Refunds, cancellations, parties: life on residence during the pandemic
In the latest efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19, the University of Victoria has advanced the default move-out date for campus residents up to March 27, and is limiting the maximum capacity of Cadboro Commons cafeteria to 50 people.
“In response to the Provincial Health Officer’s encouragement to enhance social distancing efforts, we are asking any student who is able to move out of residence early to do so,” reads an email sent out from UVic Residence Services to some students living on campus.
Students have been checking out of residence en-masse after UVic’s announcement that it will transition away from face-to-face instruction for remainder of the term.
For students who leave prior to 11 a.m. on March 14, there will be a partial residence fee refund of $450. UVic is not mandating that students leave at this time, however — students are able to request an extension until April 24, and will still receive a $200 refund if they choose to leave before April 9.
Most food outlets on campus have been closed until further notice, leaving only Mystic Market and the Cadboro Commons kitchen available for food options after 4 p.m. UVic will not provide food options for students in residence after 7:30 p.m., as Cap’s Bistro — which is usually open until 11:30 p.m. — has also closed.
Residence Services have said that they will adhere to government directives by further limiting access to food outlets during busy periods, and are considering alternative meal delivery systems if occupancy in Cadboro Commons, the primary food outlet on campus exceeds the mandated limit.
This is an escalation from UVic’s previous policies towards students in residence regarding the situation. In an email sent to campus residents on March 14, UVic mainly reminded students about early move-out procedures and to follow community standards while living on campus.
Despite strong recommendations to practice social distancing, UVic students on campus have continued to host cluster parties and other social gatherings, echoing a trend of students across the nation reluctant to change their lifestyles.