Update from Oglethorpe University, 3/26/20

Dear students:

You’ve almost made it through the first week of remote learning. Our faculty have worked incredibly hard to bring the signature Oglethorpe classroom experience to you online, but we know it isn’t the same. We are all learning how to work and interact differently, and we appreciate your patience as our faculty experiment with the best ways to help you learn in this temporary era of social distancing.

Campus is quiet and lonely as you might expect, but the beauty of spring at Oglethorpe reminds me that this phase will pass and the people that make this place special will return with renewed vigor.

The operation of the university continues, despite our campus closures. I want to share with you a few updates on things we are working on.

  • We have created a new page of student resources on the website, which includes information about scheduling remote counseling through our Counseling Center, online tutoring and supplemental instruction through Academic Success, and additional tools to help you with online learning.
  • Course Registration is still scheduled to begin on April 6. To facilitate registration during this time, we have lifted registration holds for library, admission, parking, conduct and some business holds. You must still be cleared by your advisor prior to registration to be eligible to register.
  • Our faculty are currently discussing a number of options regarding grading for courses that have switched to online learning this semester.  They will vote on proposals next week. We will keep you informed of any changes in this area but encourage you to reach out to your professors and utilize the services still being offered in Academic Success if you’re having difficulty.
  • For resident students concerned about possible refunds of room and board charges, we are actively exploring options to provide some financial relief. This process is much more complicated than it seems as we are actively negotiating with our external food service provider and considering the impact on financial aid for many of our students. So, while we are proceeding with caution, we are working as quickly as possible to get you this information. You can expect an announcement from us in the next week or two, if not sooner.
  • Graduating seniors should look out for a survey the week of April 6 that will solicit everyone’s input on options to celebrate senior traditions and commencement. The survey will be created with input from senior class student leaders.
  • As you learned earlier this week, a student who was loved by so many in our community, Chloe Watts, passed away due to complications related to pre-existing medical conditions. Dean Hall, along with several faculty, staff and students are planning an online vigil to celebrate and remember Chloe. This will take place this Sunday, March 29, at 4:00 pm. You may join the vigil via this zoom link.

I know so many of you are experiencing sadness and grief over the loss of a dear friend, or the loss of your last semester at Oglethorpe, or the loss of face-to-face contact with your best friends and beloved professors. It is in times like these that we need one another more than ever. I encourage you all to maintain those connections, reach out to faculty and staff for help when you need it, and take advantage of our Counseling Center. We will get through this. As Petrels, we always do.

President Schall

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