Category Archives: News

The CDI hosts a virtual BLM solidarity event

Maggie Dougherty

Features Editor

Savannah Sima

Staff Writer

On Sep. 2, Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer (CDEIO)  Ivonne García and the Center for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI) staff presented a virtual gathering via Microsoft Teams for solidarity, discussion and support regarding racist national current events. The CDI described the event as “seek(ing) to provide multiple ways to engage, discuss and process current national events surrounding anti-Black racism and violence.”

The meeting opened with some remarks from President Sarah Bolton about national incidents of racist violence and how Wooster has worked to combat racism. Her comments mirrored her sentiments in emails to students: “Racist violence, and racism in all its forms, are inhumane and appalling. They have gone on far too long and created immeasurable harm to individuals and communities across generations. We must come together, now, to end them. Black lives matter, and progress is urgently needed — across the country, as well as here, on our own campus.” García later followed up with her own messages of support.

Following opening remarks, students were directed to join one of  four breakout rooms. The four breakout rooms were titled “Advocacy and Resources,” “College of Wooster,” “Specific Asks,”  “Guided Meditation for Healing” and “Historical Context.” CDI  Director Amanda Paniagua clarified that these categories are by no means exhaustive when it comes to resources for support and that CDI is always willing to extend whatever services students need. “Every student is at a different point in their journey of educating themselves,” Paniagua said.

The “Advocacy and Resources” channel presented different links, petitions and web-related sources to support the Black Lives Matter movement (BLM). That breakout channel met briefly, and students contributed additional resources. The “College of Wooster Related Asks” channel began with a review of the steps that the College has taken thus far to combat racism before opening the floor to feedback and suggestions from faculty, staff and students. In this discussion, Jenna Smith ’22 asked, “How would we actualize these plans to develop an actively anti-racist campus? Would it be included in classes or core curriculum, just CDI events, or occur annually?” García responded that they hoped to do a combination of all of those suggestions.

Samuel Casey ’21 asked, “Have you reviewed the posts made on the @blackncac Instagram page and how will you investigate or make changes so BIPOC students can feel supported?” Bolton responded affirmatively, stating that she had read every post and had discussed the posts with her cabinet. She continued that they were actively working on making sure that the content of the posts would inform future decision making.

“Guided Meditation for Healing” simply performed a guided meditation session led by Erin Guzmán aimed at relieving some of the stress students struggle with due to the constant, pervasive nature of national anti-Black violence.

“Historical Context” discussed the history behind Black equal rights movements and discussed the history of racism in America. Many students noted that these topics should be more widely taught within the public school curriculum. Jillian Samples ’24 stated that curricula in the United States are whitewashed and added, “Public schools are trying to show they appreciate the culture and experience while in reality they continue to demonstrate cultural appropriation.”

However, some students noted that the meeting had limitations in achieving the goals of supporting Black students on campus. Catera Clark ’21 explained, “While I do think the care event hosted by CDI had good intentions, I don’t think it was planned or advertised in the most efficient way. Once again I found myself in a space dominated by white allies, which is not to say I don’t appreciate those who want to help my community, but to say that if The College of Wooster truly wants to create a more inclusive and comfortable space for their students of color, they need to start thinking of ways to reach out to students from all walks of life, not just us student leaders who are in all of the same conversations. In addition to promotion I believe the way these events are planned and held needs to
be more deliberate.”

Maresa Tate ’21 echoed these concerns, saying, “For another time I have sat through a meeting built for me but felt invisible. My fellow Black students were low in attendance for good reason, and the folks that dominated the call were those that just don’t get it.” Reflecting on a word cloud activity meant to capture how attendees were feeling Tate said, “‘tired,’ ‘overwhelmed’ and ‘exhausted’ stood out to me because that is exactly how I’ve been feeling knowing that my skin is a weapon in this country, yet those words haunted me not in solidarity but [as a] question. Who exactly was tired here
and why? For what reason were you overwhelmed? By watching Black folks die at the hands of the police and systemic racism while you sit in your white privilege not understanding what it means to not want to walk on Beall because a mug can be thrown at your head while the n-word is spewed at you? Why are you exhausted, by hearing me talk about my blackness and the need to protest over and over?”

She continued, “I can’t sit here and say that I am not tired or overwhelmed or exhausted by the ignorance people are comfortable sitting in until it becomes a ‘trend’ to say BLM, loud and proud. I want it to stop. We want it to stop. My life matters and my next Black siblings’ life matters and Black mamas matter and Black trans folks matter and Black disabled lives matter and everything Black matters! Do you understand what that means? We have to sit here and tell you that we matter just enough to not kill us. Just enough. No! ‘Matter’ is the minimum and yet minimum is too much.”

Clark and Tate also both described what they hope to see in future events. Clark said, “We as students want more space for our voices, less filler talk of how administration is working, and more actions to make students feel like Wooster is a place that values them as people and not just minority numbers. More importantly, we need spaces to decompress and distress and entering a Zoom call where only a few of us are Black and most of the time is taken by the same administrative voices does nothing to care for us or our mental health in this time. I did appreciate the aspect of having smaller group sessions, especially including a meditation session, but the time allotted was insufficient.”

Tate expressed what she hoped non-Black attendees might get out of the meeting, stating, “I hope that all the non-Black folks at Wooster actually start to think about what it means to not be Black in the US. I hope non-BIPOCs discover what it means to be privileged in that way. I hope some faculty and staff learn that teaching a ‘culture’ course, or telling us to go to a protest, or giving us resources to educate ourselves doesn’t mean you’re anti-racist. It doesn’t mean that you don’t perpetuate anti-Blackness. It doesn’t mean that you are truly educated yourself. It doesn’t mean that you see me as equal and not a result of trauma. It doesn’t mean you see me as human rather than just a concept in a book that you would never want for yourself. I hope The College keeps improving these meetings to create a space where Black students feel safe and listened to, especially when it is meant for us. And, I hope my words don’t get thrown out as the next ‘angry Black woman.’”

Resident assistants express concerns regarding their safety

Samuel Casey

Editor in Chief

 

Since students were sent home last semester, The College of Wooster COVID-19 Task Force worked to formulate a plan to safely allow students to return to campus. This included universal mask-wearing, social distancing of at least six feet and getting tested, as well as signing a Community Care Agreement stipulating repercussions if guidelines were not followed. Despite feeling confident upon arrival in early August, Residence Assistants (RAs) were immediately confronted with issues due to negligence from both the College’s administration and first-year students
who started moving in on Aug. 11.

On Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020, Jonah Kadens ’21, a student and three year RA, sent an email to President Sarah Bolton, Dean of Student Myrna Hernández and Director of Residence Life Nathan Fein detailing these concerns and what led him to resign from his post and his decision to return home to study remotely. In the bulk of the email, addressed to Hernández specifically, Kadens describes several instances where he and other RAs felt unsupported and
were forced to work in conditions contrary to their physical and mental safety. This includes issues with walkthroughs, training, Security and Protective Services (SPS), first year move-in and wearing masks.

“After under two weeks of being at school, I felt like I was forced to choose to protect my health, safety and potentially my life, or to keep my job,” Kadens said. “I blame the fact that I had to make this choice on [the] abysmally poor leadership and decision making. RAs have been telling you for weeks that we feel like your expectations of us are unreasonable and unsafe. We are not trying to get out of doing our work, we are worried for our health. RAs all understand that we have a responsibility to work to build and maintain safe and supportive communities in our halls. We do not have problems hosting programs; however, we are being asked to plan more programs, with less advance notice, less support and the same budget we have always had.”

Additionally, at the beginning of the year, RAs were confronted with  issues from the Task Force itself. Shankar Bhat ’22, a second-year RA, said, “The worst was when Angela Johnston, secretary of the College, allegedly claimed, ‘students will get sick and then get over it.’ Such comments were incredibly callous and dismissive and at that point most of the RAs lost much of the confidence they had in the Task Force.” RAs were immediately faced with walkthroughs and how to make them safer. During a typical school year, RAs have to do walkthroughs of bathrooms and community spaces up to 10 times a semester for three to four different residence halls and cover the on-call phone. “We know that students will not comply 100 percent with wearing masks when going to the bathroom or walking down the hall and this concerned us because this is an airborne virus,” Bhat said. “It took a very long time but eventually we were able to decouple the walkthroughs from the on-call phone. Now we do walkthroughs of just our building (lower exposure risk) more frequently and have the on-call phone separately.

While we are glad to have accomplished this decoupling for this semester, we had to fight far longer to get this. Because of the  resistance from Hernández and Fein, this took time away from training.”

For the move-in of first years, RAs were promised personal protective equipment (PPE) from Res Life, but it was not delivered.

“RAs were told that we would be safe during move in because we would be given extra PPE. We were not,” Kadens explained. “The day before move-in, I went to the Res Life office and asked for a box of disposable masks to pass out to residents and to parents who were not wearing masks. I was told that there were none available. I  understand that there are supply chain shortages but what am I supposed to do when I am told that I can do my job safely because I will be given extra PPE but then do not receive the PPE that I was promised?”

Regarding mask enforcement, RAs were initially told they wouldn’t be the “mask police” but that changed quickly after students arrived on campus.

“We were told that if we did not feel safe interacting with unmasked residents, we could call SPS,” Kadens said. “Many RAs did call SPS (myself included) who told us that it was our job to enforce the mask policy. Dispatchers from SPS actively bullied new RAs into performing duties that were completely outside of what they were expected to do. As a returning RA, when I called SPS to report a large gathering of unmasked freshman playing full contact football on the quad (probably before receiving their test results), I had to spend about ten minutes arguing with the dispatcher before they reluctantly agreed to send an officer ‘this timeonly.’”

The first weekend where the Class of 2024 was on campus, however, was when a lot of the major problems
started. Kadens was not on-call, but still had to dedicate three hours to responding to situations on campus. This included two parties, a group of 15 students who were not social distancing and other infractions that were made clear through interactions with other RAs and SPS officers. “I heard about public urination,a physical fight, a hospitalization and a large group that traveled to Akron to go to a party. This was one night,” Kadens said. “Those students have not been asked to leave campus. RAs (including myself) went above and beyond the expectations of our positions and came into close contact with an extreme number of unmasked residents. This was not safe for us, but we felt like we had no choice but torespond.”

In the end, Kadens was forced to decide between his health and senior year experience, choosing to return home to continue the fall semester despite not having access to wireless internet.

In response to Kadens, Bolton apologized while also supporting Hernández and Fein.

“Some decisions were made in advance of RA training, but Dean Hernández, Dean [Justin] Adkins and Mr. Fein also worked with RAs before, during and after RA orientation to work out others,” Bolton said. “As additional issues and needs arose — whether from RAs or from other students — new approaches needed to be figured out, and we all did our best to do so, in circumstances that were new to everyone. An example of this was how to safely welcome new students and families when orientation itself was entirely online. But this need to develop new approaches as we try out our plans is true across the College, and at other institutions as well.”

Despite continuous clarifications from Res Life and the Dean of Students Office, RAs have felt
frustrated about the issues they faced at the beginning and will continue to look to the administration for ways to keep safe during this unconventional school year.

ISA restructured to build a stronger int’l community

Kate Murphy

News Editor

 

With just under 300 internationalstudents representing over 20 different countries at Wooster, the International Student Association (ISA) plays a big role in helping students assimilate to life on campus while promoting and encouraging cultural awareness
and respect. However, this year the ISA is undergoing structural changes that will allow for a stronger organization and a more intentional mission. President Yuta Nitanai ’21 stated, “The ISA has existed at Wooster since my first year, but I knew it was not functioning well. Even though the international student body at Wooster had been growing, I did not feel a sense of community among international students.”

“I thought it would be wonderful if ISA served as a support group for international students and global nomads at the College and encouraged them to interact and collaborate more with one another,” Nitanai continued. Furthermore, the executive board is full of new recruits, including a domestic student, who are eager to re-
fresh the organizational charter and facilitate collaboration between the ISA and other student organizations. The ISA will achieve this collaboration by increasing the connection between themselves and International Student Services (ISS) to create bridges between the international and domestic student populations.

Nitanai also mentioned that before the restructuring, the ISA was a very closed community. Now, supported by two distinct goals of “building a sense of community among international students and encouraging understanding, respect and cultural exchange between domestic and international students,” the ISA will be able to bridge the gap between domestic and international students while building a stronger bond and sense of community among those far from home. Jill Munro, director of ISS and ISA’s advisor, stated that she is “excited by their enthusiasm and passion. I look forward to ISS working with ISA more closely and I have no doubt they are going to do some great things this year and make an impact on campus.”

As a way to distinguish themselves as a group that has more to offer than “just a food, fun and festival organization,” the ISA held a time management workshop on Thursday, Sept. 4 for international first-year students. Led by Alegnta Mezmur ’23, this workshop recognized, as Nitanai points out, that “many international first-years are studying remotely and that it is difficult for them to reach out to A.P.E.X. and other resources offered at Wooster to get the help they need in regard to time management and academics.”

The workshop is just one example of many new projects that the ISA has to offer; as a part of the restructuring, the ISA is removing previous programs while adding new ones to specifically target their two goals.Yuta shares that the ISA is “about to kick off [their] cultural map project, where international students studying remotely can share their own culture on an online platform. This resource, where [everyone] can learn more about countries and cultures where Wooster international students are from, will be open to everybody.” A great way for everyone at Wooster to get involved, whether remote or on campus, is to take part in the International Education Week from Oct. 25 to Oct. 31. This is an educational week designed to encourage international and cross-cultural education and to promote different cultures. This year, it will be collaboratively organized by ISA and ISS. Nitanai emphasized, “[The] Interna-tional Education Week is not just for international students, but for every-one on campus! More information is coming soon! We have had to adapt our programming plan for this year because of COVID, but are optimistic about building a community among Wooster international students and keeping our remote students connected to our Wooster community.”

Academic policies change for 2020 Spring Semester due to COVID-19 pandemic

Waverly Hart

Editor in Chief

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the move to online learning, the Educational Policy Committee (EPC) has made several major changes to the academic policy for the 2020 Spring Semester. 

Many of the changes relate to a student’s ability to pass/fail a class. One of the primary changes is that students are able to pass/fail any and as many courses as they would like, even those in their major or minor, which is usually prohibited. According to The College of Wooster website, “courses elected as Pass-Fail for the Spring Semester 2020 will not count toward the maximum number of Pass-Fail courses that a student may take at Wooster.” Additionally, the deadline to pass/fail and drop courses has been extended to the last day of classes, May 1, at 4:00 p.m. Independent Study will retain a standard grading system, but there was a one-week grace period where students could submit their projects past the deadline without a petition.

Dean of Curriculum and Academic Engagement Bryan Karazsia, co-chair of EPC, said the changes were made so students could have flexibility and hopefully adapt to the changes in learning and class structure.

“The main reasoning is because our context is completely different than what any of us expected when the school year began… than when any school year begins,” Karazsia said. “We wanted to build as much flexibility for students into our policies as we could do so, reasonably. Any student may always petition for further exceptions, but we also try to build a system that minimizes the need for students to petition.”

The process for students petitioning is different as well. There is now a more streamlined petition process for course additions, drops, grade changes, and double major proposals. All petitions will be completed online. 

Because of the circumstances , Karazsia said these changes were not made in the usual fashion. “These decisions were made rapidly, and not through typical channels, due to the rapid evolution of circumstances pertaining to COVID-19,” Karazsia stated. “The timing of societal evolutions coincided with our Spring Break period, too, which contributed to the unique processes of decision-making.”

Basliel Ababayehu ’22 is on EPC and was part of the decision process to make these changes. He believes these changes will make online learning more equitable for all students. 

“These policies attempt to maintain equity as some students will experience varying degrees of stressors due to their location, reduced family income or access to learning tools while also recognizing that this is a generally stressful period for all students,” Ababayehu stated. “These policies ensure that students can remain in their major or graduate on time despite a momentary underperformance due to COVID-19.” 

While the changes made represent  major differences to Wooster’s academic policy in a traditional semester, some colleges went a step further and have decided to automatically make all their courses pass/fail for the 2020 Spring Semester. Karazsia said the College considered this, but decided against it.

“Ultimately we wanted students to have the autonomy to choose what works best for them,” he said. “Of course, our advisors are here to help students think about what might be in their best interest, though the decision is the student’s … Our policy on ‘good academic standing’ requires all students to have a semester and cumulative GPA at or above 2.0. There are students who are working very hard to increase their GPAs to return to good academic standing (which can have important implications for federal financial aid and other opportunities), and we wanted them to still have the option of earning their grades. Other students may be trying to increase GPAs for other reasons, and again, we wanted students to have that option. Ultimately, we wanted students to own the decision, and we are always here to help students navigate their academic decisions.”

Ababayehu says he is happy with the speed and flexibility with which the College has implemented policies. “I think this is a very welcome move for students because it offers flexibility,” he stated. “This is beneficial for all students because the students who were happy with their grades can keep them while those most affected by the virus can choose to continue learning without fear of a lower GPA.”

Bolton announces virtual commencement, senior celebrations during B&G Weekend

Waverly Hart

Editor in Chief

 On Friday, April 10, President Sarah Bolton announced that The College of Wooster would be holding a virtual graduation ceremony to celebrate the class of 2020’s accomplishments and time at the College.

Bolton announced this in an email sent to seniors. The virtual commencement ceremony will be held on Monday, May 11 at 1:00 p.m. EST, the same day as the in-person celebration would have been. There will be a virtual Baccalaureate ceremony on May 10 at 1:00 p.m. The email also stated that an in-person celebration for the class of 2020 would take place during Black and Gold Weekend which will be October 23-25. 

Bolton said that many of the missed senior spring events would be held during Black and Gold Weekend. “We plan to hold an I.S Monday parade, to recognize your academic accomplishments, and to host the Lavender Celebration and Multi-Cultural Stole Ceremony, including presenting students with their stoles,” Bolton stated in the email. 

However, some seniors were not happy with the revised commencement plans. Some took to social media to voice their concerns, the primary of which being a perceived lack of student input when making the decision .

To address this, Bolton said students will have input in planning Black and Gold Weekend. “Our plan had been to reach out to ask seniors what they would like to see happen for the weekend of celebrations in their honor, so that we could create a gathering that would be best for seniors and families,” Bolton said. Additionally, Bolton said that she is aware of student opinion.

“We also are listening to the many seniors who wrote to us overnight, some of whom want an earlier celebration (August) and others who want something much later (May of ’21),” Bolton stated in an email.  “We are doing everything we can to create a celebration that is best for everyone, knowing that there are many different circumstances and needs in the class.”

Other students are afraid many won’t be able to return to campus for Black and Gold Weekend. Bolton said she is aware of this, and its part of what led to the decision to hold a virtual ceremony.

“Knowing that [travelling back to Wooster is difficult] was part of what made us want to make the virtual celebration on May 11th a little more than just the ‘official’ granting of degrees, so that those who may not be able to come back to Wooster at all in the coming year would still have something they could be a part of,” Bolton stated. 

Bolton said it was important that there was both a virtual ceremony as well as an in-person celebration. She affirmed the College’s commitment to holding this in-person celebration, emphasizing in a follow-up email on April 11, “We definitely will have a full, in-person commencement ceremony including all of the parts of the program—processions of students and faculty, bagpipers, honorary degrees, speakers and reading of individual names when we gather in person.”

Since announcing the decision, Bolton said she has heard a lot of feedback from seniors and said this is “all changing quickly as we speak … we understand that many seniors are not happy with this approach, understandably, and will think on it further to see what else could work.”

At the end of the initial email, Bolton confirmed how proud she was of the class of 2020.

“In this challenging season, please know how proud we are of all of you,” the email read.  “You were already a special class before COVID-19, and now you are learning, caring for others, persevering and making a difference in a historic time.  I am so looking forward to watching your futures unfold, and to seeing the positive impact you will make across the US and around the world.”

COVID-19 updates following student meeting with administration

Claire Montgomery
Senior News Writer

A meeting was held at 3:30 p.m. on March 12 to update students about the College’s decision to close campus until at least April 5 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. President Sarah Bolton hosted the meeting, with several other administration in attendance.Bolton spent the first part of the meeting giving an update on the situation, saying that theCollege is getting new information hourly and that they are hosting this event and future conversations because they want students to be aware of what is going on. She reiterated that the College is following guidance from organizations leading the response against COVID-19 such as the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and public health experts at the county, state and national level. Bolton stated that the Ohio Health Department confirmed that there are five cases of COVID-19 in Ohio, including three in Cleveland and one in Canton. Moreover, the illness is likely circulating in the larger regional community, and once the illness is circulating, will probably circulate for a while.

On Tuesday, March 10, Governor Mike DeWine of Ohio held a conference call with all the presidents of the universities and colleges in Ohio and discussed the role that colleges play in transmitting diseases. DeWine took the seemingly drastic actions of recommending that all universities and colleges in Ohio go to remote classrooms and to remove students from dorm room housing because people on campuses live and work particularly close which will make the disease more easily spread. This is also needed because people are contagious before they show symptoms.

“The moment you need to act, it will seem ridiculous to do so,” Bolton stated. “[But] by the time more people start to become ill, it is too late to take those actions. That’s why governor is doing things that seem drastic.”

In Bolton’s initial email sent on March 12 she stated, “There will be no in-person classes between March 23 and April 3. We hope to resume in-person classes on April 6, if health conditions permit.” However, she said to expect the dates to continue to change as updates occur. When referencing the idea that some students wanted more certainty about the situation, Bolton stated, “I would love to be able to tell you that [we will be back by April 6], but the true answer is the health situation is changing daily.”

The CDC recommended that the College follow its recommendations, including reduce as much as possible the number of people living densely on campus as quickly as possible, limit travel and to limit gatherings of large groups. Bolton stated that any following update meetings would be remote in order to maintain such guidelines.Therefore, students are asked to be off campus until at least April 5. “This is a burden for everyone, and impossible for some people,” Bolton stated, referencing students who live abroad, do not have a safe place to go and can’t afford travel expenses. “If you absolutely need to be here, we will make it possible for you to be here. There will be food, there will be support.”

If students do not have the resources to leave campus, the College will work with the student to cover the cost. Students in such circumstances are to put that information in the student planning form that Bolton sent out in her March 12 email (a revised version was sent by Myrna Hernández later on March 12). When asked where the College is getting the money for students to travel home, Bolton stated, “I don’t know where that money is coming from. We are going to make it happen anyway. Period. I’m serious. My worry this week is not budget, my worry this week is taking care of students.”

Bolton also addressed the students who are counting on student jobs, saying that the College is working on it. Bolton acknowledged that there is not a full answer, but that the COVID-19 Task Force is trying to figure out what they can do to manage or makeup for that missing income. Regarding what will happen to hourly staff who may rely on their income from the College to sustain their livelihood, Bolton noted that hours would not be cut because those workers will still be needed for the students that remain on campus. Additionally, the College is dedicated to working with employees who may need to stay home with their children since Wooster public schools have closed for several weeks.

“No one is losing income because they have to stay home,” Bolton said.

A common worry from students was how the school would manage going to an online platform, especially for discussion, performance and lab-based classes. Bolton stated that they do not have a concrete plan in place, but that there are discussions in place for each department — led by the relevant faculty — and that information would be coming shortly with such details.Because the College is not the only school in the country facing such challenges, universities and colleges across the country are asking the same types of questions and starting to come up with solutions that will be shared among different institutions. For students who left course materials behind because they expected to be able to come back to campus after spring break, Bolton acknowledged that the College is aware of such circumstances and that faculty are trying to figure out how to work around that. Students who are in a position to come back to campus to collect personal and class materials will be allowed to do so. If something was left that a student needs, they are encouraged to fill out the student planning form or contact the Dean of Students’ Office.

Another common question concerned Independent Study. “If you’re here, feel free to turn in I.S.,” Bolton stated. The due date was moved from March 23 to March 25 to allow for a couple of buffer days, and that students who are not on campus should email their document to the registrar, which is tracking the sequencing so students will still know the order in which they turned in. Seniors are encouraged to follow the instructions emailed to them specifically on March 12. Bolton emphasized the everything will be done to make sure Wooster seniors will get some type of celebration for their accomplishments.

In responding to a question about the likelihood of a refund to students for room and board, Bolton said that there may be some kind of refund, but that it hasn’t been completely figured out because it depends on how long students are required to stay off of campus. Bolton reiterated that the College is concentrating on “health stuff first and that kind of stuff second,”but it is still an important discussion the Task Force and others are focusing on. For students who are remaining on campus, Bolton assured them that dining options would be available. “We are trying to make it as good as it can be while also as safe it can be,” she said.

International students raised questions about their visa status and whether or not they should stay on campus. “If your visa requires you to be in the U.S., we will make sure you can stay in Wooster,” Bolton said. International students with questions about visas or U.S. students who will return from an outside country should reach out to International Student Services (ISS) and those with questions about traveling to and from virus hotspots in the U.S. can reach out to the Dean of Students.

According to ISS staff, alumni, host families or willing students will not be encouraged to host students who do not want to stay on campus or travel home, but they will not be dissuaded from doing so. This will be at the discretion of the interested parties and will not be officially facilitated by the College.

Bolton emphasized that administrative offices remain open and that students and other concerned parties are encouraged to get in touch if they have questions. The Dean of Students office, CDI, the chaplain, the president’s office, ISS and the student affairs team all remain open and accessible. The Wellness Center will be open to calls starting Mach 13 for students who may be concerned they are exhibiting symptoms of the virus and the next steps that should be taken; they are also looking into providing counseling services for students whose mental health has taken a toll throughout these events. Even if it seems unnecessary, all students are able to fill out the student planning form. Additionally, the Student Government Association (SGA) will be providing shuttles before March 19 for those on campus who need to get to the airport and will provide updates regarding their status. The College has setup an email specific to the COVID-19 virus that people can contact: wooster-covid-19@wooster.edu.

Overall, Bolton emphasized that the administration is taking everything into account and students will be updated as soon as decision are made, most likely starting at the same time every day so students can look for an update at that time.