Month: May 2020

Update on COVID-19 & the Lawrence Community | May 28

The University continues to track the impact of COVID-19 on our campus community. Since the original spread of the virus, 19 employees have been self-isolated; one is currently in isolation. Six students have been self-isolated since the original spread; none remain in isolation. To date, no individuals working or living on campus have tested positive for COVID-19. 

It is imperative that we continue to practice physical distancing no matter where we are; we can help stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect others and ourselves by staying home whenever possible and practice proper safety measures:

  • Maintain at least six feet between you and another individual.
  • Wear a mask when you are in public where other physical distancing measures are difficult to maintain. Please note that all individuals living or working on the Lawrence campus are required to wear masks when they are in interior public areas or when gathering in a group both indoors and outdoors. Faculty and staff can request a mask by completing a request form; students should contact the Dean of Students.
  • Avoid public transportation whenever possible.
  • Limit non-essential travel.
  • Limit social gatherings and avoid crowded venues.
  • Practice good hygiene, including handwashing; disinfect surfaces you touch; and avoid touching your face.
  • Follow these guidelines if you are feeling ill.

While we do not know of any Lawrence faculty, staff, or students that have tested positive for COVID-19 to date, we know that our community is feeling the impacts of this pandemic. Our thoughts are with all members of our community as we work to ensure the safety of our families and friends and wrestle with the effects of this global pandemic on all facets of our lives.

Thank you for your collective and individual efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19.


Update on COVID-19 & the Lawrence Community | May 21

The University continues to track the impact of COVID-19 on our campus community. Since the original spread of the virus, 19 employees have been self-isolated; one is currently in isolation. Six students have been self-isolated since the original spread; none remain in isolation. To date, no individuals working or living on campus have tested positive for COVID-19. 

It is imperative that we continue to practice physical distancing no matter where we are; we can help stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect others and ourselves by staying home whenever possible and practice proper safety measures:

  • Maintain at least six feet between you and another individual.
  • Wear a mask when you are in public where other physical distancing measures are difficult to maintain. Please note that all individuals living or working on the Lawrence campus are required to wear masks when they are in interior public areas or when gathering in a group both indoors and outdoors. Faculty and staff can request a mask by completing a request form; students should contact the Dean of Students.
  • Avoid public transportation whenever possible.
  • Limit non-essential travel.
  • Limit social gatherings and avoid crowded venues.
  • Practice good hygiene, including handwashing; disinfect surfaces you touch; and avoid touching your face.
  • Follow these guidelines if you are feeling ill.

While we do not know of any Lawrence faculty, staff, or students that have tested positive for COVID-19 to date, we know that our community is feeling the impacts of this pandemic. Our thoughts are with all members of our community as we work to ensure the safety of our families and friends and wrestle with the effects of this global pandemic on all facets of our lives.

Thank you for your collective and individual efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19. 


Continue to Practice Physical Distancing and Safety Measures | May 21

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

Last week’s reversal of the Wisconsin Safer-at-Home order has led to confusion regarding local and state-wide efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. We write today to provide clarification regarding our ongoing efforts to keep the Lawrence community as safe as possible in our current environment.

We now know that the virus may be with us for many months to come, and it is imperative that we learn to live with COVID-19 and practice safe behaviors in all aspects of our lives. While there is no official state-wide or local order that outlines community behavior or response to COVID-19, the City of Appleton is currently following the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. The University will also continue to follow CDC guidelines. 

Please continue to practice physical distancing no matter where we are; we can help stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect others and ourselves by staying home whenever possible and practice proper safety measures:

  • Maintain at least six feet between you and another individual.
  • Wear a mask when you are in public where other physical distancing measures are difficult to maintain. Please note that all individuals living or working on the Lawrence campus are required to wear masks when they are in interior public areas or when gathering in a group both indoors and outdoors. Faculty and staff can request a mask by completing a request form; students should contact the Dean of Students.
  • Avoid public transportation whenever possible.
  • Limit non-essential travel.
  • Limit social gatherings and avoid crowded venues.
  • Practice good hygiene, including handwashing; disinfect surfaces you touch; and avoid touching your face.
  • Follow these guidelines if you are feeling ill.

All of these actions are necessary to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

To highlight Lawrence’s commitment to helping mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the University has joined the Be Safe Wisconsin initiative. This group of regional organizations is dedicated to amplifying the importance of a sustained commitment to safe behaviors to fight this virus. Visit the Be Safe Wisconsin website to learn more about the organization, explore resources, and pledge to be a leader in the fight against COVID-19. 

While we do not know of any Lawrence faculty, staff, or students that have tested positive for COVID-19 to date, we know that our community is feeling the impacts of this pandemic. Our thoughts are with all members of our community as we work to ensure the safety of our families and friends and wrestle with the effects of this global pandemic on all facets of our lives.

We greatly appreciate our community’s collective and individual efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19, as well as your patience as we weather this ever-evolving situation. Please continue to follow the COVID-19 News blog for weekly health updates and additional information.

Sincerely,

COVID-19 Management Team


Update on COVID-19 and the Lawrence Community | May 14

The University continues to track the impact of COVID-19 on our campus community. Since the original spread of the virus, 18 employees have been self-isolated; none remain in isolation. Six students have been self-isolated since the original spread; none remain in isolation. To date, no individuals working or living on campus have tested positive for COVID-19. 

As we continue to track the status of the current Safer at Home order, we ask that all non-essential staff should continue to telecommute as they currently are until University return to work guidance is provided.

It is imperative that we continue to practice physical distancing no matter where we are; we can help stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect others and ourselves by staying home whenever possible and practice proper safety measures, including the wearing of masks in public. If you are feeling ill, please follow these guidelines.

While we do not know of any Lawrence faculty, staff, or students that have tested positive for COVID-19 to date, we know that our community is feeling the impacts of this pandemic. Our thoughts are with all members of our community as we work to ensure the safety of our families and friends and wrestle with the effects of this global pandemic on all facets of our lives.


Looking Forward to Fall: A Message from President Burstein | May 11

Dear Lawrentians,

I hope that you and your loved ones are well in your homes, on campus, across the nation, and around the world. Things are going well on campus. But I miss the energy that Spring Term brings when you are all here:  ensembles and theater performances, senior recitals, athletic competitions, research and art presentations, LUaroo and other community gatherings to attend. Most importantly, I miss the impromptu interactions I had with students, faculty and staff each day. I know I am not alone in a feeling of loss of these truly Lawrentian moments.

With midterms almost complete, we now turn our thoughts to fall and our hopes for gathering again as a community enriched by collaborations and supportive relationships among students, faculty, and staff, and by a campus culture wonderfully alive. We hope to welcome students back to Appleton this fall, if federal and state policies allow, even though we also need to develop contingency plans … just in case. If we are allowed to gather again in September, we will have rules in place that will foster a safer environment in response to the pandemic. We plan to make a final decision about the fall term before the end of July. 

Until then we will continue to make preparations for a reimagined re-union on campus, and a fall experience that embraces both community and physical distance. It is likely that fall term will begin two to three weeks later than our scheduled start date of September 7. This potential change to our academic calendar gives us more time to develop—in association with some of the state’s leading health care researchers and advisors—appropriate protocols to ensure the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff, as well as the greater Appleton community.

Lawrence’s leadership team, including the President’s Cabinet and COVID-19 Management Team, are currently working with the University’s shared governance to develop a spectrum of scenarios for fall term. The range of scenarios includes on-campus learning as noted above, a second term of distance learning, and a mixed model featuring both on-campus and home-based instruction. Each scenario will aim to provide our students with the best educational experience possible, no matter the circumstances. Last week we announced our plans for summer. You can find that information here. If you have questions about this or any other matter, please reach out to the appropriate office, faculty advisor, or supervisor. Communication is essential as we determine the changes ahead.

COVID-19 is not the first pandemic that Lawrence has had to endure and overcome. The 1918 influenza outbreak also brought with it public health concerns and operational challenges that reached us here in Appleton. While the circumstances 100 years ago might have been different, the impact on teaching and learning for our student body is in many ways the same. We must strive to keep our campus community safe, while also preserving the University’s mission and rich, inclusive learning environment.

Thanks to aggressive state-wide actions, the influenza outbreak took less of a toll in Wisconsin than in other areas of the country. We are also grateful that, just as in 1918, our own current efforts are making a difference in preventing the spread of COVID-19. This success, along with the ingenuity of our students, faculty, and staff, brings me hope. I promise you that the University’s leadership will continue to work to ensure that we keep our community safe and that Lawrence continues to share its light with the world.

Be well and make choices that keep others well.

Yours,

Mark


On-Campus Summer Programs & Activities | May 7

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

Since the start of spring term, members of the COVID-19 Management Team, in consultation with campus colleagues, have been assessing options available to the University regarding summer programs and activities. These include summer research and employment opportunities for students, campus events and rentals, and the availability of summer housing. 

In light of Wisconsin’s continuing Safer-at-Home order and the uncertainties relating to the ongoing spread of the virus, the following decisions have been made to meet the needs of our students, maintain University operations, and protect the health and safety of our campus community and its visitors. 

Campus Events & Rentals
Each summer, our Appleton and Björklunden campuses host events, offer seminar classes and music lessons, and rent facilities for weddings, conferences, and summer camps, among other events. To help us continue to mitigate the spread of the virus and to allow us time to plan for the upcoming fall term, our campuses will mostly be closed this summer. They will operate as follows:

  • Rentals ofcampus facilities, including the Warch Campus Center and Memorial Chapel, among others, are cancelled through July 31. The Campus Events office will continue to closely follow state and local guidance to determine if orders may be relaxed enough by the end of July to proceed with some activities. 
  • All Conservatory of Music sponsored events are cancelled for the summer.
  • Academy of Music in-person lessons are cancelled through summer. Lessons will proceed via distance learning where applicable.
  • Björklunden Summer Seminars are cancelled through Labor Day. Trails on the Björklunden property remain open; visitors must follow social distancing guidelines. 

The University will continue to follow the guidelines provided in national, state, and local public health orders for both indoor and outdoor spaces and will update the campus if any of our current plans change. 

Student Summer Research & Employment Opportunities
Student summer researchthat can be conducted remotely will continue. Students are encouraged to reach out to faculty sponsors if they have any questions about planned summer research opportunities.

Student summer employment that can be conducted remotely will also continue. Limited on-campus employment opportunities will be provided for students who remain on campus over the summer (see more below). Available summer student jobs, both remote and on campus, will be posted in Handshake.

For supervisors of summer student workers, the posting of jobs and hiring of summer student workers will be very similar to how it is traditionally done. Watch for additional information to be sent containing a few process updates.

On-Campus Housing
The campus will continue to follow physical distancing guidelines in student residences over the summer. Students who are currently residing on campus will have the opportunity to request to stay on campus if extenuating circumstances do not allow them to return to off-campus homes or residences. Students who are currently residing off-campus will also have an opportunity to petition to return to campus early if they face extenuating circumstances. Students will not be charged for campus housing over the summer. A meal plan will likely be required for all residents.

Student Life is currently working to establish a petition process to request summer housing. Information will be shared with students currently living on campus tomorrow (Friday, May 8).  If a student is currently living off-campus but and has questions about if they will be able to return they should direct their questions to deanofstudents@lawrence.edu.

Staffing Campus over the Summer
The University will continue to follow physical distancing guidelines for all employees. Human Resources, in consultation with the COVID-19 Management Team, is developing guidance regarding the addition of non-essential employees working on campus as state and local public health orders are adjusted. More information will be shared in next week’s LU Insider.

We will continue to assess our ability to host late summer or early fall events safely, including pre-orientation programs and athletics, over the summer and will communicate accordingly. We recognize that this summer will look very different than we all hoped it would, but we also hope that these decisions help you to plan for the coming weeks and months. 

As always, thank you for your patience and cooperation as we navigate this unprecedented environment. Please stay safe and take care of yourself and others.

Sincerely,
COVID-19 Management Group


Update on COVID-19 and the Lawrence Community | May 7

The University continues to track the impact of COVID-19 on our campus community. Since the original spread of the virus, 18 employees have been self-isolated; one is currently in self-isolation. Six students have been self-isolated since the original spread; none remain in isolation. To date, no individuals working or living on campus have tested positive for COVID-19. 

It is imperative that we continue to practice physical distancing no matter where we are; we can help stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect others and ourselves by staying home whenever possible and practice proper safety measures, including the wearing of masks in public. If you are feeling ill, please follow these guidelines.

While we do not know of any Lawrence faculty, staff, or students that have tested positive for COVID-19 to date, we know that our community is feeling the impacts of this pandemic. Our thoughts are with all members of our community as we work to ensure the safety of our families and friends and wrestle with the effects of this global pandemic on all facets of our lives.


Requests for COVID-19 Student Support Funds Due by Friday, May 8

The shift to distance learning has created challenges for many Lawrentians. We know many students have incurred extraordinary or unplanned expenses in the wake of the changes brought on by the global pandemic.

Using donor-supported institutional funds, as well as funds the university has received from the CARES Act via a grant from the Department of Education awarded to us on April 24, we are able to provide emergency grants to help Lawrentians recover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus. Grants can be used for eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and childcare. Grants are available to all students, regardless of citizenship status.

To formally request funds, please complete this short form, which will initiate a special review by a team of Lawrence professionals, who will review your financial circumstances to determine eligibility and financial distribution.

The priority consideration date to complete the form is Friday, May 8. The team will move quickly to notify all applicants of the results as soon as possible.

In the meantime, we wish you well as we near the midway point of the spring term.

Until we can see each other again, be well and do well,

Christopher Card
Vice President for Student Life

Ken Anselment
Vice President for Enrollment & Communication


2020-2021 Housing Selection Timeline | May 4

Dear Students, 

We hope this email finds you well.  We are writing today to outline the current plan for housing selection for the 2020-2021 academic year.  Please note that the university is still in the process of determining what next year’s program will look like given the global pandemic. Given this, we thought it reasonable to share our current housing selection process in the event that we are able to resume full residential operations for fall term.  We will advise you of any changes. 

The Residential Education and Housing Office along with the Residence Life Committee of LUCC have been creating a new approach to returning student Housing Selection for 2020-2021 that will utilize Zoom.  

Despite the need for modifications to the process to manage in a remote fashion, we believe the changes made will serve all of us best for the 2020-2021 academic year and keep the basic tenets of selection at its core.  We ask for your patience and understanding as we do our best to make housing selection work for all. At the heart of this process, we rely on your commitment to the Lawrence community, the components of the honor code and social code, and respect of and for your peers. 

Please refer to the Housing Selection Webpage for specifics, and email all questions to residential.education@lawrence.edu

With many thanks,
Residential Education & Housing