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Update from the President

March 5, 2021

Dear Campus Community, 

As this first week of March comes to an end, we are concerned about an increase of COVID-19 cases on campus. After two weeks of no COVID-related activity, we now have 18 quarantined students. It is unclear what has caused this spike again, but our focus has turned to mitigation. I am hopeful that as the weather continues to improve, students will have the ability to be outside to study, dine, and gather, thereby reducing the risk of spreading the virus. Nearly one year since this virus turned our world upside down, we have overcome so much, but it is apparent we cannot let our guard down, and we must continue to be vigilant.  Let us all continue to work as a community to keep our students and one another healthy and safe. 

Athletics are in full swing! It is as exciting as it is extremely busy with all sports competing except wrestling, which wrapped up a week ago. In season sports are basketball, volleyball, track and field, golf, soccer, baseball, softball, rugby, and lacrosse. Coordinating schedules for practices, games, locker rooms, and transportation has taken a herculean effort from our athletic department, conference services, transportation, facilities, and housekeeping. I extend my heartfelt thank you for working so very hard to ensure our students have these opportunities.   Although we are beginning outdoor sports, I want to gently remind you that no fans are permitted, per Mountain East Conference rules, at any indoor competition.  

We have adopted a spectator policy for our outdoor sports that will be used at Bishop Schmitt Field and at our baseball/softball fields at I-470 beginning March 10. Wheeling will utilize a player pass/guestlist for entry into our grandstands. All players must submit names for the pass/guest list in advance of each game. Fans on the pass/guest list must check-in at the station near the press box area. Also, the University has decided not to permit fans from visiting teams or the general public at any competition. I should also note that tailgating will be prohibited, and no outside food will be allowed inside the stadium. Fans attending all games will be socially distanced in the bleachers and must wear a face covering at all times. The grandstands will not be open for seating until 30 minutes before game time, and we ask fans to leave the facility immediately following each game. While I wish we could pack the stands for all our games, we must be cautious to ensure the health and safety of all our student-athletes and coaches. Again, I recognize how difficult this is for all of you. I am a parent of a student-athlete and know how very much it means to watch our children compete. Please understand our efforts are guided by the NCAA and the Mountain East Conference, but most importantly, these safety protocols ensure our students have the opportunity to compete. 

The MEC Basketball Tournament is underway at WesBanco Arena in Wheeling. Our women’s basketball team defeated Concord University in overtime Thursday night to advance to the tournament semifinals. Last night’s triumphant win will go down in my book as one of the most exciting games in history. I loved watching our girls fight back and win. I am constantly amazed at the resiliency Wheeling University’s students have. The Lady Cardinals will play Charleston at 11 a.m. Saturday. Our men’s team is in action at 5 p.m. today when they take on Charleston. All games are being broadcast online by the MEC. Limited seating is available at the arena and tickets must be purchased in advance. 

While we walk a fine line to keep COVID-19 from spreading on campus and allowing the students to have activities, the University is permitting some socially distanced Homecoming activities beginning this weekend.  Students will participate in axe throwing on Sunday, a tailgate during the March 11 football game, a St. Patrick’s Day party Saturday, March 13, on the Library Plaza, and a Trivia Night will be held Wednesday in Troy Theater.  I believe hosting these events outside and ensuring all our COVID-19 safety protocols are followed will provide a safe environment to allow students to have some fun. 

As the days become longer and we see more and more sunshine, the sense of hope that accompanies the season of Spring is beginning to blossom. Let us pray that the worse of COVID-19 is behind us and Spring will bring better days for everyone! 

Blessings and Go Cards, 

Ginny R. Favede, President
Wheeling University