March 31, 2020
Dear Off-Campus Student Housing Managers,
As you know, our world has changed drastically in recent weeks due to COVID-19. Businesses have been shuttered and communities ordered to “stay at home” to slow the spread of this virus. We’ve seen big changes at the University of Central Florida, too. As directed by Gov. Ron DeSantis and the State University System, we’ve shifted all classes online for the spring and at least a portion of the summer semesters. In addition, we’ve intentionally depopulated campus by requesting our students return to their permanent residences.
UCF has now begun processing refunds for on-campus student housing for a portion of the spring semester, and we also are working to provide relief for students who purchased meal plans.
Your business is undoubtedly feeling the effects of this pandemic, even as you continue to support UCF and our students. We’re thankful to have you as a valued partner. At the same time, we know that many of our students are struggling as they navigate stress caused by the uncertainty of the pandemic; new virtual coursework; isolation from friends and social activities; and financial hardships from the loss of jobs and internships. We’ve heard from some students whose parents are guarantors on their lease and also now find themselves unexpectedly out of work.
That’s why we are respectfully asking apartment and housing managers in the UCF area to work with our off-campus students on a case-by-case basis. Please consider granting early lease terminations and flexibility with rent payment plans, security deposits and guarantees.
For those students who remain on your properties, we ask that you promote social distancing guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In accordance with Orange County’s mandatory “Stay at Home” Executive Order, residents are ordered to stay at home as much as possible, with exceptions for trips deemed “essential.” Please discourage gatherings in your community spaces and help prevent parties from being hosted on your property.
Thank you for your consideration of our request and your continued support of UCF and our students. We know that by working together, we will all get through this.
Thad Seymour Jr.
Vice President for Student Development and Enrollment Services