COVID-19 Update: Need to Know Newsletter, Issue 3
April 13, 2020 | Issue 3
Good afternoon, Andrews University friends,
As we begin our third week of remote learning for all members of our Andrews University student family—with three weeks remaining in this unexpectedly new and different end to spring semester—we wanted to keep you updated on news, resources and key updates about the impact of COVID-19 on Andrews University.
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer extends “Stay Home, Stay Safe.” Order through April 30, 2020.
Last week, Governor Gretchen Whitmer extended the state’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe.” Executive Order, which is now to be in effect through April 30, 2020.
This Executive Order 2020-42 (COVID-19) extends the requirements for Michiganders to shelter in place in their homes unless they are a part of the critical infrastructure workforce, engaged in an outdoor activity, or performing tasks necessary to the health and safety of themselves or their family, such as going to the hospital or grocery store. It took effect last Thursday, April 9, 2020, at 11:59 p.m., and continues through April 30, 2020, at 11:59 p.m.
This extended State of Michigan “shelter-in-place” Executive Order means that our goal as a University remains to work remotely and from our homes as much as possible. Only faculty and staff who have been identified as essential and have letters from HR should be accessing the campus for work.
Funds from the U.S. government and donors will help qualified Andrews students receive much-needed help amid COVID-19 pandemic.
Through federal funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act ($600,000) and generous donations from members of the Andrews community (which have added an additional $10,000 or more to those funds), Andrews University has established the Student COVID-19 Emergency Plan. The Plan is designed solely to assist students with their reduced income and additional non-educational costs due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
The funds from the Emergency Plan are designed to help cover costs for expenses like food, housing, course materials, technology, healthcare and/or childcare.
Both undergraduate and graduate students, who are currently registered and were studying on the main campus for the 2020 spring semester, may apply for these funds by completing this application.
Complete details, and an application form for students who qualify, will be sent directly to students’ email addresses this week.
Assuring a safe campus
In light of the latest State of Michigan “Stay Home, Stay Safe.” Executive Order, now in place through April 30, we have continued to take a number of steps to ensure continued safety for our campus community,
The steps include:
- The number of students remaining in residence halls has now been reduced to around 80 students, most of them international students.
- To help limit traffic on and through the campus during the State of Michigan’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe.” Executive Order, our main campus gates are now closed between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. each day.
A limited number of employees have been classified as “essential,” with clear guidelines ensuring limited building access.
Andrews Speaks podcasts explore our world of change.
As you may have read in earlier issues of Need to Know, Jeff Boyd, research specialist in the Office of Research & Creative Scholarship, has been producing a new and significant season of the Andrews Speaks podcast. The series pursues a conversation with Andrews University colleagues and friends which explores living, learning and serving in a time of social distancing.
This season of those podcasts has featured Andrea Luxton, Liz Muhlenbeck, Judith Fisher, Harvey Burnett and Dominique Gummelt, who have responded to the realities and challenges of change that we face in our community.
The series, found through the “Andrews Speaks” banner on the andrews.edu/go/covid19 page, is available in both audio and video forms.
The video versions of each of the podcast episodes also include a feature on Sacred Spaces around our University campus, led by University Chaplain José Bourget, and a video series showing how our community creates World Changers, introduced by Carlisle Sutton, director for Community Engagement, Integration & Service.
May Express goes online
As Andrews University continues to offer a remote learning model through the summer months, Aaron Moushon, director of Personal & Career Development at Andrews University, has reengineered a “Home Edition” of our popular May Express program. This new online version of May Express, which is scheduled for May 4–29, will offer seven remote learning courses. Students can take up to four credits of English, history, religion, math and/or physics undergraduate courses at the significantly discounted rate of $190 per credit hour. Complete information on this new May Express Home Edition can be found here.
Finding the emotional support we each need for our journey in this changing world.
We want to offer thanks to those in our community who are providing advice and support for the spiritual and emotional dimensions to this vastly changed journey.
We want to remind you of the resources and support offered by our Counseling & Testing Center as well as our Campus & Student Life and Campus Ministries teams. These teams supplement the formal and ongoing class assignments connected with learning remotely by gathering together groups that are praying, counseling and supporting each other, day by day.
If you haven’t had a chance to explore those online resources, we encourage you to review the resources for faculty and staff here and for our students and families here.
In turn, we continue to encourage your prayers, questions and support as we seek to find ways to continue to respond to and nurture the whole-person needs for each member of our global Andrews University community.
Are there any important updates for future students?
Even as COVID-19 continues to change the way we live and work this spring semester (and into the summer months), our commitment to our future students remains unchanged.
While many of the marketing and enrollment staff are currently working remotely from home, they’re available to answer questions, guide future students through the application and admission process, and do whatever is needed to help our future students make informed decisions on their journey toward Andrews University and God’s plans for their lives.
One significant factor for our future students is the fact that many national test centers are canceling standardized exams. In response, Andrews University is now admitting students provisionally without ACT/SAT for undergrad, GRE/GMAT for grad, and TOEFL/IELTS for international. Students can learn more about these admission alternatives, for freshmen and for graduate students, which are intended to temporarily accommodate students affected by the lack of testing options during the pandemic.
You can find a full array of information for Andrews University’s future students on the newly created and updated Future Student FAQs page.
Caring for those affected by COVID-19 in our extended Andrews community.
We continue each week to find that individuals in our community or connected closely to our community have tested positive for COVID-19. As we hear of this news, we wish to directly respond to and support these individuals and families as best we can. Please let Andrews know if you are part of our community and you have tested positive for COVID-19. We want to be there for you and your peers/colleagues.
Our Favorite Social Media Quote/Hashtag Usage of the Week
“I just need to say that we are blessed to have the most phenomenal professors
at the SDA Theological Seminary and...at Andrews University...”
Both of us belong to one of many University committees that now meet by Zoom, an increasingly common technology that allows us to connect with each other while we are all in different places. As we talked this morning and reviewed some notes from a meeting in early March, we reflected that it’s hard to imagine how different our journey is now, just four or five weeks after that meeting.
As we’re on this journey, we believe we’re discovering a striking new truth that is being explored in our University’s story. The story of Andrews has always thrived on its incredibly diverse and rich community that comes together for a time to study alongside each other in a very specific geographic place. This story comes each year from people who travel from everywhere in the world to this campus in southwest Michigan to be trained and transformed to go everywhere in the world (and to change that world for God).
However, the geography that comes with a specific place to study is now profoundly changed, and each one of us is finding new, unusual and even deep ways to create community, to be prayer warriors, thoughtful scholars, friends, family—even though those deepened and new relationships may often rely on technology to bridge physical distances that weren’t there in our previous educational and community models.
So we want to thank you for connecting with us in these new ways as we continue in this journey. We’re discovering from day to day that even as our human technology and tools sometimes fail us, the powerful reality of our prayers and God’s influence remains and sustains us despite our sometimes human stumbles that come with all the rest.
We want you to know that we are prayerfully committed to the journey that awaits us, and we will continue to share updates on what that journey looks like for the days and road ahead.
COVID-19 Task Force