BGSU is revising its initial response to the COVID-19 pandemic, “strongly encouraging” students to stay or return to their permanent residence for the remainder of the online learning period, as it will close residence halls.
According to Monday’s announcement by President Rodney Rogers, students should remain at an off campus residence and should not return to pick up belongings.
However, the Office of Residence Life will allow students to move out of their residence halls during the remainder of spring break from Tuesday, March 17 to Sunday, March 22. A move-out schedule is available on the Residence Life website with times that students — in accordance with their residence hall and room number — are allotted.
“This plan will allow us to ensure appropriate social distancing by limiting the number of people on campus at any one time,” Rogers said in his announcement.
Students who were approved to remain on campus will transfer into a single residence hall and will be assigned to individual rooms. Similar to spring break housing, all entrances will be on a 24 hour lockdown and the front desk will be closed.
The hall that will be utilized is still unknown.
“(We) are still committed to honoring your housing and dining contract,” Rogers said.
A housing/dining refund model is still being developed by university officials. According to a March 20 update by Rogers, "we are still waiting on guidance from the U.S. Department of Education regarding the timing of these credits and funds."
In addition, he said students with a payment plan have received information from the bursar office. The update also clarified the rescheduling of spring commencement.
For faculty and staff, the university will be moving “as many employees as possible” to work remotely, with the exception of necessary faculty and staff. Working hours will be negotiated with staff supervisors at later dates, and all faculty and staff will continue to receive compensation for their work.
“Employees are able to take any of their accrued paid leave, and once exhausted, they can report hours that may result in a negative leave balance,” according to Rogers’ statement.
University officials will attempt to modify sick leave policies for employees with limited leaves available.
Certain campus facilities, including Jerome Library, the Student Recreation Center, labs and studios will close in the following weeks. For the rest of the semester, three dining locations will be in tentative operation:
- Carillon Place, noon to 8 p.m.
- Market @ Carillon Place, noon to 8 p.m.
- Dunkin', 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Starship delivery robots will provide delivery service from the Market and Dunkin'. Per CDC guidelines, BGSU Dining will minimize service to 10 customers at a time in each location.
In a previous press conference, Rogers expressed that the university's response is "rapidly evolving."
“Things will probably change. Certain things (decisions) that we made today might not be the best decision once we have more information,” Rogers said at the conference.
Further updates to BGSU’s COVID-19 response are available at bgsu.edu/coronavirus.html, including information on staying safe and a Q&A section. Students can also submit their own questions concerning the pandemic.
This article will be updated with new information as it is released.