WCU Student Renter and Commuter FAQ in a COVID19 Environment

 

Off Campus and Commuter Services (OCCS) FAQs

What is Advocates for Student Renters Group?

The Advocates for Student Renters Group is a group of WCU student renters who are actively meeting to discuss renting housing in the greater West Chester area. They have advocated for greater flexibility with lease terms, a lower cost for rent, rent relief, and other concerns related to the student rental process. If you are interested in discussing renting off campus with other students, visit their Facebook group.

Where do I look for off-campus housing?

1. Start by searching offcampushousing.wcupa.edu. In addition to viewing available rentals, this website allows students to search/post for sublets and make a roommate profile to search for roommates. Note! *If you are renting with other students in the Borough of West Chester or in West Goshen Township, you must rent in a student-zoned rental.* You can find out if the rental you are considering is student-zoned by asking the property owner.


2. Email commuters@wcupa.edu and/or Kelsey Matukas at kmatukas@wcupa.edu with any questions about renting in the local area.

I am a first-year student living off campus or commuting to WCU this fall

You will learn more information about your life as an off campus and commuter student during orientation this summer. Off Campus and Commuter Services (OCCS) offers specific programs for first-year students. Additionally, OCCS Commuter Assistants are student mentors who are specifically trained to assist with your transition from home to campus. Email commuters@wcupa.edu if you would like to speak with a Commuter Assistant.

What University resources are available to me as an off campus/commuter student?

WCU’s Department of Off Campus and Commuter Services (OCCS) offers one-on-one appointments to assist students with any questions. Email commuters@wcupa.edu with questions and/or to set up a one-on-one appointment. OCCS also manages Free Student Legal Aid where students can meet with a lawyer. Students can schedule an appointment with Free Student Legal Aid on MyWCU. In addition, OCCS has offcampushousing.wcupa.edu where students can view available rentals, search/post for sublets, and make roommate connections. Other University resources include Counseling Services, Health Services, the Campus Library, Sykes Student Union, Campus Rec Center. Please contact each of the departments for modifications of services and hours.

Does the University offer free student legal aid?

West Chester University offers free legal services to currently enrolled students. Schedule an appointment with Free Student Legal Aid on MyWCU.

Does the WCU Student Code of Conduct apply to my life off campus/commuting while taking remote classes?

The Student Code of Conduct and expectations of being a responsible citizen to protect our community still apply. Please visit the Student Conduct page for all university regulations and guidelines. In addition, please visit the Student Community Agreement

How do I communicate my concerns with others regarding COVID-19?

Good healthy adult communication begins with being honest about sharing space. Consider sharing your concerns about the health risks. If your concern is not respected, please take care of your own health and exercise caution by distancing yourself. Control the controllables!


Stay informed and share resources like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) FAQ to help keep yourself and others healthy.

I am living with other students off campus during the Fall 2021 semester. What happens if I get sick or one of my roommates gets sick?

Roommates who are unvaccinated will need to quarantine for 14 days if they have been in close contact within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period. Roommates who are fully vaccinated do NOT need to quarantine after contact with someone who had COVID-19 unless they have symptoms. However, fully vaccinated people are encouraged to get tested 3-5 days after their exposure, even if they don’t have symptoms, and wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure or until their test result is negative.

Please see the Fall 2021 FAQ for more information.

If I do not return to my rental property, will my rental be safe?

Whether you are away for a quick trip and/or for parts of the semester, it is always recommended that you inform your neighbors and/or property owner/manager if you will not be returning to your rental property.

Will I still get the two WCU face masks?

Yes, two face masks are provided for each student and available at the Sykes Student Union Information Desk.  Please bring your student ID for verification.

I did not sign a lease for Fall 2021, but I may want to live off campus during the Spring 2022 semester. When should I sign a lease and how do I find housing?

We want to empower you to make the best decision for you and your family. Visit offcampushousing.wcupa.edu to find off campus housing. In addition to viewing available rentals, this website allows students to search/post for sublets and make roommate connections. The availability for housing and the period for which you can obtain a lease will be managed by individual property owners. Most leases will not provide prorated refunds if students leave mid-lease. An option to consider is trying to negotiate with the landlord for a month-to-month lease. This option may give you more flexibility and, given the circumstances, some landlords may be more willing to negotiate. OCCS will offer information and resources throughout the fall semester to aid in your housing search process.

When should I sign a lease for the 2022-2023 academic year?

We want to empower you to make the best decision for you and your family. We encourage you to begin researching your options early as we know housing becomes increasingly competitive as the academic year progresses. Researching early does not mean you should sign early. Students should pay close attention to the terms of the lease. Schedule an appointment with Free Student Legal Aid to have them review the terms of your lease. OCCS partners with offcampushousing.wcupa.edu. In addition to viewing available rentals, this website allows students to search/post for sublets and make roommate connections. OCCS will offer information and resources throughout the fall semester to aid in your housing search process.

May I schedule an individual appointment with Off Campus and Commuter Services (OCCS)?

Off Campus and Commuter Services (OCCS) is offers one-on-one appointments to assist students with any questions. Students have scheduled individual appointments to discuss renting, finding roommates, leases, life off campus, how to find friends, how to access public transportation, etc. Email commuters@wcupa.edu with questions and/or to set up a one on one appointment.

Am I able to meet other students on campus?

Yes, as long as you follow current CDC considerations and WCU guidelines. The Commuter Center is located on the top floor of Sykes Student Union and is a great place to meet other students.

 

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