Living Under One Roof During COVID-19

Living Under One Roof During COVID-19

Photo Credit: Samantha Hamilton, Photo Editor

Residence life from a returner’s perspective

Alexandra Di Persio, The Mike Contributor

Just like many other students, I wasn’t sure what living in residence would be like this year due to the ongoing pandemic. I am currently in my third year of my undergrad studying French and Drama, and this will be my second year in residence. During my first year I was living in Sorbara Hall Residence, and this year I am living at Loretto College. Read on if you’re interested in learning about my observations so far.

Official move-in day was Sunday, September 5th, but I moved in on September 19th instead. The staff and on-call don were very helpful and accommodating with my move-in date being a bit late. My parents drove me and all my things, from school supplies to fairy lights, from Burlington to Toronto. Move-in was a bit different than my first year because this time my mom was the only person allowed to come help me bring my belongings upstairs, but we managed pretty well, if I do say so myself! 

When I arrived, I was given the option of residing in a “Single Room” or a “Super Single Room”. What is the difference between a Single and a Super Single you may ask? Well, because of COVID-19 restrictions and considering the health and safety of all staff and students, dorm rooms are now reduced to one person per room. This means that standard Double Rooms, which normally housed two students per room, are now known as the “Super Single Rooms”. These rooms have a joint bathroom with an identical room on the other side. As for the “Single Rooms”, their bathroom situation is a bit different with COVID precautions. There are common washrooms in each corridor equipped with three toilets and three showers labelled “A”, “B”, and “C”. To help reduce the spread of COVID-19, the occupant of a “Single Room” has been assigned to one letter, and one other occupant has the same letter so that only two students touch the handles and doors of the individual spaces. A standard room has one bed, one desk, underbed storage, closet, and sink with counter space.  

For me, the “Super Single” made the most sense since my Drama classes are online, and I need quite a bit of space to succeed in class exercises. However, having a room previously known as a “Double Room” means that there are duplicates of everything: bed, desk, armoire, and corkboard. I found it a bit cumbersome when I first walked in. Every piece of furniture is required to stay in the room, so I improvised and ended up pushing the beds together and dedicating one desk to study, and another to hold my snacks. I have a lot of snacks. 

Loretto College has established many health and safety measures to ensure that everyone does their part to protect themselves and those with whom they are sharing living spaces. An example would be having hand sanitizer stations when you walk in through the lobby, in front of the elevator, and in the hallways. The dining hall tables have disinfectant wipes that students are required to use on tables and chairs both before and after eating. Plus, there are capacity limits, such as two people in the elevator and only four people in the common room at once, and no residents are allowed to have visitors this year.