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Campus Residences Announces Move-Out Requirement to Reduce Density

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Richard J. Gatteau, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, and Dallas W. Bauman, Assistant Vice President for Campus Residences, have released a message announcing the closure of on-campus housing in order to enhance social distancing measures. The message reads as follows:

Dear Seawolves,

In an effort to significantly reduce the population density on campus and ensure social distancing measures to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, we made the difficult decision to close on-campus housing.

As we anticipate increased travel restrictions, residents are expected to leave immediately based on the following criteria:

  • All residents who live within driving distance of campus must vacate the residence halls and campus apartments as soon as possible, but no later than 5 pm EST on Thursday, March 19.
  • All other residents must vacate as soon as possible, but no later than 5 pm EST on Friday, March 20.

Room and meal plan costs (where applicable) will be prorated for the remainder of the semester for all students leaving campus housing and applied as a refund and/or credit to your student account based on the date of check out.

Research Project Assistants (RA), Teaching Assistants (TA), or Graduate Assistants (GA) may remain on campus since they are involved in maintaining academic continuity. We will make other exceptions on a case-by-case basis. If you are an RA, TA, or GA or have an extenuating circumstance, you must fill out this form for special consideration by 3 pm EST on Wednesday, March 18. Decisions will be communicated via your Stony Brook e-mail address within 24 hours.

If you have already left for Spring Break, you must return to retrieve your belongings and complete the checkout process. If you’ve already moved out but have not returned your room key, please mail it back in a padded envelope to your Quad / Area Office (mailing addresses can be found on the Campus Residences website). Make sure to include your full name, Stony Brook ID # and room assignment in the envelope.

To ensure the health and safety of students approved by exception to remain on campus, please note the following:

  • You are expected to remain on our campus for the safety of yourself, fellow students, and the broader community.
  • You may be assigned to an alternate living space once we know who is approved to remain on campus. Personal preferences will not be accommodated for students who remain in campus housing.
  • Students from other residence halls and off campus guests will not be permitted to enter your residence hall.



As per updated Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) guidance issued on Friday, March 13, students participating in alternative methods of learning or online courses remain in Active status. As such, Visa and Immigration Services (VIS) will not terminate/shorten the immigration records for F-1/J-1 degree-seeking students who remain enrolled and depart the U.S. It is important to note that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has not provided updated guidance regarding procedures for re-entry (including the 5 month absence from the U.S.).  For more details regarding travel and re-entry, please refer to the information provided on the Travel page of the VIS website.

F-1 and J-1 students who wish to obtain a travel signature prior to departure must submit the form in accessVIS. (Be sure to check your I-20/DS-2019, as you may already have a valid travel signature.) VIS will send a follow up email with more details on pick-up instructions.

International students involved in continuing teaching or research such as Research Project Assistants, Teaching Assistants, or Graduate Assistants may remain in campus housing.

We know that this is a stressful time for you and your families. Our Student Affairs team, including Campus Residences, Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS), and the Student Support Team are available to support you through this transition. We are currently living in the midst of a very challenging situation, and the circumstances are changing rapidly, so please check your e-mail and our SBU Coronavirus website frequently for updates. If you have any questions, please contact us at

Please share this communication with your parents or family members.

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  • The message below doesn’t address when students who have left campus should return to collect their belongings from the dorm.

    It seems to state that students who are on campus now must vacate by tomorrow. Later on it states “If you have already left for Spring Break, you must return to retrieve your belongings and complete the checkout process” but it doesn’t state by when this is to be done.

    Surely you do not intend for all students to return to the dorms tomorrow? Students who left campus and are practicing social distancing and staying home should not be going back to the campus at this time. Please tell me you don’t want all the kids back in the dorm tomorrow!!!!!

  • This notification was NOT sent to all students.
    It was also not sent to faculty.
    Panic and chaos are not what we need now.
    Please, have more thoughtful communication and plans.
    Now we will have Tons of parents and students trying to move out at once.
    This is not what we need now

    • Agree with the 2 posts. Personally my entire family is out of state right now and it will mean flying back to move my daughter off campus. Currently, we are in a place where there are NO cases and we are being asked to come back to a hotspot. As pointed out already, there will be chaos if all students and parents are trying to do this at the same time. Spring break was extended so the reasonable thing to do is to require the move out date to be AFTER the end of spring break. Also, consider doing it on a rolling basis to ease the confusion. Furthermore, vehicles left on campus should not be towed or ticketed. Require that the students take their vehicles once they move out.

  • This is not only insane, but in violation of the New York state of emergency guidelines. As you know, most students departed for Spring Break last week. And many if not most were not expecting to return given the handwriting on the wall. Now you are calling them all back physically to complete some checkout process. If you need help creating an online checkout process form let me know – does not seem complicated. They can mail back the precious room keys. And regarding any remaining stuff in the rooms – you know what – does not seem very important right now – why not let it sit for a month and reassess rather than threatening to hold back reimbursement until the stuff is out. Go read your facebook page – you have about 100 angry comments already from students and parents waiting for you.

    • I think they’re pushing the students out so quickly because they are going to use the dorms for either medical staff housing, national guard housing, quarantine, or makeshift hospital.

      They’re not going to come right out and say that, but it seems likely given the fact that NYS is using SBU Southampton as a quarantine site.

  • This plan does not make sense for a few reasons.

    1) It is spring break. There is nobody in my apartment right now but me. I’m sure the same is true for many others dorms. And spring break has been extended. Why force us out now to decrease density when campus is a literal ghost town right now, anyway? This doesn’t make sense.

    2) Spring break has been extended, so there will be far less students actually on campus for at least that period. Why on earth would you tell students who are at home already to come back to campus, thereby forcing a massive gathering of people? And what if doing so will be a financial or practical strain on some? This doesn’t make sense.

    3) What if some students’ only other homes have vulnerable people living there, such as grandparents? This doesn’t make sense.

    4) I have no help moving right now and may be forced to leave my new bicycle since it does not fit in my car, and there is no roof rack. Will Stony Brook reimburse me for the price of the bicycle?

    Additionally, I would like to bring something else to everyone’s attention. In the summer of 2018, all of the graduate students living in the West Apartments over the summer were forced to move all of their belongings to another residence hall on campus for about a week and a half with 1 DAYS NOTICE, no apology or anything, and certainly no assistance. I had several heavy items, such as a small refrigerator, and the quad office would not even let me keep it in the back of their office for a couple of days. I had $300 of food in the larger common refrigerator/freezer, and I was told there was no choice but to leave it there. When I returned, everything had been thrown away. If I was working with the campus residences at that time, I would have gotten together a team of fellow employees and helped some of the students with the temporary move. There were only a few of us grad students around at that time.

    Mind you, I am a very patient and considerate person. However, this being my last year as a student here, I can’t help but feel somewhat bitter about how emergent situations have been handled by the residency coordinators. They prefer to make decisions at the last minute because it’s easier for them in the short-term, but it really hurts the students in the end. Otherwise, I love Stony Brook.

  • This seems like a really bad idea. Why the rush?
    If the goal is to reduce density, let students come back when it is convenient for them to do so. They are stressed enough already trying to deal with the impacts of the epidemic and its affect on academics. This is also another significant economic and logistic challenge for many.

  • This is crazy. I agree with the other commentators. Why not spread out the moving out process so not everyone is on campus at the same time. How would you maintain a safe social distance to avoid the virus with so many parents and students around? How about seniors first, followed by juniors… into next week to allow less crowding.

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