Residence halls implement new policies and offer contract releases

In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, university housing is making changes for students continuing to live on campus. For those who have moved out or plan to, contract releases are available. 

“This is a very fluid situation and University Housing is adjusting as new information and variables occur,” said Director of University Housing Jim Zentmeyer via email. “It is likely in the coming days that the responses of today may not hold true in the near future. University Housing will [continue to] respond in such a way as to support our current population, as well as support any safety protocols.”

As of now, students can continue to live on campus as remote learning begins, although there are new policies in place. 

According to Zentmeyer, beginning at dinner on Monday, March 16, dining halls will be take-out only, containers will be filled with food by Chartwells employees rather than students. Students are asked to take their food to a location outside of the dining halls. 

Dining hall hours for both Hillcrest and Vandenberg Halls are available on their social media and on their page on the OU website. 

Both Tilly’s in Oak View Hall and The Hive in Hillcrest Hall are open daily from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. 

The guest policy on campus is also becoming more restrictive. As of Wednesday, March 11 housing has suspended guest sign-in between the hours of 8 p.m. and 5 a.m., in order to encourage social distancing. Times for night watch remain the same as of now, but are subject to change. 

“For students who wish to continue to live on campus, currently that option [remains to be] open,” Zentmeyer said. “However, I cannot predict what necessary changes may take place from the State of Michigan or university leadership. Such future decisions will be based on the safety and security of our students.” 

According to sophomore Kara Ketchum, who’s still living in Vandenberg Hall, the campus feels “barren.” 

“A lot of people left already I’m not used to it being so quiet,” Ketchum said. “At least there are parking spots.” 

There is a possibility that all students will be asked to move out at one point. In that case, it would run similar to a normal move-out. Updates are forthcoming. 

For students who have already moved out, or are considering doing so, contract releases are available. For information on how to complete a contract release, students are being directed to the University Housing website to follow directions on how to get a contract release. Any cancellation fees will most likely be waived due to current circumstances. Room keys must be returned as well, most easily via an express checkout envelope. 

Students are encouraged to contact Student Financial Services for updates on how a contract release can possibly impact their financial aid status, as mentioned by Zentmeyer.

Students with additional questions regarding COVID-19 in general, or how it affects campus can visit OU’s website. Students are encouraged to take the necessary precautions, like hand washing and social distancing, among others, to stay safe and healthy during this time. 


Monday-Friday: 7:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.


Monday-Friday: 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.


Monday-Friday: 4:30 p.m.-7:00 p.m.

Late Night:

Sunday-Thursday: 8:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m.

Meals Saturday-Sunday:

10:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.