Ensuring safety for housing residents at UNO


Kathryn O’Connor

UNO Housing and Residence Life (HRL) has introduced a number of new safety guidelines on both Dodge and Scott Campus. Photo courtesy of pexels.com.

UNO Housing and Residence Life (HRL) has introduced a number of changes on both Dodge and Scott Campus that will take effect in the upcoming academic year in order to ensure the health and safety of residents.

Marshall Kole, the Associate Director of Residence Life, has elaborated on some of the requirements that students residing on campus will have to follow.

“We are complying with campus-wide guidance and Douglas County Health recommendations and mandates that encourage or require the wearing of face-coverings on campus,” Kole said. “There will be distribution of additional cloth face coverings to all residents in addition to the two that UNO will be providing to every student.”

Resident Assistants will continue to be responsible for ensuring the safety and security of all students through on-call duty coverage for the residential areas and addressing policy violations including social distancing guidelines and the face-covering requirement. 

HRL has also developed a plan to offer quarantine housing. Residential students who have contracted COVID-19 or are exposed to someone who has will be given the choice to isolate themselves on or off-campus. For students who choose to remain on campus for the duration of that time, they will be placed in an apartment prepped with bed linens, bathroom toiletries and cleaning supplies. They will also receive daily food deliveries and routine check-ins with University Staff.

To lower the risk of exposure, cleaning plans have been implemented to disinfect high traffic areas and surfaces. This includes the clubhouses, community spaces and other contact points between residents and staff. Hand sanitizer will be provided at all building entrances, and each suite and apartment will receive complimentary disinfectant supplies.

With the recognition that maintaining social distancing through programs and events may be difficult, HRL has determined that the staff will not hold in-person affairs until further notice to help combat the rapid spread of coronavirus. Instead, staff will be hosting digital community-building opportunities to continue fostering connections between individuals living in the resident halls. 

If campus operations come to close, similar to the shutdown that occurred in spring, HRL is still committed to providing on-campus housing as long as it is safe to do so. The goal is to make sure housing stays open in a safe way for the many students who have no alternative housing. 

“While we can put things in place to help keep students safe, they also have a responsibility to keep themselves and the community safe. From practicing good hygiene, wearing masks, social distancing and making decisions that follow CDC and Douglas County health recommendations, each resident has a part to play,” Kole said. 

HRL has updated their website with FAQ regarding many of the changes that have been implemented in response to COVID-19. Those who have additional questions should email unohousing@unomaha.edu.