President's Announcement to Students


President's Announcement to Students

March 18, 2020                                                                                                                                                           

 

                                                                                                                                               

Dear Wheeling University Students,

Late yesterday on Tuesday, March 17, Governor Jim Justice announced the first confirmed case of Coronavirus in West Virginia. The disease has now hit all 50 states and continues to spread rapidly. Additionally, Governor Justice took measures towards containment by mandating the closure of all restaurants, bars and casinos in the state.

Due to these changes, we are taking additional steps as described below that are reflective of our commitment to the safety and interest of our students, faculty, staff and the surrounding community, as well as the rapidly evolving state and federal directives to flatten the coronavirus transmission rate.

In light of the escalating federal, state and local efforts to slow the transmission of the Coronavirus, all students should now plan to leave campus as soon as possible but no later than 5:00 p.m., Sunday, March 22, to ensure the highest possible safety for everyone.  The Wheeling University administration, faculty and staff will be available to assist students in an effort to efficiently and quickly move students to environments where social distancing can be successfully implemented.

In an additional effort to safeguard students and the campus community, Wheeling University is implementing the following measures and procedures:

  • Students are required to move out of their assigned residence hall room by 5:00 p.m., Sunday, March 22. Moving boxes will be available for students in the lobby of each residence hall.
  • Students who have already left campus, should make every effort to return before 5:00 p.m., Sunday, March 22, to gather their belongings and properly check out of the residence hall. Students who are unable to return, must contact Malek Stewart at mstewart@wju.edu as soon as possible.
  • Students with extenuating circumstances, who need to stay on campus, must complete the Extended Stay Form by 5:00 p.m., Thursday, March 19. Students who are approved to stay on campus will be notified no later than 5:00 p.m., Friday, March 20. 
  • All students who are approved to stay on campus will be moved to Kirby Hall to consolidate usage of buildings and staff resources.
  • At this time, Aladdin Food Services will remain in operation offering carry-out dining in the Benedum Room and the Coffee Shop. Questions or concerns can be directed to Terry Baker, Director of Dining Services at tbaker@wju.edu.  
  • When checking out of the Residence Halls, students are asked to follow these procedures:
    • Please obtain and complete an Express Check-out Envelope from your residence hall lounge.
    • Enclose your room keys in the envelope and drop the envelope off at your residence hall front desk. 
  • Students who need transportation to the airport, are asked to contact Andrew Lewis at alewis@wju.edu
  • Current students can apply now for housing assignments for the Fall 2020 semester via eRezLife. Please check your email regularly for updates.   
  • Essential facilities (e.g., dining hall for take-out, Student Health Services, Student Services, the Counseling Center and Public Safety) will remain open.

 

All course instruction will continue online through the end of the semester and final exams will be administered online. Further information about exams will be provided by the course instructor. 

The Bishop Hodges Library, Student Success Center, computer labs, classrooms and all athletic facilities will be closed as of Sunday, March 22 at 5:00pm.    All University Offices will remain open.   Student employment is suspended at this time until further notice. Campus events, campus visits and other conferences are cancelled until further notice. This was a very difficult decision and not done without the knowledge that many have worked hard to prepare for various events on- and off-campus. However, it was made after carefully weighing the safety of the entire Wheeling University community and the surrounding communities.

Questions concerning residence hall procedures, can be directed to Malek Stewart at mstewart@wju.edu or 304-243-2350.  For all questions concerning academics and online instruction, please contact Dr. Jackie McGlade at jmcglade@wju.edu or 304-243-2321.  General questions and concerns can be sent to covidquestions@wju.edu

Due to these extraordinary circumstances, commencement and its surrounding activities must be postponed.  As we work through these devastating times we will look to reschedule a date sometime over the summer. I know these are difficult times for you, there is one promise I will make – you will have a commencement. It is possible that the date, format, etc. may have to change but there will be a day that I will proudly, and with great joy, hand each one of you your well-earned diploma. You are all in my heart, please know it aches for you.

Wheeling University’s top priority is to protect and safeguard our greatest assets – our students, faculty and staff.  We appreciate the patience, flexibility, and partnership of the Wheeling University community during this challenging time. Wheeling University remains committed to protecting the well-being of all members of the campus community.

We will continue to provide updates from the University on a regular basis as conditions evolve. Please refer to the Coronavirus Information FAQ web page for updated information on COVID-19 and for updated answers to frequently asked questions.         

These events remind us of the importance of remaining strong as a community and caring for one another. Our prayers are with the individuals in West Virginia and around the globe who are directly impacted at this time. 

           

Sincerely,

Ginny R. Favede
President