UHV announces fall housing plan

Students planning to return to stay at the residence halls this fall at the University of Houston-Victoria will see some changes to the move-in process and other areas of Residence Life as the university focuses on providing a safe place for students to pursue their education.

Brandon Lee

UHV will continue to offer housing for the 2020-2021 academic year at Jaguar Hall, Jaguar Court, Jaguar Suites and the newly constructed Don & Mona Smith Hall. The fall semester begins Aug. 24. Classes will be taught both in person and online this fall through hybrid, real-time online or traditional online formats with a limited number of students and employees on campus.

“Our goal in doing things differently is to make sure our students are able to live in the residence halls and continue taking classes while also taking the necessary precautions because of COVID-19,” said Brandon Lee, director of UHV Residence Life. “We will continue to support our students as best as we can as we all navigate through this time together.”

This year, move-in days will take place Aug. 19 to 22, and students will be able to reserve a day and time to move into their rooms. Students can bring up to two family members or guests with them to limit the amount of people in the building. Face coverings will be required for all persons assisting in the move-in process, and social distancing protocols will also be followed. Check-in will be completed through an electronic format to limit interaction with staff.

Jay Lambert

Students will not be assigned roommates, and no more than two students will be assigned to any suite in Jaguar Village and Smith Hall to ensure social distancing, Lee said. Students will be required to wear a face covering when out of their rooms.

There also will be COVID-19 prevention information and safety measures posted in each room for students. High-touch areas will be disinfected several times throughout the day as well. If a student develops COVID-19 symptoms, the student will be able to safely quarantine in their room, and meals from Jaguar Hall Dining will be dropped off by Residence Life staff.

Jaguar Hall Dining will open this fall at 50 percent dine-in capacity with enhanced safety measures and full meal options to-go. The dining hall will continue to prepare meals from scratch and feature all previously offered food stations. Food will be served by UHV Dining associates only and silverware will be handed out at each station. UHV Dining also has reduced the number of high-touch surfaces and will have an on-site cleaning crew that will sanitize the area according to a 30-minute cleaning schedule and perform a full disinfection of each location at least once a day. Those who enter UHV Dining locations will be required to wear a face mask and sanitize hands upon entrance. There also will be additional dining features such as mobile ordering options.

The new Chick-fil-A, a coffee and snack bar that serves Starbucks, and market store will open later this month inside UHV University Commons, 3006 N. Ben Wilson St. Both locations will be open to the public.

“I am very pleased with the efforts our Residence Life staff and dining team have put in place in order to provide the safest possible environment” said Jay Lambert, UHV vice president for student affairs. “Our students who ended the spring semester living on campus took this very serious and we fully expect that students who come back this fall will do so as well. Although it will be a different experience, we are all excited to see students back on campus.” 

Katherine Burke

In spite of the pandemic, students can still look forward to fun activities, said Katherine Burke, senior resident assistant. The semester will start with virtual activities and add face-to-face events when it becomes safe to do so.

“We are still a UHV family and it is important that we create memorable moments with the people in our UHV community,” Burke said.

Burke, who has been a resident assistant for three years, said Resident Appreciation Week, which takes place a couple weeks after move-in, will look different this year. In the past, residents were taken on free bowling or skating trips during Resident Appreciation Week to acclimate to college life and bond.

“We put the safety of our Jaguars first and decided to rework some of our best activities for keeping students engaged outside the classroom into more appropriate fashions,” Burke said. “We’re all about opportunity, so we’re using these challenging circumstances to reconnect with our students through online platforms.”

Students also can expect more social media engagement and activities this year.

“We still have some big plans for our residents that I am looking forward to,” she said.

Mandatory resident meetings will take place through a virtual format as well, such as through Zoom or Microsoft Teams. There will be 16 resident assistants who will be available to help students through the conferencing apps or by phone.

“We look forward to welcoming residents back to UHV, your home away from home,” Burke said. “We care about your safety, and we are here for you if you ever need us.”

For more information, contact Residence Life at 361-485-4404 or

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Amber Aldaco