Coronavirus

UPDATE: Hollins University starting spring break at 5 p.m.; students have until Tuesday to move out

Coronavirus
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UPDATE 4:35 P.M.: Spring break for Hollins University students begins today at 5 p.m. and continues through Sunday, March 29. The school decided to move up spring break, which was previously scheduled to begin on Friday, March 20, due to Gov. Ralph Northam’s announcement closing all K-12 schools in Virginia, according to a university statement.

Residence halls and the dining hall will remain open until Tuesday, March 17, at 5 p.m. to give students time to leave the campus.

“Students needing additional time, or wishing to stay on campus during the remote instruction period, have been directed to the appropriate surveys,” said the university.

Other measures previously announced will stay the same, which include:

  • Undergraduate and graduate classes will transition to remote delivery and other alternative modes of instruction beginning Monday, March 30, the first day of scheduled classes after Spring Recess;
  • Remote instruction and residence hall closures will be in effect at least through the week concluding Friday, April 10;
  • On or before Monday, April 6, the university will reassess whether in-person instruction can resume, or if we will need to continue classes remotely through the rest of Spring Term; and
  • The university will remain open and employees are asked to please report to work according to their regular schedules.

ORIGINAL STORY

HOLLINS, Va. (WFXR) – Hollins University will be switching to online classes when students get back from Spring Recess due to the coronavirus threat.

The university’s interim president Nancy Gray released a statement Thursday afternoon saying undergraduate classes will transition to online delivery and other alternative modes of instruction beginning Monday, March 30, the first day of scheduled classes after Spring Recess.

Other university measures include:

  • Residence halls will close on Friday, March 20 for Spring Recess. Students are asked not to return to campus after the break.
  • Remote instruction and residence hall closures will be in effect for two weeks through the week concluding April 10. At that time, the university will reassess whether in-person instruction can resume, or if they will need to continue classes online through the rest of Spring Term.
  • The university will remain open, and faculty and staff should continue to come into their offices and adhere to their regular work schedules.
  • Non-essential, university-related travel to professional conferences or other large gatherings is suspended.

Gray continued the letter by saying:

Ending in-person classes and closing our residence halls in the middle of an academic session, even temporarily, is one of the toughest decisions we’ve ever had to make because we so value the importance of our in-person teaching and learning environment. I deeply regret the stress and disruption this process will no doubt cause for many of us. However, I hope that these decisions underscore our profound level of concern about this situation and our commitment to doing everything we can to reduce the risk of contagion and protect those who are most vulnerable.

Nancy Gray
Interim President
Hollins University

The letter also addressed many of the questions that faculty, students, and parents had within the Hollins community:

Student Housing

At this point in time, it is uncertain when residence halls will reopen after closing on March 20. Therefore, we recommend that students take as many of their belongings home as possible when they leave for Spring Recess. Don’t forget textbooks or other materials that you will need when remote instruction begins on March 30.

The decision regarding our residence halls was made in order to promote social distancing, a key component in mitigating the coronavirus. However, international students and limited others with mitigating circumstances may petition to remain on campus. Tomorrow morning, Housing and Residence Life will email students with more details about this procedure along with other important information.

Academics

Hollins is providing every resource possible to facilitate online and other instructional delivery platforms for faculty and students to prevent any disruption to academic or creative work. Next week, faculty will review with their classes how they will communicate with students and deliver the course content when online instruction begins.

University Operations and Employees

Academic and administrative departments and offices will remain open and employees are asked to please report to work as always. One-on-one meetings with individuals from outside of campus are still permissible. Nevertheless, using Skype or Zoom to conduct meetings is encouraged whenever possible.

Faculty and staff members who are ill should stay home from work.

Additional guidance will be forthcoming related to leave policies in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Campus Events and Activities

Effective immediately, all public events on campus that have been scheduled on the university calendar between now and Sunday, April 12, are cancelled. The Office of Admission is reaching out to prospective students and their families to offer other options such as private visits or online communication.

The Wyndham Robertson Library and Eleanor D. Wilson Museum will remain open for individual use.

At this point in time, we are not cancelling or postponing major events scheduled for later in the spring such as Honors Convocation, Commencement, and Reunion, but will continue to assess their feasibility as we get closer to their respective dates.

The new procedures are currently in place through the week and will conclude April 10. The campus community will be notified immediately if any changes are required based on rapidly changing developments related to the coronavirus. In the meantime, officials will continue to assess the situation.

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