O’Shea announces classes will resume, despite student petition to extend Spring Break

Update from President O’Shea:

“There are no reported cases of COVID-19 on the New College campus.

This past week has been extraordinarily challenging for all of us as we transition to different learning, living, and working spaces. We will resume classes in an online format, starting this coming Monday, March 23. I appreciate the concerted efforts of our faculty, students and ETS to prepare for the online delivery of our classes on schedule. While there may be some glitches as we transition to this new course delivery format, I am confident that our faculty and students will make adjustments along the way as we focus on successfully completing this semester.

On Monday, the Foundation office members will begin working remotely.  Everyone is set up with the appropriate technology and tools. They can be contacted by phone or email, and will be working regular business hours.

We have had several questions from students regarding when they are allowed or expected to remove their belongings from their dorm room. First, let me again express my deep gratitude to all who relocated to home or other locations in the past week. All rooms are being secured and unless a resident is authorized to remain on campus, rooms will remain secured until we are assured by the state and the State University System that it is safe to return.

As soon as we learn that the COVID-19 situation allows, we are imagining that we will identify a window of days (to include a weekend) when students will be allowed to return to campus to move their belongings out of their rooms. We will announce this window with enough advance notice to allow students who are from outside the Sarasota area to make travel plans. Those students who are unable to return to the campus during the announced “window” will be given instructions on how to work with Residence Life to set a time that is appropriate for them.

We are in a situation that none of us has seen in our lifetimes, and all of us have specific questions to which we do not now know the answers. But we will.  And we will get through this together.

Please continue to follow general flu protection guidelines and precautions, especially in regards to frequent hand washing and social distancing. Please take care of yourselves and others (which, again, means acting as if you have the virus and really do not want to spread it to others).

Be kind, and be safe.  I will provide another update to the campus community on Monday unless there is a significant change over the weekend.”

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