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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Dark brown banner with light brown image of COVID-19 and the words Campus Updates.Alma College has activated a coronavirus (COVID-19) task force and is continuously monitoring the threat risk for all college related travel and activities. The health and safety of our students and all in the campus community remains our top priority. We will communicate regularly with the college community through email and this webpage regarding this developing situation. 

We continue to work closely with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and the Mid-Michigan District Health Department (MMDHD) to monitor coronavirus developments in our region. Additionally, we are following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.

Alma College does not have any confirmed cases of COVID-19 at this time. If any cases are confirmed, we will communicate that information, as well as the college’s steps in response, to the campus community.

Please keep in mind that the situation changes daily and some timelines or decisions may need to be altered in the coming days, weeks, and months. It continues to be important that every member of our campus community follows recommended health precautions to ensure the safety of themselves and those around them.

The Alma College Advancement Office has created the Coronavirus Mitigation and Student Relief Fund to help enable Alma’s faculty and staff to continue to provide students with extraordinary care and support during this crisis.

Updated March 24, 2020

A message to Alma College students who remain in on-campus housing:

In response to the stay-at-home executive order that Governor Whitmer announced yesterday morning, we will make the following changes to our campus operations. The order goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. on March 24 and is set to last until at least April 13.

  • Starbucks and the Bookstore are closed until further notice.
  • The mailroom will remain open. Please use the side door (off the parking lot) to enter the building as the main door will be locked.

Alma College is your home and we will, of course, continue to be available to support you. Please note the following reminders about available services:

  • All dining services are provided at Joe’s Place from 11 a.m. - 6 p.m., Monday - Sunday. (These hours may be adjusted but we will notify you in advance.)
  • The Wilcox Medical Center is open Monday-Thursday for appointments from 8:30 a.m.-12 p.m. and from 1-5 p.m. Please call (989) 463-7181 to make an appointment. Counseling staff are available at (989) 463-7225 or by email for phone counseling and support.
  • If you have concerns related to housing facilities, please call Facilities and Service Management at (989) 463-7162 between 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. or submit a work order.
  • Campus Safety is available to respond to safety concerns 24 hours a day. Please call (989) 463-7777.
  • The Administrator on Duty (AOD) is also available 24 hours a day to respond to safety and wellness concerns; call (989) 560-5972.

If you have any questions, please contact Housing and Residence Life at (989) 463-7251 or residencelife@alma.edu.

Updated March 19,2020

Welcome Home

We are thrilled to share that all Alma College students traveling on study abroad programs are now back at home with their families. Welcome home!

Bookstore

The return period for rental books has been extended to May 26. You can feel free to ship your rental books back to:

Alma College Bookstore
328 W. Superior Street
Alma, MI 48801

In the coming weeks, the Bookstore will also open a book buyback on campus. We will share more information as soon as it is available. If you have questions, please call Rob DuVall, textbook manager, at (989) 463-7497.

Housing and Meal Reimbursement Reminder

As we previously shared, students who complete proper checkout procedures will receive a reimbursement of $25 per day from the date of checkout through April 17 for room and meal charges. These funds will be credited to your Alma College account within two weeks of checkout. If you are a graduating senior, we will mail you a check in the amount of any credit balance on your student account.

Joe’s Place to Provide All Dining Services

Beginning March 20, Hamilton Commons is now closed and all dining services will be offered through Joe’s Place. Please see the revised schedule below for hours.

Hamilton Commons: Closed

Joe’s Place: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., Monday – Sunday

Starbucks: 6:30 a.m. – 3 p.m., Monday – Friday and 8 a.m. – 3 p.m., Saturday and Sunday

Library

The Alma College Library will move to online services only beginning Thursday, March 19 at 12:30 p.m. All electronic resources will continue to be available.

A librarian will be available for assistance via the Library’s chat service at https://www.alma.edu/library/. Books can be returned via the book-drop box just inside the front door.

Please contact Matthew Collins, library director, at collinsms@alma.edu with any questions.

Mail and Packages

The Mail & Print Center will begin the process of forwarding mail and packages to your home address listed on the portal. If an item cannot be forwarded, we will reach out to you via email with options. Please note that forwarded mail and packages can take 7-10 days to reach you.

If you have questions, please email mailprintcenter@alma.edu or call (989) 463-7066.

Updated March 17, 2020

Thank you for your patience as faculty and staff have been working to prepare online courses, which begin tomorrow. Student safety remains our top priority as we deal with the changing challenges brought on by the COVID-19 virus.

Many parents, families and students have written to ask about student housing during this period. Federal and state guidance has tightened as COVID-19 virus cases have escalated across the country. In response, we have changed our plans. Students who are able to move home to their families must do so as soon as possible and by no later than Thursday, March 19 at noon.

We, of course, will support those students and families whose circumstances prevent a move home. Some international students, for example, cannot safely go home, if at all, and some domestic students live in parts of the country with high numbers of cases. If your student’s situation prevents you from leaving campus by March 19 at noon, they are required to contact Housing and Residence Life at (989) 463-7251 or residencelife@alma.edu to receive permission. The staff can also answer any questions you may have about housing and dining.

We recognize the challenges you are facing and thank you for your cooperation in this difficult time. Please contact Housing and Residence Life at (989) 463-7579 or residencelife@alma.edu with any questions.

Updated March 16, 2020

New Housing, Dining and Library Policies

Housing and Dining 

Housing and Residence Life announced the following enhanced policies today, which are effective immediately:

  1. Lounges, lobbies and all public areas in all housing are closed.
  2. No outside guests are allowed on campus, with the exception of those helping a student to move out.
  3. By the end of this week (ending March 20, 2020) the college may begin to consolidate students into housing best suited to health department recommendations, so students still residing in housing should be prepared to move.

Students who violate these enhanced policies or any other campus policies may be asked to move out of the residence halls and will not be eligible for the housing and meal reimbursement of $25 per day.

Students should continue to use the approved check-out process when leaving the residence halls: https://www.alma.edu/live/files/3888-check-out-instructions-wi-2020pdf.

If you need transportation to the airport, please sign up online for shuttles on Tuesday, March 17 and Thursday, March 19: https://www.alma.edu/offices/student-life/transportation/.

In accordance with Governor Whitmer’s executive order, seating will be closed at all of our dining options (Hamilton Dining Commons, Joe’s Place, and Starbucks) and we will transition to a take-out only service beginning at 3 p.m. today, March 16, 2020, until further notice.

If you have questions, please contact Virginia McKenzie at (989) 463-7504 or mckenzie@alma.edu.

Library

All areas beyond the front lobby and desk of the library are now closed.

During business hours from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., students, faculty, and staff can request items at the library’s front desk.

Library users can also use the “hold” option in the library catalog. Staff will retrieve the item and keep it at the front desk for pick-up.

Cyber Scams

Reports of cyber scams related to COVID-19 have increased. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security Cyber Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) recommends caution when handling email with a COVID-19 related subject line, attachment, or hyperlink.

CISA encourages individuals to take the following precautions:

  • Avoid clicking on links in unsolicited emails and be wary of email attachments
  • Used trusted sources for fact based information about COVID-19
  • Do not respond to email solicitations for personal or financial information
  • Verify a charity’s authenticity before making donations.

More information is available from CISA at:

https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/current-activity/2020/03/06/defending-against-covid-19-cyber-scams

If you are unsure about any email you receive, please contact the Alma College ITS help desk at (989) 463-7303, helpdesk@alma.edu, or https://helpdesk.alma.edu.

Previous Updates

March 16, 2020

Updated March 16, 2020

In response to the current recommendations surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, and specifically in response to the state of emergency declared by Gratiot County, we have put in place additional policies to ensure the safety of everyone in our campus community. These enhanced policies go into effect immediately.

  1. Lounges, lobbies and all public areas in all housing are closed.
  2. No outside guests are allowed on campus, with the exception of those helping a student to move out.
  3. By the end of this week (ending March 20, 2020) the college may begin to consolidate students into housing best suited to health department recommendations, so students still residing in housing should be prepared to move.

Students who violate these enhanced policies or any other campus policies may be asked to move out of the residence halls and will not be eligible for the housing and meal reimbursement of $25 per day. Review the Student Handbook for complete information on college policies: https://www.alma.edu/student-handbook/.

Students should continue to use the approved check-out process when leaving the residence halls: https://www.alma.edu/live/files/3888-check-out-instructions-wi-2020pdf.

If you need transportation to the airport, please sign up online for shuttles on Tuesday, March 17 and Thursday, March 19: https://www.alma.edu/offices/student-life/transportation/.

We recognize the challenges you are facing and thank you for your cooperation in this difficult time. Please contact Housing and Residence Life at (989) 463-7579 or residencelife@alma.edu with any questions.

 

March 13, 2020 

All of us in the Alma community are grieving for those around the globe affected by the COVID-19 virus. At a time such as this, we know the importance of community, and we are grateful for the efforts of so many here at Alma who are working hard to ensure the safety of our students, faculty and staff.

As we noted last night, given recent developments, we have decided to end in-person classes for the remainder of the winter term as of 5 p.m. today, Friday, March 13. Classes will resume through online delivery methods on Wednesday, March 18.

To help our faculty prepare to move coursework online, we will not hold classes on March 16 and 17. All courses will continue through the end of the winter term.

As we have already announced, we have canceled all international academic travel. We will share additional decisions on Spring Term courses by April 1.

All other campus operations will continue and offices will remain open.

Residence halls will remain open through April 17 for all students who choose to stay on-campus. Students must notify Housing and Residence Life of their departure from campus by completing the form they will receive by email today. When students move out of their residence hall rooms, they must complete the checkout process through their Resident Assistant. Checkout procedures can be found on the housing and residence life website at https://www.alma.edu/live/files/3888-check-out-instructions-wi-2020pdf. These procedures will also be emailed to each student.

Students who complete proper checkout procedures will receive a reimbursement of $25 per day from the date of checkout through April 17 for room and board charges. These funds will be credited to each student’s Alma College account within two weeks of checkout. Students who check out of residence halls may not return to student housing during the winter term.

Dining services will remain open with changes in serving procedures and hours; to-go containers are available upon request. Dining Services has also temporarily stopped continuous dining hours so that proper cleaning and sanitizing can take place between meals.

All NCAA athletic practices and competitions for Alma College teams are canceled as of Monday, March 16.

We deeply regret that, given current circumstances, we will not be able to hold Commencement on April 18. We hope that we will be able to reschedule Commencement in May; we will communicate plans by April 8. Likewise, we have canceled Honors Day on April 2.

Within the next week, the Registrar’s Office will contact each graduating senior impacted by these changes and provide an individual plan to graduate on-time.

March 13, 2020

All of us in the Alma community are grieving for those around the globe affected by the COVID-19 virus. At a time such as this, we know the importance of community, and we are grateful for the efforts of so many here at Alma who are working hard to ensure the safety of our students, faculty and staff.

As we noted last night, given recent developments, we have decided to end in-person classes for the remainder of the winter term as of 5 p.m. today, Friday, March 13. Classes will resume through online delivery methods on Wednesday, March 18.

To help our faculty prepare to move coursework online, we will not hold classes on March 16 and 17. All courses will continue through the end of the winter term.

As we have already announced, we have canceled all international academic travel. We will share additional decisions on Spring Term courses by April 1.

All other campus operations will continue and offices will remain open.

Residence halls will remain open through April 17 for all students who choose to stay on-campus. Students must notify Housing and Residence Life of their departure from campus by completing the form they will receive by email today. When students move out of their residence hall rooms, they must complete the checkout process through their Resident Assistant. Checkout procedures can be found on the housing and residence life website at https://www.alma.edu/live/files/3888-check-out-instructions-wi-2020pdf. These procedures will also be emailed to each student.

Students who complete proper checkout procedures will receive a reimbursement of $25 per day from the date of checkout through April 17 for room and board charges. These funds will be credited to each student’s Alma College account within two weeks of checkout. Students who check out of residence halls may not return to student housing during the winter term.

Dining services will remain open with changes in serving procedures and hours; to-go containers are available upon request. Dining Services has also temporarily stopped continuous dining hours so that proper cleaning and sanitizing can take place between meals.

All NCAA athletic practices and competitions for Alma College teams are canceled as of Monday, March 16.

We deeply regret that, given current circumstances, we will not be able to hold Commencement on April 18. We hope that we will be able to reschedule Commencement in May; we will communicate plans by April 8. Likewise, we have canceled Honors Day on April 2.

Within the next week, the Registrar’s Office will contact each graduating senior impacted by these changes and provide an individual plan to graduate on-time.

We will keep you apprised of further developments. We appreciate your patience while we work to provide the most accurate and up-to-date information. We will send additional updates to faculty and staff this afternoon.

March 12, 2020 

Since we made our announcement yesterday, much has changed. Presumed positive cases of COVID-19 in Michigan have increased from 2 to 12. Governor Gretchen Whitmer has ordered the closure of all K-12 schools across the state for three weeks, beginning Monday, March 16. Additionally, other closures have escalated across the country.

Given these developments, we cannot wait to move to online classes as planned. In-person classes for the winter term will end as of 5 p.m. on Friday, March 13 and classes will resume through online delivery on Wednesday, March 18.

Campus offices, residence halls, and dining services will remain open.

We will follow up with additional communication to the campus community throughout the day tomorrow. We ask for your patience as we work to gather accurate information to answer the numerous questions we know will follow.

Please keep in mind that the situation changes daily and some timelines or decisions may need to be altered in the coming days, weeks, and months. It continues to be important that every member of our campus community follows recommended health precautions to ensure the safety of themselves and those around them.

Housing

  • Students who are able to move home to their families must do so as soon as possible and by no later than Thursday, March 19 at noon.

    We, of course, will support those students and families whose circumstances prevent a move home. Some international students, for example, cannot safely go home, if at all, and some domestic students live in parts of the country with high numbers of cases. If your student’s situation prevents you from leaving campus by March 19 at noon, they are required to contact Housing and Residence Life at (989) 463-7251 or residencelife@alma.edu to receive permission. The staff can also answer any questions you may have about housing and dining.

    We recognize the challenges you are facing and thank you for your cooperation in this difficult time. Please contact Housing and Residence Life at (989) 463-7579 or residencelife@alma.edu with any questions

International Students

  • We recognize international students face particular pressures right now. International students may choose to stay on campus through the summer; should they choose to return home, they will maintain their current visa status, as SEVIS has confirmed. Graduating seniors should contact Amanda Duval at duvalal@alma.edu to discuss options.

International Travel and Spring Term 

  • All international travel prior to June 1, including Spring Term, is canceled. We will work with faculty and staff leading those trips on next steps, and we will determine what course accommodations can be made.
  • Domestic Spring Term travel will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
  • We will work closely with seniors who need Spring Term credit to ensure that they can complete their degrees on-time.
  • We continue to evaluate summer international travel (beyond June 1) and will make a decision at a later date. We will use the approval process previously outlined for all other travel.

Study Abroad

  • The US Department of State global travel advisory (level 3) that was issued  triggers travel restrictions under our travel policy for students currently studying abroad. We are assisting these students with their return to the US.

Athletic and Academic Travel

  • All NCAA athletic practices and competitions for Alma College teams are canceled as of Monday, March 16.
  • Athletic teams and academic groups may continue to travel for competition in Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin. However, if the competition is outside of that region, the travel will be permitted only if it is on a national championship track; such travel may only include essential students and personnel.
  • All college sponsored travel by faculty or staff (such as conference or recruitment travel) must be approved by the President’s Office and should be sent to Amanda Slenski (slenskiar@alma.edu) and Cassie Tennant (tennant@alma.edu) for review.
    • At this time, only travel critical to the college’s operations will be approved.
    • We also ask faculty and staff to be cautious about the domestic travel they undertake.

Social Distancing and Upcoming Events

  • In accordance with Governor Whitmer’s executive order, seating will be closed at all of our dining options (Hamilton Dining Commons, Joe’s Place, and Starbucks) and we will transition to a take-out only service beginning at 3 p.m. today, March 16, 2020, until further notice.
  • All athletic events and performing arts events have been canceled for the remainder of the semester. 
  • Commencement has been indefinitely postponed. We will reach out with a new date as soon as we are able.

Special Accommodations

  • Students who have a health provider’s recommendation to limit exposure should contact Rhonda Linn at linnrm@alma.edu for accommodations. Employees with similar concerns should contact Amanda Duval at duvalal@alma.edu.
  • If you have any concerns about exposure or have traveled internationally or on a cruise ship since January 1, please contact the Wilcox Center at (989) 463-7181 or email Anne Lambrecht at lambrechtak@alma.edu before returning to campus.