The University of Indianapolis will be extending spring break for students until March 22 as part of the university’s plan to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, University President Robert Manuel announced in an email to students, faculty and staff on March 11. Beginning on March 23, all in-person coursework will move to an online or alternate delivery method until it is deemed safe to resume in-person instruction. There currently has not been any UIndy-associated cases of COVID-19, Manuel said.
UIndy will be open on March 16, despite the class cancellations, according to Manuel. By extending spring break an extra week, UIndy will use the time to offer support to faculty and staff as they move their courses to online or alternate delivery methods. Manuel said in the email that Executive Vice President and Provost Steven Kolison has been in discussion with deans and other individuals to create the plans for faculty and staff’s work next week.
UIndy strongly recommends that students return to their permanent residence during this time, if they are able to, according to the email from Manuel. For those who are unable to, or do not want to leave campus, UIndy will be keeping all residence halls and apartments open.
UIndy will also continue to serve meals, employ social distancing strategies and increase the frequency of cleanings for major public areas around campus, Manuel said in the email. According to USA Today, the CDC defines social distancing as remaining out of, and avoiding, mass gatherings or settings and maintaining an approximately six-foot distance away from others when possible.
In the email, Manuel said that UIndy does not tolerate any forms of discrimination, harassment or retaliation and said that any such behavior as a result of COVID-19 is unacceptable.
“Viruses know no borders or segmentations,” Manuel said in the email. “Let’s all do our best to ensure COVID-19 does not become a source of division on our campus and in our community.”
UIndy’s COVID-19 Task Force will be continuing to meet during this time to assess the university community’s readiness to return to course offered in their traditional formats, according to Manuel’s email. If students, faculty or staff have any questions about the situation, Manuel said they are welcome to email the COVID-19 Task Force at firstname.lastname@example.org.
UIndy’s plans at-a-glance:
- Residence halls and apartments remain open: Residence halls and apartments will remain open during the extended break, according to Manuel’s email. Residence halls will reopen on March 15 at 2 p.m. and UIndy recommends students who choose to stay in the halls practice social distancing.
- Dining Services remains open: Dining Services will be open March 16-22 and will open at 4 p.m. on March 15. The Dining Hall will operate on a “to-go” basis only, according to Manuel’s email. Students can get food from the dining hall, but no dining is allowed in the room. All three grill areas, the Hound Express and the Perk locations will be open.
- Drop/Add Deadline changed: UIndy’s drop/add deadline for Semester II is March 20, but the university is now postponing the deadline, according to Manuel’s email. The Faculty Senate will determine what the new date should be and will communicate that as soon as they are able.
- Health & Wellness Center remains open: The Health & Wellness Center will be open during this time, according to Manuel’s email. If a student, faculty or staff member is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, has been exposed to someone with COVID-19, have traveled to a Level 2 or Level 3 country as categorized by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or has a health condition that places them at greater risk, as determined by the CDC, they are asked to call the center at (317) 788-3437.
- Students with on-campus jobs: For students with jobs on-campus, their supervisors will be receiving more information from Human Resources about what will happen to their jobs during this time, according to Manuel’s email.
- Prospective students can continue to visit: During this time, the Office of Admissions will also remain open for prospective students and their families, according to Manuel’s email. The office may have to make adjustments as needed for larger group events and individual campus visits.
- University-sponsored international travel: UIndy will continue to suspend all university-sponsored international travel through at least May 30, including all spring term service trips and any pending individual study abroad programs, according to Manuel’s email. The university will be evaluating whether or not any travel after May 31 will be suspended and will announce that decision at another time. Manuel said in the email that UIndy also strongly discourages personal international travel at this time, but if anyone is planning to, they should fill out a form to let the university know.
- University-sponsored domestic travel: There are currently no restrictions on domestic, out-of-state, university-sponsored travel, but UIndy is also strongly discouraging all non-essential travel.
- On-campus events: There will not be any new and non-essential events with an expected attendance of 50 or more people on campus through May 31, according to Manuel’s email. The university will also be reserving the right to cancel or curtail any event without significant advance notice. Commencement ceremonies that are set for May 2 will continue as planned, but the university will continue to monitor the situation.
For more information on what coronaviruses are, how they spread and how to protect yourself from them, click here.