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WVU dean of students updates University’s safety precautions for return to campus

two people walk across West Virginia University bridge facing same direction, several feet apart

Two WVU students wear masks and practice social distancing while walking on campus in July. (WVU Photo/Scott Lituchy)

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West Virginia University Dean of Students Corey Farris outlined in a letter to students today (July 21) the precautions the University will take and students will be expected to take as they return to campus Aug. 19.

Read the letter.

Dear West Virginia University Campus Community:

WVU’s faculty and staff are busy planning for fall and are eager to welcome students back to campus. We know that robust programming and activities complement academics to round out the student experience. Because we recognize the importance of student life, I would like to share additional information as a follow-up to our initial Student Life Return to Campus message of June 23.

As we prepare for the fall, we know there will be times we will ask for your patience and flexibility. The circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic are fluid and ever-changing. Our planning process has been, and will continue to be, dynamic. We have adapted activities and programs with guidance and insights from our University, local and state public health experts.

Yet there remains one constant in all our efforts: WVU is committed to providing a diverse and meaningful experience for all students.

We have heard from many of you with questions about what you can expect when you arrive on campus in a few weeks. For your convenience, we’ve grouped this information into three categories: Taking Care of Your Health and Safety; Where to Find Help; and Getting Connected and Engaging with Others.

Taking Care of Your Health and Safety

You have told us that you want to be on campus, and that means that we all must take personal responsibility and be accountable for maintaining the health and safety of our community. You’ll need to take care of the following before you’re ready to step foot into a classroom or participate in an on-campus activity.

COVID-19 Testing and Education Module

The University requires all students and employees who are returning to WVU campuses to be tested. You must register for the free test; WVU began sending registration emails to Morgantown students on Monday, July 20. Beckley and Keyser faculty, staff and students will be sent an email on Monday, August 3. Visit What You Need to Know: Testing for the testing schedule and more information.

Students also must complete a COVID-19 education module prior to their return to campus. Watch your MIX email account, UNEWS, wvu.edu and WVU social media accounts for information, which will be available before the end of July.

Failure to take the COVID-19 test and/or complete the COVID-19 education module will result in a fee of $250 added to a student’s account. They will also be referred to the Office of Student Conduct.

Personal Hygiene and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Everyone on campus will be expected to practice good personal hygiene including wearing masks or face coverings, maintaining the appropriate physical distance of 6 feet whenever possible and washing hands frequently. Carefully review the Public Health and Safety information for more about these requirements. Failure to comply means that you may be putting others at risk of exposure if you are an asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic carrier of COVID-19.

Consequences for not complying with the Student Code of Conduct relating to PPE include one or more of the following: written warning, removal from class, probation, suspension and/or expulsion from the University.

Move-In

Residence hall move-in will begin on Saturday, August 8 and continue through Saturday, August 15. All students are required to have scheduled a move-in time slot. If you have not yet done so, please log in at myhousing.wvu.edu and register.

Students living in residence halls will receive additional details about move-in via their MIX email account within the next few days. Information will also be posted to housing.wvu.edu and shared on University social media accounts.

For more about moving into residence halls, University Apartments and off-campus housing, visit What You Need to Know: Student Life.

Where You Can Find Help

Navigating this fall is likely to bring challenges to both new and returning students. There are many resources on-campus to help you. Here are a few that you will find particularly helpful.

Tutoring

The Office of Student Success will offer tutoring, success coaching and seminars to help students succeed in their academic pursuits. See the Tutoring section of Where You Can Find Help for details.

Student Financial Services

The Mountaineer Hub is your complete source for assistance with anything related to the financial aspects of attending WVU, including student accounts and financial aid. The Mountaineer Hub staff is available virtually through online requests and by phone. For details, see Where You Can Find Help.

Health and Wellness Programs

Taking good care of yourself is important, and you’ll have many (virtual and in-person) options to choose from this fall including programs through WELLWVU, the Carruth Center for Psychological and Psychiatric Services, and the Collegiate Recovery Program. More information and sample activities are listed in Where You Can Find Help. [SM1] 

Libraries

You will need academic resources to help you, too, and all WVU Libraries will be open by August 10. The Health Sciences Library will reopen early on August 3. The Law Library will open August 10 for faculty and staff, and August 15 for law students. Hours of operation may vary at each location; visit wvu.libcal.com/hours before visiting the Libraries.

Getting Connected and Engaging with Other Students

Nothing is more important to the overall student experience than the opportunity to engage with your friends and fellow students outside the classroom. You’ll still be able to do that in ways that maintain the health and safety of all.

Transportation

You can use campus transportation to get to your classes and on-campus activities. The PRT will not be in service during the fall semester; however, the University will operate additional buses to transport our campus community between areas of campus. A finalized bus schedule and plan for bus routes will be available soon. For bus safety tips, rideshare and parking information, see Transportation.

Student Activities and Programs

Guidelines for student organizations have been developed so groups can meet while maintaining health and safety protocols. Student organizations will be expected to meet virtually; however, if the student organizational leadership determines that a meeting or event must be held in person, there are policies and procedures that must be followed by organizers and attendees. Group travel will not be allowed during the Fall 2020 semester for any social function.

Student organizations will be able to reserve space for events and activities; guidelines have not yet been finalized at this time. We anticipate that groups can reserve space in early August. More information will be forthcoming.

For a preview of the activities you can expect from student orgs, residence halls, Adventure WV and Education Abroad, visit Student Activities and Programs.

Join the Conversation

We know you have many questions about campus life, and we hope to address as many of those as possible on Thursday, July 23 at 10 a.m. during the Student Life Return to Campus Conversation. You can submit your question ahead of time, which is suggested so we can find answers before the live discussion, or you can ask questions via chat during the event. To join the July 23 conversation and find up-to-date information, visit the Return to Campus website.

This academic year will be different from what you — and all of our faculty and staff — have previously experienced. Please be patient with us and your fellow students as we navigate these new processes together. Though this is not what any of us would have imagined for fall, we can choose to make the best of the situation and act thoughtfully and responsibly to help keep our campuses open for in-person learning.

Let’s Go!

G. Corey Farris
Dean of Students
West Virginia University

-WVU-

07/21/20

CONTACT: Elaine McVay
Director of Housing Marketing
304-293-1902; elaine.mcvay@mail.wvu.edu

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