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After a turbulent fall semester, students look ahead residence life in the spring

<p>There are a couple essentials that every college student should be sure to pack. Lexi Whitehead, Senior Campus &amp; Community Editor, helps you figure out what&#x27;s worth packing up and what can probably stay behind.</p>

There are a couple essentials that every college student should be sure to pack. Lexi Whitehead, Senior Campus & Community Editor, helps you figure out what's worth packing up and what can probably stay behind.

Due to COVID-19, living on campus has looked a lot different this semester than previous years. First-years entering Miami University this fall did not know what to expect and are still apprehensive about next semester. 

Throughout campus, many residence halls have decided to separate their residents into single rooms. First-years who intended to have roommates were split apart and placed into a double room acting as a temporary single. 

“Depending on the number of beds and students that are returning, freshmen should anticipate getting placed with a roommate for the next semester,” said Vicka Bell-Robinson, director of residence life. 

Bell-Robinson explained that first-years who have been removed from their original roommates can either request to be arranged with them again or will be given another roommate. 

First-year Ally Hoyas, a resident of Clawson Hall, was separated from her roommate before initially moving in. 

“It was aggravating,” Hoyas said. “Because obviously you have to figure out what you’re sharing with your roommate.” 

Hoyas was told only a week before move-in that she and her roommate would eventually be separated into two different rooms. 

“It was frustrating and kind of annoying that it was so last minute, because I was expecting to be living with a roommate,” Hoyas added. 

She explained that next semester, she hopes to keep her single in Clawson. 

In the midst of figuring out where first-years will be placed for next semester, Resident Directors (RDs) still need to decide on how to keep the dorms COVID-19 free. 

This semester, there were mandates put into place  restricting residential students in their dorms. 

Students are allowed to have only one guest per roommate, though there is no curfew. If a resident assistant (RA) spots residents breaking this rule, it results in an automatic write-up. 

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Residential students are also required to have masks on when traveling throughout their dorm building, whether it be for laundry, showering, receiving mail or going to the common area.

The dorm halls follow a color code system and still plan to do so next semester. Though the residents are urged to follow the rules and the suggestions, some students do not comply. 

Sophomore Riss Hasseman, an RA in McBride Hall, said RAs were instructed to recommend first-years to stay indoors but could not force them to unless mandatory quarantine was in place. However, she has to write up any resident exiting their room without a mask. 

“I hate writing people up for things I do as well,” Hasseman said. “I’m human. Sometimes I leave quickly forgetting a mask and have to go back and get it. Yet if I see freshmen do that, I have to immediately write them up. I think the rules for freshmen are too strict.” 

These rules are set in place for next semester and will not change unless there is a dramatic change in coronavirus cases, Bell-Robinson said. 

Two RAs from McBride Hall have quit this semester, and there have been 10 total resignations across campus, according to Bell-Robinson and Hasseman. Bell-Robinson doesn’t anticipate having any staffing problems next semester. 

“There should not be a shortage in RAs, and residence life is well overstaffed for next semester,” Bell Robinson said. 

Hasseman said that she was the only RA on her co-ed floor due to her counterpart’s resignation. 

“The other RA that resigned on my floor decided to because this was not quite the experience he anticipated to have as an RA,” Hasseman said. 

Next semester should be more organized and controlled, Bell-Robinson said, as residence life is able to “start from where we ended, instead of starting new.”