Residents of Schroeder Hall have to quarantine for the next 14 days. This began at 10 p.m. Monday night, according to a Sept. 14 email to the hall’s residents from Xavier Cole, vice president for student affairs and chair of the Marquette University COVID-19 Response Team.
The email said that the residence hall was closing due to a confirmed cluster of COVID-19 cases in to the building.
Of the 373 residents in Schroeder Hall, 3% have tested positive, according to the email.
Students may not leave the building to attend classes or visit other student rooms. Students were instructed to email their professors.
“While you are in quarantine at Schroeder Hall, you are expected to complete COVID Cheq each day,” the email said. “If you develop symptoms during quarantine, you should call the Medical Clinic.”
When students in Schroeder received the email from Cole, they began running through the halls, calling their parents and trying to figure out if they could get home.
Marquette University Police Department officers wrote down names of those going home in order to keep track of Schroeder Hall residents.
Students were able to choose, though they will need to remain off-campus until quarantine ends 10 p.m. Sept. 28.
Many students also ran to Sendik’s Fresh2Go to stock up on snacks and food for their rooms before the 10 p.m. start of the quarantine.
Schroeder Hall’s dining facility will only be available to the hall’s residents and will only offer grab-and-go options. Students will be assigned a time to pick up food in the dining hall.
“All Schroeder Hall residents who have not been tested for COVID-19 this week will be required by the Milwaukee Health Department to be tested this week,” the email said. “Residents will be contacted with an appointment time for testing. Residents who have had a positive test in the past 90 days will not be retested.”
In coordination with the Milwaukee Health Department, the Marquette University Medical Clinic will conduct tests this week at a temporary testing site near Schroeder Hall. Testing will take place Wednesday, Thursday and Friday for all residents.
“Residents who test positive will be directed to isolate in university-identified isolation space,” the email said. “Violation of isolation or quarantine directives will result in university sanctions via the student conduct process and/or placed under an order by the Milwaukee Health Department.”
Morgan Mandrell, a sophomore in the College of Health Sciences, said she was surprised quarantine is restricted to Schroeder Hall since she expected it to be campus-wide.
“We were told that at 10 p.m. we’re not allowed to leave for 14 days,” she said. “Even though I have labs in person, I have to go fully online.”
Mandrell, who went to Target with her roommate as soon as she heard about the mandated quarantine, said she was frustrated with the university’s handling of the virus.
“I feel like it’s BS that I have to pay $36,000 for a university that’s completely online now,” she said. “I feel like every single student should’ve been tested before they got here and every student should be tested on a two-week basis.”
Mandrell said she is worried about her jobs, since she doesn’t know how she is going to get paid if she can’t leave her residence hall to work.
Tim Day, a sophomore in the College of Engineering, said he isn’t too worried about having the virus because he has been following all of the rules.
“It kinda sucks, I liked being able to go outside and get fresh air,” he said. “I don’t know … whether you can really blame it on improper social distancing or improper policies.”
Day said he thinks there is nothing more that can be done, since every resident of Schroeder will be tested this week.
“I think it’ll calm down … I feel like this will be a wake-up call to people who aren’t following procedures as they should be,” Day said.
Hope Johnson, a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences, said she was very distressed when she heard that Schroeder residents will be closing.
“I’m really upset because my boyfriend was supposed to visit this weekend,” Johnson said.
She said she is sad she can’t go home.
“The thing I’m looking forward to the least is that I have to eat Schroeder dining hall food for two weeks,” Johnson said. “I think (Marquette) made a lot of wrong choices that led to this big choice.”
Maggie Griffith, a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences, said she is not surprised by the news given what she has been seeing at other schools, like at the University of Wisconsin Madison, where two residence halls were put into two-week quarantine on last Wednesday.
“I kinda saw this one coming,” she said. “I’m just trying to be calm about it …. trying not to think about it too much.”
Griffith said she plans to order DoorDash and watch “Dance Moms.”
To assist quarantined students, the university will offer pastoral case, virtual tutoring and mental health resources. Schroeder residents should expect more information through their Marquette emails Sept. 15.
“We are taking this action in coordination with the Milwaukee Health Department to help stop further spread of COVID-19,” Keli Wollmer, director of the Marquette University Medical Clinic, said in a Sept. 14 university news release. “It is imperative that students follow these public health directives during this rapidly evolving situation.”
The university asks everyone in the Marquette community to take care of themselves and urged people to be the difference in slowing the spread of the virus, according to the news release.
This story was written by Shir Bloch and Benjamin Wells. They can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.