October 16, 2020

Dear students,

Thank you for your patience as you have waited for information about the spring semester and the end of the current one. Now that the spring 2021 calendar has been announced, I am able to give you an overview of what to expect in the coming weeks and months.

You will see in what follows that information from you is needed, some of it with compressed timelines, in order to complete spring-term planning, especially for reuniting you with your belongings if you have been enrolled remotely this semester and plan to return to campus in the spring. Sophomores: I am especially thankful to you for your patience and flexibility this semester, and I hope that the request for quick responses from you will make for a smooth return to campus.

Here, then, is basic information about spring housing, moving out, moving in, and petitioning for exceptional permission to remain on campus after it closes or, for first-year students, in the spring; more details will follow in messages you will receive in the coming weeks. Information and updates will also be available on Yale College's FAQ page starting next week.

Spring Housing

You all recall from this summer's messages that the plan for the spring semester is for first-year students to enroll remotely and for sophomores to regain access to campus by enrolling in residence and moving into campus housing. Juniors and seniors have the option of enrolling in residence and living on or off campus. All students have the option of enrolling remotely, without access to campus.

As with the fall semester, housing will be assigned centrally, rather than through lotteries or room draws, although all students will have the ability to communicate preferences for suitemates. This is a different process from other years, designed to make the best use of available housing and at the same time make suitemate preferences the highest priority.

Housing configurations will be allocated depending on availability and demand, with sophomores receiving first priority since they are returning from their semester of remote enrollment.

It is possible that senior and junior housing may need to be relocated or reconfigured if necessary due to increased demand, but the expectation is that seniors and juniors currently living on campus will be able to stay in their current suites. 

All suites will use single bedrooms in order to reduce housing density.

If you wish to live on campus next semester, follow these steps. Please note the dates, some of which are only a few days away.

  1. Request on-campus housing by responding by October 23 to a questionnaire from Dean Melanie Boyd that you will receive early next week. If you wish to live on campus in the spring -- even if you are living on campus now -- you must respond so that your name will appear on the list in the next step. By not responding, you waive spring-term housing.
  2. Respond by November 2 to a second questionnaire (that you will receive on October 27) and will ask you to list the names of classmates with or near whom you would like to live. The list will be a compilation of everyone in your residential college and class year who responded to the first questionnaire. To the extent possible, you will be assigned to a housing configuration based on these preferences, along with accommodations you have previously received. Depending on demand, juniors and seniors may not need to complete this step.
  3. Review, then accept or decline a specific suitemate configuration by November 11 (that you will receive no later than November 9). Later in November, you will learn your room assignment. Because of the time needed to move boxes from storage into suites, room reassignments will not be possible.

As with the fall semester, you may relinquish housing at any time in the semester without incurring any fees; term bills will only include pro-rated charges for any room and board.

Moving out in November

Campus residences close on November 21 at 2:00 p.m., although moving out before then is permitted.

Before you leave, you will need to take a viral test 72 hours before your departure. This final testing is to reduce the chances of seeding new infections as students depart from campus.

You will also need to check out of your room by completing an online process. 

If you will not be returning to campus in the spring, you will be packing, storing, or donating your belongings and vacating your room, which must be completely empty when you leave. Packing materials and official preprinted labels will be provided. Belongings left to be stored will not be available until your class is eligible to return to campus, when you will need to retrieve them. Please note that unlike move-in, parents, guardians, or other helpers will not be able to enter the residential colleges or other campus residences, but you may recruit helpers who are students enrolled in residence.

If you will be returning in the spring, you may leave belongings in your room, but you are nevertheless encouraged to take as many home as possible. You will need to pack any belongings you are leaving in your room in case the university is unable to reopen as planned; that way, the university can store or ship your belongings if necessary. Packing materials and official preprinted labels will be provided. Also keep in mind that you will not have access to your belongings until campus reopens again.

Spring move-in

Although quarantine requirements could change between now and the spring semester, they could resemble the ones that applied when the fall term opened. You will receive more information about pre-arrival and arrival quarantine requirements in the weeks before the spring semester starts. Move-in dates have not yet been set, but they are expected to be in the final week of January.

You can also expect that move-in will require reserved time slots, in order to prevent congestion in the courtyards, entryways, and hallways. Parents, guardians, and other helpers will not be able to enter the residential colleges or other campus residences, but they will be able to bring you to campus as long as they meet any state requirements in effect at the time.

Petitioning for housing exceptions

If you would like to petition for exceptional permission to remain on campus while it is closed, either until the end of the semester or over the winter break, you may do so, although all students are encouraged to return home if possible. The following restrictions and charges will apply if your petition is approved:

  • All interim housing will be on Old Campus.
  • Housing and meals will be billed for any of the weeks you are approved to stay on Old Campus. Financial aid for the period from November 21 to December 18 has already been disbursed to eligible students. An additional room and meal allowance (grant) will be provided to cover cost between December 19 and January 31 for any student who receives financial aid.
  • You will not have access to campus buildings, including the libraries, the gym, or any in-person work sites (although remote campus employment is permitted).
  • You will be subject to an interim compact that requires regular testing, wearing a face covering, and maintaining physical distance. Visitors will not be allowed, and travel outside the state of Connecticut will be restricted.

If you are first-year student, you may petition for exceptional permission to live on campus in the spring semester; if you already submitted a petition this summer, you do not need to resubmit one, but you may if you wish update your previous one.

To submit a petition, click here.

As you start making your plans for the end of this semester and the beginning of next one, please keep in mind that you will be receiving more information in the coming weeks, and please check the FAQs regularly; you will find updates there starting next week. Please also discuss this message with your parents and guardians; I am sending it to them as well.

Thank you again for your patience and flexibility. Whether you will be on campus next semester or enrolling remotely, I look forward to starting it with you.


Marvin M. Chun
Dean of Yale College
Richard M. Colgate Professor of Psychology; Neuroscience; Cognitive Science