Update March 19, 2020 - President Nora Miller has released a video message on The W's response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
One week ago, Mississippi reported its first confirmed cases of COVID-19. As of this morning, we have 50 reported cases. Our world has changed quite a bit this past week. We have a new-found appreciation for soap, hand sanitizer, disinfectant, toilet paper, and well-stocked grocery shelves. As we move into this next week, our campus looks and feels very different. All of our classes have moved to an on-line or alternate learning environment, most of our residential students have moved out, and in and in accordance with the Governor’s Executive Order 1458, many of our offices are maintaining a virtual existence.
These changes have come about quickly – and our response has changed rapidly as we continue to adapt. We started off recommending that students living in the residence halls return to their permanent address, now we are urging those remaining students who have a safe place to go to, to do so. The communal aspect of student housing makes the community transmission of disease much more likely. Believe me, we love you and hate to see you go – but we are concerned for your health, and the health of our students who DON’T have an alternative.
Social distancing has become the new norm. Here are some changes that have been made:
- All perimeter drive through gates have been secured, only access with a vehicle is through the main entrance. Upon entering the front gate, the gate dispatcher will ask for university ID.
- If someone needs an ID, the MUW PD office will remain open MON-FRI, 8a-5p, and can have an ID made. Some students may need to have an ID made to access the 24/7 lab in the library.
- To help limit contact and exposure the university is only allowing faculty, staff, and students on campus during this time. Those not affiliated with the university will be allowed onto campus if they are here to conduct university business or they are here to assist with the needs of a student on campus.
- Residence Halls are not allowing the residents to have guests in the residence halls.
What hasn’t changed:
- Our faculty will continue to provide the best quality academic instruction for the remainder of the semester – but in a different format.
- Food service continues for our students, and is open for faculty and staff
- The Campus Health Center remains open to our residential students and any faculty or staff who are maintaining a physical presence on campus. Their hours are 8:00 until noon, Monday through Friday .
- We continue to provide counseling, tutoring, and library resources – in a virtual environment
- We are a safe place. University Police are here on campus 24/7.
- We have to comply with state purchasing and property guidelines, and donor restrictions still apply to foundation funds.
- We care for and about each other.
Our alumni, local churches and others have stepped up and offered assistance to students who may need additional help because of COVID-19. Offers have included meals, donations, and paid internships. One way to help, is by donating online to the MUW Foundation, designating our Student Emergency Fund.
For meals or other assistance offers, contact Student Life at (662) 329-7350.
President, Mississippi University for Women