Fall Update #4: Housing & Residential Life

Dear Students and Families:

I am writing to you today to follow-up on President Akande’s email and share additional details on Champlain’s latest plans for student housing and the campus experience, with a focus on managing the health and safety of our residential community. My team and I appreciate your patience in awaiting the details of our Fall 2020 residential life plan, and although this email will not address every question, we are eager to provide you with the details we have at this time. These updates are informed, in part, by the State of Vermont’s guidance for the reopening of college campuses announced by Governor Scott on Tuesday. 

This email includes important updates related to:

  • Campus housing priorities and assignment process (note: all students must take action by July 16)
  • Move-In & Orientation
  • Important dates and deadlines


As President Akande shared, we have made the difficult decision to limit the number of students we will bring back to campus this fall. As a result, some students who had planned to return to campus will continue virtual Champlain experiences through the Fall semester. I know this news will come as a disappointment to some. Our decision is rooted in our commitment to mitigate the risk of coronavirus among our students, faculty, staff, and the larger Burlington community and to ensure an engaging, inclusive experience for students on campus.

All students are asked to actively indicate their housing intentions for the fall using the process we define below. Current housing contracts for Fall 2020 (with the exception of 194 St Paul Street) have been voided. 

Campus housing will be prioritized as follows:

  • All first-year, new transfer students, and Resident Assistants (RAs) will be guaranteed campus housing.
  • Most campus housing will be in single-occupancy rooms, with a few larger rooms permitted double-occupancy.
  • All students who currently have a leasing contract for 194 St. Paul Street will retain their current housing assignment.
  • Remaining on-campus housing capacity will be prioritized for students with documented ADA accommodations, international students, and those students whose home situation is unstable or is not equipped for virtual learning. Our team is prepared to work with international students who are able to return to campus to ensure their class schedule meets the requirements outlined by US Immigration & Customs Enforcement this week.
  • Additional returning students will be assigned housing as space allows, based on criteria we expect to share with students and families via email by July 24.

As the Academic Affairs team shared in Fall Update #2, students will be able to participate fully in all classes whether they are physically present on campus or working virtually from a non-campus location. Our faculty and Academic Leadership Team are dedicated to designing creative and engaging courses that meet rigorous standards, whether the faculty member or student is virtual or in-person. For our students who will be part of the Champlain community from afar, we are committed to keeping you close, engaged, and back on campus as soon as safely possible.  


All students (including new, transfer, and returning students, students assigned to 194 St. Paul Street and those without current housing assignments) are asked to complete the Housing Intention form by July 16. The form asks students to indicate whether they are certain they wish to live on-campus or off-campus or whether their decision will be determined by their schedule. 

By completing the form, students are providing the data our Housing & Residential Life team needs to determine the amount of on-campus housing available. We know your specific academic schedule may be a key factor in your decision to request on-campus housing. Academic schedules will be released on July 22, at which time you will have a sense as to how many of your classes will be fully or partially virtual. As you complete the Housing Intention Form, please assume most of your classes will be fully or partially virtual. 

Please note:

  • Students who do not complete the form will not have an opportunity to request housing at a later date. 
  • Students who complete the form by indicating that they are uncertain of their plans will be contacted for more information before housing assignments are made.
  • Students who indicate an interest in on-campus housing by completing the form and later make a determination to live off-campus/at home will be able to cancel their housing without penalty until August 24.


Move-in will take place on a staggered schedule to allow for increased physical distancing and to comply with Vermont’s guidance for out-of-state visitors. Based on guidance from the Vermont Department of Health some students will be required to quarantine on arrival depending where they are traveling from and their mode of transportation. 

We cannot finalize the move-in schedule until the housing selection process is complete and until the list of non-quarantine counties has been published by the State of Vermont; both are expected on August 1. Move-in details will follow soon after.

We understand that students and families need to make plans for move-in, including travel arrangements and consideration of work schedules. While our move-in schedule will not be available until after August 1, you can read more about the requirements from the State of Vermont regarding college move-in on our FAQ page.

Orientation for new incoming students has been reimagined as a series of educational and community building activities that will take place virtually over the last two weeks of August. The sessions will be a mix of live presentations from campus and student leaders, informational sessions on College resources and updates on COVID-19 policies, and community building activities to introduce new students to one another. Students will be broken into small virtual groups with an Orientation Leader. These small groups will connect throughout the two week Orientation period, both virtually and in person, where possible. Incoming students will be able to participate whether they are at home or on campus. Incoming students will receive additional details, including a schedule of Orientation activities by July 27.


  • July 15: Fall bills posted for new, incoming students & students assigned
    to 194 St. Paul Street
  • July 16: Housing Intention Form Due (required of all students)
  • July 20: Fall bills posted for all remaining students (without housing
  • July 22: Academic schedules available 
  • July 24: Housing availability details and next steps emailed to students 
  • July 27: Orientation schedule and details available
  • July 29:     Revised bills posted for returning students with on-campus housing
  • August 2: Move-In schedule and details expected
  • August 10: Fall 2020 bills final due date
  • August 24: Last day to cancel on-campus housing without penalty
  • August 31: Fall classes begin
  • November 22: All students required to move out of residence halls
  • November 30: Classes resume virtually


We welcome your additional questions. Please join us for one of the following Zoom events:

The Fall Semester Academic Learning Model: Flex-Hybrid Webinar
July 13, 7:00 PM ET
Details and registration here

Town Hall for Incoming Students & Families
July 22, 7:00 PM ET
RSVP here

Town Hall for Returning Students & Families
July 23, 7:00 PM ET
RSVP here

You will find all of our Fall Updates on our COVID-19 website along with an extensive and frequently updated list of FAQs.

We will continue to communicate with you over the course of the summer as additional details for the Fall 2020 semester are resolved.


Susan Waryck
Dean of Students