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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

Updates as of 3/30/2020


Room and Board Credit Information

As you know, Westminster College decided to move to online instruction and to close the residence halls for the remainder of the semester in order to comply with state mandates. In an earlier message from President Richardson, we also acknowledged our commitment to providing an appropriate refund. As such, students will receive a pro-rated credit of 45 percent of their room and board charges for the Spring 2020 semester. The credit will first be applied toward any existing balances and any remaining credit will remain on the student account. Graduating seniors will receive their refund upon graduation along with any other credit remaining on their account. Any student may request a direct refund between April 15, 2020 and May 1, 2020 by emailing businessoff@westminster.edu from their Westminster email address. The pro-rated room and board credit will be posted to student accounts by April 6, 2020.

Updates as of 3/19/2020


In order to comply with Gov. Wolf’s order this afternoon for immediate closure of all nonessential businesses in Pennsylvania, Westminster College will be closed as of 8 p.m. March 19. Only essential personnel needed to support the safety and health of the remaining residential students should report to campus to work until further notice, and they will be notified by their supervisors this evening. All other employees should plan to work from home as directed by their supervisors.

This closure will remain in effect until the order is lifted by Gov. Wolf.

Kathy Brittain Richardson, Ph.D.
President, Westminster College

Postponement of Commencement Ceremony

In order to ensure the safety and well-being of students and their families during the COVID-19 pandemic, Westminster College will postpone its 166th commencement ceremony scheduled for May 9.

“This was a difficult decision to make because we understand how very important this celebration is to our hard-working seniors and their families, but we are in unprecedented times,” said Westminster College President Dr. Kathy Brittain Richardson. “We did not arrive at this decision lightly. We are saddened, but we are also committed to keeping our students, their families and Westminster’s employees safe.”

While a new date has not yet been set, Richardson said a formal commencement celebration will take place. Westminster’s campus task force continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation and will follow state and CDC recommendations regarding social distancing and large group gatherings.

“Commencement is a joyous time and we look forward to celebrating our students’ achievements and to seeing our seniors walk across Weisel Senior Terrace to receive their diplomas,” said Richardson, adding that graduating seniors and their families will be notified as soon as a new date has been established.

COVID-19 Campus Notifications


  CDC Information about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak

Information for Students



Spring 2020 Grading Policy

Please see the grading policy below that is now in effect for spring 2020 courses. You should read the entire page carefully so that you can make the best decisions for your situation.

Please know that our faculty, staff, and administration care deeply about your overall well-being, and want you to be successful. We know that this is a difficult time for many due to circumstances out of our control. I think that if you had heard the thoughtful and caring discussions among our faculty that led to this policy, it would have reinforced your pride in the Westminster community.

We do not anticipate that opting into the alternative grading system will disrupt financial aid packages, but if you have any questions about that, then feel free to contact Financial Aid at finaid@westminster.edu.
  Spring 2020 Grading Policy


Wellness Center Services

Counseling Services and Wellness Coaching

Changes to our normal routines and the uncertainty of what lies ahead with the current COVID-19 pandemic can cause stress and anxiety. While students are away from campus due to the coronavirus response plan, the Wellness Center will offer remote services for students. Please contact the Wellness Center at 724-946-7927 to learn more about remote services. If you experience a mental health crisis or emergency while away from campus, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.
  Community Resources & Support for Students at Home


Academic Success Center – Tutoring and Academic Coaching

Please use the following steps to create and attend an online tutoring or academic coaching appointment:

  • Book a tutoring appointment using the link on D2L or on the Academic Success Center website.
  • Once you schedule an appointment, the Peer Tutor will schedule a Zoom meeting time that corresponds with the booked appointment time.
  • You will receive an email invitation for the meeting at the designated time. Join the meeting using that link.
  • Tutoring sessions will remain 45 minutes long. You must schedule an appointment at least 12 hours in advance. Please have a plan for what work or material you’d like to cover during the session.
  • Group sessions can be scheduled; you should indicate the names of the students who should be included in the session on the “notes” section of the booking page. Zoom limits group meetings with 3 or more people to 40 minutes long.

Tutoring sessions will remain 45 minutes long. You must schedule an appointment at least 12 hours in advance. Please have a plan for what work or material you’d like to cover during the session.

Group sessions can be scheduled; you should indicate the names of the students who should be included in the session on the “notes” section of the booking page. Zoom limits group meetings with 3 or more people to 40 minutes long.

  ASC Virtual Learning Guide


Disability Resources

Disability Resources will continue to provide support to students and faculty as we move to an online format. The office continues its work to remove barriers for students both on campus and in online courses. Students can reach Faith Craig at 724-946-7192 or at craigfa@westminster.edu with any concerns.

LIS Help

The LIS Help Desk hours will be:
  Monday-Friday: 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

*If you wish to submit a work order please email lishelp@westminster.edu or login to our user portal https://support.westminster.edu. In the unlikely event that you are unable to access the portal or send us an email, we will make every effort to answer your call at 724-946-6000.

  Microsoft Office Download Information


McGill Library

Due to the new restrictions mandated by the state, the library will be closed until March 31, starting March 17 at 4:30 p.m.

Checked out books:
  • Contact lishelp@westminster.edu if you currently have books checked out so we can renew them until you are allowed back on campus.
  • Please note that no one will incur fines. Even if you get an automatic notification, we just ask that you return the books when you are back on campus.
Interlibrary loans (ILL):
  • If you currently have ILL books, don’t worry about them. They will be due back when students are allowed back on campus.
  • From this point on, only electronic/article and book chapter requests will be processed.
Laptop checkouts:
  • Students who do not have access to a desktop/laptop should contact lishelp@westminster.edu as soon as possible to request a long term laptop loan. You can also stop by the library Tuesday March 17 only.
  • Laptop pickup will be Tuesday, March 17 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. at the LIS Help Desk.
  • All students taking a laptop out of the library will need to sign a waiver taking on responsibility for any damage done to the device while checked out.
Additional resources:
  • Our physical resources will not be available after 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 17, 2020, but you will still be able to access e-books, online journals, streaming media, and more from off campus. Instructions for accessing resources from off campus can be found here: https://libguides.westminster.edu/offcampusaccess.
  • If you need help with research papers, capstone, etc., Librarians are still available via email and are working on setting up reference hours (stay tuned for more info!). Expect an email from the library director Jamie Kohler soon with more detailed information about library resources and services.

Public Safety

Public Safety continues to be scheduled around the clock. Contact them at (724) 946-7777.

 

 

Events


All public events scheduled on campus are being cancelled or postponed.

The events listed below will be offered online only.

Virtual Spring Open House

April 18, 2020 at 1:00 p.m.

  Register Now

Information for Employees


  Department of Labor Families First Coronavirus Response Act

College employees are to continue to work from home until further notice. You will be official notified by the College when Governor Wolf's mandate is lifted and can safely return to work.

Category One


Has a personal machine at home and is willing to use it for work. IMPORTANT...we are not requiring anyone to use their personal computer for their Westminster work.

Description: Uses Microsoft Office products, accesses my.westminster.edu, email, Internet, and Westminster cloud-based resources like D2L, occasional need to access network drives (P:, V:, N)

  1. You will use the Webmail (Outlook WebApp) to check your email
  2. If you need to access a file on a network drive (P:, V:, N:) you can use the Network Files Portal

Category Two


Using a College-owned machine with VPN access

Description: Uses Microsoft Office products, accesses my.westminster.edu, email, Internet, and Westminster cloud-based resources like D2L, and needs continual access to network drives (P:, V:, N)

  1. You will take home the computer, monitor, mouse and keyboard that you use on a daily basis. You will be required to send me an email to let me know what equipment you are taking home.
  2. You will need to download and install the VPN client on your machine. Instructions coming.

Category Three


Heavy EX users

Description: EX client users that are using EX all day

  1. We are working on procuring laptops that can be used to remote into your office desktop. There is a very limited amount of laptops. If we are unable to get a laptop for you, you will fall into category two.

 

  Available Technology Resources

LIS Help is still the main contact if you have any issues. Email lishelp@westminster.edu or open a ticket at support.westminster.edu

Between March 18 and March 31 the buildings will be locked. If you need access contact your supervisor.

For those covered by the College’s UPMC Health Plan, all co-pay, coinsurance and deductible expenses associated with COVID-19 testing have been waived.

For the next 90 days (March 11, 2020 – June 11, 2020), UPMC Health Plan will waive all UPMC Health Plan member cost-sharing, including deductibles or co-payments for AnywhereCare visits.

All College-sponsored travel is suspended, including but not limited to conference attendance, training and development and grant-supported travel.

Code of Conduct for Online Class Sessions

Students have the right to express themselves and participate freely in online class sessions. However, they are expected to treat each other and the instructor with courtesy and respect. Offensive or inappropriate language is not to be used in any form of communication e.g., emails, discussion postings, group projects, submitted assignments. Students are allowed to disagree with each other or the instructor, but must do so in a civil and appropriate manner.

Some instructors may use the discussion area of D2L or other platforms, and that discussion area is reserved for postings related to course work only. Postings of a personal or nonacademic nature are not permitted and may be removed by the instructor. Grades and personal issues should be handled by private email to the instructor.

Students are expected to submit work which is their own, following Westminster College’s academic integrity policy. Plagiarism or cheating will not be tolerated for any assignment or assessment, and violations will be sanctioned. Students may view the College’s policy in either the Undergraduate Catalog or the Student Handbook.

Attendance

Students are expected to attend online sessions just as if they were on campus. Instructors are able to track your activities on D2L, and you will be expected to log in to your course regularly to remain current with the course material and assignments. Attendance in online classes is defined by federal regulation on distance learning as the active participation in an online discussion forum, digital submission of a writing assignment, or a completion of a quiz/test/exam.