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Coronavirus FAQs

General

Does Alma College have any confirmed cases of COVID-19 on campus? 

There are no confirmed cases on campus. If that changes, we will notify the campus community. 

I have plans to attend an event or game on campus. Is it still happening? 

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

All ensemble performances are also canceled as of Saturday, March 14. 

We will provide updates on the status of upcoming events as they are available. Please continue to check the campus calendar for event cancelations and postponements: https://www.alma.edu/calendar/

What about Commencement? 

As of this time, Commencement has been postponed. We will notify the campus community when we have rescheduled. 

However, we will still confer degrees on April 18. We have delayed the ceremony, not the awarding of degrees.

What steps is the college taking to disinfect campus?

College cleaning staff has increased the frequency and intensity of disinfection efforts across campus. Multiple times per day, they clean high touch point areas, such as handrails, doors and chairs, with a product that has a virus kill time of 30 seconds.

Which offices are going to remain open?

Most offices and facilities have adopted new policies to ensure the safety of our campus community. 

  • Lounges, lobbies and all public areas in all housing are closed.
  • No outside guests are allowed on campus, with the exception of those helping a student to move out.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • At this time, the Alma College Alan J. Stone Recreation Center and McClure Natatorium (pool) are closed as of Monday, March 16, 2020 at 5 a.m. until further notice.
  • 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.
Where can I find more information?

We will post further news and updates for the campus community at www.alma.edu/coronavirus-updates/. If you have questions about the college’s response to COVID-19 please contact the Wilcox Health Center at (989) 463-7181.

What about the Highland Festival?

Due to concerns surrounding the Covid-19 (coronavirus), the 2020 Highland Festival has been cancelled. 

For Students

Housing and Dining

Do I need to move out of the residence halls? 

Yes. 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. 

Should I take my belongings with me if I am checking out of the residence halls early? 
Yes. Students who are checking out of their residence hall room should take all of their belongings.
How will I receive my housing and meal reimbursement? 

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. This credit will be applied to current and future charges; it is not a refundable credit unless you are a graduating senior. Once all charges are posted to students’ accounts we will automatically process refunds to any senior with a credit balance remaining on their account.

Online Learning

I’m in a class that’s not as conducive to online learning. How will that work?

We will make every effort to find creative solutions to accommodate courses, some of which will be more true to the original course than others. The Provost’s Office will work diligently with faculty to help ensure successful online learning.

Will my professors be understanding of everything I’m going through?

We understand that students, faculty and staff are going through a lot right now as we adjust to distance and online learning for the remainder of the winter term. We will treat everyone with compassion and understanding in light of our current challenges. We encourage students to stay in communication with faculty regarding their needs and circumstances so that we can provide the necessary support. A wide range of student support services continue to be available through the Center for Student Opportunity. If you have any concerns, please reach out to the individual faculty member or to the Provost’s Office at (989) 463-7176.

What about my final exams?

Final exam week will not be held in person; students should anticipate that all of their final exams will be conducted online.

Will I still receive my degree, even though Commencement has been postponed?

We have delayed the ceremony, but not the awarding of degrees. If you have completed all the coursework for graduation by April 17, we will still confer your degree on April 18 and mail you your diploma.

How will current and possible changes to Spring Term affect graduating seniors? 

The Registrar’s Office has contacted each graduating senior impacted by these changes to provide an individual plan to graduate on-time.

Spring Term

Will Spring Terms still happen?

To ensure the safety and well being of our campus community, and to abide by state and federal guidance, Spring Term 2020 courses will be held exclusively in an online format. Together with the Provost’s Office and Information Technology Services, our faculty have designed courses that maximize student interaction and learning within the focused, one-month term that Alma offers each spring.

As always, Spring Term is a terrific opportunity to dive deep into a subject, led by expert faculty and closely connected with classmates. I especially encourage first-year students and sophomores to seize this opportunity to move one step closer to fulfilling graduation requirements in just a few short years.

To view all Spring Term 2020 courses, please visit Student Planning by logging into Inside Alma then selecting Self-Service (www.alma.edu/gateways/students/). You will find all courses within the “Catalog” block or within the “Schedule and Plan” option in Student Planning.  Whenever possible, we have offered an online course with the same instructor that meets the same requirements as a previously scheduled in-person course.

If my Spring Term is canceled, will I still graduate without the S course?

We will work with all graduating seniors on an individual basis to ensure they can meet requirements for an on-time graduation. Students should check with the Registrar’s Office.

I’m a senior using my Venture for Spring Term travel. How does this affect me?

The college will make a one-time exception and allow Venture funding to apply to Alma College tuition for non-travel Spring Term.

In response to COVID-19 travel restrictions, what happens to my experiential learning award that was set to cover travel and related expenses?
Alma Venture Grant

Recipients of Alma Venture awards for spring or summer 2020 experiences that have been cancelled due to Covid-19 have been offered following options. 

  1. If your Venture experience has been postponed for a future spring term or summer, you can defer your Venture grant and apply it to that future term without re-applying.
  2. You may decline your award. You would then be able to re-apply for a different Venture experience in the future. This may include applying for support for domestic internship experiences during summer 2020. The application will remain open through July 2020.
  3. If you are a graduating senior and as such will not have an opportunity to defer, Alma College will waive spring term tuition if you enroll in one of the offered 2020 spring term courses. This is a one-time exception to Venture policies.
  4. Graduating seniors may also apply for Venture support for a qualifying summer or fall 2020 experience (internship, service, research), as an exception to the Venture requirement that recipients be Alma students at the time of their Venture. This eligibility extension is valid through December 31, 2020 for graduating seniors only.
Posey Global Fellowship

P-GLOBAL awards issued for summer 2020 may be deferred to summer 2021. As a one-time exception, award recipients who will graduate before summer 2021 will still be allowed to defer until summer 2021.

Gazmararian Scholarship (Business majors only)

Since international travel during Spring Term 2020 has been cancelled, Gazmararian Scholarships cannot be awarded. The award may only be distributed to Business majors who are taking part in an international travel Spring Term course, which will not be possible this year. Per the fund requirements, unspent money must be returned to the Gazmararian Scholarship Fund. In light of the current situation, we are currently working to see if we can change this requirement to increase available funds for next year. Returning students are eligible to reapply for the scholarship in future years. If you have any questions, please contact Professor Baleja (baleja@alma.edu).

I have scheduled summer international travel (e.g. P-Global). Can I still go?

We continue to evaluate summer international travel (beyond June 1) and will make a decision at a later date.

Health and Wellness

I feel sick. What should I do?

If you are on campus and feel sick please contact the Wilcox Health Center by phone at (989) 463-7181 to schedule an appointment. The Health Center will consult with MidMichigan Medical Center and Mid-Michigan Health Department for specific guidance. Please self-isolate until you receive medical advice. It is critical that you call the Health Center before arriving in person.

The stress of this situation is impacting my mental health. Where can I get help?

Counseling staff are available at (989) 463-7225 or by email for phone counseling and support.

My parents are worried. Where can they go for more information?

We will post further news and updates for the campus community at www.alma.edu/coronavirus-updates/. Please check back regularly as this situation evolves.

For Prospective Students

I’m a prospective student. Can I still visit campus?

Connecting with you and your family is very important to us. Although we are unable to offer on-campus visits at this time, we have several ways we can still bring Alma to you. To learn more, check out our Visit Alma from Home experience. Let us show you some Scottish hospitality—right from your home! 

We highly encourage virtual meetings, phone calls, texts, and chats with your admissions representative during this time. Please let us know if you would like to schedule any meetings by contacting us at (989) 463-7139 or admissions@alma.edu.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Please know that the Alma community remains committed to you during your college search process. If we can assist in any way, please feel free to contact us.

For Employees

Will the college cease administrative operations, and will I need to work from home?

On March 23, 2020 Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued an executive order instructing all non-essential workers to work remotely if they are able starting at 12:01 a.m. on March 24, 2020 until at least April 13.

If they choose to do so, faculty may still come to campus as needed to access technology or other resources to facilitate online learning.

All staff except those involved in essential functions—supporting remaining students or performing other key functions—should work from home unless they have approval of a supervisor. Supervisors will communicate with those staff who are engaged in essential operations.

Starbucks and the Bookstore will be closed.

The mailroom will remain open with essential staff only.

I work at Alma and have registered for an upcoming conference. Can I still go?

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.

Reminders for Employees

Please also take note of these important reminders from Human Resources:

  • We know that this situation is stressful for our employees and we want you to know that Human Resources is available to help. If you have any questions regarding your benefits, employee assistance program, etc., please do not hesitate to reach out to Amanda Duval at duvalal@alma.edu or (989) 463-7255.
  • Employees who are enrolled on the Alma College medical insurance plan have the additional benefit of Teladoc services. Teladoc is available 24/7/365 with access to board-certified doctors. This service allows individuals to contact a provider for health-related issues. For emergencies, please call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.