By Amani Dobson || Campus Life Editor
On July 1, 2020, the long-awaited announcement from Franklin & Marshall College regarding a decision for the Fall 2020 semester was sent via email. The message described President Barbara Altmann’s decision to return to campus through a blend of in-class and remote learning for the fall semester.
One of the main questions that arose for many students was what housing would look like. In the midst of a global pandemic, the college’s housing plan simply could not remain the same. A good amount of waitlisted students are still without a room but know they are coming back to campus. What would their living situation be? However, some of those questions were answered through the “Fall Plan 2020” link provided in the email. A section labeled housing gave a brief statement that students will have the option to stay home and do completely online classes or come back to campus. Again, no exact details were stated about what coming back would look like.
Though there is not a clear plan for housing next semester according to Dean Hazlett, the students who are still on the waitlist will hear more details mid-July. There was no set date for when exactly an email would go out to those students, but there was a housing survey sent out that will aid the college in gauging how many students will return and what kind of living situation would be most comfortable for them.
Aside from students on the waitlist, a bit more information was delivered in a video by George S. Cho, a student with the Housing Working group sector. His videos laid out some details regarding housing that answered many questions amongst students after the decision was released. For example, if students opt to return to on or off-campus housing, the room and board or leasing fees will be the same. Because the college is not sure how many students are coming back yet, the residential structure is still undetermined. There are a few plans that the college has been considering, though.
The major concern for most students at this time is not only what the residential structure will be, but also if and how it will affect tuition. For those students who do not yet have a room, will the price of the meal plan be lowered if they have to live in a location far from campus? Will students who expected to live in a double have to pay more if moved to a single for social distancing? Many questions are still unanswered. The Fall 2020 Housing Survey should provide the college with more knowledge on how to move forward with organizing safe housing for all the students. As the day to return to campus approaches, the students only have one choice: be patient while Franklin & Marshall College tries its best to make the return to campus a safe experience for everyone.
Sophomore Amani Dobson is the Campus Life Editor. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.