Sac State considers moving student residents to single hall amid coronavirus outbreak

‘I think it would be a smarter idea to just move all of them in one’

The+outside+of+the+residence+halls+at+Sac+State+on+Wednesday%2C+March+18.+The+university+is+considering+moving+student+residents+into+one+living+hall+to+consolidate+space+amid+coronavirus%27+effects+on+the+campus.

Magaly Munoz

The outside of the residence halls at Sac State on Wednesday, March 18. The university is considering moving student residents into one living hall to consolidate space amid coronavirus' effects on the campus.

Magaly Munoz

Sacramento State announced in a video update by Vice President of Student Affairs Ed Mills Tuesday that the university is considering the consolidation of students in on-campus housing into one dorm hall amid the coronavirus crisis.

Mills has been addressing the student body’s concerns over campus’ closure in a series of videos that answer students’ questions and concerns regarding Sac State and COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus outbreak. 

In Tuesday’s video, Mills said there are currently 2,000 students still living on campus and that if students choose to leave, the university would work with them. 

“If you are choosing to leave, if you have a home or other place you can go talk to your RA,” Mills said. “Or talk to the folks in the housing office and we can arrange that. We are going to prorate fees to the time that you check out.”

Story continues after video.

Mills said that the reason the residence halls stayed open was because many students did not have another place to go. He said he wanted to make sure that students had a home.

Sac State student Jas Mann, who said she plans to leave Sacramento within the next few days, shared her concern that the consolidation seemed to be the opposite to what Sac State was urging about social distancing.

“I feel like, isn’t that the whole point of distancing?” Mann said. “So I don’t know how that would help.”

She added that the move would just be a hassle and it would be similar to moving out of the dorms completely, only to end up in another building close by.

“We might consolidate students into one residence hall if it gets down to a smaller number,” Mills said. “But we won’t shut down the hall, we wanna make sure you have a place to live through the end of the semester.”

Michael Speros, executive director of Housing and Residential Life at Sac State, said that in the case of the halls closing, the university would attempt to help students without other housing plans.

While there are no plans to close the halls, should that occur, the campus would work with students who do not have a place to go,” Speros said in an email. “(University Housing Services) would figure out a way to consolidate, yet maintain social distancing. If the latter couldn’t be accomplished, we would keep the building open and consider consolidation within the building.” 

Mills assured students the university plans to work through the situation as things continue to change.

Yessenia Ramirez, a Sac State student who lives in the dorms, said she agrees the university should move all students together.

“I think it would be a smarter idea to just move all of them in one, charge them, and then the people that are leaving: flat out give them their money back,” Ramirez said.

Mills also urged students to monitor the university’s main webpage for updates as the information given in the video could possibly change.

“I don’t have a problem with them moving everyone,” said Maria Magana, a Sac State student and resident of the dorms. “If it has to be done, it has to be done.” 

Magana said many people she knew who lived in the halls were in the process of leaving Sac State for the rest of the semester.

Additional reporting by Kayleen Carter. This is a developing story and will be updated when more information is gathered.

CORRECTION: Thursday, March 19, 2020

The original posting of this story incorrectly attributed information from Executive Director of Housing and Residential Life Michael Speros. Director of News and Communications Brian Blomster sent information from Speros in an email to The State Hornet. This story has been updated to reflect the correct attribution.