By Tom Kersten
After being closed for most of 2021, Davey Lodge is set to reopen for students next year. An ANU spokesperson confirmed it “is open for applications for 2022.”
Davey Lodge was closed early this year, with the goal of converting it into a quarantine facility for returning international students. However, ACT health later deemed it unsuitable as a quarantine facility due to several factors including a lack of individual balconies and no individual laundry facilities.
Yet in June, Davey Lodge was used as a quarantine facility for 30 returning government officials who attended the G7 Summit in England. At the time, an ACT Health spokesperson told ABC Canberra that despite Davey Lodge previously being considered unsuitable, work had since been done with the Commonwealth to ensure conditions were met.
Many students expressed their frustration about this on ANU Schmidtposting, with one student commenting that having a quarantine facility “in the middle of a campus/one of the biggest workplaces in Canberra is extremely irresponsible”.
Only a month later, Davey Lodge was for a brief period used by students from Sydney to complete stay at home orders, but this was short lived as ACT Health halted all student arrivals from Sydney. The Lodge has also been used by on-campus residents who were deemed close contacts of people with COVID-19, or had contracted the virus themselves.
With the return of international students next year, the reopening of Davey Lodge was welcomed by the International Students Department, with vice-president Hebe Ren telling Observer “it is good to hear given the fact that there are expected to be a large number of international students returning next year”.
Ren highlighted that it was particularly good news for international students in their later years who “might have never been to Australia due to the ongoing travel ban”.
An ANU spokesperson told Observer that currently, occupancy rates across on-campus accommodation ranges from 50-90%, with an average of 70%.
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