7/2: Letter to Academic Year 2020/2021 Returning Residents and Pending Applicants

We hope this letter finds you safe and well. As we get closer to the start of Fall 2020 and the return of residents to USC Housing, we want to be fully transparent about how the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic will impact your living experience within USC Housing and on campus.

The purpose of this letter is to inform you of the increased health and safety guidelines which will be required for all USC Housing residents to follow to allow for a safe and healthy community environment.  We are hopeful this information will allow you to make an informed decision on whether an on-campus living environment or an online experience from your permanent residence is the better choice for you to succeed academically and thrive as an individual during the fall semester.

In their July 1st letter Provost Chip Zukoski and Senior Vice President David Wright recommended all undergraduates take their courses online, and reconsider living on or close to campus during the fall semester. We will honor current contracts, but room assignments and building locations will change, in order to adhere to the one student per bedroom requirement. Therefore, we encourage all students holding contracts as well as new incoming freshmen and transfer students – particularly those who do not have any in-person classes or who live in the greater Los Angeles area – to reconsider on-campus housing.

The following policies are based on city, county, state and federal guidelines and best practices for health and safety, and will be strictly enforced as part of your USC Housing agreement.  Please read through them carefully.

Daily Requirements

  • Residents are required to complete and submit a daily symptom screener.
  • Residents are required to wear a mask at all times when outside your room/suite/apartment.
  • Residents are not permitted to bring any guests/visitors into the residential community.  This includes parents, guardians, siblings and other relatives.  This restriction will be in place for move in days.
  • Residents are not permitted to have any person in their room/suite/apartment that is not an official occupant of that space.
  • Common spaces (i.e. lounges, recreational rooms, gyms, etc.) within the community will be closed. Some of these spaces will only be available for telehealth meetings.
  • Laundry rooms and elevators will be limited to no more than one person at a time.
  • In residence halls, residents are restricted to designated bathrooms on their floor as well as specific stairwells and entrances for accessing their building.

Quarantine & Isolation Plans

  • If a resident tests positive for COVID-19, they will be required to quarantine or self-isolate for a minimum of 14 days from exposure or onset of symptoms. This may require relocation to an appropriate designated quarantine location in another building.
    • Residence Hall: If a resident tests positive in a residence hall, other residents who share restroom facilities and common walkways will be quarantined either in their assignment or potentially another location in another building.
    • Suite: If a resident tests positive in a suite, all residents of the suite will be quarantined in their suite.
    • Apartment: If a resident tests positive in an apartment, all residents of the apartment will be quarantined in their apartment.
  • Quarantine in these cases mean residents will not be allowed to leave their assignment at all until released by Student Health.  Meals would be delivered to residents in their assignment.  
  • Residents who do not follow quarantine restrictions and all direction from Student Health and Student Affairs would be subject to disciplinary action including, but not limited to, permanent removal from USC Housing and/or denial of access to USC campuses and properties.

Community Expectations

In addition to the requirements listed above and in the USC Housing agreement, we expect all community members to uphold the highest level of healthy behavior, including the following:

  • Residents should frequently and consistently wash their hands and use hand sanitizer containing 60%+ alcohol.
  • Residents should frequently clean their own room/suite/apartment using EPA registered household disinfectants.
  • Residents will maintain a six-foot distance from other individuals outside their housing room/suite/apartment.

Your commitment to following these policies will be critical to maintain a safe environment for yourself, your residential community, and the entire USC community. If required, disciplinary action will be taken to address any policy violations or directives put in place to address the ongoing pandemic. Failure to abide by the health and safety policies and guidelines can lead to a cancellation of your USC Housing agreement.  We cannot afford to take the policies lightly and all of us must possess the discipline and integrity to do our part to keep the community safe.

Cancelling your USC Housing Contract or Pending Application

We fully acknowledge that this living environment may not be what you were anticipating, but we hope this sheds some light on what to expect while living in USC Housing in the Fall. There are additional videos and information available at resed.usc.edu/covid.  We hope you will be able to decide whether you can be fully committed to complying to this type of living environment, and if this is the best option for you to succeed academically and thrive as an individual in the fall semester.

USC Housing is allowing all students to cancel their current/pending application without penalty and will return application fees.  You will receive an additional email soon regarding the process to cancel your pending application by the July 15th deadline.   

Note: Please note that the availability of USC Housing assignments for the spring will be dependent on available supply and cannot be guaranteed.  Students looking for USC Housing beginning in spring would need to submit a new Housing application after September 1, 2020.

We thank you for your patience, understanding and honest assessment of your decision to join the upcoming USC Housing community. 

USC Housing & Residential Education