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:
Textbook Information Through eCampus Online – Additional Information Provided to Students Via Email 11:23 a.m. March 17, 2020
CARES Act Information (see below)
Messages from Campus Leadership
Please note that information in older messages may have changed. Please make sure you are reading the latest communications.
I hope this email finds you well. We continue to have low numbers of students ill due to COVID-19 (one current positive), but we are seeing increases in other illnesses across campus. This includes strep throat, among others. Please continue to practice good hand hygiene as you go through your daily routine.
We continue to ask all students to contact Dan O’Connell (daniel.o’[email protected]) and faculty/staff to reach out to Becky Mathews ([email protected]) if you test positive for COVID. Nursing students, please continue to follow the protocols that have been communicated to you previously.
This will be the last weekly email from the COVID Task Force, for now. You will continue to receive periodic updates as news warrants, and you may (of course) contact Becky Mathews, Dan O’Connell or myself at any time with questions or concerns.
Thank you for helping to keep the Coyote Pack safe!
I write today with excellent news.
Effective immediately, Kansas Wesleyan has shifted to a mask-optional policy in response to COVID-19. Face coverings are no longer required by university policy in classrooms, meetings or anywhere on campus.
This decision mirrors those made by numerous other institutions and businesses throughout the state and region. We believe it is right for us as well. COVID numbers are down significantly during the past month, and we are moving from a pandemic to an endemic stage.
The exception to the above rule will be private offices, where individuals may choose to require masks. Please respect anyone who may ask you to wear a mask in their office, and make sure you continue to have one on your person so that you may abide by their request.
In addition, the MARCOM office has signage regarding mask-wearing available for faculty and staff. Please be sure to use appropriate signage.
While the university will move away from mandates, anyone may choose to wear a mask on campus, whether faculty, staff or student. This is their right and we will respect anyone who chooses to do so. It will simply not be a requirement at this time.
In addition, students and faculty/staff may continue to report COVID symptoms and the like to Becky Mathews (HR for faculty and staff) and Dan O’Connell (head athletic trainer, reporting party for students). Dan, in particular, can help inform the Registrar so excused absences can be communicated to faculty. However, reporting is no longer required unless you have a positive test*. This may change some quarantine/isolation protocols. If you have questions regarding those changes, you may contact a member of the COVID Task Force directly.
Should there be a need, the task force will reexamine the statistics and may reinstitute mask-wearing rules or other reporting mandates. Today’s news is NOT an assurance that masks will never again be required. Rather, it is what is right for KWU in this moment, at this time and in this situation. We will move forward accordingly, and are thankful for the ability to make this decision.
I hope this email finds everyone well. We continue to be encouraged by the current state of COVID-19 on our campus, as we have just three positive cases at this time. Those are the only three people currently in quarantine or isolation. Our hospital remains stressed, but hospitalizations and overall cases are in a downward trend.
Please remember that the university will no longer pay quarantine or isolation expenses for students who test positive. This was a change announced previously, and it went into effect Tuesday. This is the case regardless of vaccination status. A COVID relief fund payment will be issued to students in mid-February, and we strongly encourage you to save that check for possible COVID-related expenses.
As winter weather begins today, we remind everyone to wear a mask in meetings, classrooms and labs, and to seriously consider doing so in indoors spaces where six feet of distance cannot be maintained. We know more people may be inside during these next few days, and do not want this to lead to a higher volume of cases.
Finally, students have been encouraged to stay home if they are sick. The COVID task force has worked to provide them with remote instruction opportunities and to communicate with faculty.
On behalf of the COVID Task Force, please note that there will be a COVID vaccine booster clinic Thursday, Feb. 3 in Muir Gym. The event will be held from 10-11:30 a.m. Please consider taking advantage of this opportunity to protect yourself and the Coyote pack.
If you have any questions, please reach out to Dan O’Connell at daniel.o’[email protected]
There is little new information this week regarding COVID-19. The health care system continues to be stressed with hospitalizations, the vast majority of which are either un-boosted or are unvaccinated entirely. Our numbers, however, remain quite low with two positive cases and we continue to do a good job protecting the overall health of our community.
Our masking policy remains unchanged. In addition, we continue to ask faculty and staff to wear a mask when around other members of their offices. With the high transmission rates of omicron, one positive case could force an entire staff into quarantine VERY quickly. Please protect your staff and the continued work of the university in this manner.
Thank you for your excellent work in maintaining the health of our campus and community,
Our COVID-19 case numbers, continue, as a campus, to be fairly low (5). Thank you for the vigilance that you are showing. It is helping!
A few reminders:
After February 1, KWU will not pay any new quarantine or isolation expenses. The university will continue to pay all expenses for vaccinated students through that date. Should a vaccinated student go into quarantine before that time and their quarantine doesn’t expire until after that date, KWU will pay the entire amount. However, should someone enter quarantine on Feb. 2, expenses would be their responsibility.
As a reminder, regardless of date and vaccination status, KWU will continue to aid with booking accommodations and, if a student stays in university-contracted lodging, to deliver meals.
On or around mid-February, a (potentially) final payment will be made to students from federal COVID-related relief funding. Students are strongly, strongly encouraged to save these funds for any future COVID-related expense.
We strongly encourage faculty and staff to wear masks when interacting with others in their offices, especially when that interaction lasts several minutes. One positive case could, in theory, make several in an office have to quarantine and set back the work of the university.
Please continue to report all need for testing and positive cases to Becky Mathews (faculty/staff) and Dan O’Connell (students), and do so prior to the test, not during your waiting period.
Thank you again for your dedication to keeping our campus healthy and safe.
It’s a great week to be a Coyote! Classes kicked off on Tuesday, and there is great energy on campus with all of the students back.
Let’s start this week’s update with the bad news. Cases of COVID-19 in Saline County are up significantly. The hospitals are beginning to be taxed once again, and vigilance is necessary when out in the community.
However, while we have 10 students currently positive, virtually all of them tested as such before coming to campus. Only three have received positive tests since returning to KWU. This is good news! In addition, a significant portion of those hospitalized due to the Omicron variant – at least in Saline County – are either unvaccinated or have not received a booster vaccine. For those who have breakthrough cases, many have cold-like symptoms, often quite minor. This is also good news.
KWU will stay the course with its current strategy, including masking in classrooms, labs and meetings where six feet of distance cannot be maintained. In addition, staff and faculty are advised to wear masks in intra-office meetings to protect the viability of institutional work. If one team member has to go into isolation and masks weren’t worn, an entire office could be out for weeks at a time.
Students are strongly encouraged to wear masks when in the community, especially if you are around people you haven’t seen in some time. This is a way to protect yourself, the community, and the campus.
Regarding the recent CDC quarantine change from 10 to 5 days, we expect to hear from the county this week regarding their adaptation (or amendments) to these guidelines. The COVID-19 Task Force will review the county’s comments, and will provide guidance for the campus in the coming days.
Please continue to contact Dan O’Connell (students) or Human Resources (faculty/staff) if you will be out due to issues related to COVID-19.
Thank you for the gifts and talents each of you brings to KWU!
Spring semester to begin as scheduled
Two positive cases with early returners
Unvaccinated individuals will continue to be required to pay all expenses associated with quarantine/isolation
The university will continue to pay quarantine/isolation housing expenses for vaccinated individuals through Feb. 1.
Coyote students and families,
As we prepare to begin the Spring semester, I wanted to update you regarding the latest details about COVID-19 in the Salina area.
To begin, we will not delay the start of our semester. We will begin as previously scheduled, with check-in for new students occurring Sunday, Jan. 9. Residence halls will also open for returning students on Sunday, Jan. 9. Classes will begin on-ground Tuesday, Jan. 11.
While we are aware of some universities pushing back their openings or shifting to online work, the majority of these changes are taking place on the east and west coasts, where virus activity is greater. In Saline County, many of the numbers we are seeing are comparable to last August. Caution is still required and vaccination is strongly encouraged, but our data tells us that we should proceed. For example, we have brought back nearly 100 students as of January 3, many of whom have been directly tested due to their athletic responsibilities. We currently have two positive cases among that group.
Our indoor mask mandate for meetings, classrooms and labs, remains in effect.
Now then: If you have been a close contact or are experiencing symptoms, DO NOT ATTEMPT to return to campus! This is critical. Fulfill your isolation and quarantine and take care of your health. Contact Dan O’Connell, and he will reach out to the appropriate academic personnel to let them know of your delay in return. For those in quarantine, arrangements can be made to be in class via Teams. If you are delayed in returning, you still need to attend class and complete early assignments to verify your attendance.
During the semester, students who are isolated or quarantined or who are monitoring symptoms will also use Teams. If you are experiencing symptoms, let Dan know and we will work together to make sure everyone gets the information needed. Do not attempt to ‘power through’ or come to class ill.
As was the case in the fall, if a student is unvaccinated, quarantine/isolation expenses will be their responsibility. If you have not, consider getting the vaccine as soon as possible!
For those who are already vaccinated, the university will continue to pay quarantine/isolation expenses through Feb. 1. After that date, KWU will continue to aid with booking accommodations and, if a student stays in university-contracted lodging, to deliver meals. Any expenses, however, will be the student’s responsibility.
We recognize this is a change in practice from the fall semester. However, the housing cost assistance has been made possible due to government relief funds. Business and organizations – and their employees – are now needing to make plans, independent of that aid. Further, almost all students will be receiving federal COVID-related relief funding. The February 1 deadline allows the university to support students as they return to campus and for a three-week transition period.
On or around Feb. 1, a (potentially) final payment will processed for students from federal COVID-related relief funding. We believe this will be the final such payment provided through the government’s COVID-related relief bills. Students are strongly, strongly encouraged to save these funds for any future COVID-related expense.
KWU has an agreement with a local hotel to provide rooms to COVID-affected students for approximately $50 per night. At this time, we expect that agreement to continue for the remainder of the school year. Any student in need of quarantine/isolation lodging would be able to take advantage of that rate.
Finally, please know that we are aware of the recent CDC changes to quarantine/isolation guidelines. Our local authorities are reviewing these changes and we will adapt our university-wide policies accordingly, as needed.
Travel safely – we look forward to seeing everyone back on campus!
Welcome to finals week! I hope everyone has been able to enjoy the early portions of the holiday season, including the special events that Student Development has provided throughout the last few days.
We continue to have very low numbers of COVID-19 cases, with just one positive currently. Fueled by this and other considerations, the COVID-19 task force made a decision this morning regarding the first two weeks of the spring semester. There was strong consideration given to returning to an indoor mask mandate, in order to reestablish a bubble. However, due to the low number of cases throughout this semester, the campus will open next semester with its current masking policy. As a reminder, that policy is included below.
While this may excite everyone, I offer a word of caution. Should case numbers in Salina rise significantly during Christmas break or the Omnicron variant become more of a concern, it is possible that we will shift course. The campus could still go back to a full mask mandate. We will be watching the news regularly throughout the month of December and will act as needed.
All students, faculty and staff are responsible for checking their KWU email appropriately, knowing the current policy and having necessary masks before returning to campus. Move-in day is January 9, and staff return to work six days prior, Jan. 3.
Once again, here is the campus’ current indoor mask policy.
ALL individuals – regardless of vaccination status – are required to wear masks:
· in ALL classes and labs, regardless of distance between individuals
· in individual offices when requested (signs are posted)
· in formal meetings (gatherings outside of classes/labs) when a six-foot distance cannot be maintained.
The University requests that all unvaccinated individuals, including students, faculty and staff wear a mask:
· in all indoor public spaces
· in all meetings occurring outside of class or lab time.
This is not a “mandate,” but is in accordance with CDC recommendations and guidelines.
Please note that a class cannot be considered a meeting for the purposes if this rule. If you are in a class, regardless of distancing, you must wear a mask.
This will be my final email to campus until January, barring unforeseen circumstances. I wish everyone a restful and joyous Christmas season.
Happy Holidays to everyone!
We have a trio of positive COVID cases currently, all of which have been off-campus, and our county-wide trends are encouraging. However, with few exceptions, we have seen an increase in cases after breaks. Therefore, we continue to remind everyone of the current, unchanged face covering policy.
ALL individuals – regardless of vaccination status – are required to wear masks:
- in ALL classes and labs, regardless of distance between individuals
- in individual offices when requested (signs are posted)
- in formal meetings (gatherings outside of classes/labs) when a six-foot distance cannot be maintained.
- in all indoor public spaces
- in all meetings occurring outside of class or lab time.
This is not a “mandate,” but is in accordance with CDC recommendations and guidelines.
Please note that a class cannot be considered a meeting for the purposes of this rule. If you are in a class, regardless of distancing, you must wear a mask.
Thank you, and once again, Happy Holidays!
I hope this email finds everyone well. Our Covid cases remain very low with currently one positive case.
With the change last week in our broad campus mask mandate change, we know there has been some minor confusion. Here are some details that we hope provide clarity.
- ALL individuals – regardless of vaccination status – are required to wear masks in classes and labs, in individual offices when requested (signs are posted) and in formal meetings (gatherings outside of classes/labs) when a six-foot distance cannot be maintained.
- We request that all unvaccinated individuals, including students, faculty and staff wear a mask in all indoor public spaces, as well as in all meetings occurring outside of class or lab time. This is not a “mandate,” but is in accordance with CDC recommendations and guidelines.
Please let us know if you have any further questions.
I write today with news about changes to our campus mask mandate. We had completed several consecutive weeks with no cases on campus, until two individuals tested positive this past week. Due to these low numbers, we believe we are in a position to transition our mask mandate plan. Based on the information available to us, we have made the following decision with cautious support from the Saline County Health Department.
Effective immediately, Kansas Wesleyan’s indoor mask mandate will change. Masks will be required only in classrooms, laboratories, meetings where social distancing is not possible (individuals are within six feet of each other for 15 minutes or more), and individual offices that request mask wearing. Mask wearing will continue to be encouraged in all indoor areas.
We are a pack and must continue to honor and respect the needs of our community members. KWU – no doubt – has immunocompromised individuals on the faculty and staff. Were one of these individuals to request mask wearing in their spaces, they have the ability and right to do so. There does not need to be a defense for this request or any sort of proof. Individuals may require this simply to maintain a comfort level. Therefore, please keep a mask on your person out of respect for your fellow Coyotes. This mantra, protecting and respecting each other, has carried us through the past 20 months. We trust it will continue to carry us forward. Also, we will collectively support those who choose individually to wear a mask at any venue or location on campus.
In addition, it is requested that unvaccinated individuals wear masks in all indoor public spaces, as indicated on door signs throughout campus. This request will not be ‘policed,’ however, and the wearing of any sort of face covering outside of the aforementioned areas (classrooms, laboratories, certain meetings, and offices that request it) will be a matter of personal choice and comfort.
Please also know that the relaxation of this policy does NOT mean our campus will never again require masks. Should there be an uptick in cases, we will revert to the indoor mask mandate. Further, plans are currently being developed for the start of the spring semester. While quarantines are not currently on the table, mask wearing is being strongly considered for early in the semester. We must continue to be adaptable and flexible as we move forward.
This is a positive moment, and we thank everyone for the work that allowed us to get here. We need to collectively remain adaptable, flexible and cautious as we move forward. I, and the rest of the COVID Task Force, are thankful for each of your continued efforts.
As we close in on fall break, I wanted to issue a few quick reminders from the COVID task force.
Dillon’s is currently offering a $50 gift card as incentive for receiving each dose of the COVID vaccine. While KWU’s incentive has passed, this means that you can still earn $100 for being fully vaccinated.
Speaking of vaccination, please continue to notify Becky Mathews (faculty and staff) and Dan O’Connell (students) if you receive a COVID vaccine. We are tracking our vaccination numbers as a university.
Don’t forget that KWU will offer a flu shot clinic Oct. 19 in Muir Gym, from 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Finally, we have no current positive cases and just one person in quarantine or isolation. These are great numbers, but as always, these could turn to the negative side quickly with poor decision-making. Please make wise choices over break for the safety and health of our community.
There is not much new information to report this week. Booster shots for the Pfizer vaccine are now approved for people who meet certain criteria, including those with underlying health conditions. We encourage you to consult your physician if you believe you may be in this group.
We also want to pass along that Saline County’s drive-through flu clinic – which will include the option for Covid vaccinations – is set for October 13. We will provide more information to the campus as it becomes available. KWU will be offering a flu clinic on October 19th from 10am-11:30am.
It is encouraging that we currently only have one positive Covid case and four in quarantine. This is good news and it is wonderful to have a fall break this year. We encourage everyone to make good choices next week that will have a positive impact on our campus.
Here is this week’s COVID-19 update.
- Things are beginning to improve here in Saline county. We remain in an area of high risk, but are migrating toward the low end of that spectrum. The virus appears to be moving west, as hospitalizations are increasing in western and southwestern Kansas.
- While we do have more than 30 students currently in quarantine, we anticipate a large number leaving during the next few days.
- The above points are excellent news, however, there remains a great deal of risk. One need look no further than Idaho – https://apnews.com/article/health-public-health-coronavirus-pandemic-idaho-a0729894b42af1c3dadeccaffeabea0c – to see what still could happen. Please continue to be vigilant as we close in on fall break.
There have been questions from various members of the Coyote family about COVID-related matters. Here are some answers!
- The $100 vaccination incentive – for students – will be finalized this week. There will be an email sent to eligible students in the next few days providing instructions on when and where to pick up the check.
- For faculty and staff, the incentive will be a part of the Sept. 24 payroll.
- Speaking of faculty and staff, there are no details thus far from OSHA regarding President Biden’s order of two weeks ago. In case you missed it, the order directed OSHA to develop a policy that would require all employers (with more than 100 employees) to mandate full vaccination. We will continue to monitor the situation and report to campus.
- Please remember to use Teams correctly. It is an option for those who may be in quarantine – or experiencing COVID-like symptoms – to continue to attend class. Should a student need to utilize Teams, the COVID-19 protocol dictates that the student name will be provided to faculty, by the registrar’s office, as soon as possible. However, students are strongly encouraged to contact your professors directly as well to let them know about the situation. Teams is a great option, and we want to make sure everyone uses it appropriately.
I trust everyone had a relaxing, safe weekend, and that you were able to spend time with your families. I wanted to write due to an announcement that was made Sept. 9. President Biden instructed OSHA to develop a rule that will require all U.S. employers with more than 100 employees to ensure their workforces are fully vaccinated. Provisions are expected for testing out of vaccination, likely at one test per person per week, and other exemptions are possible. However, as I’m sure you can tell, this mandate is a significant departure from the current standards. Many questions remain, as you can read at this link: https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2021/09/13/business/biden-vaccine-order-consumer-ceo/index.html.
Please know that Kansas Wesleyan is working with its legal counsel to understand the details of implementation, and we will address the campus as we learn more.
I hope this email finds everyone well – I will be very brief. Our COVID case numbers are currently trending downwards. We have no positive COVID cases on campus and two pending test results. However, we remain in a high risk area according to the CDC. Therefore, our mask policies will continue.
We also would like to remind everyone of the importance of making good choices. At this time last year (just after Labor Day), we began to see an uptick in cases. This is not cause for fear, but simply for caution. Please continue to be aware of your surroundings, make wise decisions, wear your mask when needed, and consider vaccination if it is an option for you.
I hope everyone is staying well as we approach Labor Day.
Here’s the latest information on COVID-19:
- We are seeing a positive trend regarding KWU’s cases. All of the positive cases we’ve seen this semester have been through off-campus exposure at large gatherings or through personal contact at home. We are not seeing on-campus spread.
- We currently have seven positive cases. Two of these are fully vaccinated individuals.
- You may ask, “If I can get COVID-19 anyway, why should I get vaccinated?” 89% of SRHC’s hospitalized patients are unvaccinated. While you may get COVID-19 despite vaccination, you are much less likely to require hospitalization.
There has been a decline in adult hospitalizations across Kansas during the past week. However, our local hospital remains at capacity.
We are encouraged by these statistics, and want to encourage you to make wise choices this Labor Day. Avoid crowded unmasked indoor gatherings such as bars, mask up in the residence halls and the locker rooms. Choose outside gatherings, wear your mask and keep safe distances.
I hope everyone enjoyed the slightly cooler weather this weekend and that classes are going well.
As you know, we had multiple cases (four) of COVID-19 reported on campus during the last few days. We, along with the majority of Kansas, continue to be an area with high community transmission. In short, this means significantly higher risk of COVID-19.
Here’s what you need to know at this time:
- The on-campus, indoor mask mandate will continue for the foreseeable future. The COVID Task Force will meet regularly to assess, but local and regional trends point toward this mandate needing to remain in place for at least several weeks. In addition, visitors from outside our campus ‘bubble’ will be welcome to wear masks at outdoor events, should they choose.
- This decision is based off of this map: https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#county-view. This helps show the importance of wise decision-making as we go about our lives.
- Plans are to schedule another on-campus vaccination clinic in the coming weeks. Please monitor your email if interested.
- Please remember that if you are not fully vaccinated and have to quarantine, you are responsible for the expense involved.
- We are hearing reports of individuals not having masks with them when indoors. At this point, it is reasonable to expect everyone to have at least one mask. Whether coming from practice or an event, you need to have a mask with you when going indoors. While it is human to forget – and we’ve all done it! – offices are NOT equipped with extra masks to help. You will be told to return to your residence hall or off-campus housing to get a mask, no matter the situation.
- At least one of KWU’s four recent cases came from a large, off-campus gathering. Remember that meeting outside, where air flows freely and distancing is easier, can limit the spread of the virus and create a much safer environment. Many of the events for Homecoming Weekend are being rescheduled outdoors because of this.
Please continue to make wise choices to keep our campus safe and healthy.
We are hearing reports of a COVID-19 outbreak on campus. These reports are false.
We received word today of two positive cases among our student body. Both of these positive cases are now off-campus. There is no danger to the student body at large and once again, outbreak reports are false.
Approximately 35 students will enter quarantine due to direct contact.
Here’s what you need to know:
- Remember the meaning of and reason for quarantine. This does not mean that 35 students have symptoms or are suspected to have COVID. It simply means that they are unvaccinated and have come in direct contact with the individuals who tested positive. If you’re a member of an athletic team, musical group or other activity, it’s easy to be around 10-12 individuals at a time. Those contacts add up!
These 35 individuals are in the process of leaving the residence halls. They will be in off-campus dwellings for the next several days and may receive meals from campus.
- Remember the protocol. Your first point of contact, if you have symptoms or believe you may be a direct contact, should be Dan O’Connell (daniel.o’[email protected]). You are welcome to contact local health practitioners and facilities, but in order to let other potential contacts know, Dan must be aware of your situation. He can also help you arrange tests quicker than you could find elsewhere.
- Think about the financial ramifications. Please remember that if you are unvaccinated and test positive or need to quarantine, you are financially responsible for your lodging off-campus. A member of the COVID task force, however, will assist you in booking and scheduling the room.
- Remember the vaccination timeline. Several individuals who were quarantined today began the vaccination process in the last 48 hours. However, they were not fully vaccinated yet. Remember that you must be two weeks after your final dose to be considered “fully vaccinated” and thus, be omitted from the majority of situations that would require quarantine.
Finally, I would urge you to not use the term “outbreak” in these situations. While the entire COVID dynamic has been stressful, uncertain and tumultuous for us all, adding a word like outbreak can cause unnecessary fear among your fellow students. The first weeks of college can be difficult for many, and adding in additional stress and concern can make the road ahead even tougher.
Please know that we are here for all of you, that the campus continues to be safe and that we are constantly working through this situation, together, as one.
Janeane M. Houchin, MSN, RN
I hope everyone is well, and having a great first few days of class! As the chair of the KWU COVID-19 Task Force, Dr. Thompson has asked me to begin sending the weekly messages to campus. I’m pleased to assume this role and share the outcomes of our work.
As you may know, the task force had previously mandated the indoor wearing of face coverings through August 18. The evidence does not yet show whether our mask-wearing is the reason for our limited issues with the virus so far this semester. Cases in Salina, and Kansas as a whole, continue to rise, and we have a responsibility as good citizens to protect those we can.
Tomorrow (August 20) will mark two weeks since returning students came back to campus. Passing this deadline will give the task force more data to use in making its decision, and the group will reconvene Monday, August 23 to discuss further.
Therefore, we have made the decision to extend the mask wearing protocol through Wednesday, August 25.
Please continue to make every effort to protect yourself and others. Thank you for your attention and your adherence to this guideline.
Happy First Day of Classes! It has been a great orientation and welcome week so far, filled with new faces and great experiences! The energy on our campus has been tremendous, but in order to keep that energy up, here are brief comments regarding our current COVID-19 protocols.
- We do not have an update or decision at this time regarding continuing our mask mandate protocol. The current KWU order runs through August 18. Right now, we have not implemented additional restrictions. For example, when we started a mask mandate last year, we also began social distancing requirements in classrooms, practicing in pods and other, similar measures. These have not been started yet, but could begin quickly if needed.
- All students should continue to report any questionable health-related symptoms to Dan O’Connell (Daniel.o’[email protected]). This helps faculty know that you need to be on Teams.
- When I speak to our faculty and staff as a group, I often mention the concept of continuous improvement. This is the culture we work every day to establish at KWU, one where we regularly go to the next level in order to assure spectacular collegiate experiences for you, our students! Right now, we are seeing numerous individuals walk through campus buildings either unmasked or wearing a mask incorrectly. We are falling short in this area. Therefore, faculty and staff members will be encouraged to monitor mask usage and engage with you, the student, regarding the topic if needed. You may be sent to your residence hall, car, or off-campus residence to retrieve a mask, if you are not wearing one. Wearing masks again is not what we wanted, but we are in this together and together, we must remain. We recognize that people will forget a mask on occasion. That’s part of being human! I did just yesterday morning and had to return to my house to get it. However, continuous improvement in this area will help not only safeguard our campus, community and the university experience, but it may help stave off the need for other, more serious COVID-19 protocols. Thank you for your understanding and compliance with this important standard.
As a reminder, free COVID-19 vaccine clinics will be on campus tomorrow (August 12) and next Thursday, August 19. Please consider taking advantage of this convenient opportunity.
All the best,
Preparations are well underway for your return to Salina this week, and we are thrilled to welcome you to campus! Remember, August 4 is new student check-in day and August 6 is returning student check-in day. All students, both those living on-campus and off, must check in on those days.
Today, I wanted to write briefly regarding the latest discussion and decisions surrounding KWU’s COVID-19 protocols.
Based on being prudent and recreating a campus “bubble,” we have decided to require face coverings for all individuals on campus, regardless of vaccination status, beginning Wednesday, August 4. This policy will be in place in all indoor public spaces, or when social distancing is not possible in private offices. We have made this decision in consultation with local health officials. With students returning to campus from all across the country, we want to do our part to safeguard both the campus and the Salina community.
We will have this expectation in place for at least the first two weeks, and our COVID-19 team will continue to meet weekly to evaluate the campus’ needs. We will reevaluate the policy following this initial two-week period, and it may be extended, discontinued or modified.
With this decision, we ask three things of our campus community, the Coyote pack:
1) Please bring at least one mask, and preferably more, with you when you come to campus.
2) Whenever the mask mandate concludes, individuals wearing a mask will be respected for their decision. Even though I am vaccinated, following CDC guidelines, you may see me wearing a mask. Remember that some individuals have been advised by medical professionals not to receive the vaccine and others may have religious reasons for not being vaccinated. This means that, for these individuals, face coverings may be their best means of protection. Regardless of why a face covering is worn, we are a campus that respects widely varying belief systems and personal choices. While we may be required to alter certain policies (such as face coverings) in an emergency, that underlying respect does not – and must not – change in the face of adversity.
3) With that said, we want to make sure everyone is safe while returning to campus. We do strongly encourage everyone to get a vaccine, if it falls within their beliefs. To that end, we are offering a $100 incentive to all KWU-affiliated individuals who are or get vaccinated. Please see the area below my signature block for that information. We also will offer free vaccination clinics on August 12 and 19 for all faculty, staff or students who wish to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
Please travel safe as you return to campus. It’s going to be a great year!
All the best,
In an effort to keep the KWU pack and community safe, while respecting the personal choices of individuals, we are offering a $100 incentive to KWU-affiliated individuals who are or get vaccinated.
- You must have received your first dose after January 1 and prior to August 20, 2021.
- If you are already vaccinated and want to receive the incentive, you must provide a copy of your vaccination card to:
- All students (including graduate assistants) – Dan O’Connell, Head Athletic Trainer
- All faculty and staff – Becky Mathews, Human Resources
- A couple of specific notes:
· By federal guidelines, this is a taxable incentive.
· If you are unable to receive the vaccine for health or religious reasons, then you are not eligible for the $100 incentive.
KWU will have on-campus COVID-19 vaccine clinics August 12 and 19, for students, faculty and staff who want to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Although the clinic will be free, participants are requested to bring their health insurance information.
Dear KWU Community,
Summer is rapidly coming to a close and classes begin in just 3 weeks! I’m writing today with an update on the KWU campus procedures related to COVID. We continue to closely monitor national and regional information related to the pandemic.
At this time, we plan for the university to open in a traditional capacity. Masks will not be required, but all are welcome to wear one. We highly encourage all students, faculty, and staff to get vaccinated. In fact, we will pay every vaccinated person $100 (see more below my signature block about the details). We will provide a free vaccine clinic on campus, although I would suggest you get your vaccine this summer. Most vaccines require three weeks between the first and second dose (for Moderna and Pfeizer). Some people have a variety of side effects and it might be easier to respond to those in your own home. (My wife, Jen, had no side effects. On the other hand, I slept for almost 24-hours after receiving my first dose. Again, everyone is different.)
If you have any questions about the vaccine, please be in touch with Dan O’Connell, KWU’s head athletic trainer (dan.o’[email protected] or 785-833-4463).
We are very excited to have you back on campus. This summer we initiated more than $2.5 million of campus improvements including updates to the residence halls with a new keycard system for each building, upgrades to the WiFi on campus (which will be completed by January), significant Biology lab and classroom changes, a new digital scoreboard in Mabee Arena, a new student housing parking lot, and a number of other smaller enhancements. All of these won’t be completely finished by August 4. (I’m sure you’ve seen delays in things you or your family has tried to order in the last few months. The same is true for us on these projects. Regardless, when the work is finished, it’s going to be great!)
See you on Wednesday, August 4, for new students and Friday, August 6, for returning student check in. All students, whether you are residential or commuter, will need to check in the SAC on the appropriate day.
All the best,
Matt Thompson, Ph.D.
President and CEO
Kansas Wesleyan University
- You must have received your first dose after January 1 and prior to August 20, 2021.
- All students (including graduate assistants) – Dan O’Connell, Head Athletic Trainer
- All faculty and staff – Becky Mathews, Human Resources
- A couple of specific notes:
- By federal guidelines, this is a taxable incentive.
- If you are unable to receive the vaccine for health or religious reasons, then you are not eligible for the $100 incentive.
KWU will have an on-campus COVID-19 vaccine clinic August 19, for students, faculty and staff who want to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Although the clinic will be free, participants are requested to bring their health insurance information.
If you have any questions, please be in touch with Student Development at (785) 833-4329.
Hope you are having a great summer, so far.
You have, no doubt, heard stories of colleges and universities throughout the country requiring COVID-19 vaccines for students, faculty and staff. KWU is approaching this differently. We are focused on campus health and financially supporting our community. In an effort to keep the KWU pack and community safe, while respecting the personal choices of individuals, we are offering a $100 incentive to KWU-affiliated individuals who are or get vaccinated.
- You must have received your first dose after January 1 and prior to August 20, 2021.
- If you are already vaccinated and want to receive the incentive, you must provide a copy of your vaccination card to:
- All students (including graduate assistants) – Dan O’Connell, Head Athletic Trainer
- All faculty and staff – Becky Mathews, Human Resources
- A couple of specific notes:
- By federal guidelines, this is a taxable incentive.
If you have any questions, please be in touch with Student Development at (785) 833-4329.
All the best,
The weather has turned to the rainy season here in Salina, with higher than normal humidity to boot. I hope you are enjoying some down time, whether it be with family, friends or simply alone.
Activities surrounding the 2020-21 school year are winding down, as athletic events are wrapping up. Congratulations to men’s golf’s Troy Watson for earning NAIA All-American honors last week! The team finished 16th and Troy was the first player in program history to be named a First Team All-American. Women’s golf was scheduled to start its national appearance yesterday, while track and field starts NAIA Nationals tomorrow. Good luck to all participants!
This will be my final weekly email until approximately mid-June, when the preparations for your return to campus increase. If you need anything in the interim, please reach out to Student Development at (785) 833-4329.
All the best,
Good afternoon Coyotes,
Congratulations to our graduates! Saturday’s ceremony was wonderful, and I speak for our entire campus when I thank Montric Santee ’12 for her inspiring words.
Now then…I am sure that, with commencement now completed, the question on everyone’s mind is, “Will the mask mandate continue?”
The answer is no.
The City of Salina unanimously ended its mandate Monday night, joining a long list of Kansas cities and municipalities to do so. The mandate will officially end later this week when the repeal is officially published. Kansas Wesleyan will follow suit in ending its requirement, effective immediately. One will no longer be required to wear a mask on the KWU campus.
However, if you visit KWU, you will continue to see signage on the exterior of the buildings that encourages COVID-related precautions. We will encourage the wearing of masks by individuals who cannot maintain three feet of distance, or who are not fully vaccinated. Individuals will also have the right to request visitors to their offices wear masks or maintain appropriate distance, and as a campus, we will respect those choices. No one should be made to feel unwelcome because of wearing a mask.
KWU will also continue preventative measures, such as extra cleaning and usage of air filtration systems that kill COVID-19.
We acknowledge that there is risk in lifting this mandate, however, that risk is always present to some degree. Risk was a part of our lives even before COVID-19. We believe that the evidence shows us that this is the right time to take this step. Should circumstances change, we will revisit this policy as needed.
We are thankful for those who have walked this road with us, and now are rewarded with this positive step in our journey to normalcy. The journey is not over, but we hope to see additional steps forward in the weeks and months to come.
Today’s email replaces my typical Wednesday email. Have a wonderful rest of the week.
All the best,
- If you wish to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, there are several local pharmacies providing opportunities. Learn more at https://www.vaccines.gov/.
I hope each of you is finding time to unwind and destress in the middle of finals week! For those of you who are seniors, this is a wonderful time, filled with anticipation for what’s to come. The faculty, staff and administration are excited for each of you. We have a number of special recognitions planned throughout this week!
Speaking of which, I hope you were able to view the Baccalaureate service, which was shown virtually on Sunday afternoon. If not, I encourage you to hear from several members of the Class of 2021 deliver inspiring remarks and listen to our talented Music students perform. If you missed it, you can watch it on demand here: https://portal.stretchinternet.com/kwu/portal.htm?eventId=645724&streamType=video.
Many of the traditional senior awards were presented virtually as well. Part one was shown on the KWU YouTube, Twitter and Facebook pages yesterday. Part two can be seen here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOp9ibChjOI – and will be live on social media later this week. KWU is thankful for the contributions of these individuals, and all of our seniors, to the vibrancy of our campus community!
I also hope you were able to read the articles on Paula Rolph and Brett Stindt that were posted recently on KWU.edu/about/news. Nearly 5,000 people saw the article about Brett on Facebook! These seniors are just two of the many who will move on to great things after graduation.
The final two events of the week will be the Nursing Pinning on Friday, May 14 at 5:30 p.m. and, of course, the 2021 commencement ceremony. Commencement, as you know, will take place on Saturday, May 15 at 10:30 a.m. You can see both events live at portal.stretchinternet.com/KWU. (Tickets required to attend in person this year.)
Finally, congratulations to women’s flag football for winning the silver bracket at the NAIA Invitational in Atlanta, and to track’s Tabetha Deines for her 800/1500-meter double at the KCAC Outdoor Championships!
Congratulations seniors! Everyone, finish well!
All the best,
As the weather continues to warm, we look forward to the summer and the promise of rest that it brings. In the interim, we have an exciting slate of activities this week! Brown Box Bakery’s cupcake truck will on campus this morning and the annual Coyote Celebration will occur from 4:30 – 7:30 p.m. That will include a taco bar, veggie skewers, snow cones and other delicious treats, plus lawn games and music! Plus, today is the distribution of COVID checks during the cupcake event.
In addition, the annual late night breakfast will be held Tuesday, May 11.
Last week, I spoke about the process for finals, but since that time, a number of students have aske to take finals early. In virtually all cases, this is not allowed due to the potential difficulties for faculty, and the course changes that such accommodations may cause. Please plan to take your finals at the scheduled time. If you have a medical emergency or wish to discuss an exemption, please contact the Provost’s office at 833-4332. Know that documentation will be required and exemptions are extremely rare.
If you didn’t catch it, KWU made SportsCenter on ESPN for the second time this year. Check out this #8 worthy triple play from the baseball team: https://twitter.com/kwucoyotes/status/1389600175509868544?s=21.
Finally, congratulations to eSports! The Rocket League team had a perfect season, won their conference title and defeated Wake Forest (yes, that Wake Forest!) in the first round of the national championship. It was a truly great effort that represented KWU well.
Please enjoy the weather, and know that we are all very proud and appreciative of your diligence throughout this semester. Finish strong!
All the best,
Congratulations are in order for several programs and/or teams on campus!
Two members of DECA – Matthew Whitsitt and Karley Benson – earned top-three finishes at the DECA international virtual meet earlier this month! This is a spectacular accomplishment and solidifies KWU as a team on the rise globally. I couldn’t be more proud of this team, as well as its coach, Dr. Petak.
Both the men’s and women’s golf teams won the KCAC this week, and will move on to the national tournament in May. These are teams on the rise as well, as the women’s team features just one senior!
I want to spend the remainder of this week’s email addressing things you may have heard from other colleges, or practices that may pique your curiosity.
- Our COVID-19 task force continues to meet on a regular basis. Among other things, we are examining the question of whether KWU will require the COVID-19 vaccination this fall. Many other colleges and universities throughout the country have announced they will do so, including some that have mandated the vaccine for anyone working on campus (staff, students, and faculty). At this time, no decision has been made at KWU, but we plan to choose a path forward in late May. Please know that if KWU does require the vaccine, exemptions will be available for both medical and religious reasons.
- Throughout this semester, we have maintained a campus-wide culture of honesty and professionalism in our response to COVID-19. Students have been responsible to contact Dan O’Connell when feeling ill, and for the most part, have only used this option in legitimate situations. I am incredibly proud of our culture, our mindset and the university-wide “buy-in” that have helped us navigate this year. With that in mind, there are two things to remember about our protocols as we close in on finals.
- Students, please continue to contact Dan if you are feeling ill. If your symptoms or contacts dictate a COVID test that comes back positive, it may be suggested that you return home if the test occurs on or after May 5. However, we will continue to house and feed students who may not be able to return home, or who cannot do so safely. This will be only a suggestion for students within driving distance and again, will be only in the event of a positive test on or after May 5. We want to put you in the best situation possible should you have to quarantine. We will announce any further details as necessary in upcoming weekly emails.
- Secondly, we will continue to navigate finals together as a campus, with an element of professionalism and honesty throughout. A message has been sent to faculty to convey that our illness protocols will still be in place during finals week. However, please know that students will be expected to take finals, and may need to use the Respondus Lockdown browser to take a final in certain situations. This browser provides for computer and video monitoring, and is already used by several departments around campus (including Nursing). Your faculty will communicate with you as needed regarding expectations.
I hope everyone is able to spend time outside this week, enjoying the warmer weather!
All the best,
In the last two days, we have had two positive cases. This is a reminder that we must all continue to be vigilant in our daily practices. I know we are getting tired of masks and social distancing, but we need to cross the finish line strong and successful.
In a vote Monday evening, Salina’s city commission was split on a decision regarding the city’s mask mandate, so the mandate will continue. Saline County, however, no longer has a mandate. This may be confusing to some, but all it means is that within city limits, the mask mandate still applies. Anywhere in Saline County that is outside Salina’s limits, however, there is no longer a mask mandate. KWU continues to have a mask-wearing expectation through the end of the semester. We continue to strongly encourage social distancing. Some states, including Michigan, are reporting increased numbers of COVID variants among younger populations.
The county’s vaccination site at the former JCPenney will partially close at the end of this week. No additional first dose appointments will be accepted, although the location is expected to remain open to provide second doses through mid-May. Vaccines are now available at many clinics and pharmacies throughout Salina (see opening notes above for more information).
This weekend is the Spring theatre production, Little Shop of Horrors. This fun musical is a must see. I encourage everyone to attend. Tickets may be reserved by emailing Michelle Dolan ([email protected]).
Finally, congratulations to our DECA program for an outstanding showing at the national meet! Of our 16 competitors, 11 made the top 10 in their events, which is impressive, considering more than 1,000 students from more than 300 institutions competed. These qualifying students will compete live via Zoom on Friday and Saturday.
- Sign up for Saline County COVID-19 information, including materials regarding vaccine distribution, at this link. All people are now eligible to receive the vaccine. Sign up at https://www.vaccinatesalinecountyks.com. Finally, there are several local pharmacies providing vaccine opportunities. Learn more at http://www.healthmartcovidvaccine.com/.
Good afternoon Coyotes!
I hope everyone had a safe and restful Easter weekend. I encourage you to get outside and enjoy one of the best times to be a Coyote, the first blooms of Spring!
We continue to have no active cases of COVID-19 on campus, and minimal numbers in quarantine and isolation as well.
You may have heard that the Kansas legislature ended the statewide mask mandate earlier this week. While this has some ramifications, in reality, it allows counties and municipalities to make the decisions regarding mask mandates. The Saline County mask mandate is scheduled to sunset on April 13. However, the City mandate is still in place. KWU will maintain its mask usage plan through the end of the semester (May 15), as a commitment to not only the health and safety of our students, but that of our faculty and staff as well. We will reevaluate the policy following this year’s commencement ceremony.
- Sign up for Saline County COVID-19 information, including materials regarding vaccine distribution, at this link. KWU faculty and staff, as well as residential students, are now eligible to receive the vaccine. Sign up at https://www.vaccinatesalinecountyks.com. Finally, there are several local pharmacies providing vaccine opportunities. Learn more at http://www.healthmartcovidvaccine.com/.
I’m pleased to announce that we continue to have no positive cases of COVID-19, and that numerous faculty and staff have reported successful vaccination processes. As the numbers statewide continue to fall, more members of the Coyote pack have taken advantage of the opportunity to be vaccinated. There are a few things to be aware of, however.
- First, several counties around Saline – Cloud County, to name one – have opted to end their mask mandates. With Salina’s prominence as a shopping and dining destination in the region, this may increase the overall risk for our county. Please be aware of this and continue to abide by mask wearing requirements in the city and county.
- Secondly, three states have joined New York and New Jersey on the KDHE quarantine list, those being Rhode Island, Michigan and Delaware. Business travel is limited, as everyone knows, but we are particularly monitoring this list as it relates to Commencement ceremonies. These states may be removed prior to the May 14 ceremony, but if they remain listed, students will be asked to have individuals from these states not attend (in that situation, it may be better for them to not visit Kansas at all). These are not KWU-initiated restrictions, but rather, are state-wide mandates.
- Third, we have our only three-day weekend of the semester beginning this Friday. If you travel, please be conscious of social distancing, wearing your mask, and making safe and healthy decisions.
In other news, congratulations once again to the debate team, which finished third at Christian Nationals last week. Abby Wray and Bryce Boyd each captured individual national championships. Congratulations to the men’s bowling team that finished in the top eight at nationals. Way to go, Coyotes!
Enjoy the beautiful weather! Have a safe and blessed Easter weekend.
All the best,
My update this week is short. As we have no current positive cases of COVID-19, as of this writing. I do want to remind everyone of the two links above that offer opportunities for vaccination. Many faculty and staff have reported success with the local pharmacy approach. Remain vigilant in your habits, and finish the semester strong!
Please offer congratulations to members of KWU debate/forensics and the women’s flag football teams this week! Flag captured its first wins in program history Sunday (and were featured afterwards on KWCH TV), while debate finished in the top-15 at the Pi Kappa Delta National Comprehensive Tournament, its largest tournament of the year. It is a great day to be a Coyote, one of many this semester!
- Sign up for Saline County COVID-19 information, including materials regarding vaccine distribution, at this link. KWU faculty and staff, as well as residential students, are now eligible to receive the vaccine. Sign up at https://www.vaccinatesalinecountyks.com.
I hope you heard about Monday’s special announcement, but if not, KWU has announced the expansion of its long-time partnership with the Salina Family YMCA! All full-time students, faculty and staff (including graduate assistants) will receive a free individual membership to the Y, useable across the country at one of their 2,600 locations. There are also significantly discounted rates for couple or family plans. This is a wonderful partnership with a great organization, and it provides an alternate workout site, near campus. Y staffers will be in the SAC to take membership sign-ups on March 19, 23, 24 and 30. There are also dates designated for KWU tours and sign-up at the Y facility itself. For more information, please reach out to Student Development at (785) 833-4339. I hope you’ll take advantage of this tremendous opportunity, available at no cost to you!
We continue to have encouraging COVID-19 numbers, with just one current positive case and a very small number of students in quarantine. Members of the COVID-19 Task Force have received a number of questions from off-campus students, asking when they will be eligible to receive the vaccine. Very simply, no one knows. Many on-campus staff, faculty and students who have signed up haven’t been contacted, but others have received calls and successfully been vaccinated. When there is more information from county leaders, I will share it with campus. We are aware of local pharmacies that are now giving the vaccine. You may sign up with them via: www.healthmartcovidvaccine.com.
As a reminder, tomorrow is the second “no class” day for the semester (this is true for all undergraduate students, expect juniors and seniors in the nursing program). Our hope is that it will be a great time to relax, rejuvenate, and catch up. Also, you may participate in the KWU Virtual Career Fair. This is a great opportunity to learn about internships, part-time and full-time opportunities. For more information, contact Patsy Stockham ([email protected]) in the Student Development suite on the first floor of the Hall of the Pioneers. You may sign up at this link: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/70a0b4ca8ad2babfd0-home.
Next Tuesday, join me and other members of the campus as we celebrate the success of the men’s bowling team as they leave for National Championships. We are so proud of the team and them securing their first berth to Nationals. We will gather at 8:45 a.m. to cheer them on as they load the bus to travel to Michigan.
Two final reminders:
- If you have not registered for classes, it is time to do so. Step one is to meet with your faculty advisor. If you are unsure who your faculty advisor is, stop by the K-Dub Hub.
- Please responsibly enjoy the feast day of St. Patrick.
As a reminder, regardless of what happens county-wide throughout the next few weeks, KWU’s mask mandate will remain in place until at least May 17. The mandate will be reassessed after commencement.
All the best,
- Sign up for Saline County COVID-19 information, including materials regarding vaccine distribution, at this link. KWU faculty and staff, as well as residential students, are now eligible to receive the vaccine. Sign up at vaccinatesalinecountyks.com.
It’s been another great week on campus! I hope everyone was able to enjoy an activity this past week, whether it was football’s big win over Sterling, baseball’s first game at a newly renovated Dean Evans Stadium and win over Friends, the music concert, or one of the wonderful Women’s History Month events taking place on campus.
Today, I have two primary updates regarding COVID-19.
- Kansas Wesleyan will continue its mask mandate and accompanying policies through the May 15 Commencement ceremony. We will complete the semester together, as one pack with one policy. Review of the campus-wide mandate will begin in mid-May.
On Monday, the CDC announced new guidelines that indicate fully vaccinated individuals can gather, indoors and without masks, with other fully vaccinated individuals. Campus leadership is aware of this new guidance. These guidelines also indicate that small gatherings are possible when an individual is vaccinated, and that that person could, in theory, get together with a single household who have not received any vaccinations. In that scenario, it’s possible that – assuming everyone is in good overall health – masks would not be necessary. The best example of this is a grandparent receiving the vaccine and then being able to see their children and grandchildren. Both of these types of gatherings would be deemed ‘low risk.’ However, these guidelines also encourage those vaccinated to continue to wear masks in public, to get tested if they experience symptoms and to maintain public social distancing. There remain a great deal of questions, including whether or not those vaccinate can transmit the virus and if so, how easily that could occur. KWU also employs individuals who are high-risk for contracting this virus, and must consider their well-being.
- We are on the verge of having zero people in quarantine, with no positive cases of COVID-19. We have one positive case right now, and only four people presently in quarantine or isolation. To be just days away from both numbers being zero is a truly remarkable moment after all we’ve been through. However, we have to recognize that we have been secure in a KWU bubble for the past eight-plus weeks. Historically, we have seen spikes shortly after traveling or significant gatherings have occurred. Saint Patrick’s Day is next Wednesday, March 17. As a campus, we must make wise decisions in our planning and gathering together, or all the progress we’ve made against the virus could be in jeopardy. Please keep your fellow Coyotes in mind.
As a reminder, KWU faculty, staff, and residential students are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. You can sign up at vaccinatesalinecountyks.com.
Friendly reminder that the time changes this coming Sunday, March 14. We will spring forward at 2 a.m. to 3 a.m. as we enter Daylight Savings Time.
Finally, I hope you will join us in Mabee Arena this coming Monday, when KWU announces the next phase of its exciting partnership with a major Salina community organization. The announcement will have positive opportunities for all full-time KWU students, faculty, staff, and GAs. The brief event will begin at noon and will be streamed live at portal.stretchinternet.com/kwu.
All the best,
- Hello Coyotes!
I hope everyone is enjoying the week thus far! Please continue to note the information above. We must share health information with appropriate people in order to keep the campus safe.
I have some great COVID news to share this week … KWU currently has zero positive cases of COVID-19. That’s right, zero, with only three individuals in isolation or quarantine. This is a testament to the hard work and dedication of everyone on campus, but we have to remain situationally aware. Things are opening up, albeit slowly, across the country. That includes here in Kansas. COVID is not “going away.” As a campus – faculty, staff and students – we must continue to make the types of decisions we have made during these past months. Wear masks, maintain social distance and make wise choices regarding gatherings.
There’s additional good news on the COVID front – we have installed special filters in air conditioning systems in locations throughout campus. We have placed 49 of the filters, which kill up to 99% of airborne COVID-19 particles within 10 minutes, in the ducts of high-traffic areas on campus. This is another item in our toolbox as we continue to work to keep our campus safe. Plus, they will help in the future with killing the flu.
Join our musical Coyotes on Thursday at 7:30 p.m., when the Wind Ensemble and String Orchestra play in Sams Chapel. Social distancing will be in effect and the audience will be limited to faculty, staff, students and (by request only) parents of those playing. You can see the concert live at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?fbclid=IwAR1muN7q0Uo04JqhOHse27xVcn6ER8BfK-33j0maQx3nbDH6VzKN1_B5RDU&v=4fpg5x4xKgU&feature=youtu.be.
March 1-7, 2021 is “Severe Weather Awareness Week.” Each day there is a focus on a different safety topic. Kansas can experience a variety of severe weather ranging from tornadoes, damaging winds, hail, and flash flooding. To encourage Kansas residents to prepare and provide information, this week there will be an opportunity to practice what you would do when we experience severe weather situations. For example, yesterday there was a statewide test of the outdoor warning sirens. The sirens are not designed to be heard inside of a building, therefore you may not have heard the siren. However, the sirens are designed to warn those who are outside to seek shelter in a building. Additionally, a test of the outdoor warning sirens is conducted every first Tuesday of the month. If there are substantial clouds on the day of testing the sirens will not be tested. For more information on severe weather please go to the link Severe Weather Awareness Week.
As a reminder, Thursday, March 18 is the second no-class day for the semester. We hope you will use this day to relax, refresh, and catch up on things.
Enjoy the rest of the week!
All the best,
It’s going to be a beautiful week, and spring is right around the corner! I hope everyone is able to take some time to enjoy God’s creation this week. Make sure to take time to rest and recharge whenever you can.
This will be another short update, as our overall COVID-19 case numbers continue to be low. We, along with much of Kansas, are seeing reduced case numbers during this time, and we are truly thankful for that. However, we must remain vigilant in our processes, including wearing masks, maintaining appropriate distance, and reporting the need for a test to Dan O’Connell (for students) and your supervisor (for employees). We are in this together and must share to keep the entire campus safe.
Best of luck to the men’s and women’s basketball teams in this week’s KCAC Championships! We also applaud track and field and cheer and dance for great championship meets last week. Congratulations to all who took part! This weekend, we make history with our first Women’s Flag Football game on Sunday at 4 p.m. at the Graves Family Sports Complex.
All the best,
- Students planning to be tested for COVID need to tell Dan O’Connell (785) 833-4463. If he doesn’t know, he can’t help to quarantine others who may have been exposed to you.
- Staff/Faculty who are in COVID-19 protocols should notify their supervisor, who in turn, may notify Dan O’Connell and/or HR as needed.
I hope everyone is staying safe and warm during these cold temperatures! Current forecasts project that we will, finally, cross the 32-degree barrier on Friday and begin a return to normalcy. I am very appreciative of the work that our staff, in particular Plant Operations, has done this past week to keep our campus safe.
My update this week will be brief, as we continue to have very few positive cases of COVID-19 (three as of this writing). Vigilance remains necessary, however, as we see schools throughout the state experience sudden upticks in cases. Please continue to observe social distancing, wearing masks, and proper hygiene at all times.
Make sure to join us in the Student Activities Center on Friday afternoon, as light refreshments will be served to celebrate the dedication of the Nursing Education Center. The virtual ceremony can be viewed at 3:30 p.m. that day at portal.stretchinternet.com/KWU. I hope everyone will make time to observe this special day in the history of our campus.
All the best,
- Staff/Faculty who are in COVID-19 protocols should notify their supervisor, who in turn, may notify Dan O’Connell and/or HR as needed
- Sign up for Saline County COVID-19 information, including materials regarding vaccine distribution, at this link
These next few days will see some of the most consistently cold temperatures in Kansas since 1983! Salina is not projected to cross the 32 degree mark until next Thursday, February 18, a span of 11 days. To put that in perspective, here are some things that had not occurred the last time Kansas was under 32 degrees for that long a stretch:
- The original MAC computer hadn’t gone on sale (January, 1984)
- The title track from Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” album hadn’t been released (January, 1984)
- It was still more than 10 years until Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes would be born (September, 1995)
It’s been a long time since we’ve faced this level of Arctic air! Our Plant Operations staff will continue to monitor slick conditions throughout campus, but please watch your step and stay bundled up. Residence hall windows need to remain closed to avoid freezing the pipes and to avoid potential flooding. If it becomes known that your windows were open and pipes broke as a result, all repairs will be at your expense.
Also, if you must travel, use caution and be sure your vehicle contains blankets, food, water (keep at a minimum), and other emergency supplies. If you have an older vehicle, you may want to start and run it for a few minutes this week. Lastly, let a friend or family member know where you are going before you leave, drive slowly, and use extreme caution.
We continue to have less than five positive cases of COVID-19, and our quarantine numbers have fallen significantly during this past two weeks. As we all know, we will travel a long, winding road with COVID-19 and will need to remain vigilant as the numbers fluctuate. Wearing your mask is a crucial part of this vigilance, and you must wear your mask in indoor spaces except when actively eating or drinking while seated at a table.
We continue to receive questions related to the vaccine and Saline County’s distribution plans. This link – https://visitor.r20.constantcontact.com/manage/optin?v=001Ft-I815ZTY_FaK2t8zuBRu9_xI9I628OFPGTBwGxZr7ksYSS0VPN-Lb1CW8jwawx7cXEZJZdCwx9zrnSwyU29l98ADaNEJqCE0euWfYnVxU%3D – will enable you to sign up for any new information that Saline County publishes regarding COVID-19, including the vaccine. We will post that link and other key items at the end of weekly emails for the foreseeable future. At this point it is expected that most students, faculty, and staff will not be eligible for the vaccine until at least this summer.
In addition, we have received reports of students getting tested without notifying Dan O’Connell (833-4463). Dan must be told of a student’s plan to test in order to activate our campus-wide protocols, including quarantining individuals that may have come into contact with the person in question. This is an integral part of our plan of pack accountability, and I thank you for abiding by this campus-wide expectation.
Stay warm! Be healthy! Go Yotes!
All the best,
First, congratulations to the KWU DECA team for its excellent results at the state meet this past Friday! The team won 39 of a potential 41 medals, continuing their multi-year dominance as the top DECA program in the state. Based off Friday’s results, every member of the KWU program qualifies for April’s national meet. This program has established a standard for excellence, and was able to meet that standard despite the COVID-related challenges it faced. Congratulations to DECA Coach Dr. Trish Petak and all of the team members!
Secondly, I hope you were able to read the story – released last week by the MARCOM office – of Dr. Milt Allen’s harrowing December journey up Mount Kilimanjaro. Dr. Allen’s mindset of overcoming challenges provides a wonderful example for us to follow, and I appreciate his story. If you’re interested, you can read it here.
Today’s updates in relation to COVID-19 are fairly simple.
- You may have heard the number of KWU students in quarantine has increased this week. That is absolutely true. We have had a very small number of positive tests, but those individuals have been in large groups and thus, contributed to a higher number of exposures than we are used to. At the moment, we believe this is due to off-campus social gatherings and not a true cause for concern.
- Students, please continue to contact Dan O’Connell (785-833-4463) prior to visiting a doctor for non-emergency medical issues. If you think you have strep, you will be tested for COVID-19 and thus, will be required to quarantine. Dan can walk you through your symptoms and advise you in this regard. We want everyone who needs to visit a doctor to do so, and we want everyone to be forthcoming with their symptoms. This is a campus expectation. Going to Dan first simply provides a way to reduce potential inconvenience.
- You must limit yourself to two individuals at a table at all dining locations. This includes the Music Lounge, the SAC and Shriwise Dining Hall. Eating and drinking (and thus, having a mask down) while near others creates a serious risk for the transmission of COVID-19.
- Finally, the Super Bowl is nearly upon us! While most of us are, no doubt, excited to cheer on the Chiefs (or the Bucs), we must remember the bigger picture. Do not create a long-term risk for the Coyote Pack for one evening of enjoyment. Wear your mask at any events and do not gather in large groups. Off-campus students, we ask that you refrain from hosting gatherings. There are disciplinary procedures in place for students in violation of either of these policies, and we will examine any and all incidents very closely. We’ve all worked too hard to have classes and activities in person. We must continue to make safe and responsible decisions.
Please know that whether you are a student, faculty or staff member, your work is seen, respected and appreciated, as is your diligence in helping keep our campus safe. Thank you.
All the best,
I hope you’ve been able to enjoy the winter weather these last few days! While we didn’t get the amounts projected, it’s always nice to see our campus covered in snow. As a Florida kid, I still get excited every time the flakes begin to fall.
Today’s update, once again, will be brief.
- Our numbers of positive COVID cases continue to hold rather steady, which is very encouraging! We have just two positive cases among our student body at this time.
- We are aware of the new strains of COVID-19 and are monitoring any new developments. At this time, speculation says that the new strains are more contagious, but we don’t know enough yet about their potency. With these new strains likely to reach us at some point, it will become even more vital for us, as a campus community, to continue to adhere to our safety protocols. If you’d like to read more about the variants, you may do so here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/transmission/variant.html
- Mask patrol workers have observed numerous individuals walking through buildings without masks this week. Usually, individuals with beverages are the culprit. I must reiterate that, if you have a drink, you MUST keep your mask on until actively drinking. You CANNOT keep it down in anticipation of taking a drink. This is not unlike the expectations that have been set on airplanes. You only take off your mask while actively drinking or eating.
- As a reminder, in the residence halls, you need to wear your mask any time you are not in your room with just your roommate. If you have company in your room, you should have on a face covering. When you walk down the hall to the restroom, to the water fountain, leave your floor, or hang out in the lobby or sub-lobby you need to wear your mask.
- When traveling in a car, van, or bus with people other than your roommate, you need to wear your mask.
- For those of you who have received the COVID vaccine and/or had COVID, you are expected to continue to wear a mask and observe all university protocols. Reports on the length of effectiveness of the vaccine vary, and it is uncertain how long COVID immunity lasts. Plus, at this point, it is a symbol of community solidarity to continue to wear your mask.
- We have allowed a small number of students into home basketball games over the past 10 days. All reports thus far have been positive, and we appreciate students wearing their masks and observing all protocols. We are also allowing a limited number of player family members. Family members are using a different entrance than students. We encourage everyone else to watch online at portal.stretchinternet.com/kwu.
I am encouraged by how we’ve handled the last few weeks as a campus community, and I hope you are as well. Thank you for your hard work in supporting the ethos that is Kansas Wesleyan.
All the best,
I hope the first week of classes is going well for everyone. I’m so glad to see the energy, the movement, and the excitement back on campus!
This week’s update will be brief:
- Please continue to limit yourselves to two people at a table when eating or drinking in Shriwise Dining Hall, the Student Activities Center (SAC) or the Music Center in Pioneer Hall. Stickers have been placed on each table to remind you of this. Also, remember that you should limit consumption to times when you are seated and still to enable you to keep your mask to be worn. This should be true in indoor spaces throughout campus, not just the SAC or Shriwise.
- We have only had one positive case among students who have checked in. Our procedures for reinstituting the campus bubble, including the seven-day quarantine we employed, appear to have been successful. If you are not feeling well, remember to be in touch with Dan O’Connell, head athletic trainer. You may reach him at Daniel.o’[email protected] or (785) 833-4463. You should also complete the survey on the KongIQ app each morning. If you have any questions about this, please visit with Dan.
- You will see televisions tuned to the inauguration throughout campus today. Every Presidential inauguration is an important day in our country’s history, and this is no exception. I hope that, as a campus, we remember what can be great about our country, while still recognizing the work yet to be done. Please make sure to observe social distancing while viewing the inauguration.
All the best,
It is wonderful to see so many faces back on campus! The early arriving students are now out of quarantine, classes in the Nursing Education Center are underway, and activities will resume today, with three games scheduled. So glad to be back in person. It’s going to be a great semester!
Here are a few of this week’s updates:
- Mask Patrol – our staff members will begin mask patrol this week and more fully next week. These staff members are present to remind all of us to be vigilant about making safe decisions in campus buildings, plus during outside activities.
- Please limit yourselves to two people at a table when eating or drinking in Shriwise Dining Hall, the Student Activities Center (SAC), or the Music Center in Pioneer Hall. We know that spread happens in three common activities – when we eat, meet, and greet. Research shows that mealtime is one of the main times that COVID-19 can be passed, so please be cautious when eating or drinking this semester. Also, keep in mind that you should not walk around in buildings while you are eating or drinking. Reserve consumption to times when you are seated and still. Please keep your mask on when not actively eating or drinking. This should be true in indoor spaces throughout campus, not just the SAC or Shriwise. Our mask patrol will be reminding people of this expectation.
- Speaking of Shriwise, the process of getting food continues to go well, and I’m thankful for the efforts of our manager, Leon Paredes, and the rest of the Sodexo team. When you go to get food, please make sure that your to-go containers are empty. This will help in the exchange process.
- We will be opening The Den in the SAC and food service will be available in the Music Center lounge next Tuesday when classes begin.
- We currently have one positive case among students who have checked in, and have placed close contacts of that student into quarantine.
I hope you have taken time to stay up-to-date on campus improvements over break, but an additional major one began this week. Information Systems is moving KWU’s wireless controllers into a virtual environment. This will help our wireless network in many ways and should lead to considerable improvements in the event of an planned outage. In short, this transition will substantially improve our Wi-Fi capabilities on campus.
We also continue to finish up work on Peters Science Hall, Room 201, including the installation of a new mural to honor the contributions of the Vanier family to our campus. New flooring was installed in Shriwise and a pair of houses on Highland Avenue were demolished, making room for future expansion of campus parking.
Check your email each day for the latest activities, movie suggestions and advice from Student Development during the quarantine process. If you are in quarantine and need assistance, please reach out to your coach, activity director, Student Development (785-833-4329), or Campus Security (after hours 785-829-6017) directly.
On Monday, January 18, we will celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as a campus. Please join us at 7 p.m. in Mabee Arena. On Wednesday, January 20, as a nation we celebrate the inauguration of the next President and Vice President of the United States of America. This historic event only happens once every four years. Televisions around campus will be tuned to the live events. Social distancing will be expected at these events.
Hello Coyotes, and Happy New Year!
During the past nine days, we have welcomed three groups (various activity groups and teams, junior/senior Nursing students, and final semester Teacher Education students) back to Salina to begin their seven-day quarantines. Thus far, the process is going well. With more than 150 individuals checked in, we have had no positive tests among our campus community, either on-campus or off.
Our data from the winter break is showing that the positive COVID test rate away from campus, when students were at home, is noticeably higher than when students were here in Salina. This supports the decisions we have made thus far. The next step is to re-institute our KWU bubble, and we are off to a good start.
January 10 is the Spring check-in day (noon – 5 p.m.) in the SAC. All students (both residential and commuters) will need to attend. A large portion of students have registered for the Fast Pass, but many of those still need to complete the COVID Agreement Form in order to fully secure the Fast Pass status. The COVID form is here and should be turned in to Student Development upon signing (email it to [email protected]).
As additional students return to campus, it is important to remember that some individuals have completed quarantine. Those who have and those who have not should NOT interact or come together in any unapproved way. Just because an individual who is in quarantine can go outside doesn’t mean they should interact with students who have finished their quarantine periods.
I also want to remind everyone that Shriwise Dining Hall is open for to-go service. From January 10-17, we will allow commuter students (who may or may not be on the campus meal plan) to join those living on campus and pick-up food to-go from Shriwise at no cost. We recognize that the seven-day quarantine may cause some hardship for our off-campus students, and thus we hope the reduction in personal expenses will help during this period. Student Development will send instructions via email regarding the food pick-up process for commuters. Also, while in quarantine, students should only be inside their residence hall/off-campus housing and Shriwise. Students should not go in stores, restaurants, or businesses. They may do curbside or drive thru.
If you have any questions regarding the quarantine process, meals or Spring check-in, you may reach Student Development at (785) 833-4329. If you have an after-hours concern, please contact Campus Security at (785) 829-6017.
All the best,
To some of you, welcome back! It’s exciting to see so many faces back on campus, albeit a bit earlier than is typical. Thus far, the initial round of quarantines is going well.
Tomorrow, December 31, at 8:30 a.m. Evergy needs to shut down the power for a repair to Peters Science Hall. The outage is expected to last for approximately three hours. A slight interruption may occur in internet and email, but the plan is to make it minimal. We apologize for any inconvenience, but we just learned of the issue yesterday.
A few reminders:
- January 5 is the day that junior and senior Nursing students will return to the Salina area.
- January 6 is the final day to secure Fast Pass status for the January 10 check-in.
- January 10 is the Spring check-in day, from noon – 5 p.m. in the Student Activities Center (SAC). If you have not yet signed up for an arrival time, please do so immediately at https://www.signupgenius.com/go/904044aa9a623a4ff2-kwucheckin1. All students are required to check-in, whether you live on or off campus. This check-in process begins your 7-day quarantine time.
- January 19 is the first day of spring 2021 classes.
Shriwise Dining Hall is open for to-go service at the times you received in your email from Student Development. We appreciate students adhering to this rotating schedule, in order to promote social distancing and limit gatherings.
If you have any questions regarding the quarantine process or meals, you may reach Student Development at (785) 833-4329. If you have an after-hours concern, please contact Campus Security at (785) 829-6017.
Happy New Year! We look forward to an exciting and wonderful Spring semester.
All the best,
Happy holidays! I will be very brief this week. As a reminder, please be watching social media and email throughout the holiday break for messages from campus. We continue to ask everyone – students, faculty and staff – to make wise/safe choices over this break, remembering that the success of the Pack depends on our individual decisions and efforts.
Remember, all students – both residential and commuter – need to check in January 10 in the SAC, and can sign up for an arrival time here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/904044aa9a623a4ff2-kwucheckin1.
In conclusion, 2020 has been a difficult and tiring year. Many have endured illness, lost loved ones or gone through other, pronounced hardships. It has also been a year of triumphs and successes. Let’s not lose sight of that. Resilience comes from addressing adversity and not being labeled by it. With that in mind, as a campus, we pray for everyone that has experienced undue difficulties this year. We pray for those walking through drastic uncertainties and enduring incredible stresses. Finally, we pray for our entire KWU family, that each and every member of our Pack will find peace, joy and rest this holiday season, in whatever form it may come.
We truly wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas.
All the best,
It is a cold, wintry week in Salina! We saw our first true snow just yesterday. I hope that wherever you are, you are settling into the holiday spirit.
During the past week, we’ve received questions asking for clarification about our seven-day quarantine policy for the start of the next semester.
First, we have based our decisions during the pandemic, as much as possible, on available data. This decision is no different. Our numbers bear out that when increases in cases occur, they are happening within the first seven days of a mass return to campus (such as after a holiday). Setting the campus calendar as we have enables us to react as needed, should an increase occur. We chose to move back the start of the semester one week and conduct the quarantine during this time so individuals would not need to change any travel plans, as January 10 was the date the residence halls were scheduled to open.
Our adherence to establishing a ‘bubble’, as much as possible, is also data-driven. Through regular conversations with other college presidents and local healthcare workers, we know that different communities are responding to the re-opening of spring semester in different ways. In the fall, some schools within the state took different steps than we did – both more restrictive and less restrictive. Our approach and ‘bubble’ has led to some of the lowest case rates in the region compared to both institutions conducting population testing or only exposure/symptom testing. We are amongst a large group of private colleges in the state that did not do on-going or population testing. Our numbers of positive cases were still below most of our peers who also did not test in broad ways. We want to protect the KWU family and we believe our data shows the one-week quarantine is the best way to accomplish that.
Some may ask why we are not requiring faculty or staff to quarantine. Even individuals from those groups may have that question. Let me say to our faculty and staff members – you MUST practice caution during this time, particularly in the week immediately prior to January 4. Your efforts will be key to our success this spring. We are not requiring faculty or staff to do a formal quarantine, as in many instances, they will be in place, back at work, a week prior to the main student check-in, enabling us to do the same type of observation as we will do of students during quarantine. We have also continued to require masks in indoor areas throughout the winter break and have been able to observe the social distancing of all faculty/staff that have been on-campus during this time. Further, our case of positive testing amongst faculty and staff was less than 5 this fall.
I encourage you to use the next week to complete preparation for the spring semester, including securing your Fast Pass! Completing all of your necessary paperwork will enable you to speed through lines on January 10 and secure your residence hall key as quickly as possible. Please see the attached PDF for the necessary steps to secure the Fast Pass, including key points of contact, AND go to https://www.signupgenius.com/go/904044AA9A623A4FF2-kwucheckin1 to secure your time for January 10. (ONLINE ONLY NOTE: The other two documents referenced can be found here and here.)
Finally, a FAQ section is below, which includes answers to some of the most common questions that we have received thus far. Please read through the questions, especially noting the query about early returns. Dan O’Connell and I taped an interview with Jacob Lovell, RA and president of the Student Athlete Advisory Council, to answer questions he had received from classmates. This interview will be released in the next day or so. I appreciate Jacob raising questions and helping us to get answers out in a video format. (Long emails can often times be a difficult way to express a lot of information. Despite that fact, I’m still sending another long email this week.)
I do want to address the most common question directly, that being about the nature of this quarantine. Multiple individuals have asked if they will be expected to simply sit in their room. The resounding answer is no! We will have several activities planned, including outdoor, limited attendance conditioning for athletes, academic opportunities (including the chance to get a jump on reading assignments for the next semester), and online games and competitions. We plan to have a draft of those activities next week. If you have suggestions of things that would be enjoyable, please share those ideas with Student Development. In addition, you will have some freedom of movement outside, as long as you are by yourself or with your roommate. You will not be able to congregate in groups, enter off-campus stores or campus buildings, with one exception. We will have a rotating schedule in Shriwise Dining Hall for you to pick up to-go food. Shriwise will be to-go only until January 18, and we’re excited about the new to-go containers we’ve gotten to help us through this situation that are environmentally friendly.
To summarize, you will not be stuck in your room for the duration of your quarantine. We look forward to coming together as a campus family to start the new semester off strong!
The collective effort of our faculty, staff, and administration if focused on how to do the best for our students. Some have asked why we are remaining on ground with classes. We are doing this because we believe this is what the vast majority of students want. Just like in the fall semester, students have the ability to study remotely for the entire semester. A number of students did that because it was the best decision for them and/or their family. If you feel the best option is for you to study remotely for spring semester, please be in touch with Student Development so they can assist you. We want students to feel safe and do what they believe is best for them in regards to being on-ground or virtual.
Should your question not be answered below or if you have other concerns, please call Student Development at (785) 833-4329. They are your best one-stop solution to any COVID-related or start-of-semester questions.
All the best,
- Spring semester to now begin January 19.
- Check-in day to be held January 10.
- All returning students, residential or commuter, will be required to complete a seven-day quarantine within the KWU bubble before returning to on-campus classes and activities.
- No-spectator mandate for KWU athletics will be extended to January 19.
I hope you are doing well. We are continuing to prepare for your return to campus and look forward to welcoming you home! I am writing today with our plan for the spring 2021 semester. Please take some time to review this important information.
As you may know, KWU was one of the safest colleges in the state this past semester. We had just 44 cases of COVID-19 among our student population, an impressively low number with everything taking place around us. We were able to accomplish this because we set up a health and safety bubble, an environment in which our student body was, for the most part, self-contained on campus. Students, faculty and staff also practiced good hygiene, wore masks and maintained social distance when it was possible to do so. Our data showed that when our students were on campus for long periods of time, our case rate was close to zero. For example, we went nearly 20 days without a single positive case during October.
With the increase in cases throughout the state and nation, we must continue to be wise in our decision-making. We need to avoid those spikes of positive cases that occurred shortly after periods where students returned home or traveled extensively. For example, we saw spikes in case rates after Labor Day. Our need for safety is not just for students, but for faculty and staff, as well. Everyone should be able to come to KWU without concern.
A vaccine is not projected to be available for the general public for months, so we must prepare for this status quo to continue.
Because of this, the President’s Council and the COVID-19 Campus Task Force have reached two conclusions:
- We have the ability to remain open and continue to serve students, but we must reinstitute our bubble in order to do so successfully.
- We must begin the semester with a period that allows us to get that bubble re-established.
Therefore, several dates and protocols surrounding the beginning of the semester will change. Please read the following carefully.
- Classes will begin Tuesday, January 19 (please scroll down for exceptions regarding Nursing and Teacher Education majors). This is one week later than previously planned, to allow for a seven-day quarantine prior to the start of classes and activities. Commencement is now currently scheduled for May 15.
- All students will be required to complete a seven-day quarantine period prior to beginning any spring activities, including classes and practices. While the CDC recommends a 10-day quarantine (and we will continue to do so for all exposures), our data shows that increases or reductions in case numbers begin well prior to that. A seven-day quarantine will enable campus leadership to analyze the situation and react as needed, PRIOR to the start of classes, to continue the on-ground experience.
- You must quarantine where you will live during the upcoming semester, whether that be an on-campus residence hall/house or an off-campus dwelling. You will not be allowed to complete the quarantine in an alternate location. You also cannot “test out” of the quarantine process, as scientific evidence shows it is possible to test negative and then, in a short amount of time, become symptomatic and to subsequently test positive.
- Students who live on campus will NOT have any additional residence hall fees associated with the seven-day quarantine. Meals will be provided through the meal plan with no additional cost to students.
- Off-campus students must check in with Student Development (785-833-4329) when they are in their dwelling place, and wish to begin their quarantine to enable a return to campus.
- At this time, the only flexibility will be for off-campus students who would otherwise return before January 10. These individuals may check in with Student Development (785-833-4329) prior to that date and start their quarantine early, as noted above. In order to do that, financial paperwork must be completed prior to January 6 (see below). Students living on-campus will not be able to return earlier than their seven-day quarantine time period.
- Plans will be in place for meals and for outside activity. This is quarantine, not isolation. No formal practices or official campus activities will occur. For example, baseball may plan for roommates to go outside and play catch with each other for a limited time, but those individuals will not be allowed in the weight room or gym for formal training. Students with jobs will be instructed to not work during their seven-day quarantine as well. Our Student Development office is also working on plans specific to quarantine, such as virtual bingo and online Mario Kart tournaments. The track at the Graves Family Sports Complex will be open for controlled student use, but will be closed to the general public until January 19.
We understand that some individuals have flights or other travel arrangements that will make this difficult. However, everyone will be required to complete the quarantine in their spring living quarters prior to starting the semester. For some students who cannot return by January 10, this may mean attending classes virtually for a day or two, or missing a day or two of practice. We are sympathetic to these situations, and have encouraged both faculty and coaches to be understanding of the expectations we are placing on you, the students.
Important upcoming dates:
All returning students must complete relevant financial and check-in paperwork for the semester PRIOR to classes beginning.
- December 22 (Tuesday): If you are approved to return early (December 27), you must complete your paperwork by December 22.
- December 27 (Sunday): Cheer and dance, baseball, softball, track and field, basketball and teacher education majors completing their final semester clinical practice return to campus to begin the quarantine process. By returning on December 27, the sports mentioned above may begin formal practices on January 4.
- January 5 (Tuesday): Juniors and seniors in the nursing education program return to the Salina area to begin quarantine prior to their term beginning on January 12.
- January 6 (Wednesday): If you are in the remaining group of students, January 6 is the deadline for early completion of your check-in paperwork. Completing this paperwork will give you Fast Pass status, which enables you to get through January 10’s check-in extremely quickly.
- January 10 (Sunday): Other returning students arrive for a seven-day quarantine. From 12–5 p.m., a check-in process will take place in the SAC. All (residential and commuter) returning students must attend and go through a similar process to the fall’s check-in. The quarantine process can then begin for these individuals.
- January 19 (Tuesday): Classes begin on-ground. This is one week later than previously planned, and will alter several end-of-semester dates, as well as planned days off. An updated academic calendar will be provided soon. January 19 is also the day we will reevaluate our no-fans for athletic events policy. We have extended it until that time.
Our leadership team believes that this plan and schedule will allow us to, once again, create the KWU bubble and do what so many other universities have not, which is, maintain an on-ground college experience.
Additional details will be shared in the coming weeks. As always, know that these plans can change. I thank you for your patience, flexibility and true passion for everything our university has to offer. We are excited for the spring semester to begin, and to do so safely within the KWU bubble.
We have worked diligently to think through details, but acknowledge that there will be questions and, potentially, even concerns regarding these policies. We also recognize that the plan will create inconveniences. However, I hope we can all work collaboratively to make this plan happen and create a safe environment. We have intentionally sent this message more than four weeks in advance to give ample time for planning. If you have questions or concerns, please contact the Student Development office at (785) 833-4329.
All the best,
I hope that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and were able to enjoy some down time after a very packed and intense semester. Its really feeling like winter in Salina and there is an expectation of several inches of snow this evening and overnight.
We’ve quickly begun work on some campus projects. Demolition of North Hall will begin shortly and be completed by Christmas. This building stood for 63 years (since 1957) and, for the majority of its existence, housed non-traditional students, including married couples at various times. This site is being considered for future campus housing.
In addition, during the extended Christmas break, we will be replacing the flooring in Shriwise, stripping and repainting both the Mabee and Muir gym floors with great new looks, new flooring on the main floor hallway of Peters Science Hall, and completing the work on Peters Science Hall 201 and its lobby. Not to mention, completing the new Nursing Education Center that will open next semester. As you can tell, we are focused on a number of facility projects that will continue to enhance the KWU experience.
During Spring semester, we will begin work on a new parking lot across from Wilson Hall on the corner of Highland Street and Claflin Avenue to help enhance campus parking needs.
Please continue to monitor KWU social media, your email and the KDHE quarantine guidelines throughout this month.
All the best,
Happy Thanksgiving Coyotes!
First off, please know that we are continuing to monitor Saline County’s recent spike in COVID-19 cases. Monitor your email closely throughout Winter Break for any announcements or news pertaining to the spring semester, but at this time, no changes are imminent.
In the spirit of the Thanksgiving holiday, here are some little-known facts about Thanksgiving:
- Thanksgiving was not a federal holiday until 1863, when Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation that scheduled it for the final Thursday in November. Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the holiday up a week in 1939, a widely ridiculed idea that lasted just two years.
- One of the key drivers behind it becoming a federal holiday was a campaign by prolific author Sarah Josepha Hale, who was nicknamed the “Mother of Thanksgiving” for her efforts. Hale is best known, however, for having written the nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”
- Fall harvest feasts, like Thanksgiving, have a history that dates back thousands of years. Egyptians, Greeks, Romans and Jews all have records of harvest festivals.
I hope you enjoy this holiday with your loved ones.
All the best,
- Library’s extended hours
- The Den to open Saturday, Thanksgiving meal Monday in Shriwise
- Other states have quarantine requirements
- Spring check-in
- Athletics congratulations
This is the last campus update while fall semester is still in session, so it’s a bit longer. Please be sure to read all the way through.
It’s hard to believe, but the semester will end next Tuesday. Stay strong and finish well!
One way to help you do that is to utilize the library’s resources, and as always, they will have extended hours during finals. Kelley Weber and Megan Mack will keep Memorial Library open as late as 1 a.m., depending on the day. You can see the entire schedule of library hours during finals here: www.kwu.edu/academics/academic-resources/memorial-library/.
We also want to help you stay fueled, and to that end, The Den will be open Saturday from 7:30 a.m.—1 p.m. In addition, the traditional Sodexo Thanksgiving meal will be served in Shriwise Dining Hall on November 23 during lunch.
We’ve talked a lot about the KDHE’s quarantine restrictions these past few months, but other states have restrictions as well. Many sections of Kansas are “hot zones”, so the state is likely to be added to other states’ quarantine lists in the next several weeks. Please be aware that when you return home, your state may ask you to quarantine for up to 14 days.
As you finalize your plans to travel home, please keep safety in mind. We know you are excited to get home and see family and friends. However, be sure your travel plans are healthy and safe. For example, do not drive overnight by yourself. Be sure to take regular breaks if you are driving. If you get tired, stop and rest. If you haven’t already, discuss with your family if you should quarantine when you return home. Keep in mind the medically vulnerable in your family and friend circle. Wearing a mask around your family and friends may be the best thing, though it might seem different or unusual to do. Likely, you have not been in your family’s “bubble” for a while. Think ahead and talk about these ideas with your family.
As you enjoy your break, please keep the date of December 29 in mind. This is two weeks prior to the scheduled start of the spring semester, and thus, is the day that you would have to return to Salina to start quarantine in order to be in class by January 12, if your state goes on to the Kansas list (https://www.coronavirus.kdheks.gov/175/Travel-Exposure-Related-Isolation-Quaranduring). We will help you stay aware of whether or not your state has been designated a “hot zone” by Kansas.
Also, please don’t forget that the spring check-in process will be different than usual. We will have social media videos and other messaging to remind you of this, but in the meantime, make sure to log in to MyKWU and complete all needed financial aid forms. This will allow you to fast-pass through the majority of lines during January’s check-in procedure. Get these forms completed now, while you’re still here, so that you can relax and enjoy the holiday season!
We had a great day of athletics this past weekend, highlighted by Stephanie Martinez winning the women’s cross country individual title at the KCAC Championships. Please make sure to congratulate Stephanie and all the other individuals and teams that posted outstanding efforts in conference competitions on Friday and Saturday!
Here’s to a great final week. Do your best; show them what you know; and be proud to be a Coyote!
All the best,
- Christmas by Candlelight coming up!
- COVID-19 situational awareness
I will be brief in this week’s communication. The semester continues to quickly draw to a close, and I wish everyone the best in the final week-and-a-half of classes and then finals. Make sure to finish strong by getting plenty of rest, good nutrition and practicing other healthy habits.
We continue to have just one active case of COVID-19 among our campus population, with 10 individuals in quarantine. This is among the lowest numbers in the KCAC and within our peer institutions, a fact that we are thrilled with, but there are things we need to do better. For example, we must continue to wear masks in indoor spaces. Individuals have been frequently observed not doing so, especially in the SAC. We must remain compliant and vigilant. Masks have been shown to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, and are required in indoor public spaces, both on campus and county-wide.
As we look ahead to the spring semester, we are aware that two states – North and South Dakota – have been placed on the KDHE quarantine list (https://www.coronavirus.kdheks.gov/175/Travel-Exposure-Related-Isolation-Quaran), similar to how Florida, Arizona and others were on the list prior to start of the fall term. We are watching this list closely and encourage you to monitor it during break, in order to be aware of what may be required when you return. We will follow the same policies as we did prior to fall semester, meaning that students returning from states on the KDHE list will quarantine for two weeks prior to entering residence halls or attending classes in person or participating in campus activities. Please continue to be aware of the ever-changing situation and know that campus leadership is doing the same.
I have exciting news to report! We will be continuing the Christmas by Candlelight tradition this year, but doing so in a virtual format. Fili Creative, a local company comprised of three KWU graduates, has been filming our ensembles during the past week and will be creating a special, TV-style presentation, of the annual concert. We look forward to sharing that with you Sunday evening, December 6, at 6 p.m. CST. Please share that date and time with your friends and family, as that is the only time the show can be viewed (due to copyright restrictions). Christmas by Candlelight is a wonderful way to begin the Christmas season and to enjoy the talents of our students and faculty.
Keep working hard and finish well!
All the best,
- Protocols for end of the semester
- Community awareness
Hello Coyotes! It’s hard to believe, but finals are less than three weeks away! Make sure to finish strong. Stay the course with time management, with adherence to COVID-19 protocols, and with appropriate rest and nutrition to help you finish the semester at your peak.
Speaking of COVID-19 protocols, as indicated last week, our plans will remain unchanged at this time. This includes the way that silverware is dispensed in the cafeteria by request to Sodexo staff. In addition, please know that our class attendance policy remains the same. If you are healthy and physically able to come to class, do not attempt to login via Teams. Faculty can – and should – count you as absent if you do so.
Students are also expected to remain on campus for the remainder of the semester through finals. We will not allow individuals to simply return home and finish the semester online unless there is a specific, documented reason. Normally, that would be a medical circumstance.
Lastly, the best news of all…we went 18 days since KWU had a confirmed case of COVID-19 among its population. However, earlier today, we did learn of a positive case and that student is now in isolation. In a world that has seen skyrocketing case numbers, we stand out as an exception and a safe place, and I couldn’t be more proud. From the work of the COVID-19 task force to the way that our students, faculty, and staff have complied with policies, this has truly been a team effort. The battle, however, is not over. We have seen individuals, both on-campus and off, starting to relax their adherence to COVID protocols. Let’s continue to practice awareness, continue to follow the standards set in place and continue to work hard to keep ourselves and our community safe and secure. This means being vigilant both on and off campus.
All the best,
- Winter weather prep
- COVID updates
- Basketball in action Friday, Saturday
- Halloween Weekend
Hello Coyotes! It’s been another busy few days, full of the type of weather that some individuals would turn into a meme. After all, there aren’t many places where you see a sixty-degree drop in temperature in four days! I hope you are able to find special, unique ways to enjoy the colder weather. It’s also a good time to remind you to make sure that you are prepared for any further winter weather you may encounter during these next few months, by keeping needed supplies on hand. This is especially true when you plan to travel – make sure to keep a windshield scraper, blankets, and an extra set of clothes in your trunk. For winter weather information, safety and Kansas road conditions please utilize the following links:
- National Weather Service- Cold weather safety
- National Weather Service- Winter safety
- Kansas Road Conditions
In terms of COVID-19, things continue to look good. We are at nearly 10 days without a positive case and have just four individuals (the second-lowest total in the KCAC) in quarantine. Please realize that, in spite of our successes, we remain a rare data point nationally. With this recent good news, we have begun to hear questions about rolling back some of the smaller regulations and procedures we put in place earlier in the pandemic. We are going to continue as is, in all aspects through the last four weeks of the semester, but please know that the COVID-19 Task Force is continually evaluating regulations and will recommend adjustments as needed.
I hope you were able to view the Department of Music’s great concert this past week. It was an excellent overview of everything going on in that department. Analytics showed that nearly 500 people watched the event, a very strong number, and I was encouraged by how our alumni came together to celebrate virtual Homecoming. Events resume this week with multiple basketball games in Mabee Arena. Tickets are available in the Athletics office during normal business hours. Last night, we hung the conference championship banner for women’s basketball – their first outright win in conference history. What a special moment!
This weekend is Halloween and the end of Daylight Savings Time. Please make safe, wise, and responsible decisions this weekend. Also, remember to set your clocks back at 2 a.m. on Sunday, November 1, to be ready for the time change.
Thank you for supporting not only of KWU, but for supporting each other and helping make our campus a truly special place to be.
All the best,
- COVID numbers at zero!
- Reminder of illness protocol
- Homecoming events
- New artwork
I hope everyone is enjoying the cool weather. I have some great news for you this week, as well as a few reminders.
First, as of this writing we have zero current positive COVID-19 cases. Zero. That is truly amazing, and it is a true testament to our campus community and how it has rallied together. To have zero cases is incredible, and we have achieved it during a time when many locations throughout the country are seeing case rates drastically increase. Thank you for your observance of our protocols and for utilizing good, safe hygiene practices. Please continue to be vigilant in these regards. We cannot lessen our commitment now. Especially since we know there are growing concerns in the state and region related to COVID cases rising. There are only five weeks until the semester ends. Let’s finish strong.
Speaking of protocols, I want to remind you that if you feel ill, you should contact Dan O’Connell in the athletic training office (785-833-4463). This is true even if you suspect the illness is not COVID-19 and whether or not you are a student athlete.
Dan can direct you as needed, whether it be to a local urgent care or elsewhere. Contacting him to start the process will save time in the long run. Because of our necessary COVID protocols, students who develop another illness and don’t start with Dan are often experiencing brief delays at local urgent cares. This is happening because COVID tests are administered alongside others, such as those for strep throat, and so the provider often reaches out to Dan before commencing with the tests. The student who begins the process with Dan can avoid those delays.
Secondly, spray bottles are still present in classrooms and meeting rooms to disinfect and sanitize. We have received reports of Plant Operations staff being questioned about the contents of the bottles. Please rest assured that they do contain the appropriate chemicals. The color of the material in the bottle may vary, but the material present will still do the required job. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact John Swagerty directly at extension 4323.
We also have other exciting news! I hope everyone has been able to walk by the phenomenal mural on Sams Hall of Fine Arts (see attached photo). The fantastic work, produced by Prof. Lori Wright, was gifted to KWU by Dr. William McCreary ’69 in honor of his father. It is a top-notch addition to our campus, and to our university’s visual appeal. Be sure to stop by and get your selfie.
Finally, this week was to be the annual, in-person Homecoming and Family Weekend. We still have numerous activities planned! Student Development has a week-long slate of fun events, including Friday’s Homecoming BBQ on the SAC patio, and the Advancement office has a series of virtual happenings scheduled, as well. As a note, to see the Homecoming crowning at the football game, campus and community members must have a ticket to the game. I hope you’re able to participate in at least one of these activities and show your KDub spirit!
Thank you, as always, for your dedication to Kansas Wesleyan and its mission.
All the best,
- KWU gets national exposure on ESPN!
- COVID numbers remain static
- A first look at January’s return-to-campus plan
- Preparing for Election Day
Congratulations to our athletic programs for going 3-1 Saturday, including football’s route of William Penn and men’s soccer 6-3 win over Bethel! I hope you were able to see Stevie Williams’ great catch on ESPN SportsCenter, as it was named the #4 Play of the Day Sunday morning! If not, you can check out the KWUCoyotes Facebook page.
In terms of our COVID-19 numbers, they remain very low. The overall trajectory of the number has not changed in a couple of weeks, but athletic travel will increase in the coming weeks. This will bring a new variable into our “bubble”, so we must remain extremely vigilant to engage in social distancing, the wearing of face coverings and good hand hygiene.
Campus leadership and the COVID-19 Task Force are currently finalizing plans for the January return-to-campus protocols. While some of the details are still being discussed, the process will look different than January returns of the past.
· Sports that return early will be handled by communication between the coach, the Business Office, Registrar and Student Development. This includes softball, baseball and men’s and women’s track and field. If you are a student-athlete in one of those sports, you can expect to have appointments in these offices on either January 4, 5 or 6 to make sure all of your Spring semester details are finalized.
· If you are a men’s or women’s basketball student-athlete, you will receive communication from your coach about the check-in process.
· The remainder of the current student population is scheduled to return to campus on Sunday, January 10. Campus offices will be open 12-5 p.m. to facilitate check-ins, and check-in will be required in order to receive your residence hall key (much like the August move-in days). Your residence hall room key will be returned when you leave for the Christmas Break. This is a change from past years, but is being done to allow for a return-to-campus, check-in process that includes temperature checks and screening questions. If you cannot make it to campus during that time, you will be able to complete the return-to-campus, check-in process beginning at 8 a.m. on Monday, January 11. Please think through your travel plans to take these hours of operation into consideration. If you have any questions, please ask your RA or talk to Student Development.
· ALL returning students, whether living on-campus or off, must be cleared by all appropriate offices by close of business on Friday, January 15. Those who do not meet that deadline will have their class schedule cancelled. Completing all processes is important to make sure we can best serve each student.
Once again, further details on this process will be announced in the coming weeks. It will be very similar to August move-in days, but perhaps a bit less crowded. We understand these changes may cause some minor inconvenience, but we are making these changes to assist in reinstituting our “bubble” following the long winter break. That system worked quite effectively this fall. Employing temperature checks and other screening methods allows us the chance to begin the semester safe and healthy.
I also want to remind you that COVID-19 is not the only relevant illness at this time. Flu season is on the way. The athletic department has already begun rounds of flu shots for student-athletes. There will be availability for faculty, staff and other students to receive a flu shot this Friday, October 16 from 2-4 p.m. in Muir Gymnasium. No appointment is needed. Please bring a copy of the FRONT and BACK of your insurance card and be prepared to pay any required co-pay in cash or check.
The other topic I want to bring up today is Election Day 2020 – Tuesday, November 3. Regardless of your political affiliation, it is important that all eligible voters exercise their right to vote. For those who will be voting locally at the KWU-assigned voting precinct, we will have transportation available throughout the day. We will address this further in the coming weeks, as the election draws closer. Further, we will make sure that the campus environment remains welcoming and safe for all those committed to positive interactions.
Thank you for being great representatives of KWU!
- Recent increase in 18-22-year-old COVID-19 cases in U.S.
- Football adds game Saturday
We have reached the halfway point of our fall semester already. I hope classes and your other responsibilities are going well.
This week’s email is fairly straightforward. National research indicates a substantial increase in COVID-19 cases among 18- to 22-year-old individuals, both throughout the country and specifically here in the Midwest. Our numbers, as a whole, contrast that. We currently have just one positive case and less than ten individuals in quarantine. This is fantastic news, but research shows that we must continue to be vigilant. Right now, what we’re seeing here at KWU is individuals coming into contact with COVID-19 positive cases outside of campus events or activities. For example, when a student goes home for the weekend, or when they go to work, they are coming into direct contact with someone with COVID-19. This is forcing the student to go into quarantine. Please make sure to maintain vigilance outside of the campus “bubble”. Stay safe at work, and know the health status of your family members and friends before visiting them.
Lastly, I’m pleased to announce that football has added a game to its schedule. The Coyotes will play host to William Penn University this Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Graves Family Sports Complex. It will be a busy day for Coyote athletics, with volleyball, and women’s and men’s soccer also on the docket at home. Stringent screening processes will be in place to prevent overcrowding. It will be critical to abide by all of the regulations in place, including sitting in the seat on your ticket and wearing a face covering. This is a test of our willingness to protect each other, to safeguard The Pack, and it is imperative that we succeed.
Thank you for your hard work in keeping our campus safe and secure every day.
- Adapting to a New Normal: Debate, Theatre, Music embrace new protocols
- Senior Day at Soccer
- COVID-19 Numbers Remain Low
- Chiefs Yearbook Ad
It finally feels like fall, and not just outside! Our activities have kicked into high gear, which adds an additional collegiate feel to our campus. Multiple departments have embraced the required COVID-19 protocols associated with hosting events. Theatre hosted [title of show] last weekend, while Music’s wind ensemble and orchestra played a wonderful concert just last night. On both occasions, limited audiences were permitted, with social distancing and face covering requirements strictly enforced. It was so great to see students create live performances again. The debate team, meanwhile, opened its season this past weekend with a virtual debate tournament, a part of the program’s new normal this year. The team has multiple virtual tournaments scheduled between now and the end of October. I am appreciative of the efforts that each of these programs and departments have undergone during this challenging time, as KWU finds new ways to continue to offer experiences that are vital to our students. What a talented group of students in the Fine Arts Division!
Speaking of activities, Saturday is Senior Day for both soccer programs. Both the men’s and women’s teams will be facing Bethany. If eligible for tickets, you will receive an email from athletic director Steve Wilson sharing how to pick them up in the athletics office. Please follow all posted instructions and sit in the seat you are assigned. This is crucial to promote social distancing efforts. Come cheer the Coyotes on to victory against the Swedes! Remember, you can always watch online for free at KWUCoyotes.com if you can’t make it out to the games.
Our COVID-19 case numbers remain lower than many of our peer institutions. We have seen that, with vigilance and wisdom, it is possible to limit our number of positive cases. However, we must remain on guard. One slip or one wrong decision, and the health of our community could be in jeopardy. Please keep that in the front of your mind as you make decisions.
Finally, there is a bit of fun news from the Marketing and Communications office. KWU has run an advertisement in a Kansas City publication, one printed by a team you may recognize: http://publogix.com/e/20-kscichyb/ (please note page 38 of the PDF, print page 36). The 2020 Chiefs Yearbook will be distributed to various ticket-holders, made available for sale at Arrowhead Stadium and promoted heavily digitally by the Chiefs. We’re excited about the advertisement, and we believe it will help build awareness of the great opportunities we have at Kansas Wesleyan.
Enjoy the wonderful weather and have another great week!
- Continued COVID Vigilance is Necessary
- Fine Arts Events Coming Up
- Spring Semester Updates
- Hispanic and Latinx Heritage and Celebration video
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,
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.
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’[email protected]. 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!
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 ([email protected]).
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,
- 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 campus safe 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.
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,
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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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,
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,
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,
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:
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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- When traveling in a car with a non-family member, wear your mask
- 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,
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!
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/returningkwustudents. NOTE: 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,
“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’[email protected] 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,
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.
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: . 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.
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,
- 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.
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,
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.
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,
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,
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
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,
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 (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
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Talk to the Al Nelson Student Success Center. Bryan McCullar has lots of resources to help you. You may reach him at [email protected] or you can send a 144-character text message to (785) 302-9275.
- 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 [email protected].
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 [email protected] 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. :-))
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 (www.kwu.edu/academics/academic-resources/student-success/ 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,
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 (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 ([email protected] 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,
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.
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,
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 (www.kwu.edu/academics/academic-resources/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.
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.
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.
President & CEO, Kansas Wesleyan
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
- 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.
- 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
- Additional athletic equipment and supplies required due to eliminate shared equipment.
- Signage regarding face coverings, hygiene and social distancing for campus facilities.
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
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
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 2020 Plans – July 1 – Remains on this Page for Archival Purposes
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Kansas Department of Health is requiringto 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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.