distancing while in those spaces. We will also be removing furniture from many of these spaces to help to foster social distancing. 

Residents will be asked to wipe down commonly used surfaces before and after use with provided products that meet the CDC guidelines against COVID-19. 

The MSU Union will be open for an alternate study space for you, with access to socially distanced seating and building services, open 7 days a week. 


Will guests be allowed in the halls and apartments?

To ensure the safety of all of our Spartans, we strongly discourage guests and visitors in the residence halls or apartments.  Visitors who must come to campus, should remain in residence hall lobbies where social distancing is possible. 

No overnight guests will be allowed in the residence halls or apartments for the fall 2020 semester. Spring will be evaluated at a later point.


What happens if I develop symptoms for COVID-19?

A student who has any symptoms must call Olin Health Center for an assessment and COVID-19 testing.

Symptoms include new or worsening cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, chills, muscle aches, headaches, and/or sore throat.

Anyone with symptoms must self-isolate until the testing results are back.  If the results are negative, the person may reengage with the campus community.

Students who test positive will be asked to quarantine in isolation housing or return to their homes and/or permanent residence.


Will I have to wear a face-covering?

Yes. All students, staff, faculty and guests will be required to wear face coverings on campus.


What happens if my roommate or suitemate gets COVID-19?

All residential students who test positive for COVID-19, whether or not they show symptoms, will be required to isolate. REHS has set aside rooms for isolation housing.  


Will I have access to the fitness centers?

At this point in time, the fitness centers in the residence halls will remain closed.


Will community kitchens be open? 

REHS is currently with our health team to understand how community kitchens can safely be opened, particularly for halls that do not require dining plans.


What activities will occur in person?

Living on campus is an in-person experience, and while living with us you will have opportunities to be part of our on-campus community.  Whether it be in your residence halls or through events offered by the University Activities Board (UAB) or the Residence Hall Association (RHA), there will be places for you to get involved and become active in campus life.  Events that are in person, virtual, and a combination of approaches are being planned just for you! Examples include: virtual visits, online entertainment, craft nights, movie nights, leadership summits, RHA Cinema, RHA General Assembly meetings, and UAB’s mostly outdoor UFEST.  

What are my housing options if all of my classes are online? (NEW 7/2/2020)

  • We will be offering the option to study from home for the fall 2020 semester if a student’s class schedule is completely online and they are living at their permanent home address with a parent/guardian. This is not required, students can live on campus while taking online courses.

  • We will have more specific process details available soon, and we will share in an email to your MSU account. Those who select this option will be asked to submit documentation of class schedule and permanent address. 

  • We will continue to offer housing to all students who prefer to be on campus and near resources, campus jobs or research positions, etc. Additionally, students may have the option to go back into their course schedule builder and seek in-person or hybrid course options, if they would prefer that style of learning for fall semester. 

  • We will revisit spring semester as we know more. We will not be able to guarantee the same room and roommate assignments if students defer housing until spring.

| Dining Updates |

What hours will Culinary Services be open in the fall?

Culinary Services fall and spring hours of operation will ensure that guests have options for dining from 7 a.m. to midnight, Sunday through Saturday.

Residential dining halls have adjusted hours to accommodate cleaning and sanitizing of units between lunch and dinner service, from 3 – 5 p.m.

Residential Dining: Sunday – Saturday, 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. [closed 3-5 p.m.] 5 p.m.– 10 p.m.

Thrive: Sunday – Saturday, 10:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. [closed 3-5 pm] 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Retail: Various locations will provide hours from 7 a.m. to midnight

What safety measures has Culinary Services implemented within its operations to keep guests and staff safe from the spread of COVID-19?

Numerous processes have been implemented to protect the safety and welfare of team members and guests throughout Culinary Service operations.

  • Masks have been provided to Culinary Services team members and are now required as part of the uniform.
  • Guests of all Culinary operations including dining and retail are required to wear masks. Disposable masks will be provided if patrons do not have one.
  • Residential dining has eliminated cash transactions and will only accept meal plans, Spartan Cash, debit or credit cards.
  • Installation of plexiglass at retail points of sale and residential host stands.
  • Self-serve areas have been converted to fully served. This includes all service ware, condiments, and beverages.
  • The entire daily menu within residential dining will now be available as grab & go. Diners can opt for carryout containers (up to 2) or have their items plated if they intend to dine in. All options will be distributed with single use disposable silverware and individually packed condiment containers.
  • Dining halls close from 3 – 5 p.m. to allow for additional cleaning and transition of staff.
  • Social distancing protocols are currently being implemented including table spacing, floor graphics and line queuing.
  • Antiseptic wipes are being provided for guests to sanitize their table.
  • Dining halls will be staffed with additional team members dedicated to cleaning and sanitizing seating areas.
  • The standard cleaner (QC 54 Peroxide Glass Cleaner) has been replaced with Peroxide Multi-Surface Disinfectant which is EPA approved effective against Coronavirus – COVID-19.
  • Staff are completing health screening questionnaires prior to beginning their shift. If they have any symptoms associated with COVID-19, they are immediately sent home and not allowed to return to work for seven days.


What can I expect to see when I go to the dining hall?

Additional health and safety measures have been added within residential dining facilities and include the following:

  • Staff wearing masks and gloves
  • Floor graphics for 6 feet of distancing
  • Conversion to all disposable service ware
  • Traffic flow patterns
  • Division of line queuing for distancing
  • 50% reduction of seating capacity in each dining location


Can I eat in the dining hall?

Yes! However, we need to note that, in accordance with Michigan’s Executive Order for Reopening Restaurants, seating capacity in each dining hall has been reduced to fifty percent, so seating will be extremely limited.

To accommodate for this, we have made some adjustments we think you’ll appreciate! Every residential dining hall will have grab & go available so that you can get your food quickly, with no hassle, and be on your way. The full menu is available in your dining plan as grab & go and you’ll be able to carryout up to two containers per access.

If you prefer to select items from the serving lines, you are free to do that as well. They can be put directly into a carryout container or placed on a disposable plate if you intend to stay in the dining hall.

This dining model provides for enhanced modes of safety measures and the expected outcome will provide our guests and staff with a safe and healthy environment.


Is there a preorder option for dining?

Yes! We are happy to announce that we are currently working on obtaining a new app that will allow you to preorder your meal and pay for it with your dining plan or Spartan Cash. We are very excited to roll this out by September.

Our Starbucks locations currently utilize Grubhub. If you haven’t already, be sure to download the Grubhub app and select Michigan State University so you are all set to preorder your favorite beverage.

| Fall Semester Assignments |

When will I know the names of my roommates?

For those who are not aware of your roommate(s), information will be available in your My Housing account at liveon.msu.edu on July 20, 2020.


I'm living in an Akers quad-style room; how do I know I'll be safe with three other people in the room?

We evaluated and confirmed that Akers rooms allow for at least 6 feet of sleeping head-to-head social distancing. Other measures, such as enhanced cleaning protocols by our Facilities team and access to cleaning products at the Service Centers, give us confidence that our Spartans can maintain a safe living arrangement. Additionally, in collaboration with students, the university is developing mutual expectations for students to follow to stay healthy. 


Did MSU lower the occupancy of rooms like some other schools?

Every school has to make different decisions based upon their specific residence hall set-ups. We evaluated space across our housing system to ensure the social distancing requirements can be met, and did make some modifications to smaller double rooms. We also have a high demand for on-campus housing from Spartans that feel comfortable being in the halls. 

| Fall Semester Move-In |

How will students safely move onto campus?

Move-in will take place by appointment daily between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thursday, August 27 through Monday, August 31.

  • Check-in process: you will need a government-issued picture identification and will be checked in at your vehicle. Once checked in, you will have 20 minutes to unload and move your vehicle.
  • Only the student will be allowed to check in to their housing assignment.
  • Face coverings will be required.

It is critical that families plan on arriving at the scheduled appointment to ensure a smooth move-in and to limit the number of students moving into the building therefore helping with congestion typically seen at the elevators and dining halls.

If you or anyone in your move-in party has been diagnosed with COVID-19, are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (symptoms include new or worsening cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, chills, muscle aches, headaches, and/or sore throat), or have come in close contact with someone that has tested positive for COVID-19, we would request that you and/or your impacted guests self-isolate for at least 14 days prior to coming to campus.


When will students sign up for their move-in appointment?

Move-in times will be strategically assigned to maximum physical guidelines. We will be assigning approximately 20% of our students to move in each day from August 27 through August 31. We will soon share a form where you can select if there are days that you could not move in, and we will try our best to accommodate that request. 


What day can first-year undergraduate students move into the residence halls?

First-year undergraduate students will be assigned times between Thursday, August 27 and Monday, August 31.


What day can returning and transfer students move into the residence halls?

Returning and transfer students will be assigned times between Thursday, August 27 and Monday, August 31.


May I move into the residence halls prior to…?

Due to the complex nature of move in, we will not be allowing for students to arrive prior to August 27 unless they are member of a pre-approved program.


Can I bring some stuff early?

We will have a sign up available on a limited first-come, first-served basis to move larger items into your residence hall room August 21-23. Time slots will be limited to assist with physical distancing, and there will be a $50 fee for the visit. Face coverings will be required for anyone assisting in the move-in process. 


When can I send packages to my hall? 

Students can begin sending packages and having them arrive at their building on or after August 10. Anything sent before that date will be returned. Items arriving August 10-19 will be placed in student rooms; the remainder will be at their Service Center at move-in. See mailing address instructions.


Can I bring someone to help me move into my room?

Yes. We ask that no more than two people assist you with moving into your room. Because we are trying to make this safe for everyone, we ask that other friends and family remain at home or off-campus during your move-in process.

If you or anyone in your move-in party has been diagnosed with COVID-19, are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, or have had close contact with someone that has tested positive for COVID-19, we request that you and/or your impacted guests self-isolate at least 14 days prior to coming to campus.


When do classes begin?

The first day of classes is Wednesday, September 2.


Can I live on-campus this summer?

Yes. Residence Education and Housing Services will have summer housing options available in McDonel and Holmes hall for students needing summer semester housing, early arrival housing, or general housing needs. Please contact the Housing Assignments Office for more information regarding summer housing plans.

| End of Fall Semester |

When will the residence halls close for the fall semester?

The residence halls will officially close Friday, December 18 at 8 p.m. for those not amending their housing agreement. Students choosing to amend their housing agreement would move out by Wednesday, November 25, at 6 p.m.  We will have housing options for students needing to stay over winter break.  


Will there be adjustments to the price of housing/dining for students who go home at the end of in-person instruction? 

Yes. Students can choose to remain on campus until December 18 at the fall rate, or eligible students can receive a housing and dining credit and move out by November 25. The credit would be applied to their Student Account prior to fall billing or to their spring bill after fall billing. Credits will be reflective of the type of housing you have (i.e. double room, single room, Owen room, etc.). Students must complete the Thanksgiving Credit Form in their My Housing account at liveon.msu.edu by July 20 to select this option. 

Students who receive institutional funds for their fall 2020 semester room and board (including, without limitation, student-athletes, Spartan Advantage students, Alumni Distinguished Scholars, Residential Advisers, and Intercultural Aides) are not eligible for the credit. 

2020 Fall Credit Option Rates

Do I need to take my belongings with me if I leave on November 25?

While this is not required, we recommend that you take any belongings with you. You will not have access to your residence hall until we resume for Spring semester.



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