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Auxiliary Services

Dear Santa Clara University Students and Families,

We hope that you and your loved ones continue to be safe and healthy.  As Father O’Brien and Provost Kloppenberg communicated last week, the University has finalized plans for Santa Clara University’s winter academic term, including some reduced-capacity on-campus housing opening up, and some in-person classes.  This communication outlines plans for winter & spring 2021 on-campus housing availability, dining, and residential life. 

We have spent the last few months carefully planning to slowly welcome students back to campus.  All of our plans are in line with the current Santa Clara County  and state orders, as well as best COVID-19-prevention practices provided by authorities specifically for higher education institutions. We are in regular contact with our local Santa Clara County Public Health officials, and have been adjusting and adapting our plans to prioritize everyone’s safety. That includes making use of new testing and tracing options as they become available.

We continue to strive to maintain SCU’s sense of community, student support, and Bronco spirit while we manage within the realities of the ongoing pandemic.  In an effort to support your families' need to make plans for the upcoming term, we ask for everyone’s flexibility, as further updates to our University’s winter and spring plans are inevitable. We will continue to provide timely updates during this dynamic time.

On-campus Housing - Winter & Spring 2021

To promote a safer residential environment and in accordance with guidance from  state and local health officials, we will reduce undergraduate winter 2021 housing occupancy to 49 percent of normal capacity and implement single-occupancy housing accommodations in residence halls and University Villas.  The neighborhood units will not be occupied during the winter/spring terms. In addition, we have reserved a residential facility and some University-owned properties for isolation purposes, should we have on-campus students who test positive for COVID-19.

Unfortunately, with this reduced occupancy, we may be unable to accommodate every student who applies to live on campus for the winter and spring terms. 

If we have more demand than we are able to accommodate, priority for on-campus housing for the approximately 1,500 available spaces will be given to first-year students, new transfer students, and students who are enrolled in classes with in-person instruction.  Since we will be assigning single-occupancy accommodations, students will not be permitted to have roommates nor will we accept requests for suitemates.  In addition, we will not be accepting preferences for a particular residential learning community (RLC) or building.

Students interested in on-campus housing for winter and spring 2021 will need to re-apply. For more information about this process and to access the housing application portal, please visit eCampus. All applications must be submitted no later than October 31, 2020Those making a decision about whether to apply should have time before this deadline to check CourseAvail to learn how and when their winter courses will be available.  The Housing Office will notify students of their placement in mid-November.  Acceptance of a housing assignment and signing the housing contract and COVID addendum will need to be completed by November 30, 2020.

On-Campus Living Expectations

All students living on campus are expected to comply with personal safety measures and commit to the Bronco Pact. Students will be expected to:

  • Track symptoms daily using an online symptom tracker;
  • Maintain at least 6 ft distance between themselves and others at all times;
  • Wear a face covering any time they are outside of their living units, including in hallways and common areas;
  • Wear a face covering at all times while using communal restrooms, unless showering;
  • Conduct personal hygiene, including tooth brushing, frequent hand washing, and face washing, at individual room sinks;
  • Abide by reduced-density occupancy limits in communal spaces, including lounges, study rooms, and kitchens; and
  • Abide by posted occupancy limits in elevators.

In addition, social distancing will impact community life in the following ways:

  • Student access will be limited to their assigned residence hall. Students will not be permitted to enter other residence halls.
  • Students are prohibited from hosting guests—including other SCU students, family, or off-campus friends—in their living units or residence halls.
  • Community life, including programs and events, will be conducted virtually and in person in small groups in accordance with county guidelines.
  • Most meetings with Residence Life professional and student staff, and other staff will be conducted virtually.


Dining services will remain centralized in the Benson Memorial Center with all orders being managed via a mobile-ordering app. Food will be available from our dining vendor Bon Appétit in to-go compostable containers. Based on current county guidance, limited indoor dining may be available in Benson Memorial Center during the winter term. In that event, occupancy limits, physical distancing, face coverings and other protocols will be in place for those who dine inside Benson.  In addition, we will be creating covered areas adjacent to Benson for students to use for takeout dining during inclement weather.

Residence Life

Staff will continue to be available to support, provide opportunities to connect, and help students adjust to this new environment—particularly for our newest Broncos. At the same time, it is important for students and families to understand the experience may look quite different from what they are used to or were envisioning. Much of residents’ community life, including programs and events, will be conducted virtually or, if in person,  in small groups in accordance with county guidelines.

There will be a small student staff available to assist residents, but the structure may be different. For example your community facilitator (CF) may live on a different floor, while still being available for assistance. Even with the limited staff, we will continue to have staff on-call after hours for emergencies.

Non-essential Travel Discouraged

Amid the ongoing uncertainty of COVID-19 surges, we are discouraging all non-essential travel away from campus for now. This includes spring break. If you decide to travel, be aware that you may be subject to governmental travel restrictions with little or no notice, and airlines may limit or cancel flights without warning. Depending on the time and COVID-19 conditions, you may be subject to University, state, or county restrictions; your return to California and/or campus may be difficult;  and you may be required to stay away from campus, test, and/or quarantine upon your return from travel.

Additional Information  

Our plan to return to campus includes many additional safety protocols including a required daily symptom tracker, increased cleaning and sanitization, testing, contact tracing, and quarantine protocols. We will provide more details in December. Please visit Prepared SCU: Plan for Fall 2020 and the Santa Clara County Public Health website for the latest updates and information.

For additional information and details about on-campus housing and dining, please read the winter 2021 Housing and Dining FAQ. The Bronco parent/family webinar scheduled for October 30 is another opportunity to hear more about winter and spring planning.  Questions about housing and dining should be directed to For general questions, please email

We hope that your fall term has been productive and successful.  We look forward to slowly returning to campus and seeing students in the new year. 

Until then, be safe and go Broncos!

Robin Reynolds
Associate Vice President, Auxiliary Services

Jeanne Rosenberger
Vice Provost for Student Life




Auxiliary Services
Santa Clara University
Benson Memorial Center