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Michigan Tech recommends its students leave campus: University announces credit for dorm students who head home

University announces credit for dorm students who head home

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette Michigan Technological University is offering $1,100 credit to students who check out of their rooms in residence halls before April 12, including Wadsworth Hall, seen above.

HOUGHTON — To incentivize students to move off campus as quickly as possible, Michigan Technological University is offering $1,100 credit to students living in the residence halls who check out of their rooms by April 12.

The credit can go either towards fall 2020 on-campus room and board costs, a fall 2020 150-block meal plan for off-campus students or credit to their student account.

“Since we moved to remote instruction, students didn’t necessarily need to be on campus for their instruction,” said Bonnie Gorman, dean of students and associate provost of student affairs at Michigan Tech. “So since they weren’t going to be in the halls or eating, it seemed appropriate we would refund that portion of their room and board.”

Students have until Friday to let the university know their plans. So far, 92% of the students who have responded to the university’s request for information are expecting to receive a credit, Gorman said. 

Doors will remain open for students who cannot return home, Gorman said. Some have no internet access at home. Some are international students. For others, home might not be a healthy place to stay. 

Once the university finds out how many students plan to stay, it will look at consolidating them into one building, if consistent with social-distancing guidelines, Gorman said. 

“If we’re able to do that, we would close the buildings in the short term,” she said. 

In a emailed statement to the Daily Mining Gazette, Gorman continued to emphasize the school’s willingness to work with students and employees.

“Currently, our students in the second week of online instruction. The residence halls remain open and dining services has transitioned to grab-and-go meals. Many University facilities, such as the Library and the SDC have been temporarily closed due to the Governor’s Stay Home, Stay Safe Executive Order. These changes have caused many of our students to assess their living situations, which we totally support. In an effort to help, Michigan Tech is offering students living in any of our four residence halls the option of receiving a monetary credit. The success and safety of our students during this unprecedented time are our top priorities,” she said.

Tech is also offering up to 80 hours of paid leave for faculty and staff during the pandemic. For part-time employees, the amount is prorated.

Faculty or staff can use pandemic leave for their own illness from COVID-19; to care for an ill family member; to care for others due to dependent care and school closures if other options are unavailable; quarantine for COVID-19 symptoms or exposure, if remote work is unavailable; prohibition on returning to campus due to international travel or possible exposure; or lack of work.

People needing more than 80 hours of leave will follow the regular requirements for paid time off. Staff with illnesses unrelated to COVID-19 will use regular sick days.

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