Housing and Residence Life

Due to social distancing restrictions, no guests or visitors are permitted in student housing. This includes other Alma College students who are not assigned to your housing unit (room, apartment, suite, or house). Additionally, social events are not permitted in residential spaces, including small housing.

We have taken the following steps to ensure your safety in the residence halls: 

  • Students and staff in residence halls are expected to comply with campus regulations regarding social distancing and face coverings.

  • All residential spaces, including common spaces, have been evaluated for maximum occupancy under social distancing. These limits are posted throughout the residence halls.

  • No gatherings are permitted in residence hall shared spaces (lobbies, study rooms, laundry rooms, etc.) that exceed stated occupancy limits.

  • Students only have ID card access to their own residence hall. This minimizes cut through traffic in residential spaces.

  • The college still requires residency for all students unless a student has a documented accommodation or otherwise meets the qualifications for a residency exemption. If you have a qualifying need that is not met by your current housing arrangement, contact Disability Support Services to begin the accommodation process. If you have individual questions or concerns about returning to campus, please contact Abby McGuire, Director of Academic Support.

To learn more, click on the arrows in the table below. 

Move In

For the safety of our students, guests and staff, fall 2020 move in looks significantly different than past move in processes.

  • All move in is being conducted in a staggered process to avoid large groups of students arriving at the same time. Students will sign up up for an arrival date and time ahead of move in. Returning students should expect move in to take significantly more time than in past years.

  • Each student may bring a maximum of two guests to help them move in. Students need to identify their guests when they sign up for a move in time. 

  • All students and guests will complete a health screening and temperature check before leaving their vehicles. 

  • Check in will be a drive-through process held in the Heritage Center parking lots. Students and their guests first drive through the health screening area, then proceed to key pick up. Move in teams will direct traffic and provide packets with information, including maps to parking and buildings.

  • Any student who has traveled internationally is required to quarantine and monitor their health for 14 days. Please contact the Wilcox Medical Center and Residence Life to coordinate your return to campus. Do not return to campus until cleared by Wilcox Medical Center.

  • Students moving on to campus Wednesday, Aug. 19, or later will be tested for COVID-19 via a nasal swab as part of the move in process. Students who arrived on campus before Wednesday, Aug. 19 will be tested later in the week. There is no cost to you for this testing.
A Tailored Response by Housing Type

We have also taken actions that are tailored to each building type:

Traditional Residence Halls (Gelston, Bruske, Newberry, and Mitchell)

  • Students are assigned a bathroom to use. Residence Life staff is working with these students to create an agreement for sharing and maintaining this space to minimize conflict.

  • Bathrooms are disinfected twice daily. Additional disinfectant is also provided for students to use at any time. 

Suite- and Apartment-Style Halls

  • Students are provided with cleaning supplies so they can maintain their own bathrooms. Instructions and trainings for proper use of provided cleaning chemicals are being provided.

College-Owned Houses

  • Students are being provided with cleaning supplies so they can maintain their own bathrooms. Instructions and trainings for proper use of provided cleaning chemicals are being provided.
Guests and Gatherings

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic and our need to ensure the health and safety of all students, faculty, and staff, housing and residence life policies have been amended.

  • Students are prohibited from visiting off-campus Alma College student residences that are not their own. This is consistent with our guest and visitor policies for the residence halls.

  • Due to the current escalation of COVID-19 cases within the city of Mt. Pleasant, and in response to the local emergency order in Isabella County, students are prohibited from visiting on- or off-campus housing at Central Michigan University or attending any large gatherings, of 25 or more people, in Isabella County.

  • Alma College students, faculty, and staff are also advised to avoid large gatherings at any off-campus location and any locations in which there is significant risk of exposure to COVID-19.

  • Although not prohibited at this time, non-essential travel should be limited and avoided whenever possible. This is consistent with health agency guidelines.

  • Social events within small housing areas, being attended by students and guests who are not assigned to those living spaces, are temporarily prohibited. Student organizations, including fraternities and sororities, are encouraged to use web conferencing software or to work with campus staff to identify classrooms and other spaces where they can all attend while socially distancing.

  • Residents of campus are not permitted to have guests in their campus living assignment, including residence halls, apartments and small houses. Guests are defined as anyone who is not assigned to that living space.

  • Students may still mingle and socialize in open spaces and common areas on campus, limited by the posted occupancy of those spaces.
  • Our enforcement of this and other COVID-related policies will be tailored to each incident. As a general principle, we will follow our existing policy enforcement procedures and are not adding additional measures.

  • Students are encouraged to gather outdoors rather than indoors. Social distancing is still required when gathering outdoors. Tents and seating are provided for outdoor gathering space.

  • Student activities and the Rec Center are partnering together to implement activities that can be enjoyed while adhering to COVID-19 response policies; including outdoor movies at Bahlke Field, outdoor workout classes, trivia nights, laser tag and open mic nights. Ideas for activities can be sent to Olivia Gibson at gibsonom@alma.edu.

This calendar includes all relevant dates for re-opening the residence halls.

Please note that if you are a fall athlete, marching band member, RA, or FYG, your move in date will be provided by your coach or group leader. If you are an international student, you should continue to work with your admissions representative or Carla Jensen to plan your arrival.

  • Wednesday, August 19, 2020: First year move in (out of state/UP students)
  • Thursday, August 20, 2020: First year move in
  • Saturday, August 22, 2020: Returning student move in
  • Sunday, August 23, 2020: Returning student move in
  • Monday, August 24, 2020: First day of classes
  • Friday, November 20, 2020: Residence halls close at 5 p.m.

View the full 2020-21 academic calendar.

Phased Guest and Visitor Policy

Guests and visitation in college-owned housing will be reinstated in phases. The college will consider the following in making the decision to move between phases:

  • Guidance from national and local health organizations
  • Trends in the state and local area,
  • Policy compliance on campus (ex: participation in mandatory screenings, wearing facial coverings, and social distancing), and
  • The number of cases on our campus.

Our phase will be reviewed every 3-4 weeks, or more frequently if needed. Phases may be moved forward or backward. For the purpose of this policy, the following definitions are in place:

  • Student: An Alma College student living in a college-owned housing unit.
  • Visitor: An Alma College student who is visiting a college-owned housing unit to which they are not assigned.
  • Guest: A person who is not an Alma College student, faculty, or staff who is visiting college-owned housing.
Phase I
  • No guests or visitors are permitted in college-owned housing.
  • No social events in college-owned housing.
Phase II
  • Limited visitors are permitted in college-owned housing
    • Each student may have one visitor. Visitors must be escorted by host resident at all times.
    • No overnight visitors permitted.
  • No outside guests permitted in college-owned housing.
  • No social events in college-owned housing
Phase III
  • Limited visitors are permitted in college-owned housing
    • Each student may have one visitor. Visitors must be escorted by host resident at all times.
    • Overnight visitors permitted.
  • Limited guests are permitted in college-owned housing.
    • Each student may have one guest. Guests must be escorted by host resident at all times. Guests must comply with all college policies, including any health screening requirements.
    • No overnight guests are permitted.
  • Small social events without alcohol present are permitted in college-owned housing. Social events must comply with all relevant college policies, including social distancing policies.
Phase IV
  • Return to standard guest and visitor policy.
  • Return to standard event policies.