Monadnock Hall (image courtesy: SNHU External Affairs)

Students have been given the option to utilize emergency housing on campus for the 2020 fall semester. This option was put in place for those that were in unstable and unsafe living conditions as well as for those that had nowhere to live.

Prior to the fall semester, an email was sent including a survey that asked students questions regarding their living situations which helped to gauge the number of students in need of emergency housing. 

“After hearing from a number of returning students that campus is their only safe place to live and learn, SNHU opened a very limited number of housing options for students who were in unsafe or unstable living situations. This emergency housing option is truly only for those who do not have anywhere else to live, and applicants who meet these criteria were approved for emergency housing this fall,” says Athena Adair, Resident Director.

A follow-up email was sent soon after, which included a form to be filled out as well as guidelines that students need to follow while on campus. Residents on campus are restricted from having guests on campus however can visit one another, though with no more than two people in the same room.

Upon arrival to campus, students are required to quarantine in their dormitories for up to 14 days, including if they travel outside of New England and back to campus. Additionally, students need to keep their Wellness records updated, take a Covid-19 test and follow social distancing protocols.

Housing costs typically range between $4500 and $5500. Currently, students in Monadnock pay $5000 for their room. Additionally, campus residents are expected to purchase and prepare their own meals. They can find the items they need at the provided SNHU food pantry, The Cupboard. While on campus, students are prohibited from going to public locations on campus such as the dining center, library and fitness center. Meanwhile, other services like in-person office hours have also been closed on campus, and virtual meetings are strongly encouraged. 

“Before the coronavirus pandemic, resident students were allowed to have a limited number of guests visit them on campus. Their guests could be fellow SNHU students, or family and friends. There was no curfew for residents on campus. All students were expected to follow the Code of Conduct in the Student Handbook,” says Shannon Brown, Resident Life Director.

Throughout the course of the fall semester, residents have had to adjust to the new normal on campus.

“I arrived to SNHU with high expectations of bustling college life, complete with sororities, organizational events, and extracurricular sports. Instead, I was greeted by a ghost town, and share a building with fourteen other students who are too occupied with their online classes, or cautious about COVID-19, to socialize,” says Dones Williams, ‘22. “Simply, it’s been tough for me to adjust to living in a new state on a campus that has been closed for health measures. We cannot have visitors, so if I mean to connect with other people, I must venture out into the pandemic-ridden world. I want to connect with others with common interests, because spending most of my free time in my huge, empty room can and will eventually drive me mad.”

As SNHU enters the second quarter of the school year, staff and students are beginning to prepare for the remote spring semester.