March 24, 2020, 5:40 p.m.
Like many other universities and businesses, Shepherd has undergone many changes during the extended Spring Break. Helping to keep our community safe is a top priority, which means slowing the spread of COVID-19. You have been approved to remain on campus for the primary purpose of completing classes. You will find many differences on campus, whether it is adjusted policies and expectations, limited support for health care, or the wide range of building closures. In essence, if you are remaining on campus, you will have a much more solo experience than before the break because faculty and staff support will be offered at a distance.
I am being transparent with you about what to expect for the rest of the semester so that you can make a decision whether staying on campus is really the best option for you. By choosing to remain on campus you understand and accept these conditions, which will likely change in the future.
If you decide that you no longer want to live on campus, please respond to this email, remove all your belongings, return your keys, and complete the Express Checkout form on the Good Living portal. If any refunds are offered (this issue is still being assessed and has not been decided), the date you officially check out will be important. Alternately, if you are not able to remove your belongings at this time, please respond to this message so that we can develop a plan of action.
In order to limit the potential for community spread of COVID-19, the following measures have been taken
Policies and expectations:
- You may not have any guests in any of the residence halls and apartments for the remainder of the semester.
- Allowed: up to two residents from the same residence hall where you live may visit your suite or apartment. These same building residents must also have been on the approved list to stay for the remainder of the semester.
- Not allowed: residents from other buildings, Shepherd students or non-students, family members, former residents etc. Exceptions can only be made in advance by the Director of Residence Life or designee.
- Violations of these guest or other University policies will result in you and any guests being removed from the residence halls within 24 hours; policy violations will also be addressed through the Student Conduct process.
- Once you have decided to live on campus, non-essential travel will not be permitted. This is in accordance with the “Stay at Home” executive order issued by WV Governor Jim Justice that goes into effect beginning Tuesday, March 24 at 8:00pm.
- You must follow all guidance from the CDC, such as social distancing (six feet from any other person), hand washing, and covering coughs and sneezes. In addition to the restrictions on guests in your assigned room, no groups with more than 10 people can gather in person at a time anywhere on campus.
- Residence Life professionals, Hall Directors, and Resident Assistant staff will still be on campus.
- Residents will need to maintain a level of self-sufficiency as service levels will be altered.
- You are required to self-isolate if you are sick, are exposed to or diagnosed with COVID-19, or if you have been in an area with many cases of COVID-19 present. If any of these conditions apply, you are expected to call the RA duty phone so that further instructions and arrangements can be discussed.
- The Health Center staff will not monitor the health of students who may be diagnosed with or exposed to COVID-19.
- You should have your own personal thermometer, fever-reducing medicine, cough-reducing medicines, etc.
- If you become sick, you will need to work with your Primary Care providers, utilize Teladoc, or other services for health support. In emergency situations only, you should call 911 for assistance.
- You will need to make your own arrangements for obtaining supplies, going to appointments, other transportation needs, etc.
- If you have been approved for a service dog or an ESA, please make sure you have a care plan to take care of the animals if you become sick.
- Counseling Services and the Health Center will be providing services primarily remotely.
Limited Services and Access on Campus
- On-campus dining options will be limited, currently offered during limited hours in Riverside Market for take-out only.
- No transportation will be provided; EPTA will not run.
- The library is closed; only 2 people are permitted at a time in the 24 hour room of the library.
- The Wellness Center is closed.
- The Butcher Center is closed.
- The Student Center is closed.
- Academic and administrative buildings are closed; only faculty and staff with permission have access.
Your interaction with faculty and with staff will be digital or by phone.
- Your mail may only be picked up on weekdays 1:00pm – 4:00pm at Miller Hall.
- The 24 hour access to Riverside Market seated area has ended.
- Residence Hall lounges are closed and no student activities are planned.
We look forward to supporting you as you finish out the semester successfully. Unless I hear otherwise, I will expect to see you on campus on Sunday for the re-start of classes on Monday. While these provisions may be challenging, we believe that they are important for everyone’s safety and health.
Please let me know if I can provide any additional information with you.
Dr. Liz Sechler
Director of Residence Life