FEBRUARY 12, 2021 — UTSA again will offer on-campus living options in the 2021–2022 academic year, while remaining committed to fostering a safe learning, working and living environment for its Roadrunner community.
Housing and Residence Life is preparing for multiple scenarios with regard to housing options for the fall and will continue to take precautions that follow the public health and safety directives issued by UTSA.
The university anticipates adding two on-campus living communities for fall 2021. Guadalupe Hall, designated as the new home for the Honors Residential Community, is slated to be complete and open by the fall.
Additionally, Chisholm Hall, an existing property that was previously operated by third-party partner Campus Living Villages, is now owned and managed by UTSA.
“While we can’t predict the state of the pandemic come fall 2021, we are cautiously optimistic and are planning a variety of housing scenarios based on campus activity and operations recovery level,” said Daniel Gockley, executive director of housing and member of the Recovery Operations Committee.
It should be noted that although Guadalupe Hall and Chisholm Hall are anticipated additions to UTSA’s existing communities for the fall, Housing and Residence Life must remain flexible and cannot yet guarantee a specific living community, building, unit or room type at this time.
Housing and Residence Life leadership and staff are actively involved in the university’s recovery operations and have taken measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 among on-campus residents. Since UTSA reopened its on-campus residential communities in fall 2020, the university has reported very few confirmed cases with direct campus impact.
Despite all of his classes being held online in the fall, first-year chemical engineering major and UTSA Top Scholar Tejas Narayanan chose to live on campus for several reasons.
“I don’t feel like I would have been able to make the mental transition to being in college if I hadn’t made it physically, and leaving home was important for my personal growth and independence,” he said. “The other reason I chose to live on campus was because there are too many distractions at home. Living on campus motivates me to focus on my studies and pursue other opportunities outside of class, like being part of a research lab.”
Narayanan also welcomes the social interaction with other college students and has felt very safe on campus.
“It’s really easy to maintain social distancing the way the residential communities are laid out. Nothing feels cramped,” he said. “Everyone here is very conscientious of the pandemic, and I think as a community we’re making great strides to do the right things to be safe.”
The benefits of living on campus are clear:
In addition, increased opportunities for collaborative learning and discussions with people who are racially or ethnically different from themselves are two important benefits UTSA students who live on campus have reported experiencing compared to students living off-campus.
According to five-year survey data from the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), 54% of students living in UTSA housing reported that they very often or often prepared for exams by discussing or working through course material with other students — 5 percentage points higher than students living elsewhere reported. Additionally, 80% of students living in UTSA housing reported that they very often or often had discussions with people of a race or ethnicity different from their own — 7 percentage points higher than students living off-campus.
“In general, we see that students who live on campus in their first year more quickly develop a sense of belonging, which is known to positively impact academic success and emotional wellbeing,” stated Tammy Wyatt, vice provost for student success. “Several of our residential communities are set up to support collaborative learning, which aids in student success, increases understanding of diverse perspectives, and helps students prepare for real life social and employment situations.”
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