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The Focus Is You

Coronavirus Announcements

If you are a SWOSU employee or student and are not receiving university email announcements, please email brian.adler@swosu.edu.

Update 3/25/20

Regarding Governor Kevin Stitt’s recent executive order, SWOSU is considered an essential business operation and will continue to operate on a restricted basis to serve students and provide essential operations.

To further ensure the safety of the SWOSU community, all buildings at Weatherford and Sayre campuses are closed to the public until further notice. Only SWOSU faculty, staff, students and approved visitors should enter any university building. Several offices are providing services via email and phone.

As a reminder, students continue to have access to the designated computer labs on both campuses.

The university has taken additional steps to prevent and slow the spread of the virus through several actions, including the transitioning of classes to alternative instructional delivery methods for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester.

As stated in earlier announcements, students are strongly encouraged to leave campus if possible. Supervisors are encouraged to communicate with staff about the methods in which essential functions of the university will continue to be completed.

Our highest priority is the safety of our students, faculty, staff and surrounding community. We continue to monitor developments in the COVID-19 pandemic and recommendations of state and federal health officials.

Randy Beutler

President

Update 3/23/20

Housing and Food Service Refunds

Students who officially move out of their on-campus residence hall assignment will receive a prorated refund for housing and meal plans, including flex funds, for the April 1 - May 9 time period. 

Student refunds will be processed after the dorm check-out process is complete with SWOSU Residence Life.  The refund will be credited to the student bursar account; please allow up to four weeks for processing. 

Students who remain in on-campus housing will not be eligible for a refund.  Students who have received university funded housing and/or food scholarships, waivers or other type of non-cash aid will not be eligible for a refund. 

Mailroom

When moving from the dorms to a new address off Campus, you will need to inform any person or entity that you do business with or receive mail or packages from of your new address.  DO NOT put in a “CHANGE OF ADDRESS” at the Post Office when moving from the dorms.  This will not help you since the Post Office does not deliver mail directly to you.

Virtual Course Help

Students who have questions about learning in a virtual environment or about courses are encouraged to 1) check the course Canvas pages; 2) stay in contact with your professor through Canvas messaging or email; and 3) visit the student learning support and frequently-asked question links.

Food Services

Food service will be available at the Grill in the Memorial Student Center, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.  These will be “grab-and-go” style meals.  The phone number for call ahead orders is (580) 774-3784. The convenience store in Mann Hall will be open Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.  

Residence Life and Housing

Residence Life and Housing has emailed all residents a housing update with new check-out procedures, important dates and times, as well as reimbursement information. We encourage all residents to read the email before returning to campus.

Library Services

The Al Harris Library on the Weatherford campus and McMahan Library on the Sayre campus are closed until further notice. Updates to our services are located on the Library’s website and social media accounts - https://libguides.swosu.edu/libcv19. As of March 14, all overdue fines are waived until further notice. If you need research assistance or help on class assignments, please use the Ask-a-Librarian service to contact SWOSU Librarians by email, chat, or SMS text.

Enrollment for Summer and Fall

Please contact your advisor through phone or email to discuss enrollment for the summer and fall semesters. To find your advisor’s contact information, go to the People Search link on SWOSU’s web page and type in the last name of your advisor. If you need to find the name of your advisor, log in to Self Service and the advisor’s name will be listed.

Computer Labs

SWOSU Weatherford will have one computer lab open for student use only.  The lab is located in Stafford 128 and will be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  For students who need lab time between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m., please call Karen Klein at 580-330-0008 and arrangements will be made to open the lab.

SWOSU Sayre will have two computer labs open for student use only.  The labs will be open from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.  The labs are Alexander 119 and Mackey Hall 111.  Gloves will be available in each lab and extensive disinfecting practices have been implemented.

Activity/Event Reminder

All in-person activities and events are cancelled on campus through May 10. We are working on ideas on how campus organizations can meet virtually…more information later.

Update 3/21/20

As we monitor the evolving COVID-19 situation, we continue to review general guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as we consider appropriate measures to minimize the risks to our students and employees while maintaining our core services.

Southwestern Oklahoma State University is moving to FULLY VIRTUAL COURSE DELIVERY FOR THE REMAINDER OF SPRING SEMESTER 2020This decision was made to further our efforts to reduce the number of individuals on campus.  Please remember that:

  1. Current online courses will resume on March 23 as originally scheduled;
  2. Courses previously offered using face-to-face and hybrid delivery will be transitioned to a virtual learning format; and
  3. Students who have questions about learning in a virtual environment or about courses are encouraged to 1) check the course Canvas pages; 2) stay in contact with your professor through Canvas messaging or email; and 3) visit the student learning support and frequently-asked question links.

    Due to the rapidly-changing public health challenges posed by COVID-19 and the guidelines/directives provided by health and government officials, SWOSU will implement the following changes to operations to help slow the spread of COVID-19 by restricting the number of people on campus.  Please check your University email on a regular basis for updates on these changes.

    RESTRICTED ACCESS TO CAMPUS BUILDINGS

    There will be limited access to most buildings on campus.  Please call the appropriate office that you need to get in contact with instead of a personal visit.  While some personnel will be on campus and in their offices, in many instances they may restrict physical entrance to that office.  All offices will have signs posted on their doors with contact information.

    RESIDENTIAL HOUSING

    We encourage all students who live in residential housing to vacate campus at this time.  We believe that this is necessary to protect the health of our campus community. We understand some students have no housing alternative and we are committed to assisting them. Please contact your Housing Coordinator for more information and to schedule a moving time if needed.  

    FOOD SERVICES

    Food service will be available at the Grill in the Student Union, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.  These will be “grab-and-go” style meals.  The convenience store in Mann Hall will be open Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.  

    TEMPORARY TELEWORK PLAN

    SWOSU will implement a Temporary Telework Plan. This plan will be in effect only as long as necessary to respond to the challenges caused by COVID-19.  The University will continue to monitor the situation, and by no later than April 3, make a determination about the continuation of teleworking.

    Teleworking cannot be applied to certain necessary operations of the University, nor is it ideal for many other job functions.  However, directors, in consultation with their respective Vice President or other member of the Executive Council, will make arrangements so that those employees who can perform their work at home can do so as long as such action does not compromise the operations of the institution.

    For those employees who have job functions that cannot be performed at home, supervisors will develop individualized plans that adhere to the following guidelines:
      1. Create flexible and rotating work schedules designed to minimize direct inter-employee contact;
      2. Practice social distancing in the workspace by maintaining a 6-foot inter-workstation spacing where possible; and
      3. Minimize multi-person meetings and transition all possible meetings to phone or virtual formats.

Supervisors should contact you by March 25 to develop your individual work plan, assess your needs, and arrange for the additional training and equipment as needed. Student workers should contact their supervisor.

Please note that in general, individuals are expected to work normal hours, regardless of location.

Faculty members are encouraged to discuss with their department chairs and deans the best methods of teaching, advising, researching, and performing other duties, whether on campus or remotely. CETL has several resources for virtual learning practices.

PUBLIC ACCESS TO CAMPUS

Effective immediately, SWOSU is temporarily restricting access of the general public to buildings on the main campus in Weatherford and the Sayre campus.  Please note that other services typically provided to the public will still be available through electronic communication. All events on campus, either University-related or held by external groups, are suspended.  

SWOSU COMMENCEMENT 2020

Graduation ceremonies that were scheduled to take place in May will be postponed. This decision was based on the recommendations of the CDC to cancel/postpone large group events. We are discussing possible modifications and options that will allow us to honor our graduates and celebrate their achievements at a late date.

 UNIVERSITY-RELATED TRAVEL

Travel for all University-related business or academic purposes is suspended unless such travel is deemed absolutely critical to the University and pre-approved by the pertinent Vice President or other Executive Officer and the President.

While I realize that the actions listed above will cause some inconvenience, they are needed to help protect the safety and wellness of our campus community and are consistent with the guidelines/directives of state and federal officials.  I strongly encourage all of you to do your part in reducing the spread of COVID-19.  If you are sick, do not report to work but contact your supervisor as soon as possible.

Randy Beutler

President

Update 3/20/20

Thank you for your patience as we work through these very difficult and changing times.  At SWOSU, we will continue to strive to ensure your safety and educational attainment. 

As you know, we will be initiating a two-week period of online learning from SWOSU.  As mentioned in my previous email, this experience will vary from class to class and from instructor to instructor. 

To our great students: These will be educationally challenging times, especially if you have not experienced an online course before.  Please do not get behind or procrastinate just because you are not in a face-to-face class.  I cannot emphasize enough the importance that you adhere to deadlines and stay in constant contact!  It is vitally important that you stay in email and Canvas contact with your instructors and advisors.  Although, we are still an “open” campus, please practice the guidelines set by the CDC with interactions and gatherings. We will have limited services available for student support. We also have links for student guidance and frequently asked questions.

To our excellent faculty: These are new experiences that have changed without much time allowed for preparation.  I know your character and professionalism.  We can succeed in making this a positive occurrence for our students.  Please stay in contact with your chairs and deans as to any questions, issues or needs that you may have. Faculty may work from home or from campus.  We need faculty to hold office hours (which can be virtual) and teach their classes.  CETL has put together several resources to help you in this time of transition.

To our dedicated staff: If you have medical issues or other matters that might have an effect on your physical return to work, please let your direct supervisor know and we will review these on a case-by-case basis. We will follow best practices and CDC recommendations in accommodating staff who need to work remotely. We are dedicated to ensuring employee safety while also providing important and vital services to the university community.

To all students, faculty, and staff: Please make sure that when you are on campus, be it in the residence halls, food service areas, library, offices or computer lab areas, take note to practice “social distancing.”  As a reminder, see the CDC guidelines regarding these recommendations.

In addition, all university events are cancelled through at least April 12. Regular season athletic events, all on-and-off-campus recruiting activities, and practices for all out-of-season sports are suspended indefinitely.  The Wellness Center is closed indefinitely.  If you have questions, please call 580-772-6611 (starting on Monday, March 23).

In regard to the health of our campus community, if you feel ill, believe that you have come into contact with someone with COVID-19, or have traveled to an area outside of Oklahoma with a high infection rate, please contact your health provider via phone or call Health Services at 580-774-3776 (starting on Monday, March 23).

We do not know at this time what the remainder of the semester may look like.  But, we will announce a decision regarding the remainder of the academic year on or before Friday, March 27.

Always keep in mind that we are constantly updating the information on our website.  Please continue to check or coronavirus update page at: https://www.swosu.edu/resources/coronavirus.aspx

I greatly appreciate your dedication and commitment to the health and welfare of everyone on our campus and in the community.  Please take care of yourself.

Randy Beutler

President

Update 3/16/20

Gov. Stitt just provided university and college presidents in Oklahoma with an update.  Here is a summary of that information:

  1. Federal government funding for virus testing is ramping up and more tests will soon be available.
  2. Gov. Stitt has approved 3 private companies to provide virus testing in the state.
  3. There have been 10 positive COVID-19 cases in Oklahoma.  Some of those have already recovered from their symptoms.
  4. There should not be any disruption in the food and supply chain in the country.  There is no need to hoard or stockpile supplies or food.
  5. There will soon be 68 different sites in the state where virus testing can take place. (More info will be released later by the state)
  6. There has been established a 24-hour call center if you believe that you may have symptoms of the virus.  That number is 877-215-8336.
  7. The federal government asked Oklahoma to start mitigation efforts.  That led to the closure of public K-12 schools in Oklahoma until April 6th.  At that time, a re-evaluation will take place to see if K-12 schools will reopen.
  8. Gov. Stitt stressed that citizens need to remain calm and to use recommended sanitary practices.

As a reminder, SWOSU will restart classes with an online format on Monday, March 23.  The format and class structure of your classes will vary depending on the type of class you are enrolled in and how your instructor will want to handle the class.

University housing will be open for those currently living on campus.  Computer labs on campus will be available to students starting Monday.  Finally, the Student Union cafeteria will also be serving lunch and dinner starting next week.

Please stay safe and we look forward to your eventual return to campus.

Randy Beutler

SWOSU President

Update 3/12/20

As you know from previous communications, university leadership has been closely following events and public health recommendations surrounding the outbreak and spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

As a precautionary and protective measure, SWOSU is transitioning all in-person classes to an online learning environment for the two-week period following Spring Break, beginning Monday, March 23 through Friday, April 3.

Though our campus classes will not meet in person, the university will remain open. SWOSU employees will report to work as usual. University housing, computer labs, food service, health clinics, counseling services, research labs and all other aspects of the university will remain open during the two-week period from March 23-April 3.

As students leave campus for Spring Break, they should take all instructional materials, including textbooks and devices, to prepare for online learning. For more information, https://swosu.edu/resources/coronavirus-students.aspx

Additional information further defining the transition is included in the links below. These links will be updated as necessary.

General information for students, faculty and staff: https://swosu.edu/resources/coronavirus-general-information.aspx

Student learning details and answers to students’ frequently asked questions: https://swosu.edu/resources/coronavirus-faqs-students.aspx

Faculty resources for necessary technology: https://swosu.edu/resources/coronavirus-faculty.aspx

Although there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 around the SWOSU campuses at this time, we are implementing this plan to prevent large gatherings on campus. As a result, all events/activities/meetings are suspended from March 23 through April 3.

SWOSU is closely monitoring the current safety levels with the Oklahoma State Department of Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Continue to monitor the SWOSU website at www.swosu.edu and the coronavirus info quick link: https://www.swosu.edu/resources/coronavirus.aspx

This is a difficult and extraordinary time in our lives and the history of this institution.  There is no perfect plan to deal with this current situation.  However, we have outlined a plan that we believe is operable for the time being.  We will work through this the best way we know how. 

There will be issues that arise that were not foreseen.  There will be issues that were not contemplated.  However, we have good, dedicated people and students on our campus who will make this work. 

Our goal is the safety of our students, faculty and staff and to create a safe learning environment for the time being.  These are times that we hope we will not see again. In order to make this work, in many instances, we will have to improvise, think outside the box, and hope that this will be a one-time, temporary endeavor into the educational unknown. 

The spread of COVID-19 may necessitate changes in the way we interact, but it does not change what we do. SWOSU will continue to operate and will continue to deliver the highest-quality education possible to the students we serve, and SWOSU employees will continue to perform their duties.

Randy Beutler

SWOSU President  

Update 3/11/20

SWOSU continues to closely monitor the emergence of the virus, consulting with experts at the Oklahoma Department of Health, the CDC, as well as other partners. The top priority is the safety of the members of the campus community.  SWOSU will make decisions regarding this issue based on public health guidance from authoritative sources.

SWOSU’s goal is to protect the health and safety of everyone on our campuses and in our communities.  Updated information will be provided as it becomes available.

Currently, there are no confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at SWOSU or in our area.  Our immediate risk on our campuses currently remains low, but the situation continues to evolve rapidly.

In times like these, rumors have a tendency to spread.  There are no immediate threats or cause for alarm.   If you have questions, please ask.  Just because the SWOSU administration may have discussions and prepare for certain contingencies does not mean that they will be or are to be implemented.

We have assembled the SWOSU Emergency Management Working Group that is meeting on a regular basis to evaluate the spread of the novel coronavirus around the country and region.  The team, working in conjunction with guidelines established by federal, state and local health agencies, is charged with ensuring the university’s emergency preparedness plans are up-to-date should the virus reach our area.

Know the facts

As we approach Spring Break, please be safe and take common-sense precautions to avoid risk.  At this time, we intend to resume classes as scheduled on Monday, March 23, when the university reopens.  However, circumstances may change quickly.  If we were to significantly alter our operational status, you would be notified through our emergency alert system.  For less significant changes, you will be informed through campus email and Canvas.

Randy Beutler
SWOSU President

Coronavirus Update and Travel Restrictions

The latest situation summary from the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the Coronavirus and COVID-19 may be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/summary.html.

SWOSU is relying on CDC, U.S. Department of State, and other global health organizations for guidance about university-related travel, including study abroad programs. Due to the rapidly changing nature of the virus outbreaks, we are fully aware that new areas can be identified very quickly that might lead to further restrictions at any time.

SWOSU will not authorize university travel to any region with a State Department Level 3 travel advisory or a CDC Level 3 advisory (current information about areas with Level 3 advisory). We remain confident that these organizations are best suited to provide guidance, although we may, when merited, restrict access to other areas that we believe might present some risk to students and faculty.

Impact on Study Abroad programs

In addition to the risk of exposure to the COVID-19 virus, there are other risks associated with travel, including the risk of involuntary quarantine for those who travel through affected areas.  All faculty coordinating study abroad trips, regardless of destination, are required to communicate contingency plans in the event the virus is found in their host country. In addition, we have instructed faculty to consider means of transportation that minimize any possible transmission.

Impact on Semester and Yearlong Programs

SWOSU students who are currently abroad with approved academic or other partners may stay in place, at their discretion, while we continue to monitor the situation. We will stay in touch with the partners and the students to make sure that they are aware of our deep concern for their well-being.

If a student feels the need to return to the U.S., we are directing their home departments to work with the students to find alternative ways to meet their course credits.

SWOSU will wait to evaluate summer trips abroad, and we are asking departments to extend deadlines for withdrawal if at all possible. The university will not approve any travel to areas that have been identified by authoritative governmental organizations as having Level 3 outbreaks of the virus.

What You Can Do

The CDC states that Coronavirus is spread by close contact with someone who has the illness who coughs or sneezes. Precautions limiting your exposure to the virus are the same as those against the spread of the flu. Please refer to the CDC’s Travelers Health Notices for guidance if you are traveling.

If you have health concerns related to flu-like symptoms, contact University Health Services at 580-774-3776 from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays. Additional information is also available through these Frequently Asked Questions.

Additional Information: LibGuide

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Brian Adler | VP for Public Relations and Marketing | brian.adler@swosu.edu | 580.774.3063

 

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The Focus Is You