MTSU Response to Coronavirus Disease 2019 Archive
FRIDAY (3/13): Message to Students in MTSU Residence Halls
As you now know, President McPhee, in consultation with his on-campus management team and others, has announced that the University is extending our Spring Break by one week, through Sunday, March 22, 2020, to prepare for the remote delivery of instruction beginning, Monday, March 23, 2020, and continuing until further notice.
Dr. McPhee and all of the rest of us will continue to monitor the conditions around COVID-19 during this time period, and a future decision will be made as to if and when face-to-face classroom instruction may resume.
In support of these new measures to protect the health and safety of our students, this message will provide additional information concerning the residence hall and on-campus apartment operations.
Residence halls and on-campus apartments will remain open and will be operating. However, each student will need to carefully consider whether your campus residence or your permanent home residence is the safest environment for you. The University is implementing social distancing protocols and expect students not to congregate in large groups. It is important for you to consider this before making the decision to remain in or return to your on-campus living situation. Students need to consider the CDC’s criteria for people considered at a higher risk, including older adults and people with serious chronic medical conditions: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/high-risk-complications.html.
Students who need to return to campus to gather books, clothing or other items are free to do so at any time; however, please note you will need your student ID to gain access to the building. All main entry doors are locked and will remain so for the foreseeable future to insure access is limited to only current residents.
Residence Life staff will still be working and are available to address any questions or concerns you may have. However, we will be consolidating front desk operations to ensure that we can adequately staff the buildings. As such, please note the following changes that will go into effect at 8 a.m. on Monday, March 16:
- Lyon Complex desk will be open for Monohan, Lyon and Rutledge residents – the desk phone number is 615.898.4160
- Smith desk will be open for Judd, Gracy, Smith, Sims, Beasley, Deere and Nicks residents – the desk phone number is 615.898.5044
- Corlew desk will be open for Corlew and Cummings residents – the desk phone number is 615.898.4542
- Scarlett desk will be open for Scarlett, Womack and the Row Houses – the desk phone number is 615.904.8068
Please contact the desk for any lockouts or any other concerns. We will have staff on call 24 hours a day to respond to any issue.
The following restrictions will be activated as of March 16:
- Campus residents will have access to their own floor/building only
- Only residents of the Row will have access to their house
- All visitation is suspended until further notice
- As has been mentioned in other communications, the practice of social distancing is thought to be very effective strategy for helping to contain the spread of COVID-19. Social distancing is smiley the practice of discouraging close contact between members of a community, including avoidance of social gatherings, meetings, and other group settings. With that in mind, students are asked to refrain from congregating in lounges or other social places within the halls. Residence hall activities and programs will be discontinued until at least the end of March.
Meal plans will continue to be active during this time. However, dining venues will be limited to grab-and-go from the SUB POD and take-out options from McCallie, in order to minimize time students spend in group settings.
Student Health Services and the Campus Pharmacy will remain open during this time. If you believe you may have been exposed, please phone Student Health Services at 615.898.2988 for evaluation and further instructions. Students who live on campus and do not have a place to stay in isolation off-campus should contact Housing and Residential Life at 615.898.2971 prior to arrival on campus so that we may assist you in determining a safe location in which to self-isolate.
Finally, in an effort to ensure the safety of all our residents we are asking that you please fill out a Housing Occupancy Tracking Form on the MT Housing Portal by 10 p.m., Sunday, March 15, 2020, so that we can track who is here in the halls. We can then specifically target messages and check up on residents who are still in the buildings.
We encourage everyone to keep informed of timely updates from MTSU on this issue by accessing https://www.mtsu.edu/coronavirus/.
Our number one priority at this time is keeping our community and MTSU safe. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.
Director of Housing and Residential Life
Middle Tennessee State University
Department of Housing & Residential Life
Phone: (615) 898-2972
THURSDAY (3/12): News and Updates from President McPhee
To the University community,
There have been several new developments and decisions today as MTSU and other institutions respond to the rapidly evolving novel coronavirus situation (COVID-19). In our efforts to keep our community informed, here are several updates:
- Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee declared a state of emergency in Tennessee, which he said “will move us into a position to utilize additional emergency funds as needed and relax provisions of certain laws to provide the flexibility needed to respond to this disease.” Read more here.
- Students graduating in May will not be required to take the General Education Exam or Major Field Test.
- Conference USA, of which MTSU is a member, suspended its spring sports seasons until further notice and canceled its tournaments. Our Women’s Basketball team, which was set to play Louisiana Tech in the quarterfinals of the C-USA Tournament, is returning home, along with members of our Band of Blue pep squad and cheerleading team.
- The True Blue Preview, our student recruitment event scheduled for Saturday, March 21, 2020, has been postponed. We have sent information about alternative events to those who registered.
- Walker Library will be closed until the end of March. Library faculty and staff will still report to work and do all they can to assist students and faculty access remotely the materials they need. As the end of the month approaches, we will reassess the library’s status.
- Next week’s committee meetings of our Board of Trustees will be conducted via public-access teleconference. Read more here.
- Dr. Deb Sells, our vice president for student affairs, sent this update note to our students about several topics, including residence halls and MT Dining.
- We are working on strategies to significantly ramp up online tutoring and will release details when they are determined.
- We have not yet determined how, or if, our Commencement Exercises in May will be affected by these precautions.
As of today, there have been no confirmed COVID-19 cases on campus.
In case you missed it: We decided Wednesday to extend our Spring Break by one week, through Sunday, March 22, to prepare for the remote delivery of instruction beginning Monday, March 23, and continuing until further notice. A future decision will be made as to if and when face-to-face classroom instruction may resume.
We remind all to check our website, www.mtsu.edu/coronavirus, for updates and resources.
Sidney A. McPhee