LETTER FROM PRESIDENT ANDREWS
Dear Southwestern College Faculty, Staff and Students,
These are extraordinary times, to be sure. As we navigate these waters at Southwestern College, we continue to seek and follow the guidance and advice of our local health authorities, and the counsel of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Centers for Disease Control.
With the benefit of that counsel and following their guidance, we remain fully committed to providing the very best educational experience that we can in the face of these unprecedented disruptions to our lives and work.
I met with faculty earlier this morning and the coaching staff after that. The administrative response team has been meeting daily since early last week, including through the weekend. We have regular meetings with local health authorities, city and county government managers, medical care providers and emergency responders as well. We are staying connected through this rapidly evolving health crisis.
Over the past 24 hours, there has been an update to our academic instruction timeline – with the suspension of in-person academic gatherings and work until further notice, and resumption of all courses via remote learning next Monday, March 23. The faculty are using this time in order to transition your coursework to a remote format. You will be hearing from your instructors with additional information and should plan on resuming all of your coursework next Monday.
There will surely be additional updates and adjustments as we move forward in the coming days and weeks.
At Southwestern College:
- We will finish the academic year
- Our residence halls remain open
- Offices remain open and student services are operating
- Event, activity, and travel restrictions are in place
- We are strongly promoting self-care as a protection for both individuals and community
- In partnership with our Public Health officials, we are implementing heightened public health monitoring measures
- We are reminding ourselves and others that community is more important than ever
We will finish the academic
year. You have courses to
finish, credit to attain, and degrees to complete. We will get it done, we will
celebrate those of you who earn your degree, we will rest up over the summer,
and we will gather in August to build our Mound and begin another academic year
Faculty are working together right now to transition all coursework to a remote framework. Students should monitor their college provided email account for communication from your faculty and instructors in the coming days. As is always the case, students have a responsibility in their learning and in communicating needs with instructors.
Meanwhile, we will continue to closely monitor this unprecedented situation and remain in communication with our local public health authorities. Should we be able to resume safely offering in-person academic gatherings and work with those on campus, we will do so immediately. Should we be able to safely transition back to in-class delivery of all courses, we will look to do that as well.
Our residence halls remain open for those that need them. We recognize that, for many students, this is the safest place to be. They will continue to be welcome here and we will continue to care for them. For those students who want or need to be at home, we support that decision and are working to deliver all education and services to you remotely. For those students who are feeling conflicted, or are unsure, we advise and encourage you to stay home. You will be welcomed back on-campus at any point throughout the semester if circumstances change or your decision to remain home changes.
Offices and services remain open and operating for students – for those on campus and those who are learning remotely. Dining services, our Campus Food Pantry, maintenance, and other campus-specific services are in place. All offices remain open and accessible for students whether in-person, via phone call, or by email.
Event, activity, and travel restrictions are in place. All college events are canceled for the next two weeks. All gatherings, even informal ones, are limited to no more than 25 people. All spring athletic activities have been canceled by the NAIA. All student, faculty and staff travel out-of-state for college-related business or events has been indefinitely restricted.
We are strongly promoting self-care as a protection for both individuals and community. Please practice appropriate social distancing (maintain six-feet of distance, cover your cough/sneeze with your elbow, etc.). Please wash your hands frequently. Please be vigilant in self-monitoring for signs of symptoms of the virus – fever, cough, and tightness in the chest/respiratory distress. At the first sign of symptoms, self-isolate and contact your healthcare provider or the office of student affairs.
We are implementing heightened public health monitoring measures. Public Health officials have asked us to gather and maintain basic information from students, faculty, and staff in order to be prepared to quickly respond to further public health developments. Name, contact information, recent travel history, and exhibition of any virus related symptoms are asked for on the health reporting form.
We are reminding ourselves and others that community is more important than ever. To close, I would like to remind you to check-in on each other. Social-distancing, quarantine, and social-isolation are critical tactics in the prevention of spreading COVID-19, and we are responsible to each other to take appropriate precautions. However, we must stay connected in the ways that we can. Call, FaceTime, text, email, look for other creative ways to connect with your friends and express care. Let’s take care of each other, even at this time that calls on us to physically isolate ourselves as much as possible.
Please find more detailed information, updates, information about event cancellation, etc. on www.sckans.edu/health.
Join me in continuing to pray for our college and our Builder Family. This is a difficult time, and we will get through it together.