Several students remain on campus following university shutdown

Written By Emma Christley

As previously reported by The Globe, on March 17, students received an updated announcement that students would be required to evacuate campus by March 27 rather than April 3 as previously announced. An exemption form was made available to students who felt they needed to remain on campus and only 11 students were accepted.

As of publication, it has been two weeks since the updated evacuation date, the remaining students are living in Boulevard Apartments and still have resources available to them, according to Dean of Student Life Michael Gieseke. Among those resources are food service options, mail services open on Mondays and Thursdays and Success Center and Health Services available virtually. Also available as needed are Maintenance and Housekeeping services as well as Student Life staff, should a student need support.

One student remaining on campus has noticed a lack of dining services available, despite the “options” described by the official emails.

“The [Made To Order] stations (sandwiches, grill, salad) are all closed, so it’s just snack food. Having the dining service main food groups open would be significantly better for me to use my flex [dollars] that I had remaining to actually get meals and not just measly snack foods.” a student who wishes to remain anonymous said.

Also without a car on campus and not wanting to pay delivery fees for takeout, the student has to rely on others to transport them to stores.

Another complaint the student had is with the lack of communication from the school.

“[The] administration didn’t really communicate with anyone about why they were or were not able to stay on campus and, honestly, I’m not sure why I got to stay over some other people,” they said.

With the option to apply to stay on campus came during a limited time window between possibly being denied and having to find a new living situation.

“I wasn’t sure if I would be allowed to live on campus so I had to emergency pack all of my belongings just in case and scramble to gather things I could do. I prepared for the worst, but luckily was able to stay,” they said.

Lacking in clear information was the decision on work-study funds, which is something the student would have needed to continue buying groceries.

With the end of the semester quickly approaching, the plan to have all students off campus by April 27th is still in place with Dean Gieseke saying “there are no plans at this time to change that date.”

Gieseke also added that if it was mandated that students could not travel, then the Office of Student Life would need to work with them.

As for how Point Park is preparing for possible future situations, Gieseke said “the University is definitely ‘keeping notes’ on how things have gone during all of this… I am sure that when this is all over, we will examine what went well, what we could have done differently and what we learned from all of this.”

He added that he is confident that immediate changes will be made, as well as long-term plans will be put in place should something like this ever happen again.

Dean of Students Keith Paylo was contacted for comment but could not be reached.