MU has asked undergraduate students living in university housing to make other plans.

“Because public health officials have instructed us to reduce the density of on-campus housing, we are implementing a plan to depopulate Residential Life facilities,” said William Stackman, MU vice provost for student affairs, in an email to students. “Unfortunately, we must now ask you to start making plans to move out of university housing.”

MU will work with students to set departure dates, Stackman said in the email.

Students without other housing options, including international students, can work with MU to make arrangements.

“We do not want to have any student in a situation where they are searching for housing during this crisis, so it’s a matter of, if you have a place to go, please go home,” MU spokesperson Christian Basi said. “If you have nowhere else to go, tell us, and we’re going to work this out. We will make sure that you have a place to be.”

Basi estimated Tuesday that about 75% of students living in on-campus housing had left.

Meanwhile, students who leave campus housing will receive a refund of 45% of the current semester cost, vice chancellor for finance Rhonda Gibler said in a separate email to students.

Gibler outlined other financial information:

  • Unused dining plans will roll over to a future semester for returning students.
  • Graduating seniors and others with “extenuating circumstances” may convert the remainder of their dining plans to a university account credit.
  • An $80 refund of the recreation center fee will be applied to student accounts after MizzouRec closed Friday.
  • All late payments and financing charges will be waived until the end of the semester.
  • Students will not receive a bill until the refund process has been fully put in place.

Basi said MU officials were considering consolidating remaining students into a smaller number of residence halls but no official decisions would be made before administrators had a final head count on who would be staying.

“We don’t want to wind up with maybe 100 students scattered across 10 buildings,” Basi said.

At the same time, Basi said, administrators were recognizing guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to limit the number of people in any given space.

Campus dining facilities are going to be carry-out only, Stackman said in his email.

Meanwhile, graduate students living in university-sponsored apartments are not encouraged to leave, Stackman explained in separate email to those graduate students.

“We are currently asking undergraduate students to return to their permanent residences,” he said. “We know that your needs and responsibilities are very different, however, so we are not asking you to leave your apartment.”

Basi said MU officials will continue to adjust campus guidelines as new information becomes available.

“We are making decisions as quickly as we can to respond to the rapidly changing conditions,” Basi said. “And these conditions that are changing are near impossible to predict.”

For more COVID-19 related news, see our section dedicated to COVID-19 updates.
  • I'm an assistant city editor. This is my junior year at MU, where I study investigative reporting and political science. Interests include local journalism, breakfast food and good books. Email with any story tips.

  • Elizabeth Brixey is the Columbia Missourian's education editor and an associate professor in the Missouri School of Journalism. She can be reached at (573) 882-2632 and

Recommended for you