Letter to students from Dr. Nina Caldwell


March 13, 2020

Dear Students,

As spring break week concludes and you prepare to start your virtual classes, many of you might still be undecided about whether or not you should return to campus next week.

As previously communicated to you, all of our suggestions follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations to begin “social distancing,” whenever possible. As you continue practicing social distancing while also completing your coursework, here are some specific recommendations to aid you in your decision:

Commuter Students

Because you already reside off campus, we recommend you avoid coming to campus for the next two weeks. Your classes are being delivered virtually and many campus events are being cancelled or postponed. The easiest way for you to practice “social distancing” is to study from home and limit your interactions with other people for the time being. That said, if you do come to campus, we will be open and providing services.

Residential Students

Because there are advantages to social distancing, we encourage those of you who can return to your permanent homes to do so. For students who are not able to return home, we will continue to fully support you. Maryville’s residential, dining, student success, and library services will be open and operational to provide for your needs. All buildings are open for now, but this is a very fluid situation. If there are changes to services or building access, we will inform you immediately.

For students remaining in the residence halls and apartments, consistent with CDC recommendations, we strongly encourage you to practice excellent hygiene as well as social distancing including avoiding mass gatherings and maintaining distance of approximately 6 feet from others when possible.

Athletics and Campus Events

Just this morning, the presidents of the Great Lakes Valley Conference colleges and universities unanimously determined it is in the best interest of our student athletes, coaches, trainers and spectators to cancel all remaining NCAA practices and competitions for the spring semester. Please note that athletic scholarships will not be impacted for the remainder of the academic year. All club sports are also cancelled for the remainder of the semester. If you are a student athlete with specific questions about how this decision affects you, please contact your coach and/or the Director of Athletics and Recreation.

Many university sponsored events are being canceled for the next several weeks as we monitor the coronavirus situation. For the latest updates on the status of events, please check  Maryville.edu/events-status/ frequently.

Dining Services

We have been working closely with Fresh Ideas to create more cautious approaches to the preparation and delivery of our food services. We are temporarily shutting down all self-serve stations such as waffle machines and the salad bar and expanding offerings in our take-out and grab-n-go stations. All catered events must serve pre-packaged items only.

We understand that the decision whether or not to return to campus is a difficult decision for many of you. Maryville is doing everything we can – based on the information we have about the coronavirus outbreak from local and national health officials – to mitigate the risk of you being exposed to the virus while ensuring you can continue your studies. Please be assured your health and well-being and that of our entire campus community is of paramount concern.

Should you have questions, please contact Joseph Fitzpatrick, Dean of Students at 314-529-9476 or by email at jfitzpatrick@maryville.edu or Dr. Ryan McDonnell, Director of Residential Life at 314-529-9362 or by email at rmcdonnell@maryville.edu.

Sincerely,
Dr. Nina Caldwell
Vice President for Student Life