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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.

Stay-at-Home Update (March 30):

Due to Gov. Kelly's stay-at-home order, issued Saturday, March 28, many employees are now working remotely. Our essential functions remain open to take care of our students, and offices are conducting business via conferencing tools throughout our region. Please reach out to their email addresses as they remain at the ready to do the work of the university. 

The following offices remain open on-ground:

Business office: 8 a.m.–5 p.m.

Post office: 9 a.m.–3 p.m.

Cafeteria: 

Monday through Friday      

Breakfast 8-10 a.m.

Lunch 12-2 p.m.

Dinner 5-8 p.m.

Late Night Bagged Meal 7:30-8 p.m. (Monday through Thursday only)

Saturday                                 

Brunch 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

Dinner 5–6:30 p.m.

Sunday                                    

Brunch 12–1:30 p.m.

Dinner 5–6:30 p.m.

IT, Security, Student Development: Hours vary by day

Tutoring services and library resources can be accessed virtually, with our employees at the ready to help students. Gyms, weight rooms, and the Graves Family Sports Complex are all closed at this time.  

Press Releases: 

March 18, 2020

March 13, 2020

March 12, 2020

Helpful Links:

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

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 - 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

FAQs - Updated March 27

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.