I hope that your first week of remote instruction has gone smoothly and that you are settling into a comfortable rhythm with your classes. It’s hard to recall where we all were last week at this time and even harder to digest the amount of change that has transpired locally, state-wide, nationally and globally. I also hope that you and those you love are safe and healthy.
A week ago, we were responding to Governor’s Wolf’s mandates to enact protective measures to quell the spread of the coronavirus. At that time, I promised you that we would provide additional direction on a number of processes that we know are important to you and are likely on your mind. I want to assure you that they are on ours as well. We are actively working to adapt some systems and develop processes to enable you to get settled and to plan for the future. Please understand that it takes a bit of time to make transitions as we try to develop the processes that are well constructed and easy for you navigate.
On Wednesday, you received your first copy of “Your Connection to W&J: Announcements and Programming During our Remote Learning Period.” This publication will be sent to you on Wednesdays; it will contain important and helpful information to assist and support you. Please take time to review it each week. As a reminder, it is also critical that you are checking your W&J email regularly as it is the primary mode of communication with the campus during the remote learning period. Staff on campus are coordinating virtual programming and experiences for you and will be announcing those opportunities soon. I am especially pleased that two campus traditions are set to be delivered to you each week; Mindful Mondays and Feel Good Fridays. Look forward to receiving your first FGF on PrezPoint this week!
Listed here is information on topics which are likely to be on your mind:
- Academic Planning
- Adaptation of accommodations in an on-line environment
Students who have accommodations have received and email from Richard Barber, Director of Academic Success. If you need assistance or have questions about accommodations during the remote instruction period, please contact Richard (email@example.com) or, if you are a first-year student, your Student Success Consultant Rachel Stalker (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Jill Gregory (email@example.com).
- Course registration and advising
The Registrar’s Office of working on plans for spring registration. Look for details in a future Campus Announcement as well as in the Your Connection to W&J e-newsletter.
- S/U policy for Spring 2020
Information on the grading policy is available here.
- Honors Convocation
Given that all events on campus are cancelled for the spring semester, plans are being made for a fall Honors Convocation. We plan to recognize seniors who receive honors awards during the anticipated Commencement festivities (July 31-August 2).
- Student Life
- Plans for retrieving belongings and moving out of residence halls
Residence Life staff are working on plans for students to pick up belongings. At this time, the Governor’s mandate requires us to severely limit/prohibit access to campus to minimize the transmission of the virus. We do have a small group of students and staff who are essential to life-sustenance on campus. As such, we are making plans to start permitting students to pick up items in mid-April when we hope/anticipate that there will be more flexibility in access to public/shared spaces. More information about the retrieval of belongings will be shared in a future Campus Announcement as well as in the Your Connection to W&J e-newsletter.
- Forwarding of mail and packages
If you have not yet forwarded your mail, please consider doing so to ensure that it arrive to you directly. If you have set the campus as your default address for package delivery, you will want to update your address so your packages arrive to your current location. If you have mail that is/will arrive at W&J, please complete the survey to let us know if you would like the College to forward your mail to you or if you prefer that we hold your mail until you pick up your belongings. If you choose to have your mail forwarded, the cost of forwarding (the amount the Post Office or appropriate shipping company charges) will be posted to your account.
- Housing selection for 2020-2021
Residence Life is modifying the housing selection process to be conducted virtually. More details will be sent to rising sophomore through seniors so you can participate in housing selection. Please disregard previous timelines as new ones will be established shortly.
- Room and board credits
As was mentioned in previous emails, room and board credits will be issued to students who are no longer in residence. These will be calculated based on the week you left campus with the average refund amount of $435 per week. Actual amounts will be based on room choice and meal plans. Rising sophomores through seniors will see a credit for room and board charges for next year; seniors will receive a refund at the end of the semester.
- Leadership selection for 2020-2021
Opportunities for student leadership in a number of areas will be publicized in the Your W&J Connection e-newsletter. Please consider stepping into a leadership role next year. Information will also be shared about student organization planning and preparation for fall activities.
I am so appreciative of the many ways the W&J community has come together to support each other and the extensive change that has taken place to preserve your student experience during this very challenging time. Although we too, have transitioned to working remotely, we are wholly committed to refine access to resources, support and information to ensure you the best experience we can provide during our remote learning period.
Take care and stay safe. As always, don’t hesitate to reach out with questions to me or others at W&J.