Stevens Institute of Technology has informed its students that it must vacate on- and off-premise housing by March 27—a move that raises questions in the midst of a regional self-isolation policy.
In a letter sent to students on March 18, Stevens Institute of Technology told students:
“Stevens Housing is closing. All residents living on-campus, off-campus, leased (SLH), special interest and Stevens-owned Greek housing must be packed, cleaned, vacated with all keys returned by Friday, March 27, 2020. We strongly urge students to leave earlier if possible. Stevens classes will be continuing online for the remainder of the spring semester, and Stevens offices are operating remotely until further notice.”
A concerned student reached out to hMAG, stating that “Hoboken residents and Stevens students alike will be put at risk if Stevens continues this policy.”
While regional authorities have asked people to adhere to self-isolation practices, the logistics of clearing out housing and moving seem contrary to that directive. Nevertheless, Stevens appears intent upon making that happen, as the remainder of their classes for the Spring semester will be taken online.
“Like most of my classmates, I had no plans to return to Hoboken until it was fully safe,” said the student.
According to the letter, Stevens says:
“We recognize there may be some students who have extremely exceptional reasons (i.e. international students who are truly unable to fly home right now) that require them to remain in Stevens Housing. It will be extremely rare for us to make an exception and allow a student to remain in Stevens Housing during this time.”
hMAG reached out to Hoboken City Hall immediately upon seeing the letter from Stevens.
“This is the first I’ve seen of this,” said Vijay Chaudhuri, Hoboken City Hall Spokesman. “We have scheduled a meeting between OEM and Stevens tomorrow, as we were not aware that this was occurring and have substantial concerns.”
We also reached out to Stevens, who have yet to comment on the matter.
In a statement released this morning, Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla says, “I spoke with Stevens staff after hearing directly from multiple students, parents of students and residents…”
He goes on to say “While Hoboken cannot lawfully rescind certain aspects of the Stevens order, I strongly suggest those students and parents make that request to delay moving out if they so wish, due to COVID-19 concerns.”
Earlier this week, Governor Murphy has spoken up regarding eviction fears throughout the state. “No one, and I repeat no one, in New Jersey should fear being kicked out of their home in this emergency,” Gov. Murphy said at a press conference with some of his cabinet members on Thursday.