Students still on campus face loneliness, reduced resources

| News Editor

After more than a month after Washington University announced the closure of campus, life is quiet for the small group of students who were approved for late stays.

Photo by Grace Bruton

According to sophomore Julia Cao, only one other person is still living in her dorm building.

“It’s really weird with barely anyone here,” Cao said.

Although late stay students were originally going to be moved to different rooms in order to consolidate students in a single dorm, this idea was abandoned after Missouri enacted a stay-at-home order and the University was no longer able to move out students’ belongings, Cao said.

Sophomore Ramadan Ibrahim said that his only in-person interactions during the past five weeks have been with dining staff.

“Obviously I don’t like being isolated in my dorm room without having the opportunity to talk with everyone I know—this just sucks on every level,” he said. “But at the same time, I can appreciate having a sense of comfort.”

Students are able to get a limited variety of food options from the Danforth University Center and Paws & Go Market. Food can be ordered through an online app, and the Office of Residential Life emails out a menu at the beginning of each week.

“The first few weeks they had basically nothing, so we had to keep ordering out,” Cao said. “I asked the school if they could either refund my meal points or increase the options, and now they actually have a bunch.”

On-campus dining facilities are being sanitized regularly and have switched to using all disposable utensils, cups and plates.

Some Paws & Go workers have had their shifts cut or been laid off, and more are expecting to be laid off once the semester is over, Ibrahim said.

Cleaning services have been similarly reduced. As of this week, staff will continue to clean common spaces, but will no longer enter student rooms.

The move out date for late stay students is May 7, but if current travel restrictions continue, some may end up staying on campus for much longer.

“Students who were approved in March to remain in the residence halls and continue to have circumstances that prevent them from returning home will be allowed to stay over the summer,” Interim Provost Marion Crain and Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Lori White wrote in an email to the student body, April 15.

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