Updated: Oct 28, 2020
By: Jaclyn Tracy
At noon on Thursday, March 26, which was a warm, sunny day, students ordinarily would have been swarming to these spots on campus. Yet due to the COVID-19-related shutdown, only a few essential vehicles and construction were to be seen.
Photos by Liza Burby
Mostly everyone in America can say that they did not see themselves in the exact predicament they are in right now about a month ago. While since early 2020, coronavirus has been a major news headline and health concern in our country, in mid-March, things became very real, as universities across America started one-by-one converting solely to online formats; non-essential workers started working from home; and we were introduced to the term social distancing and the need to wear a mask and gloves everywhere you go. That was before we were told not to leave the house at all. Welcome to the new norm.
While everyone is being affected by this global pandemic in different ways, Adelphi has made adjustments and changes in efforts to keep the community as safe as possible in the time being. But it’s a lot to take in, so The Delphian has compiled a list of what you need to know about university operations throughout this temporary period of uncertainty, based on student body email blasts, Adelphi’s coronavirus FAQ page and announcements made by Adelphi via social media.
1. Classes will be held online throughout the remainder of the semester.
When students and faculty left campus before spring break, they were told that online learning would continue until further notice starting March 23. Then a n email sent to the student body from the provost on March 16 stated: “Because it has become clear that this situation is going to take widespread and sustained efforts over an unknown period of time, we have made the decision to extend the online learning that will begin on March 23 through the remainder of the spring semester.” Instructors of each course were encouraged to modify their syllabus and figure out a set plan of action for the remainder of the semester for both themselves and their students, regardless of what major or department the course falls under.
2. Residential life on campus is suspended until further notice.
While some students who dorm on campus were under the impression that they would be able to return to their dorms even as online learning continues, Adelphi housing made it mandatory that students move out of their dorms as soon as possible for the overall safety of the community. In an email from Sentwali Bakari, vice president for Student Affairs and dean of students, said, “As of today, Monday, March 16, all resident students are to move out and return home as soon as possible—for your own safety and for the safety and well-being of our entire community. All residence halls will suspend normal operations on Wednesday, March 25 at 5 pm.”
This email also made clear they understand that while many students can return home safely and stress-free, for others it is impossible due to either living abroad, not having a safe place to call home, or not having access to reliable Internet to successfully complete online learning. For these students, it was explained that if they complete a form, exceptions will be made, and they will be granted “basic housing, health, food and social services.” The email stated as well, that, for resident students, “partial refunds will be calculated and prorated as of Monday, March 23.”
However, for students who choose to remain on campus, the Center for Recreation and Sports was to be closed indefinitely. If a student’s package has been delivered to the Adelphi mailroom, school mail services will re-route it directly to their home address on file.
3. On-campus and university-sponsored events have been canceled.
While this may come as no surprise to students and faculty, being that campus life has been shifted to a completely online format, all on-campus and university-sponsored events have been canceled. This includes not only all intercollegiate athletic events, but commencement as well, and any other events that were planned for the remainder of the spring semester.
An answer regarding events on Adelphi’s FAQ page reads, “Due to a ban on gatherings in New York State, and the requirement of our state and county departments of health to maintain social distance and reduce population density during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are unable to hold our May 2020 commencement exercises as planned.”
Adelphi ensured the community that although this may come as very disappointing news to many, they are actively working on new plans for alternative commencement events and celebrations, which will be shared with students as soon as they are finalized.
4. Many helpful resources are still available to the community remotely.
As the semester continues, students will be able to access the following resources online: Student Counseling Center, Health Services Center, Interfaith Center, Diversity, Equity And Inclusion, alcohol and other drug services, the Career Center, Student Affairs, Information Technology (IT), Learning and Writing Center, as well as accommodations and note taking services made with the Student Access Office (SAO). In addition, the Panther Pantry is still available to students in need via online at https://students.adelphi.edu/catalog/panther-pantry.
5. All travel and study abroad programs have been canceled indefinitely.
On Adelphi’s website, it states, “While we are committed to international experiences, our community’s safety and well-being remain our top priority. All study abroad trips through May 24 have been canceled or postponed.”
Adelphi also noted that they strongly discourage anyone in the community from personal travel during this “rapidly evolving public health emergency.”
6. How to stay safe- and who to contact if you don’t feel well.
There are many different precautions that can be made to protect yourself from catching, as well as spreading, coronavirus. According to Adelphi’s website, some of these precautions include:
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
If you are a student and have symptoms of fever, cough and body aches, and are concerned, call 516-877-6000 and ask to speak to a nurse.
Most importantly, Panthers, take this time to take care of yourself. Take safety precautions seriously. And spend time with your loved ones. The sooner we all follow directions, the sooner we will all get through this.
In future issues, The Delphian will continue to report on changes and how it is impacting students and faculty. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to share stories of how the COVID-19 situation has impacted you and if you have any hopeful stories to share about good deeds and unexpected lessons learned throughout this crisis.