Campus, News

What will on-campus housing look like come fall for CSULB students?

Proof of a COVID-19 vaccination is required for all students that will live in Long Beach State’s dormitories for the upcoming fall semester.

According to Corry Colonna, executive director of Housing and Residential Life, students can submit proof by June 15, when California plans to reopen its economy, and “through the patient portal like they do for all other immunization records.”

“We have had a lot of students who have shared with us that they have the info and want to submit,” Colonna said. “We haven’t really received much pushback because living in housing is a choice, people seem to understand.”

The California State University and University of California school systems are also trying to require that all students, staff and faculty show proof of vaccination before returning to campus this fall. CSULB President Jane Close Conoley confirmed this in a campus-wide email, emphasizing that a vaccine mandate would help achieve a new normal.

This requirement, however, relies on formal approval of the vaccines from the Food and Drug Administration. At this time, the FDA has emergency use authorization for the Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

According to a recent Los Angeles Times article, “health experts expect full approval of at least one of them by the fall.”

Colonna maintained that Housing and Residential Life will set aside isolation spaces for students who test positive for COVID-19.

“Having 100% of our population vaccinated should mean we have to only hold a handful of spaces,” Colonna said. “We are waiting for guidance from the Long Beach Department of Public Health and Human Services to tell us how many beds we need to hold.”

Conoley said that she remains unsure of what social distancing and mask guidelines will look like next semester, though she maintained that masks will likely still be used in certain situations.

“We have asked all residents to get vaccinated. All the other questions will depend on the situation on and off campus,” she said. “I imagine we’ll still be wearing masks when we’re inside with big groups for another semester.”

According to Conoley, all rooms in on-campus housing are “getting some upgrades,” which she hopes residential students will be “very happy with.”

Mark Zakhour, director of construction services, said told the Forty-Niner in February that the renovations of Hillside College will include fire sprinklers, fire alert systems, community kitchens, late night dining and a counselor in-residence program for students.

“We are going to completely update the building to modern standards,” Zakhour said at the time.

The project is projected to be completed in August of 2021.

Regarding common areas such as dining halls, Colonna said that these will likely see limited occupancy similar to the restrictions in place at restaurants.

CSULB students can receive their vaccine on campus by making an appointment through their student portals. At the Walter Pyramid on-campus vaccination site, the university offers the Pfizer vaccine, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found to be “very effective in real-word conditions.”

With the June 15 deadline approaching, any students looking to live on campus have about six weeks to receive their vaccines and show proof to the university.

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