Winona State to introduce ‘super-single’ dorm rooms next fall

Mitchell Prosser, news reporter

Winona State University’s Housing and Residence Life is preparing to open and allow students to have roommates next school year.
Paula Scheevel, the director of housing and residence life, reflected on how COVID-19 is one of the most difficult things she has dealt with while working at Winona State.
“Day by day things change pertaining to this virus and how easy it can be spread. When we have students living in residence halls, we have to take the precautions we can to protect them,” Scheevel said.
For the 2021-2022 school year, housing is looking to allow some people to have roommates if they choose to, while allowing individuals to have single rooms again as well.
In the traditional residence halls, they have implemented a new name for some single rooms.
The rooms will be called super-singles.
These super-single rooms were originally double occupancy but were reduced due to COVID.
According to Scheevel, these rooms are larger than the traditional single rooms and will help students know the difference between the normal single rooms and the COVID single rooms.
“We plan to have all the residence halls that are currently open, open for the 2021-2022 school year,” Scheevel said.
Scheevel also said Winona State will continue to use the Tau Center for isolation if it is needed, but are unsure what it will look like yet.
The rates for room and board for the 2021-2022 school year will remain the same as this year.
Students in a double or a single will also pay the same rate.
“This coming year’s rates will stay the same, but after this year, Housing and Residence Life will most likely have to go back and look at the pricing,” Scheevel said.
Scheevel reflected on the fact that housing does not know what the Minnesota Department of Health’s guidelines will be for the fall semester either.
“We don’t know if six feet of distance will still be required. We don’t know if masks will still be required. We are planning to host our fall training in person,” Scheevel said.
Scheevel noted that students are bound to the idea when coming to college that they have this “built-in buddy”, that buddy being their roommate(s).
“Now with COVID, the likelihood that the majority of students have this is high. But that’s not something to worry about,” Scheevel said. “People around you in your residence hall will be in the same situation you are in. You can become friends with your neighbors.”
Within the past year, Housing and Residence Life has been relatively successful in stopping the spread of COVID in the traditional residence halls, also keeping track of those in isolation and quarantine.
“The key to success with not spreading COVID was allowing students to have single rooms,” Scheevel said. “With this virus, if you live in a space with someone who might have had it, you are also required to quarantine and the people you have been around will also have to. With single rooms, the chance of spread is lessened.”
Jake Wilson, a first-year student majoring in nursing, is planning to live on campus next year and said he is not very worried about COVID impacts next semester.
Wilson chose to live on campus because the commute to classes and accessibility to the campus library is quick and convenient.
Wilson also said it is just enjoyable to live on campus.
“When it comes to COVID, I believe we won’t have to worry about it that much next semester. I believe we will have a surge this summer and then when students come back to campus that surge will be down,” Wilson said. “When it comes to having to quarantine, I will be fine with quarantining in my dorm. I’ve done it multiple times this year and I’m willing to do it again, if that’s what we have to do to stop the virus from spreading.”