Coronavirus (Covid-19), University and Community Resources

Friday, March 13 | E-mail from Ms. Kelli King

Dear Buffett Scholars,

As you know, Chancellor Green recently announced that in response to the COVID-19 virus, University of Nebraska–Lincoln will cancel classes March 16-20 and after spring break (March 23-27) will transition to remote teaching on March 30 through the end of the term. Based on this information, I have consulted with the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation regarding the learning community and scholarship expectations for the rest of the spring term. 

To protect the health and safety of our whole community, we need to limit in-person events and programming; therefore, all remaining WHT events have been cancelled. Our staff has compiled the following essential information to help you navigate the remainder of the spring term. Please read this thoroughly and reach out to your Point of Contact if you have any questions. If for some reason you do not know who your Point of Contact is, please let me know!

Buffett Scholarship:

How to access your Point of Contact – Effective Monday, March 16th, 2020 we will be moving to virtual meetings. You will still be able to make a virtual meeting or phone call appointment with your POC; please set that up in MyPlan or send them an email. Please look for a message from your POC to know if they will be using Skype, Zoom or other media platforms.

Probation/Academic/Mid-Semester Warning and/or Learning Community Warning - If you are meeting with your POC for these particular circumstances, you will still need to meet with them virtually to discuss your requirements for this (e.g. study hours). Please contact your POC for more information.

Learning Community Requirements – First- and Second-Year Students -I have spoken with the Susan T. Buffett Foundation and with the exception of your 1:1 meeting with your POC, the remainder of the semester learning community requirements will be waived. For example, if you have not completed your community service or have not yet attended an event, this will not affect your scholarship standing. You are also not obligated to continue living on campus for your scholarship/learning community requirement. PLEASE NOTE: If you have not had your 1:1 meeting this semester with your POC you will still need to complete that.

Mentor/Mentee Meetings - Please check in via text or virtually with your mentor for your March meeting to let them know if you are staying on campus or going home, how you are feeling and to share any questions or concerns you may have. You will not be required to meet with your mentor for the remainder of the semester. However, if you would like to do so, talk with your mentor about their preferred method of communication.

Forms - From time to time circumstances arise where you may need to adjust your schedule/number of credit hours. It is very important that you communicate with your POC to discuss your options to stay in compliance with your scholarship. You are not permitted to just drop classes without their consultation. Additionally, there may be circumstances in which you may need to ask permission from The Susan T. Buffett Foundation before making a decision. The Susan T. Buffett Foundation requires you to fill out a form for any/all of the following circumstances. Students on scholarship are required to complete a request form in order to Study Abroad, place the scholarship On Hold, enroll in Less than 9 Hours, attend a Secondary College and/or Transfer to a different college. The request forms can be completed and submitted online.

o   Request to be Enrolled for Less than 9 Hours - https://app.buffettscholarships.org/request/less9hour

o   Request for Scholarship to be Placed On Hold - https://app.buffettscholarships.org/request/OnHold

o   Request for Funding at a Secondary College - https://app.buffettscholarships.org/request/FundSecondaryInstitution

o   Request to Transfer to a Different College - https://app.buffettscholarships.org/request/Transfer

o   Request to Use Scholarship Funds for Study Abroad/National Student Exchange Program - https://app.buffettscholarships.org/request/StudyAbroad

Financial Aid:  https://financialaid.unl.edu/

  • If you have a change in your financial circumstances please visit: https://financialaid.unl.edu/unique-circumstances
  • To learn more about emergency aid please visit:  https://financialaid.unl.edu/emergency-aid  
  • Work Study: If you are going to be on campus or in Lincoln and are approved to continue working and feel comfortable doing so, you may continue your work-study. 
    • If you are going home or if you don’t feel comfortable doing your work-study hours, you will not be paid for the remaining hours. If this funding is needed, you can reach out to the Husker Hub about converting your work-study hours into a loan. This option is based upon several factors and is decided upon for each student on a case-by-case basis
    • If you are discouraged by employers from working or your hours are being lessened, please contact me ASAP.

Academics:  

  • Priority Registration: Priority Registration will begin April 6th. 
    To give you additional time to connect with your academic advisor, priority registration is moving to April 6. Your individual student enrollment appointment (the time you may begin registering) in MyRED will be reassigned. Check MyRED during spring break to find your new appointment time. 
  • Academic Advising: Advisors are meeting with students that are scheduled with them as of the moment. Advisors are eager to assist you! They may be able to do advising over email, phone, zoom etc. but please contact your advisor to learn their preferred method well in advance of your scheduled appointment.
  • Bookstore: From Monday, March 16th to Friday, March 27th, 2020 the store hours will be 10AM – 4PM. After that, their hours have yet to be determined. For now, if you have rented books and you are no longer going to be on or near campus, at the end of the semester it will be your responsibility to ship your books back. The books will need to be postmarked by May 8th or earlier.
    • You will need to include your name, NUID, your phone number. The shipping address is: UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA BOOKSTORE 1500 “S” STREET LINCOLN, NE US 68588 
    • Students can sell books back anytime the bookstore is open. Students not in Lincoln wanting to sell books back can always come to campus if that is possible. Other options are TBD.

Academic Resource Center:

Thompson Scholars Tutoring (https://www.unl.edu/wht/study-caf%C3%A9tutor-lab)

  • Tutors will be available for remote sessions M-W, 6-10pm. Refer to the website for the schedule of sessions. 

Online Course Assistance 

  • Writing Center - Beginning March 30, 2020, all of their appointments will be taking place online. Please schedule your appointments as usual through WCOnline https://unl.mywconline.com/
  • Math Resource Center - The department is working on moving the resource center online. If they are able to move online and when it is ready to announce the Math department will post in Canvas. 

Housing and Dining:

In accordance with Chancellor Green’s statement, Housing is encouraging students to return to their permanent residence in the coming days to limit personal interactions. For those students who do not have other housing options or who choose to remain on campus for other commitments, the residence halls and dining services will remain open.

All residents should complete the Express Checkout Form posted on your door to notify University Housing of your decision to stay on campus or move out prior to the end of the semester.

In regards to the residence hall accommodations:

  • Halls that originally planned to close over spring break now will remain open.
  • From Monday, March 16 through Sunday, March 29, Dining Services will offer brunch and dinner meals at select locations and Herbie’s Markets will be open with limited hours. View schedule.

If you plan to move out today or tomorrow, please stay tuned to local media for weather updates and visit 511.nebraska.gov to avoid slippery road conditions. A strong winter storm is forecast for the majority of Nebraska this afternoon through tomorrow morning.

We urge all students to make the choice that is best for their personal health and safety. We know many of you have questions about financial implications and we hope to address those issues soon.

Personal Wellness:

Counseling and Psychological Services - CAPS will continue to see students in person (next week and spring break included). Refer to the CAPS website (https://caps.unl.edu/) for changes to this policy. Consultations can be completed over the phone if a student is not feeling well but therapy will not be conducted remotely at this time. Please call 402-472-7450 for more details.

If you have taken advantage of services through WHT or need to, please contact Sarah Frankel at sfrankel2@unl.edu for more information. 

Miscellaneous:

Library: The library’s hours are currently unchanged. If hours do change they will be updated online here: https://libraries.unl.edu/hours

If you have books from the library to return, they will need to be returned in person. If you are leaving campus, be sure to return books before you leave. You can renew books online or via phone call (402-472-9568). 

All library events are cancelled with the exception of the comic book exhibit.

You can find further information about the library’s response to COVID-19 here: https://libraries.unl.edu/libraries-information-updates-covid19

Unions: The UNL City and East Unions will follow standard operating hours through March 15th (this coming Sunday). Beginning March 16th and through March 30th hours will change to 7am-7pm Monday through Friday in the Unions and 8am-5pm Monday through Friday in the Gaughan Multicultural Center. All buildings will be CLOSED on weekends. 

You can check the UNL events calendar to see if events in the Union are canceled or postponed: https://events.unl.edu/

Parking and Transit:  Parking and Transit sent a form to all current permit holders via email this week. If you are leaving campus, you will need to complete the form and take it to Parking and Transit with your parking permit and NUID for a prorated refund. 

Transportation has switched to the summer schedule. Route information can be found here: https://parking.unl.edu/city-east-campus-routes

Shuttles:

The 24 & 25 bus routes are having adjusted times starting Monday the 16th all the way to August 21. Here are the two updated time points for the 24 and 25 route:

https://www.lincoln.ne.gov/city/ltu/startran/routemap/weekday/route24.htm

https://www.lincoln.ne.gov/city/ltu/startran/routemap/weekday/route25.htm

Rec Center:

  • The City and East Recreation Centers have changed their hours to the spring break schedule for the next two weeks. 
    • Monday -Thursday: Open 5:45AM, Closes at Midnight
    • Friday: Open 5:45AM, Closes at 11PM
    • Saturday: Open 9AM, Closes 11PM
    • Sunday: Open 9AM, Closes Midnight

Events: As of now, all fitness classes are still happening (but they will be capped at 100 people).

Many events have been canceled. Please check the rec center calendar and rec center social media for updates on cancellations. 

Intramurals and sports clubs have been cancelled. 

The Outdoor Adventure center will remain open next week but not during spring break. It will only be open from 12pm-8pm beginning Monday the 16th. 

Many Outdoor Adventure trips and classes are being cancelled. You will be contacted by your trip leader or teacher if you are signed up for either. 

Please be aware that the Adventure Center cannot sanitize the climbing wall constantly during the day. Be aware that there is a higher risk of contamination at the climbing wall. 

WIFI:

Spectrum is offering free WIFI for college students who have been affected by the closing. More information here: https://www.klkntv.com/story/41893145/charter-offering-free-wifi-for-k12-and-college-students

Spring Break Trips:

You may have started or already made plans for various trips and vacations during this time. We want to encourage you to consider the ongoing health concern of COVID-19 (Coronavirus)as you make plans. Travelling abroad will bring unique challenges and before you travel we encourage to review recommendations set by the Center of Disease Control (CDC).

The U.S. Department of State and the CDC have put a number of travel advisories or warnings in place due to the virus. Based on these advisories, NU policy currently restricts faculty, staff, and student travel to mainland China, South Korea, Iran and Italy. Travel to Mongolia is also restricted for students. All UNL-sponsored study abroad programs to these locations have been canceled for spring and summer. In addition, we are monitoring a number of other locations in anticipation of possible restrictions. They include Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam. We have been in contact with any UNL students currently in these countries. For the latest NU policy updates on Covid-19 please visit: www.covid19.unl.edu

In addition, all university-sponsored travel for students outside of the continental U.S. and Hawaii is suspended for the remainder of the spring semester.

The University of Nebraska maintains a travel warning policy that disallows travel to countries under a travel warning from the U.S. Department of State, or a Centers for Disease Control Travel Heath Notice at Warning Level https://globalnebraska.unl.edu/university-nebraska-travel-warning-policy

To check your destination country's current status, visit the Travel Advisories page on the website of the U.S. Department of State. https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories.html/Travel

Faculty, staff, or students with questions or concerns about study abroad or other academic programs involving travel should contact the global safety and security area in the Office of Global Strategies at globalsafety@unl.edu or call 402-472-2236.

Lastly,

Follow us on social media

Twitter - @WHTSCHOLARS

Instagram - @WHTSCHOLARS

Facebook – William H. Thompson Scholars Learning Community

Please keep checking the universities 2019 Novel Coronavirus and COVID-19 website at https://covid19.unl.edu/

Please refer to the Center for Transformative Teaching’s Keep Learning website at https://teaching.unl.edu/keep-learning/ 

Scholars, your health, safety, and academic success are our top priorities. The temporary steps officials are taking for public health are unprecedented, but decisions are being made for the overall wellness of our community with the best information we have at this time. Now would be a good time to make sure your phone number is updated in MyRed, you have your voicemail set up to receive calls, and your voicemail isn’t full. 

I trust that each of you will remain focused on reaching your academic goals, knowing that we care about each and every one of you. We will navigate this together and adjust our operations accordingly. Thank you for your excellence, flexibility, and care for one another, please email us at whthompsonscholars@unl.edu or please call us at 402-326-5946 if you need anything at all. 

Best regards,

Ms. Kelli King