Mrs. E's dining hall is attached to Lewis Hall on Daisy Hill

KU student housing and dining services currently plan to stay open while classes are moved online amid the novel coronavirus outbreak. 

Update: March 18, 12:46 p.m. 

The University of Kansas decided to move all classes online for the rest of the semester and to reduce housing operations only to those who have successfully applied. The updated story on housing can be found here.

While the University of Kansas has announced all classes will move online in response to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, student housing and dining will still be operational. 

Some students, like Naevon Lane, a freshman sports management major from Baltimore, Maryland, are choosing to stay off campus. Lane said he will be leaving Ellsworth Hall in the next couple of days before starting online classes.

“I’ll be more comfortable in my house. It’ll definitely be different, but it’s cool. I like it,” Lane said.

Some students, like freshman education major Max Pellant from Hopkins, Minnesota, are going to try and stay in their KU housing unless campus is closed completely.

“If they [close campus], then I'll go home because that usually means that school is not going to start up again for at least a few weeks, if not a month,” Pellant said.

Garrett Rogers, a resident assistant at Ellsworth Hall, said plans for student housing to remain open are tentative.

“Right now, we're supposed to just keep an eye on things and make sure we know who is in the hall and who isn't in the hall. Directions, right now, are pretty tentative. What we know doesn't really extend far beyond what residents know as far as classes go,” Rogers said. “But we know that our job is to stay in this building, [and] to make sure we know what's going on.”

Currently, there are no plans to close student housing. But, if that happens, Rogers said resident assistants will help see it through.

“If it is decided that everything's going to be online, we'll be the last to leave and we'll be facilitating all that stuff,” Rogers said. “But right now we're just kind of on call, waiting for further instruction.” 

Residential dining centers are also still open and are following this schedule from March 16 to 22.

KU dining halls like Mrs. E’s are also taking steps to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus, such as converting any self-serve stations in the dining halls to be completely served by dining staff, said Keith Lake, assistant director of dining for residential operations.

In addition, things that used to be in a centralized area, such as silverware, are now being served by employees, Lake said.

Director of KU Dining Services Jim Schilling declined to comment, citing the fact that there was “too much fluidity” in the matter.

—Edited by Brianna Wessling