By Vivian Roach | Staff Writer, Video by Winston Margaritis and George Schroeder | Broadcast Reporters
After Martin Residence Hall students were placed under a Reside in Place order, a few of them decided to partake in fishing for food deliveries with their own shirts, sheets and other lengthy clothing.
Students on the third and fourth floor of Martin Residence Hall were put under a Reside in Place order on Saturday, a hybrid quarantine measure that will last four days, after case numbers spiked from five to 21 on the two floors. Students are not allowed to leave their rooms until Wednesday.
On Monday, in an email to Martin residents on the third and fourth floors, the residence hall director Ricardo Garza explained laundry services, delivery options, meal plans and bathroom guidelines under their new living situation.
“If there are extra meals after meals have been delivered. You may see them on a table of sorts, you are able to step out and get the extra meal,” Garza said.
One Martin freshman said the quality of the provided food was one reason to opt for a new kind of dining.
“The food that Baylor has been catering to us has been middle school cafeteria quality to say the least, and we’ve been getting pretty bored, so we wanted to find something to do,”
After he saw his neighbors having food delivered and pulling it up to their window, he and his roommate tried it as well.
“My roommate and I noticed that our next door neighbors tied some clothing together along with a pillowcase to hold the food, from what we could tell, so we figured we could try the same thing,” he said. “I grabbed some Paracord I have with my camping gear, tied it to a Vans bag, and I lowered it down for the pizza guy.”
Tiffany Lowe, the director for Campus Living & Learning, said Reside in Place students are being delivered three meals a day at proper meal times. There is contactless delivery to each room and extra snacks are also provided. Lowe said she doesn’t know the intention behind the student’s actions “other than someone trying to bring some levity to the situation.”
“Martin third and fourth floor students are well aware of meal deliveries, as well as how to receive additional support, including laundry service and mail/package deliveries,” Lowe said.
Garza said third and fourth floor Martin residents are not allowed outside at all until the four-day Reside in Place order is up.
“There will be no outdoor rec time,” Garza said. “We do not have a means of doing this effectively where you all are spread out, the building isn’t needing to be sanitized several times and also keep others not in Residing in Place orders.”
Lowe also said the university has taken precautions to prevent another outbreak in the residence hall.
“We have increased cleaning efforts for public spaces and high touch areas,” Lowe said. “We will also continue our messaging campaign to students, encouraging them to wear face masks and physically distance from others. While the University can take every precaution, personal responsibility and responsible choices are still major factors in the health of our community.”
Assistant vice president of media and public relations Lori Fogleman said as soon as more than five Martin Residence Hall students were suspected to test positive for COVID-19 last Thursday, the school took action by doing more testing.
“We immediately initiated testing of residents on those floors and received those results on Saturday. We took immediate action on Saturday night by requiring residents to reside in place for the next four days, through Wednesday, while we began contact tracing and daily COVID-19 rapid testing and assessment of any virus symptoms. We began testing these residents today,” Fogleman said.
Dr. Kevin Jackson, vice president for student life, said he is confident in the morale of the “mighty men of Martin” during this time.
“Martin is an all-male freshman residence hall. From the moment they get selected into Martin, that theme, that camaraderie, that ‘esprit de corps,’ is a part of their ethos,” Jackson said. “So as you can imagine this is a change. It is not anything any of has had anticipated we’d been doing, but with Martin and communicating with Martin, we are confident the mighty men of Martin are going to rise up here. They’re going to be able to work through this in a very positive way, supporting one another, supporting this campus.”