COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – Mississippi’s eight public universities extended spring break an extra week. This will allow faculty to prepare to offer classes remotely. Classes will resume March 23 and will be taught online.
Mississippi University for Women is one of the schools affected by the Institution of Higher Learning’s (IHL) decision.
President Nora Miller said they’re encouraging students to remain off-campus, if possible.
“We are encouraging them (students) to go to their permanent home if they have that option,” said Miller. “It’s just in the best interest for the social distancing and everything, we feel it’s best not to have that contained environment if at all possible.”
But for students who don’t have that option, Miller said they will still allow them to stay on campus.
For those who are moving off campus, dorms will remain open so they can pack up.
“If they want to remain in the residence hall, we’re asking that a form be completed by the 18, and then we’ll have times for them to come and get their belongings,” said Miller.
The university is working out details for keeping those who stay on campus fed.
The library and computer labs will be available for students who need internet access.
Miller said university buildings will also be open for students needing to conduct school business.
For now, MUW has postponed all athletic events. The other big question mark is graduation.
“Right now the Department of Health said to discourage gatherings of 250 people or more, so that would definitely be commencement,” Miller expressed. “If those recommendations are still in place we’ll have to make decisions accordingly.”
While school leaders encouraged students to remain off-campus, the same may also apply for faculty and staff.
“We are asking people to spend this next week thinking about if that should happen, what could you do remotely,” the university president explained. “Are there resources, do you need a certain computer level access, do you need encryption, or whatever to make that happen.”
MUW’s homecoming has been canceled.
Miller encourages students, faculty, and staff coming back from countries or states declared coronavirus emergencies to self-quarantine for 14 days.
To stay updated on everything that’s happening, be sure to visit the school’s website.