October 2, 2020
Update from the President
Dear Campus Community,
Now six weeks into the semester, this campus community remains focused on the work at hand – including the health and safety of one another. Keeping this community healthy continues to be our top priority.
I cannot stress enough the need for students to remain on campus as much as possible. Leaving campus to visit family, go out to eat or shop increases the risk of being exposed to the virus. Likewise, gathering in large groups inside campus facilities without social distancing raises the threat of exposure to COVID-19. Please remember to follow the basic COVID-19 protocols – wash your hands, practice social distancing, and wear your mask.
Vice President of Student Services Andrew Lewis has notified me that to date we have 630 members of the campus community signed into the LiveSafe app. If you have not done so yet, please download the app today and use it daily. I cannot stress enough the importance of your participation with this app. It enables the University to keep watch over your daily symptoms. Beginning next week, in addition to temperature checks, all students will be required to display their LiveSafe app ‘green check’ for entry to their classrooms and employees will need to display them to their supervisor each day.
Gov. Jim Justice recently issued a mandate for all higher education institutions requiring a weekly COVID-19 test of 10 percent of the campus populations. Students, faculty, and staff will be randomly chosen to be tested on Wednesday, and will receive an email notification to report to the Campus Health Center, now located in Swint Hall. Each person’s saliva-based, PCR test will be sent for processing, and each individual will receive notification of their results via email. This process will take place each week until Thanksgiving. To comply with this mandate, those chosen must report for testing.
A reminder to everyone, as we navigate the risks associated with the global pandemic, to ensure the safety of our campus community – faculty, staff, and students – all campus activities and events must remain restricted to our campus community only. This includes all Masses held in the Chapel of Mary and Joseph. We look forward to welcoming the greater community back to our campus at a time when these safety measures have been lifted, but for now our campus remains closed to the public.
This week, Aladdin has expanded its mini grocery section in the Starbucks Coffee Shop to include frozen foods. Students can purchase frozen pizzas, meals, hot pockets, and ice cream. The Shop will continue to stock milk, bread, peanut butter and snacks and other grocery items as well. These additions offer a convenient way for our students to buy food and beverages on campus without leaving their safe surroundings. I am grateful to Aladdin for helping us meet the needs of our students. I am proud we are making adjustments as the semester continues, making smart decisions to give our students a good experience and keeping them safely on campus.
Student Government Association asked me to share that Homecoming and Parent’s Weekend has been officially postponed to the Spring. However, the varsity Baseball and Softball teams are still hosting their inaugural Golf Outing. I am grateful to see so many people supporting this event and look forward to visiting with you.
The next President’s Town Hall will be held at 6 p.m., Wednesday, October 7 in the Ratt. There is limited seating for students and employees who wish to attend in-person. The Town Hall also will be streamed live on the Wheeling University YouTube Channel and click on the Town Hall 5 link. Moving forward, the Town Hall’s will be held once a month.
Today, we learned that our President and First Lady have been diagnosed with COVID-19. As I write this, we were notified by media reports that the President was transported to Walter Reed Military Medical Center. I ask all members of our community to pray that the President and First Lady have a swift recovery. Also, let us ask God to keep all citizens of our country and the world safe from the virus.
I understand and empathize with the deep frustration we are all experiencing. None of us imagined COVID-19 would restrict our normal way of life the way it has, for as long as it has. However, to ensure we can continue to provide face-to-face instruction to our students, all of us must remain vigilant and follow the guidelines we have in place. Being part of this Wheeling University family means that, at times, we must all make sacrifices for the greater good of our community. This is one of those moments. The difficult sacrifices we are making to address COVID-19 are not what we hoped or planned, but they are crucial. I know each of you will do whatever is necessary to keep one another healthy and safe.
Ginny R. Favede
President, Wheeling University