Fall Housing Updates

A message from the Dean of Students about new housing options for the Fall 2020 semester that will help facilitate reduced residential density on campus.

As you read in President Veitch’s June 15 update, Oxy is planning to reopen in August, and we are excited by the prospect of welcoming you back to campus. The staff in Student Affairs, as well as in departments across the College, are working through the many complexities to prepare for the fall semester.

Because we are reducing the residential density on campus, we need all students (even those who do not require housing) to complete a new housing form so we can better understand your preferences and plan accordingly. (Because circumstances have changed so dramatically, the Housing Application provided by REHS earlier this year is no longer useful.) Within the next 24 hours you will receive a follow-up email with a link to the form. So that we can best meet your needs, we are asking you to complete the form by the end of the day on Tuesday, June 30. To help you make your decisions, I am providing updates on a number of housing items for this upcoming year. As stated in our message last week, plans are subject to change given possible future changes in local conditions and guidance from public health officials.

Housing Updates for the 2020-21 Academic Year:

  • In reducing residence hall density, we expect campus housing capacity will be about 25% less than last year. As we noted last week, first-year students and transfers will be guaranteed on-campus housing. For returning students, priority will be given to international students and those who may have special concerns with regard to health, safety, and finances. The housing form will provide an opportunity to document special needs.
  • In order to provide flexibility, the College is suspending its three-year residency requirement for 2020-2021. This means all students, both new and returning, may elect to find their own off-campus housing. The survey will ask students choosing this path to confirm their decision.
  • In the survey, you will see two College-affiliated housing choices: 
    • On-campus housing (Oxy residence halls). We are reducing density by eliminating triples and converting a number of double occupancy rooms to singles. Pricing for on-campus housing can be found here
    • College-affiliated off-campus housing. New for this year, most of these one- and two-bedroom apartment units will be in Pasadena, approximately 5-6 miles east of campus. Apartment units will be furnished with standard college room furniture (bed, dresser, desk, chair, mattress). Parking, wireless internet, laundry facilities and kitchens will be available; students will still be required to participate in an on-campus meal plan. Survey responses will help inform a decision as to whether a shuttle service to and from campus will be necessary. Students living in these units will be charged the standard double rate.
  • Given the health and safety protocols that we will follow, for this year at least, we may not be able satisfy all requests for College-affiliated housing. Those students will be put on a waiting list, and we will do our best to get them into College-affiliated housing. In addition, the College is working to set up additional support structures to help students find local housing. More information regarding support resources for securing independent off-campus housing will be forthcoming in early July. Finally, let me remind you that all students for any reason can opt to take their course of study remotely for the fall semester.
  • Financial aid for off-campus housing is available, and can be found here.
  • If you choose to apply for College housing, whether on or off campus, we expect to notify you by Friday, July 17 whether you will receive college-affiliated housing. At that point, we will have more information about what Room Draw for returning students will look like this year. If you choose at any time between now and then to not pursue Oxy housing for any reason, let us know by emailing resed@oxy.edu.

Please be sure to see the message President Veitch sent to families yesterday about tuition and college costs for the upcoming year. We will continue to provide updates as our planning for the fall progresses. Please know that we are here to help you with any questions you might have or decisions you need to make.

Take care,
Dean Rob Flot