Dear Friends and Supporters of East Georgia State College:
Each and every one of you is important to us. During these unprecedented times, we know you expect to be well-informed about the steps the University System of Georgia and East Georgia State College are taking to protect our treasured students and community. Accordingly, I will be sending you an update each week during this critical period.
First, please accept the sincere thanks of East Georgia State College for all you have done for the college over the years. You are appreciated! Please know that the college is doing everything possible to manage this situation and protect students, faculty, staff and the community. Together, we are going to get through this.
The University System of Georgia (USG) has decided all 26 USG institutions will move to online instruction for all courses for the remainder of the spring semester with extremely limited exceptions. This instruction will commence at EGSC on Monday, March 30, 2020 (with the exception of nursing and FESA, which resumed online instruction Monday, March 23). This action comes following last week’s decision to suspend instruction for two weeks to ensure business and instructional continuity, and to allow further state assessment of COVID-19.
Everything is subject to change. The situation is fluid and any changes may occur rapidly. Everyone is advised to check the EGSC COVID-19 website frequently.
Points to note:
Accept the reality of daily change. As conditions change, we will likely receive almost daily directives from the USG about small details and big policy issues. Sometimes, directives given to us earlier will change. The situation the USG is managing is changing daily and they are working 24/7 to respond. As the situation changes, we too will adapt.
Watch carefully for scams by e-mail and other electronic means. If in doubt, don’t click.
Spring commencement and Honors Night will not be held. This is, of course, a huge disappointment for our students, their families and supporters, and all of us. For many of our students, their graduation is the first ever in their family. Rest assured, that we are already planning for an appropriate method to recognize the academic achievements of our students. I will keep you updated as those plans develop.
• Instruction will be wholly online for the duration of Spring Semester.
• No decision has been made at this time about Maymester, Summer Semester or later.
• Our campuses remain open. However, access is strictly limited to employees who have been designated to work on campus on certain days/times and to students granted specific permission. Please be respectful to the police officers charged with limiting access to our campuses. They are enforcing this limited access to keep us healthy and safe.
• On-campus operations have been reduced to a minimum. Only the personnel necessary to maintain on campus operations who have been specifically authorized by their supervisor have access to the campus buildings. There is limited access to all 3 campuses.
• Ingress and egress to campus for authorized entrants is limited to one location per campus. Only the main entrance on Lambs Bridge road is open to the Swainsboro campus. Police officers are stationed at main entrance of Swainsboro campus and at the front door at EGSC Statesboro. Most outdoor areas are open for individual (not group) use (walking trails, disc golf course). Users will need to park near the main entrance and not on campus. EGSC Augusta buildings are locked.
• Students are not allowed to return to campus until they receive specific, individual permission from EGSC. Any such permission must be approved by the college president. Additionally, residence halls will be closed, with minimal exceptions for students who meet certain criteria. EGSC Housing has worked very hard to develop a detailed plan giving permission to Bobcat Villas residents to return to campus on a staggered basis (assigned specific time slots). Students may not simply “drop in” to check out. Information is currently being collected from students who are requesting a housing extension for extenuating circumstances. An extension is not guaranteed and will only be granted for reasons of housing insecurity and employment reasons. Students must not return to campus if sick. They can make arrangements for others to pick up items on their behalf or request a future move-out time once they are well.
• A “move-out” plan from Bobcat Villas (approved by USG) has been initiated. The plan is being implemented. Phase 1 was completed Sunday, March 22. There will be a minimal number of students in residence halls. Existing students will return to pick up their belongings and check out over a staggered time period between March 25-29, in accordance with the plan submitted to USG. Students received their appointment times via email on 03/20/20.
• Housing students are not authorized to return to campus outside of their communicated time slot for move out. No changes of time slot are permitted. Students who cannot come during their time slot should contact housing to set up a special move out time once the official move out period has ended. No early move out requests will be approved. Contact Angela Storck, Director of Housing, at 478-289-2172.
• The Bobcat Villas Shopping Shuttle will run from 5pm-8pm on Sundays only until further notice.
• The Student Health Center will remain open to serve students who will continue to reside in the residence halls on Monday-Thursday from 1-5 PM. Swainsboro students not living on campus may call the clinic during those hours at 478-289-2182.
• Student meals will be delivered to the Bobcat Villas Clubhouse.
• All EGSC conduct policies, with the exception of the visitation policy, will function as normal. No students or guests other than those approved a special housing extension will be permitted in the Bobcat Villas until further notice.
• All events scheduled with visitors on campus, including meetings, are cancelled for the rest of spring semester.
• All events at the Fulford Community Learning Center and The Morgan House of East Georgia State College are cancelled. There will be no visitors to the Fulford Community Learning Center.
• The gym and fitness center, and our athletic facilities including outdoor basketball courts, playing fields and tennis courts are closed. EGSC’s dining hall, bookstore, campus café, and Common Grounds Coffee Shop are closed.
• The bookstore is closed. The EGSC Bookstore will be available online only. Free shipping has been extended on all online orders placed through their website. https://www.bkstr.com/egscstore/home
• Per the guidance of the NJCAA and the GCAA, all spring athletic games and practices are cancelled.
• No face-to-face meetings will be held. All meetings will be via telephone, Zoom or Skype or other electronic means. Everyone is strongly encouraged to observe appropriate social distancing including being handshake-free and hug-free and 6-foot distancing.
• Our Spring commencement exercise and Honors Night are cancelled. Planning is already underway to creatively celebrate our students’ accomplishments.
• Study Abroad Programs have been cancelled.
• The Athletic Banquet has been cancelled.
• Plans for Student Center Grand Opening are cancelled. This will be rescheduled for a date in early fall 2020.
• Dual Enrollment instruction is suspended on the same basis as all other instruction. It will commence on March 30, 2020 in an online format.
We take very seriously the responsibility to make prudent and well-informed choices for the well-being of our campus communities and the public. We continue to prepare for all scenarios in this rapidly evolving situation. All USG institutions have plans to ensure academic continuity as operations are impacted. We will continue to work with USG leaders in collaboration with state officials and the Georgia Department of Public Health to act on the most up-to-date guidance available.
Ultimately, we want to ensure our faculty, staff and students and communities are safe; that we do our part to help stem the spread of the coronavirus in Georgia; and we fulfill our mission to graduate our students even in the face of these challenging times.
Most importantly, thank you for all you are doing to respond to this unprecedented situation.
Please be safe.