TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Indiana State University says it will move to online courses only amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
ISU officials made the announcement on Thursday.
The switch to online-only starts on Monday, March 16.
The statement from ISU says the campus will not be closed and campus offices and services will remain open.
See the full release below.
There are no known cases of the coronavirus (covid-19) at Indiana State University or Vigo County, university President Deborah Curtis said Thursday morning as she announced that instruction will move to online-only starting Monday, March 16.
One week of spring break begins Monday, March 23. That will be followed by two more weeks of online-only instruction.
The campus will not be closed the next four weeks, including spring break. Campus offices and services will remain open during this period. University officials, however, are encouraging students to do their online-only instruction away from campus because health experts say social distancing reduces the likelihood of spreading the virus.
Faculty members are being told not to cancel classes and students must fulfill their academic responsibilities. A Q&A for students is online.
Employees are expected to report for work unless on sick or vacation leave. Human Resources has posted a Q&A for employees.
“We need to do our part to help contain the virus,” Curtis said. “We understand this will create difficulties for many people, but the Sycamores are a family and we’ll work through this together.”
Residence halls and dining service will continue while online-only classes are in session. Limited spring break housing is still available for current residents through the Residential Life portal.
On-campus university and student events are canceled, with rare exceptions. On-campus events scheduled by non-ISU organizations will be considered individually. No new events will be scheduled to occur during online-only instruction.
ISU is not allowing university-sponsored air travel to international and domestic destinations. University-sponsored travel by other means must be approved by the appropriate vice president. Campus officials strongly discourage such travel, or to large conferences or events. This does not include student travel home. Intercollegiate athletic competitions will follow NCAA and conference guidance.
For spring break and other personal travel, the American College Health Association advises that “all travelers should thoroughly research their destinations.”
ISU facilities officials are taking extra, and advanced, measures to clean buildings, including residence halls and classrooms. Electrostatic disinfectant sprayers ensure thorough cleaning of high-traffic areas and bathrooms. Door knobs, push plate areas on doors, and handrails are receiving increased treatment with disinfectants. Facilities officials have adequate supplies for continuing such measures.
Curtis noted that the disruption, while significant, is temporary.
“In what we hope will be a short period of time,” she said, “everyone will return to ISU and our beautiful campus will have its usual energy.”
We spoke with Mark Alesia, the Director of Communications for ISU, and students after the announcement.
"We can't prevent the virus from coming here but we can take the steps that health care professionals say we should to help prevent the spread of the virus," said Alesia.
"It's scary because you know it could just get out of hand and everyone could get sick but I mean, there's a lot of people around us so we can get sick easy," said Alondra Salazar.