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 fall semester 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.

You also can see information for how the Division of Residential and Hospitality Services and Michigan State University are preparing for fall.

Who is allowed to reside in the residence halls for fall semester? (New 8/24/20)

The university has asked undergraduate students who planned to live in our residence halls this fall to stay home and continue their education with MSU remotely. We recognize this change may affect some Spartans more than others.  Just as we did this spring, we will continue to provide a safe place for a small number of students in our residence halls—particularly, those students for whom MSU is their home or who need to be on campus for health and safety reasons or other extraordinary, extenuating circumstances. Learn more at https://liveon.msu.edu/Adjusted_Fall_2020

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 low-contact 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 have been 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 REHS 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. REHS 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.

REHS 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 to quarantine before or after I arrive to campus? (UPDATED 11/12/20)

The University’s Reopening Task Force shared, all MSU travelers—domestic and international—who are incoming to East Lansing and surrounding communities are asked to follow MSU health protocols for inbound travelers.

Residents instructed to quarantine upon arrival or return to campus should reach more about on-campus ​​​​​​quarantine and isolation housing.


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? (Updated 8/6/20)

A student who has any symptoms must call their medical provider or 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 return to their homes and/or permanent residence, or to use on-campus isolation housing.


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. Students can choose to return home, or 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? (Updated 8/24/20)

Community kitchens will be closed for fall, with the exception of the kitchen in Owen hall. Students will need to provide their own cookware and dishware, and clean and disinfect after usage. More details will be shared with Owen residents soon.


What activities will occur in person? (Updated 7/22/20)

First and foremost, we want you to know that the safety of our residents and team members is at the focus of all we do. We also know you are looking forward to having a full, fun Spartan experience on-campus this fall. There will continue to be ways for you to have fun, engage and learn about yourself and others beyond the classroom, but realistically the ways in which those opportunities will be offered is going to look different than it has before.  

You will also play a big part in what that experience looks like. As a member of the MSU community, you will need to abide by expectations that are in the interests of your safety and those around you. This may make it harder to explore different social circles, try out new things, or even participate in campus traditions. This may seem challenging, however, Together We Will, and you will be a part of connecting to this community in new and unique ways. 


| Dining Updates |

What hours will Culinary Services be open in the fall?

Fall semester dining plans will start Saturday, Aug. 29. For those who are summer residents, please note summer dining plans end Thursday, Aug. 13. 

For full hours and open locations visit eatatstate.msu.edu/covid19

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 3) 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 until:
    • At least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and,
    • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.


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 three 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 Move-In |

How will students safely move onto campus? (Updated 8/21/20)

  • Check-in process: you will need a government-issued picture identification and will be checked in at your vehicle. Students will receive their keys, welcome kit, complimentary meal pass for boxed lunches, and new students will receive their Spartan ID card if they uploaded their picture on time (new students continue to use their same ID card from the previous year).
  • Unloading: 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 for everyone on campus.

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. While we will not have staff and volunteers unloading vehicles or moving items this year, we will have staff available to answer questions and guide you throughout the process.

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, you/they should not come to campus. We are recommending that all students and their guests self-isolate for at least 14 days prior to coming to campus.


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, you/they should not come to campus. We are recommending that all students and their guests self-isolate for at least 14 days prior to coming to campus.


When do classes begin?

The first day of classes is Wednesday, September 2.


    | 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? (Updated 10/7/20)

    Yes. Residence hall 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 have completed the Thanksgiving Credit Form in their My Housing account by August 5 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), along with 1855 Place and University Village residents, 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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