COVID-19 campus updates
Jasper Jones Sophie Smith
News editor Editor-in-chief
Due to the spread of COVID-19, which has made the University transition to distance learning and mostly remote working, administration has made many quick decisions to adjust to the new needs of the campus and community. The rapidly-changing situation and the University’s response to it can be monitored on Willamette’s “Coronavirus (COVID-19) Prevention and Response” webpage.
American Studies Program (ASP):
University President Steve Thorsett announced in an April 1 email to the Willamette community that ASP students that were planning to be on campus through next semester were sent home. This year, 90 students from Tokyo International University came to study at Willamette. Their flights home were scheduled for April 1 and 2.
In the same April 1 email, Thorsett announced that Commencement ceremonies for all of Willamette’s schools, originally scheduled for May 17, have been cancelled. Administration is currently in the process of deciding an alternative date. Some suggestions have been to have Commencement ceremonies in August alongside Opening Days, or to conjoin it with the Class of 2021’s ceremony.
Credit/no credit grading:
In an April 2 email from Dean of the College of Liberal Arts Ruth Feingold, she announced the latest updates to policy surrounding credit/no credit grading. Now, students may decide to credit/no credit classes until 5 p.m. on the last day of classes, May 4. Students may also choose to revert back to letter grading if they before decided to do credit/no credit by the same deadline.
Students can choose to credit/no credit any number of their classes this semester, and it will not count towards the three credit/no credit courses that students are allowed to take in their time at Willamette.
With credit/no credit grading, students who achieve an A to a C- in their class will receive credit for it. With a lower grade than a C-, the student will not receive credit for the course.
Students Scholarship Recognition Day (SSRD):
In a March 31 email to Willamette faculty, SSRD Committee Chair Professor Josh Laison announced that SSRD will take place online. Student presentations will be conducted via Zoom, and research posters will be uploaded to Hatfield Library’s Academic Commons website. The SSRD application submission deadline was on April 1, but students are encouraged to reach out to the committee with questions or concerns.
Campus closed to visitors:
Starting March 23, campus closed to everyone except students living on campus, certain staff members and “allowed guests.” On the University’s coronavirus update page, “allowed guests” is defined as “parents and families assisting their students with moving out, vendors, service providers and contractors with essential campus business and food delivery drivers.”