Illustration of Coronavirus COVID-19

Spring 2020 Frequently Asked Questions

Updated March 27, 2020: University Operations - ID Requirement

 

As part of The W's response to COVID-19, FAQs are provided below. The University is monitoring the situation closely and reserves the right to alter the arrangements contained in these FAQs as necessary. You are encouraged to check The W's COVID-19 web page regularly in order to keep up to date with latest advice.

University Operations

Is Mississippi University for Women closing its campus?
No, the University remains open on a very limited basis.  Per the Governor’s Executive Order March 16, 2020, all employees at The W are to work from home as much as possible to minimize face-to-face interaction and risk of possible transmission of COVID-19 between employees.  All employees who can work from home are being allowed to do so.  Classes will resume for students online or in an alternate format commencing March 23, 2020.  Face-to-face classes will not resume for the remainder of the semester. All campus facilities and operations will have restricted access and physical presence. 

Will the library building remain open?
No. Starting March 18, 2020, the library will only be open virtually. They will be open virtually 7:30am-5pm Wednesday March 18th – Friday March 21st.  Starting Sunday March 22nd, the virtual hours of operation are Monday- Thursday, 7:30am-10pm, Friday 7:30am-8pm, Saturday 9am-5pm and Sunday 2pm-10pm.  You can reach the library by phone, email, chat, text or social media and all online library resources are available at https://muw.edu/library.

What campus offices and buildings will remain open?
Most residence halls will remain open for students who have nowhere else to reside.  University Police Department (limited hours), Hogarth Cafeteria (take out only), and the Campus Health Center will be closed effective Friday, April 3 at 5 p.m. In order to speak with a registered nurse, call (662) 329-7289 from 8 a.m.- 5 p.m., Monday-Friday. The remainder of campus offices and services will be available only by phone, email or online.

Who is allowed on campus? Updated March 27, 2020
We are limiting vehicular access to campus to students, faculty, staff, those here on university business or here to help a student.  To help identify who belongs on campus, we are asking everyone to wear their W IDs. If you need a lanyard to display your ID, please ask at the Guardhouse when you arrive on campus.

Why are these decisions being made?
These decisions were made for the health and safety of our campus community.  The decision to extend spring break was made to allow faculty time to adequately prepare to move all face-to-face classes currently being offered to an online learning or alternative environment.  Each of us is charged with doing our part to minimize the spread of COVID-19, and providing access remotely to services is the best way to accomplish this task.   Our focus is on minimizing the spread of COVID-19 by reducing the density of social encounters and practicing social distancing.

Will campus offices be physically open?
No, commencing March 18, 2020, most offices will only be accessible by phone, email or online. 

I’m a student worker. Do I still have a job on campus?
No. Effective at the close of business Tuesday, March 17, 2020, on-campus student workers, both Institutional and Federal Work Study, will no longer be allowed to work on campus during the Governor’s declared State of Emergency. You should reach out to your supervisor with any questions if you have not already spoken with him/her. Time logs will be due to your supervisor on March 18, 2020.

Is the police department still open? Updated March 24, 2020
Yes, The W's police department is open and officers will continue to patrol campus 24/7. The department's offices in McDevitt Hall will be open on a reduced schedule: Monday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. When the office is closed, or in the event of an emergency, the police department can be reached at (662) 241-7777.

Is Stark Rec Center open?
No. Stark Recreational Center is closed during the Governor’s declared State of Emergency.  If you have questions, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Is the Child Parent Development Center open?
No, the Child Parent Development Center (CPDC) closed Tuesday, March 17 and will remain closed until the Lowndes and Columbus City School districts  resume their face-to-face schedules.  Teachers and CPDC staff will use this break time for deep cleaning of the Center, professional development and training for teachers and staff, accreditation preparations, etc.  Teachers will remain in touch remotely with families and will do virtual learning with the children, as is possible, to continue the community that has been developed between the teachers and children.  For more information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Is the cafeteria still open? Updated March 23, 2020
Yes, the cafeteria is open on a reduced schedule for students and employees only. The cafeteria will be open Monday through Sunday for Brunch from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and Dinner from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Meals will be take out only, based on a new ordinance from the City of Columbus.

Is the bookstore still open? Updated March 23, 2020
No, the campus bookstore will close to the public effective Tuesday March 24, 2020 until April 6. Barnes & Nobel staff will continue to monitor and process online orders. Direct any questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Other questions?
The university is working diligently and rapidly to respond to this global pandemic as the circumstances change and warrant action.  If you have questions or concerns not addressed in these FAQs or otherwise on the university-provided resources page, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  The appropriate university staff will respond to your question(s) and appreciates your patience and flexibility as we navigate new issues that will arise.  

 

Health and Preventative Actions

Are there any confirmed cases of coronavirus on campus?
No. On Wednesday, March 11, 2020, the State of Mississippi announced the state’s first presumptive case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Forrest County, Mississippi. State, local, and university officials have been in contact with our state and local health officials to discuss necessary measures to prevent the spread of the disease in the campus community. As of April 3, 2020, the Mississippi Department of Health reports 1358 cases in the state and 29 deaths. In the Golden Triangle: 12 cases have been reported in Lowndes County, 7 cases in Clay County, and 23cases in Oktibbeha County. 

What can I do to protect myself?
Stay home. Do not socialize in groups and limit contact with others.  If you exhibit any of the respiratory illness symptoms related to COVID-19, fever, cough and shortness of breath, contact your health care provider and call before you arrive. Practice good hygiene by covering your coughs and sneezing, washing your hands often, and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Avoid public areas and public transportation. Clean all “high touch” surfaces daily.

What are the symptoms of the coronavirus?
Symptoms can include a fever (temperature above 100.3), cough, and difficulty breathing – similar to what you may feel with influenza or a bad cold. The incubation period (how soon the symptoms appear from the time of first exposure) for these types of viruses is typically 2-14 days.

What should I do if I am presenting symptoms of the virus?
Seek medical care right away if you believe that you have been exposed to the coronavirus. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them of your symptoms and any recent travel.

I’m scared or stressed out and worried over COVID-19. Who can I talk to? Updated March 23, 2020
We know the news about COVID-19 is stressful. If a student needs to talk with a counselor do not hesitate to call the Counseling Center at (662) 329-7748. or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   

 

University Housing & Student Organizations

Now that in-person, face-to-face classes have been suspended and are being offered virtually, will the residence halls remain open?
Yes, on a limited basis and all students who currently live in the residence halls are strongly urged to go home. Staying home is a is a preventative measure and designed to promote the best health practices based on CDC guidance.

What if I am unable to return to my home or don’t have a permanent address? Am I able to stay on campus?
We recognize that returning to home or to a permanent address may not be possible for all students. You will be able to stay on campus. Students who choose to stay on campus should be aware that campus services will be significantly reduced and mostly only offered remotely, through telephone or email.  You are not guaranteed the room that you currently occupy.

  • There is no visitation for the remainder of the semester.    Students are to limit all face-to-face interactions with others.
  • Students are still accountable for residence hall rules and regulations and all student conduct rules set forth in the Student Handbook.
  • You will not have access to on-campus buildings or Stark Recreation Center.  The only campus services that will be accessible for face-to-face help will be Dining Services, Campus Health Center, Counseling Center, and the residence hall wherein you live. 
  • Students are not permitted in other students’ residence hall rooms. 

Can I get a refund for my housing and meal plan if I return home?
At this time, we are working with multiple departments regarding this unprecedented event. If adjustments are to be made to student accounts, that information will be distributed as soon as it is available. Right now, there is no refund that is being given or promised to students who choose to return home for the semester.

Can I return to campus to pick up personal belongings?
Yes. You may pick up any belongings you need at any time. Please be advised, though, that on March 23, 2020, card access will be removed from the residence halls for anyone who is not planning to actually live in the halls for the remainder of the semester.  In order to obtain access to your hall after March 23rd, you will need to contact Housing and Residence Life by phone at (662) 329-7127 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Due to limited staffing, you will need to make an appointment to obtain access to the residence halls after March 23 for any reason.  Please refer to communications from Housing and Residence Life concerning checkout procedures and related information.

Will university staff be on campus to help support those students who stay on campus?
Yes, on a limited basis due to reduced staffing. The University is committed to supporting all of our students, however, most of the support will be offered remotely through phone or email. You may contact the Office of Housing and Residence Life at (662) 329-7127 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

If I live in an on-campus residence hall or apartment, do I need to move my belongings out of my room?
It is recommended that you do prior to March 23, 2020 if you can relocate to home or your permanent address.  It is not mandatory for students to move belongings out of their rooms at this time.  Each residence hall has express check out procedures that you can complete. You will only have card access to your residence hall until March 23, 2020. Please refer to communications from Housing and Residence Life concerning checkout procedures and related information.

I stayed on campus during spring break. Should I plan to return to my permanent address home?
Yes, if possible, we recommend that you make arrangements to return to your permanent address for the remainder of the semester.

I’m an RA on campus. Am I required to stay in the residence hall?
RAs are only being allowed to work if they do not have a permanent address. Like the rest of the student population, all students are urged to return home to keep themselves and the campus community safe.  RAs who remain on campus will be expected to perform their RA duties in a limited capacity. Please be in touch with your Residence Director as you identify your plans.

Are outside visitors allowed in the residence halls?
No. 

I’m a student athlete and live in the residence hall. Can I continue to live on campus?
Yes, but like all students, you are encouraged to move home.  All intercollegiate athletic teams are not competing or practicing for the remainder of the academic year.

Are my remaining spring events and meetings cancelled or just postponed?
They are cancelled. To practice social distancing, all university-sponsored events and gatherings are suspended, and student organization events likewise are cancelled.

Will student organization deadlines be adjusted?
Yes. Student Life will work with organizations and use MyStudentLife to communicate with groups anddeadlines may be adjusted accordingly so please monitor your email daily.

Can my group meet or have events off-campus through the end of the semester?
No.

How should my group handle initiations, inductions and officer transitions if we cannot meet?
Initiations and inductions will need to be postponed for the remainder of the semester. Your group can contact Student Life to assist with document transition for officers.

How can we hold elections if we cannot meet as a group?
Contact Student Life to assist with elections through MyStudentLife.

When can we start to request in-person events again?
Student Life will notify the president or advisor of your group when fall submissions will be considered. It is anticipated that no in-person events will be conducted for the remainder of the semester. 

 

Class Information

What if I don’t have a computer or access to the internet from home? Updated March 24, 2020
Many tools that the faculty will likely implement for instructional continuity can be accessed from a mobile phone, including Canvas and Zoom, using a mobile data plan.

Getting Internet Access

Updated March 24, 2020

Turner Hall Hotspot
Students may access a wireless hotspot on the MUW campus in the parking lot between Turner Hall and Eckford Hall. It is only available for MUW students via the WNet Wifi network. Students are reminded that they will need their MUW ID to enter campus.

Other Locations in Mississippi
Academic Affairs has compiled of list of public wi-fi hotspots and responses from Internet Service Providers (ISPs) offering internet access and other assistance during the pandemic.

Getting Internet Access

Technical Support

If you are having technical issues with Canvas, you can contact the Canvas Support Hotline at 844-747-4606, available 24/7.

If you are experiencing other technical issues, contact ITS via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone at 662-329-7282.

Computer Labs

The computer labs in McDevitt Hall will be closed until further notice.

The 24/7 Computer Lab in Fant Memorial Library will be open, but certain computers will be locked to maintain recommended social distancing.The 24-hour computer lab has printing and scanning capabilities. To use it, you will need to submit a User Agreement Form (available at https://www.muw.edu/library/about/policies/247room/agreement) and have your Galaxy-enabled MUW student ID card activated. To enter the 24 hour study space, you will swipe your activated MUW student ID card on the reader at the back entrance door of the coffee shop. Non-registered users are prohibited. The space is video-monitored and patrolled by Campus Police.

 

I am a student with accommodations. What should I do regarding remote instruction?
You should continue to work with the Student Success Center (SSC) on instructions via through email or phone. Faculty support is also offered through the Student Success Center for students with particular accommodations.  The SSC will continue to support students with accommodations and will work with faculty members to implement appropriate solutions. If you need assistance, please call 662-329-7138 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

What does this shift to online format mean for lab-, studio-, or field-based courses?
Students will receive updates from the faculty members about the adjustments being made to lab, studio or field-based courses.

I’m an international student and therefore restricted from taking online courses. How does this affect me?
The US government has provided the university with the flexibility to adapt instruction during this public health emergency. Students’ participation in online instruction is permitted under specific circumstances and international students should follow the direction of their faculty members in consultation with the Office of Academic Affairs.
It is essential that students continue participating in classes via the online delivery method offered by the instructor. The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) within the Department of Homeland Security has granted the University flexibility to change the mode of instructional delivery for students in F-1 and J-1 status for a temporary period.
The Office of Admissions is the best resource for you. Please speak with your Advisor or the Office of Admissions 662-329-7106 with any questions you have about your status.

Has the date for spring graduation been moved? Updated March 18, 2020
Yes. the University has postponed its May graduation, as well as Mag Chain and Nursing Pinning ceremonies in response to the current COVID-19 crisis. Plans to celebrate graduates will be announced at the appropriate time and when deemed safe following the COVID-19 pandemic national emergency.

I’ve rented my textbooks. What do I need to do about returning them if I am no longer on campus at the end of the semester?
Your textbooks are rented through an agreement that you have with Barnes and Noble Bookstore. Free UPS shipping labels are provided to all students that rented books. Students should have received the label via email. Students also have the option to buy the rented book. You can contact Barnes and Noble for more information to make alternative arrangements to return textbooks at 662-329-7409.