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COVID-19 Student Digest: July 3, 2020

We recognize that your inbox may feel overloaded right now, but your health and safety is critical, which is why we believe it is important to provide you with regular updates on what we are doing to prepare for your return to campus and to protect all in our community from COVID-19.

Community Pledge

As members of the Wittenberg University community, we must take steps to protect the health and safety of all students, faculty, and staff from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, we have created a Community Pledge, which we will encourage signing upon your return.


Fall Semester 2020

Wittenberg University plans to resume in-person classes on Monday, Aug. 17, a week earlier than the originally scheduled date of Aug. 24. There will be no Fall Break, and on-campus instruction for fall semester will end November 24, two days before Thanksgiving. The semester will conclude with remote instruction and assessment after the Thanksgiving holiday. See new Academic Calendar.


Spring Semester 2021

At this time, the spring 2021 semester is scheduled to begin as planned on Monday, Jan. 11. However, it is possible that we will have to make changes to the spring semester calendar as well, depending upon the public health situation and guidance provided by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Ohio Governor's Office, and the Clark County Combined Health District. We will make spring semester plans publicly available as soon as possible.


Mask Wearing GraphicFace Coverings

All members of the community are expected to wear a face covering in all shared indoor environments. Face coverings/masks will only be required in outdoor spaces when individuals are in close proximity to others and unable to physically distance. Wittenberg will provide each student two face coverings for the upcoming semester.


Classroom Environment & Accommodations

Wittenberg Provost Michelle Mattson continues to work with faculty leadership to keep disruptions in teaching and learning to a minimum, including forgoing the traditional Fall Break to accommodate the earlier opening/ending dates for classes. While Wittenberg hopes to offer as many in-person classes as possible, the University is also examining hybrid options.

Faculty members are developing ways to build flexibility into their courses, to support evolving student needs, and to meet all available public health guidance. As a residential liberal arts University, Wittenberg values personalized instruction and opportunities for students to work closely with their faculty to engage in active learning. Regardless of how a course is taught, faculty members are working to ensure a continuation of Wittenberg's high-impact personal learning in a welcoming residential environment.


Move-In

Move-in will be carefully structured and staggered to ensure safety and reduce density. All move-ins will be by scheduled appointments only; the schedule of staggered dates is available online. Residential students should check their Wittenberg email for information about how to sign up for a move-in appointment and other guidelines for students and helpers. Students living in fraternity or sorority chapter-owned houses will receive instructions from their specific house leadership regarding move-in. Please DO NOT make plans to arrive on campus prior to reviewing the move-in information for your particular fall housing assignment. Questions or concerns? Email housing@wittenberg.edu.


Housing & Community Expectations

Wittenberg will ask all residential students to acknowledge our community living expectations for the upcoming academic year.

  • Each residence hall room or Witten’burbs property will be considered a unit or "household.”
  • Within each household unit, students who live there will not be required to wear a face covering or observe physical distancing. Once students leave their unit, they must abide by campus-wide guidelines and expectations.
  • Visitors to residence hall rooms and Witten’burbs properties will be limited. Each residential students will be permitted to have one Wittenberg visitor at a time. For health and safety purposes, no external visitors will be permitted. Students can request for a parent or guardian to visit. Please email all requests top housing@wittenberg.edu.

We’re In This Together – Students will need to be proactive to slow the spread of COVID-19 by following University expectations and protocols related to the pandemic. To continue in-person operations, we all must do our part to keep our community as safe as we can. Students who fail to uphold these expectations are subject to accountability through the student conduct process. As a last resort, students who dismiss these expectations may be removed from in-person operations on campus.


Student Support

The Dean of Students' Office, COMPASS: Sweet Success Center, and the Counseling Center will continue to support at-risk or distressed students by coordinating efforts. Students will be able to meet with via video conference or by phone if unable to meet in-person on campus. The Counseling Center will continue to meet with current and new clients via video conference or phone over the summer and into the new academic year.


Dining

We will be adjusting the ways that dining works so that our dining spaces meet physical distancing expectation. In addition, we will use approaches such as spreading out hours, providing easy grab-and-go options, reducing high-touch points, and eliminating self-service options. Click here to learn more.


Campus Events

Based on public health guidance, campus events and gatherings will be different this fall in order to minimize the spread of COVID-19. We will provide guidance for student organizations and campus departments for hosting university sponsored events and gatherings. The expectations apply to faculty, staff, students, and visitors. When possible, Wittenberg community members should expect to stay engaged virtually when physical meetings are not an option or recommended. There will be limits on the size of any in-person gathering. External visitors will be greatly limited as will off-campus travel. Many of the University’s large-scale events will be suspended for fall or offered virtually. Click here to learn more.


Intercollegiate Athletics

Fall sport student athletes (men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, football, men’s and women’s soccer, women’s volleyball) will receive information regarding their specific housing move-in dates from housing and should anticipate these dates to be staggered between August 2 and 9. Additional information regarding check-in procedures, medical screenings, and community expectations specific to participation in athletics will be communicated by July 10. Click here to learn more.


Student Health & Safety

Wittenberg University has a developed a protocol to respond to students in our community who shows signs of COVID-19. We follow guidance from the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Clark County Combined Health District (CCCHD) and American College Health Association (ACHA).

In partnership with Mercy Health and the Clark County Combined Health District, we have plans for testing and contact tracing. Additionally, Wittenberg is prepared to isolate those students with symptoms until test results are available; provide isolation spaces to ensure students who test positive for the virus are supported with adequate care; and provide quarantine space for asymptomatic students identified through contact tracing as having had potential exposure. Please refer to our COVID website for detailed information on the student health protocol.

Upon consultation with and recommendations of our medical experts and recommendations from the CDC, Wittenberg University will not conduct mass testing of all students upon arrival. Expert guidance is that our best approach is a symptom and containment testing strategy, which we continue to develop with Mercy Health and the Clark County Combined Health District.


Online Training for COVID-19

All students are required to complete three, short, online training modules related to COVID-19 prior to the start of classes on August 17. We will send information to complete these modules in the near future. Please continue to check your Wittenberg email with instructions to complete these modules.


Concerns & Questions

If you have a concern about exposure (yours or someone else’s) to COVID-19, please complete this online form. If you have general questions about COVID-19 and Wittenberg University’s response, please email the COVID Response Team at covid@wittenberg.edu.

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