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Fall Housing 2021

We are excited to welcome students back to campus for Fall 2021!

Two in a roomThe Residence Hall and Park West affiliated apartments will be opening at double occupancy, meaning 2 students to a bedroom, with 4 students sharing the apartment/suite. Students will have a direct roommate and two suitemates in the second bedroom. 

We understand that you may have many questions about housing and how to prepare for your arrival in August. Please use the following tabs to learn more about our policies and protocols, Move In, and what you can expect this upcoming year. More information will be sent to students over the summer as their space in housing is confirmed.

 

We will be providing students with an orientation to explain all requirements and expectations, post signage regarding safety protocols in every suite, and providing a cleaning kit for each apartment/suite.  As we continue to follow the guidance from the Los Angeles County Department of Public health, we plan to implement one or more of the following safety measures:

  • Vaccines. We are moving towards requiring the COVID-19 vaccine for residential students as soon as it is readily available. We are hopeful that students will be able to start receiving the vaccine as early as June. The Student Health and Wellness Center will be supporting the efforts around informing students about the vaccine, as well as updates on when and where the vaccine will be available.  
  • COVID-19 Testing. Any students experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 can be tested through the Student Health and Wellness Center for free. Surveillance testing has taken place for residential students since Fall 2020. The tests that have been used this past year include: rapid antigen tests for symptomatic students, as well as PCR nasal swabs that get sent to the local lab for testing. 
  • Symptom Tracking. Students can update the SHWC if they are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 through CoVerified, an app that students can download for free. Our residential population has been completing these daily checks since Fall 2020. 
  • Isolation Rooms. Rooms will be held offline in order to have a space to isolate students as needed. SHWC and Residence Life and Housing check in with the students needing to isolate, to make sure they are taken care of, as well as providing services such as food and support.

Move In

Students with confirmed housing will receive an email to sign up for a move in appointment. Below are the move in days: 

  • Black Creatives Institute Move In Day | Saturday, August 14
  • New International Student Move In Day | Tuesday, August 17
  • New Student Move In Days | Wednesday, August 18 & Thursday, August 19
  • Continuing Student Move In Days | Wednesday, August 25 & Thursday, August 26

Students will be expected to arrive during their move in appointment in order to assist with physical distancing of everyone moving in. We ask that students have no more than two people assisting with move in. 


Packing Lists

To learn more about what is included in each housing option and what you should bring, please view our packing lists:

Renters Insurance

Students are strongly encouraged to purchase renters insurance. We recommend anywhere between $20,000 and $25,000. Start by checking with your parents’ homeowners insurance, as most companies extend coverage to students while they are away at college. Another option is checking with an insurance carrier of your choice, some companies that have worked with us in the past include:

 

Damage Deposit 

For Park West Students Only. Students living at Park West are required to pay a $300 damage deposit, This payment is seperate from the student's account. We do require having this payment on file prior to a student moving.  The damage deposit is refundable, less damage and/or move-out charges apply, at the end of the academic year. Upon moving in, students will complete a Room Condition Report, noting any damages or problems with their space. When a student moves out, they will complete a similar form updating us on any damages or problems. Staff will walk the space once all students leave for one final assessment. Residence Life and Housing will compare the forms and then assess any charges to the students' accounts.  Once this is completed, damage deposits will be returned to the student’s preferred refund selection through BankMobile.

Students should view The Hoot, Hallway Handbook, and Student Guidelines for a full list of policies students are expected to follow while living in housing. We wanted to highlight a few of the policies here:

  • Guests and Visitors | Residential students will be allowed to visit other residential students. We are asking that no outside guests or visitors, including other Otis College students who don’t live in housing, enter the Residence Hall or affiliated Park West Apartments . If students are found to have outside guests in their buildings or residential spaces, the guest will be asked to leave immediately, and the student will be addressed through the Student Code of Conduct.

  • Masks | Students are required to wear a face covering when leaving their assigned room, including in the hallways of their building, lounges, elevators, stairwells, etc. Students who are in their own private space do not have to wear a face covering while they are in that space. 

Residential Engagement

Students are assigned Resident Assistants (RAs) in each housing location. The RAs serve as a resource for students as they transition to their new home and navigate Otis College. In addition, the RAs foster and develop community among residential students through dialogue, engagement, and programming! Some programs that have been coordinated in the past include:

  • Game/Movie Nights
  • Bob Ross Painting Sessions
  • Disco Night
  • Caricature Drawing
  • Adventure Time Roundtable Readings

These programs are ways to connect with other residential students. We encourage students to attend these events to connect with others and to build new friendships. If students are excited about a potential program idea, we encourage them to reach out to their RA to discuss planning! Follow our Instagram @otis.housing to keep connected with updates and programming.

Culture of Inclusion

Residence Life and Housing strives to create an inclusive living environment that honors the intersections of all identities. The professional staff and RAs are trained on various topics of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) to be prepared to support our students. Additionally, our staff engages in conversations on Otis’ DEI Statement and 10 points to promote a more equitable campus that welcomes and celebrates every Otis student. To read more about Oti’s DEI Statement and 10 points, click here.

Campus Involvement

Clubs and Organizations

Another way for students to be involved on campus is to join a campus club/organization. These clubs and organizations are student-led and create fun programs and activities for students. Learn more about the different opportunities to join here. Students can also check out Otis Owl Events to see the upcoming events and programs taking place around campus.

Campus Activities Board (CAB)

CAB is composed of student leaders that work to enhance and unify the Otis college community by coordinating, overseeing, and executing all student led campus activities. All members of CAB provide leadership and support to fellow CAB members and student led campus activities. These programs and activities are open to all students and is an additional way for students to connect with other Otis peers. Learn more about CAB here. Stay connected with CAB on Instagram @Otiscab.

Safety and Security

Campus Safety is present on campus 24/7. Students can contact the office at 310.665.6965. While we are in a safe neighborhood within Los Angeles, we still recommend the following to keep our community safe:

  • Sign up for Live Safe. Live Safe is an app that allows students to share information with Campus Safety, provides notifications of emergency situations, and allows for SafeWalk (someone can view your walk to another location). 
  • Always close and lock your door when leaving your apartment/suite.
  • Do not let any unrecognized individuals into the building. If a person lives there, they should be able to access it.
  • Use the buddy system when exploring Los Angeles beyond the campus.

Residence Life FAQs

  • Why is the College making the decision to go with full occupancy?

    By allowing for full occupancy, we will be able to return to housing four students per suite or apartment. In both locations, two students will be sharing a bedroom. We will be providing students with an orientation to explain all requirements/expectations, post signage regarding safety protocols in every suite, and updating our cleaning protocols.  As we continue to follow the guidance from the Los Angeles County Department of Public health, we plan to implement one or more of the following safety measures:

    • Vaccines. We are moving towards requiring the COVID-19 vaccine for residential students as soon as it is readily available. We are hopeful that students will be able to start receiving the vaccine as early as June. The Student Health and Wellness Center will be supporting the efforts around informing students about the vaccine, as well as updates on when and where the vaccine will be available.  
    • COVID-19 Testing. Any students experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 can be tested through the Student Health and Wellness Center for free. Surveillance testing has taken place for residential students since Fall 2020. The tests that have been used this past year include: rapid antigen tests for symptomatic students, as well as PCR nasal swabs that get sent to the local lab for testing. 
    • Symptom Tracking. Students can update the SHWC if they are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 through CoVerified, an app that students can download for free. Our residential population has been completing these daily checks since Fall 2020. 
    • Isolation Rooms. Rooms will be held offline in order to have a space to isolate students as needed. SHWC and Residence Life and Housing check in with the students needing to isolate, to make sure they are taken care of, as well as providing services such as food and support.
  • What is CoVerified?

    CoVerified is an app that all residential students should be completing daily. This helps the Student Health and Wellness Center track any students who may be symptomatic. Students who do not complete CoVerified daily will go through the Student Conduct Process.

  • Why is Ascent no longer an option?

    Ascent gave us the opportunity to house additional students while the Residence Hall was closed. While we were extremely lucky to secure Ascent for the 2020-21 academic year, we have decided that the best option for our students moving forward is Park West. Park West is conveniently located across the street from campus and closer to Elaine’s, restaurants, and grocery stores.

    Students still have the ability to live at Ascent on their own by working with the leasing office. You can find more information here

  • Can I wait to sign the housing application until I have a better understanding of what the numbers will be closer to move in? Will housing be guaranteed?

    We do believe that housing will be full, so we are encouraging students to apply as soon as possible. We never guarantee housing, but do our best to place as many students as possible. 

    As things may still feel uncertain, we are allowing students flexibility to cancel their housing application up until July 15 and receive a refund for their housing application fee. Students can also cancel their housing application up until the Friday before classes begin and receive a full refund of housing and meal plan charges, in accordance with our refund policy.

  • I am still uncertain about having to share a bedroom with COVID still happening. Is there an option to have a single bedroom still?

    At this time, we are expecting to be full in housing. We have very limited private apartments available at Park West that students can sign up for. These are given on a first come-first served basis. Students can also work with Disability Services if they are requesting a single room as an accommodation with a documented medical need. Learn more about this process here.

  • Will I be able to select my roommates?

    Students still have the ability to select their own roommates. In the application, there is a place for students to list the last name and Otis College email of their requests. The request must be mutual in order for us to place students together.

  • Can I live with three residents per suite, instead of four?

    Currently our spaces are all set up to house four residents. Students have the ability to only select one or two students that they are interested in living with. We will use the other roommate preferences to fill the open spaces.

  • When will I know if my space is confirmed for the Fall?

    Residence Life and Housing will start confirming housing spaces in the middle of May. Students will receive their housing assignment and roommate information in early August. Should our capacity change for whatever reason, we will notify students as soon as possible.

    The application opens March 1, 2021 and additional details on the process can be found here.

    The continuing student housing priority deadline is April 2, 2021.

    New students will receive housing priority as long as their housing application fee is submitted by May 1, 2021 AND the online housing application is submitted by May 4, 2021.

  • If I am traveling outside of the state, will I need to quarantine upon my arrival during move in?

    As of 2/25/21, anyone travelling from outside of California, must quarantine for 10 days. This requirement may change, and we will continue to update this page if it does. We also know that this requirement could change the date that students need to arrive. We will work with students as we get closer to August. We highly encourage students booking travel to look into travel insurance or view the flexibility in changing your flight/refunds.

  • Can I have guests/visitors come to my room/suite/apartment?

    At this time, only the students living in each room/suite/apartment are allowed there. Guests and visitors can visit with you off campus, but should not enter your room/suite/apartment at any time other than assisting you on move in day. We will continue to monitor health and safety guidelines, and will inform you if this changes.

  • What should I do if I have a friend/roommate with flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath)?

    The first thing to do is to recommend that person to reach out to the Student Health and Wellness Center (SHWC) for evaluation of their symptoms at 310-846-5738. The second thing is to care for your own health while being supportive. This is not the time to discriminate against and/or isolate those who may be sick (and who may be anxious about it).

  • Will Residence Life and Housing quarantine or isolate students?

    The Office of Student Affairs is prepared to support students in campus housing and is actively monitoring COVID-19. Residence Life and Housing will assist residential students who are deemed by the L.A. County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) and the Student Health and Wellness Center (SHWC) as being in need of isolation and/or quarantine. Any residential student who is directed to isolate or quarantine will be provided with food, toiletries, trash, and laundry service. The SHWC will continue to monitor students in isolation and/or quarantine frequently. At the time a student is directed to be in isolation and/or quarantined, Residence Life and Housing staff will provide the student with additional details and information. All questions regarding isolation and/or quarantine processes within housing should be directed to studenthousing@otis.edu or 310-846-2647.

  • What is Elaine’s doing to uphold the health and safety of food handling?

    All dining services employees have been trained on food handling and safety procedures and are maintaining increased vigilance to ensure safe food delivery to customers. Bon Appetit will also be offering more prepackaged items in order to avoid the self-serving stations, such as the salad bar.

  • How will students dining services be modified in order to maximize safety?

    Bon Appetit, our dining services partner, is preparing a dining experience that supports health and well-being, safety, and physical distancing guidelines. Students will have access to download GET Foods App from their mobile phone play store, which allows users to view menus and pictures of food items and order meals at Elaine’s and Rose Hill’s Cafe, and pay with campus dining funds.

    Due to Los Angeles County COVID guest occupancy restrictions for indoor dining, Elaine’s Dining and Rose Hill’s Cafe will continue to take online orders for contactless PICK-UP ONLY while allowing a limited number of walk-in guests to make in person purchases. Bon Appetit is adhering to social distance protocols utilizing door queue Ambassadors and 6 feet floor markers. Food pick-ups during peak hours may be relocated to larger areas, such as the Forum to accommodate an influx of guests. For the safety of all guests and Bon Appetit’ staff, all staff will wear masks & gloves at all times. All self-serve stations are closed. Pre-packaged carry away foods are readily available for purchase for our residential students and guests Park West will be able to pick-up their food at the location specified when placing your order.

  • What precautions are being taken to keep students safe?

    The campus has invested a lot of work in ensuring the campus is ready for students to return. There is signage all over campus for 6 feet of distance between people, as well as the requirement of masks while on campus and in classes. Plexiglass has been installed in areas where physically distancing cannot be done. This past year we have also had all students coming to campus complete CoVerified to track symptoms. Residential students have also completed surveillance testing. As we plan to welcome students back, we will continue many of these measures, as well vaccination requirements, additional cleaning of areas, and more.

  • What happens if the College goes remote during the Fall semester? Will we be able to stay in housing?

    We strongly believe the College will open fully during the Fall. With that being said, we are closely monitoring and following all Los Angeles County Department of Public Health guidelines. Should we need to start the Fall semester remote, we will continue to allow students to live in housing, as we currently are. We understand that housing is essential for some of our students and we will continue to support those needs.

  • What if I do not feel comfortable receiving the vaccine?

    As we hope the COVID vaccine will be readily available in the summer, we will require housing students to be vaccinated against COVID-19. If you are unable to get the vaccination, the Residence Life and Housing Office will work on a case by case basis to place you in the Res. Hall and Park West based on available bed space in housing.

  • Can I get the vaccine on campus?

    Pending - SHWC is working on procuring vaccine allotments.

  • I am an international student, will you accept my vaccine records?

    The SHWC will review all vaccine records whether a student is international or not. If an international student obtains the vaccine from outside of the US, it will be reviewed and a decision made on a case by case basis.

  • I only have one dose of the vaccine, am I still able to move in until I receive the vaccine?

    If a resident has only received one dose of the two dose covid vaccine, they must show proof of a scheduled second dose appointment prior to move-in.