March 18, 2020
Dear WVU Tech students,
I am writing to you as someone who cares deeply about your personal safety, health
and well-being. We are facing a public health crisis worldwide, nationwide and
here in West Virginia.
On behalf of the University and larger community, I am asking for your help. If you are in Beckley, we ask that you return home. If you are currently at home, please remain there and be ready to begin virtual classes on Monday, March 30. We recognize a small number of students are still on campus who may need to stay here (or return to campus) due to unavoidable circumstances, and we will continue to support them, but we need all other students to return (or remain) home for the foreseeable future.
We are especially concerned right now if you are out and about. There are significant dangers posed by COVID-19. While you may not become sick or may suffer only mild symptoms if you contract COVID-19, you could potentially infect those who are most at-risk. Please take steps to minimize the risk of spreading the coronavirus, including social distancing, staying away from gatherings of more than 10 people and avoiding contact with individuals who are elderly or immunocompromised. Dr. Kathryn Moffett, a WVU expert on infectious diseases, discusses the importance of social distancing in this video.
We made the very difficult decision to move our classes to virtual instruction not only based on the health and welfare of you and your fellow students, but also because we want to ensure that the health care system in West Virginia is not stretched too thin in the coming weeks and months. We believe the fewer students in Beckley right now, the better for our health care system and, thus, for the welfare of everyone in the region. More than half of West Virginia’s population is considered at-risk, so anything we can do to protect our fellow citizens is of the utmost importance.
You will be hearing more from your professors and instructors soon about the transition to virtual classes for the remainder of the term. We know this will be an abrupt and challenging transition, but faculty and staff across the University are working hard to make the shift as smooth as possible.
Thank you to each of you for your
help and understanding. We are grateful for your cooperation and quick action.
We know this will cause an unexpected disruption for many of our students, and
yet it is one step you can take to help keep yourself and your family safe. No
matter where you reside, our staff is available to help; please don’t hesitate
to contact us.
In my years working in higher education, I have faced many crises, yet none like this. This global pandemic is unlike anything previously seen by any of us. We know that Golden Bears come together to achieve great things, and it is vital we unite around this issue. The COVID-19 health crisis is forcing each of us to make sacrifices and changes. In the end, however, it is not about us. It's about our responsibility to our fellow human beings. Thank you for all you are doing during this difficult time.
In the near future, we will be in touch with a plan for residential students to remove items from their residence hall rooms consistent with CDC guidelines for social distancing and overall health and safety.
The Admissions office will be sending new I-20 forms for next semester to international students by mail. More details about that will be available on our website.
Finally, please continue to check
our coronavirus website, which is being updated continually
with new information. If your questions aren’t answered there, feel free to
email firstname.lastname@example.org or Richard.email@example.com.
WVU Tech Dean of Students