Fisher transforms residence halls into quarantine dorms for the Spring semester

By Adelisa Badzic '24, Staff Writer

By Adelisa Badzic ’24, Staff Writer

In January, St. John Fisher College announced that for the spring semester there would be specific dorms strictly for quarantined and isolated students. The dorms being used are Michaelhouse and half of Dorsey. 

During the fall, students were sent to a hotel to isolate until they got a negative test result back. However now being on campus, students in quarantine will remain on campus, closer to resources such as the wellness center and food services.

Director of Residential Life, Derick Wigle, stated, “We had space on campus to accommodate the switch, in the fall semester we were very full and used a hotel for quarantines.”  When looking into which dorms would be used as the quarantine dorms, Fisher looked at the occupancy in each hall. Michaelhouse and Dorsey east were the least occupied.  They also looked at which of these dorms have single rooms. Suites would not work for putting students in quarantine since they would be sharing a bathroom with someone else. 

“If you suddenly got COVID and I was on the other side of the bathroom I would have to be quarantined even longer, so Ward and Haffey could not work,” said Wigle. 

ResLife took a lot into consideration because the people that they were moving were in singles prior to the switch. And now they were getting roommates. The process is the same for when you register for housing, you answer questions and get paired with someone. But they were especially focused on making good pairings.

Senior Malik Smith was one of the students who had to switch from his room in Michaelhouse to a new dorm. He said the school did a good effort to pair him with someone. “I got a list of potential roommates. After I looked at the list I saw someone I knew and sent an email to ResLife about it, they responded within 10 minutes and said they would take care of it.”

Smith also said that he was a bit confused why he had to be displaced and inconvenienced, but after he read the emails and thought about what it meant overall, he came to a realization that it would be what’s best for the spring semester. 

Wigle admitted that he was nervous about how students who had to move out of their single dorms would react. However, overall, students understood the benefit of it and the campus received very little negative feedback from students about the switch. 

There are currently 116 rooms available for quarantine and isolation on campus, with five of those rooms being used. Find more information about COVID-19 on campus from the New York State Department of Health School Report here. 

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