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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

This page will be updated frequently with the latest information regarding KWU's response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Individuals with additional questions may contact the KWU coronavirus hotline at 785-833-4515. This number is available 24 hours a day, and is staffed from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. A voicemail may be left after hours.

KWU students, staff, and faculty are asked to check their email on a regular basis for any additional information.

Press or Similar Releases: 

August 24, 2020

July 1, 2020

May 27, 2020

March 18, 2020

March 13, 2020

March 12, 2020

Helpful Links:

KWU Student Quarantine Guidelines and Expectations

NAIA Eligibility Center FAQ's

Textbook Information Through eCampus Online - Additional Information Provided to Students Via Email 11:23 a.m. March 17

NAIA Cancels Remainder of Spring Season (from KWUCoyotes.com)

CDC Coronavirus Web Page

KDHE Coronavirus Web Page

CARES Act Information

Messages from President Dr. Matt Thompson - please note that information in older messages may have changed. Please make sure you are reading the latest communications. 

A message from President Thompson - September 23

Highlights: 

  • Continued COVID Vigilance is Necessary
  • Fine Arts Events Coming Up
  • Spring Semester Updates
  • Hispanic and Latinx Heritage and Celebration video

Dear Coyotes,

30. 

69. 

46. 

54. 

38. 

40. 

53. 

For a point of reference, the numbers of COVID-19 cases at some of our fellow small colleges or universities located throughout Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska have ranged from 30-69. Thankfully, KWU has had only 15 cases so far this semester. Our students have generally done a good job following hygiene rules, wearing masks and adhering to social distancing protocols. However, the Saline County Health Department has announced (as of Friday) community spread of COVID-19 within the county. This means that cases have arisen that do not trace back to direct exposure to another positive case. In many ways, it increases the risk of contracting the disease. 

Despite this fact, over the last two weeks, I have seen more and more students forgetting to adhere to COVID-19 protocols. More people are letting their mask slip, not wearing it correctly or not wearing it all. I fear we are becoming complacent due to our low number of cases thus far. We must continue to remain vigilant or we risk having more positive cases on campus, which would dramatically change our way of life at KWU. Remember, your mask should cover your nose, mouth, and chin. And, keep 6 foot of distance whenever feasible and wash your hands regularly with warm water and soap.

Now, some good news!

We will be holding our first fine arts events of the year! Highlights from the musical [title of show] will take place this weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) in Fitzpatrick Auditorium. Just to clarify, [title of show] is not a typo, that is the name of the performance. I congratulate the theatre students on their persistence and patience, as they were forced to postpone the original performances of this play in April. 

In addition, the orchestra and wind ensemble will perform the first music concert of the year on September 29 in Sams Chapel. 

Look for more information on tickets via email, or ask your coach, music/theatre, or activity director. The general public will NOT be allowed to attend, but a very small number of tickets will be available to parents, friends and family of the performers. Social distancing will be enforced in the seating plan and face coverings will be required at all times. 

Overall, the plan for attendance at fine arts events mimics the plan KWU has implemented for athletic events. 

Spring 2021 semester – Classes will begin on Tuesday, January 12, and the last class day will be Friday, April 30. Final exams will be May 3-5. Like a growing list of other colleges and universities, we’ve made the decision to cancel Spring Break. The details, dates, and times of Senior Recognition, Baccalaureate, and Commencement are still being reviewed and discussed. More details will follow soon. We wanted you to know this as early as possible.

Finally, thanks to Franco Rivas ’15 of the MARCOM office for his great work on a Hispanic and Latinx Heritage and Celebration Month video, “Somos Coyotes: We are Coyotes.” Take a look at the video here – https://youtu.be/B5KpFYv5GcY

Thank you for your hard work and dedication. We are Coyotes! 

All the best,

MRT

A message from President Thompson - September 16

Highlights: 

Many things to celebrate!

COVID Case Numbers: Remain stable.

What a great win for football!: We have room for improvement regarding new seating and safety expectations.

Hello Coyotes, 

As we celebrate our university’s 134th anniversary, there are many reasons to give thanks. 

  • Our efforts to promote diversity, equity and inclusion are going well. I laud the efforts of Dr. Allen Smith and Brandon Cheeks ’05. I thank Annie Boswell for her leadership in organizing this month’s Hispanic and Latin American Heritage Celebration month. The celebration began earlier this week at Monday Night Alive and included a beautiful video from Franco Rivas ’15 entitled “Somos Coyotes, We Are Coyotes,” exploring the successes, challenges, and support of our Hispanic and Latinx students, faculty, and staff. It will continue today with a special lunch in Shriwise. 
  • KWU was recently named the #4 private college in Kansas by two separate national rankings. This, in addition to our enrollment numbers, provides clear evidence that Kansas Wesleyan is a choice institution. 
  • Although we have seen a slight increase in the number of individuals quarantined, we continue to have promising, low numbers of COVID positive cases (only two active). Our number of positive COVID cases is 14 for the semester, and all have recovered quickly. We are encouraged by this, but recognize that this remains a serious situation. Continued vigilance and wisdom are required. 
  • As a reminder, if you are not feeling well, please contact Dan O’Connell, KWU’s head athletic trainer. You may reach him on his office phone at (785) 833-4463 or by email at daniel.o’connell@kwu.edu. Whether you are a student-athlete or not, Dan is our go-to person for people feeling unwell or possibly having COVID symptoms. And while, we ask that you not attend class if you are feeling unwell, this is not a free pass to skip classes or only to attend classes via Microsoft Teams. If you aren’t in class, are healthy, and try to attend with Microsoft Teams, your faculty will count you as absent. Teams is designed for those not well enough to be in class. Teams is not for your convenience, because you don’t want to go to class.
  • Finally, congratulations to Coyote football for Saturday’s big win over Friends! It was a great team victory, in the mold of so many that we’ve seen in the past few years. I was also encouraged by the commitment shown by so many of our fans, who observed the rules regarding mask-wearing, with very few incidents. 

While the majority of our fans did sit in their assigned seats, students who were in attendance did, at times, struggle to follow that particular rule. When attending a Coyote athletic event this year, you must sit in the seat on your ticket. No exceptions. This will continue to be enforced strenuously throughout the semester. If you would like to sit near (6-feet apart from) a friend and you both are eligible for tickets, you must come to the athletic office together to facilitate that. 

Thank you for your continued vigilance and hard work!

A message from President Thompson - August 24

Dear Friends, Supporters, Students, Faculty and Staff of KWU, 

We currently have five active COVID-19 cases among KWU students. These cases are, for the most part, directly connected to one another via exposure.

The process we developed this summer has been very effective in containing these cases. Students are self-reporting symptoms quickly, allowing us to move them to appropriate on- and off-campus locations for quarantine and, if a positive test is received, isolation. 

We are also following our COVID-19 protocols by quarantining students who fall under three descriptors:

  • One, our campus leaders know them to be an extremely close contact (i.e. a teammate, roommate, significant other) of a suspected case. These are individuals who have been within six feet of the ill person for at least 10 minutes. We have been proactive in attempting to limit the possibilities of exposure by breaking practices into pods and creating social distancing in classrooms and other campus spaces.
  • Two, the Saline County Health Department contact tracers are aware of close contact with someone who has tested positive. This group will have to be quarantined for 14 days and may be tested for COVID-19 in certain situations, again, at the discretion of medical personnel. 
  • Third, we are quarantining individuals who have suspicious symptoms. Individuals in this group may be sent to local medical professionals for a COVID-19 test if symptoms dictate, otherwise, they will be allowed to leave quarantine when their health situation becomes clear and/or resolves. 

In quarantining these three groups, we have acted out of an abundance of caution. You may have heard of groups of students in quarantine, but please do not be alarmed by this. As we have stated in many of our communications, a quarantine is not reflective of a positive test, or even of any illness whatsoever. Isolation is for students who have tested positive. In fact, several of the individuals we have placed in quarantine have been asymptomatic for any illness. Quarantine is, in our situation, a high-level precaution to enable our in-person semester to continue as planned. Thus far, it has been successful. 

We are appreciative of our community collaborators, like University United Methodist Church, who are providing care packages for students who are in quarantine. If you would like to assist or support our students, please be in touch with Jenny Lawson in the Student Development office (jenny.lawson@kwu.edu).

We remain confident in our protocols, the safety of our students, and our ability to continue with the fall semester as scheduled. Thank you for your support of KWU.    

All the best,

MRT

A message from President Thompson - September 9

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Case count continues to be low
  • First home football game Saturday

Hello Coyotes! I hope every one of you had a safe, restful Labor Day weekend, and were able to come back to the classroom yesterday refreshed. 

My update today is a short one, but please don’t mistake that for simplicity. We must continue to remain vigilant and not let our guard down. Every day, we are seeing campuses with growing COVID-19 case numbers, schools that are forced to turn to fully online instruction. If we want to preserve the integrity of an in-person semester – and we do! – we must continue to practice excellent hygiene and wear our masks. Our case count continues to be very low – we have had less than 15 cases all semester – but observing guidelines both on and off campus is of the utmost importance to ensure that continues. This will be especially true this week. Please continue to practice good hygiene and social distancing this week. Remember that you may not know where everyone you interact with each day was during the weekend. Keep yourself safe and keep the campussafe by the decisions you make. We are only strong if we all stay focused.

Our first home football game is Saturday at the Graves Family Sports Complex, and I look forward to seeing KWU face Friends at 6 p.m. As you may know, KWU has implemented new ticketing guidelines for all home athletic events. These guidelines mean that only a select group of students (a group that will change each week) will be able to secure tickets to the game. Look for an email from athletics later with more information. Remember that anyone in attendance must sit in the assigned seat to observe social distancing and wear a mask. Ushers will be on duty and will enforce this requirement. You must also wear a mask and be screened at the gate prior to entry. If we are not able to abide by these expectations, we will have to go to no fans in attendance. Be safe, be kind to the ushers, and do your part.

If you cannot go to the game, I encourage you to watch our newly upgraded video streaming (is https://portal.stretchinternet.com/kwu/portal.htm?eventId=605721&streamType=video), which is free of charge! 

Thank you for working hard, every day, to make KWU a great place to be.

A message from President Thompson - September 2

Dear Coyotes,

Here is the weekly campus update. You’ll see we’ve mixed it up a bit to put bullet point ideas at the top to make it easier to review.

Don’t travel over Labor Day: Student Development has planned various activities for the weekend. Staying within the campus “bubble” is the safest option and Labor Day travel is highly discouraged. (Nursing majors have special travel restrictions.)

Family unit reminders: You MUST wear your mask within six feet of any individual other than your roommate (or your immediate family if you are living at home), other than when allowed to remove it for physical conditioning or a similar activity. This includes in a vehicle

Reminder of numbers of cases: Currently declining number of positive/active cases, signs are trending in a positive direction. 

Hello Coyotes! It’s been a great week of classes, and early this week, we saw the first signs of Fall. The temperature dropped, the wind picked up and it truly felt like we were on the Plains. It won’t be long until we see one of my favorite things about Kansas…snow! 

But enough about looking ahead. We have to, of course, focus on the present in order to stay safe. Our COVID-19 positive/active case rate has declined, with less than five positive/active cases during the past few days. Overall data points say KWU’s rate are trending in the right direction! Virtually all of our cases are traced to two off-campus gatherings, and we have no evidence of community spread on campus, meaning that all cases thus far are linked to close contact with another case. 

We continue to quarantine close contacts and anyone with possible symptoms, all out of an abundance of caution, but those numbers have gone down as well. 

All of the above facts are highly encouraging, but we must remain EXTREMELY vigilant. This weekend is one of the key points of our semester in terms of making it to November in good health. We cannot relax our standards! 

Here are a few reminders regarding health safety on Labor Day weekend: 

1)     Please stay on campus (or in Salina if you live off-campus). Yes, we have had a limited number of cases thus far, but virtually all of them have been linked to off-campus gatherings. Staying in the campus “bubble” is the safest option. This becomes even more obvious when looking at other schools. 

Student Development will hold several fun activities, at least one per day, during Labor Day weekend. A full schedule of those can be found in an email from Jenny Lawson this past Monday. Again, we STRONGLY discourage any travel during the Labor Day weekend.

2)    If you do travel, please check the COVID-19 case rates in the areas you are headed and adjust plans as needed. Some states still have quarantines related to COVID-19. It is your responsibility to be aware of these. 

3)    Remember to wear your mask in the car with friends, when you’re playing video games, or when you’re in town. You cannot remove your mask around close friends, even if you spend a great deal of time with them. It’s still a risk! The same precautions – hygiene, mask-wearing and social distancing – that have helped the KWU community thus far will help you when traveling. You can still have fun with your friends, you just have an obligation to do it responsibly and safely. 

In other news, we have finalized a plan for ticketing athletic events. The details vary slightly by sport, but the plan will begin with Saturday’s home soccer match against Tabor at GFSC. You can read more about the plan at this link – https://www.kwucoyotes.com/article/4900. Similar plans for theatre and music events are currently being finalized. 

Please continue to make good choices, both on and off campus, to help protect your fellow Coyotes. 

All the best,

MRT

A message from President Thompson - August 26

Dear Coyotes,

Today marks the end of three weeks of having students on campus. Generally, everything is going well. As I announced on Monday, we only have 5 active positive cases. All of these were linked back to off-campus gatherings. This means that we are making healthy and responsible decisions on campus. However, the campus can only stay healthy if we make safe and responsible decisions when we leave campus as well. 

Here are a few reminders: 

  • Whether on or off campus, follow the same best practices (stay 6 feet apart, wash 2 hands, and wear 1 mask). Being at someone’s home or visiting with a friend or family off campus does not mean you should be less vigilant. In fact, it is in off-campus settings where more vigilance is necessary, because you are interacting with people outside of the KWU bubble.
  • When riding in a car with someone who is not your roommate, wear a mask.
  • To enhance the “bubble” effect we have created, we will not allow any non-KWU students in the residence halls. If there is a need for someone to visit, you must get approval from the Student Development office. This means no guests from other schools, no parents or family members, no dates, and of course, no overnight guests. 

We know that close contact with people is what can lead to transmission of the disease. According to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment for COVID-19, a close contact is defined as any individual who was within 6 feet of an individual with a laboratory-confirmed case of COVID-19 for 10 minutes or more starting from two days, or 48 hours, before illness onset – or, for asymptomatic patients, two days before positive specimen collection – until the time the patient is isolated. 

You are a close contact if any of the following situations happened while you spent time with a person with COVID-19, even if they didn't have symptoms. 

  • If you had direct physical contact with the person (e.g., hug, kiss, handshake). 
  • If you were within 6 feet of the person for 10 minutes or more. 
  • If you had contact with the person's respiratory secretions (e.g., coughed/sneezed on, contact with dirty tissue, sharing a drinking glass, food or towels or other personal items). 
  • If you stayed overnight for at least one night in a household with the person. 

Remember that someone who is sick with COVID-19 can spread it two days, or 48 hours, before they show any symptoms. Also, not everyone with COVID-19 will have symptoms, but they may still spread it to others. 

We keep hearing reports of universities that have gone online-only because of COVID-19. We must resolve to do our best and protect our pack, so that our community does not suffer a similar fate and can continue with in-person classes and a thriving campus life.

  1. Be aware that if you get exposed to the coronavirus, there’s a good chance a lot of your friends will end up in quarantine. Protect yourself to protect the pack! 
  2. Off-campus students, if you get a test off-campus and test positive, be sure to let Student Development or Athletic Training know so we don’t have to wait for the Saline County Health Department to tell us about your status.
  3. Socialize responsibly. Schools that have had to suspend programs or go online have generally done so after students went to parties. It’s hard; you want to be with your friends and you want to make new friends. Don’t go to or host indoor parties. Socialize outside, keep your distance and wear your masks, even while socializing. Stay outside to protect the pack! 
  1. Meal time can be a time of exposure. Just because you are eating, doesn’t mean the disease cannot be spread. Limit you eating time with your mask off to being around just one other person within 6 feet. When you finish eating and want to visit, put your mask back on and cover your mouth, nose, and chin. 
  1. Your family unit cannot be your team or those in an activity with you. We sometimes hear about the strength of the pack. I’ve even referenced it in this email! However, despite the strength and family atmosphere of our community, you must wear your mask when within six feet of any individual other than your direct roommate. Teammates or those on your residence hall floor are not an exception to this. You should wear your mask within six feet of those individuals as well, i.e. hanging out in other people’s room, walking down the hall, in the bathroom, or when moving around or not eating in the cafeteria.
  2. You know the drill: check your symptoms, wash your hands, keep your distance, wear your mask. PLEASE protect your professors, college staff, and your fellow students!

Because these days can be long, we thought we would share with you a fun new activity (see attachment) – create your own origami Coyote for your desk, dresser, or car dashboard. 

Speaking of dashboards, we must all be wise in any travel or holiday plans over the Labor Day holiday. (Reminder that nursing students have a travel restriction policy in effect.) We highly discourage any travel during the Labor Day Weekend, even in state. If you must travel, check the current COVID-19 case trends in any areas you plan to visit. Stay on campus to reduce your risk of exposure. There will be fun events planned for campus. Plus, Labor Day weekend will mark the 25% mark for the semester, so it’ll be a good time to catch up on homework, get some sleep, and enjoy a little down time on campus. 

Remember, we are in this together. Now is not the time to get complacent or laissez faire. Keep making good choices on and off campus.

All the best,
MRT

A message from President Thompson - August 19

Hello Coyotes, it’s been a great week!  

Faculty, staff and administration were honored to host an in-person commencement ceremony this past Saturday at Graves Family Sports Complex. A significant portion of our campus community came together and adapted to make the day a great experience. I thank everyone for their hard work, and am thrilled that we had approximately 100 graduates, plus their families, return! If you did not attend, I hope you were able to watch the event live online and hear Mike Gonzales’s (class of 1984) inspiring remarks on the importance of faith and goals.

On a more day-to-day note, we’ve asked members of our university staff and administration to, at various times this week, watch for mask usage at particular locations around campus. We decided to do this to help keep everyone focused on our campus-wide face covering mandates and expectations. If one of these individuals speaks to you about adjusting your mask, please comply in the interest of public health. Please wear your mask over your nose, mouth and chin in all indoor public spaces and outdoors when social distancing cannot be maintained. We are generally doing really well and I appreciate your effort.

Finally, you have no doubt seen some of the news regarding colleges and universities discovering COVID-19 clusters on their campuses. Here at KWU, at this point, there have only been four students who have tested positive. We have placed a number of people in quarantine during these past two weeks. This is done to out of caution and not from a place of fear. Students have been quarantined based on primary level exposure to someone who tested positive. We make the quarantine decision in collaboration with the Saline County Health Department (SCHD). The contact tracing staff at SCHD knows whom to contact about quarantine. If you have not been contacted, then it means that there is not a primary concern for you. If you have questions, please call or visit Student Development.

Thankfully, our number of positive cases is low, but we must remain vigilant. We must continue to wear face coverings, practice social distancing and demonstrate good hand-washing practices. I thank everyone for all they are doing to help keep Kansas Wesleyan safe and healthy.

All the best, 

MRT

A message from President Thompson - August 12

Hello Coyotes! 

It’s been a great first two days of classes, and I appreciate how well our campus community is adjusting to the changes required by COVID-19. Whether it is our coaches taking on extra responsibility with helping with mask usage and giving directions, students growing in their understanding of the importance of masks, or staff members chipping in to help across campus, I’ve seen us come together as one, united Pack over the course of the last week. Faculty have continued to learn new technology in order to teach effectively to those at a distance, and they have done it well. 

This will be a long journey, one of daily awareness and consistent change, but now, it is a journey that we will undertake together. I’m proud of our faculty, our staff and our students for how we have begun. 

Victory Not Without Toil!

All the best,

MRT

A message from President Thompson - August 9

Dear Coyotes,

Tomorrow marks the first day of classes for the fall semester. As we begin, below are some reminders about life on campus this fall during the pandemic. After being together for a few days now, it might be easy to feel comfortable around everyone and become less strict about face coverings and social distancing. However, for the semester to be a success, we must remain vigilant.

Working collaboratively, we can keep the pack safe and make sure we eliminate or minimize COVID exposure. The university requires the use of masks/face coverings based on science and the recommendation of the Saline County Health Director. Here is a quick reminder of the easiest ways to keep yourself safe:

1-2-6

Wear one mask

Wash two hands

Keep six feet apart (when possible and practical)

Below are some reminders about how to live out these practices on a daily basis:

Rooms in Residence Halls

  • If it is more than just you and your roommate in the room, everyone in the room should have on a mask
  • Limit sharing of clothes, towels, and other fabric items

Bathrooms in Residence Halls

  • Limit to 2-3 at a time in Wesley and Wilson bathrooms
  • Your RA may create a shower schedule to help limit people at a given time in the bathrooms
  • Don’t stand side-by-side at sinks or urinals
  • Wear masks when not brushing teeth, shaving your face, or showering

Food Service

  • Shriwise Cafeteria
    • 2 people per table
    • Don’t re-arrange tables or chairs
    • Space out when waiting in lines
    • Wear mask unless you are sitting at your table eating
    • Take advantage of our to-go food options
    • Use Byte app from Sodexo to order your food in advance
    • Reusable to go containers will soon be available for everyone
    • Outdoor seating is available near the entrance to Shriwise and in the Outdoor Living Room
  • The Den 
    • All food will be ordered through the window, no one will go into The Den
    • Seating has been added to the Brown Mezzanine and other tables have been spread out
  • McAdams Music Room
    • New lunchtime option
    • To-go and quick take items that you’ve been used to in The Den will be available here

Classrooms

  • Sit every other seat (faculty will create a seating chart, in case needed for contact tracing)
  • Wear mask
  • Use hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes to wipe down your area
  • Protect your faculty from exposure

Outdoors

  • Take advantage of the beauty of campus
  • We’ve added outdoor seating and an outdoor propane grill is coming to the Outdoor Living Room
  • Keep your mask handy in case you begin a conversation with a person with whom you cannot keep six feet of distancing

Cars

  • When traveling in a car with a non-family member, wear your mask

Off-Campus

  • Wear mask
  • Make safe decisions 
    • Bars are easy places for COVID to spread
  • House parties should not happen

We are in this together. The health and safety of our community is everyone’s responsibility. If we want to learn, play, perform, and live together, we must make good choices together. If your friend or classmate is making a poor decision, help your friend to make better choices. We all have a responsibility that if we see something, to say something.

Here’s to a great and healthy semester!

All the best,
MRT

A message from President Thompson - August 5

Hello Coyotes! 

Today, we welcome the newest members of the pack, the Class of 2024! We’re thrilled to see the excitement and hustle and bustle, but truth be told, we’re simply excited to see you, the students, back on campus once again. Everything that we do as a university is to help move you forward, to help you achieve your goals, and to help you grow, not only in knowledge, but in wisdom as well. To have the opportunity to do that in person is one we will not soon take for granted. 

Classes will begin Monday morning, August 10, and there are a few items to keep in mind: 

·       First, masks or other face coverings are still required in buildings (other than your immediate residence hall room) or any outdoor spaces where you cannot appropriately distance. This includes, perhaps most importantly, classrooms. Your nose, mouth and chin must be covered by the mask/face covering in order for it to be effective. We expect anyone who does not have an exemption on file with Bryan McCullar in the Student Success Center to comply. Please continue to socially distance as well. (I hope you enjoyed our recent Instagram series on what, precisely, constitutes six feet apart.) 

·       Second, we have implemented socially distant classrooms. In certain classrooms (for example, Pioneer 325), you will be asked to sit one to a table. In others, you will be asked to sit in every other chair. There will be assigned seating in classes to aid in contact tracing, should that be necessary. Please observe posted signage and your professor’s instructions as you enter each of your classrooms. We also ask that you limit seating in Shriwise Cafeteria to two people per table, and do not rearrange any seating. There also will be to-go options available throughout the year via Sodexo’s Byte app.

·       Third, there will be disinfectant wipes in every classroom this semester. Use of wipes may seem very simple, and yes, rather small against something the size of the COVID-19 pandemic, but they do kill the virus within a very short amount of time. You are encouraged to use these wipes to help protect yourself and your classmates.

·       Finally, if you have not registered for a check-in time, please do so at this link: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/returningkwustudents. All students, both residential and commuter need to come to campus to check-in, to finalize any necessary paperwork, and to receive your welcome kit.

Thank you for being a part of the KWU family, and for helping protect your fellow Coyotes. I’m looking forward to a fantastic semester!

A message from President Thompson - July 29

Dear Coyotes,

It’s almost time to start the year and be back together again! Signage is going up around campus, final move-in day preparations are taking place, and the KWU campus is very nearly ready to welcome you back home. Everything looks great!

Move-in days are August 5 and 7. We will have a video on our social media channels today describing some elements of the process, and I encourage you to watch in order to be fully informed. The video will be particularly useful for new students and their parents. On move-in days, please make sure to arrive at your scheduled time to allow for appropriate social distancing. If you have not signed up for a check-in time, please do so today. New students will sign up at https://www.signupgenius.com/go/newkwustudents, while returners will visit https://www.signupgenius.com/go/returningkwustudentsNOTE: If you are not a residential student, you still need to sign-up for a time as either a new or returner student.

As always, we encourage as many students as possible to be prepared with "Fast Pass"; that is, filling out required forms beforehand, and thus, being able to bypass the majority of the move-in day, check-in requirements. If you have any questions regarding that, please contact the K-Dub Hub at 785-833-4317. With any other questions regarding the move-in process, please call Student Development at 785-833-4329.

We also want to let you know that the NAIA announced Tuesday evening that it will move a majority of its fall championships to the spring semester. This does not mean that conferences cannot play their respective schedules in the fall, and the KCAC is currently finalizing its decision in this regard. At this time, KWU continues to move forward with plans to play athletic contests in all sports this fall. 

Finally, we are aware of Gov. Kelly's recent comments regarding the possibility of "rolling back" Kansas' re-opening process, and potentially limiting gatherings to as few as 15 individuals once again. Likely, this decision will be made at the county level. We are monitoring this possibility, preparing contingency plans, and are in direct and regular communication with the Saline County officials who will make this decision. If any decisions are made in this regard, we will pass them along to you as soon as we can. 

I wish all of you the best in your travels as you return to KWU over these next week or so. Please be safe, be responsible, and be well as we prepare to come together once again. 

All the best,

MRT

A message from President Thompson - July 22

Hello Coyotes, 

“Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.”

This quote, from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, has seemed to ring especially true over this past summer, hasn’t it?

We have seen natural leaders rise up and accomplish things that many of us haven’t seen before. We have seen greatness achieved, including in togetherness that was born out of a desire to see social justice and associated reforms. We have seen individuals from every walk of life thrust into the spotlight due to COVID-19, and now, you and your fellow students will experience things that have not been a part of American education in many, many years. These things may not be enjoyable, they may not be fun, and they most certainly are not what any of us would want, but they are now a part of this “new normal” that has been thrust upon us. They are a list of challenges that create an opportunity to be great. 

One of the main items on this list, as it relates to you, the students, is the quarantine process. 

Approximately 30 students, those from Florida and Arizona, will journey to Salina this week to begin a two-week quarantine prior to move-in day. They will be housed at the Hilton Garden Inn on Ninth Street at no charge to themselves. For a small cost, they may have three meals a day delivered to them in the hotel. 

As we prepare to engage in the quarantine process for the first time, I want to reassure you and your loved ones about some of the details.  

We will not be locking anyone in a room. The expectation is that individuals in quarantine, whether now or at any time during the fall semester, will be able to move about the property in question. They will be able to walk to a vending machine, to go outside for exercise, and the like. They will be required to wear a mask or other face covering in any indoor public space, just as would be the case outside of quarantine. Students should not use the pool, fitness center, or congregate in the lobbies or each other’s rooms. Individuals under quarantine will not be able to leave the property together or congregate in groups without socially distancing. Individuals may travel by themselves to a drive-thru restaurant or to pick up something ordered at a store that can be delivered to their car. It is important to remember the reason for quarantine is to limit a possible exposure of a student who may have been exposed to the virus from interacting with anyone else in the community. By quarantining, you are helping the health of the entire pack.

To counteract the feelings of isolation and boredom, several KWU departments are organizing socially distant activities that could be held in the hotel parking lot and adjacent field. These details will be shared with quarantining students when they arrive. 

We will not be leaving anyone alone. In addition to socially distant activities, we are also implementing a calling chart that will ensure KWU representatives – whether activity leaders, advisors, campus ministry representatives or others – are consistently and regularly in touch with each and every student in quarantine. Quarantine is an extension of our KWU family, not an island unto itself.

We are not here to put everyone in quarantine. In order to help maintain the health and safety of our community, we will be utilizing a mobile app during the upcoming year. You can find KONGiQ on your Google Play Store or IOS App Store, and can log in with your Vivature credentials. If you don’t know those credentials, you can email Head Athletic Trainer Dan O’Connell at dan.o’connell@kwu.edu to discuss how to get them. (Contact Dan whether you are a student athlete or not.)

This app will send a symptom questionnaire to each student daily, allowing KWU personnel to track basic symptoms related to potential COVID-19 cases. With that said, this is not a tool we will use indiscriminately or without care. We understand that, for example, seasonal allergies may cause some of the symptoms often associated to COVID. We do not plan to quarantine everyone who indicates they have particular symptoms. Rather, we will use this app as a tool for further discussion and exploration. Please do not fear reporting.

We continue to encourage students from Texas and California to monitor the KDHE quarantine list (https://www.coronavirus.kdheks.gov/175/Travel-Exposure-Related-Isolation-Quaran) and, if they have a location to quarantine off-campus, to consider coming back early as a preemptive measure. 

I also want to let you know that, out of an abundance of caution, we have cancelled all upcoming non-university sponsored events on the KWU campus. Campus sponsored events are being continuously evaluated. 

I, and the rest of KWU leadership, know that you, our students, didn’t sign up for this. We wish it was not going to be a part of your college experience, but we are doing our best to keep you safe, keep the campus lively, and to welcome you back to the Coyote pack. Remember, as we go through the fall, we will prevail together as a campus community. As our university motto reminds us, “Victory, not without toil.” In the meantime, this is a chance to be great. It is our chance to play a small part in containing what is, indeed, a threat to the well-being of our country. May the history reflect, in 100 years, that the KWU Coyotes responded to this situation with true greatness, and helped stem the tide of COVID-19 in Salina. 

All the best,

MRT

P.S.: Your billing statement is now available on your MyKWU account. To view your statement, sign in and go to the Student tab > Financial Information > My Account Balance > and click on Course and Fee Statement. Please select “Fall 2020” and “Generate my Course and Fee Statement”. 

If you have questions, please call 785-833-4319.

A message from President Thompson - July 1

Dear Coyotes,

We are so excited that the start of the fall semester is just a few weeks away. We’ve been working hard to prepare for your return, to create a great experience for you, and to make sure the campus plan for your health and safety is in order. I hope you are getting excited, too!

This is a lengthy email, but an important one. Below are the general details for life on campus this fall. When you return to campus, you will see a lot of familiar experiences – in-person classes, music and athletic practices and events, and double-occupancy residence halls. There will also be some necessary changes – extra cleaning procedures throughout campus, use of face coverings, and different practices in how we do food service in Shriwise and The Den. In addition, you’ll find some positive updates – like a whole new energy-efficient lighting system across campus, an update Peters 201 lecture hall and Peters entrance lobby, and enhancements to the campus grounds.

A team of faculty and staff have been working for several months on the following plan to make sure that we have all the necessary practices and plans in place to support your educational experience, while also addressing health and safety concerns. At this time, Salina continues to experience relatively low incidents of positive tests and very few hospitalizations. We intend to take steps to keep our campus community as safe and healthy as possible, following the guidance of the Saline County Health Department.

As Coyotes, we have a responsibility to the pack, just as the pack has a responsibility to you. To this end, we are asking all students, faculty, and staff to take precautions in their daily life to limit exposure to COVID-19. We are all in this together and must act as a community. I appreciate your help and cooperation. Here are a few examples of expectations:

·       Limited Travel

o   We are requesting students to remain in Salina for the fall semester except when traveling to represent the university. As much as possible, we want to keep people within the “KWU bubble”. This is the reason we have cancelled Fall Break and will complete the semester by Thanksgiving. If it is necessary for you to travel during the fall semester, please consult with the Student Development Office to determine if you will need to quarantine when returning to campus.

·       Daily Personal Habits

o   Everyone is asked to certify they are not demonstrating COVID-19 symptoms by reviewing screening questions each morning to make sure they are healthy to be in classes, eating in the dining hall, and participating in activities. To assist with this, all students, faculty, and staff members will receive a welcome kit that will include a branded face covering, a thermometer, personal hand sanitizer bottle, a couple of disposable gloves, and the screening questions. You are welcome to wear your own, appropriate face covering.

o   We must all wash our hands regularly and observe social distancing when possible, limit gatherings in residence hall rooms and off-campus housing, and make healthy decisions.

o   Face coverings will be expected in public settings on campus, classrooms and other areas indoors where people cannot maintain social distance of 6 feet for at least the first two weeks of classes. We will reevaluate this expectation based on current conditions and guidance from the Health Department to determine whether to continue this precaution.

·       Quarantine (possible exposure) and Isolation (confirmed positive case of COVID-19)

o   Some people will need to quarantine for 14-days prior to returning to campus, class, and activities. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has designated a list of states (to next be updated by July 15), international locations, and cruise ship travel as requiring mandatory quarantine upon arrival to Kansas: https://ks-kdhecovid19.civicplus.com/176/Travel-Related-Quarantine. This list is updated at least every two weeks, so please continue to monitor the list. If you are from a state that is on the list, thanks to the support of Saline County, you will be able to quarantine for the two weeks at an off-campus location at no cost for the housing. KWU will be able to offer a $160 a week meal plan that will deliver meals to the designated location 3 times a day. We encourage students from these areas to return to Salina beginning on July 22. If you return later, off-campus housing will still be available, but you will not be able to begin campus activities or have your athletic physical until you complete your 14-day quarantine.

o   During the semester, if a residential student must isolate or quarantine, Saline County will house the student at an off-campus location at no cost for the housing. KWU will also deliver meals to the designated location 3 times a day utilizing the student’s meal plan.

o   Students living off campus will need to determine if they are able to quarantine or isolate appropriately at that location.

·       Testing

o   Based on feedback from health officials, at this time we will not be doing testing of all students, faculty, and staff. If health officials believe there is likelihood that someone has had close contact with someone with COVID-19 or determines someone may have contracted COVID-19, then the person will be tested by the Saline County Health Department. Please consult with the Saline County Health Department or your personal medical provider to seek advice regarding the need for testing in your particular situation.

·       Move In Days

o   August 5 – New Student Move-In Day

o   August 7 – Returning Student Move-In Day

o   Student Development will be in touch about how to schedule your check-in and move-in time. We are doing this to control the number of people congregating and spending time in residence halls.

o   Everyone will be screened prior to entering the Check-in location and the residence halls. Anyone who cannot pass the screening will not be allowed to go into the check-in location or residence halls. For the best interest of the campus community, if you or a member of your family are showing symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has a confirmed case of COVID-19, please don’t come to campus.

NURSING STUDENTS: Please follow your schedule on myKWU. If you have any questions, please reach out to the nursing department.

Below is a list of highlights of our practices and plans. If you have any questions, please be in touch with the Student Development office at (785) 833-4339.

Again, we look forward to seeing you soon, having a great fall semester, and collectively doing our part to keeping everyone healthy and safe. There will be changes to campus life, but we believe these changes are prudent, reasonable, and everyone’s best interest.

All the best,

MRT

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Move-in days will be August 5 (new students) and 7 (returning students), and screening processes will be in place. In addition, all students must sign up for an arrival time. Students will sign up for a time block to facilitate social distancing.
  • KWU will provide faculty, staff and students with a Fall Welcome Kit containing a thermometer, face covering and other items to aid in personal safety and protection. 
  • All students returning will be required to complete a free, non-credit class (less than 15 minutes) on illness prevention and proper hand hygiene habits through Canvas.
  • Faculty are preparing fall classes using hy-flex plans, to accommodate both in-person and online learners. Classrooms have been equipped with cameras to allow synchronous instruction. This means that if a student must quarantine or isolate, they may continue to participate in live classes.
  • Classrooms have been assigned to allow the best social distancing. (By design, nearly 80% of our classes are typically less than 20 students and 90% with less than 30 students.)
  • Cleaning is taking place in accordance with CDC recommendations. Disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer are being provided throughout campus, including classrooms. The wipes kill the virus faster than the disinfectant used during a full “deep” clean. 
  • Due to the close contact required for participation in games and workouts, student-athletes and other athletic personnel will be screened daily before practice. 
  • Enhanced cleaning and changes in procedures will be implemented in the residence hall bathrooms and food service locations. This includes cleaning all residence halls twice a day and monitoring air flow and filtration systems throughout the buildings.
  • Nonessential student travel outside Kansas during the Fall semester is being strongly discouraged. 
  • Attendees coming to campus for certain events will be asked a series of screening questions. For certain events, including move-in days, temperature testing will be in place. 
  • Stadium/arena entry procedures will be changed as indicated with signage and by event staff.
  • Both virtual and on-campus visits will continue as currently in place, with social distancing being observed. 

A message from President Thompson - June 15

Dear Coyotes,

We learned today of the first two positive cases of COVID-19 for someone at Kansas Wesleyan. I wanted to make you aware of this and allow this event to provide you with context, specifically of how we are prepared to respond to this incident and future ones that might occur. We have been planning for this reality and are able to now put our response plans into action. Based on our current health environment, positive cases were going to happen. We are prepared to respond, while doing our part to keep the campus safe and healthy.

We were notified of the first positive test this morning and have confirmed the case with the Saline County Health Department, as is our protocol. The student was on campus in recent days, and we are deep cleaning the areas he visited during that time. The student lives off-campus, but participates in an activity. The second student who returned home in March and just recently returned to Salina has also tested positive. These two cases are unrelated. The second individual has not been on campus since leaving in March, so there is no additional risk to our campus community, but he is a member of the Coyote family and we wish him well as he recovers.  

The first student is currently being isolated at his home and is working with the local health department to help trace anyone with whom he may have had close contact. If you are one of those individuals, you will be contacted directly by the Saline County Health Department. They will tell you any next steps you need to take including self-quarantine recommendations. The county will set up testing for those individuals. Per CDC and local health guidelines, the focus will be on anyone who had close contact with this individual, i.e., within six feet. The health department is already aggressively building out its list of those individuals affected.  If you have not had close contact with this person but simply have been on-campus recently, or perhaps in the same building as the student, please remember that our regular cleaning processes were in place in recent days, so all areas were already being treated per CDC guidelines.

I’m proud of how our staff responded and our protocols worked quite well. We were able to get the information to those who needed it quickly, and we transitioned into our response plan mode with ease. 

Now, how does this affect you? The answer depends on your role on campus. 

As a student (or parent/family member), please be assured, once again, that we have systems in place to identify and respond to these situations. We not only had the affected area locked down quickly, but we were able to start the deep cleaning process in a matter of hours. Our communication with the local health department has been stellar, and they are working quickly to let those affected know. 

As a staff or faculty member, we know that there will be concerns with the return to an on-ground format. Later this week, you will receive a survey from the business office about returning to campus work. This will be coming to your KWU.edu email and we encourage you to utilize that survey as we continue to work through the process of coming together once again as a KWU family. We want to hear you and help you during this time. 

We will continue to work to keep everyone as safe as possible during this time, and I look forward to the first move-in day on Wednesday, August 5. I am thankful for the contributions that each of you make to our campus community.

All the best,

MRT

A message from President Thompson - May 27

As the calendar transitions to summer and the temperature begins to rise, I hope you are well. Today, I write with news of important plans for the Fall 2020 semester. There is a lot to cover, but want to make sure you and your family have enough and timely information to help with your planning.

As you know, we announced several weeks ago that we intended to have an on-ground collegiate experience this fall, with students taking courses in classrooms and living on campus. We believe that this is a critical part of what it means to be a student at Kansas Wesleyan – the everyday interaction with peers, professors, coaches, and staff. With that in mind, we will be moving the start of the fall semester to Monday, August 10. New students will report for move-in on Wednesday, August 5 and the returning student move-in day will be Friday, August 7. Further, we will also be eliminating fall break and moving final exams to be completed by Tuesday, November 24 ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. Spring semester would resume as planned on Tuesday, January 12, 2021.

This decision will surely lead to many questions, but first, why are we making this change? To preserve our ability to continue the on-ground experience. We have seen first-hand COVID-19’s uncertainty during the past three months, and should there be a second wave of infections in the fall, this change will best allow us to complete as much, if not all, of the semester as possible in person. We are joining a growing list of schools making similar decisions, including Notre Dame and Creighton, and believe this will help preserve much of what makes Kansas Wesleyan so unique. By making this decision now, even with certain questions still outstanding, we allow you, our students, to plan for the fall semester in full. 

Secondly, if you are a nursing student, plans are being finalized that relate to your major and its coursework. Please be aware that we are conscious of the need to examine different programs in different ways, due to the requirements of each, and we have taken that into account in making this decision. We believe that we are able to serve the needs of all of our students, even with this change in timing. If you have specific questions related to your major, please contact your faculty advisor directly. 

Finally, we are aware that some students may have different needs, needs that may now present challenges with this change. We will keep the residence halls open for in-season athletes, such as men’s and women’s basketball players, even after final exams. If leaving campus in November (rather than December) poses a problem for you, please contact Student Development to explore any options that may exist.

There will certainly be additional questions. I encourage you to click here to learn more, as we have developed an extensive list of questions and answers regarding this change. If you have questions that are not answered, please do not hesitate to reach out to the Student Development Office directly at 785-833-4329.

Keep in mind that life continues to be fluid. If there are changes to any of the items below, I’ll be back in touch.

Albert Einstein once said, “The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.” We have gone through great change over the course of the past three months, as individuals and as a university-wide collective, and I am proud of the efforts of each and every one of you. I thank you for the excitement and appreciation that I have seen you demonstrate for our graduating class, for the faculty members that serve as your mentors, and for Kansas Wesleyan as a whole.

I cannot wait to see you all back on campus on August 10.

A message from President Thompson - May 13

Dear Coyotes,

Welcome to the first week of summer. I hope you are finding some time to enjoy the break in classes.

As a reminder, if you are interested in summer classes at KWU, you will find a list of our summer courses by clicking here (select SU20 term). Classes are all online and begin on Tuesday, May 26.

This weekend, on what would have been Graduation Saturday, I spent some time contemplating lessons learned from the last semester. Here are a few I would like to share:

  • Success is all around.

While our memory tends to focus a lot on the last three months, there is a lot more to the story of the 2019-20 academic year. We saw a lot of success throughout the year in academics, fine arts, and athletics. There were teams competing for conference and national championships. DECA dominated the state tournament and Debate/Forensics continued to show excellence at regional and national events. We were selected third in the nation (for the third year in a row) as the institution with the most student-athlete community service hours. The Music Department hosted a phenomenal set of concerts, including a beautiful Christmas by Candlelight event. Those are our collective achievements. I know we had a number of students that set personal records, succeeded in classes, and landed great jobs, internships, and graduate school seats.

  • We confirmed that we are resilient.

Students, faculty, and staff all had a number of curve balls to address. However, in the face of struggles, we didn’t back down. We adjusted; we grew; we served. I hope that as an individual, you see that you’ve attained; you’ve persisted; you’ve achieved. There were days when it would have been easier to quit. But you didn’t. You crossed the finish line. I’m so proud of all the members of our community. We’ve lived into our motto, “Victory, not without toil.” No one can promise us an easy life. However, as Coyotes, we embrace the challenge and persevere. This is a life skill that will serve you throughout your life. There will be more disruptions in your life, but you will adapt and respond to those. You will continue to practice this during your KWU years. The best of your generation will be those who are resilient, who have character, and are committed to their community. These are all traits that we teach and support here.

  • A lot of people care about KWU.

It is easy to see this all around campus. It starts with the faculty and staff who mentor and encourage our students. It extends through our 12,000+ alumni. It is the Salina community who invests in our students and the campus. Two quick examples are our unmatched host family program and the new $5 million Nursing Education Center that is under construction. Parents and friends watch our sports and activities. I’ve been blessed by a lot of notes of encouragement from parents in the last eight weeks. This is a strong community and one that is thriving despite what appears to be challenging times.

In the coming weeks, you’ll hear more details about our plans for the fall semester, i.e. move-in dates, cleaning procedures, and start of classes and activities. I’m excited for what the next academic year will bring. Looking back gives me a lot of optimism for the future. My attention is now fully focused on the front window of the car. As you know, it is much larger than the rearview mirror. The future is full of opportunities and possibilities. 

I can’t wait to see KWU’s new victories!

All the best,
MRT

A message from President Thompson - May 6

Dear Coyotes,

It's finals week, and this unusual spring semester is nearing its close. While the nature of the end of this term was unexpected, we were grateful for the opportunity to continue to learn and grow together. Thank you for your patience, resilience, and hard work. These are all skills that will serve you well throughout your life.

Saturday was to be the Spring 2020 Commencement. However, we don’t want this week to pass without recognizing our graduating seniors. Last week, graduates were sent a Graduation Celebration Box designed to help our students celebrate now and be ready for the August 15 ceremony. Starting today, you will see a number of social media posts that will honor our soon-to-be alumni. You’ll see our virtual Senior Awards Celebration where faculty will recognize a number of students for academic awards and achievements. We will post a virtual Baccalaureate service this week as well. There is so much to celebrate this spring.

We’ve begun turning our attention to preparing for a great fall 2020. When you return to campus, you’ll see a number of areas that have had updates and changes. There will be a new eSports arena (nearly five times the space of the current one), an updated Peters Science Hall 201 and outer lobby, computers in the lobbies of all of the residence halls, and a few more touches around campus. Student Development is planning some upsized events for this fall (did someone say carnival?). We can’t wait to have you back on campus and are making sure everything looks and feels great for your return.

As a reminder, the CARES Act funds will begin to be mailed or credited to your account in the next week.

If you are interested in summer classes, please be in touch with your faculty advisor or the KDub-Hub.

Today is National Nurses Day! With all that is happening in our world, we are keenly aware of the important work of nurses and other frontline health workers. To our new graduating nurses, our current nursing students, our nursing faculty, and all nurses in our family and friend network, thank you for what you do!

That’s it for this week. Good luck on final exams, final projects, and final work!

All the best,
MRT

A message from President Thompson - April 29

Dear Coyotes,

I hope this Wednesday finds you doing well. It feels like a mix of excitement and nervousness to know that finals start a week from today. How are you feeling? Ready to cross the finish line strong? We are here to help.

The bulk of my message today focuses on the CARES Act that was approved by the federal government on March 27, 2020. This major stimulus bill made relief money available to higher education institutions to respond to coronavirus, including Kansas Wesleyan University. Kansas Wesleyan was allocated a total amount of $823,462 by the government. Half of the funds KWU will receive ($411,731) will be dedicated solely to emergency student financial aid grants, as required by the CARES Act. The CARES Act allows the university to use the second half of the funds ($411,731) more broadly for institutional costs associated with responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, as detailed below, we intend to use the vast majority of the institutional funds for additional student support. 

The funds will be used for three main purposes:

1)     Emergency aid for Pell-eligible students

2)     Emergency support for residential students who are no longer on campus

3)     Other institutional expenses associated with our response to the pandemic

First, KWU will distribute to all current, undergraduate, Pell-eligible students an emergency financial aid check for $500 to cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and childcare. The decision to prioritize the distribution of aid to Pell-eligible students is based on Department of Education guidance, which states that universities should prioritize students with the greatest need. These checks will be processed in the coming days and will be mailed to your permanent address. Please allow 7-10 days for the checks to arrive.

Second, all current, undergraduate residential students who are no longer residing on campus will receive financial support at a rate of $306 per week times the number of weeks you were not on campus (a minimum of 3 weeks up to a maximum of 8 weeks, which is when the second half of the semester would have regularly restarted after Spring Break). In other words, the amount is equivalent to the full rate of weekly residential (room and board) costs for the weeks you were not on campus. This support can be used by you to cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and childcare. If you currently have an outstanding balance, these funds will come out of the institutional portion of KWU's federal aid and be applied against your account as a reimbursement to the university. For students without an outstanding balance, these funds will be distributed via check and mailed to your permanent address. We are working quickly to process these funds. However, due to the volume, please allow 10-14 days for the check to arrive to you. (Please note: If you are a residential student still living on campus, you are not eligible for these relief funds, since your housing and food is still being provided. Due to the nature of where we are in the semester, there will not be any relief funds for students who leave housing this week or next.)

Third, remaining funds will be used by the university for institutional expenses like the cost of extra cleaning supplies and support to get courses online for the second half of the semester.

This is how these amounts add up for the university:

Emergency aid for Pell-eligible students                                                      $122,500

Emergency support for residential students who are no longer on campus              $668,610

Other institutional expenses related to COVID-19 response                        $  32,352

Total                                                                                                               $823,462

Kansas Wesleyan has decided to make this support available to undergraduate residential students, and undergraduate Pell-eligible students. The requirements of the CARES Act do not allow us to distribute these federal funds to you if you are exclusively an online learner, a graduate student, or if you are not eligible for Title IV aid as determined by completing a FAFSA. However, for non-eligible students, Kansas Wesleyan has separate emergency grant funds, made possible from the generosity of donors and friends of the university, that will cover any room and board refunds for which you are eligible. If you are eligible for a refund but are not a U.S. citizen, then the grant will be applied to your account.

While not required to by the CARES Act, we are pleased that our plan will use more than 95% of the CARES Act funds for student support. The checks would not have been possible without the investment from the federal government.

Please contact me if you have any questions.

All the best,

MRT

A message from President Thompson - April 22

Dear Coyotes,

Happy Earth Day! It is amazing to believe that this international day of recognition is in its 50th year. Kansas Wesleyan has celebrated it since its very first year thanks to the work of formidable academic leaders like Dr. Wes Jackson and Dr. Dave Fancher. The year before, in 1969, KWU pioneered a new interdisciplinary major called Survival Studies. This degree allowed students to put together a package of courses in which they could work on environmental problems. Today, our Environmental, Sustainability, and Resilience Studies major continues that tradition of educating and challenging students to better our world. How will you celebrate Earth Day 2020?

I hope that you are continuing to find a balance in life – time with family/friends (either virtually or in person), time to do classwork, time to be active, time to pray/meditate, and time to relax. Balance is important these days. There are only two weeks until finals begin. Stay focused and finish strong!

Good mental health is key. There may be issues that you are experiencing that you don’t want to tell family, friends, or folks at KWU. We want you to know there are great options out there for you. Here are two options I would like to highlight:

·       Thanks to our relationship with Salina Regional Health Center’s Veridian Behavioral Health, we are able to still arrange mental health support for students. If you want to begin service through a telehealth option, please contact Jenny Lawson (jenny.lawson@kwu.edu or 785-833-4329). As is our practice, the cost of the first two sessions are covered by Kansas Wesleyan. If you are a current client of Veridian, you may contact them directly to set-up appointments.

·       The Disaster Distress Helpline, sponsored by the Substantive Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the U.S. government, is another important resource. For anything that is not related to immediate crisis counseling, contact them by email, phone, or filling out the Web form. If you need to speak with a crisis counselor immediately, call 1-800-985-5990. You can also text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor. English speakers in U.S. territories text TalkWithUs to 1-212-461-4635. For Spanish speakers, call 1-800-985-5990 and press "2" or from the 50 States, text Hablanos to 66746. Each Disaster Distress Helpline Core Region Center has crisis counselors who are trained to listen and offer support to people in emotional crisis.

If you have any questions or concerns about the university or classes, please be in touch with your advisor or coach or activity director or call our campus hotline at (785) 833-4515. We are here to support you

A message from President Thompson - April 15

Dear Coyotes,

Happy Wednesday! Happy Tax Day! And according to Google, Happy Laundry Day!

The new reality continues. As it does, I know there can be moments, if not days, of successes, setbacks, and apathy. I believe we many are experiencing these feelings. That is totally appropriate. As I work to do my best each day, I try to focus on controlling the controllables. According to Alan Stein, Jr., “There are only two things in this world that we have 100% control over, 100% of the time: 1) our effort and 2) our attitude.” While we might at times be annoyed, frustrated, or exhausted by the current pandemic, none of us individually can change the pandemic. However, we can focus our efforts and attitudes. With only three weeks until finals begin, let’s finish strong. Here are a couple of tips on how to do that:

  1. Set a schedule. Make sure to accomplish some work every day. Don’t let it pile up. Establish a two-hour block in the morning and in the afternoon to focus on your classwork. Do this with your phone away and limited other distractions.
  2. Talk to your faculty. All of your faculty are maintaining at least 20 hours of virtual office hours each week. Find out when they are and be in touch. If those times don’t work for you, email and ask to set up another time.
  3. Talk to your advisor. Let your advisor know if you are having any concerns with classes. Also, work with your advisor to get registered for next semester classes.
  4. Talk to your coach or activity director. Just as you’re in regular contact with your instructors and advisor, be in touch with your coach or activity director for ways you can stay ready for the upcoming season and academic year.
  5. Talk to the Al Nelson Student Success Center. Bryan McCullar has lots of resources to help you. You may reach him at bryan.mccullar@kwu.edu or you can send a 144-character text message to (785) 302-9275.
  6. Talk to the provost. Dr. Damon Kraft is a resource for you. If you need assistance, he’s happy to provide support and direction. You may reach him at damon.kraft@kwu.edu.

End-of-the-semester update: This is a friendly reminder that the residence halls will close for the end of spring semester on Monday, May 11 at noon. If you have not moved out and do not plan to be a summer resident (cost is $80 per week, only single rooms available this summer), then you should begin finalizing your plans to move out. If you are at a distance and would like the university to assist with packing and storing your belongings, please contact Christian Mitchell at christian.mitchell@kwu.edu or (785) 833-4330.

CARES Act: As I mentioned last week, details from the federal government are not currently clear on the CARES Act. We are working to finalize our understanding of the use of the funds and how we will share those with students. I appreciate your patience as we work as quickly as possible to finalize these details.

Kansas Stay-at-Home Order: Gov. Kelly has extended the Kansas order through May 3. This means campus will continue with limited on-campus services and limited open offices until that time.

I hope today is great for you. Do your best and be positive! (Also, today may be a great day to do laundry. :-))

A message from President Thompson - April 8

Dear Coyotes,

Here we are in Holy Week, preparing for the gift of Christ’s death, the mystery of His rising from the dead, and the glory of His overcoming death on Easter Sunday. I hope that you find renewal and strength in this gift of grace.

There are a number of moving parts that are affecting our ability to answer timely questions about certain aspects of campus life. For example, what happens to work study students who are home and can no longer continue to work? The answers have been shifting. However, according to the COVID-19 Department of Education guidelines, higher education institutions have been given the authority to compensate Federal Work Study funds based on loss of scheduled hours for the Spring 2020 semester. KWU is currently working on reviewing those guidelines and will be notifying the students who qualify for the funds. The funds will begin to be distributed on the April 24 payroll.

This week, I’d like to remind you of some services and support available to you.

Al Nelson Student Success Center and Memorial Library: Be sure that you are taking full advantage of these services (https://www.kwu.edu/academics/albert-nelson-student-success-center and http://kwu.libguides.com/home). At this point, very few students have been in touch with the SSC or our librarians. Please be sure you ask for assistance or guidance. The new virtual resources we’ve put in place are there to support your success and are easy to use.

Antivirus Protection: We want your computers at home to be as safe as possible. Here is a free-to-you computer antivirus protection that is a service we provide to all students. To download the university’s antivirus program, just click (or hold CTRL and click) on “Apple” or “PC” to be taken to the OneDrive download. For either installation, click next until the software is installed. There are no fields to complete. On the PC version when you are asked for Internet Proxy information just click next. There is nothing to complete. Apple PC

Spiritual Support: With the leadership of Scott Jagodzinske, campus minister, KWU has launched a virtual chapel (https://sites.google.com/view/kwu-virtual-chapel/home). I hope you will visit for sustenance for your faith journey and to request prayer support.

I wish you great success. Stay focused; stay active; stay connected.

All the best,
MRT

A message from President Thompson - April 1

Dear Coyotes,

Happy April 1st! Today is a high holiday in the Thompson house. My daughter loves to find ways to prank me each year on April Fool’s Day. I’ve been served Oreos with the filling removed and replaced with toothpaste; another time I was served a caramel covered onion (not apple); I’ve turned on the kitchen sink only to find the side spray nozzle has been taped down so that I get covered in water. I can only imagine what awaits me tonight when I get home. Whatever it is, I know it will lead to a lot of laughter. I hope your day will be filled with laughter, too.

It is hard to believe there are only five more weeks left in the semester before finals begin. I hope you are adapting well to the new online environment. While we would all prefer to be meeting in classrooms on campus, I appreciate your resilience in this moment. I found a few quotes that I thought might be helpful:

·       “Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.” Michael Jordan

·        “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” Confucius

·       “If you are going through hell, keep going.” Winston Churchill

·       “Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.” Nelson Mandela

·       “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” Thomas Alva Edison

·       “Just keep swimming; just keep swimming; just keep swimming.” Dory

Whatever and whomever inspires you, keep that in mind in the coming weeks. It is easy to want to stop or give up, but you have the ability, character, and talent to overcome any sense of frustration or feelings of struggle you have. We all believe in you and are here to help.

To that end, I hope you have seen some of the recent posts and announcements from the Al Nelson Student Success Center (
https://www.kwu.edu/academics/albert-nelson-student-success-center) and Memorial Library (http://kwu.libguides.com/home) about their new texting support options. In addition, a number of coaches and staff members are offering tutoring and support services for different classes based on their areas of study.

We are working: We’ve heard from a few students who said they don’t want to bother their faculty or a staff member, because now they are working from home. I just want to clarify, you will not be bothering them. They are only working from home, because the governor has required that. They want to be in touch with you. They want to set up virtual meetings, to email with you, to be sure that you have what you need to be successful. (Now I wouldn’t call or text them too late or too early, but other than that, please be in touch.)

Change.org petition (
https://www.change.org/p/matt-thompson-transition-from-letter-grade-to-pass-fail)Some of you may have read or signed this petition. Grading is not an issue that will be resolved through a petition. The university has broader responsibilities to our students, faculty, and our accreditors to ensure continuity of grading practices. For example, a number of students will need grades to drive their grade point average for graduate school or eligibility, which pass/fail does not allow. Also, we do not have the ability to asterisk grades. This does not mean that we are not hearing the request. If other schools have taken this path that may be appropriate for their institution and their learning environment. We do not think it is appropriate for our learning environment. I can assure you that students will have the ability to complete assignments successfully, and we have considered that students might be on very different schedules. This is why all required, graded work will be handled asynchronously, which means that you will have flexibility with times. Students do not need to “be in class” at a certain time. The only concern with time zones may be with assignment due dates/times. KWU assignments will all be based on the Central Daylight Savings Time Zone. Further, faculty know the change to online delivery creates some questions and possible stress, and they are committed to assisting you and being understanding throughout this process. If you have concerns about progress in a particular class, you should be in touch with your instructor or advisor. (Nursing majors should follow course faculty instructions for completion of course testing and assignments.)

Refunds:
 With the passing of the CARE Act, we are waiting to hear if Kansas Wesleyan will be eligible for these funds and how much. If so, we are considering using part of the funds to provide Spring residential student refunds/rebates for a portion of the semester. Once we have more information, we will be in touch. We are appreciative of the federal government’s investment in higher education and want to use these funds to relieve some financial stress for our students. More to come.

Coyote Calls Support System: 
Every student has been assigned to a staff member on campus to be your partner/liaison during the rest of this semester. If you are a student athlete, it will likely be your coach. All staff members who are a part of the calling support system each have about ten students assigned to them. We have done this so they can be responsive to your needs and concerns. They will act as your advocate and connection to campus. Think of them as your virtual KDub-Hub. If you need help or have a question, they are your go-to partner. That does not mean you can’t call your advisor, a faculty member, or a particular office on campus. This just means you have one more resource. It is another way we are trying to stay connected and assist you.

Mental Health Support:
 There are two options I would like to share.

First, thanks to our relationship with Salina Regional Health Center’s Veridian Behavioral Health, we are able to still arrange mental health support for students. If you want to begin service through a telehealth option, please contact Jenny Lawson (jenny.lawson@kwu.edu or 785-833-4329). As is our practice, the cost of the first two sessions are covered by Kansas Wesleyan. If you are a current client of Veridian, you may contact them directly to set-up appointments.

Second, is the Disaster Distress Helpline sponsored by the Substantive Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the U.S. government. For anything that is not related to immediate crisis counseling, contact them by email, phone, or filling out the Web form. If you need to speak with a crisis counselor immediately, call 1-800-985-5990. You can also text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor. English speakers in U.S. territories text TalkWithUs to 1-212-461-4635. For Spanish speakers, call 1-800-985-5990 and press "2" or from the 50 States, text Hablanos to 66746. Each Disaster Distress Helpline Core Region Center has crisis counselors who are trained to listen and offer support to people in emotional crisis.

Commencement:
 Based on the results of a survey of graduating seniors, more than 70% voted for a traditional, in-person Commencement ceremony on Saturday, August 15. Hosting Commencement during opening weekend means that friends and classmates of graduates will be on campus. We are in the process of developing those details. More information will be forthcoming, but please mark your calendar as we celebrate this milestone with our graduates and their families.

That’s it for today. I hope you find a moment for joy and laughter on this April Fool’s Day and every day.

All The Best,

MRT

A message from President Thompson - March 27

Dear Coyotes,

I know I just wrote on Wednesday, but additional information learned today calls for another update. We’ve all come to understand the details of this new time in our lives are fluid, as we continue to learn more about how this pandemic is affecting our communities around the world.

Just a short time ago, the Saline County Health Department (SCHD) issued a voluntary shelter-in-place directive, effective Monday, March 30. In speaking with the SCHD director, he directed me to ask all students who are still living on KWU’s campus who can easily move home to do so. While the residence halls, cafeteria, and campus will continue to remain open, he would like to minimize the number of people living on campus.

He also said that a student who is safer at KWU should remain here and not return to a hot zone or an area of a large number of confirmed COVID-19 cases (such as Washington and California, to name two). With that in mind, I am asking each student to be in touch with family to discuss their best option.

Juniors and Seniors in the Nursing program: please be in touch directly with your faculty.

If you are already off campus and were planning to return to campus this weekend to pick up items, you may still do that. Please let your RA know of your move-out plans.

For students who remain on campus:

  • Next week, we will begin working with you to make sure all students are living in a single room with no roommate. This may require you or your roommate to move.
  • Shriwise Cafeteria will continue to operate as it has been for the last week. Five people at a time will be able to enter, choose food, and leave. (You may return for seconds if you wish to during the open hours for the cafeteria.) There may be a point in the future when we will only be allowed to offer pre-packaged to-go boxes.
  • The Graves Family Sports Complex will no longer be open by direction of the County Health Department.
  • The Morgan Fitness Center and gyms are now closed.
  • Students should not congregate and at no time should there be groups of 10 or more gathered. The city and county law enforcement will begin to enforce this throughout the community.

For residential students who have gone home and have not been able to claim their personal items, we have finalized a plan. In the next few days, a member of the Student Development staff will be calling you to walk through the details. The general overview is that we have hired a moving company that will box each student’s personal effects. We will be happy to store these items on campus for you until this fall, or another time when you are able to pick them up. Both the packing and storing will be done at no expense to you. If you would like your items shipped to you, then you will need to pay the cost for shipping. If you would like someone in town to either pack or store your personal items, we are happy to work with you to arrange for that, as well. Again, there is no need for you to move out now. We will call to discuss these details with you.

While we have worked to keep life as normal as possible for as long as possible, we must be supportive and compliant of local requests and expectations. This is part of being a good citizen of our community. I am deeply appreciative of the many faculty and staff members who are working hard and continuing to serve our students both near and far. 

Thank you all for your patience and support. I appreciate you keeping current and reading my emails.  Please continue to take care of yourselves.

A message from President Thompson - March 25

Dear Coyotes,

Happy Wednesday! It is beginning to look and feel like spring in Salina. I’m missing the daily interactions of lots of students on campus. I bet you are missing each other, too.

I hope the first week of online classes is going well. I had a chance to visit with several students who are on campus and they said things have generally been going smoothly. If this is not the case for you, please be contact your faculty member or advisor. Also, remember that you need to check in with each class this week (and your faculty will continue to take attendance in the online classes throughout the rest of the semester).

There are not a lot of new things to announce today. As you know, classes will remain online until the end of the semester. Residence Halls and Shriwise Cafeteria remain open. Memorial Library is open regular hours. There are great new resources for texting questions to our librarians to help you with your coursework and research. The Al Nelson Student Success Center is also open and providing services in person and online.

Residence Halls: In order to help with keeping a sense of who is on campus, we are switching the keys to the outside doors of all residence halls on Friday afternoon. If you are off campus, but plan to return to campus, you will need to connect with Student Development to get a new key. If you are returning to campus to just gather your personal items and move out, please also be in contact with Student Development (785-833-4522).

Move Out of Residence Hall: For students who live at a distance, we are in the process of finalizing a plan to assist with residence hall move out. We should have something to share next week. There is no push or requirement for you to move out at this time.

Registration: Please contact your advisor to register for summer and fall classes.

Thank you all for your patience and goodwill during this time. I hope you and your families are healthy and safe.

All the best,
MRT

A message from President Thompson - March 18, 11:41 a.m.:

Dear Students,

We hope you are well, and we hope you and yours are safe.

Please continue to check your email for these periodic updates. We are posting some videos online as well. Check out our Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube pages for those, which will be posted periodically over the next few weeks.

Academic Update: We have made the decision to move all courses online for the remainder of the semester, beginning on Monday, March 23. There will be no on-ground courses for the rest of the academic year. Because people have moved home or are not able to return to campus at this time, the online environment allows us to have one consistent delivery method for all students. No one needs to worry about being in Salina. What this means for you is that now you can connect to your courses and your faculty through Canvas. If you don’t have the Canvas app, now is a good time to download it. You can access all of your course materials on a computer or cell phone. Look for this logo in when searching for Canvas in your preferred app store

Nursing Students: Continue to follow the guidance of your nursing faculty about academic and class expectations. Pre-nursing students should follow the plan listed above, under “academic update”.

Your Faculty: Faculty are available to you in person, on the phone, by email, or virtually. Every faculty member is committed to at least 25 hours a week of “office time”, so please be in touch with them. They want to hear from you with questions, ideas, or concerns. They also want to help you register for classes if you have not done that. This week would be a good time to reach out to your advisor.

Be Patient: We know the online learning experience will be new for many of you. It is new for some of our faculty. There will likely be some confusion or missteps along the way on both sides of the learning environment. Faculty will provide you grace and I know you will provide them grace in return.

Internships, Practicums, Clinical Experiences: If you are currently enrolled in one of these educational experiences/classes, please be in touch with your advisor if you have any questions about completing the course as originally outlined. Your advisor will work with you, the provost, and the registrar’s office to make sure you can complete the needed hours. However, the experience may be different.

Campus Services: If you are in Salina or on campus, the cafeteria, residence halls, library, and the Student Activities Center all are open. Memorial Library will move to regular school hours beginning next Monday. Plus there are a ton of online resources there for you, too, to help with your classes (https://www.kwu.edu/academics/kwu-memorial-library).

All other academic buildings will close at 6 p.m. and be locked through the weekends. If you have a reason to be in the SAC or another (non-dorm) building after 6 p.m. or on the weekend, please be in touch with your coach or activity director. 

For those who have gone home, residence hall move-out procedures are being discussed and more information will be available soon. This will not mean that we are removing students from the dorm at this time. Rather, we are developing a plan to enable those students who are no longer on campus to get their belongings.  

Athletics: We are disappointed, though understanding, of the NAIA’s decision to cancel the remainder of the Spring athletic schedule. If you have questions about eligibility, please be in touch with your coach. All practices have moved to an individual format. The Athletic Training staff has daily office hours. If you would like to see Dan, Elizabeth, or Christian, please call or email them directly to set up an appointment. 

Activities, Concerts, and Campus Events: Based on the same CDC recommendation mentioned above, all student events have been cancelled for the remainder of the semester. Our joint production with Salina Community Theatre has moved to June. I look forward to seeing this funny and entertaining show at that time.

Intramurals: Next week, we will roll out our first esports intramural program. Stay connected with your classmates through the new bracket competition. Keep an eye out for these new offerings. T-shirts and prizes will be available – not to mention bragging rights.

Campus Ministries: As we begin classes next week, you will also hear about a new way to grow in your faith with other students and campus ministers. A new podcast, “Yotes Alive,” will replace Monday Night Alive. While FCA and Rooted gatherings have been suspended, there will be life group meetings on campus. Also, there will be opportunities for small groups of faith through new virtual formats. Please contact Scott Jagodzinske directly for more information.

We are currently in the process of calling every student. If you receive a call from your coach, advisor, or member of the staff, please take the call or call them back. We want to speak with everyone personally to check on them, answer questions, and make sure you are ready for next week.

A message from President Thompson - March 13, 1:31 p.m.:

Dear Kansas Wesleyan Students,

The situation surrounding the coronavirus remains extremely fluid.

This morning, the KCAC announced that it has indefinitely suspended all athletic-related practice, travel, and competition for the athletic programs for its member institutions, which includes Kansas Wesleyan. This decision will be reevaluated by the KCAC Board of Presidents in the coming weeks. Should there be a lifting of the suspension, a plan will be established with a date when practices can resume, followed by a subsequent date for the resumption of competition. At this time, Spring NAIA Championships have not been cancelled. (EDITOR'S NOTE: Please note that the NAIA cancelled all athletic activities March 16, and see above link for the press release.)

Please know that should the suspension be lifted and practices resume, missing conditioning or workouts in this situation will not affect future playing time or team status. Additionally, any informal practices or conditioning for out-of-season athletes is fully voluntary. Non-participation in these informal gatherings will not affect any future play time considerations. This university-wide mindset has been shared with our coaches and has the full support of the athletic department.

As a reminder, on-ground classes will resume in an online-only format on Monday, March 23. This means all of your class work and meetings will happen through Canvas in a virtual environment. You will not need to be on campus beginning March 23. MBA, RN to BS, and previously scheduled online eight-week courses will begin Monday, March 16 as originally planned.

A message from President Thompson - March 12, 11:10 a.m.: 

Dear Campus Community, 

We, like you, have been tracking and monitoring the serious and evolving issues related to the Coronavirus. In an abundance of caution, we have made the decision to suspend classes through Monday, March 23. Courses that were already scheduled to be online, i.e. second eight-week classes, RN to BS, and the MBA will begin as scheduled on Monday, March 16. During this time, we are asking our faculty to prepare to move classes online. We will then make a weekly decision each Wednesday about online versus on-ground classes. This decision will be communicated via the KWU email system.

The university will remain open, including campus offices, our residence halls and cafeteria. We know many of our students have important part-time jobs, internships, clinical sessions, and a need to be in Salina. For some, Salina may be a better option than being at home.

We have not made a decision to suspend all spring athletic competitions, practices, or other campus events. However, next week’s choir concert and the spring play will be postponed to dates to be determined. Other events are currently proceeding as scheduled, but the situation is constantly being reevaluated and changed as more information becomes available. We continue to be in conversation with our KCAC colleagues, regional partners, and the NAIA. As decisions are made, the campus will be notified.

Below is a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that I would encourage you to review. This list will be updated throughout the coming days. 

Sincerely, 

Matt Thompson
President & CEO, Kansas Wesleyan

CARES Act Information

August 31, 2020 Update

Kansas Wesleyan University signed and returned to the Department of Education the Certification and Agreement for funds under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to eligible students and received $863,444.  As of July 31, 2020, Kansas Wesleyan has spent funds as follows:

  • 408 students received a total of $799,772.  
  • 244 of those students are PELL eligible
  • 92.63% of the funds we received have been distributed to our students
  • Remaining funds of $63,672 have been used for items such as disinfectant and deep cleaning supplies and equipment, remote access equipment for faculty and staff, packing and storing student rooms, PPE and hygiene supplies for faculty, staff and students for FALL 2020.
  • Additional athletic equipment and supplies required due to eliminate shared equipment.
  • Signage regarding face coverings, hygiene and social distancing for campus facilities.
  • Providing housing and food services for students requiring quarantine/isolation prior to returning to campus and since classes have begun.  

July 31, 2020 Update

Kansas Wesleyan University signed and returned to the Department of Education the Certification and Agreement for funds under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to eligible students and received $863,444.  As of July 31, 2020, Kansas Wesleyan has spent funds as follows:

  • 408 students received a total of $799,772.  
  • 244 of those students are PELL eligible
  • 92.63% of the funds we received have been distributed to our students
  • Remaining funds of $63,672 have been used for items such as disinfectant and deep cleaning supplies and equipment, remote access equipment for faculty and staff, packing and storing student rooms, PPE and hygiene supplies for faculty, staff and students for FALL 2020.
  • Additional athletic equipment and supplies required due to eliminate shared equipment.
  • Signage regarding face coverings, hygiene and social distancing for campus facilities.

June 30, 2020 Update

Kansas Wesleyan University signed and returned to the Department of Education the Certification and Agreement for funds under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to eligible students and received $863,444.  As of June 30, 2020, Kansas Wesleyan has sent funds as follows:

  • 408 students received a total of $799,772.  
  • 244 of those students are PELL eligible
  • 92.63% of the funds we received have been distributed to our students
  • Remaining funds of $63,672 have been used for items such as disinfectant and deep cleaning supplies and equipment, remote access equipment for faculty and staff, packing and storing student rooms, PPE and hygiene supplies for faculty, staff and students for FALL 2020.

KANSAS WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY report on use of CARES ACT FUNDS

May 18, 2020

The CARES Act was approved by the federal government on March 27, 2020. This major stimulus bill made relief money available to higher education institutions to respond to coronavirus, including Kansas Wesleyan University. The university signed and returned to the U.S. Department of Education a Funding Certification and Agreement for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students on April 16, 2020; a Funding Certification and Agreement for the Institutional Portion of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Formula Grants on May 11, 2020; and a Funding Certification and Agreement for the Strengthening Institutions Portion of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Formula Grants on May 11, 2020.

Kansas Wesleyan was initially allocated a total amount of $823,462 by the government. Half of the funds KWU received ($411,731) were used solely for emergency student financial aid grants, as required by the CARES Act. The CARES Act allowed the university to use the second half of the funds ($411,731) more broadly for institutional costs associated with responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, as detailed below, the university used the vast majority of the institutional funds for additional student support. In addition, Kansas Wesleyan received $40,871 from the Strengthening Institutions portion of the CARES Act. These funds were used for providing emergency support to residential students no longer living on campus and costs associated with responding to the pandemic. A total of 450 students were eligible to receive and did receive money from the CARES Act funds obtained by KWU. All funds were distributed as of May 12, 2020.  

The CARES Act funds were used for three main purposes:

1)     Emergency aid for Pell-eligible students

2)     Emergency support for residential students who are no longer on campus

3)     Other institutional expenses associated with KWU's response to the pandemic

First, KWU distributed to all current, undergraduate, Pell-eligible students an emergency financial aid check for $500 to cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and childcare. The decision to prioritize the distribution of aid to Pell-eligible students was based on Department of Education guidance, which stated that universities should prioritize students with the greatest need. These checks were processed and mailed to each eligible student’s permanent address beginning on Friday, May 8, 2020.

Second, all current, undergraduate residential students who were no longer residing on campus as of May 1, 2020 received financial support at a rate of $306 per week times the number of weeks the student was not on campus (a minimum of 3 weeks up to a maximum of 8 weeks, which is when the second half of the semester would have regularly restarted after Spring Break). This support was for the student to cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and childcare. If the student had an outstanding food and housing balance as of May 1, 2020, then these funds were allocated from the institutional portion of KWU's CARES Act distribution and were applied to the student’s account as a reimbursement to the university. For students without an outstanding balance as of May 1, 2020, these funds were distributed via check and mailed to the student’s permanent address. Checks were mailed beginning Friday, May 15, 2020. (Please note: Residential student still living on campus as of May 1, 2020 were not eligible for these relief funds, since housing and food were still being provided.)

Third, remaining funds were used by the university for institutional expenses like the cost of extra cleaning supplies and support to get courses online for the second half of the semester.

This is how these amounts add up for the university:

Emergency aid for Pell-eligible students                                                       $122,000

Emergency support for residential students who are no longer on campus   $675,342

Other institutional expenses related to COVID-19 response                         $  66,991

Total                                                                                                               $864,333

Kansas Wesleyan decided to make this support available to undergraduate residential students, and undergraduate Pell-eligible students. The requirements of the CARES Act do not allow the university to distribute these federal funds to students who are exclusively online learners, graduate students, or not eligible for Title IV aid as determined by completing a FAFSA.

All students who received checks received the following printed statement about the use of these funds. The statement was enclosed in the envelope with the check.

With the passage of the federal government’s economic stimulus package, the CARES Act, KWU received over $800,000 in funds. The university was required to use over half of that amount for emergency student financial aid grants, but had freedom over the usage of the remainder. KWU has chosen to use nearly all of the remaining money for student support.

Please note that by accepting these funds, whether by cashing or depositing this check, you are agreeing that you are eligible to receive federal monies.

Thank you for your perseverance and diligence throughout what has been a semester unlike any other. Kansas Wesleyan plans to open for on-ground classes August 18. Everyone at KWU looks forward to seeing you, our students, back on campus this fall.

While not required to by the CARES Act, the university is pleased that this plan used more than 92% of the CARES Act funds for student support. The checks would not have been possible without the investment from the federal government.

Talking Points Regarding Fall Semester Plans - July 1 - Remains on this Page for Archival Purposes

Arrival

Students must sign up for an arrival time for move-in day. This will relieve congestion and crowding on these particular days. Student development and the KWU social media outlets will publish additional information on the sign-up process when available.

In addition, temperature testing and screening will be in place for both move-in days. No one who tests high (over 100.4) and answers negatively to screening questions will be allowed to enter the campus on those days. 

Cleaning

KWU is following CDC guidelines for cleaning in response to COVID-19. 

In classrooms and other specialized locations (labs, library, etc.), the university is providing hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes. The wipes have a one-minute kill time for the virus, while the disinfectant used in a full cleaning has a five-minute kill time. In other words, the wipes kill the virus significantly faster, albeit in a smaller radius. Students are asked to wipe down their classroom or lab space at the beginning of each session.

Residence Halls

Students will have roommates. Community restrooms will be cleaned twice a day and congregation will be limited. Common areas and study areas will be limited in the numbers who can gather. Certain stairwells will be designated for upward travel and others for downward travel.

Testing

Students, faculty and staff will be expected to self-check temperature and illness symptoms daily and not come to campus (or in the case of residential students, leave their residence hall) if ill. To this end, a welcome kit will be provided to everyone that will include a face covering, disposable gloves, a thermometer and other items. All individuals on campus will be allowed to wear face coverings, and it is expected that face coverings will be worn in classrooms during the first two weeks of classes.

Student-athletes, due to their inability to social distance during much of practices and competitions, will be tested via screening questions or temperature testing daily. 

Coursework

All regularly scheduled classes will take place in the classroom, but faculty will be prepared to provide for any student who may be required to enter quarantine or isolation during the semester. This may include posting lectures in Canvas, making them available through Zoom, or other methods. 

Webcams have been purchased for classrooms to aid in this process. 

Athletics

At this time, the only changes to the traditional NAIA calendar are that practices will begin August 15 and competition will begin September 5 for the majority of sports (September 12 for football). Further guidance is expected from the NAIA national office on or by July 1. 

Up-to-date athletics schedules are available on KWUCoyotes.com, and coaching staffs will communicate with athletes directly regarding any changes that will affect their programs. 

Possible Isolation and Quarantine (also may be referred to as exposure): 

Isolation is defined as staying completely at home. You are sick or have tested positive and should not leave your dwelling. Quarantine is the definition given to those who may have been exposed to COVID, but do not show any symptoms and have not been tested. They are asked to stay mostly inside, with extremely limited mobility.

If a student is required to quarantine or isolate prior to or during the semester, the student will be placed in county-designated housing, like a hotel. KWU will provide food service to the student for a small weekly fee (if prior to August 5). The student may also opt to stay with a friend or host family. If a student does this, it will not be possible for KWU to provide food service. 

If a student tests positive and is required to go into isolation, the Saline County Health Department will step in and coordinate where that student is to isolate. 

KDHE State Advisories

The Kansas Department of Health is requiring everyone who travels to certain states to self-quarantine for 14 days when they reach Kansas. As of June 30, that list is Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, and South Carolina, all international locations, and cruise ships. However, it is very possible more states could be added prior to the start of school. 

Here’s what you need to know: 

·       If you have short stops only (i.e. fuel, restroom, etc.) in one of those states, you are not required to quarantine.

For example, if Casey was coming from California and chose to drive south through Arizona to eat at a favorite road-trip diner, Casey would need to get the food to-go and drive on. If Casey did that, then Casey would not be subject to quarantine. If Casey is from a state on the list, or spends time and goes to a concert, eats in a restaurant, stays in a hotel or attends a movie in one of the listed states, Casey must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. Casey cannot quarantine in advance or before leaving home. 

As mentioned above, KWU is working with external sources regarding finalizing the precise details of the plan for those who need to go into quarantine during the Fall semester.

Those from the listed states are encouraged to return to Salina beginning July 22 for quarantine. If this is your plan, you need to register with Student Development (call 785-833-4339). 

Athletes from listed states will not be able to have physicals or begin practices until they have completed the 14-day quarantine. This is why we are encouraging early arrival for fall athletes. 

Any residential student from a listed state will not be able to move into the residence halls until they have completed the 14-day quarantine. 

If you have questions, you may contact the Student Development Office at 785-833-4339.  

FAQ's Regarding Fall Semester Moving Up - May 27 (note that much of this information changed as the situation changed)

Frequently Asked Questions for Early Semester Start

KWU is committed to providing a safe and healthy educational environment for our students and faculty. Our goal is to mitigate the potential for transmission of COVID-19 to our campus community while still providing a full, well-rounded collegiate experience. These FAQs discuss the steps we are taking to meet these goals. We will provide more detail closer to the return to campus date. 

Overview

Why did KWU make this decision? We have been discussing how best to serve our students and campus community throughout the pandemic. This particular approach is one that we have been reviewing and discussing with local health professionals and the campus community for several weeks. 

The short answer is that this decision was made in the best interest of our students. We believe that a full, well-rounded collegiate experience is best delivered on campus. Moving the start of the semester up gives us the best opportunity to deliver that experience.

Are other schools making similar decisions? Yes. At this moment, we are aware of Notre Dame and Creighton being among those who have opted to move their semester in a very similar fashion. We believe more schools will follow suit.

Why has fall break been eliminated, rather than reduced? By eliminating fall break, we both shorten the semester as much as possible and reduce potential student travel. Should cases of COVID-19 spike this fall, that reduction in travel could help keep both our students and our campus community safe.

Could the spring semester be adjusted as well? At this time, there are no plans to adjust the spring semester schedule, but the President’s Council and COVID-19 Task Force will continue to monitor the situation.

Academics

Will there still be a Reading Day? Finals will be scheduled to provide at least one day between the last course day and the final exam for the course. There will not be a stand-alone Reading Day, however, this day will serve a similar purpose.

Will there be an adjustment if COVID doesn’t affect the fall? No further adjustments to the fall schedule are planned at this time.

Will the full academic calendar be updated to reflect new deadlines, such as a new add/drop date? Yes, the calendar will be updated according to the new semester length, with deadlines clearly stated. These will be posted on the KWU.edu website. 

Does KWU have a plan for potentially going back online, should the fall semester require it? Faculty are preparing for the possibility of classes having to move online. This will include summer trainings. Further, Information Systems has purchased additional equipment to help with a possible transition to online or hybrid (a mixture of on-ground and online) delivery to enhance social distancing options. We are prepared for many possibilities, but our full intent remains to deliver all classes on-ground for the full semester. 

Are any courses being moved online as a preemptive measure? No.

How will this affect eight-week courses, such as the MBA? The start and end dates of eight-week courses will be clearly posted as a part of the academic calendar. These courses will adjust to follow the newly revised schedule. 

Will this affect nursing or teacher education, or other programs with a heavy element of learning outside the classroom? The Director of Nursing Education will provide details about clinical experiences, and students will be required to follow the schedule set for by the Department of Nursing Education. The earlier start date will align with USD 305. Thus, additional changes are not expected for Teacher Education. 

How will classrooms be adjusted to account for social distancing? If such measures are required, staff have analyzed room sizes to adjust accordingly, and we will have the technology to provide synchronous hybrid experiences to maintain social distancing. We are  in communication with local health officials to determine the latest needs and recommendations. 

Does this affect any enrollment deadlines? Yes, the last day that you can enroll in classes for Fall 2020 will be Monday, August 17. That will also be the last day to add or drop fall semester classes. 

Is there a plan for internships that may be affected by this change? There will still be a full 15-week schedule, plus final exam week. Thus, the timing for internships should remain the same, although we recognize that in rare situations, specific hours may have to be adjusted in order to fulfill academic requirements. 

Will a schedule be developed for finals, with this new timetable? Yes, finals will be scheduled for Saturday, November 21, Monday, November 23, and Tuesday, November 24. More specific times will be posted on the KWU.edu website. 

Is there a plan to continue instruction should a faculty member contract the virus and be unable to teach? Will students be able to continue coursework in that situation? Yes, KWU will ensure the continued availability of coursework and/or instruction should this situation arise.

Athletics

With basketball still in its regular season, the potential for fall sport playoffs and requirements for particular educational programs, does this move clear enough people off campus to merit the change? We believe that the answer is yes. Although a significant number of students may remain on campus for the above reasons, having fewer than normal during this time will allow for lessened interaction. Further, there will be a reduction in the number of students leaving campus and returning. This spring was a good example of that, when as many as 80 students remained on campus. We were able to limit interaction, restrict movement, and keep our campus community safe.

If athletics proceed forward, will games begin at an earlier date? At this point, games will be played as scheduled. That is subject to change via advice from the KCAC or NAIA. As we watch that advice, we will also be following NAIA guidelines, including an operational checklist to ensure all facilities and venues are safe for student-athlete participation. Any schedule changes will be communicated on our social media channels and at KWUcoyotes.com

How will this affect potential fall sport playoffs, including soccer, football and volleyball, and those student-athletes? At this time, KCAC and NAIA postseason events are scheduled to be played as originally planned. Any residential student-athletes still representing the university in postseason competition will be able to stay until the season concludes.

Will indoor track or bowling compete in December? Competitions for the indoor track and field season, as well as the seasons for the bowling programs, will begin in January. 

Are there plans in place to accommodate men’s and women’s basketball athletes, who will be in the middle of their season in December? Yes. Essentially, the break will look like an extended version of what those student-athletes experience each year. Kansas Wesleyan has incredible community support, including host families, who often come together to feed our student-athletes, as well as a first-class break meals program that places our student-athletes in many of Salina’s fantastic restaurants. Those who reside on campus will remain, as well.

Is Night With The Yotes altered by this plan? Night With The Yotes is proceeding forward as scheduled on August 15. We are in communication with our facility partners at Tony’s Pizza Events Center, and all indications are that we will have a great event as always!

Finances

Will this affect what I would otherwise owe the school? The amount charged for both tuition and housing will be the same for the early start and finish as it would be for the standard schedule. Dorms and meals will be provided for the same length of time as they would have been otherwise. Unless otherwise arranged and approved by the Business Office in advance, payment for Fall 2020 will be due and payable in full on August 1, 2020. If there is a reason to close campus and move to an online format, we will only provide a refund for missed meals, not for dorm rates.

Housing and Student Activities

If a student cannot immediately return home at the end of the fall term, is there a KWU representative they can speak with to discuss their situation? The student will need to contact the Student Development Office to work out a plan. You may call the office at (785) 833-4329. 

How will this change “Weeks of Welcome” activities? The activities that were planned for “Weeks of Welcome” will simply be moved up on the calendar. 

Will there be changes in the residence halls? There will be some changes made within the residence halls, including additional cleaning in residence hall bedrooms and restrooms. Other potential decisions are still being determined as KWU analyzes CDC recommendations. Right now, we know that we plan to increase signage across campus that will encourage students to be aware of distancing, of hand-washing, and of taking care of yourself (and by extension, others) if you are sick. We are also working with Sodexo to help ensure that any student that may have COVID-19 symptoms or otherwise who require self-isolation or quarantine can get access to food and necessities. This will help with keeping students from spreading illnesses. 

Will the cafeteria and dining services be open this fall? During the semester itself, there may be changes to the cafeteria flow or the layout of “The Den” to help limit congestion and to allow for additional cleaning.  

Is there a plan for campus-wide COVID-19 testing? At this time, there are no plans to have campus-wide testing. We will continue to monitor the situation, the availability and reliability of tests, and the recommendations of the health department in our area as we get closer to the move-in date. We will implement signage across campus, reminding students of the usage of PPE, to remain a safe distance apart and to not enter buildings if sick. We will also work with faculty to ensure students do  not attend classes if ill or if they have had close contact with someone with COVID-19 symptoms. We will limit attendance at events in accordance with health department recommendations. 

How will music ensemble rehearsals – usually done in close quarters – be conducted?The Department of Music is reviewing all information provided by both a coalition of national music organizations as well as genre-specific organizations to develop an approach that is both safe for students as well as conducive to the educational mission. An approach to rehearsals will be finalized prior to the start of school to allow for changing – and accurate – information, as well as regular consultation with KWU Plant Operations.

Campus and Community Events

Will theatre and music continue to have performances? An important part of both student learning outcomes and community outreach, performances are still planned for the fall semester. KWU will continue to be cognizant of both academic success and audience safety in both the scheduling and planning of these events. Again, reviewing best practices and consulting with Plant Operations will each be regular occurrences as we plan these events.  

How will this affect Christmas by Candlelight? The status of Christmas by Candlelight is still being reviewed due to the shortened semester, its earlier finish and possible commitments with community partners. While our educational mission is paramount, this long-standing Salina tradition is important to not only KWU, but our community as a whole. We will continue to consider ways to hold this event, and post any updates on the KWU website and social media outlets. 

Will fall graduation take place? Yes, fall graduation will take place on Friday, Nov. 20. 

How will this affect Commencement, now scheduled for August 15? Commencement remains scheduled for August 15. Seating may be limited at the event due to restrictions on the gathering size. More information on any restrictions or seating limitations will be available at KWU.edu/graduation2020 as the date draws nearer.

Is Homecoming and Family Weekend still going to take place in October? At this time, Homecoming and Family Weekend remains scheduled for October 23 through 25. The Advancement and MARCOM offices will be sending out materials in the coming weeks to formally announce the schedule. We look forward to seeing everyone back on campus to celebrate all things KWU

General Topics

Will KWU representatives continue to travel for recruitment or events? Travel for the admissions and advancement offices will be analyzed on a case-by-case basis, and any that is conducted will take place in accordance with CDC guidelines and recommendations. Both offices will continue to utilize virtual means to conduct visits when this is feasible.  

What happens to  students returning from domestic or international travel from locations with known widespread community transmission? Will they be required to quarantine? We recognize that the situation is extremely fluid, even on a county-by-county basis within the U.S., so we ask these students to be in communication with KWU prior to returning to campus. For example, the Kansas Department of Health & Environment (KDHE) has issued mandates on travel-related quarantines for international, domestic, and cruise-related travel requesting a quarantine for a period of 14 days starting from the day a person arrives in Kansas from certain locations. 

Are there plans to provide or require the usage of masks or other PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)? At this time, it will not be required to use a mask or face covering to be on campus. Individuals are strongly encouraged to use face coverings, in accordance with CDC recommendations, especially in situations where social distancing is not possible. Signage will be posted throughout campus indicating social distancing and other recommended safety measures. We encourage people to purchase/bring the PPE they are most comfortable using and be respectful of others' decisions with regard to PPE use and social distancing.  

Does KWU have an adequate supply of hand sanitizer and disinfectant? Yes, the university is well-stocked on both items and has regularly refilled sanitizer dispensers throughout campus. 

Does KWU have a plan in place, including necessary quarantine, for any student who may contract the virus? Is there sufficient space to quarantine those exposed? KWU is working on finalizing a plan and options for quarantine housing for any residential student who come in close contact with someone who has the virus, who is suspected of having the virus, or who tests positive for the virus. This is being consistently updated as CDC guidelines are revised and made public. Further, we will work closely with the Saline County Health Department to ensure the safety of our community.

GENERAL FAQs - Updated March 27 - Kept available for historical reference

Q: I am a student at KWU, and I have been exposed to the coronavirus over break/vacation/other. What should I do?

A: Consult with your local health care provider to determine an initial action plan. After doing that, call Student Development at 785-833-4325 to discuss setting up a plan. Do not return to campus.

Q: Are residence halls, student services, and KWU offices open?

A: Yes. The university will remain open, including campus offices, our residence halls and cafeteria. Some of our staff may be working from home for various reasons, and we are not accepting on-campus visitors during this time. Please be in contact with the admissions office to learn about our virtual tour options. 

Q: Are athletic events going on as scheduled?

A: No. The KCAC announced March 13 that it indefinitely suspended all athletic-related practice, travel, and competition for the athletic programs for its member institutions, which includes Kansas Wesleyan. The NAIA then, the following Monday, announced the cancellation of the remainder of the spring season, thus ending all athletic activities for the academic year. 

Q: I have heard that tests had to be sent off, and it takes multiple weeks to get an answer. Is Salina’s health system equipped for this?

A: Yes. There are test kits in Salina and the preliminary testing can now be done in a matter of 12-24 hours. If you have additional questions regarding local strategy, you can contact the Saline County Health Department directly at 785-826-6600.

Q: For those students who are on-ground, what is KWU doing to safeguard against coronavirus?

A: We are taking multiple steps to prevent the spreading of the virus, but even so, we have advised all who can safely return home to do so at this time. We have increased our supplies of hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes, two things that are among the top recommendations of health authorities. Both items will be placed in every classroom so students and faculty can wipe down items after use. We are also spraying much of our campus with a special disinfectant that kills the coronavirus

Q: How will community members learn more about KWU’s plan of response?

A: If you are a KWU faculty/staff member or a student, periodic emails will be sent out from the President’s office with any new information that has become available. If you are a supporter of the university, you can access information at www.kwu.edu/coronavirus. In addition, a 24-hour hotline has been established at 785-833-4515. The hotline is staffed 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Q: Is ___________ event cancelled or postponed? 

A: All student events have been either cancelled or postponed for the remainder of the semester. In addition, numerous campus ministry events have been suspended during this time, albeit with several replacements in the works.