Month: March 2020

Important Information Regarding Census 2020

Dear Students, 

Lawrence University is in contact with the U.S. Census Bureau on how to administer the Census for students given current circumstances. There are two important pieces of information for students at this time. 

  1. While the household deadline for Census 2020 is tomorrow, April 1, that does not apply to higher education institutions. If you are a current Lawrence student who would ordinarily be living on campus, you do not have to complete your Census by tomorrow, April 1. The Census Bureau has exempted higher education institutions from a specific deadline as we determine how to move forward with counting our students.  
  2. If campus would ordinarily be your primary residence during the academic year, you should be counted as a resident on campus in Appleton. Do not fill out the Census at your home address.  

It is wonderful so many of you are eager to take part in this important aspect of our civic life.  Please stay tuned, we will be in touch with more information as we work through this process; we will assure you have your ability to be counted. 

In the meantime, if you have additional questions, please contact Christyn Abaray (christyn.abaray@lawrence.edu). 

What All Lawrence Students Need to Do to Have a Successful First Week of Spring Term

Dear Students, 

Here are some things you should be doing next week to get ready for the start of distance learning.  First and foremost, remember to read and promptly respond to all communications from your professors.  Check your Lawrence email address regularly—that’s how your professors can contact you best and that’s where other important information will be coming from the Registrar.  Also, make a habit of checking Lawrence’s COVID19 site.  Do the following on the morning of Friday, April 3 (CST) 

  • Enroll on Moodle for each course you might wish to take, not just those for which you are registered.  Faculty will keep their Moodle sites open for students to explore courses.  Professors will also announce on Moodle how to “show up” on the first day, whether to a Zoom meeting or on a Moodle activity.
  • Remember that enrolling on Moodle does not officially enroll you in a course.  You still need to register on Voyager if you want to add or drop a course.
  • Email the professor to ask for guidance if no Moodle site is available for a course.
  • If you need a course but cannot meet the requirements for meetings, email the professor and your advisor with an explanation.

 

Other things to remember 

  • Before the first week familiarize yourself with Lawrence’s Zoom site and practice using it with friends or family.  There are tutorials there that will help you get started.
  • The add/drop deadline is April 10.
  • You may choose to S/U any course for any reason in Spring 2020 up until September 18.
  • The Registrar will create online forms for tutorials and independent studies, for S/U-ing courses, and overloads soon.  They will be here.

Faculty and staff are working hard right now to get things ready for what we know will be a different experience than you are accustomed to.  It will be different, but it will still be Lawrence.  

Sincerely,

Peter Blitstein, Associate Dean of the Faculty

A Message from President Mark Burstein | March 25

Dear Lawrentians, 

Thank you for your overwhelming reaction to my note sent last Wednesday. Your ingenuity, support and advice are helping us transition to distance learning and to do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19. You have also shown your generosity, care, and support for our students in immediate and tangible ways. Our student food pantryreports significant increased support from many of you and we have also seen wonderful contributions to the Supporting Our Students Emergency Fund.

These have been turbulent times for all of us. Yesterday, I sent a message to our students, faculty, and staff about the way in which recent changes will impact our lives as we prepare for Spring Term. I also took a moment to record a short video to share my thoughts with the campus community as we adjust to this new normal. 

To read my full message to campus, please visit our COVID-19 News site, where you can stay up to date on everything the University is doing to address the pandemic.

As you can imagine, this has been a challenging few weeks for all of us, as I know it has for you. Guidance on how to address the spread of COVID-19 changes daily, sometimes hourly. Yesterday morning, at the direction of Governor Tony Evers, Wisconsin Department of Health Services Secretary Designee Andrea Palm issued a safer at home order effective today.  

We are focused on ensuring continuity of Lawrence’s operations and functions so that we may continue to deliver on our educational mission. Shared Governance continues to operate: Faculty committees are actively addressing policy issues from instruction to curriculum; LUCC leadership is working to adjust its meeting processes and will continue to represent students.  And we are engaged in ongoing counsel with the Board of Trustees. Core functions in all operational divisions continue and a COVID-19 management team meets daily to handle Lawrence’s response to this situation. 

As we work to adhere to our new statewide guidance and prepare for Spring Term, I want to take a moment to remind us all that our bonds as Lawrentians will endure. Community is a hallmark of the Lawrence experience. I mourn the loss of the vibrancy of the Spring Term. While it will be different, we must find ways of sustaining our social connection.  In these difficult times, we must work to sustain connections via social media, electronic gatherings, and other virtual means. 

Social connection is more important now than ever.  In that spirit, we promise to update our social media accounts to give you a sense of what’s happening at Lawrence. We hope that you will share your experiences with us as well. Please feel free to contact me or other Lawrence colleagues via email or telephone to offer suggestions and ideas or just to hang out. These connections will make us stronger as a community and as individuals.  

I have faith we will weather this crisis together as we have before. Homer, David, and I look forward to having our students, faculty, staff, alumni, and parents back on campus soon. 

Be well and make choices that keep others well,

Mark

Mark Burstein
President, Lawrence University


Academy of Music Update | March 24

Following Governor Evers’s “stay at home” order, the Academy will be closed through April 24. The closure will affect each Academy program in a slightly different way, so please take a moment to read this message in its entirety.

  • In-person teaching is suspended during this time. Private lessons will be handled individually by each teacher; expect communication directly from them. Teachers carrying out remote instruction may continue to do so at their discretion.
  • Studio recitals have been postponed until further notice.
  • ABRSM exams have been canceled. Registrants will be contacted when we have information about how refunds will occur.
  • As of March 15, all ensemble instruction (orchestra, bands, choirs, gamelan, and chamber music) has concluded for the semester. All performances previously scheduled for these ensembles (March 21, March 29, April 19, May 24) have been canceled; the return of music and uniforms will take place later this spring.
  • Youth ensemble auditions (ASTRO, Girl Choir, and Wind Ensemble) will be rescheduled. Please watch for an email in early April with further instructions.
  • The spring sessions of Early Childhood Music and Children’s Gamelan have been canceled.
  • Music Enrichment for Those With Special Needs class sessions will be coordinated and communicated directly with the teacher but will not take place during Academy closure dates.
  • Those enrolled with student teachers or in Piano Lab Class will receive additional information from our office.
  • As of this writing, we anticipate that summer programming will continue as planned. Registered families should check their email for more information.

Please note: these plans may change based upon directives from public health officials or Lawrence University.

We will send out any further updates via email.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Sincerely,
Lawrence Academy of Music Staff


A Message from President Burstein | March 24

Watch a video message from President Burstein here.

Dear Lawrentians, 

These have been turbulent times for all of us. I would like to thank all members of the Lawrence community—your patience, ingenuity, and suggestions are helping us transition to distance learning and helping us do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19. These have been challenging times for all of us. Guidance on how to address the spread of COVID-19 changes daily, sometimes hourly. This morning, at the direction of Governor Tony Evers, Wisconsin Department of Health Services Secretary Designee Andrea Palm issued a safer at home order.  

I write today to share with you information on how the University will continue with this new order in effect.  The safer at home order urges Wisconsinites to limit travel to essentials only—trips to stores and pharmacies for necessary supplies, and for medical care. It also limits business activity to essential services. Because of the nature of Lawrence, especially since we are still responsible for a residential community, much of our work remains in the essential category by definition. We have already taken steps to ensure that our University is doing its best to mitigate the spread of the virus. Many faculty and staff who are able to do so are already working from home. We are using digital tools to limit in-person meetings. And custodial services have been redeployed to high-traffic areas of the campus. To free custodial colleagues for this important work we have closed offices and buildings wherever possible.  

The Governor asks that we remain in our homes or dorm rooms as much as possible. Faculty and staff who have not fully migrated to home for their campus office should make plans to do so now. Staff should check in with supervisors to make sure we provide appropriate accommodations to ensure work can continue without being physically present on campus. Essential employees who will continue to work on campus are to follow all precautions to slow the spread of COVID-19. If special identification of essential employees becomes necessary, Human Resources will issue such identification. At this time, there is no local requirement of special identification.  

We are focused on ensuring continuity of Lawrence’s operations and functions so that we may continue to deliver on our educational mission. Shared Governance continues to operate, with faculty committees actively addressing policy issues from instruction to curriculum. Many departments continue the work of hiring, tenure, and promotion. LUCC leadership is working to adjust its meeting processes and will continue to represent students. Core functions in all operational divisions continue and a COVID-19 management team meets daily to handle Lawrence’s ongoing response to this situation.  

As we work to adhere to our new statewide guidance and prepare for Spring Term, I want to take a moment to remind us all that our bonds as Lawrentians will endure. Community is a hallmark of the Lawrence experience. I mourn the loss of the vibrancy of the Spring Term. While it will be different, we must find ways of sustaining our social connection in these difficult times, including connections via social media, electronic gatherings, or other virtual means.  

In this spirit of social solidarity, I took a moment yesterday to record a short video to share my thoughts with the Lawrence community as we adjust to the many changes in our lives. As I say in the video, we promise to update our social media accounts frequently to give you a sense of what’s happening on campus. We hope that you share your experiences with us as well. Please also feel free to contact me via email or telephone to share your suggestions and ideas or just to hang out. These connections will make us stronger as a community and as individuals.  

As the virus progresses, more operational changes will be necessary. The COVID-19 blog will be updated as soon as any change is made. The LU Insider will now come out twice a week to summarize those changes as well as provide other information about our community. And, of course, continue to check email.  

I have faith we will weather this crisis together as we have before. Homer, David, and I look forward to having you all back on campus soon. 

Be well and make choices that keep others well,  
Mark 

Mark Burstein

President, Lawrence University


Campus Cleaning Procedures in Place | March 23

The building closures and hours limitations announced last week are intended not only to reduce personal contact but also to allow cleaning crews to focus their energies on more frequent and intensive cleaning of places that remain in use, especially areas where higher traffic is unavoidable. Campus Services has stepped up cleaning routines in spaces that remain open.

Those who are able to work from home can help by working remotely as much as possible, to minimize risk for colleagues who cannot work from home and to further reduce burden on our custodial staff. 

What Campus Services is doing to fight the spread/arrival of COVID-19

We are currently disinfecting hard surfaces in all buildings at least twice a day with the exception of:

  • Computer keyboards and mice, telephones, desktops (cleaning these is the responsibility of the employee)
  • Trash/Recycling Cans (once/day if the office/space is occupied)

The items that are done twice a day are as followed:

  • Door knobs/pulls
  • Tabletops/countertops
  • Arms of chairs
  • Light switches
  • Elevator buttons
  • Hand rails
  • Drinking fountains
  • All bathroom surfaces
  • All glass doors instead of glass cleaner
  • Floors
  • Trash/Recycling Cans

Updates on Developments Regarding COVID-19

We are reaching out to provide an update on developments regarding the COVID-19 virus.

Lawrence health officials were notified on Sunday, March 22, that a parent who was on campus Thursday, March 19, to help their child move out has since tested positive for COVID-19. The parent was on campus for approximately 90 minutes (11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) and helped with a student move-out in Hiett Hall. The parent may have had brief interactions with staff members who were assisting with check-out process, and two students also reported they may have been in contact with the parent. The interactions were limited. Lawrence was awaiting confirmed notification of everyone who may have been in the vicinity of the parent before sharing this information more broadly. That notification process is now complete.

Public health officials from the county in which the family lives will be in touch with all those who may have had contact and will provide further guidance. Our local health department believes this is a low-risk situation; however, in an abundance of caution, we thought it best to notify the Lawrence community at this time. If you believe you may have been in contact with the parent, please contact Lawrence’s Health Services office at 920-832-6574 or email wellnessservices@lawrence.edu.

We wish the parent involved a speedy recovery and the rest of the family good health. Our thoughts and good wishes are with everyone in our Lawrence community as we do all we can to help mitigate the spread of this virus while ensuring our commitment to Lawrence students, faculty, staff, and extended family remain intact. As the history of this infection shows, it is proving impossible to halt its spread. Our goal now is to help slow transmission and to ensure the health and safety of those Lawrentians who remain on campus.

Lawrence continues to limit access to campus and follow recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in cleaning and sanitizing shared spaces. That has included limiting as much as possible access to residence halls during student move-outs. Many facilities on campus are closed, while others have restricted access to allow for more regular cleaning of areas where there is less avoidable traffic. See details here.

Take steps to avoid becoming ill: As a reminder, the following recommendations from CDC can help limit the spread of the virus: 

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.  
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. 
  • Stay home when you are sick. 
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with your elbow or a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. 
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. (If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.) 
  • Always wash hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty. 
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

What to do if you think you might have COVID-19: Before going to your health care clinic, call your health care professional if you feel sick with fever, cough, or have difficulty breathing, AND have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, or have recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19. If you are a member of faculty or staff, or a student living off-campus, this means your local health care professional. Students living on campus can reach out to Wellness Services. Your health care professional will work with your state’s public health department and CDC to determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19. Information on health services at Lawrence can be found at www.lawrence.edu/students/wellness/health.  

A reminder: Wellness Services-Health is available for consultation to students from campus or home Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. If questions arise after-hours, call Nurse Direct (24-hour medical advice) at 920-738-2230. 

The University will continue to send updates as warranted. Also, please watch for updates on the COVID-19 news blog. Thank you for your patience and cooperation as we adapt to this fluid environment.

Sincerely,

Office of Communications, on behalf of the COVID-19 Management Team


POSTPONED – 2020 Crowdfund for LU Athletics | March 23

Dear Members of the Lawrence Vikings Athletics Family,

We are in unprecedented times. As campus shared earlier, in order to protect the health and safety of our community, Lawrence’s leadership made the difficult decision to move to distance learning and cancel or postpone spring term activities.

For several months, we have been looking forward to our 3rd annual Once A Viking, Always A Viking: Crowdfund for LU Athletics, slated for March 31–April 7, 2020. Unfortunately, we have made the decision at this time to postpone the Crowdfund for LU Athletics due to the uncharted and uncertain times our community is navigating. Our staff is devoting its attention and energy to responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Immediate support for our students who are most in need is critical in these challenging times.

THE LAWRENCE FUND – SUPPORTING OUR STUDENTS (SOS) EMERGENCY FUND:
We have created The Lawrence Fund Supporting Our Students Emergency Fund. It supports immediate student needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic. You can make a gift today and directly help LU students with the implementation of the newly created distance-learning model, food, travel, housing, and other unexpected expenses.

We are also still committed to building an eventual Crowdfund that invites the Viking community to come together and tangibly impact our student athletes’ experiences.

CROWDFUND NEXT STEPS:
• We will be selecting a new date for our 2020 Crowdfund for LU Athletics later this year once we have a better grasp of how the months ahead will unfold.
• Once a new date is set, we will let you know. Stay connected to our Athletics website, our social media channels, and our coaches’ e-newletters for an update.
• Giving to Vikings Athletics remains open within the current Be the Light! Campaign. Gifts can be made here or by contacting Andrew Borresen, Assistant Director of Athletics Giving at 920-832-7486 or andrew.borresen@lawrence.edu.

Thank you for being a part of our Lawrence Athletics community. Thank you for your understanding in this unprecedented time. And thank you for personifying the hallmark of what it means to be a Lawrence Viking – selfless service & sacrificial leadership to community amid adversity.

The world needs us, Vikings.

Yours,
Christyn Abaray

Director of Athletics
Assistant to the President
#LUVikes4Life

Cancellation: Remaining Lunch at Lawrence Series | March 23

Dear friends,

The Lawrence University campus leadership is working diligently to monitor rapidly changing conditions about the spread of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus). Our highest priority is the health and well-being of our students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends. Like every organization today, we are applying federal, state, and regional guidance to make difficult decisions about the community events we host on campus.

Considering the information currently available, we have decided to cancel the remaining lunches in the 2019-2020 Lunch at Lawrence series. Both of our fantastic speakers have already agreed to reschedule to our season next year and we share those dates with you below. Please see below for your refund options and we look forward to seeing you in October for another year of our Lunch at Lawrence series!

REFUND OPTIONS

If you have paid for the full series, or additional lunches this year ($16.50 per person, per lunch), you have two options for your payment.

REFUNDS

Over the next two weeks, you will receive a refund for the full amount. The money will be returned to your credit card, or you will receive a check in the mail if you paid by cash or check. This is the default option. No response is required to receive your refund this way.

SUPPORTING STUDENTS

If you would prefer to support our current students in this time of uncertainty, you can choose to redirect the funds you have already paid to the Lawrence Fund – Supporting Our Students (SOS) emergency fund. This fund has been established to aid students unexpected and urgent expenses related to the impacts of COVID-19. This fund will make available critical resources for immediate needs like our new distance-learning model, food, travel, housing, and other unexpected expenses.

If you wish to redirect your funds, please respond directly to this email or call the Office of Alumni & Constituency Engagement at 920-832-7019 by Friday, March 27. If we do not hear from you by March 27, we will refund your payment as noted above. Thank you for your patience as we work through all of these transitions on campus.

RESCHEDULED SPEAKERS

Timefulness: How Thinking Like a Geologist Can Help Save the World
Marcia Bjornerud, Walter Schober Professor of Environmental Studies and professor of geology: Rescheduled to Friday, March 12, 2021

Gran Kakalin, the Grignon Family, and the Making of Wisconsin
Peter Peregrine, professor of anthropology: Rescheduled for Friday, February 12, 2021