Skip to content

Pilot program for undergraduate residence hall visitation

Updated March 11: Explore FAQs about this program

The University of Rochester Students Association (SA) and the Eastman Students’ Association have been advocating since the beginning of the academic year for new ways that undergraduates living on River Campus and at the Eastman School of Music can safely interact with one another amidst COVID protocols, in order to stay connected with friends, classmates, and meet new people. The number of COVID cases on campus has fluctuated at different points throughout the fall and spring semesters, making it difficult to consider relaxing any of the protocols designed to prevent COVID transmission. However, if the positive cases stabilize through students’ continued adherence to the UR Community Commitment, SA—in collaboration with University leaders and CURT members—plans to launch a pilot program that allows residential undergraduates on either campus to have one other individual visit their room, as long as both individuals are masked and both are current University residential undergraduates.

This new visitation pilot is targeted to begin on March 15 and will continue until the end of the spring semester if two criteria are continuously met.

First, University Health Service (UHS) needs a minimum of 1,000 undergraduate residential students to be tested each week as part of surveillance testing. Currently, this minimum is not consistently being met on a weekly basis, so all undergraduate students are asked to encourage one another to fulfill their commitment to the surveillance testing program. As a reminder, the surveillance testing program includes all students, including off-campus students, who regularly access campus. It is based on testing 2,000 students per week using the quick, rapid test; surveillance testing takes place at the Goergen Athletic Center and on the ESM campus. In addition to Dr. Chat Bot, it has been a very effective way to monitor and contain the spread of the virus throughout this academic year.

Second, the total number of positive cases among undergraduate students on River Campus and at ESM must stay at 40 or below over a 14-day period. UHS will monitor these case numbers.

If positive cases among undergraduate residential students exceeds 40 in the two-week period, or UHS reports that they did not have 1,000 residential undergraduate surveillance test participants in a week, CURT will then need to re-evaluate the status of the pilot program.

“This is a much needed, much asked for, and much deserved for students living on campus this semester,” said Connor Sandagata, SA ACJC Chief Justice. “While we shouldn’t let our guard down, changes like this show that there is a clear path to a more vibrant campus life as we deal with this pandemic.”

Frequently asked questions

The residential visitation pilot program is being implemented as a way for undergraduate students to more easily interact with one another and have more opportunities to socialize with a friend or classmate. It’s important to respect the intentions of this pilot program, including that it is designed for individuals, and not group gatherings. Compliance with these guidelines to keep our community safe will allow us to continue the pilot throughout the spring semester.

Explore FAQs about the program in the drop-downs below.

The guest must also be an undergraduate student living in a campus residence hall/building, including Eastman’s Student Living Center, Riverview Apartments and Brooks Crossing. Guest and host must be masked at all times.

Any residential student (host) can have one guest. Students in double rooms must have the consent of their roommate for a guest to visit. Two roommates can each have a guest in their room at the same time, for a total of four. In apartments and suites, students don’t need the consent of all apartment-mates and suitemates to have a guest in your room, but you do need their consent if the guest will be in the shared space.

If a roommate does not consent, the visit can take place in a lounge area with all lounge occupancy limits in force. Lounge occupancy limits and expectations remain in place. For suites and apartments, maximum lounge occupancy is the residential occupancy of the living unit up to a maximum occupancy of 6 (i.e. 3 person apartment = 3 in the lounge, 6 person suite = 6 in the lounge, 12 person suite = 6 in the lounge). Floor lounge and Fraternity Quad house lounge occupancy limits are as posted.

The host must meet the guest at the entrance to the residential building to let them in. The host must escort the guest while in the building, and upon exit; guests cannot move freely around the building, or remain after the visit ends. There is no time limit for guests, but given that masks must be worn at all times, sleeping overnight is not allowed.

Eating and drinking together in a room, suite or apartment is not allowed as part of this pilot program. This decision was made to eliminate any amount of time where guest and host would not be wearing a mask.

If the pilot program has to be paused or cancelled, the first notification will be an email from Residential Life to all River Campus and ESM residential undergraduate students. This notice will be supplemented by RA communications and social media. If the pilot program cannot go forward because the two criteria—under 40 positive student cases, and a minimum of 1,000 surveillance tests per week—are not met, an email will go out to residential students on the Friday before the week of the program’s pause.

Get support

If students are experiencing loneliness or are personally struggling with an issue and need someone to speak with, there are many resources available on campus that can help:

  • The University Counseling Center (UCC) is open and is accepting new appointments. UCC services are available to support all full-time students, and offers suggestions for managing fears and anxiety about the pandemic. The UCC 24/7 on-call service (585) 275-3113 is also available for mental health emergencies experienced by students.
  • The CARE Network allows members of the University community to express their concern about a student—or seek help for themselves—through its online referral form. Upon receiving and reviewing a CARE referral, staff reach out to the student to provide support and resources. In addition, the Interfaith Chapel remains available to offer support to students during this difficult time. Students are welcome to email Reverend Denise Yarbrough at if they are struggling. Many of the faith communities of the chapel are offering worship services. Simply contact the leader of the faith community you are interested in for details.
  • For students who need additional funding to cover qualifying needs, clothing, food, housing, the Basic Needs Hub is an excellent resource to get you through the critical period. The Food Pantry has expanded its availability to all students and postdoctoral appointees. It is need-blind and does not require any income or financial threshold.
Return to the top of the page