Missouri Western went from having over 1,000 students living in the residence halls to only about 50 students in a matter of days.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak in the United States and around the world, Missouri Western faculty had to make the difficult decision to find other ways to let students finish the semester without being on campus. It was also decided that all students living on campus this semester must find another place to stay as to keep the spreading of the virus as low as possible.
The exception is about 50 students that have been approved to stay for the remainder of the semester. These students may live internationally or in another state with no way to get home, or they may not have a place to call home.
All students living in the residence halls before spring break have until April 1 to get their belongings out of the dorms, so that a thorough deep clean can be done. Once all leaving students are checked out, the remaining students will be moved to Vartabedian Hall. Each remaining student will be placed in their own room because of the importance of social distancing.
Over 400 students still have their belongings in the dorms, making this transition come to a stand still. While there are “stay at home” orders in many communities, higher education is exempt from these orders, and students are asked to get their things as quickly as possible. Any students that are not able to move out of the dorms before April 1 need to contact residential life so that faculty can know what to do with student belongings.
Reslife staff and student affairs are still available for any student's needs. The university counseling services are also still on campus, and will be holding their services over the phone for students at home. Vice President of Student Affairs Shane Meyer believes that the university has plenty of staff available to continue helping students.
“Pretty much if students need help, we are still here to help,” Meyer said. “For those students that are here, if they need anything we hope they will reach out, and for the students that have gone home early, we hope that they stay connected to our community.”
According to Interim Director of Residential Life Josh Maples, reslife staff have taken extra precautions to keep themselves and students healthy.
“We got gloves for our workers, we increased our sanitation of the workspace quite a bit and we sanitize the pens that are being used,” Maples said. “Everyone feels more comfortable with these measures.”