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TLU Extending Spring Break, Moving Classes Online Until April 8

From President Cottrell to TLU Faculty, Staff, and Students:

While there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on the TLU campus or in the Seguin community, we are taking precautions to ensure the health and well-being of faculty, staff, students, and the Seguin community. We believe we have a responsibility to institute proactive health and safety measures to decrease the spread and potential exposure of COVID-19 to vulnerable populations.

The Safety and Emergency Management Committee (SEMC), along with the President’s Cabinet and Faculty Executive Committee, met this morning to discuss plans for classes, events, travel, and other situations that may be impacted by COVID-19.

I want to assure everyone that the measures we discussed today were not made lightly, but we believe they are necessary at this time. Because the situation is very fluid, we are committed to providing our campus community with daily updates going forward. Please read these updates carefully so that you are aware of all plans for the remainder of the semester.

MEASURES DISCUSSED & DECIDED ON MARCH 12, 2020

CLASSES

We will extend spring break by one week so students will now be out from March 16 to March 27.

  • The week of March 23-27 will be used for faculty to prepare to convert their classes to online classes.
  • From March 30 to April 8, students will attend classes online.
  • Prior to April 8, we will assess the COVID-19 situation and determine if we continue with online classes or if students can return to campus.

CAMPUS EVENTS

  • Athletic Events: Outdoor athletic events are still scheduled as of this time, but we are expecting further direction from our conference on this tomorrow (and two schools – Trinity University and Colorado College – have already announced plans to suspend play prior to the end of March).
  • Music, Cultural Events, and Academic Events: The faculty lead on specific music, cultural, and academic events will be making decisions on a case-by-case basis, in consultation with the VPAA and President, and then sharing with our community.
  • Student Activities & Events/Residence Hall Programming: All student activities, events, and programming related to Student Activities/Student Life & Learning are canceled until April 8, when the continuation of online classes will be reassessed.
  • Spring Commencement on May 9: As of now, we plan to hold Commencement on May 9 as scheduled. We will continue to assess as we get closer to that date.
  • Group visits to campus: Effective today, the Office of Admissions is canceling all high school and middle school group visits for the rest of the semester. · Admissions visit programs: The Office of Admissions is canceling TLU Preview, one of our largest admissions visit programs, set for March 28. We are reaching out to all students who have registered to let them know we’ll be rescheduling or reassessing how we host large groups of students and families over the next few weeks. At this time, we are still planning to host Bulldog Bound on April 18.

TRAVEL

  • International travel: The Choir Tour trip to Spain and the faculty-led trip to Netherlands/Belgium/France, both scheduled for May, have been canceled.
  • TLU students currently abroad: We have one student in Spain who is returning home this week and another student who will stay in Ireland for now. The student returning from Spain will finish coursework online from home.
  • Traveling to Level 3 countries: Anyone traveling to Level 3 countries will be required to self-quarantine for at least 14 days after returning home as advised by the CDC.
  • University-sponsored domestic travel to conferences: Many conferences have already been canceled, and we do not advise employees to travel at this time.
  • Travel on personal time (domestic or international): We encourage everyone to research and know the risk of traveling both domestic and internationally. There is a risk of not being able to return home or being quarantined for some time.

GUIDANCE FOR STUDENTS

Students are discouraged from returning to campus during the period of online instruction; however, housing and dining will be available for students who are unable to leave campus.

  • Housing: For students who are unable to go home during the extended spring break or beyond, housing will be available. Please work directly with your area coordinator.
  • Dining: Hein Dining Hall and Lucky’s are closed as usual for spring break beginning tomorrow at 2 pm. Beginning Monday, March 23, at 8 a.m., Lucky’s will open for limited operation for students who are unable to return home during the extended break and while classes are conducted online.
  • Fitness Center/Campus Recreation: Hours will be limited but the fitness center will remain open. Always check MyTLU for the latest updates and hours.

GUIDANCE FOR FACULTY

The extended break will be used to provide training, support, and resources for faculty to transition their coursework to online delivery.

  • Faculty will have access to campus buildings and their offices during the extended break and after.

GUIDANCE FOR STAFF

The TLU campus remains open and staff will continue to come to work, unless you are sick. Any changes to services or staff needs will be assessed and determined on an ongoing basis.

  • Employees who are in high-risk or vulnerable populations should consult with their direct supervisor regarding work-at-home flexibility or other arrangements. The Vice President for your area will make the final determination.
  • Our Facilities staff will take additional measures during this time to disinfect doorknobs, surfaces, and other high-touch areas with industrial-strength solutions.

Our Safety and Emergency Management Committee continues to monitor the situation and is participating in daily calls with the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). We will follow guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Texas DSHS, and local health districts to ensure we are playing our part in reducing community spread of COVID-19 into communities across the country. If you have additional questions, please email semc@tlu.edu.

President Cottrell

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