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Housing and Residential Life and Student Life Building Services Office JacksRBack Plan

JacksRBack Plan for Housing and Residential Life and Student Life Building Services Office - Fall 2020


The Department of Housing and Residential Life is a Student Affairs unit and will be adhering the general university guidelines for safe operation in a pandemic environment. These guidelines align with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the South Dakota Department of Health (SD-DOH). Key concepts to mitigate against the spread of COVID-19, which will be observed in Housing and Residential Life, include but are not limited to the following: Individuals are required to follow the current university and SDBOR face covering protocols; individuals will practice social distancing of not less than 6 feet; frequent hand-washing and use of hand sanitizers; proper cough and sneeze etiquette; and self-monitoring for common COVID-19 symptoms. Signage indicating these guidelines will be posted throughout Housing and Residential Life facilities and referenced frequently in the plan detail to follow.

This plan is also grounded in the SDSU Guiding Principles for Return to Campus and SDSU COVID-19 Protocols.


  • The core departmental functions for Housing and Residential Life include:
    • Support the student academic experience by providing safe and comfortable housing that assists students in achieving their academic goals.
      • Community building, behavioral crisis response, educational attainment support
    • Provide custodial and maintenance services for all of university housing, University Student Union and Miller Wellness Center.
      • Daily cleaning, responding to work order requests, facility crisis management
    • Enhance the educational outcomes for SDSU students through programming aimed at advancing individual student development.
      • CA role—community building, student connection, safety and security, crisis management

Operational Change Summary

Each of these policies, procedures or practices listed below have been altered to be responsive to operating a residence hall system in a pandemic environment. Although these factors are detailed throughout this document, this summary provides a useful roster of “what’s different.” Development of these modified practices has been done to align with published guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the South Dakota Department of Health (SD-DOH) and the Association of College and University Housing Officers-International (ACUHO-I). 

  1. Implement new liability waivers for Drop-n-Go service and living in residence halls (Appendix I).
  2. Dedensify residence hall population by offering more singles in traditional double-loaded corridor buildings.
  3. Reopen Waneta Hall to support dedensification efforts.
  4. Offer Drop-n-Go service to spread out students bringing belongings to campus and be responsive to travel and family schedules. Drop-n-Go is available July 24 to Aug. 7.
  5. Expand the number of days the regular move-in process takes place from two days to nine days in order to reduce the number of persons circulating on campus during move-in. Students will also schedule a specific move-in time and be allowed only two persons over the age of 18 to assist.
  6. Hire additional custodial staff (15 positions) to intensify evening and weekend cleaning routines in high-touch areas in bathrooms, corridors and public spaces as well as assist with rapid response cleaning needs.
  7. Establish occupancy limits in kitchens and lounges either through reduced seating and/or posted occupancy limit signs.
  8. Emphasize mutually requested roommates in making assignments to ensure comfort levels with “in-room” routines.
  9. Restrict elevator use to one person at a time.
  10. Restrict guests to only one per student and only enrolled SDSU students.
  11. Restrict all food deliveries to hall exteriors.
  12. Provide for Student Quarantine and Isolation Housing on campus to maintain academic continuity (Appendix IV).
  13. Standardize a back-of-door decal detailing common health precautions (e.g. cloth face coverings, hand-washing, etc.)
  14. Standardize a back-of-door decal detailing the best way to configure rooms for additional safety.
  15. Specialized training for facility and live-in staff that responds to COVID-19 conditions (Appendix II).
  16. First floor meeting agenda that trains residents on how to live on campus during a pandemic (Appendix III).
  17. Only service animals and approved emotional support animals will be permitted in the residence halls. 
  18. Floor decals indicating social distance intervals at residence hall desks and package pick-up areas.
  19. Provide recommended paths of circulation in the residence halls that can accommodate directional wayfinding.

HUMAN RESOURCE PLAN – please see also Return to Work plan for HRL

  • Work Space Evaluation
    • Needs within office space to include:
      • Plexiglas installations for barriers.
  • Install barriers in the following locations:
    • All residence hall front desks (11);
    • HRL main office (Caldwell) (2): COMPLETE; and
    • Larson Commons mailroom (1).
  • Common space reconfiguration (i.e. copier rooms, storage rooms, etc.).
  • Reminding staff of social distancing rules in the following spaces: copier rooms, CA work room in Mathews, front desks areas and in the storage room and the Student Life Building Services Team Office.
  • Consideration of adding card reader to CA work rooms to control access and congestion.
  • Remove excess furniture from high traffic areas in Caldwell and HRL facilities building.
  • Installed hand sanitizer stations.
    • Hall lobby areas/Caldwell main office/HRL facilities building: COMPLETE.
  • Hall floors: installing hand sanitizer stations on each of the residence hall floors: IN PROGRESS.
  • Personal protective equipment needed.
    • Facility workers: Continue to maintain regular PPE for cleaning purposes.
    • All staff: PPE guidance in the JacksRBack protocol.
  • Technology needed
    • Move to paperless files to minimize spread of germs.
      • Leasing documents: COMPLETE.
      • CA documents: COMPLETE.
      • Journal Vouchers: COMPLETE.
      • Application fee reimbursement: INCOMPLETE.
      • Security deposit reimbursement: COMPLETE.
  • Telecommuting
    • Information has been provided to the team regarding telecommuting if there are special needs.
    • Implemented return-to-work plan, which has the Caldwell main office returning in a phased approach.


Fall 2020Housing Assignments

Goal: To dedensify the residence hall system to enhance social distancing within the halls.

  • Developing a bathroom staff/resident ratio (ideally a ratio of 1:6), which will guide the configuration assignments using a mixture of singles, doubles and vacant rooms in traditional-style residence halls.
  • Reopening Waneta to obtain dedensification within the residence halls.
  • Revised assignment letter to communicate a people-centered message that acknowledges their concerns as well as sharing where students can find the most up-to-date information.
  • Emailed students about the ability to request a single room in order to accommodate as many single requests as possible. 

Additional Resources Needed (Fiscal/Human/etc.)

  • Devices (iPads/tablets or replacing some RHD computers with Surfaces) for RHDs to have at front desks for checking in students during move-in as well as provide resources for RHDs to do Room Condition Inventories (RCI’s) digitally as opposed to the traditional paper and in-person process. This procedural adjustment allows for improved safety and efficiency ($17,500).
  • Data subscription to automatically send a student an email upon check-in that informs them their room condition report is online and to complete it—this will move us from a papered RCI process into a digital process ($1,000).

Communications Plan

  • Email communication to students.
    • First communication will go out with housing assignment.
    • Will have regular on-going communication with all residents as well as have a presence on the COVID-19 student facing website (e.g., Drop-n-Go sign-up, In-Person Check-In sign-up, etc.).
  • Website updates.
  • Social media.
  • Rabbit Report messages.
  • D2L/MyState messages.

Policy Waivers Needed To Achieve Core Function

  • Guest Policy: The proposed recommendation is to limit outside guests into the residence halls. Beyond the move-in process, only enrolled SDSU students will be permitted as guests in the residence halls. Residents are limited to one guest in a room, with an overall maximum occupancy of four people in a traditional residence hall room. Guest policy restrictions will be revisited in late September to determine if the guest policy for the remainder of the academic semester will be altered. 
  • University Legal/Liability Waiver needed: An update of the form used at the close of the spring 2020 semester will be signed by all residents. Residents using the Drop-n-Go service will also sign an addendum. Both forms are included in Appendix I.

Meet State 2020

Protocols for Achieving Work

  • Drop-n-Go
    • Beginning July 24, students can drop off their belongings into their fall room assignment. This will end Aug. 7.
    • Maximum of one student and two guests age 18 or older.
    • Drop-n-Go draft addendum is attached as Appendix I and is under review by university leadership.
  • Move-in
    • Move-in over the course of nine days instead of the traditional two. This includes:
      • Aug. 10-13: Returning students with a designated purpose on campus (student-athlete, The Pride of Dakotas Marching Band, campus employment, etc.).
      • Aug. 14 at noon – August 16: New students.
      • Aug. 17-18: Returning students.
      • Utilizing SignUpGenius for students to select a specific arrival time. Sign-ups would be limited based on building occupancy and staffing, by typically no more than 200 students per day.
      • Limited to one student and two guests age 18 or older.
      • Guests are not permitted to remain in the residence hall beyond the designated move-in timeframe.
    • Staffing/volunteering for move-in will minimize close contact to promote health and safety of those moving in and of those supporting move-in.
      • No volunteers will touch or physically move student belongings. Volunteers will be limited to golf cart driving, welcoming students/guests and providing directions.
      • SDSU will not offer full transport of student belongings from parking lot to room door.
      • Hand-washing stations will be provided outside of residence halls throughout the move-in process (approximate cost $13,500).
      • Golf cart transportation will be provided (with appropriate precautions related to cleaning and distance) from the most remote loading zones to building lobbies (some buildings lack close loading areas). Meetings are planned with the Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Brookings to discuss ways to incorporate community volunteers and resources.
        • One idea is to have community members write notes of welcome to individual students that can be placed on student desks or in student mailboxes to enhance the feeling of welcome upon their arrival at whatever time they come.
        • Might also use community resources to decorate residence hall windows in themes similar to those painted on many downtown businesses.
    • Welcome Picnic (traditionally takes place on Friday of Meet State): Canceled for this year.
    • Additional protocols for the Welcome Weekend activities will be in a separate plan.

Additional Resources Needed (Fiscal/Human/ Technology/etc.)

  • Continued Subscription to SignUpGenius ($24.99 x 3 more months = $74.97).
  • Continuous cleaning of high-touch surfaces during the move in days.
  • Human resources (SDSU faculty/staff and community members—in keeping with previously created Meet State volunteer policy/protocol) for extended move-in timeframes.
  • Additional hand carts/laundry carts to replace full volunteer moving crews (previous year cost was $200 per basket cart ... likely to use up to 20 additional carts, additional cost of $4,000).

Quarantine and Isolation Housing (QIH)

Students living on or off campus who need to self-isolate or quarantine can maintain academic continuity by using QIH facilities. The procedures and details associated with the usage of this space are fully detailed in Appendix IV.

Communications Plan

  • New Student Orientation (primarily in June, throughout summer).
  • Preview of potential changes to move-in included in fall 2020 assignments email (first week of June).
  • Website updates throughout all affiliated websites (primarily NSO, Housing and Residential Life, Meet State homepage, MyState, etc., throughout summer).
  • Bi-weekly email updates to students from StarRez/Housing and Residential Life (throughout summer).
  • Social media, including growing Housing and Residential Life strategies in the development stages (throughout summer).
  • Meet State mailer (traditional communication avenue to arrive in mailboxes two weeks prior to move-in window).

Student Life Building Services – cleaning and maintaining residence halls, University Student Union and Miller Wellness Center


  • Continue to follow CDC guidelines as they relate to cleaning and communal living spaces.
  • Continue to train staff regularly on CDC guidelines any updates.
  • Identify a process as it relates to staff entering into student rooms to complete a work order.
  • Provide cleaning supplies for resident use from both the front desk area and within common areas (lounges, kitchens, restrooms).
  • Cleaning high-touch surfaces during the move-in process.
  • Document cleaning processes, timelines and protocols.

Additional Resources Needed (Fiscal/Human/ Technology/etc.)

  • Kitchen/lounges: Providing cleaning supplies in spaces; not allowing students to store any items in the lounges or kitchens, otherwise it will be removed and disposed.
  • Hire additional staff to support seven days/week crew that does twice daily cleaning of the residence hall restroom spaces. 

Staffing for fall 2020:

  • Shift 1: Current SLBS team.
  • Mid-shift: Add one lead worker, with three FW to run a Wednesday through Monday mid-shift from 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. They would fog restrooms in halls, clean kitchens, day rooms and fire towers as time allowed on the weekend and also be available during the week for backup when people are out. This would also be the rapid response team who would support any crisis that arises during the day and fill in if someone is off of work.
  • Night shift: Add one CSS1 and eight FW to run an evening shift Monday through Friday from 1:30 - 10 p.m. They would replicate the day shift cleaning schedule with some modifications due to smaller crew size.
  • Waneta: Add one FW to support the reopening of that facility. This person would also support QIH in the Wecota Annex.

Communications Plan

  • Ongoing communication to students and staff regarding cleaning plans.

Educational Outcomes

We will follow the university events and division programming protocols as it relates to programming in addition to the work that we will do with the residential curriculum.

  • CA Training: We have made the adjustment to start new CA training Aug. 3 and returning CA training Aug. 5. See Addendum on RHA and CA training attached.

Additional Resources Needed (Fiscal/Human/ Technology/etc.)

  • Technology needs
    • ACUHO-I online RA101 and RA201 course for all CAs ($18/person; $2,430). This will provide online training to support CA learning at a distance.

Community Guidelines


  • Individuals are required to follow the current university and SDBOR face covering protocols.
  • PPE available while on rounds as required.
  • Community expectations printed and posted in all areas of congregation. Personal responsibility emphasized.
  • No personal items left in common spaces to ensure that they can be effectively cleaned each day by custodians.


  • CAs complete trash rounds; done either by last person at desk or first round of night (TBD).

Kitchen Use/Cleaning:

  • Enforcing disposal of dishes sitting out for three hours.
  • Temporary closing kitchens that are routinely left in bad shape.

Community Space Expectations:

  • Posted occupancy limits, which will be enforced.
  • Cleaning equipment available for students to wipe furnishings.

Communications Plan

  • Hall director and CA training communicates this information to staff (see Appendix II).
  • First floor meeting communicates this information to students (see Appendix III).

Crisis Response—CA and RHD on call

Protocol for Duty Expectations

  • Coverage will ensure there is Saturday and Sunday coverage to provide additional cleaning of commonly used surfaces.
  • Considering having two individuals on duty each night to allow for additional responsibilities to be managed to include wiping hard surfaces.
  • RHD in-person responses will be reduced to only situations escalated beyond the CA ability to manage based upon staff judgment.
  • When responding, individuals are required to follow the current university and SDBOR face covering protocols.
  • Staff responsibilities:
    • Wipe door handles, day rooms on weekends, etc.
    • Wipe desk following use.
    • Disinfect keys, duty phone and temp cards used and/or turned in.
    • CAs will have mandatory trash rounds and desk hours will be reduced to allow for the time necessary to complete this duty.
    • Last round of day will require wiping high-touch surfaces in the halls.
    • Identify which facility repair needs can be managed with staff on scene instead of maintenance or custodial personnel call backs when night shift personnel are actively working.
    • Cold weather evacuations will have designated space assigned and communicated to residents at the first floor meeting of the year.
    • Student Quarantine and Isolation Housing (QIH) protocols will be utilized. On-call staff will be designated to manage admission to QIH.
  • Student Conduct Response:
    • CAs addressing more than four students in a room during any suspected violation will not enter the room. Students will be dispersed one at a time after getting ID until only the residents remain, then staff will enter the room to complete the response. Additional staff will be called as necessary to assist with the speedy dispersal of any assembled students. The hall director’s office can be used if the circumstances of the incident require talking to individuals in different locations. 
    • Use chain of command to minimize number of individuals present in person for a response (CA, RHD, UPD). RHD will relieve CA when responding to calls.
    • Staff will have the option to call UPD when threatened with spread of sickness (i.e., threat to cough/sneeze on staff, purposeful contagion spread, etc.)
    • Conduct Meetings:
      • Zoom meeting will be primary tool for conduct meetings. Staff will assist students in finding private spaces for their Zoom meetings. Recording of meetings is option in Zoom.
      • RHDs should also utilize Zoom for student conduct to the extent possible.
    • Tools Needed Electronically:
      • Sanction and conduct process flow chart;
      • Online modules for sanctions;
      • Electronic Resolution Form; and
      • DocuSign for signatures in student conduct process.

Communications Plan

  • CA and RHD training

Conflict Mediation

Roommate Agreements:

  • Digital form will be provided in email with boxes to edit.
  • Provide room configuration guidelines covering:
    • Arrangement of beds (recommending bunking and head/toe arrangements). 
    • Additional questions about hygiene and room disinfecting.
    • Additional questions about social distancing expectations:
      • Expectations for roommate outside of the room.
      • How often they intend to take part in large-group activities.
      • Returning home for the weekend.
      • Visiting other campuses.
  • Additional questions about personal space and items (cleaning of high-touch items, fridge, coffee maker, remote control, etc.), guests in room.
  • Outlines the roommate grievance process that allows students an avenue to work with a staff member when the agreement is not occurring as planned.

Roommate Mediation:

  • CA can facilitate via Zoom or other voice/video chat option.
  • CA can reserve day rooms or large spaces to facilitate but will not facilitate in a residential room.

Room Changes:

  • We will only move students if there is an emergency or someone wants to live in a single room.
  • Ensuring there is always 24 hours notice to provide time for cleaning.

Communications Plan

  • CA Training and RHD Training
  • First floor meeting