In looking ahead to the 2020-21 academic year, Ferris State University’s Housing and Residence Life staff has developed a welcoming and safe opportunity for its residential students to continue social distancing best practices at a reduced rate.
Bryan Marquardt, director of Housing and Residence Life, noted that out of an abundance of caution during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Ferris plans a move to single rooms on campus. The Board of Trustees approved a preliminary 2020-21 housing and dining budget on Wednesday, June 17. The revised budget allows students to live in a single room for the price of a double room, a savings of $1,750. Check the Housing website for details.
“The reasoning for offering single rooms at the double-room rate was to decrease the density in the halls and increase the safety and security of our students,” Marquardt said. “Having two students share a bathroom is much safer than four. Some of the benefits will be that we will have fewer students in each hall. This action will lower the density in lobbies, programming, events, and overall moving in and out of each hall. Fewer students mean less contact.”
Additional housing buildings will be placed back online for the 2020-21 academic year to accommodate increased single-room living. While an increase in the number of single rooms represents a reduction in revenue, the university plans adjustments to maintain a balanced budget.
“We will be practicing social distancing in all public and private spaces and encouraging students to wear masks,” Marquardt said. “We will have a maximum number of students who can use hall meeting rooms and lobbies on campus. We will remove furniture, couches example, from lobbies and add single-seating furniture such as chairs.”
He further noted that East Campus Suites and West Campus Apartments are set up as singles in all buildings. Marquardt added that the only real doubles, four to a bathroom, are in North Hall, which has the most extensive square footage and has double vanity sinks in the restrooms and separate showers and toilet areas from the vanity areas.
“We have now added enough singles on campus that we will have a maximum, or 500 students, in doubles,” Marquardt said. “The majority of those are the 400 in North Hall.”
Ferris’ room and board costs rank among the bottom third of peer institutions in the state of Michigan. Due to the university’s past and ongoing commitments to increasing financial aid, Ferris’ net price has not increased in a decade.
For more information about what Housing and Residence Life has to offer, visit the website.