March 22: Important Update — Carthage’s COVID-19 Response
Dear Carthage students, families, and colleagues,
Despite the extra week of spring break, I know this has been far from a relaxing time for all of you. As we begin a temporary yet significant transition in the way the College delivers its academic courses during the COVID-19 outbreak, I’m deeply grateful to everyone in the Carthage community for pulling together to make this whirlwind turnaround possible.
Originally, it was our hope that Carthage’s move to remote teaching and learning — which starts Monday — would last only a few weeks.
However, based on the latest directives from public health authorities — including an indefinite statewide ban on gatherings of 10 or more people — and our overriding determination to protect the campus community, we’ve made the difficult decision to continue remote instruction for the rest of the spring semester.
Unfortunately, these unique circumstances have also forced us to halt plans for an in-person Commencement celebration in May. For those of you in the Carthage Class of 2020 who have worked diligently toward that deeply symbolic stage walk, I know this is particularly disheartening news. I cannot fully express how much I hoped to avoid this choice. We are already considering creative ways to mark Commencement in May, and hope that our seniors will send us ideas as well. We look forward to scheduling an in-person celebration later this year for our May 2020 graduates. Please watch for follow-up communications this week.
More information about this change, including details about housing and room and board refunds, can be found below and on our COVID-19 website, www.carthage.edu/covid-19.
I know this is not how we intended to spend our spring semester together. So much has changed, and so quickly. Yet despite the uncertainty, our mission remains the same. All of us at Carthage are as committed as ever to giving our students the very best education possible.
I strongly encourage all of you to stay connected to your Carthage mentors, friends, and colleagues. We must lift one another up in these difficult times. Watch for additional updates from me and campus offices as further plans take shape in this “new normal.”
In the Carthage mission statement, “Together” is a vital word. Together we will persevere.
Remote Instruction and Support
Beginning Monday, March 23, all undergraduate and graduate classes will resume through remote teaching and learning only. Remote instruction will continue through the end of the spring semester.
Given the transformative connections that occur regularly in Carthage classrooms, it’s natural for students and faculty alike to feel apprehensive about the adjustment to remote instruction. Students, your professors have spent the past week training for remote teaching, so remember that they and other members of your support network are still readily accessible!
Now that a return to in-person instruction this spring is no longer viable, Carthage plans to close all residence halls for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year.
Residential students who are currently away from campus should not return to campus to move out their belongings at this time. It is very important that we follow all precautions from the State of Wisconsin and public health officials. For this reason, our residence halls will be closed through April 13. Only students approved for extended stay are permitted to enter the buildings.
All residents will be assigned a specific date and time to collect their belongings and move out of their rooms beginning April 14, 2020. Again, we need to be very careful to control the flow of people and comply with current social distancing guidelines. You can find your time and more information at the link below:
If you’ve already moved out, please make arrangements to return your keys and complete the check-out process by notifying the Office of Residential Life at firstname.lastname@example.org or 262-551-6169.
We will work with Extended Stay students currently in campus housing to make arrangements to return home or find alternate housing. Extended Stay students should watch their email this afternoon for additional details from the Office of Residential Life.
We appreciate your cooperation and patience as we work through this process. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact email@example.com or call 262-551-6169.
We are in the process of consolidating the functionality of most of our campus buildings and condensing the use of our facilities in order to be responsible during this health emergency. Sections of buildings, and in some cases, entire buildings, will be closed.
Students, faculty, and staff will not be able to utilize TARC facilities, many academic buildings, or the Student Union, though there are some exceptions. The Red Zone in the Student Union and the Health and Counseling Center in the TARC remain open for students who must remain on campus, with specific rules for access and reduced hours. As students start moving out for the year, we will start closing residence halls.
We will not have the ability to continue employment of student workers with the exception of a few essential functions. We urge students to stay in touch with their supervisors in anticipation of resuming employment when we return to campus.
Residential students registered for the Spring 2020 semester will receive a prorated credit for housing and meal plans. Credits will be first applied to any outstanding balances, including tuition.
Graduating seniors will receive a refund for any remaining credit balances as of May 31, 2020; refunds will be issued in June. All other students will receive a credit applied to the fall 2020 semester. Credits for housing and meal plans will be adjusted based on financial aid regulations where applicable.
In addition, late fees during the time period of April through June 2020 will be waived. Students will be able to modify any existing payment plans to reflect the applied credit. Registration holds will also be lifted for students to register for the fall 2020 term.
Please direct questions regarding student accounts to firstname.lastname@example.org or (262) 551-5771. Questions related to Fall 2020 registration can be directed to email@example.com or (262) 551-6100.
Remote Work: Employees
At the moment the campus remains open, however, many Carthage staff and faculty are already working remotely. Employees will continue to be in communication with their supervisors regarding remote and on-campus schedules. Should you have a question about your current work assignment, please contact your area supervisor or vice president.
Even with remote locations, we will continue to remain available and supportive to our students. While the location and way in which we work will change temporarily due to this crisis, the goal of our work and the energy and values we bring to it will remain steadfastly student focused and student first.