COVID-19 Update: Need to Know Newsletter, Issue 2
April 6, 2020 | Issue 2
Good afternoon, Andrews University friends,
As we begin our second week of remote learning for all members of our Andrews University student family, we wanted to keep you updated on news, resources and key information about the impact of COVID-19 on our University and these new roads we share.
Thrive Remotely site launched for students.
As our remote learning journey continues, our Division of Campus & Student Life has developed a new kind of online campus designed to bring our students and Andrews University community together, even in a climate of fear and uncertainty, and to help us to thrive. This new Thrive Remotely website, launched last week, offers programs and resources to strengthen and encourage our students physically, emotionally, socially and spiritually. You will also be given ways to reach out to Student Life staff members, who are eager to assist you in any way they can.
University offers Pass/No Credit option for spring semester.
As our students have concerns about how they will transition to remote learning during this COVID-19 pandemic, Andrews University has reviewed the actions of a growing number of institutions which have instituted emergency grading protocols. Following that study, Andrews University’s administration and faculty have approved a pass/no credit option for students, which was announced late last week.
With this option, graduate and undergraduate students may elect, in consultation with their academic advisor, to receive a pass/no credit grade to apply to spring 2020 main campus courses that currently use the standard letter grades (A–F).
Undergraduate co-curricular requirements change.
With this new option for Pass/No Credit for spring semester courses, fresh consideration has been given to the co-curricular requirements for undergraduate students who are now studying remotely. As a result, this semester’s co-curricular requirements have been changed in the following ways:
- Fewer credits required: With a shortened semester and online format, the semester requirement has been reduced. See full details here.
- Minimums removed: The Chapel/Forum minimum (12 credits) and Residence Hall minimum (6 credits) have been removed for the semester. Your credits can come from any available source.
Students can get credit for chapel services on the Andrews University YouTube Channel and also for a new array of online options found on the Thrive Remotely page (click on “Join Us Online”). You can also find online forms for fulfilling service learning requirements (must be submitted by April 16) wherever students currently live and study.
Student Emergency Fund drive has begun for needy students and families in our community.
The COVID-19 pandemic is having an immediate and growing impact on the everyday lives of our own Andrews University students. Many of our students are already living on a shoestring budget and now face dire financial circumstances. Students rely on jobs for food, rent and tuition but many have, unfortunately, been laid off. Others need childcare as schools are closing, access to better technology as classes move online, and, most immediately, food when meals are in doubt.
To supplement resources coming from the federal government’s CARES Act that will help some students with a portion of their basic needs, Andrews University has created the Student Life COVID-19 Emergency Fund to support struggling students impacted by COVID-19.
Visit the Andrews University Give Online page to donate to this important initiative. Your gift to this fund will directly and immediately impact the lives of students.
Bon Appétit/Dining Services launches chef-made vegetarian/vegan lunch delivery service for neighbors within a five-mile radius of the Andrews University campus.
Beginning April 7, orders can be placed Monday–Friday, between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m., by calling 269-471-3161, ext. 0. Each meal costs $7.95. Major credit cards are accepted, and Andrews employees can charge meals to their account. You can check out this week’s menu here.
Marketing & Enrollment Management launches site for future students planning to attend fall semester 2020.
Even as COVID-19 continues to change the way our world lives and works, our Marketing & Enrollment Management team’s commitment to our future students remains unchanged. While the Marketing & Enrollment Management team is working remotely from home, they’re still available to answer questions, guide students through the application and admission process, and do whatever they possibly can to help you make informed decisions on your journey toward attending Andrews University. They’ve posted a new online FAQ with key information for future students during this unusual time. You can find that FAQ here. Please share it with future students and families so they can find the answers and help they need.
Friday vespers and other online Campus Ministries efforts attract thousands of viewers.
Last week, we shared a message from University Chaplain José Bourget, reminding us that we are all Made to Matter especially during times like these. Our Campus Ministries team is inviting students to connect via Zoom and Facebook groups online, whether it’s a daily prayer time or Friday night vespers, using the theme “The Disruption: Finding Joy in the Unknown,” which focuses on the book of James.
During the first two Facebook Live Friday vespers events (March 27 and April 3), both livestreams reached more than 7,000 each week, with between 3,000 and 4,000 views each time, including more than 60 shares and 120 comments altogether.
You can find more “Made to Matter” resources here.
State of Michigan “Stay Home, Stay Safe.” Executive Order is likely to be extended. Additionally, Andrews Academy and Ruth Murdoch Elementary School switch to remote learning for the remainder of the school year in line with Michigan Executive Order 2020-35 for elementary and secondary schools.
The State of Michigan remains under Executive Order 2020-21, which calls Michiganders to shelter in place through Monday, April 13, at 11:59 p.m. It is expected that this order will be extended, and we’ll share those updates once they are announced by the State of Michigan.
Last week, Michigan Governor Whitmer also issued Executive Order 2020-35, which closes Michigan state elementary and secondary school facilities in response to the risks from the COVID-19 pandemic for the remainder of the school year and requires those schools to continue to offer remote education to their students. This decision impacts our own two University Schools, Andrews Academy and Ruth Murdoch Elementary School, which will now offer remote learning for their students through the end of the school year.
Updates will continue to be posted at andrews.edu/go/covid19 and questions can be asked at email@example.com.
We’ll continue to use our COVID-19 website to share an expanding set of relevant resource tools for learning, teaching and/or working remotely, student resources, key information and ongoing updates. The central email address related to COVID-19 questions or concerns, firstname.lastname@example.org, is monitored by Campus Safety and Campus & Student Life. Those individuals will work to answer (or find answers for) the questions and concerns raised.
There are four new confirmed COVID-19 cases in the extended Andrews community.
In our extended Andrews community, we have four additional individuals who last week tested positive for the virus. One was a staff member and the remaining three were close relatives of employees and students. Since last week’s diagnosis two have already been cleared, and the remaining two are at home, self-isolating and monitoring and reporting health indicators.
We continue to encourage each one of you, whether you’re on or near our main campus here in Southwest Michigan or now living and studying at your current home/residence, to be sure to carefully take all the right steps to protect yourself and to reduce and slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Our own commitment to these personal steps is a key part of any institutional, state or national efforts.
We continue to yearn for your prayers as our communities, our countries and this world seek to find ways to slow the spread and threats brought by this disease to our lives. We especially pray for those who are suffering from this disease, for those on the frontlines who provide medical care, for those who mourn the unexpected loss of those they love... and for each one of us who navigates a world shaped and shaken by this virus.
As we shared last week, these prayers are also crucial to connect us. Even though we often rely on geography and physical proximity to define community, the global reach and threat of this disease remind us that we are truly community, regardless of where we live and even now, as our University community, our family, our neighborhood is now literally defined by the four corners of the earth.
Please know that you also are being prayed for, every single day.
COVID-19 Task Force