An update from Laurel Kennedy, Vice President for Student Development (April 3, 2020)
For the most up-to-date information, please see Denison’s primary COVID-19 Coronavirus information page.
As we end the second week of remote learning, I’m writing with a brief update from Granville. It’s astonishing to look at a calendar and see that March 13, the day classes ended for Spring Break, was just three weeks ago. Thank you for your perseverance during this extraordinary time. Thanks too for all the ways you are connecting with each other, and with us back on campus.
A bit about these last two weeks
With Governor DeWine’s “stay-at-home” order on March 22, we accelerated our efforts to get students home or to safe residence with other family or friends. We are grateful for the support of the Red Thread Fund and the newly created Emergency Assistance Fund, which enabled us to provide financial and logistical travel support to over 200 students who were still on campus. We are also grateful to the families in the local community who have opened their homes to more than 65 students.
In the spirit of the Governor’s order, we also suspended students’ retrieval of belongings. The Governor’s order was extended this week until at least May 1, and we do not anticipate resuming retrieval of belongings until after the order has ended. In the meantime, our Building Services staff have entered rooms to remove perishable items left behind in fridges and on countertops, as a matter of health and safety. They also surveyed the general situation in the residence halls, a scan that will help us develop options for how students and their belongings will be reunited. As soon as we know what options we can offer, we will be back in touch with students. Please be assured that we will not discard belongings from rooms unless students indicated this preference on their Spring 2020 Housing Checkout Form.
We also want students to be aware that local officials have approached Denison about the possibility of using residence halls for quarantine and other purposes, and Governor DeWine issued an order this week asking universities to support first responders and our local health care systems. Should a request be made to Denison that requires us to use rooms where students have left belongings, we will do our best to follow the preferences those students have expressed regarding their belongings. Again, we will not discard items unless authorized to do so by the students.
We have turned attention this week to ramping up resources and planning events in support of your experience during remote learning. Our friends in Information Technology Services have reconfigured the landing page of MyDenison to make it easier to find these special resources:
- Academic Support links to resources for the transition to remote learning.
- A new Advising Resources page will soon be active to answer questions about recent academic policy changes and help with planning for Fall 2020 course selection.
- The Financial Wellness tab shares resources and information about financial coaching as you navigate change and access resources during the pandemic.
- The Knowlton Center is coaching remotely and offering virtual events and workshops.
- The Student Wellness tab shares information about many virtual supports, classes and workshops, in addition to remote appointments.
- Religious & Spiritual Life is providing direct support and help with locating remote services for students of different faith communities.
- The Red Frame Lab is offering remote workshops and is open for coaching, including design solutions for working remotely as organization leaders and aspiring entrepreneurs.
Room & Board Refunds
We anticipate that information will be sent out next week regarding credits and refunds for room and board for the second half of the semester, and additional financial information.
Per guidance we’ve received from the Census Bureau, Denison is reporting all of our residential students on University Census documents. The only students we are not reporting as campus residents are those who hold official “commuter” status. (The Census Bureau is paying a lot of attention to the confusion of remote learning. If you or your parents have reported you at another address, please don’t worry. The Census Bureau says they prefer to clean up duplications than to miss anyone.)
We’ll continue to stay in touch and update you as we have new information to share about all of these topics, summer plans, and all the rest.
In the meantime, know that we miss you and we wish we were all together this spring.