MTSU eliminates roommates due to COVID-19, forcing many students off campus

MTSU starting the housing assignment process over
Posted at 4:56 PM, Jun 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-09 22:16:45-04

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WTVF) — Some Middle Tennessee State University students planning to live on campus in the fall are losing their dorm rooms due to the school's new COVID-19 safety measures.

New guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control recommend one student per bedroom on campus, meaning nearly half of the student who lived on campus last year will need to find another place to live.

It won't be an issue for students in apartment-style residence halls, but in community dorms, in which the roommate assignments had already been announced, things will change.

"All of those assignments are being canceled," said Dr. Debra Sells, MTSU Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Services. "What we’re going to have to do is go back through and make a whole new set of assignments."

Any student can reapply, but Freshmen will be given first priority.

"Our sense is that, in their first time away from home, Freshmen have a need for campus support more so than an upperclassman," said Sells.

Students will be able to reserve individual rooms with no roommate, but even that will come at a higher cost -- $500 extra per semester.

"For most of our students, that amount of money shouldn’t make a significant difference. For those for whom it is unaffordable, any student can cancel their housing reservation between now and July 1 and receive all of their money back," said Dr. Sells.

All other students will either have to move back home or find an apartment off-campus. Sells believes there are enough off-campus apartments in Murfreesboro to fill the need.

"We understand this is going to be another adjustment," said Dr. Sells.

MTSU students will find out which classes meet in person, and which ones will be online, in the next two weeks. Sells says students will be able to customize their schedule if they can no longer live on campus.