Students who previously elected to stay on campus despite the move to online classes in wake of the virus COVID-19 last week are now being encouraged by University President Tania Tetlow to return home.
In an email sent to students Monday, Tetlow announced more than 400 students had elected to stay in campus residence halls for the duration of the semester.
“We are concerned that the state may soon ask us to empty our campus of all but those who absolutely cannot go anywhere else,” Tetlow said. “But for the rest of you, we worry that our ability to provide emergency services for so many of you is not adequate to the potential situation.”
Tetlow said the University is aware of students who can not return to their homes due to infected family members or countries who have closed their borders due to COVID-19.
Students can request permission to stay on campus for emergency reasons by Tuesday at 9 a.m.
Students who do not request approval to stay will be asked to leave campus by Friday, March 20. Anyone who leaves campus by March 20 will receive a pro-rated refund on housing, Tetlow announced last week.
Tetlow also stressed that if national travel restrictions are implemented in the next week, students may get less time to leave campus than by the 20th.
The University will assist students in finding storage options for their belongings, Tetlow said in the email.
“I’m really sorry that this is hitting you on the first day of online classes. We made sure that those classes would be recorded, so you can always catch up if events get in the way,” Tetlow said. “Like you, we are working with constantly changing circumstances and a new reality that has been hard to fathom. Thank you for your patience. Right now, we all need to focus on safety.”