UNCW Relocates Roommates, Prohibits Moving Off Campus Unless Going Home

Sep 10, 2020

UNC-Wilmington announced Tuesday, September 8th, that roommates would be relocated so that every on campus student would have their own room. The plan to relocate about 800 students comes after the County Health Department approached the university about the local surge in cases among 18-24 year olds. 

Teal chairs on UNCW's campus, spaced out to account for social distancing measures.
Credit Amanda Ake, WHQR

Carla Turner is New Hanover County’s Assistant Health Director.

A couple of weeks ago, we started seeing an increase in this age range, and we followed the trend, and after about 7 to 10 days, and we saw that it was continuing to rise and it was not going down. So we reached out to them based on the increased number of positives we were seeing in this age range.

The university’s solution? Split up roommates. 

They already had plans for what they wanted to do. We encouraged them when they shared that they wanted to try to split the students in a single room. We felt like that was a really good first step.

Roommates may also opt to move back home for a prorated refund of their housing and dining contracts, but are not permitted to move off-campus unless residing with parents or guardians. 

Signs around campus remind students of the 3 Ws: WEAR, WAIT, WASH.
Credit Amanda Ake, WHQR

And, to prevent students from signing a lease off-campus and potentially spreading the virus, the University is requiring those moving off campus to complete a form, which confirms they intend to return home for this semester for a prorated refund.  

It’s unclear yet how many students have decided to go home rather than relocate to single rooms on campus.

Former roommates must sign this form in order to move home and receive a prorated refund.
Credit UNCW