Loyola looks to alternative housing options for displaced students

A+%27Welcome+to+Loyola%27+sign+waves+outside+Thomas+Hall+on+May+17%2C+2020.+The+university+is+working+on+finding+alternative+housing+options+for+students+who+were+displaced+by+the+May+21+announcement+that+upperclassmen+would+not+be+provided+on-campus+housing+due+to+safety+concerns+about+social+distancing+in+residence+halls.+Photo+credit%3A+Alexandria+Whitten

A 'Welcome to Loyola' sign waves outside Thomas Hall on May 17, 2020. The university is working on finding alternative housing options for students who were displaced by the May 21 announcement that upperclassmen would not be provided on-campus housing due to safety concerns about social distancing in residence halls. Photo credit: Alexandria Whitten

Zia Sampson

Loyola is working to provide alternative housing options to the students that were displaced by a May 21 decision to remove upperclassmen from on-campus housing in order to follow social distancing guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Loyola is securing additional – and very appealing—housing for upperclass students at Loyola on-campus rates. We will be sharing news about this next week,” Patricia Murret, associate director of public affairs, said.

When the housing decision was announced on May 21, the university surveyed affected students about interest in potentially living in local hotels.

Upperclassmen who typically have on-campus housing paid for through Ignatian Scholarships were told that, in addition to the options to either apply for a petition or receive a check from the university equivalent to the cost of on-campus living to go toward off-campus expenses, they have the option to live in off-campus university housing, with hotels listed as an example.

Students who were asked to move off-campus have the chance to petition to stay on campus by June 1, 2020, with 143 students having already filed petitions as of midday May 22.

“Each student’s situation is very different and so the petition committee will take an individualized approach to review requests. We will do our very best to assess needs based on the information provided and on file for the student,” Murret said.

The situation is still evolving, and Murret said Loyola working to provide more information as soon as they can.

“The university is assessing various ways it can support students during this housing transition and will continue to do so. At the same time, we must ask for cooperation, courage, and patience,” Murret said.