A decorated room in a GVSU Allendale campus residence hall.

Rooms 'splashed' with decor to be more welcoming for isolation, quarantine students

Camera figurines placed on a desk, positive quotes fastened to a bunk bed and photos hung on strings across the walls of a room in a Grand Valley residence hall. 

What once was a bare room, set aside for a student to isolate or quarantine in, was swiftly transformed to a photography-themed room. 

GVSU Housing and Residence Life, in partnership with the Virus Action Team, developed “Room Splash” — an opportunity for campus departments to transform an empty quarantine or isolation room into a more vibrant living space.

With a kit that included string lights, ribbon and several other materials, the goal was for department teams to make the temporary spaces more welcoming for the students who will utilize them throughout the year. Campus departments were to use the materials given and what they brought. No university money was to be spent.  

Room Splash is one way the Housing and Residence Life team is supporting students from the beginning to the end of the isolation and quarantine process.

“Our main goals are to put students in a safe space and mitigate the spread of the virus,” said Adam Tate, facilities manager. 

More than 200 rooms on campus were reserved to be used as isolation and quarantine rooms. However, Tate said less than 25 percent of those rooms have been used at this time.

Each room has its own bedroom, bathroom, microwave and refrigerator. They are stocked with items like eating utensils, plates and bowls, toilet paper and hand sanitizer.

Housing and Residence Life partnered with Campus Dining and Facilities Services to deliver entrées that can be reheated. Students are also provided with shelf-stable meal kits.  

Ottawa County also donated hundreds of bags with hand sanitizer, masks and other small items for students in isolation or quarantine.

“There are so many of us working to make sure the residents have their needs met and are communicated with,” said Tate.

Camera figurines and pictures on a desk in a GVSU room on the Allendale Campus
Valerie Hendrickson
Black and white photo of sticky notes that read "Take care of you!"
Valerie Hendrickson
Cut-outs of quotes taped to a bunk bed in a GVSU room
Valerie Hendrickson
A black and white photo of a GVSU employee decorating an empty room for "Room Splash"
GVSU photographer Kendra Stanley-Mills decorates a room on the Allendale Campus for "Room Splash."
Image Credit: Valerie Hendrickson