Dear Warrior community,
With the fall semester quickly approaching, we know you have many questions about returning to campus. In particular, our current and prospective students are wondering what this fall will be like. While this message is primarily addressed to students, I thought it would be helpful for everyone in our campus community to receive it.
Our nine restart subcommittees have worked diligently over the last few months to develop a plan that allows us to continue serving our academic mission while prioritizing the health and safety of all Wayne State Warriors. I have received regular updates from the restart subcommittees and have been pleased with the progress. Today, I would like to share information with you on our plans thus far. While this is more information than I typically provide in an email, there is a lot to share, and you can find more details on our website. We will also hold a town hall meeting tomorrow, Thursday, July 16, from 3 to 4 p.m., where you can hear directly from members of the restart committee and me, as well as submit your questions and comments.
Campus life and learning will look different than they did in February, and we have new guidelines and procedures in place, detailed at the conclusion of this message, to accommodate physical distancing and prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. Although things have changed, we remain firmly committed to our academic mission. You will still receive a premier education from Wayne State University — whether that instruction occurs on campus, remotely or through a combination of the two — and we will continue to provide ways for you to maintain vital social connections with fellow students even when you are physically distant.
Please note that the plan below reflects decisions made based on the most current public health and science information available at this time. However, the situation with COVID-19 spread in Michigan is changing rapidly and, unfortunately, trending in the wrong direction. While we selected today, July 15, as our announcement day to allow time for faculty and students to plan accordingly prior to the start of classes in August, it is important to note that some plans and guidelines may change as conditions evolve and new information becomes available. We will continue to monitor the health of our community and surrounding areas over the coming weeks, and we will be flexible and evidence-based in our decision-making as to the size and number of classes that will be delivered in person. Please continue to monitor your email inbox and our website for the latest information, and be sure to familiarize yourself with all essential guidelines before returning to campus to ensure your safety and that of others in the campus community. Remember: being Warrior Safe is Warrior Strong.
Wayne State University has remained committed to its academic mission throughout the pandemic, and we will maintain that commitment as students, faculty and staff begin the fall semester. To protect the health and safety of the campus community, and to ensure that students continue to receive a world-class academic experience, classes for the fall 2020 semester will be offered in a number of formats:
As of now, we anticipate the proportion of each type of course instruction to be as follows: traditional (20%), remote and online (46%), hybrid (2%), and individually arranged (32%). This ratio will depend on the pandemic situation, and we are prepared to adjust if necessary.
Tuition: On June 5, the Wayne State University Board of Governors unanimously approved a 0% tuition increase to allow our students to focus on their studies without added financial stress. The university will also continue to develop new and innovative ways to make an education affordable for everyone. Updates are available on the Financial Aid website.
Registration: When registering for classes, take note of whether your classes are offered via traditional, remote, online or hybrid formats so you can plan for when to be on campus and when you will be learning remotely. Your specific school or college may have further guidelines and procedures to follow, so be sure to check their website and your email inbox for further updates. For more information on these options, visit the Registrar’s website. To register for classes, visit the Registration website.
Libraries: University libraries and computer labs will implement new processes for cleaning of spaces and equipment, as well as new guidelines to facilitate social distancing.
The David Adamany Undergraduate Library will be open during regular hours in a limited capacity to support those who need access to technology and study spaces. The Shiffman Medical Library and the Arthur Neef Law Library will be available to accommodate Wayne State students and faculty. Purdy/Kresge Library will remain closed, and the Walter P. Reuther Library of Labor and Urban Affairs will be available by appointment only. Accommodations are being developed at all libraries to create access to materials. Libraries will be open to Wayne State students, faculty and staff only; your OneCard will be required to enter. The libraries will continue to provide online access to collections and services, including reference and instruction.
More information on the hours and operations of the libraries will be available before the start of classes at the libraries website.
Campus housing has continued to operate during the pandemic and will be open for the fall semester. We have recommended best practices to provide you with a safe on-campus housing experience. In addition to following all health and safety guidelines, please follow these procedures to help ensure your safety and the safety of the Wayne State community.
Dining and retail
Campus dining and retail options will be open. Entrées, side dishes and desserts will be provided at all stations to reduce foot traffic in our cafeterias. The number of diners present in Towers Café, Gold ‘n’ Greens, and the Student Center Food Court will be reduced to optimize physical distancing. New procedures to accommodate diners while protecting safety are posted below and are also available on the Housing and Residential Life website.
Wayne State Athletics is working with the NCAA on plans for the resumption of competitive sports. While the dates are yet to be finalized, student athletes, in addition to following the required campus health and safety guidelines, will undergo temperature checks prior to entering buildings, and all student athletes will be tested for COVID-19. Athletics has enacted several policies regarding safe usage of its facilities and equipment, including temperature checks for everyone entering its facilities. Detailed information on protocols and guidelines for equipment and facilities is available in the Athletics Restart Protocol Handbook.
Note: The Mort Harris Recreation and Fitness Center will remain closed until Governor Whitmer allows fitness facilities to reopen. Guidelines for safe use have been developed and will be available upon reopening.
Student activities, student organizations, social events and campus-wide celebrations are an integral part of student life. While we may be physically distant, we have developed many opportunities for you to remain socially connected. These events will look different than they have in the past, but you can look forward to celebrating your Warrior pride with many Wayne State traditions like Orientation Part 2, Homecoming and Campus Activities Team Week, as well as new opportunities for online programs such as esports, trivia, crafts, tours and comedy.
The Fall Student Engagement Committee has been working through the spring and summer to present activities and opportunities to get you involved. Whether it is viewing a Department of Theatre production online, attending live supplemental instruction sessions online with the Academic Success Center or cheering on our Warriors through the Department of Athletics’ virtual fan experience, you will have plenty of opportunities to get involved.
The Dean of Students Office website features an up-to-date student activities calendar, Warrior Life health-and-wellness resources, and student organization membership information. Be sure to read the weekly Get Involved newsletter, emailed every Sunday to your Wayne State inbox.
Making your return
We all have a role to play in the health and safety of our campus community. Following are some general guidelines that will help you protect yourself and your fellow Warriors. Remember: All students must abide by the Student Code of Conduct, which has been updated to include a section on COVID-19 mitigation compliance.
Before coming to campus
A safe return begins before you come to Midtown. Follow these guidelines before heading out the door to ensure that you know where to go and how to navigate this new campus experience.
Staying safe on campus
We have enacted new cleaning and safety measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. We have also created new guidelines to help you play a role in contributing to the health and safety of our campus community.
I know this is a lot, but hopefully it demonstrates the concern we have for your safety, and our excitement to start the fall semester. The pandemic has changed our world, at least for now, but it hasn’t changed our spirit. We remain Warrior Strong, and can’t wait to welcome you to campus — physically or virtually — for the fall 2020 semester.
M. Roy Wilson, M.D., M.S.