Hilary L. Link – President
March 20, 2020 at 4:02pm
This semester, to be sure, is not what any of us could have anticipated when we returned to campus in January. We deeply regret that the COVID-19 pandemic required such an abrupt end to our regular on-campus operations. Please know that senior leadership and I have always had our community’s health, safety, and wellbeing in mind as we have made the decisions we have continued to share with you. Each day over the past weeks has brought new difficult decisions and choices to be made, and we recognize the very real impact on each of us these decisions have had and continue to have.
When we contacted you yesterday about Gov. Tom Wolf’s directive that non-life-sustaining businesses close their physical operations, we still had many questions. Some of those questions remain, but we want to assure you that:
- Designated personnel will continue to provide on-site life-sustaining services to the limited number of students whose extraordinary circumstances have required they remain on campus. Where possible, we are offering options for remote access to College resources including counseling, health services, and support services for all students, on or off campus.
- As a reminder, residence halls are closing, and no visitors are permitted in residence halls. Students who have already left campus should not return to campus to retrieve belongings at this time. We will, as previously communicated, announce dates for returning to retrieve your belongings as soon as we can.
- We plan to resume remote delivery of courses on Wednesday, March 25, and faculty will be in contact with students about their course plans.
- Staff and administrators should continue to work remotely until further notice unless otherwise directed by their AEC member or supervisor.
- We will be issuing prorated refunds to students for dining and housing. Details regarding those refunds are currently being finalized, and we will provide updates as soon as we have more information.
- We will continue to keep you informed, as we have been doing, through emails and the College’s COVID-19 website.
We have had to make very difficult decisions to have students, whenever remotely possible, return to their families. This is a result of our need to follow state guidelines and reduce campus operations to the barest of minimums.
I have been so heartened by the many ways I have seen our community supporting each other — the faculty who are pouring their energies into reworking the format of courses on short notice, the staff who have dedicated hours to helping students navigate a very challenging time, the families who have been so understanding when asked to change plans suddenly, and the alumni who have offered to help in any way they can.
I am, however, not surprised by this outpouring of support. It exemplifies what makes us, together, Allegheny. And it is what will help us to emerge as an even stronger community from these challenging times.
President Hilary Link