ISSUED: 18 March 2020
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens
SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Shepherd University has decided that beginning March 30, Shepherd will complete the spring semester through distance instruction. Academic leadership, faculty, and staff have been preparing for a distance learning solution after extending spring break an extra week, through March 27.
In a recorded message, Shepherd President Mary J.C. Hendrix said the decision to complete the semester online was made to promote social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic while allowing students to successfully complete the academic year. Hendrix said Shepherd must continue to restrict residence hall occupancy to those students who fall into one or more of the following categories:
• Students who claim Shepherd University as their only residence
• Students holding a student visa/ have refugee status/or other non-citizenship status—and Shepherd University is their only U.S. residence
• Students who are U.S. residents and live a significant distance from campus and feel it is safer to stay on campus than to be at home
• Students who do not have, and cannot obtain, internet access at, or near, their home residence.
• Other compelling student needs will be determined by Residence Life staff, and accommodations made, as deemed appropriate
“Shepherd realizes you will have many questions and, rest assured, we will be here to address them,” Hendrix said. “Our residential students especially will need to know if and when they can access their rooms. Further information on this process will be delivered to on-campus residents from the Residence Life office, including how to collect personal belongings from one’s on-campus residence—if you do not fall into one of the above special consideration categories.”
Hendrix said Shepherd intends to continue its administrative functions and operations and will conduct business safely by adhering to best practice guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control. Some adjustments to work schedules will be made, taking into consideration employees with health issues or who have family members at home with health issues.
“I am grateful to everyone in the Shepherd community who is working hard to help our students succeed,” Hendrix said. “During this time of fewer individuals on campus, limited food service, and no face-to-face classroom instruction, Shepherd’s Facilities team will be deep cleaning and disinfecting common areas. Based on other pandemics that have transpired, we appreciate that COVID-19 will pass and our institution will remain strong. We have a profound responsibility to remain calm, well informed, and serve our students, employees and community to the best of our ability.”
The video message is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fu8s0T0IKv0&feature=youtu.be.
Residential students will receive an email with directions from Residence Life. For more Covid-19 news, visit https://www.shepherd.edu/covid-19/.
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