Additional Information Regarding COVID-19 Plans: A Message to Students (March 11, 2020)
For the most up-to-date information, please see Denison’s primary COVID-19 Coronavirus information page.
March 11, 2020
We want to echo what President Weinberg wrote last night. We realize the disruption caused by moving to remote learning for a few weeks.
The COVID 19 situation is very serious and evolving rapidly. In making difficult decisions, Denison will continue to follow the advice of public health professionals. Like so many of you, we would like to see resume classes in April. The next few weeks will be a critical time both in Ohio and nationally and we are watching developments closely so that we can make the best decisions for our community. We know that students want to return to campus to finish the semester and we share that same desire.
We recognize there are a lot of questions. You’ll find answers to some below. Others we are moving as quickly as possible to address.
Our hope is that remote learning will be necessary for only a brief time, but we don’t have clear answers at this point. The college will be guided by the advice of public health professionals. At this point in time, the Ohio Department of Health and other health officials advising the governor have recommended in the strongest terms that we implement social distancing and remote learning for a period of time.
Classes This Week
We are continuing with classes as scheduled this week.
Some students have raised concerns about how they should pack at this time. Since classes will be continuing remotely after spring break, we ask students to take all materials they need to continue their studies. While we hope to return to campus in April, the duration of remote learning could be extended so we strongly encourage students to take as much as they may need for a longer duration and as much as they reasonably can. We recognize many students will not be able to take all of their belongings but for those who can we encourage doing so. If we have to extend remote learning and students are not able to return to campus this semester, we will develop a process to reunite students with their belongings including potentially making dates available when students can come to campus to move out of residence halls. We will help with supplies and are developing suggestions for packing.
Residence halls will stay open until Monday to provide extra time for those who want or need it.
Those with exceptional circumstances including international students and those for whom going home is not an option at this time, can request to remain via this form. Please note that students who leave campus for Spring Break should plan not to return until the campus fully re-opens.
Spring break will continue as planned with remote learning beginning Monday, March 23. Your professors will be in touch with more details. All courses, including those with labs, those in the arts, and activity-based courses, will be managed remotely. Please monitor email and NoteBowl for more information. We can guarantee that all courses will continue, and students will have the opportunity to complete them and receive credit.
We know that many students will need to take library books with them to continue studies remotely. In the event students cannot return to campus to return library books this semester we ask students to return them next semester or we will provide free shipping labels for return of books.
We know that for seniors this is an especially difficult situation to face. Graduation is very special to us all and we really want to see Commencement happen. Our hope is that students can return to campus and commencement can continue as planned. The longer we can wait on this decision, the greater the chance we can offer of holding Commencement. A lot is going to change over the next few weeks.
Please know that the administration shares the desire of students, faculty and staff to resume classes on campus in April. The decision to move to remote learning gives us three essential weeks to learn more about COVID 19 and to assess how to best keep our community safe and healthy. We will send regular email updates as more information is available. Please continue to email your questions to COVID19@denison.edu.
Kim Coplin, Provost
Laurel Kennedy, Vice President for Student Development