March 12, 2020
Dear campus community,
In addition to our communication with you earlier today, we have new information to share with you regarding SVSU’s response to the COVID-19 virus outbreak.
First, we are extending the cancellation of all large gatherings of 50 or more people through Sunday, April 19. (Two days beyond our earlier message)
We received an update from the Saginaw County Health Department today (March 12), and as of 11 a.m., there are no confirmed cases of the virus in our area. We will continue to communicate with the health department daily, but in the event that the health department learns that someone in our university community has tested positive for the virus, they will notify us right away.
Today, the CDC raised the travel warning for Europe to a Level 3. We are communicating with faculty, staff and students who have recently traveled abroad to provide safety directives. Effective immediately, all faculty, staff or students who returned from any prior or newly declared Level 3 country in the past 14 days must self-report prior to returning to campus. Faculty and staff should self-report to Human Resources at firstname.lastname@example.org; students should self-report to the Dean of Students at email@example.com. Also, affected travelers must follow the CDC requirement to self-isolate for 14 days from the time they return from travel, monitor their health and practice social distancing. Social distancing means staying out of crowded places, avoiding group gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet) from others when possible. See https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/warning/coronavirus-europe for further information.
We have received a number of questions regarding computer usage and availability as we transition to online and remote instruction. Our on-campus computer labs will remain open and Zahnow Library has computers available to use, as well. Faculty and staff who have been issued a laptop computer should feel free to take it home with them, but technology that normally remains on campus should not be taken home at this time. We have a limited number of laptop computers available for check out for those students who do not have access to devices to connect to Canvas from off-campus. We are developing a plan to cover the check out of this computer equipment, and we will share more information soon.
We have heard that some students have been rushing to spend the remaining balance on their meal plans. We would ask all students to exercise good judgment. Campus Dining operations will continue. Please be considerate of your fellow students who will continue to reside on campus in the coming weeks and may require food and supplies during their stay.
Human Resources will soon post an online “Frequently Asked Questions.” In response to one common question, student employees may continue to work on campus. Those who have chosen to return home should notify their supervisor. Students who plan to continue to work should also consult with their supervisor, as work expectations may change.
Our Office of Accessibility Resources and Accommodations will remain open to assist students who need accommodations. The Fitness Center also will remain open for use.
At this time, we are planning to hold Commencement exercises as scheduled on May 8-9. We know this is of great importance to students and families. As with all other plans, this could change, given the rapidly evolving nature of the virus outbreak. However, even if the ceremony is canceled or modified, this does not affect students’ ability to complete degree requirements and graduate from SVSU. We are doing everything in our power to ensure that students can complete their academic requirements.
We know you have many questions. We are doing our best to answer them in a timely fashion, while also staying abreast of the latest developments. We will be posting a “Frequently Asked Questions” section to our www.svsu.edu/coronavirus web page.
Finally, please know that we continue to make decisions in the best interests of our students, faculty and staff at all times. We understand that these unprecedented measures are difficult for all of us. SVSU has overcome many challenges before. Together, we will get through this one too.
Donald J. Bachand, President