Adapting to Coronavirus Guidelines at ‘Gator Pond’ – with Lupita ‘Pete’ Morales


When the Coronavirus shut down college campuses across the US, most student housing facilities closed as well. But what do you do if the majority of your residents are not from the US and may not have the option to simply go home? How do you continue to serve students and stay connected with them when you’re required to stay at least six feet apart?

Lupita ‘Pete’ Morales is the Assistant Director of Housing Operations at the Campus Corner Apartments at Green River College in Auburn, Washington. She oversees operations for the 340 students living on campus, 179 of whom have remained on campus through the COVID-19 shutdown. Pete is committed to building a diverse and equitable community in an environment where 80% of the residents are international students. 

On this episode of Student Housing Matters, Pete joins guest host Alton Irwin to discuss her team’s response to Coronavirus. She describes the diverse population of international residents she serves, weighing in on why she advocated to keep student housing open and what innovative strategies her team is using to stay in touch with its residents. Listen in for Pete’s insight around how the GRC team is navigating social distancing guidelines and learn what customer service, communication and cleanliness processes they plan to continue even after the pandemic is over.

Topics Covered

  • Pete’s role as AD of Housing Operations at Green River College
  • The diverse population of international students at Green River
  • What Green River leadership did to plan for COVID-19 in February
  • The Instagram account Pete’s staff is using to stay in touch with residents
  • What processes Pete’s team plans to continue once the crisis is over
  • How Pete’s team navigated move-in/out with social distancing guidelines
  • Why Green River student housing advocated to stay open
  • How Pete’s staff communicates with students who are learning English
  • How a typical day in Pete’s office looks different right now
  • What Pete’s team is doing to improve customer service to residents

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