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Penn State: Governor’s Orders Could Delay Move-Out ‘At Least Until May’

by on March 21, 2020 2:41 PM

Penn State is temporarily delaying plans to allow on-campus residents to return to their residence halls to move out belongings following Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s order to close non-life-sustaining businesses, the university announced Friday.

“We understand that students are anxious to retrieve their belongings, and we have a plan and procedures that will allow students and families to come back to campus and pick up their items in a safe and orderly manner once the state allows it,” Vice President of Student Affairs Damon Sims said. “But based on the governor’s order, we need to do our part to stem the spread of the virus, and not have people traveling to and from our campuses.”

According to Sims, Penn State might not be able to let on-campus residents access their rooms “at least until May.” Penn State locked all on-campus buildings Friday and closed all libraries and computer labs in response to the same order from Wolf.

“All residence halls have been locked down, so any students attempting to return will not be able [to] access their building,” Sims said. “Our staff have been maintaining the residence halls, and everyone’s belongings are secured for when students are able to return.”

However, exceptions can be made on a case-by-case due to “extraordinary circumstances.” These can include getting access to life-sustaining medication and international students retrieving their passports to return home.

To request access to your dorm for an extraordinary circumstance, students will need to email their Housing office directly. Contacts for each housing district can be found here.

“Once the situation changes, we plan on contacting students immediately with clear guidance and directions for returning to campus and moving out,” Sims said. “It’s been a challenging situation for everyone involved, and I want to thank the students and families for their patience and understanding — we know this has not been easy.”

Penn State is providing updates about its response to the coronavirus pandemic on a dedicated website. Additionally, more health tips and precautionary measures for combating the virus can be found here.


Matt DiSanto is a Penn State student and writer for Onward State.
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