University switches to remote education amidst coronavirus outbreak

Sarah Baldwin, Editor-in-Chief

On Tuesday, March 10, in an email sent out to students and families, University President John Bravman announced the cancelation of all in-person class meetings as a result of the global coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The University will instead be switching to remote learning for the remainder of the semester, beginning on March 19. To ease with the transition, spring break has been extended until March 18 while professors update their lesson plans to better accommodate remote education. All students are required to move out of their on-campus housing by 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 17; however, a petition to stay longer is available for those with extenuating circumstances and requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

On March 12, the University announced a travel recall to all students in study abroad programs to the United States. While these students were previously permitted to remain in their programs (excluding those in countries with a Level 3 advisory by the Department of State), those in any and all international programs will now be required to return as soon as possible. All summer Bucknell In programs have also been canceled, regardless of country. Students should contact the Office of Global and Off-Campus Education with questions.

Additionally, on March 12, the University followed the Patriot League’s decision to cancel the remainder of the spring sports season. Athletes are required to move out of their on-campus housing by March 17 along with the rest of the University’s students.

Refunds and credits on meal plans, dining dollars and housing will be offered and calculated on a case-by-case basis. These credit balances will be transferred to each student’s account and may be refunded after being posted. Tuition will not be reimbursed, as academic credit from the University will be available upon completion of each course.

As a result of the virus, all organized group activities, in addition to any on-campus events and performances, have been canceled. However, the University plans to proceed with Commencement on May 17, though the pre-Commencement events that traditionally take place on-campus may be affected. Students and family members will be updated as the schedule is finalized. In the meantime, the University is asking students to act responsibly and refrain from returning to campus for “Super Saturday” or other large-scale events.

This news comes as a host of other universities and colleges in the country have also announced plans to switch to online instruction in the coming weeks. While many institutions are currently delaying spring break or employing remote learning temporarily, a significant number have already confirmed online instruction for the rest of the semester.

In his March 10 email, the University President made clear that regular updates will be posted in the coming days. The Bucknellian will continue to monitor the situation and inform its readership as the story progresses. 

For the most up-to-date information on the University’s policies amidst the coronavirus outbreak, visit bucknell.edu/life-bucknell/health-wellness-safety/coronavirus-covid-19-updates.

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