VP of Student Affairs Hoffmann Harding: Letter to students on move-out procedures

Author: Olivia Hall

Note: Dated communications are archived here for reference, but may not reflect the most up-to-date information available.

Dear Notre Dame undergraduates,

As you may know, yesterday, Father John shared with the senior class that the University would not hold in-person Commencement ceremonies on May 16-17 as originally planned; instead, Commencement will be held in stages, with an online ceremony on May 17 and in-person celebrations on Memorial Day weekend of 2021. As Father John said in his letter to seniors, public health experts have made it clear it would not be prudent in the coming weeks to bring together on campus large gatherings of families from across the country and around the world.   

We know, however, that you need to come to campus to retrieve your belongings, and we have tried to design a move-out plan that balances your safety, the well-being of our staff and local community, and your understandable eagerness to obtain your things. Below you will find additional information about moving out of the undergraduate residence halls and room picks for next year. Please share this information with your parents, guardians, and loved ones.


With the State of Indiana under a stay-at-home order until at least April 7, many states under similar or more stringent regulations, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommending against any large gatherings well into May, we realize and truly regret that move-out options will be less than ideal for students and families.  

Within these constraints, we have worked hard to prepare options that will provide opportunity for travel planning and consideration for unique circumstances. Thank you for your patience.

  • As you know, the residence halls are currently closed. To honor public health guidelines, please do not return until instructed.
  • We will offer students the opportunity to sign up in advance for a move-out appointment in the Home Under the Dome system.
  • The quantity of move-out appointments available each day will be based on public health guidelines and limited accordingly. We will offer as many appointments as we can as quickly as possible while honoring relevant recommendations about crowds.
  • Based on current information, we anticipate the earliest move-out appointments might take place in late May. May move-out appointments, if feasible, would limit the numbers of individuals returning to campus each day.
  • We anticipate some students, potentially international students, may be unable to return to campus to retrieve their things. In these limited situations, students or families could select an approved packing service. 
  • Packing services would occur after the move-out appointments.
  • The Office of Student Enrichment is available to assist students for whom a return trip to campus might present a particular financial hardship.
  • The Office of Residential Life will be in touch with further details, and you can direct any questions to residentiallife@nd.edu.  

Please note that teams from Student Affairs, Building Services, and Maintenance are in the process of emptying and unplugging refrigerators, securing windows, and attending to other maintenance matters to ensure student belongings remain safe until they can be retrieved.

Fall 2020 Room Picks

While many of our halls have cherished traditions around room picks, we will need to complete room picks online in the Home Under the Dome system for the first time this year. Our team is working hard to make this process seamless.

  • More details will be communicated by the Office of Residential Life beginning this Friday, April 3.
  • Room pick dates are expected to be assigned by hall beginning in late April.

In closing, it is hard to articulate how strange and empty campus seems without students living in the residence halls. It was warm and sunny last Wednesday, which normally would have been a day for activity on the quad and music coming out of hall windows. I am very glad you were still learning and connecting with one another on that day, albeit in virtual ways. I look forward to the day when we can welcome you back to the halls you love and bring to life. 

Seniors, my heart aches that your Commencement celebrations must occur in stages. All of us share Father John’s commitment to making these events meaningful and special for your class.

The Office of Residential Life will provide more detailed information about move-out and room picks in the weeks ahead. In the meantime, take care of yourselves, reach out for support, and know of our prayers for you and your families.

In Notre Dame,

Erin Hoffmann Harding
Vice President for Student Affairs