Update: March 16
Coronavirus Response Task Force members are sources of information for the campus community
Members of the Coronavirus Task Force met today for two hours in conversation about a variety of issues related to the implementation of our Emergency Response Plan. The group will meet daily and decisions will be communicated through our Coronavirus Periodic Updates as well as through divisional communication by Collegium members. These individuals can be a source of additional information for you. Members of the task force are David King, Greg Miller, Katie Robbins, Mel Scott, Pat Roberts, Tim Bryan, Jennifer Bilek, Tanya Hockman, Adam Klemann, Deb Lee, Becky Rodak, Christina Schnyders, and Kris Vincent. Don’t hesitate to reach out to these individuals.
Other Ohio universities have closed their residence halls and dining halls. Why has Malone kept residence halls and the Dining Commons open?
We are attempting to meet the needs of all Malone students, many of whom have a strong need to remain on campus as their primary or only residence. Continued residence is a student/family choice. We are caring for our students while following the advice from the Center for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, and state health officials. Steps have been taken to eliminate gatherings of people, frequent and enhanced cleaning of public spaces is ongoing, social distancing is being encouraged and enforced, and preventative hygiene plans are being shared and encouraged. In response to an executive order issued by the Governor last night which closes restaurants and bars, we have had to modify the operations of our Dining Services. Starting this morning, March 16, and continuing until further notice, all meals will be packaged for carry out. Students will select their meal from the Dining Commons and then be asked to leave the facility in order to comply with the Governor’s order. Students are free to return for more food during designated meal times, consistent with the existing all-you-can-eat policy. The new order is another step focused on eliminating gatherings of people. Instruction is continuing and faculty and staff are working to meet the needs of each student.
Some residential students have asked about possible refunds if they choose to study from home during this transitional period. Has the university made a decision about this issue?
As you are probably aware, guidelines are changing daily. Every university is at a slightly different place with the pandemic; at present, we have zero confirmed cases. While we want to continue to assist in slowing down the spread of COVID-19, we do not believe now is the time to make a complete school closure unless our environment changes or we’re mandated by the State. We will continue to follow State and Public Health Officials recommendations. The measures prescribed to us at present have been focused on reducing large gatherings of people in a single area. We will continue to monitor the situation and posture ourselves for responding to instructions of the experts. We want our students to confidently live in our campus community.
We are continuing to review the question of refunds. Should we be mandated to close all on-site operations, Malone will follow any Department of Education guidance (DOE) on crediting funds. Each student account will need to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Refunds, if that decision is made, will come closer to the end of the semester with direction from the DOE.
What about Room Selection Night?
Room Selection Night is when returning students sign-up for their housing preference for fall semester. At this time, we are preparing to move the process to an online application format. More details will be sent to you via email.
Are employees permitted to work from home at this time?
While we are preparing for this possible escalation caused by the spread of the virus as we work to continue operations, we are not directing employees to work from home at this time. However, we are continuing to study and prepare for this circumstance should it be required. At this moment, we have added a temporary addendum to the Absence Due to Personal Illness Policy. The following decisions have been made, until further notice, in regards to our Personal Illness Policy.
- If an employee or a member of an employee’s household is showing signs of illness, whether it be cold, flu, COVID-19, or other illnesses, the employee is not to report to work until they are free of symptoms for at least 24 hours. At this time, employees should notify their supervisor and account their time off as sick or vacation time.
- The requirement of providing a medical release to the Human Resources office upon return is waived.
- If an employee feels they need to refrain from reporting to work and they do not have symptoms, they are to discuss their concerns with their supervisor and may be granted to use vacation time.
Call the Human Resources Office if you need more information at x8158.
These changes are causing disruptions in the lives of everyone, particularly seniors in their final semester of their Malone experience. What have we decided about the many events meant to celebrate the impact our seniors have made at Malone?
Among the innumerable disappointments and loss of opportunity associated with the ways in which we must respond to the coronavirus pandemic are those associated with our graduating seniors. The final weeks of our seniors’ spring semester are typically ripe with anticipation, recognition, celebration, and transition to life’s unfolding chapter. We want to acknowledge this particular wave in an ocean of uncertainty and disappointment. Among the many ways our seniors ‘finish strong’ and are recognized are the following University sponsored events:
- Senior Recognition Banquet, April 4
- Student Research Symposium, April 18
- Senior Day, Softball, April 25
- Senior Day, Baseball, April 25
- Bible / Theo Salt & Light Service, May 8
- Nursing Pinning Ceremony, May 8
- Baccalaureate, May 8
- Commencement, May 9
Know that our Response Team is closely monitoring both internal and external factors that may impact any decisions and their timing concerning these events. At this time, we are not ready to cancel these events but anticipate making decisions very soon.
Where and when feasible, we will also strive to develop alternative ways to recognize and celebrate our seniors in cases where we are unable to hold our traditional events.
Governor DeWine today issued an executive order closing gyms. Does this impact the Wellness Center and Osborne Gymnasium?
Yes. To comply with the executive order, the Wellness Center and Osborne Gymnasium are closed until further notice.