Fall 2020: Housing Updates
Message from Housing and Residence Life
June 4, 2020
Earlier today President Holton shared Mason’s plans to return to on-campus operations for the fall semester. Please know that students with a current assignment and/or first-year prospective students and transfers who have a deposit submitted by June 1st will have a housing assignment this fall. Needless to say, we are going to have a lot of questions around this and we want to answer them with full clarity. However, please be patient as we work with these parameters that will include taking physical distancing measures, new community standards for living in residence, and additional guidelines for moving in, dining on campus, and more into consideration.
Our hope is to communicate out and have answers by the end of next week (June 12th). We will send this information directly to students via their Mason e-mail and will post additional information to our various social media accounts. Additionally, updates are often sent out via the Mason Family Flash newsletter and through the Mason Family Association.
We look forward to having nearly 4,500 students return to university housing in the fall and we will be in touch soon. In the meantime, please contact email@example.com if you have immediate questions before then.
Housing and Residence Life
Housing Assignments & Process Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
NO. Students who cancel their fall housing application (regardless of having received an assignment or not) will need to apply for spring housing. Spring housing is not guaranteed to students.
After June 19th, a Housing Appeal will need to be filled out, and is not guaranteed to be approved. June 19th as our deadline to be released without penalty because it was the latest date we could accommodate in order to place 4500 students on campus in the less than 2 month period before classes start.
NO. There won’t be a room change process before the beginning of the semester.
Students who have submitted their deposit and application by June 1st are guaranteed housing provided the following:
- If the student is new to Mason, they are registered for an orientation date by August 1st
- If the student is returning to Mason, they are registered for classes by July 15th
Students who do not meet the above criteria but have their deposit and application submitted by June 1st risk having their assignment and application cancelled for the upcoming year.
Due to the reduced on-campus occupancy, we will offer an application update in early July
At this time freshman who did not apply for housing or fill out an exemption do not need to do anything to live off campus. Both applications have closed, and we assume that by not filling out a housing application, you are choosing to live off campus.
Yes. Housing is planning to open an application to be placed on the housing waitlist beginning mid to late July. Students who submit an application are not guaranteed housing. Should we be able to offer you a space you will have 48 hours to cancel your assignment. Because these spaces are first come, first serve, requests for specific roommates and housing styles may not be considered.
No. Freshmen & Transfers who have been hand assigned will have 48 hours to cancel their assignment. Should students not be pleased with the space they have been offered within that 48 hour period, may submit an Agreement Appeal Request form to have the assignment cancelled. You will be able to participate in the room change/room swap process that will be available July 20-July 31st on the housing portal.
Yes, you may submit an Agreement Appeal Request via your Mason Housing Portal. We understand that the modality of classes is shifting and have aligned our processes for cancellation due to changes in class modality to align with the decisions made by faculty.
All deposits will be dispersed back to the student accounts by mid-July.
If you are still interested in living on campus you may update your room style preferences on the housing portal. Please note the following changes.
- Traditional Singles will be only available in Presidents Park and The Commons.
- Traditional Doubles will only be available in Presidents Park.
- Suite Singles and Suite Doubles will be available in Commonwealth, Dominion, and Tidewater.
- These Styles Are No Longer Available: Traditional Triples, Traditional Expanded Triples, Traditional Quads, Suite Triples and Suite Expanded Triples.
You will be assigned housing based on your room style preferences. You will not be self-selecting your space. We will work to meet your preferences, but they are not guaranteed. If you do not update your preferences, we will assign you based on availabilit
No. We, unfortunately, are not able to offer any early arrival to students this year. Students who may need to quarantine before moving into the residence halls will need to do so off-campus. There are a variety of area hotels that are not far from the Fairfax campus.
No. Students will need to arrange their own transportation. Airport shuttles operate at both airports and there are a variety of transportation options available.
Students will be provided information regarding check-in as we move closer to August.
Students should check dining.gmu.edu for information specific to their meal plan.
Virtual Learning Communities (VLCs) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
No. Physical LLCs will not return in Spring 2021 and there will be virtual engagement for the VLCs for the full academic year.
Housing & Residence Life made the decision to transition from physically co-located LLCs to Virtual Learning Communities for three key reasons. First, to prioritize the health and safety of our residents. Living Learning Communities thrive on physical interaction and engagement outside of the classroom. With the need to have higher standards around health, safety, and social distancing within the halls due to COVID-19, we could not deliver an LLC experience within these parameters while maintaining the safety of our residents. We believe the VLC structure will allow us to deliver the key components and benefits of the LLCs while prioritizing the health and safety of our residents. Second, COVID-19 impacted HRL by needing to reduce occupancy. This resulted in a smaller residential population. To provide the benefits of the LLC experience to a larger population of students, some of whom will not be able to live on campus, we created the VLC experience where a student could participate regardless of their residential location. Third, we transitioned to VLCs because we wanted to create a cohesive community for as many students as feasible while maximizing resources and existing partnerships. The VLCs will allow us to work with each academic unit and our passionate and trained HRL student staff to create a community that supports the transition to and through college for all VLC students while providing a cohesive experience and community, regardless of residence. While VLCs are different, the benefits remain as we are working to provide a holistic student experience with a connection to other students, faculty, and learning outside the classroom.
If a student is placed in a VLC and then withdraws they may be removed from their required VLC course. This will primarily affect students in interest and identity based VLCs as some of the academic VLCs are using introductory courses tied to major or the Mason Core as their required course. We encourage students to review the academic calendar for drop deadline information: https://registrar.gmu.edu/calendars/
Once a student has been placed in a VLC they will also be registered for the required course for the VLC. For some VLCs this course is one students may have already registered for during orientation due to their major while for others the course may be new since it is unique to the VLC. We will work with students on a case-by-case basis if there are scheduling conflicts to make space for the required course.
NO. VLCs will not be a factor in physical placement within buildings or floors on campus.
While this will vary based on VLC with some VLCs offering in-person course options there will be an online option for all VLC courses.
Unfortunately, the VLC application is not connected to the LLC application. In addition we want students to confirm their interest in the VLC as we know some students may change their mind given the shift to a virtual setting. There are also more VLCs than there were LLCs and we want to make sure students have the opportunity to preference all available VLCs
NO. While the Honors College VLC is only open for Honors College students, the two have separate application processes. You do not need to reapply to the Honors College, only to the Honors College VLC.