March 12: Carthage’s response to COVID-19
Dear Carthage students and families,
I write with important updates regarding Carthage’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the United States. I know many of you are closely watching news of the outbreak’s rapid spread and far-reaching impact on travel, public gatherings, sporting events, global business operations, and — this week, especially — higher education.
The Carthage leadership team has examined the anticipated spread of COVID-19, reached out to medical experts, and closely reviewed recommendations from local, state, and federal public health agencies.
As you can imagine, these discussions have been extensive and complex. We walked through multiple scenarios and the potential impact of each. We are appreciative of your patience and understanding as we considered how Carthage could most effectively deliver academic courses in these rapidly changing circumstances.
While there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on campus or in Kenosha County at this time, there are 6 confirmed cases in Wisconsin and 25 confirmed cases in Illinois.
Residential colleges like Carthage face unique challenges in this situation: Our students study, work, and often live in close quarters. Students and faculty regularly travel domestically and abroad. Spring break travel means many of our students and faculty are spending this week in cities across the country. It is impossible to know how many of our community members may be recommended by health officials to self-quarantine for two weeks.
For these reasons, we have come to the following decisions:
Carthage will extend our spring break by one week (March 16-20). There will be no classes during this time so that our faculty can prepare for a move to virtual/online-only instruction.
Beginning Monday, March 23, all undergraduate and graduate classes will resume through virtual teaching only.
Virtual instruction will continue through at least Thursday, April 9, before our regularly scheduled Easter break (April 10-13). If circumstances allow, we will resume regular classroom instruction on Tuesday, April 14.
Students should not return to campus until further notice. Students currently in college housing should return home if possible and, if not, complete an updated extended stay form to seek approval for an extension.
If students need to retrieve belongings, they should reach out to the Office of Residential Life at email@example.com or 262-551-6169 to coordinate.
We understand that there may be students who require on-campus housing during this time for a variety of reasons. We will continue to work with students to address individual needs on a case-by-case basis. Students with concerns should contact Amber Krusza, Director of Residential Life, at firstname.lastname@example.org and complete the extended stay form.
More information will be shared in the coming days regarding virtual instruction and on-campus events. Cancellation notices will be shared through The Bridge.
Student-athletes should watch for a communication later today from the Athletic Department regarding expectations going forward.
All Carthage offices will remain open and services will still be provided to support our students and faculty during this time.
More details about COVID-19 and the College’s response can be found on our website at carthage.edu/coronavirus. We will continue to post all relevant announcements to that website so you have as much information and support as possible.
For any students with general questions, please contact the Division of Student Affairs central office at email@example.com or 262-551-5800.
This was a very difficult decision. Carthage has long prided itself on our small classes, hands-on learning, and supportive, in-person academic environment. I share your dismay that we have reached this point, and I share your hope that we can return to our traditional format in April.
Educating students in the best way possible and promoting the health, safety, and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff — even during this time of great uncertainty — remain our first and highest priorities. We are committed to seeing students complete their spring semester courses and meet graduation requirements. And we will continue to make careful decisions in the best interest of all Carthaginians.