Dorm Life’s New Normal at CSUEB

Stephanie Berumen, Contributor

Pioneer Heights residents have returned this fall with new living conditions to abide by

Since the health crisis began in late 2019, life has shifted dramatically. For students, their dorm experience changed. Current student residents at California State University, East Bay, living in Pioneer Heights fall into three categories: those who were pre-pandemic students (fall 2019), those who lived on campus in spring 2020 during the lockdown(s), and those who moved in for the fall 2021 semester as first-time residents in campus housing.

Tori Padilla, a third-year student at CSUEB, related her experiences living in the dorms before the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the challenges that came after, “What I miss most are all the people and the constant interactions you have. Along with seeing the same and new people.”

Since the COVID-19 pandemic forced everyday life to shut down in March 2020, CSUEB transitioned completely to remote learning. As each semester has passed, more and more classes are being offered in person.

CSUEB has taken significant steps to ensure the safety of its students with numerous policies and protocols established by the Student Health and Counseling Services and the Housing Residence.

“I think the policies and protocols established are really good. It ensures all of the students in housing and everyone with in-person classes safety while also making it easier and possible for us to actually have in-person classes,” Emma Wettlaufer stated, a Pioneer Heights resident who was living on campus during the 2020 lockdowns.

From only being able to get take-out food from the dining commons to hardly ever seeing anyone outside of their dorm, Pioneer Heights has come a long way since the early months of the pandemic.

“This fall semester, you can talk and make friends with a lot more people compared to Spring semester. No one went out of their room, so you did not talk with anyone except for your suitemate,” Wettlaufer stated.

At CSUEB, students must wear their masks inside any of the resident dorm buildings, with the exception of one’s suite and/or room. Non-resident visitors are not permitted inside the dorms, and Pioneer Heights residents who are not vaccinated must get weekly tests for COVID-19, which are provided for all CSUEB students in front of the University Student Health Center.

“I don’t feel safe because people aren’t obligated to tell you if they’re sick or if they test positive for COVID. Like the people in your suite aren’t obligated to tell you if they tested positive for COVID unless they’re your direct roommates, then you have to because you’ll have to quarantine together,” Chenoa Bodero said a first-time dorm resident at Pioneer Heights.

Dorm life expectations for the next year vary from resident to resident, but one thing is for sure, the way Pioneer residents dorm has now become the new ‘normal.’

For more information about the different policies and protocols for COVID-19, visit.