COVID-19 Information for Residents

Updated August 4, 2020

As Seattle Pacific University moves ahead with a “Smart Start,” here are things you need to know for housing, residence life, and meal plans during Autumn Quarter 2020.


A temporary change has been made to the Residential Living Requirement to exempt all students from living on campus for Autumn Quarter if they feel living at home or off-campus would best support their academic journey. Students may still live on campus as space allows with the University’s “de-densified” residential capacity, but students who do not wish to do so will not need to submit an exemption form for approval. Those who have applied for housing and need to cancel should email Students who cancel by Aug. 9 will receive a refund of their $300 housing deposit.

This blanket exemption may be extended to Winter and Spring quarters 2021 if COVID-19 concerns persist. If the blanket exemption is not extended, individual exemptions may be granted if students are unable to return to campus (e.g., because it would require breaking a lease).

All students are encouraged to update their personal contact information (including their address during Autumn Quarter) in Banner to assist the University with contact tracing and other health-related matters.

Every housing applicant must verify that they have read and understand the Amendment to Room and Meal Plan Contract 2020–21, which outlines how the housing agreement has been amended. The amendment is available in the Housing Portal (select “Application” in the menu bar) and must be submitted by Aug. 9 to receive an assignment.

Students who cancel their housing application by Aug. 9 will receive a refund of their $300 housing deposit. To cancel, email

Autumn Quarter 2020 housing capacity has been revised to support student safety and in alignment with public health guidance.

  • Traditional residence halls — Ashton and Hill — will be single occupancy with no more than 23 students sharing a community bathroom. Due to the number of students choosing to study from home fall quarter, Moyer will not be occupied.
  • Suite-style halls — Arnett and Emerson — will be single or double occupancy with no more than four students sharing a bathroom.
  • Campus houses and apartments (CHA) will operate at full capacity, with no more than two students per bedroom and no more than five students per bathroom.

Due to the changing environment related to COVID-19, the assignment strategy continues to evolve. Housing assignment notifications will be sent on Aug. 17 to allow students time to finalize their housing plans after receiving information about their class schedule (see “cancelling your housing application” above for the new deposit refund deadline). Waitlists will be created if demand exceeds revised capacity. 

Rooms in the traditional halls (i.e., Ashton and Hill,) will be single occupancy and priced at the current double rate. Rooms in the suite-style halls (i.e., Arnett and Emerson) will be no greater than double occupancy. Students in doubles will be charged consistent with the double rate for these buildings; students in singles will be charged the single rate. Campus Houses and Apartments will be charged at their original room rate. View 2020–21 room rates.

Dining locations are operating under take-out service and an on-site social distancing model to mitigate coronavirus exposure opportunities. Meal plans will be charged at their original rates. Service schedule changes will be posted on the Dining Services website as soon as they are confirmed.

With student safety in mind and in alignment with guidance from Washington state and King County, the Residential Guidelines are in the process of being revised. Updates will be posted on Aug. 5, but information may be updated from time to time, including based on new guidance. Residents are expected to abide by these guidelines (in addition to those that always exist for students). Students who are unwilling to abide by these expectations will be subject to the Student Accountability Process and may lose the privilege of living on campus.

SPU staff may instruct residential students to isolate in specific units on campus if they are exhibiting symptoms associated with COVID-19, or may instruct residential students to quarantine in their on-campus units if they may have been exposed to COVID-19 but are not exhibiting symptoms. Students quarantining in an apartment may be required to remain in the apartment for two weeks or more.

Likewise, placing a residence hall floor in quarantine may mean that no student may leave the floor for two weeks or more. SPU staff would work with students in isolation or quarantine to address academic and other living needs, but students who do not follow quarantine and isolation instructions will be subject to the Student Accountability Process and may lose the privilege of living on campus.

We Are In This Together

The choices that each of us make can have lasting impacts on the people we encounter, connect with, join for classes, and live alongside. Students are expected to work together for the health and safety of the whole academic community.

As a part of our efforts to ensure that all members of our campus are safe, residential students and those taking classes on campus students are asked to self-quarantine for ten days (and ideally up to 14 days) immediately prior to arriving to the University. This should include the following:

Limiting contact with others and staying home as much as possible, as well as following recommendations for physical distancing and facial coverage if outside the home during this time.

Monitoring your health each day, being sure to note any unusual symptoms that cannot be attributed to another health condition.

As you may be aware, the symptoms of Covid-19/Coronavirus can include the following:

  • New cough
  • New shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fever over 100.4
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

If students test positive for COVID 19 or experience COVID-19 symptoms within the TEN days prior to coming to campus or are in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 within the 14 days prior to coming to campus, students are asked to not come to campus and contact Health Services to discuss a plan for next steps.

As indicated earlier this summer, move-in dates have changed for new students and a sign-up process will be required for all students to support responsible distancing.

New students will sign up for a time slot to move in on Thursday, Sep. 10, or Friday, Sep. 11. More information will be available in an Orientation email this week.

Returning students will need to sign up for a move in slot for either Saturday, Sep. 12, or Sunday, Sep. 13. Watch for updates via email and on the move-in page later in August.

All students are encouraged to put together a “care kit” that includes the following items:

  • Reusable face coverings (view SPU’s face covering guidelines). It is recommended that you bring more than one to allow for washing in between uses (or some disposable face coverings for back up).
  • Personal care kit: Hand sanitizer, thermometer, tissues, over-the-counter products (e.g., Tylenol, throat lozenges, tea, etc.).
  • Small first aid kit.
  • Prescription medications: If possible, having an additional month's supply is recommended.

Students should also be sure to have access to their medical insurance card and make sure that their emergency contact information in Banner is up to date.

If you choose not to live on campus fall quarter, you can apply for winter quarter housing in late October in the Housing Portal. We will have a better idea about options and availability sometime during fall quarter. Watch your email and check back here for updates.

Demaray Hall

Resuming campus operations

Reducing the risk of infection on campus is a shared responsibility, and we ask all members of our community to do their part. For the most up-to-date information for students, visit the Resuming campus operations website.