Housing Agreement Addendum for Spring 2021

The University of Maryland aims to deliver its mission while protecting the health and safety of its students and minimizing the potential spread of disease within its community. As a residence hall student, the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (“COVID-19”) and/or similar public health developments will impact your housing experience as we continue to make public health-informed decisions. The below provisions are an addendum to the Terms and Conditions of the 2020-2021 On-Campus Housing and Dining Agreement and are applicable to all students living in University-owned residence halls. As always, we will endeavor to update you with timely information about health and safety guidance important for residence hall students. 

Students who are immuno-compromised or otherwise have health conditions that place them in higher-risk categories need to make personal decisions as to whether living in the residence halls can offer them the environment needed for their health and safety. While every effort will be made to accommodate housing requests for these students, it is impossible to guarantee a housing option that does not present some level of risk for students to exposure to COVID-19. 

    1. Health and Safety. We expect all members of the University community—residents, staff, and visitors—to act in a manner that demonstrates respect and consideration for those around them, including for the health and safety of all community members. All residence hall students are prohibited from creating a health or safety hazard within the residence halls and the University may request or require a resident to leave University housing if their continued presence in the residence hall community poses a health or safety risk for community members. Residence hall students are required to comply with health and safety laws, orders, ordinances, and regulations, and health and safety guidance, policies and practices adopted by the University, the University System of Maryland, and the Department of Resident Life, as they relate to public health crises, including COVID-19. Guidance will evolve as the public health crisis evolves and may include, but is not limited to, physical distancing, limitations on mass gatherings, wearing face coverings, COVID-19 diagnostic and surveillance testing (including before or after arrival to campus), contact tracing, disinfection protocols, limitations on guests in residence halls, and quarantine/isolation requirements (including before or after arrival to campus). Adherence to health and safety requirements applies to all residents, staff, and visitors and extends to all areas of residential life, including bedrooms, bathrooms, community kitchens, lounges, multi-purpose rooms, courtyards, and other common spaces. 

    • If the University decides not to hold in-person classes for the remainder of the semester after Spring Break, the Department of Resident Life may close residence halls during Spring Break and only provide housing for students with extenuating circumstances. 
    • Due to the increased risk of transmission of COVID-19 during travel, if in-person classes resume two weeks after Spring Break as currently scheduled, residents who travel over break may be required to provide a negative COVID-19 test result either prior to or upon their return to the residence halls. No refunds will be given for students who are unable to return to the residence halls due to the travel and testing procedures. 

    2. Quarantine/Isolation/Separation. At any time, the University may request or require a resident to leave housing when that resident’s continued presence in the residence hall community poses a health or safety risk for community members. Residence hall students are required to comply with any request from the Department of Resident Life to leave their assigned space due to COVID-19 or other public health emergencies and failure to do so would be a violation of this Addendum and may subject students to emergency removal from their assigned space. Not all residential rooms or halls are appropriate for self-quarantine or self-isolation, and if students are asked to quarantine or isolate, they may not be permitted to continue residing in their residential space during that period but will be provided alternative housing arrangements, as needed and if available. Removal from housing to isolate or quarantine does not constitute a termination of a student’s housing agreement. 

    3. De-Densifying Efforts. Residence hall students are required to comply with any de-densifying efforts on campus due to COVID-19 or other public health emergencies, including, but not limited to, relocation of all or some residence hall students to alternative housing. Relocation does not constitute a termination of a student’s housing agreement. If the Department of Resident Life relocates students as part of a de-densifying strategy due to public health concerns for an extended period of time and alternative housing is not available, it will offer impacted students fair and reasonable reimbursement as appropriate and based on information available at that time. 

    4. Dining service, including where and how it will be offered to students, is subject to the discretion of the University and modification to address public health concerns. Due to health and safety guidance adopted by the University or the Department of Resident Life, the Department of Dining Services may limit the occupancy of dining halls, limit the amount of time students may occupy dining halls, and make other operational adjustments needed to address health and safety concerns. In the event that the University reduces and/or stops in-person operations or modifies the academic calendar due to COVID-19 concerns, students will not be eligible for a refund of dining plan charges. 

    5. Cleaning. The Department of Residential Facilities will continue to implement and modify its cleaning protocols to address COVID-19 and other public health emergencies in the interest of preventing the spread of disease. We will educate and inform residence hall students on appropriate cleaning protocols within their assigned spaces to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

    6. Termination. Upon reasonable notice, the Department of Resident Life reserves the right to terminate housing agreements due to public health emergencies, including COVID-19. 

    • The University and student acknowledge the ongoing possibility that, due to a health or safety emergency, including the COVID-19 pandemic, students may not be able to occupy campus housing and/or students’ use of campus housing facilities may be significantly restricted. Furthermore, during a health or safety emergency, certain companies or staff contracted by the University to provide services to campus housing facilities may not be available or may be significantly limited. Notwithstanding anything in this agreement to the contrary, the University may adjust the housing services schedule contained herein, temporarily close, and/or place restrictions on the use of housing facilities as necessary in the University’s sole discretion to preserve the health and safety of students and the campus community. In the event of such temporary closures, restrictions, and/or adjustments to the housing services schedule, the University shall not be obligated to issue refunds or credits, whether partial or full, for such interruptions or adjustments. 
    • In the event the University requires students to vacate campus housing, students will be responsible for removing all valuable personal items at that time. As determined by the University, in its sole discretion, in the event of an emergency or as may otherwise be necessary or beneficial to protect the health or safety of members of the University community, the University may remove possessions and/or furnishings from housing units for those units to be used for other emergency purposes. The University will not be responsible for loss or damage to a student's personal items that must be moved and stored in such instances. 

    7. I acknowledge the contagious nature of COVID-19 and voluntarily assume the risk that I may be exposed to or infected by COVID-19 on campus and that such exposure or infection may result in serious illness and/or death.