Temple’s Move Online Leaves Students in Housing Limbo

Hopes were running pretty high around the student body when Temple University announced some classes for the Fall 2020 semester would be in person. After a long summer of living in the unknown, students returned back to campus ready to tackle the new year with some sense of normalcy.

Unfortunately, that hope was short-lived due to the spike in coronavirus cases. In less than two weeks after classes restarted, Temple University is reporting more than 300 active COVID-19 cases on and off-campus as of Friday.

Because of this, health professionals and the Philadelphia Department of Health have advised the university to move in-person classes online for the rest of the fall semester. Some classes that require in-person instruction will still be allowed to run.

Since nearly 95% of classes are now remote, many Temple students are wondering what to do about their housing arrangements.

“It’s just very frustrating and it’s like a no-win situation”, says junior Robert Vaccola.

Robert is a student who lives off-campus and says he wishes the university had chosen to be virtual entirely. Now, he is responsible for all his rent installments, while his classes are all virtual.

He’s not the only off-campus student in this predicament. Those who live in large off-campus communities like Vantage, The View at Montgomery, Kardon Atlantic, and University Village have made it mandatory that students are responsible for the rest of their rental installments regardless of the university’s decision.

Diamond Green is the only off-campus community that is allowing students to leave their leases without paying the rest of their installments because of the move online.

Students who live in dorms on-campus must notify the university by September 13 if they wish to leave their on-campus housing and return home. Students can receive a full refund for their housing and meal plans if they decide to leave.

Though the university has given students the choice in regards to their housing, Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley is urging students to return home as soon as they can. The commissioner says this will reduce the risk of students spreading the virus to others on campus and also the community.

You can track the active number of COVID-19 cases within the Temple community using Temple Update’s visualized case dashboard.

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