Move-out Letter to Chapter House Residents

May 2020


Dear Graham Cracker and Fraternity Row residents:

We are writing with important information about Spring move-out for those of you who still have belongings in your chapter house.

We have received permission to proceed with move-out for all residence halls and university-owned fraternity and sorority houses. As more than 600 Fraternity Row and Graham Cracker residents or their proxies return to campus over three weeks to retrieve their belongings and check-out of their rooms, taking necessary physical distancing precautions is an important priority for all of us. To do this as safely as possible, we are instituting a move-out procedure that will significantly limit the number of people who can be in any one building at one time. Move-out will take place over 16 days and be by appointment only.

You have four options for completing your move-out:

  1. Self Move-Out: Complete your move-out yourself by scheduling an appointment between May 21 and June 3, 2020.
  2. Proxy Move-Out: Authorize a friend or family member (a proxy) to retrieve your belongings on your behalf. Proxy move-outs can occur between May 21 and June 3.
  3. Contractor “Pack and Ship/Store”: Contract (at your expense) with an authorized company to pack and ship your belongings to you. Your House Corporation will provide you options that they have arranged. Pack and ship moves will take place between June 4 and June 7.
  4. Store at Chapter House: This option will be up to your House Corporation. They may choose to allow belongings to be left in bedrooms, or they may require they be packed up and moved to a designated storage room in the house.

Your Resident Director, House Director or designated DFSL representative will be in touch with you soon with instructions for setting up an appointment. They will discuss with you the options below and answer any questions you may have.


Option #1 Self Move-Out

Scheduling and Preparing for your move-out Appointment

  1. Check-outs are by appointment ONLY. Appointments are vitally important to maintain proper physical distancing. Any student arriving without an appointment will be denied access and asked to schedule an appointment at a later date. We must do this for the safety and well-being of all individuals involved in the move-out process - students, family members, and staff.
  2. You can sign up for a move-out appointment block through your Resident Director or House Director. If they are not available or have assigned this duty to a chapter officer, you will receive information via email regarding who to contact.
  3. Move-out appointment blocks begin as early as 9:00 a.m. and end as late as 7:00 p.m. daily during the move-out period. Our goal is to provide as much flexibility as possible to residents and families.
  4. Please coordinate your appointment time with your roommate or roommates to avoid overlap. For everyone’s safety, we are not allowing roommates to schedule the same appointment time. Two students and their helpers will be allowed in any building at one time, with efforts made to ensure the two students are from different floors in the house.
  5. If you need to consult with your roommate(s) during your move-out appointment, please be prepared to do so by phone or video conference.
  6. We encourage you to bring one other person with you to help with your move-out. This will limit the amount of person-to-person contact during your move-out appointment.
  7. Per standing direction from state officials, all individuals must wear face masks or other face coverings during the move-out process. You should also wear protective gloves throughout the move-out process.
  8. Please bring all the materials you will need to complete your move-out - suitcases, boxes, hand truck (if you have one), protective gloves, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, face mask or other face covering, etc.
  9. You must have your room key and UMD student ID card with you when you arrive for your move-out appointment.
  10. If you do not have your key, please indicate that when you make your appointment. Your RD/HD or DFSL contact will share with you how you will access your room.
  11. When you arrive, please wait in your vehicle until your appointment time arrives. Give your fellow members time to finish up from their earlier appointment.
  12. Please review expectations from authorities in your city, county and state regarding any travel restrictions in your area before scheduling a move-out appointment. The Governor of Maryland has declared that moving out and retrieving your belongings is an essential service and permitted during the shelter-in-place.
  13. If you have questions during your move out at the building, there are signs posted with the phone number of the RD or HD, as well as the Duty Phone which is being answered by the Staff Person monitoring move-out on site.
  14. If you have any questions about your move-out, please contact us via email at rnichols@umd.edu.

On the day of your scheduled move-out appointment

  1. Remember to bring your room key and student ID with you.
  2. When you arrive on campus, please park near your chapter house.
  3. Our staff will be available to assist you via phone. A card will be posted on your front door with the Duty Phone number and the number of the RD or HD covering your house.
  4. Please arrive prepared to gather your belongings as quickly and safely as possible, move them to your vehicle and leave the campus within your scheduled appointment time.
  5. Please remove trash and any unwanted personal items to the outside dumpsters. You will not be expected to clean your room upon departure.
  6. If you have a rented refrigerator or bedloft, you should leave either of those items in your room. Please empty the refrigerator, throwing any unwanted items away in the outside dumpsters, and leaving the refrigerator plugged in.
  7. Once you have removed your belongings from your room, put your room key in the provided, pre-labeled Express Check-out envelope, fill it out and drop it in the marked box near the chapter mail area (or wherever the sign indicates).
  8. Don’t forget to take your bike or scooter from bike racks and other storage areas outside your room.
  9. Please remember to check for any mail in the house mailboxes.
  10. For security reasons, any unreturned keys will result in a lock core change and a charge to the House Corporation.
  11. Failure by residents, their friends, family or agents to abide by the appointment schedule and distancing guidelines could result in the suspension of the move-out process for that house. Once rescheduled, additional security would be provided with the full cost passed on to the House Corporation. In addition, the chapter could face additional penalties and sanctions.

Option #2 Proxy Move-Out

If you are unable to travel to campus between May 21rd and June 7th to retrieve your belongings and turn in your keys, you can consider asking someone else to do so on your behalf. A proxy is someone you trust who can act on your behalf with your approval. Your proxy (the “Agent”) could be your roommate, a friend, or a family member.

Scheduling and preparing for your proxy move-out Appointment

  1. Check-outs are by appointment ONLY. Appointments are vitally important to maintain proper physical distancing. Any student arriving without an appointment will be denied access and asked to schedule an appointment at a later date. We must do this for the safety and well-being of all individuals involved in the move-out process - students, family members, and staff.
  2. Consult with your roommate or roommates about their plans for move-out. If using a proxy to complete your move-out, you must either wait until all of your roommates have completed their move-out or have the consent of your roommates to allow your agent to have access to your shared residence hall space.
  3. Once you have made a plan with your roommate(s) and coordinated a time with your agent, you can sign up for a move-out appointment block through your Resident Director or House Director. If they are not available, you will receive information via email regarding who to contact.
  4. Move-out appointment blocks begin as early as 9:00 a.m. and end as late as 7:00 p.m. daily during the 16-day move-out period. Our goal is to provide as much flexibility as possible to residents and families.
  5. You will need to fill out a Proxy Move-out Form (googleDoc). Please make a copy of this Google Doc to fill out and share. If you cannot access this link, your RD or HD can help you fill it out. Please make sure they receive it so that they can send it to Heidi Biffl.
  6. Look for an email from hbiffl@umd.edu once your proxy request has been approved and roommates have given consent.
  7. It is your responsibility to give your room key and ID to your agent to gain access to the building and your room. If your agent arrives on campus without your room key or ID for access, they will not be able to complete the move-out of your belongings.
  8. If you need to mail your key to your agent we recommend that you tape the key(s) to a piece of paper that you put in a padded envelope and mail them via a trackable means that will provide you with a confirmation or tracking number to prevent loss of your room keys.
  9. Be prepared to consult with your agent during your move-out appointment via FaceTime or other video conferencing platform.
  10. We encourage you to have your agent bring one other person with them to help with your move-out. This will limit the amount of person-to-person contact during your move-out appointment.
  11. Per standing direction from state officials, all individuals should wear face masks or other face coverings during the move-out process.
  12. Have your agent bring all the materials they will need to complete your move-out - suitcases, boxes, hand truck (if you have one), protective gloves, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, face masks or other face coverings, etc.
  13. Your agent must have your room key with them when they arrive for your scheduled move-out appointment.
  14. Your agent must have a picture ID that matches the information your have provided.
  15. Please review expectations from authorities in your agent’s city, county and state regarding any travel restrictions in their area before scheduling a move-out appointment.
  16. If you have any questions about your proxy move-out, please contact us via email at hbiffl@umd.edu.

Proxy Move-out Form (googleDoc)

On the day of your scheduled proxy move-out appointment

Please share these instructions with your agent

  1. Please insure that your agent remembers to bring your room key and their own ID with them to campus.
  2. When your agent arrives on campus, please have them go directly to your building.
  3. When your agent arrives, they will check in for your appointment at the designated DFSL vehicle at either Fraternity Row or the Graham Cracker. They will show their ID to confirm your appointment and be given a sanitized access card that will allow them to enter the building during your allotted appointment time.
  4. Your agent should arrive prepared to gather your remaining belongings as quickly and safely as possible, move them to their vehicle and leave the campus within the two hour appointment time.
  5. Your agent will not be expected to clean your room upon departure. Please do ask them to remove trash and any unwanted personal items to the outside dumpsters.
  6. If you have a rented refrigerator or bedloft, please direct your agent to leave either of those items in your room. Please empty the refrigerator, throwing any unwanted items away in the outside dumpsters, and leaving the refrigerator plugged in.
  7. Don’t forget to remind your agent to take your bike or scooter from bike racks and other storage areas outside your room.
  8. Once your agent has removed all of your belongings from your room, please instruct them to put your room key(s) in the provided, pre-labeled envelope and drop it in the designated location near the chapter mail area.
  9. For security reasons, any unreturned keys will result in a lock core change and a charge to the House Corporation.
  10. Failure by residents, their friends, family or agents to abide by the appointment schedule and distancing guidelines could result in the suspension of the move-out process for that house. Once rescheduled, additional security would be provided with the full cost passed on to the House Corporation. In addition, the chapter could face additional penalties and sanctions.

Option #3 Contractor Pack and Ship

If you are unable to travel to campus between May 21st and June 3rd to retrieve your belongings and turn in your keys, you can consider contracting with a vendor approved by your House Corporation to pack and ship or store your belongings for you. In this case, the contracted company would act as your agent in retrieving your belongings from your residence hall room.

  1. This option will be at your expense. Depending on the number and size of belongings remaining, the condition of your room, and your shipping address, it is expected that the expense for this option will range from $500-$1000 though it could be more or less depending on the variables cited above.
  2. Your House Corporation should provide you with options.
  3. You will make your own arrangements with your House Corporation. The university will not play a role in the terms of the agreement other than to provide building/room access to the selected company during the Pack and Ship time period.
  4. Pack and Ship moves will take place in the week following the in-person move-out period. This is expected to be June 3 - 7.
  5. You must return your room keys by mail to:

    University of Maryland DFSL
    0221 Stamp Student Union
    College Park, MD 20742

    Key returns must be postmarked no later than June 15, 2020. Please attach or tape the key to something like a piece of cardboard or wrap it so that it is not loose in the envelope.

  6. For security reasons, any unreturned keys will result in a lock core change and a charge to the House Corporation.
  7. If you have any questions about the pack and ship option for move-out, please contact us via email at hbiffl@umd.edu.

Option #4 Store at Chapter House

Your RD/HD and/or House Corporation advisors can let you know if this option is available and if so, what the conditions are. You may be allowed to leave some or all of your personal items in your bedroom if you are returning to campus in the Fall. Or you may be required to pack (or have a friend or contractor pack) your items in boxes that will be moved to a designated area of the house.


Closing Thoughts

There are two final thoughts that need to be reiterated. One, as noted above several times, failure to abide by the appointment schedule and distancing guidelines by members, their agents and the guests will result in the suspension of move-out, additional costs and sanctions against the chapter. Please reach out to your brothers and sisters to make sure they are being responsible and attentive to the needs of all the residents who want to move out. Second, on a similar note, please make sure that your members do not put furniture, trash or belongings in the hallways, fire stairs or entrances. Do that or failure to address it could also result in suspension of move-out and sanctions for the chapter.

We hope that this letter gives you answers to most of your current questions. Your RD, HD or designated contact for your house will be able to help you with any other questions, including finding out the answers to things we have not yet thought of! Thank you for bearing with us as we all navigate strange waters. We are working almost around the clock to not only make sure that you can get your belongings, but that we are prepared to support, advise and encourage you, your chapters and councils between now, Fall opening and beyond.

A copy of this letter will be posted at greek.umd.edu.

Sincerely,

Department of Fraternity and Sorority Life