CUH Dorms Stay Open Through Spring Semester


Jesha-Ariana Outlaw-Pila

Pohaku and all dorms on the Chaminade campus will be open until the end of the semester.

The dorms for Chaminade students will be open until the end of the spring semester, but for students like sophomore Adora Erguiza, being able to get home to her village of Merizo on Guam was more important than staying here. Erguiza made the choice to return home on March 16 before the borders had closed and before flights were canceled after learning that CUH classes would be moving online on March 15.

“I didn’t initially want to fly home only because of the chance that I might carry the virus and infect my family members,” said Erguiza. “All the people I live with are either elderly or people with numerous conditions, which is the main groups of people the virus hits the hardest. However, my parents convinced me to come back in case the governor closes Guam’s borders.”

The coronavirus has stopped in-person classes and meetings in schools across the United States, forcing students to move out of dorms and having classes go online. Hawaii is one of the many states that has started online classes but Chaminade has kept some of the on-campus facilities open to students such as the dorms, cafeteria, and library.

As classes move from in-person face to face to online, students had to decide to leave or stay at the dorms, which are still open. Since the residence halls remain open to students, there are no refunds that are being offered to students who have decided to move out early. The housing contract will remain until the ending of the semester, said Venus Ituralde, who is the director of residence life at Chaminade.

With a plan to return to Chaminade in the fall, Erguiza stored important items with her boyfriend or took it with her and other items that she didn’t need, she donated or threw out. With her choice to return home, she had left on March 23, and was lucky enough to have her mom’s flyer miles as a one-way flight to Guam. A regular one-way ticket can cost around $700 to $1000.

Chaminade does not only house international, off-island and out of state students, but students from Oahu who use dorming as a convenience because they live far and it would be a challenge to commute in.

Jesha-Ariana Outlaw-Pila, who is a sophomore from Waianae and is currently residing in Pohaku, decided to remain in the dorms instead of returning to her home in Waianae She currently lives with her parents, siblings and two grandmothers who are at the ages of 60-years-old and 79-years-old. Outlaw-Pila, currently has a room to herself in Pohaku so if her other suitemates return, she is not worried about social distancing.

“My main concern is not getting them sick,” said Outlaw-Pila. “Also, another thing for me is the fact that I’m still working … a job on campus. I work at the cafeteria, and since it’s considered a food delivery or a food takeout service, we’re still opening. I feel it’s safer for me to stay on campus than to commute on public transportation from home, which is all the way out in Waianae.”