As universities and colleges across the country grapple to control COVID-19 outbreaks, CU Denver’s numbers have remained relatively low—with just nine confirmed cases who have had campus contact since the fall semester began. We owe our success to our students, faculty, and staff, who are adhering to safety protocols and making good choices on and off campus. And at Lynx Crossing, the thoughtful measures put in place, paired with residents’ unwavering support, have made a significant difference.
“We are seeing very positive results of our efforts to educate and encourage students to follow mask and social distancing guidelines,” said Kade Ross, MBA, director of housing and dining. “While the transitions for housing and residence life have been abrupt as we have adapted to the pandemic, we believe our students’ sincere desire to remain on campus and protect the rest of the community are apparent and encouraging.”
Making Friends and Exploring Denver
Trevor Cislaw, a sophomore studying sports business in the Business School, wanted to live at Lynx Crossing to get to know people. As a transfer student, he saw it as an opportunity to make friends and get acclimated to his new surroundings.
Even though living on campus has looked much different than he anticipated, his positive experiences have transformed his social life. At a speed dating event hosted by the residence assistants (RAs) during welcome week, for example, he met a group of six friends that quickly expanded to 15 – 20 people (who wear masks on and off campus and practice social distancing).
“We’ve done quite a few things together, from walking around downtown Denver, to going out to dinners, to going on late night adventures, and to having family dinner nights at each other’s dorms,” Trevor said, adding, “There are quite a few people from the dorms that are in my classes, so connecting with them is really nice as well.”
What does an average day look like for Trevor? He wakes up, eats breakfast, and if it’s a Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday, he fills out his daily health attestation and goes to classes on campus. If it’s a Thursday, he attends classes remotely. After classes, he studies and hangs out with his friends. When so much in life is uncertain, he likes that his schedule remains somewhat consistent.
Extensive Safety Protocols Show Reward
Prior to moving into Lynx Crossing, all residents were required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 or get tested on site. The move-in process took place over the course of a week to promote social distancing, with thorough safety protocols in place that continue to be promoted daily. Asymptomatic testing is conducted regularly at the residence hall, and masks are required for everyone at all times.
Unlike other universities and colleges, each bedroom is limited to one resident. Suites are limited in occupancy so that no more than two people are sharing bathrooms, which are cleaned and disinfected regularly.
Residents’ adherence to the safety protocols earned praise from campus leadership. On Sept. 29, Chancellor Michelle Marks stood outside of the residence hall handing out Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in gratitude. Marks wrote in a campuswide message later that week: “We are hopeful that if everyone continues to follow our campus protocols, we can remain open with some in-person classes and services.”