A Clearer Picture

What is happening at SSU

Mason Bryant, Staff Reporter

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, there has been an unprecedented amount of changes taking place all over the world, and by our institution in recent weeks. Everyday, there are massive amounts of changes taking place within the school, and it can be a lot to keep up with. It’s easy to get lost in the swarm of emails being sent out and not get the whole story. To simplify things a bit, and make sure that everyone stays up-to-date on how the Coronavirus is being handled on campus, this article will consolidate all of the SSU COVID-19 updates so far in order of student importance:

  • On Mar. 16, SSU announced that they will be switching to an online format for the remainder of the semester; doing away with face-to-face instruction, and limiting the need for students to be on campus. This is the update that has impacted students the most, for better or worse. The responses to this shift have been mixed; some are happy to participate in remote instruction, grateful for the steps being taken to flatten the curve and keep them safe; while some have expressed concerns about not getting the same quality of education that they would normally receive in-person or that the switch has caused inconveniences to some due to the cancellation of events, labs, clinicals, or other irreplaceable, hands-on scholastic experiences. The clinical and preceptor hours have been tentatively rescheduled to a shorter time frame taking place from June 1-June 19. Regardless, this semester will be completed online, and students are encouraged to remain diligent until completion of this unique term.
  • During the upcoming Summer Semester, most classes will be online. There has also been a large number of classes that aren’t traditionally offered online making the switch.
  • In light of Governor DeWine and the Ohio Department of Health’s stay-at-home order, only limited essential services will remain open on campus, all other department will be offered remotely. If you aren’t feeling well, the SSU Health Clinic is still open Monday-Friday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. However, you must call 740-351-4DOC for screening before you can be seen face-to-face.
  • The Spring Commencement Ceremony was postponed indefinitely. A new date will be announced as soon as possible, but not until the Ohio Department of Health changes its restrictions on large public gatherings. Decisions about Spring Commencement will be made and announced early next week.
  • All campus events, athletic activities, and school-sponsored travel has been cancelled for the remainder of the semester. Ticket refunds and exchanges are available for Vern Riffe Center events. Email [email protected].
  • The James A. Rhodes Athletic Center and the Warsaw Aquatic Center will remain closed indefinitely.
  • Last day to withdraw from courses has been extended to Apr. 24. It is important to note that Final exams will no longer be held in a singular week, they will take place Apr. 25 through May 1 for CAS and University College courses; May 2-8 for CPS courses. Final grading has been extended to Apr. 23-May 12 and final grades available to students in MySSU on May 13.
  • Also on Mar. 16, SSU urged residential students to return to their homes, if possible. This measure was taken to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus among students living in on-campus housing facilities. Students who cannot go back to their homes are still allowed to remain in their dorms for the time being; however, the university has begun to take action in consolidating the remaining students into select housing arrangements.
  • If you are staying on campus or have internet accessibility issues, there have been many provisions taken to ensure that you have adequate equipment to complete your school work. The Student Success Center has been rearranged to comply with social distancing health standards, and there are computers available there for student use.
  • Outside the glass rotunda at the Morris University Center is also a Wi-Fi hotspot that students are welcome to use.
  • The Morris University Center will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday-Friday; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends. Key card access will be installed in the near future which will require students to swipe before entering, much like the Bear Cave in The Clark Memorial Library. If you do choose to use this facility or any other facility, please exercise caution to not further the spread, and practice social distancing.
  • The Clark Memorial Library has been closed, but it does still operate online and students can reach out to them by text at 740-313-4333; Email [email protected]; or chat by following the link at shawnee.edu.
  • If you need any tutoring or advising, they will no longer be holding face-to-face meetings, but they will be operating online through the Student Success Center via Blackboard or phone.
  • Mar. 18, it was announced that federal work-study and university student employees will continue to receive payment for the remainder of the semester, and should submit time sheets with the normal amount of hours worked prior to the move to remote instruction.
  • Now on the SSU app, you can find links to the Virtual Math Lab and the Virtual Writing Center. If you are interested in making an appointment with a Writing Center tutor, you can schedule one by emailing [email protected]. The Virtual Math Lab can be found in Blackboard Collaborate.

To stay up-to-date with the latest developments, check your student email daily, follow the Shawnee State University Chronicle’s website, or like the Chronicle’s Facebook page. Most importantly, as the Governor has mandated, stay inside unless absolutely necessary; wash your hands for at least twenty seconds, sanitize and disinfect surfaces you touch daily, and limit you contact with others. Keep your heads up, Bears, this is a trying time and everyone must play their part to help flatten the curb and stop the spread.