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COVID-19: BSU moves to fully online/remote learning through remainder of spring semester - March 16, 2020

Office of the President
Mon 3/16/2020 7:19 PM

Subject: COVID-19 Important Update - A Message from President Clark

 

Dear BSU community,

First, let me express my heartfelt gratitude to so many of our faculty, librarians, and staff who are working tirelessly to help the university and our students transition to online instruction while simultaneously ensuring that our students have access to critical support services and resources. The COVID-19 outbreak presents us with daunting challenges, but I continue to witness the “we’ve got this” BSU spirit boldly confronting this crisis every day.

Last night, in order to address this public health emergency, Governor Baker specifically requested that:

“…colleges and universities, both public and private, continue to pursue strategies to reduce the need for students to be on campus, including suspending in-person classes and implementing institution-wide programs to shift to remote learning, technology enabled solutions, and other tools to allow students to successfully complete course and degree requirements. Institutions should also pursue strategies to reduce the need for faculty and staff to be on campus by maximizing remote work opportunities, while maintaining essential on-campus services, especially for residential students who cannot safely return home...”

Since Governor Baker’s public health order last evening, extensive conversations with state and university leaders have occurred during the day today. Based on those conversations, I am expanding the university’s email announcements from last night by alerting the campus that BSU will move to fully online/remote learning when classes resume on Monday, March 23, 2020 and continuing through the remainder of the spring semester.

Faculty members will be reaching out to students in their classes through Blackboard no later than this Thursday, March 19, in order to prepare everyone for next week’s shift to online/remote learning formats.

As a result of the university’s decision to extend online/remote learning through the end of this semester, BSU is asking resident students to vacate their residence hall rooms beginning on Friday, March 20, 2020. Students with approved hardships will be allowed to remain in the residence halls and will be provided services.

In order to provide students adequate time and to enhance the safety of our community, the residence halls will be open to students to retrieve their belongings from Friday, March 20, 2020 to Sunday, March 29, 2020. In order to comply with Governor Baker’s directive limiting gatherings to no more than 25 people as well as CDC directives on social distancing (PDF)  , we will conduct the residence hall move-out effort in a phased and orderly manner over a 10-day period. Residence Life and Housing staff will communicate by email with all resident students by 5:00 p.m. tomorrow (Tuesday, March 17) to schedule a time for each resident student to vacate their room.

I would direct your attention to the updated Student FAQs on the BSU COVID-19 web page, which addresses many questions related to BSU shifting to a fully online format, and includes information about residence halls, dining, student services, and academic support, among others. Although BSU remains staffed with essential personnel per the Governor’s order, for your convenience, BSU also has established a single e-mail – covid-19@bridgew.edu – to which you can address any questions you may have.

As we work together through these unprecedented challenges, let’s never forget the “Bridgewater way” by always being patient with and kind to each other.

Warmest Regards,

Fred Clark
Frederick W. Clark Jr., Esq.
President