Week of March 9, 2020

Campus Update

Sent: March 14

To Dickinson employees:

I know the news about the spread of COVID-19 is distressing for many. President Trump has declared a national emergency, Pennsylvania K-12 schools and the Dickinson College Children’s Center are closed, and there have been confirmed cases in Cumberland County. The news is evolving quickly.

This is a time to stay calm, to prepare and to take care of yourself, your loved ones and your neighbors.

The Emergency Response Team is meeting regularly, working through all scenarios and adjusting to this rapidly changing situation. We will have detailed messaging early next week about Dickinson’s next steps. In the meantime, if you are unable to come to work because you are sick or because your children are home from daycare or school, please reach out to your supervisor. We understand these are challenging times when we must support each other and draw strength from our community.

Sincerely,

Margee M. Ensign
President


Campus Update

Sent: March 14

Dear students and families,  

We are reaching out today in regards to The Washington Center program for spring 2020. We are continuing to monitor the COVID-19 outbreak that is occurring around the world, including in the U.S.

This message is to inform you that we have made the decision to suspend The Washington Center program for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester. You will now need to leave Washington, D.C. and go home.

We understand from The Washington Center that they are adjusting the spring semester and are moving courses online from March 16th through April 6th. We are working with TWC to understand their plans for the remainder of the semester after that date. Additionally, please work with your faculty supervisor, Prof. David O’Connell and TWC to make adjustments for your internship and independent study. 

We know that this is not how you anticipated your spring semester going, and please know that we share in your frustration and disappointment. At this time, you need to make plans to return home, by the latest, March 21st

Please let Stephanie Gulden know of your travel plans and your planned departure date from the program by March 17th.We will be following up with financial information in the coming days.

We are here to support you during this challenging time so please reach out with any questions.

Sincerely,

Katie DeGuzman

Dean and Director, Education Abroad

Center for Global Study and Engagement


Suspension of Dickinson in New York program

Sent: March 13

Dear students and families, 

We are reaching out today in regards to the Dickinson in NYC program for spring 2020. We are continuing to monitor the COVID-19 outbreak that is occurring around the world, including in the U.S. We also recognize the growing concern and stress about being in NYC amidst the COVID-19 outbreak in the city.

This message is to inform you that we have made the decision to suspend the Dickinson in NYC program for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester. You will now need to leave NYC and go home.

We understand from Baruch that they have been in touch with you already about Baruch’s own change in plans for the remainder of the spring 2020 program. Baruch has confirmed that from Thursday, March 12th through Wednesday, March 18th, no classes will be held. Starting March 19th, courses will be delivered in an online format, so we expect that you will continue your Baruch courses as planned for the remainder of the semester.  Additionally, please work with your faculty supervisor, Dean Amity Fox and your internship supervisor to make adjustments for your internship hours and independent studies. If you are unable to complete internship projects/tasks remotely, or if you have concerns about your internship, please contact Dean Fox and your faculty supervisor.

We know that this is not how you anticipated your spring semester going, and please know that we share in your frustration and disappointment. At this time, you need to make plans to return to your home by March 21 at the latest.  

Please let Stephanie Gulden know of your travel plans and your planned departure date from the program by March 17th.We will be following up with financial information in the coming days.

We are here to support you during this challenging time so please reach out with any questions.

Sincerely,

Katie DeGuzman
Dean and Director, Education Abroad
Center for Global Study and Engagement


Respecting our Community

Sent: March 13

To the Dickinson community:

As you know, the college is actively monitoring and responding to the practical and logistical realities of the challenges we face by the spread of COVID-19. I appreciate the care and attention the Emergency Response Team is giving in making those complicated and difficult decisions.

The coronavirus’s initial association with China has escalated bias, harassment and hate crimes against people of Asian descent worldwide and domestically. Asian-Americans and Asian nationals have experienced verbal and physical assaults, and Asian-owned businesses have been boycotted, among other consequences of racial prejudice. Viruses have no race, ethnicity or nationality, yet individuals have taken it upon themselves to stigmatize and disrupt the lives of innocent people.

Though spring break has been extended, there are students, faculty and staff on campus currently who are especially vulnerable to bias-related behavior. We know of several reported incidents in Carlisle where members of our Dickinson community have experienced bias based on their perceived race, ethnicity and nationality. I am sorry this has happened to valued members of our community. And, we must respond.

While much surrounding the spread of this virus is out of our individual control, there are still important actions we can choose to take. As we move around physical and social media spaces, let us be kind, generous, inclusive, supportive and intentional in our equity and inclusion practices.

Some key reporting and support resources for the Dickinson community include the following:

  • If you experience bias or if individuals report bias to you, on or off campus, please report these experiences using the Bias Education and Response Team’s (BERT) reporting form.
  • Hate crimes, notably those which involve physical violence and overt threats, should be referred to the Department of Public Safety (DPS). DPS can be reached at 717-245-1349 and at 717-245-1111 for emergencies.
  • The Wellness Center can assist students who have experienced bias and seek specific forms of psychological and emotional support.
  • The Office of Equity & Inclusivity, Residence Life & Housing staff, College Deans and academic advisors are examples of key resources for students seeking general support and advice.
  • The Center for Global Study & Engagement staff are a resource for international students seeking support.

Additionally, the Carlisle Borough Council formed the Human Relations Commission as a resource for local incidents such as bias that occur in a local business. While this is not a Dickinson resource, reporting off-campus incidents may add a layer of accountability and awareness for local personnel charged with ensuring the safety of the local community.

Please keep in mind that students are often reluctant to report incidents formally. Employees may also describe an incident a student experienced through the BERT system, or DPS, even if the student prefers to remain anonymous. Sharing when and where incidents occur, and other relevant details, can assist with prevention and response.

Please consult the CDC website that encourages people to share facts to reduce stigma around this virus.

The uncertainties around this virus, its spread, and the disruption of our daily lives has had a significant impact on our community, particularly those who have family and friends directly affected by the outbreak. We are one community, made better and stronger by the contributions of and care for everyone. 

Sincerely,

Brenda Bretz
Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness & Inclusivity


Campus Update

Sent: March 13

To the Dickinson community:

Yesterday the Centennial Conference Presidents Council made the unanimous decision to suspend, as of March 16, athletic practices and competition throughout our conference. The conference leadership and the Presidents Council will continue to monitor the rapidly evolving situation and regularly assess the status of future spring athletics events.

I know this is a blow to our student athletes and their families, and particularly to seniors. The spread of COVID-19 is unprecedented, and we are all working diligently to balance the health and safety interests of our communities with the student life and academic experiences. Thank you for your understanding and support during this challenging time.

Sincerely,

Margee M. Ensign
President


Coronavirus (COVID-19): Dickinson College Card Access

Sent: March 12

Dear Employees and Retirees,

Due to the rapidly changing situation and spread of COVID-19 in the United States, we have made the decision to temporarily suspend access to the Kline Fitness Center and the library for all retirees and current employee dependents, as well as local alumni with fitness center and library privileges. Beginning today, card access for entrance will be required for all buildings.

We apologize for any disappointment and inconvenience this may present and hope that this is viewed as a positive step toward our continued efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19. We want to provide a safe and healthy campus for our community as we work together to navigate this challenging time.

Finally, I ask that you take the steps outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to keep yourself and your loved ones safe. You can follow Dickinson updates on our coronavirus webpage.

Sincerely,

Dennette Moul, M.S.

Director Human Resource Services


Campus Update

Sent: March 12

To the Dickinson community:

We are all dealing with a rapidly evolving and unprecedented challenge. We will continue to update you on a regular basis and convey our decisions, which are based on the best evidence available at any point in time. As I have said before, we are following the advice of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. Department of State and the World Health Organization (WHO). We have a highly professional Emergency Response Team that is meeting daily to work through many potential scenarios.

The State Department today issued a global travel warning of Level 3, which means that individuals should avoid non-essential travel. In addition, the CDC raised its travel warning to Level 3 for the majority of Europe. As a result, we have made the difficult and disappointing decision to suspend all our study-abroad programs at this time. We are asking all students to leave those programs and return home, unless they successfully petition to return to campus. Our Center for Global Study & Engagement will support them throughout this process. We have been in communication with the students and parents impacted by this decision.

Students, this is clearly not the semester you and your families had planned. I know this situation is particularly difficult for our seniors, who are in their last semester on campus, and our international students, who may be worried about their ability to return to the United States or their home country. I recognize the stress this is causing all of you. I am so grateful for the understanding and support of our entire Dickinson community as we work to make the best decisions we can to continue to provide excellent academics while balancing the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff and community. The situation is changing daily, and we are developing contingencies.

We will do everything we can to make sure that students are able to complete their semester on time and experience the same outstanding and personalized academic program you have come to expect from Dickinson. If we need to go to online classes for the remaining part of the semester, that will be an adjustment for our students and our faculty. However, our faculty are world class, and I am confident they will be able to innovate and provide a strong educational experience. We will make a decision about this and inform you early next week.

Every day I witness the resilience and commitment of our Dickinson community. I express my deepest appreciation to all of my colleagues who are working tirelessly to continue our mission, ensure the health and safety of our community and respond to this serious challenge. Dickinson is more than a college: it represents a worldview that for more than 200 years has responded to all our country’s challenges. Keep that spirit as we face this new challenge together.

Sincerely,

Margee M. Ensign
President


Dickinson College abroad programs suspended 

Sent: March 12

Dear students and families:

It is with great disappointment and sadness that we are writing to let you know that guided by recommendations from the U.S. Department of State (U.S. DOS), and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Dickinson will be suspending all Dickinson programs for the spring 2020 semester. Dickinson College has been closely monitoring the COVID-19 virus worldwide and as of March 11, the U.S. DOS has issued a Level 3 – Reconsider Travel advisory globally and the CDC has issued a Level 3 - Avoid Nonessential Travel notice for the entire Schengen area. We have made this decision in the interest of the health, safety and security of all of our Dickinsonians traveling abroad at this time.  Please keep in mind this has been a challenging decision for all of us and we know this is not what anyone wanted or expected to happen.  We recognize how stressful this has been for everyone. Thank you for your patience and understanding.  Our staff and partners abroad will support your students through this transition and we will have regular updates for you as this all unfolds and more information becomes available on continuity of the academic program and financial implications.  We have successfully returned students home from our programs in China, Italy, and South Korea.  

At this time: 

  • All students currently abroad are asked to depart by the latest, Saturday, March 21st. Please let us know if you cannot meet this deadline. If you already have a return flight, we suggest calling the airline to discuss a flight change as a first step. CGSE will work with each of you as needed to assist in your safe and responsible departure. If you are a U.S. citizen and worried about the additional screening if returning after Friday, the 13th, then we recommend you leave before midnight on Friday.  Please note you may be routed to a different airport than originally on your ticket for special screening and will be expected to self-quarantine at home for 14 days if coming from Germany, France or Spain. 
  • For our international students, if you do not plan on or cannot return to your home country and want to come back to the US, you will need to fly out before the travel restrictions go into place on Friday. If you would like to stay in Carlisle, please fill out the following form:  Form link            
  • For U.S. students who feel they have special circumstances where they cannot return home, you may also petition to return to campus. 
  • Students returning to Carlisle and coming from Germany, France, and Spain, please note that you will have a 14-day quarantine on campus. 
  • Dickinson College will be able to assist with change fees for students up to the amount of $500.  Please be mindful that sometimes it might be less expensive to book an entirely new flight (maybe even a roundtrip ticket) rather than paying a change fee and fare difference. If you have difficulty in booking, please reach out to your onsite staff for assistance. 
  • All students are asked to provide a status update to global@dickinson.edu by March 14th, at noon addressing your well-being and your plans regarding your travel. 
  • While traveling, stay informed about the outbreak and the precautions to take. Closely monitor the situation as it is evolving daily. 

As always, please don’t hesitate to call our travel assistance provider, International SOS, for any questions regarding the situation, medical referrals or advice on necessary precautions.  Please also be assured that resident staff will be available to provide support as students plan their departures. 

Sincerely,

Katie DeGuzman

Dean and Director, Education Abroad

Center for Global Study and Engagement


Dickinson College abroad programs suspended 

Sent: March 12

Dear students and families:

It is with great disappointment and sadness that we are writing to let you know that guided by recommendations from the U.S. Department of State (U.S. DOS), and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Dickinson will be suspending all Dickinson programs for the spring 2020 semester. Dickinson College has been closely monitoring the COVID-19 virus worldwide and as of March 11, the U.S. DOS has issued a Level 3 – Reconsider Travel advisory globally and the CDC has issued a Level 3 - Avoid Nonessential Travel notice for the entire Schengen area. We have made this decision in the interest of the health, safety and security of all of our Dickinsonians traveling abroad at this time.  Please keep in mind this has been a challenging decision for all of us and we know this is not what anyone wanted or expected to happen.  We recognize how stressful this has been for everyone. Thank you for your patience and understanding.  Our staff and partners abroad will support your students through this transition and we will have regular updates for you as this all unfolds and more information becomes available on continuity of the academic program and financial implications.  We have successfully returned students home from our programs in China, Italy, and South Korea.  

At this time: 

  • All students currently abroad are asked to depart by the latest, Saturday, March 21st. Please let us know if you cannot meet this deadline. If you already have a return flight, we suggest calling the airline to discuss a flight change as a first step. CGSE will work with each of you as needed to assist in your safe and responsible departure. If you are a U.S. citizen and worried about the additional screening if returning after Friday, the 13th, then we recommend you leave before midnight on Friday.  Please note you may be routed to a different airport than originally on your ticket for special screening and will be expected to self-quarantine at home for 14 days if coming from Germany, France or Spain. 
  • For our international students, if you do not plan on or cannot return to your home country and want to come back to the US, you will need to fly out before the travel restrictions go into place on Friday. If you would like to stay in Carlisle, please fill out the following form:  Form link            
  • For U.S. students who feel they have special circumstances where they cannot return home, you may also petition to return to campus. 
  • Students returning to Carlisle and coming from Germany, France, and Spain, please note that you will have a 14-day quarantine on campus. 
  • Dickinson College will be able to assist with change fees for students up to the amount of $500.  Please be mindful that sometimes it might be less expensive to book an entirely new flight (maybe even a roundtrip ticket) rather than paying a change fee and fare difference. If you have difficulty in booking, please reach out to your onsite staff for assistance. 
  • All students are asked to provide a status update to global@dickinson.edu by March 14th, at noon addressing your well-being and your plans regarding your travel. 
  • While traveling, stay informed about the outbreak and the precautions to take. Closely monitor the situation as it is evolving daily. 

As always, please don’t hesitate to call our travel assistance provider, International SOS, for any questions regarding the situation, medical referrals or advice on necessary precautions.  Please also be assured that resident staff will be available to provide support as students plan their departures. 

Sincerely,

Katie DeGuzman

Dean and Director, Education Abroad

Center for Global Study and Engagemen


Dickinson College response to President's address on coronavirus

Sent: March 11

Dear students and families,  

In response to President Trump’s address this evening, given the impending travel restrictions from the Schengen area to the United States, many of you may want to start making arrangements to go home.  Homeland Security has issued a clarifying statement regarding these restrictions which will not apply to US citizens.  

At this time, we are not suspending any of our Dickinson programs. However, if you are concerned about what the travel restrictions mean for you and your family, we encourage you to go ahead and begin making travel arrangements.  The staff onsite at Dickinson and partner programs will be working closely with all students to make sure they are well cared for and supported. The Dickinson Emergency Response Team will be meeting tomorrow morning and we will send out more information before noon.    

We understand that this is a very stressful time for all of you.  The health and safety of our students is of upmost priority to us and our staff abroad.    

Sincerely,

Katie DeGuzman

Dean and Director, Education Abroad

Center for Global Study and Engagement

 


Campus Update

Sent: March 11

To the Dickinson community:

We have communicated with you regularly during the past several weeks, and we will continue to do so. But today, I want to start with a thank you. This is a challenging time for our campus, our country and our world. Dramatic steps are being taken here at home and abroad to stop the spread of the unprecedented COVID-19, which was today classified as a pandemic by the World Health Organization. There is much we don’t yet know about this novel strain. What we do know—and what we have seen repeatedly—is that this is a fast moving, fluid situation that requires constant monitoring and adjustment.

I know this has not been an easy time for our students, faculty, staff and parents. I want to thank you for your patience, understanding and support as we work to ensure that we continue to educate our talented students, while at the same time protecting the health and safety of our entire community. We know those individuals who have underlying health concerns, are pregnant or are older are at the greatest risk from COVID-19, and we are making decisions with all those individuals in mind.

And we remain committed to completing the spring semester. We know the uncertainty about how we will do that is hard for everyone, but particularly for our seniors, who are looking forward to these last months on campus and with their friends. I am sorry your final semester has been disrupted. Be assured that we will make every effort to ensure that you graduate from Dickinson as scheduled.

We are a resilient, innovative and caring community. I cannot imagine a better group of people to tackle the challenges ahead.

I want to update you on several matters.

Students

  • We have extended spring break and ask no students to return to campus before March 21. Students who need to return to or remain on campus must successfully petition hereby 4 p.m. Thursday, March 12.
  • A message will go out to students who have petitioned to remain on campus about services available on campus next week, including dining services.
  • Shuttles for this weekend have been canceled, and any students who need information should contact fleet@dickinson.edu or 717-245-8187.
  • Faculty will begin reaching out to all students in their classes next week as part of our contingency planning processes.
  • The Wellness Center will be open next week (and the remainder of this week) Monday - Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Open Hours in Counseling & Psychiatric Services will continue to be offered Monday - Friday from 11 a.m. to noon and 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. If you already have a Wellness Center appointment scheduled for next week, you will be contacted by Wellness Center staff about rescheduling as needed. If you have questions or concerns that cannot wait, please contact the Wellness Center at 717-245-1663 orstudentwellness@dickinson.edu. If you are on campus and need to schedule a Health Services appointment, please call to schedule rather than walking in so that Wellness Center staff can obtain some information from you on the phone prior to your visit.
  • We will make additional decisions about how we will complete the semester early next week.
  • We will announce decisions about the remainder of our athletic season tomorrow.
  • Beginning tomorrow morning, card access will be required to all buildings so equipped, including the Kline Fitness Center and the library.
  • We are not suspending any additional study abroad programs, but travel within those programs is suspended, and we strongly discourage personal travel by students studying abroad.

Employees

  • Although spring break has been extended, the campus is open, and all employees are expected to report as usual, unless you have been notified by your supervisor.
  • If you have underlying health concerns, please contact your physician and make the best decision for you.
  • Beginning tomorrow morning, card access will be required to all buildings so equipped, including the Kline Fitness Center and the library.
  • Faculty will be asked to reach out to all students next week as part of contingency planning for the rest of the semester.
  • Additional decisions about how we will complete the semester will be made early next week.
  • Effective immediately, Aetna has waived co-pays for all diagnostic testing related to COVID-19. This policy will cover the test kit for patients who meet CDC guidelines for testing, which can be done in any approved laboratory location. More information is available here.
  • For the next 90 days, Aetna will offer zero co-pay telemedicine visits for any reason. Aetna members should use telemedicine as their first line of defense in order to limit potential exposure in physician offices. More information is available here.
  • If you have a fever, cough or shortness of breath, please stay home from work and we encourage you to contact your medical provider.

Travel and Events

  • All non-essential Dickinson-related travel on airplanes, trains or buses is suspended unless a waiver is provided by the president.
  • We are also suspending all on-campus and off-campus college events that involve gatherings of more than 25 people. Any such events will need to be canceled.
  • Personal travel is strongly discouraged, and we urge caution and good judgement.

Precautionary measures

I urge you to follow the steps outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)to keep yourself and your loved ones healthy, including:

  • Frequent handwashing for 20 seconds or more.
  • Avoid touching your face, eyes and mouth.
  • Stay away from people who are sick. 

Campus updates are available on our coronavirus webpage.

The coming days and weeks will present more challenges for all of us. I know this is a disruptive and distressing time for many in our community. Please know that we will continue to chart a path forward that allows us to continue educating our students while protecting the health and safety of our entire community.

Again, I want to thank all of you for your resilience and flexibility throughout this situation. Working together, we will meet the challenges ahead. I am so grateful to all of you for your dedication and your passion for learning.

Sincerely,

Margee M. Ensign
President


CAMPUS UPDATE

Sent: March 10

To the Dickinson community:

Thank you for your understanding and flexibility during this challenging time. I appreciate the support of our community as we navigate in these uncharted waters.

Spring Break Extended until March 21

As you know, our emergency response team on campus has been meeting daily for more than two weeks, monitoring the coronavirus situation across the globe and within the United States. Because of the rapidly changing situation and spread of COVID-19 in the United States, we have made the decision to extend spring break for an additional week, with students expected to return March 21. The health and safety of our community is our most important consideration, and with the virus spreading and so many unknowns, we decided that it would be prudent to allow an additional week for campus planning. No students may return to campus before March 21 unless they successfully petition to do so. Shuttles for this weekend have been canceled and any students who need information should contact fleet@dickinson.edu or 717-245-8187.

Beginning Thursday morning, card access will be required to enter all buildings so equipped, including the Kline Fitness Center and the library.

During this extended spring break, we will plan with faculty to provide online options in the event we would have to suspend in-person classes for a longer duration. We also will continue to monitor the spread of the virus and gather information. It is important to understand that a residential college campus, with students living together, sharing bathrooms, classrooms, living spaces and dining areas, presents an ideal environment for the spread of illness. We are working diligently to ensure that we can complete the semester in person.

Travel Suspended

In addition:

  • All non-essential Dickinson-related travel on airplanes, trains or buses is suspended unless a waiver is provided by the president.
  • We are also suspending all on-campus and off-campus college events that involve gatherings of more than 25 people. If you have events planned for next week, those events will need to be canceled.
  • Personal travel is strongly discouraged, and we urge caution and good judgement.

We are not suspending any additional Dickinson study-abroad programs at this time. However, travel within those programs is suspended, and we strongly discourage personal travel by students studying abroad.

  • Students who have questions can contact Student Life at 717-245-1639.
  • Faculty should contact Neil Weissman with questions.
  • All other employees should contact Human Resource Services at 717-245-1503.
  • The Wellness Center will be open next week (and the remainder of this week) Monday - Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Open Hours in Counseling & Psychiatric Services will continue to be offered Monday - Friday from 11 a.m. to noon and to 3 p.m. If you already have a Wellness Center appointment scheduled for next week, you will be contacted by Wellness Center staff about rescheduling as needed. If you have questions or concerns that cannot wait, please contact the Wellness Center at 717-245-1663 or studentwellness@dickinson.edu. If you are on campus and need to schedule a Health Services appointment, please call to schedule rather than walking in, so that Wellness Center staff can obtain some information from you on the phone prior to your visit.
  • All non-Dickinson visitors are prohibited from visiting residence halls.

Please know that we are making these decisions in the interests of the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff as well as our larger Carlisle community.

We continue to follow the guidance of state, federal and international organizations. Because guidance for higher education institutions has not been forthcoming from these sources, higher education institutions are working together to navigate this challenging time.

Personal Precautions

Finally, I ask every member of our community to take the steps outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to keep yourself and your loved ones safe. The World Health Organization also provides vital information. You can follow Dickinson updates on our coronavirus webpage.

We will continue to update you throughout the coming days.

Sincerely,

Margee M. Ensign
President