UB reducing capacity in dorm rooms come fall

Students walking around the University at Buffalo around Capen Hall. January 30, 2020 (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)
Photo credit Students walking around the University at Buffalo around Capen Hall. January 30, 2020 (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)

BUFFALO (WBEN) - On Wednesday, UB made public the various safety protocols that the administration has put together to make an in-person return to campus for the fall semester as safe as possible.

Reduced capacity in classrooms and dorms, face coverings to be worn at all times except in dorm rooms, and social distancing, especially in areas of higher traffic like dining halls, will be the new normal.There will also be daily screenings and a required quarantine period for on-campus students prior to the start of the semester.

Regardless, UB officials, including Dr. Thomas Russo, is confident these protocols will help shield the university.

"I am confident that we'll actually be able to effectively execute this plan and keep our cases of the new coronavirus infection down both at the University at Buffalo and in our community here in Western New York," said Russo.One of the major steps being taken is a dramatic decrease in capacity, both in the classrooms and in dorms, as classes will also be offered online.But how with the university go about it, especially when it comes to on-campus living?Tom Tiberi serves as the director of campus living, and he says UB currently expects to lose about 10% capacity.

"None of our rooms are larger than singles and doubles," he said. "This also reduces the number of people using bathrooms, lounges, hallways, all those kinds of things."Tiberi also indicated that they're trying to be as flexible as possible with students regarding firm decisions on campus living.

"We are working with students as they make their decision, trying to give them as much information as we can on what it's going to like and allow them to make a decision," Tiberi continued. "We extended our cancellation deadline to July 31 to allow people to make that decision - if they don't want to live in the situation and the communal living that we can offer, they're certainly welcome to cancel for any reason.

"We do expect some more [cancellations] based on the method of instruction, so if the student has all online classes, they may choose not to live on campus after all."