The residence life is going to be pretty different at the University of Calgary this year. Students living on residence have to follow a whole bunch of rules to curb the spread of COVID-19. From separate self-isolation units to a ban on any kind of guests, there's a lot of changes to U of C's residence experience amidst the pandemic. 

Narcity interviewed Lakshmi Sangaranarayanan, an Associate Director of Residence Services at U of C, who gave us the scoop on what's different this year. 

She told us that the residence services have set aside "100 fully-furnished townhomes" where students can quarantine after international travel or self-isolate if they're showing COVID-19 symptoms or have tested positive. 

They can choose to order meals prepared by the Dining Centre or they can order through other food delivery services. 

As for the students staying at the standard residence, they don't have to worry about roommates anymore.

Residence Services has shut down two massive first-year dorm-style buildings, so double-occupancy rooms aren't a thing this year. "That's the biggest change," said Sangaranarayanan

All students will get their own bedrooms as a result.

If they're living in apartment-style units, they will have to share their kitchenette or washroom with another person.

Sangaranarayanan said, "One important change to our policy that we've implemented is our no-guest policy."

She said that might mitigate a lot of the concerns they have about students having social gatherings.

Students are still allowed to gather among themselves and there isn't a set maximum for that. "We're not going to be able to monitor what happens inside their units," she said. 

There are also bans on the use of certain common areas. "We're not encouraging students to gather or use common spaces," said the associate director. 

Students using other common areas like the laundry room or the elevator will have to deal with maximum limits as well. As for mask-wearing, all students are required to wear masks as soon as they step out of their unit. 

Orientation is super different in 2020, as well. Both residence and university-arranged activities have been moved online. 

Sangaranarayanan said that they will see how things go in the Fall term; if it's manageable, they hope to introduce more in-person activities in the Winter semester. 

There've been "minor" issues so far, but overall she said that most students have been compliant with the rules. 

Narcity also spoke to a resident, Gandhi Manzano, a second-year student who chose to live in residence this year to be a little more independent. 

He lives in Yamnuska Hall in a three-bedroom apartment that's now only going to have two occupants this year. His roommate hasn't arrived yet, so they haven't been able to work out the rules yet. 

"Everybody's been quiet," he told us. "The building where I live is definitely not noisy." 

The kick-off of the semester and things are quiet? Things are different, after all. 

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