Housing and Dining

Living on Campus

Living on campus will look and feel different than it has previously, of course, but NIU is doing all we can to cultivate the most engaging, rewarding and healthy “college experience” possible in our residence halls. Whether you are a new or returning Huskie, we’re sure that you’ll love your home on campus.

You’ll meet new people and make new friends. You’ll have fun during movie-discussion nights, room-decorating contests, online book clubs, Huskie History events, daily trivia and even virtual open-mic nights where you can share your talents. You’ll also have easy access to professional staff who can connect you with valuable campus resources, which include high-speed internet.

Here’s what you’ll need to know.

New students to NIU will move in during prescheduled appointments August 19, 20 and 21.  Returning students also will have prescheduled appoints to move in between August 21 and August 23. All students living in NIU residence halls were notified on July 16 that they will be required to take COVID-19 PCR tests and send the results to NIU prior to moving into their residence halls.

  • Students need to be tested no sooner than 7 days before their scheduled move-in dates.
  • Students will need to submit their test results to NIU Housing no later than 24 hours prior to their scheduled move in. Information about how to submit test results will be sent to students in early August.
  • Students will not be permitted to access their residence hall if they are unable to document their negative COVID-19 PCR tests.
  • A student who receives a positive test result will need to isolate at home for 14 days, and contact NIU with those results.
  • COVID-19 PCR tests are available at Illinois community based testing sites and personal health care providers. Appointments might be needed to obtain tests, so students should plan in advance. Before scheduling or taking a test, please consult your insurance provider on its requirements or instructions. Students will be responsible for any testing costs not covered by insurance. If you have questions about insurance and the test, please contact the NIU Center for Student Assistance at studentassistance@niu.edu or by calling 815-753-8300 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

To provide physical distancing consistent with public health recommendations, all residence hall bedrooms are single occupancy this fall. Any student who is assigned to a suite or mini-suite will share common space with one other student, and in certain situations a semi-private bathroom.

Because Huskies care about each other, all students and staff in the residence halls will play a collaborative role in maintaining a safe and healthy environment. We are working to provide a fun, engaging and inclusive experience this fall with community-building activities and improved access to professional staff who can offer helpful support and resources.

  • NIU will provide one (1) face mask to each student living on campus this fall.
  • Restrooms and public spaces will continue to be cleaned and disinfected at least daily, often more frequently.
  • Staff will sanitize and disinfect high-touch surfaces in the common areas, including door knobs, elevators buttons, handrails, counter tops, light switches, entry glass and door push plates.
  • Each hall has multiple hand-sanitizing stations.
  • Student should bring their own thermometers and hand sanitizer along with multiple face masks.

Policies of NIU Housing and Residential Services will evolve to meet updated and official guidance on COVID-19, and comply with health and safety laws. All residents, staff and visitors will be required to abide by these policies at all times.

  • Face masks are required to be worn in all public spaces of the residence halls and Northern View Community apartments. This includes shared living rooms in New Hall and Stevenson, elevator landings, hallways, lobbies, stairwells, laundry rooms and lounges. Face masks should always be worn when physical distancing cannot be followed. Face masks are not required while in a student’s room, or restroom area. Persons who might need an accommodation for this requirement can reach out to the Disability Resource Center. While visiting residents in their rooms, students must practice safe distancing and are encouraged to wear their face masks.
  • Students should not congregate in hallways, elevator landings, stairwells, lounges or other areas where safe physical distancing is not possible.
  • Other than lobby areas or dining locations, visitors and guests to the residence halls and apartments are prohibited.
  • Anyone who comes to a residence hall to meet a resident is allowed to safely distance in the lobby area and wear a face mask while waiting for that student but is not permitted to leave the lobby area.
  • If further de-densifying becomes necessary on campus, residential students must comply with these efforts, which could include relocation of some residential students to alternative housing.
  • Residential students are prohibited from creating hazardous situations. Persistent or reckless behavior that threatens the health and safety of others could be considered a violation of policy, and university staff can ask or require students to leave areas where they are putting other members of the community at risk.

With approval of the DeKalb County Health Department and in accordance with CDC guidance, NIU has created plans for quarantine and isolation. Students who cannot quarantine or isolate in their current spaces have two options. If possible, they can quarantine or isolate at their home residence after notifying the DeKalb County Health Department and the NIU Housing and Residential staff of their building of their intentions. If a home residence is not possible or preferred, the student will be relocated to an NIU staff-monitored facility.


  • Residential meal plans work in the Neptune and New Hall dining rooms as well as in the Stevenson Retail Dining Center. Gilbert Hall’s dining area is not open this fall.
  • Retail locations in the Holmes Student Center and in Founders Memorial Library will be open, including Qdoba, Huskie Grill, Starbucks, Huskie Depot and Einstein Bros. Bagels.
  • Meal exchanges can be used at Einstein and the Stevenson food court all day. Qdoba, Huskie Grill and Huskie Depot will accept meal exchanges after 1 p.m.
  • Dining halls will open three times a day for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with suitable time in between each service to thoroughly clean and sanitize all areas.
  • Face masks will be required in all dining halls and retail locations.
  • Campus Dining Services staff all will wear face masks and gloves.
  • Meals at all facilities are packaged for carry-out only to begin the semester at all dining locations on campus. As the semester progresses, NIU will work with local and state health officials to phase in seating capacity.
  • All dining locations will serve similar menus. Special dietary needs will continue to be met.
  • Students must maintain proper physical distancing in ordering lines.
  • Emphasis will be placed on speed of service to prevent a congregation of customers.
  • Self-service stations will not be available this semester.
  • To limit interaction between customer and cashier, we are introducing mobile ordering via Grubhub.
  • The Huskie Classic Plan is unavailable this fall because unlimited access does not provide physical distancing.

Fall 2020 Plan (PDF)

Message from President Freeman

COVID-19 Concerns Form

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