Coronavirus/COVID-19 Information

COVID-19 FALL SEMESTER SCHEDULE AND UPDATE, June 19, 2020

Virginia Wesleyan University: Response to COVID-19

Virginia Wesleyan University officials are closely monitoring the outbreak of COVID-19, a rapidly evolving health situation in the United States and abroad. VWU is following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Virginia Department of Health (VDH).

Please refer to this site for information and updates as new developments about the outbreak and its potential impact on our campus community become available. The University will also send these updates via email.

More information on Cancellation and Postponements.


University Messages

June 19, 2020 - COVID-19 Fall Semester Schedule and Update

May 7, 2020 - COVID-19 Update for Fall 2020 Semester

Dear Student,

Thank you for your patience in collecting your belongings as we’ve navigated the COVID-19 recommendations for health and safety. We have worked to create a system for you to return to campus to move out of your housing over the coming days, weeks, and months. Only a limited number of students will be permitted to move out each day. These will be scheduled in advance.  Areas of campus where students have moved out will be sanitized every day.

All instructions must be followed, and only those students scheduled to move out on a given day will be allowed on campus. Each student may bring only ONE helper and that helper's name must be submitted to Residence Life in advance for approval (via the jotform or reslife@vwu.edu). If you already submitted the form and listed more than one person, when you receive your email approving your move-out day, please reply with the name of the person who will be helping you.  Please adhere to this one person helper guideline.

IF YOU ARRIVE ON CAMPUS ON A DAY OTHER THAN YOUR SCHEDULED MOVE-OUT DAY, YOU MAY NOT BE PERMITTED TO ENTER.

If you have not already done so, please fill out this form to request move-out dates. If we are unable to schedule you for the dates you list, we will contact you. Please include dates into late April and early May if possible. We will begin with students in the local area, as we do not want anyone to risk violating any inter-state travel restrictions.  If you choose not to come to campus in the coming days/weeks, we will work with you to the full extent of our ability.

DO NOT COME TO CAMPUS IF YOU HAVE RECENTLY TRAVELED OR ARE EXHIBITING ANY SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19. We will work with you to reschedule for a time when it is safe for you to come.

  • When you arrive on campus, be prepared for the following:
  • Please stay in your vehicle at the gate and Campus Security will work with you to confirm you are scheduled for that day and let you know next steps as needed.
  • Proceed to your designated parking area (information will be included in the individual emails sent out).
  • Use only designated doors and stairwells to reach your room to minimize passing/interacting with others moving out in different stairwells (information will be included in the individual emails)
  • For your safety and the safety of others, we strongly encourage you to follow safety protocols including:
    • Wearing a mask (whether N95, medical, or simply cloth) completely covering your nose and mouth for the duration of your visit to minimize any opportunity for aerosolized droplets containing the virus to drift and land on other surfaces.  
    • Goggles can protect the eyes from any airborne viruses.
    • Gloves can also offer protection if worn and used correctly.
    • Bring your own trash bags and take all trash or items you are not packing to the dumpster for disposal.  No trash should be left in hallways as there is no good way to disinfect it before the next person moves out.
  • Move out completely in a 2 hour window - 9 to 11am or 1 to 3pm on your scheduled day.

You will NOT need your keycard. All keycards have been deactivated. We will prop open the necessary doors between your parking space and your belongings. Please do not touch any surfaces unnecessarily. Should a propped door swing shut, please contact security and they will reopen it. Please do NOT enter through other open doors as they may be reserved for other students moving out.

This is NOT a social visit. You are to only access your room and no other areas of campus.

We recognize this has been a challenging time for many of you, and we are hopeful that we can work together to carefully reunite you with your belongings.
Thank you in advance for working with us during this time.

Sincerely,

Residence Life

Dear parents,

If your student still has belongings in their campus residential space, they have received an email detailing how and when they may return to campus to move out of their space in the coming days and weeks. The directives of that email must be followed precisely, so please work with your student to ensure that you and they fully understand the process before making any plans to come to campus.

Students and helpers who arrive on campus on any date other than their scheduled move-out day will NOT be permitted to access campus. 

Here is some of the most crucial information: 

We will begin with students in the local area, as we do not want anyone to risk violating any inter-state travel restrictions.  If you choose not to come to campus in the coming days/weeks, we will work with you to the full extent of our ability.

DO NOT COME TO CAMPUS IF YOU HAVE RECENTLY TRAVELED OR ARE EXHIBITING ANY SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19. We will work with you to reschedule for a time when it is safe for you to come.

When you arrive on campus, be prepared for the following:

  • Please stay in your vehicle at the gate and Campus Security will work with you to confirm you are scheduled for that day and let you know next steps as needed.
  • Proceed to your designated parking area (information will be included in the individual emails sent out).
  • Use only designated doors and stairwells to reach your room to minimize passing/interacting with others moving out in different stairwells (information will be included in the individual emails)
  • For your safety and the safety of others, we strongly encourage you to follow safety protocols including:
    • Wearing a mask (whether N95, medical, or simply cloth) completely covering your nose and mouth for the duration of your visit to minimize any opportunity for aerosolized droplets containing the virus to drift and land on other surfaces.
    • Goggles can protect the eyes from any airborne viruses.
    • Gloves can also offer protection if worn and used correctly.
    • Bring your own trash bags and take all trash or items you are not packing to the dumpster for disposal.  No trash should be left in hallways as there is no good way to disinfect it before the next person moves out.
  • Move out completely in a 2 hour window - 9 to 11am or 1 to 3pm on your scheduled day. 

You will NOT need your keycard. All keycards have been deactivated. We will prop open the necessary doors between your parking space and your belongings. Please do not touch any surfaces unnecessarily. Should a propped door swing shut, please contact security and they will reopen it. Please do NOT enter through other open doors as they may be reserved for other students moving out. 

This is NOT a social visit. You are to only access your room and no other areas of campus. 

We thank you again for your patience in these challenging times as we sought to ensure that our move-out process is as safe as possible to avoid transmission of the virus. 

We wish you all health and safety during this time. 

Sincerely, 

Residence Life

Dear Marlin,

We hope you are healthy and adjusting to the new ways we are needing to complete the semester.  Thank you for your patience in this process.

Following the "stay at home" order from the governor's office today in order to minimize transmission of the COVID-19 disease, we regret that we are unable to allow residents to return to campus on April 6 to collect items as initially planned.

We will continue to monitor the situation and will let you know as soon as we are able to begin allowing students to return to campus to move out.

In the meantime, for those of you looking ahead to housing next Fall, please watch your email and our social media for updates coming soon.  We are adjusting our initial timeline, but will also be providing a Facebook live info session as well as a screen-shot walk-through to help you navigate the housing selection process entirely online.  We will also be available via email and phone for any questions not covered in the Facebook live info session or walk-through.

We believe those going through the housing selection process will find our new, fully-online process to be convenient and straightforward and are glad that the implementation of StarRez PortalX allows that part of our operation to remain largely unaffected by the current situation.

We wish health and safety to you and your family during this challenging time for our society.

All the best,

Residence Life

March 25, 2020 - Town Hall: Coronavirus Update (Video)

Dear Campus Community,

Thank you for your patience and support as we navigate the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation. Virginia Wesleyan officials have been monitoring developments closely, and continue to heed guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Virginia Department of Health, and Sentara Healthcare in order to make the best decisions for the health and safety of our campus community. Based on the most recent CDC recommendations, we have decided to shift to remote course instruction for the remainder of the semester. Our faculty members have been preparing for this possibility, and will contact students with specific course information by the end of the day on Monday, March 23.

The University will also shift to remote work for employees with supervisor approval. Certain essential staff will need to report as directed. Instructions from your Vice President will follow.

All campus events are cancelled through the end of the spring semester (May 8). This includes Spring Alumni Weekend, Port Day, Spring Honors Convocation, and all athletic events. It also includes the Marlins Day Open House scheduled for April 4, though the Office of Enrollment will continue in-person campus tours to small groups by appointment throughout the semester, as well as offering virtual tours. The May Baccalaureate and Commencement ceremonies will be postponed to a later date.  We are communicating with senior student leadership about this and will announce a specific date soon.

The University will continue to offer on-campus housing to current residential students who apply and are granted special permission to reside on campus through the end of the semester. Permission will be granted on a case by case basis. For those who stay, all group gatherings and events will be cancelled, limited campus resources and services will be available, and no guests will be permitted on campus. Based on recommendations and guidelines from state and national health officials, students will not be permitted to return to campus to retrieve belongings until instructions for how to do so are communicated. Students will receive detailed information from the Office of Residence Life shortly.  Information will also be forthcoming regarding a prorated student account credit for room and board for those who do not return to campus housing.  

We thank our students for their flexibility and understanding, as we know this news is disappointing, especially to our seniors. We also offer our sincerest appreciation to our faculty and staff for keeping operations and instruction running smoothly during this time. We ask that you stay safe and continue to monitor your Virginia Wesleyan email and the VWU COVID-19 resource page at www.vwu.edu/coronavirus.

Sincerely,

Dr. Maynard Schaus
Vice President for Academic Affairs

Virginia Wesleyan University President Scott D. Miller and members of VWU's Emergency Response Team will hold a COVID-19 Town Hall meeting on Wednesday, March 25, at 7 p.m. This virtual meeting will be more informational in nature and is meant to offer clarity on this evolving situation and next steps for the Virginia Wesleyan community.

To the Virginia Wesleyan University Community

March 19, 2020

I write to you this afternoon, not with instructions or processes, but with reflections from the heart on the challenges we are all facing. In my 30 years as a college president, I have never experienced circumstances quite like these. It is a learning curve for all of us, one that comes with many emotions.

Students: I am sad that your on-campus experience has been taken from you. I especially ache for our seniors, who must forgo their final moments with friends, classmates, professors, and athletic teams. Please know that the decision to move to remote instruction for the remainder of the semester was extremely difficult and made with your safety at the top of our minds. I can only hope that you are comforted in knowing that your sacrifice means a great deal and directly impacts the health of our community, country and world. We pledge to continue the top-quality education you are accustomed to, and we are here to support you in every way we can through this time.

Faculty and Staff: Thank you. I cannot begin to express my gratitude for your dedication and resolve over the past several weeks as we have navigated this seemingly unprecedented situation. From our faculty's swift development of remote course materials, to our staff's efforts to maintain normal administrative operations and keep our campus clean and safe. I know you have all done this with our students' safety and well-being at the forefront of your minds, and you've done it while taking care of your own families and keeping yourselves healthy. Thank you for being a part of this team and this family. We couldn't make it through this without you.

Parents, Alumni, Community Partners and Friends: I am overwhelmed by the support we have received from you. The phone calls, emails, and messages of encouragement have warmed our hearts and served as a valuable reminder that we are all in this together—and that we are always better when we work together. We are juggling a lot of decisions and working at break-neck speed to change our way of life. Our hope is that we share pertinent information with you in the most timely and efficient manner possible, but if you do have questions or concerns that are not being addressed, please do not hesitate to reach out. We will respond as soon as we can.

University Leadership: Whether we are celebrating successes or navigating challenges, I am consistently amazed at your strength and steady hands. Our gratitude is immeasurable for the guidance and support of our Board of Trustees, President's Cabinet, Alumni Council, President's Council, and Parents Council. I especially want to thank our Emergency Response Team, led by Vice President for Academic Affairs Maynard Schaus, Vice President for Student Affairs Keith Moore, Vice President for Finance and Administration Jim Cooper, and Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Jason Seward. They have closely monitored breaking news and best practices from state and national health organizations and have responded appropriately and effectively to the challenges at hand. 

# # #

In the last several months, our world has changed in ways that are difficult to understand and process. We are frustrated. We are disappointed. But, we are Marlins, and we will face this unexpected challenge together—to the best of our abilities, and with strength and grace.

On Wednesday, March 25, at 7 p.m., I'll be hosting a town hall with members of our Emergency Response Team. This virtual meeting will be more informational in nature and is meant to offer clarity on this evolving situation and next steps for the Virginia Wesleyan community. Please watch for more information coming soon.

I know anxieties are high, but let us take comfort in knowing that as a community we are taking the necessary steps to prevent the spread of this disease and protect our most vulnerable. 

Be diligent, and be well.

With gratitude,

Scott

--
Scott D. Miller, Ph.D.
President
Virginia Wesleyan University
5817 Wesleyan Drive Virginia Beach, VA 23455

Dear Students,

The email that was sent out to the campus community earlier this afternoon explains how Virginia Wesleyan is responding to COVID-19.  This follow-up email contains specific information for you as we move forward.

No classes are being cancelled. We will be shifting to remote instruction.  No classes will be held on campus; all instruction will be conducted through Blackboard, Zoom, Google Meet, and other virtual tools.  You will receive emails from your professors by Monday, March 23, providing information on how your classes are going to proceed. Our faculty members have been preparing diligently for remote delivery over the last two weeks and you will be able to complete your coursework on schedule.

As we shift to remote instruction, you need to continue to be diligent in your coursework.  Please pay close attention to course syllabi, schedules, and due dates, as there may be some necessary changes. Check your VWU email multiple times a day and check Blackboard on a regular basis.  Professors are going to choose strategies that best fit the course content and student needs, so there will be a variety of approaches. Some professors may choose to have class synchronously as scheduled via Zoom or Google Meet, whereas others may rely on asynchronous strategies such as voiceover PowerPoint, discussion boards, etc. to complete course objectives.  

If you have questions about any of your classes or assignments or feel overwhelmed, please reach out to your professors, your advisor, or any of the resources listed below.  This semester will be a challenge, but we are confident in your ability to succeed and are here to support you.  

The University will continue to offer on-campus housing to current residential students who apply and are granted special permission to reside on campus through the end of the semester. Permission will be granted on a case by case basis.  An email will be sent shortly from Residence Life with more information for residential students.

All campus events are cancelled through the end of the spring semester (May 8). This includes Spring Alumni Weekend, Port Day, Spring Honors Convocation, and all athletic events. It also includes the Marlins Day Open House scheduled for April 4, though the Office of Enrollment will continue in-person campus tours to small groups by appointment throughout the semester, as well as offering virtual tours. The May Baccalaureate and Commencement ceremonies will be postponed to a later date.  We are communicating with senior student leadership about this and will announce a specific date soon. 

We thank you for your patience during this challenging time, and ask that you stay safe and continue to monitor your Virginia Wesleyan email and the VWU COVID-19 resource page at www.vwu.edu/coronavirus. Additional contact information is below.

Sincerely,

Maynard Schaus
Vice President for Academic Affairs

Student Affairs Questions can be directed to:

Financial Aid Questions can be directed to:

IT Questions can be directed to:

Academic Affairs Questions can be directed to:

Student Account Questions can be directed to:

Dear student,

This email is in follow up to the notification you recently received from Dr. Schaus in regards to the University moving to online instruction for the remainder of the semester. With this change, University housing will be impacted.

The safety of our students and campus remains our top priority. Following guidelines and best practices from national and state health officials, students who did not remain on campus for spring break are not permitted to return until April 6, 2020, or later. As we navigate this difficult time, important information and instructions are below.  

Please click the link below which is specific to your current status.

Students currently on campus are asked to move out of residential spaces by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 25, 2020.

We are sensitive to each student's individual situation and remain committed to assisting you and our campus community.

Students requesting to remain in residence

The University is allowing students to apply for special permission to remain in on-campus housing for the remainder of the semester. Please note, the University will operate with limited and extremely modified services available to students wishing to remain on campus. Effective immediately, the following policies are in effect: no alcohol, no guests, no gatherings of students. Additionally, the fitness center, pool, and other amenities will be closed. Dining services will provide food as needed, but menu options will be severely restricted.

Special permission will be granted on a case by case basis and is not guaranteed. Should you have extenuating circumstances requiring you to remain in residence, please complete this form. (link: https://www.jotform.com/build/200765781737060). Forms must be completed by Monday, March 23, 2020.

Students not receiving permission to reside on campus for the remainder of the semester will be issued a prorated credit of $1,000 for room and board. Credits will be applied to student accounts by March 30, 2020.

Should this result in a credit balance, we will apply that balance to your summer or fall 2020 charges.  For specific questions in regards to your student account or if you would like to request a refund of a credit balance, please contact Finance and Administration at finance@vwu.edu

Moving out of your residential space

Students not approved to remain in residence should plan to leave campus no later than 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 25, 2020. You will need to officially check out of your room prior to leaving. To check-out, please click here and follow the directions for express check out (link: https://form.jotform.com/200774390757058).

We understand that various circumstances impact this request and ask that should you require additional time, please contact the Office of Residence Life at reslife@vwu.edu.

Students NOT currently on campus: Accessing campus for immediate needs

Should you need academic materials or essential items (ie: medications, medical devices) currently in your residence space, please submit this form. (link: https://form.jotform.com/200765986422058). Unfortunately at this time, only items deemed necessary will be approved for retrieval. Upon approval, you will be contacted with next steps. All requests will be addressed within two days of submission.

Again, at this time, the University is not permitting students currently off campus to return to gather belongings.

Moving out of your residential space

Following guidelines and recommendations from national and state health officials, the move out process may begin as early as April 6, 2020. Students will need to officially check out of their residential space. A check-out appointment will be required for any student to access campus. To register for an appointment, please complete this form. (Link: https://form.jotform.com/200774188231151)

Please be advised that students returning for belongings will not be permitted to stay on campus overnight.

Housing for the 2020-2021 Academic Year

Please continue to monitor your email and the VWU website closely. Additional information about housing for next year will be available in the coming weeks.

We understand that this change comes with challenges. Each student's situation is unique and we stand committed to supporting you and our campus community. Should you have any questions or specific requests not answered in the informational links, please contact the Office of Residence Life at reslife@vwu.edu or by phone at 757.455.3295.

Sincerely,

Residence Life

Dear Campus Community,

We continue to assess the situation regarding COVID-19 (coronavirus). At this time, there are no confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 at Virginia Wesleyan University and there are 30 documented cases in Virginia.  Governor Northam has declared a state of emergency and has closed K-12 institutions for 2 weeks.

  • All university-sponsored international travel has been suspended until further notice. University-sponsored domestic travel is being evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
  • All VWU students studying abroad have been asked to return to the US.  Students returning from high risk areas would remain in a 2-week self-quarantine at home prior to returning to campus.
  • The ODAC athletic conference regular season league competition will be suspended indefinitely beginning Saturday, March 14 and will continue to be monitored closely in hopes of restarting league play. 
  • VWU is working toward continuing its athletic practice and competition schedule, including non-conference contests, as soon as opponents are available to resume competition in a safe and reasonable manner.
  • Campus events are being monitored, modified, or cancelled based on supporting information and the nature of the event.
  • University services and offices, including residential halls and dining services, will still be available to students during spring break. 
  • More information will be shared on Wednesday, 3/18 regarding details of operations for the 2 weeks following spring break.
  • Faculty have developed plans for remote course delivery, should that become necessary.  We do not intend to cancel classes outright.

The University continues to follow the recommendations for good hygiene and sanitation best practices and have encouraged members of our community to do the same.  Visit the CDC website to learn how the virus spreads, its symptoms, prevention and treatment, what to do if you think you're sick, and other related information. We frequently consult with Sentara Healthcare System, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Virginia Department of Health, and many other agencies regarding this outbreak. 

We remind you to monitor your email and the VWU website daily regarding updates.

Sincerely,

Maynard Schaus
Vice President for Academic Affairs

Dear Parents,

Late this afternoon the NCAA shared with affiliated colleges and universities, as well as the general public, that all Division I, II, and III championships are cancelled. The University, unfortunately, was not aware of this announcement from the NCAA prior to its public posting.

At this time, VWU will continue to allow our student athletes to compete in accordance with safe practices during the remainder of the season. We are in contact with both conference and non-conference opponents and will update schedules accordingly.

We recognize that this situation is developing and as new information becomes available we will keep the campus community informed.

Sincerely,
Tina L. Hill Executive
Director of Intercollegiate Athletics

Maynard Schaus
Vice President for Academic Affairs

Dear Students,

We are regularly assessing the situation regarding COVID-19 (coronavirus). Please read the following information carefully regarding University operations.

  • Classes will continue as scheduled today and tomorrow, (3/12 and 3/13) and all University operations will proceed as normal up to the start of spring break.
  • More information will be shared on Wednesday, 3/18 regarding operations for the two weeks following spring break.
  • Faculty have developed plans for remote course delivery, should that become necessary.  We do not intend to cancel classes outright.

Given the uncertainty of the situation, students may wish to take books or necessary items home for spring break.  The University continues to follow the recommendations for good hygiene and sanitation best practices and have encouraged members of our community to do the same.  

Please know that we frequently consult with Sentara Healthcare System, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Virginia Department of Health.  We also regularly receive updates from the CDC, World Health Organization (WHO), and many other agencies regarding the current status of this outbreak.  Leaders of the 31 private colleges in Virginia are actively sharing information and are in regular communication regarding this outbreak and implications for operations.

We remind you to monitor your email and the VWU website regarding updates.

Sincerely,

Maynard Schaus
Vice President for Academic Affairs

Dear Students,

As we move toward spring break, Virginia Wesleyan University faculty and staff are also preparing for the possibility that the Coronavirus may impact our campus community.  Currently, there are 7 confirmed cases in Virginia.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Virginia Department of Health recommend the following:

Good Hygiene, including washing hands regularly for 20+ seconds, using a hand sanitizer with 60+% alcohol, and avoiding touching your eyes and mouth

Social Isolation, including staying at home if you are sick and avoiding close contact with people who are sick

Surface Sanitation, such as wiping surfaces with disinfecting wipes or a bleach solution.

As of this time, Virginia Wesleyan has:

  • Increased the frequency of surface sanitation by the Batten Center, housekeeping, and dining hall staff
  • Cancelled school-sponsored air travel, including 2 spring break trips, summer travel courses, and sports travel that requires an airplane to reach the destination
  • Asked faculty to prepare for the possibility that we (like other colleges) MAY have to shift to remote/online instruction for a portion of the semester.  IF this were to happen, it would not be a cancellation of spring classes, but if necessary, we could move spring class instruction online temporarily.Currently, the university is on a normal operating schedule.  We will send out regular email updates to keep you informed of any changes.  Please contact your professors if you are sick and are unable to come to class. 

Sincerely,

Dr. Schaus
Vice President for Academic Affairs

Dear Campus Community,

The University is closely monitoring the situation surrounding COVID-19 (Coronavirus), and is following recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC.gov), the World Health Organization (WHO.int), and the U.S. State Department (travel.state.gov).  In addition to published recommendations, we routinely dialogue with experts at the CDC, the Virginia Department of Health, and Sentara healthcare.

Our response will follow our campus Emergency Operations Plan (see Appendix D, pages 13-21) and CDC recommendations. Students studying abroad in countries with a CDC level 3 Health Notice (the highest level) have been recalled from their sites and we will continue to monitor the situation very closely for lower-level CDC Health Notices.

All of these agencies recommend good hygiene practices, avoiding close contact with people who are sick, and disinfecting surfaces. Please see the attached sheet from the CDC for more information. Note that people infected with COVID-19 exhibit mild to severe respiratory illness, including fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Additional information can be found on the LiveSafe app and the Sentara Mobile app.

We continue to monitor the situation and will update the campus community as needed.

Sincerely,

Maynard
Vice President for Academic Affairs