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Interview with President Robbins: Decision to consolidate dorm residents

A few members of the Daily Wildcat executive board interviewed University of Arizona President Dr. Robert C. Robbins on April 3 about the UA's response to COVID-19 and plans for the future as this pandemic persists. The following is a clip from the Zoom interview specifically covering dorm consolidation.

Included below is a transcript of the conversation.


DW: So what went into the university's decision to consolidate residents still living in the dorms into the four residence halls at this point?

President Robbins: Well, I think that the idea was that we needed to make sure that individuals had single rooms with single bathrooms so that there were no shared facilities to do the best we can to try to isolate people. And so that simply, was it. Moreover, you can imagine trying to have full services to 500 or 600 students spread out over 20 dorms. If we had students in a more concentrated area with single rooms and trying to help them stay as isolated as possible, it helps to provide better services to those students. 

DW: And then, in those dorms that they're being put into — I think it's Coronado, Pima, Babcock, Honors Village — are there any special [sanitation] procedures or isolation procedures in place in these dorms at this point?

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President Robbins: Well, I think you bring up an issue around custodians and people in the front line of cleaning the dorms and things like that. Certainly protective gear for them, and being able to do the best practices around. I think someone showed me some cleaning solution that's particularly effective at killing COVID-19. So I don't know exactly the details, but I know - I can actually walk in there - hang on a second.

Vice President of Communications Chris Sigurdson: I think the exact numbers were, we had 627 students distributed among 24 dorms.

DW: Oh wow.

Sigurdson: This helps us - first of all, they all had communal bathrooms, and they were spread out, and we were distributing meals and so forth, still, so this made a lot of sense and in many cases, they got what a hotel would call an upgrade.

DW: Yeah, I wish I got pushed into the Honors Village.

DW: Nice having your own bathroom, for sure. It's definitely necessary in times like these.

Sigurdson: For sure. Very much so.

President Robbins: The name of it is Oxivir Five 16 Concentrate.

DW: And that's like a cleaning solution?

President Robbins: Yes. It's a disinfectant cleaner, hospital grade.

DW: Who has access to that? All the students or just the facilities?

President Robbins: The facilities, management and the custodians, and I'm assuming if students wanted it, they could get it, [the ones] that are in the residential housing.

DW: Yeah, so like resident assistants would have access to stuff like that if they asked?

Sigurdson: I was told that they were giving students access to cleaning materials. At what strength I don't know, because our custodians are trained. But they are making sure that — And then, I believe they're also doing some routine cleaning of bathrooms ...

DW: Even the private bathrooms?

Sigurdson: Definitely.

DW: Okay.


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UA COVID-19 Test Tracker

Daily (9/21)
993 29 2.9%
Total (8/2)
23,557 463 2.0%
Includes tests since August 2, 2021
Data from https://covid19.arizona.edu/updates
Updated September 21, 2021