Wesleyan Transitions to Online Classes for the Safety of the Campus Community

Editorial StaffMarch 12, 20205min
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For the safety of the campus community, amid the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reporting thousands of known cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) nationwide, Wesleyan is transitioning all classes to distance-learning models for the remainder of the spring semester.

“As hard as we work to make the on-campus Wesleyan experience the best it can be, we must apply that same diligence and care to protecting our community’s well-being in light of this growing threat,” said Wesleyan President Michael Roth ’78 in a campuswide email.

While there are no confirmed cases at Wesleyan, there are five confirmed cases in the State of Connecticut, and Governor Ned Lamont declared a public health emergency.

After consulting with a variety of public health experts and other higher education institutions around the country, Wesleyan announced the following preventive measures:

  • In-person classes are suspended for the remainder of the spring semester; all courses will transition to distance learning models.
  • Effective immediately, all University-sponsored, connected, or funded domestic and international travel for students, faculty, and staff is prohibited. The University also strongly discourages all personal domestic and international travel by students, faculty, and staff, except for the purposes of students returning home.
  • Undergraduate students who are able should return to campus through March 23 to gather their belongings; all students without University-approved alternate arrangements must depart campus by that time. Students who are unable to leave campus may submit an online petition to request that their access continues. Students who would like to request an extension for picking up their belongings may also use the online petition.
  • Wesleyan has suspended all study abroad programs for the spring semester and has instructed students studying abroad to immediately book travel back to the United States or to their home countries.
  • Wesleyan has canceled all on-campus events, including conferences, until further notice. The campus also is closed to visitors for the remainder of the semester.
  • Wesleyan faculty and staff who travel for personal or University-funded business to or through an area designated as Level 3 by the CDC must self-quarantine for 14 days after they have returned to the United States and before they return campus.

“I have always known Wesleyan to be an inventive place that rises to new challenges, and I have every confidence that the remainder of the semester, while taking a much different form than in the past, will be successful,” Roth wrote. “While it may not diminish any sadness and frustration, it’s important to note that my colleagues and I have searched far and wide for ways to avoid this suspension of in-person classes and campus activities. Realizing that the closeness of our richly interactive community is what makes us more vulnerable to this disease has led us to this unhappy decision. And now, we are determined to find ways to empower student learning while most are away from campus.”

Wesleyan’s Coronavirus/COVID-19 website offers the latest available information and a list of Frequently Asked Questions with sets specifically for students, faculty, and staff.  For further questions, email Covid-19Info@wesleyan.edu or call (888) 675-2011.