• Maroon and Gold Sunrise Plan & Housing

The Maroon and Gold Sunrise Plan describes the steps that students living in residence halls will follow as they return to campus. 

It begins with the expectation that residence hall students will largely remain in their rooms, with exceptions for classes, dining, recreation and wellness, and some other limited exceptions through the end of Step One (approximately 10 days; expected September 28). University leaders will determine when to progress the Plan over the following weeks with increasing levels of openness until we reach the final step, which has no restrictions. 

Step One is now in effect. Carefully review the information and FAQs below. 


    • Step One

      "Stay Home"

      Students will live and learn almost exclusively within residence halls for at least 10 days. Do not visit other residence halls, nor businesses or residences off-campus.

      Doors are monitored after 9pm.

    • Step Two

      Students will have increased access, including visiting all on-campus locations and the surrounding community.

      There will be a 9pm required return to residence halls ("back home") for approximately two weeks.

    • Step Three

      Students will have full access to campus and the surrounding community as they do in Step Two.

      There will be a midnight required return to residence halls ("back home") for approximately two weeks. 

    • Step Four

      “COVID Normal”

      As always, students are expected to wear masks, maintain physical distancing, and avoid large gatherings as they continue to have full access to on- and off-campus locations. There are no “back home” time constraints.

Access Outline

Below is a table outlining how we will operate during each step, followed by a series of Frequently Asked Questions.

Access Items Step One Step Two Step Three Step Four  
Number of guests per assigned student in residence hall rooms 0 1 2 3
Guests from outside the building allowed No No No Yes
May visit on- and off-campus locations (see exceptions) No Yes Yes Yes
Students expected to be inside their assigned building ("back home") 9 pm 9 pm 12 am n/a
Only leave the building for limited reasons  Yes Yes n/a n/a
Sign in and sign out after "back home" hours Yes Yes Yes n/a
Door monitoring 9 pm -
5 am
9 pm -
5 am
12 am -
5 am
Consequences for violations of "back home" hours and plan expectations Yes Yes Yes n/a
Common spaces and amenities available with occupancy limits Yes Yes Yes Yes
Residential Dining - assigned hall only Yes* Yes Yes n/a
Residential Dining - any location No No No Yes
Residential Dining - grab and go Yes* Yes Yes Yes
Residential Dining - seated meals Yes* Yes Yes Yes
*Residential dining is not available to students with Voluntary Meal Plans during Step One.

Limited Exceptions

Students should remain in their residence hall during Step One as much as possible. Students will have access to use residence hall community space (e.g. lounges, tech labs, laundry, etc.) at any time, respecting posted occupancy and other requirements. There are limited reasons for students to leave their building, provided they follow all state-mandated face covering, physical distancing, and other public health guidelines.

Students should note the only difference between Steps One and Two is greater access to visit student unions, retail dining locations, other on-campus locations, and the surrounding community. All other Step One expectations will still be in effect during Step Two, including the following approved exceptions: 

Daytime Exceptions
5 am - 9 pm
Evening Exceptions
9 pm- 5 am
  • Attend in-person or blended classes (including class-related activities as guided by the instructor)
  • Visit your residence hall dining facility (students in Centennial, Frontier, and Territorial halls will be assigned to Pioneer Hall dining)
  • Use campus health, libraries, and recreation and wellness facilities
  • Participate in work study, other employment or military service
  • Be outdoors and physically distant (you must be inside by 9 pm)
  • Fulfill court-mandated appointments or service
  • Go to medical, dental, or mental health appointments
  • Attend to a personal or family emergency
  • Attend religious ceremonies
  • Participate in work study, other employment or military service
  • Attend to a personal or family emergency


Can students delay moving-in until after Step One?

Twin Cities residence hall fall move-in will take place September 15-20. Students arriving after the move-in period (Sept. 15-20) must complete an at-home 14-day quarantine and receive the Move-In confirmation email from the COVID-19 Screening Form, before contacting Housing & Residential Life to arrange their move-in appointment. Students will not receive a refund if they choose to move in after the start of their residence hall contract on September 19.

Students should note that the only difference between Steps One and Two is greater access to visit student unions, retail dining locations, other on-campus locations, and the surrounding community. All other Step One expectations will still be in effect. 

Additionally, the decision to advance from one step to the next will be made by campus leaders based on available COVID-19 case information, status, and the effectiveness of public health response operations (in partnership with local and state public health partners), as well as status of general campus operations. If moving to Step Two is not considered feasible, Step One restrictions would be extended.

I live in an on-campus apartment. Does the Maroon and Gold Sunrise Plan apply to me?

The Maroon and Gold Sunrise Plan is for students living in residence halls only. For students living in on-campus apartments (i.e., Keeler, Radius, Wilkins, and Yudof), the University recommends that students minimize their on-campus movement and follow all public health guidance around wearing masks, physical distancing, and avoiding gatherings. This guidance is also applicable to students living in off-campus apartments.

In addition, the MTest program is available to all students regardless of where they live. Any student experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should immediately seek testing and support. If isolation or quarantine is necessary, the University has designated isolation and quarantine spaces for students with University housing contracts, which includes those living in on-campus apartments. Learn more about the steps that students living on-campus will take with a confirmed or possible COVID-19 diagnosis.

Can I still cancel or defer my housing contract?

If you have determined that you are no longer interested in living on campus this fall, contact us as soon as possible. We are happy to discuss your options to cancel your housing and dining contract or defer your contract to spring semester. For those considering deferring to spring semester, please know you may not receive the same assignment. Refer to the 2020-2021 contract to see which terms and provisions may apply to you.

We previously extended the deadline for new first-year students to cancel their housing contract and receive a refund of their $200 guarantee payment until the first day of in-person classes. For cancellations, visit housing.umn.edu/cancel. To defer to spring, email [email protected].


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Step One

How does the Maroon and Gold Sunrise “stay home” period work during Step One?

Move-in (Sept 15-20) marks the beginning of the approximately 10-day “stay home” period. As soon as a student completes their move-in, they should adhere to the expectations outlined in Step One. Only students assigned to the room are allowed in residential rooms during Step One, so move-in helpers will need to depart immediately after your move-in appointment.

Review the Maroon and Gold Sunrise Plan to learn more about “Step One: Residence Hall Housing,” its expectations, and potential exceptions. Housing staff can help determine if a student’s individual circumstances align with any Step One exceptions. Students will receive information from Housing and Residential Life, which includes the guidelines noted in the Maroon and Gold Sunrise Plan.

How will these restrictions be enforced? What happens to students if they don’t comply with the “stay home” hours?

We expect that students will actively work to keep themselves and others safe and healthy, with the understanding that there could be disciplinary action taken when expectations are not met. Students who repeatedly violate these expectations will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of their housing contract.

Additionally, students will need to carry their U Card to access the residence hall and dining facility that they have been assigned. U Card access to other dining facilities will be restricted. All residence halls will have Housing staff on-site 24/7 to assist students as needed and to support sign-in and sign-out after the required “back home” time in the first three steps.  

Concerns within the residential community should be directed to the CA on Duty for your building. The phone number for contacting the CA on Duty is posted at the front desk and in other prominent areas within your building. Concerns outside of the residential community may be reported to the Office for Community Standards.

Why aren’t there more exceptions to Step One? 

The first step of the Plan is anchored by the expectation that students moving into the campus community will largely remain in their assigned residence hall as a means to safeguard the campus community. Students will have limited access to on-campus activities and should not visit businesses or residences off-campus during Step One. 

These limits are designed to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. For example, we understand students may want to see nearby family and friends, participate in volunteer activity, engage in club sports and hobbies, visit local retail and restaurants, or attend social gatherings. Visiting off-campus communities increases risk for the student, their loved ones, those in neighboring communities, as well as the rest of their residential community upon their return. We expect students to follow the Maroon and Gold Sunrise Plan as the best way to keep themselves and others safe and healthy.  

We know that these requirements are different from any other year. This will be difficult, and by working together and supporting compliance, we can minimize transmission, settle into campus life in our new COVID-19 normal, and get to the other side of this pandemic faster.

During Step One, can I visit residents of other residence halls? 

Students should not visit other residence halls unless it is necessary to reach their designated dining hall. Visiting other on-campus residents in their rooms is also not allowed during Step One, even within your assigned building.

However, students living in the same building may interact with others if they follow University and public health guidance, such as avoiding large groups and wearing face coverings. Brief interactions in hallways are permitted, and community spaces or outdoor spaces may also be used to socialize with others provided all follow physical distancing and occupancy guidelines.

Will there be opportunities to meet others and/or stay busy during Step One

The broader campus community is preparing resources and other opportunities for students to engage and develop new connections within public health and University guidelines for reducing the spread of COVID-19. Find examples on the Student Unions & Activities site.

Residence hall teams are also preparing to support students. Initially, Community Advisors will focus on providing individual connection and support as residents settle into new routines, class schedules, and community efforts to respect public health guidelines.

Is there enough space, airflow, data connections, etc. to support students for 10 (or more) days during Step 1?

All residence halls also have community space available to residents, as well as connections to the University high-speed internet service.

Additionally, all residence halls, with the exception of Sanford Hall, have air conditioning. That said, as average temperatures for our region cool over September-October, air conditioning is not heavily used.


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Additional Steps

How will things change in subsequent steps? 

In Steps Two and Three, students in on-campus residence halls will have greater access to the campus and surrounding communities. For full details, see the Maroon and Gold Sunrise Plan.

In Step Two, students will gain access to other on-campus locations not covered in Step One, as well as the community surrounding campus. However, students must be “back home” in their room by 9 p.m. Exceptions will continue to be made as noted in Step One.

In Step Three, students will continue to have full access to on-campus and off-campus locations, but their “back home” time moves to midnight.

Step Four is the  “COVID Normal” step, in which students will have full access to campus and surrounding communities with no “back home” time constraints.

I’m a student with a night class that ends after the “back home” time listed in Steps Two and Three. What should I do about my classes?

Students who live in residence halls and have classes that end after the “back home” time are expected to return to their room as soon as they are able to do so.


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Residential Dining

How does the Maroon and Gold Sunrise Plan impact my meal plan?

Residential meal contracts begin Sept.19, but meals will be provided at no additional cost Sept. 16 -18 for residence hall residents. Note: Dinner will also be provided on Sept. 15 from 4–8pm. Visit M Dining for meal times for each residential dining location.

Students will be expected to get their meals in the dining hall located in their residence hall during Steps 1, 2, and 3. Students assigned to Territorial, Frontier, and Centennial halls will use the Pioneer dining hall. Students are not allowed to eat at other residence halls until Step 4. 

For current residential dining hours, please visit M Dining.

Will residential convenience stores be open during this timeframe?

Yes, the convenience stores in Sanford, Middlebrook, and Centennial halls will be open 5 pm - 12am until, seven days a week starting September 16. These convenience stores are not open for students outside of these three residence halls during Step 1.

Voluntary meal plans have been sold to University apartment residents. Will they be allowed to access their meal plan?

The voluntary meal plans will not be available during Step 1. These meal plans will become available when the campus moves into Step 2, which provides students more access to campus amenities. 

Students with voluntary meal plans can contact M Dining at [email protected] to learn about meal plan cancellations.

Will students be allowed to eat in their assigned dining hall, or will they be required to take their meals back to their rooms?

Students must use their assigned dining hall during Steps 1, 2, and 3, but there is no requirement to eat in your assigned room.

All meals will be provided in a Grab and Go manner, allowing students the ability to dine-in if a table is available. There is limited seating in dining centers, spaced at 6 feet. Chairs must not be moved.

If there are no tables available and physical distancing cannot be maintained, students are expected to leave the dining facility to find another location to eat.

I am a student-athlete. Will the Athletes Village Nutrition Center be open for lunch?

Yes. Student-athletes can eat lunch at Athletes Village Nutrition Center.

Will food deliveries from outside restaurants be allowed to the residence halls?

Yes. Students need to meet the delivery person at the building entrance.


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When will the Campus Connector and Circulator run?

The Connector and Circulator will operate on the summer schedule through Sept. 20.

The fall campus bus schedule begins on Sept. 21. Note: late-night Circulator service begins at Step 4 of the Maroon and Gold Sunrise Plan.


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