During these unprecedented times, I first want you to know how important you are to the faculty and staff of the college. I want to encourage you all to Be patient with other members of our community as we all strive to respond to the continually changing conditions and directives from the USG and federal, state and local authorities. The situation is fluid and it is going to stay that way for some time. I am writing today to encourage all of you to keep these key strategies in mind: Some of these points may be mentioned more than once. That indicates the importance of making sure they are understood.
- Stay positive. Together, we will emerge stronger soon.
- Stay in touch by regularly checking your EGSC email account.
- Accept the reality of daily change. As conditions change, we will likely receive almost daily directives from the University System of Georgia 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. Report immediately to our Chief Information Security Officer.
- Be safe. Each of you is very important to EGSC.
- Be adaptable. The switch to wholly online classes will, I know, be a huge change for many of you. Your faculty is working tirelessly to get ready for this new environment. Please be open to the changes that will be necessary for all of us to adapt to this new environment.
All classes will resume in a wholly online format on Monday, March 30, 2020. BSN and FESA classes will resume on Monday, March 23, 2020.
Spring graduation and Honors Night will not be held. This is, of course, a huge disappointment for those of you who will earn your degrees at the end of spring, your families and supporters and all of us. We want to celebrate your achievements. We know that, for many of you, your graduation is the first ever in your family. Rest assured, that we are already planning for an appropriate method to recognize your academic achievements. I will keep you updated as those plans develop.
More Detailed Updates Appear Below (this will be updated and sent to you at least once per week)
As you are well aware, The University System of Georgia (USG) has decided all 26 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 will continue on line instruction beginning 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 change will occur rapidly. Everyone is advised to check the website frequently - www.ega.edu/covid19
Critical Points to note:
- 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.
- None of our campuses are closed. Access, however is strictly limited to employees who have been designated to work on campus on certain days/times and to students granted specific permission (see below). 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.
- A “move-out” plan from Bobcat Villas (approved by USG) has been initiated. Plan is being implemented. Phase 1 will be complete Sunday, March 22. There will be a minimal number of students in residence hall. Existing students returning to pick up belongings and check out will be implemented strictly in accordance with plan submitted to USG over a staggered time period of March 25-29. 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. students may schedule a special move out appointment during the week of March 30 – April 3rd if they have a conflict and cannot attend during their scheduled appointment time.
- 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.
- The Bobcat Bridge will open upon request. Please submit requests to firstname.lastname@example.org so that an open time can be arranged.
- 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.
- Faculty, Staff and Students are reminded to complete the travel registry.
- 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 library and the ACE (all three locations) are closed. More information on available services may be found here.
- 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.
- 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.
- College Board has suspended all SAT testing dates indefinitely.
- The Athletic Banquet has been cancelled.
- The Student Leadership Program Retreat 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.
- See the following concerning Bookstore rental return procedure: www.ega.edu/announce/Rental_Returns_031820.pdf
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 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. You will be receiving updates at least weekly with new information.
Most importantly, thank you for all you are doing to respond to this unprecedented situation. I am deeply proud of the response of our college community and each of you.
Please be safe.