Sustaining healthy staying communities in university residential halls amid unprecedented pandemic

Wing Tung Michelle CHENG, Man-Lai LEUNG, Wai Mui Christina YU, Kevin K. M. YUE, Elaine S. C. LIU, Samuel K. W. CHU

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

Abstract

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, most teaching and learning or student services in the higher education setting have moved to the digital world. However, university residential halls have continued to provide services as there are students who are unable to go back to their homes/countries because of travel bans or family reasons. This study investigates the perceptions of residents who stayed at university residential halls during the pandemic. In-depth interviews were conducted with 77 staying residents from four public universities in Hong Kong. Through the sharing of their residential experience, it was found that these stayers were impacted greatly by the changes in the residential hall environment, particularly in terms of reduced interaction and emerging disciplinary concerns. Results reveal that stayers had undergone different negative mental states, namely stress, paranoia, loneliness and boredom. After identifying their conditions, some sustainable residential practices were proposed, such as maintaining minimum face-to-face contact for stayers, practicing transparent communication and arranging bulk purchases of living supplies. It is hoped that the results of this study can help to inform readers regarding the possible impacts on the stayers during a partial lockdown environment in university residential halls and how they can be better supported by universities. Copyright © 2021 by the authors.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6176
JournalSustainability
Volume13
Issue number11
Early online date31 May 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021

Citation

Cheng, M. W. T., Leung, M.-L., Yu, C. W. M., Yue, K. K. M., Liu, E. S. C., & Chu, S. K. W. (2021). Sustaining healthy staying communities in university residential halls amid unprecedented pandemic. Sustainability, 13(11). Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.3390/su13116176

Keywords

  • University residential community
  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • Emotional needs
  • Sustainable practices

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