Southern Arkansas University has closed university housing for the reminder of the spring semester.
SAU’s residence halls and apartment complexes will close by 5 p.m. Monday due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The university had already ceased face-to-face classes, except for certain labs.
Southern Arkansas University reported a record number of students living on campus with the start of the fall 2019 semester, with 1,993 of its 4,472 graduates and undergraduates in residence halls and apartment complexes. The most recent addition, Arkansas Hall, opened last fall for 127 residents.
Students who lived in campus housing for the Spring 2020 semester will receive a pro-rated credit due to the closure. The credit will be applied to each student’s account toward Fall 2020 expenses.
The university said in a statement that applying credits is a labor-intensive process, as each student's situation is unique and each account must be calculated individually. Exact amounts of individual credit will be available after July 6.
Graduating seniors can expect to receive checks mid-July.
All undergraduate students will be able to view the credit in mySAU after July 6.
Any student who receives a credit and who does not return to SAU for the Fall 2020 Semester can expect to receive a refund mid-September.
Health screenings and housing check-outs are being conducted through Monday. In order to minimize traffic to each building, multiple check-out periods with limited appointments for each period were available to continue to do what SAU can to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Students are required to stop by the drive-up health screenings to assess their travel history and health before returning to their halls to retrieve their belongings. Virtual check-outs are available to implement social distancing between housing staff and students.
SAU does offer students the ability to apply for an exception to remain in campus housing. The university understands that for some, staying on campus is the only housing option available.
Students can apply for an exception to remain on campus, by visiting the housing website and completing the online request.