Open Helyar House at Limited Capacity (Rutgers University)

Open Helyar House at Limited Capacity (Rutgers University)

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Henry Velasquez started this petition to Rutgers University and

Due to the spread of COVID-19, Rutgers University has shut down various in-person communities, including those meant to support and give a chance for individuals, from challenging financial backgrounds, to receive an education.


The Helyar House is a building at the edge of the Cook/Douglass campus at Rutgers University--New Brunswick. It stands isolated, requiring a 15 minute walk to the main areas of Cook/Douglas campus, and previously housed a self-governing and self-sustaining community of 40 financially-disadvantaged students.

 

It has gifted the luxury of an education at Rutgers University, since 1968, to financially-burdened individuals willing to exchange labor for both a chance to learn and a chance for a brighter future.


The pandemic has forced some residents of the Helyar House to endure overly-exhaustive home-environments and others have been forced to set aside an education in search of work.


With limited housing opportunities at Helyar House (at one student per room), the spacing between rooms would be equivalent to that available at the Livingston Apartments and other residences that are currently open and or will be opened in the Spring of 2021. Rooms would limit the capacity of residents to 10 residents per floor, which would total to a potential maximum of 20 highly-compliant students, each with previously-earned janitorial experience, residing in a very spacious house complex, isolated 15 minutes away from the rest of Cook/Douglass campus. 


This would allow a maximum of 20 students to afford and resume an education.


A major change of policies, guidelines, and operations that are CDC-compliant and abide by social-distancing rules has been drafted and linked below:

Click to view Proposed Helyar House Safety Policies


Opening the Helyar House for these students in need would greatly alleviate an overlooked yet major financial, academic, and mental health burden present in the Rutgers Community.

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