Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Hope College is closely monitoring the outbreak of coronavirus COVID-19 and assessing the potential impact on the campus community and college operations.
Updated March 27, 2020
Campus Health Update: March 27, 2020
• Message from President Scogin
Earlier this week, President Matt Scogin and his wife, Sarah, offered a big “THANK YOU” to everyone working from home... and they wondered, just how long will the blessing of being at home last?
We’ve made it to the end of our first week of remote classes, and we want to recognize you all with a heartfelt round of applause. KUDOS to: the Hope employees who helped transition 900+ in-person courses to remote courses; the Hope students who engaged with their professors and classmates in new and different ways; and the Hope families who welcomed their students back home and are providing support through these uncharted waters. It’s been an adjustment for everyone, and you’re doing great (and you look great, too, whether you’re wearing PJ pants, shorts, sweatpants or jeans!).
• All summer classes to be online
An update for those planning to take or teach summer courses: All of Hope’s May, June and July classes will be remote. Many may not know this, but Hope offered its first summer online course in 1999(!), and our faculty have been teaching courses online every summer since 2006. Over the last two summers, nearly 1,000 students enrolled for online classes. This summer we will offer far more options than ever before, and students will still be rigorously learning in small classes with the same Hope College professors they love. And, students will continue to have the flexibility and convenience of remote learning, which we understand is especially important during the summer months.
Students: We are working on a plan for May, June and July term courses to ensure that you will be able to stay on track and continue classes over the summer. Stay tuned for more information — and more online options — coming soon. If you were registered for a May or June term that featured an off-campus travel component (all travel is now canceled), the Registrar’s Office will continue to be in touch with you.
Faculty: The Registrar’s Office encourages you to begin planning your transition from in-person classes to remote classes. Because of the nature of May, June and July terms, summer courses do need to be asynchronous. If you need help developing a plan for asynchronous classes, send an email to email@example.com with your training needs. Please do not cancel a summer term course without checking with Carol De Jong first; Carol is in the process of determining how to fully utilize our existing courses, and the unanticipated elimination of a class would introduce challenges. Be mindful that some students may need to take multiple courses over the summer, so flexibility will be critical. Final grades for all three terms will not be finalized until Friday, August 14, although the Registrar’s Office will process the grades as they are submitted so we don’t unnecessarily hold up a student’s degree posting and/or mailing of a needed transcript.
• Happening next week: Registration and Room Draw
Heads up! As planning for the 2020-21 academic year continues, two important activities are quickly approaching: registration for the fall semester and room draw for on-campus housing. Both of these will happen online next week.
Registration for fall semester
Pre-registration advising appointments have been taking place this week, and registration will take place Monday, March 30, through Thursday, April 2. Check the Registrar's Office website for information, and if you need assistance, email the Registrar’s Office. Students, please remember to:
- Utilize the Schedule Planner. The new Schedule Planner tool allows you to see all the possible schedules for your desired courses. Take some time to become comfortable with the software.
- Develop a back-up plan. Know in advance what alternate courses you’ll register for if you are put on a waitlist for your first choice(s).
- Know your PIN. You’ll need your PIN in order to register. If you don’t know your PIN, contact your advisor first and if you need additional assistance, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Get support from the Boerigter Center. If you could use additional support as you navigate your interests and options, consider consulting with academic and career advisors from the Boerigter Center for Calling and Career. Make an appointment through Handshake, or e-mail email@example.com with any questions.
• Room draw
During the evenings next week, we will be holding Open Room Draw for students who still need to select housing for the fall. This process typically takes place in Maas Auditorium, but this year will be held in an online Hangouts Meet call. You will be receiving details for your specific time as well as a meeting invitation early next week. If you have questions about the Open Room Draw process, please email firstname.lastname@example.org before room draw begins.
• You’ve been asking
We’ve been getting questions from students, families and employees about a few topics. While we may not have immediate answers, we want to let you know that these things are on our radar, too. To answer these questions, many discussions are happening across departments and likely will take some time to wrap up. We will communicate just as soon as there are decisions and details to share.
- Pass/Fail: Is there a possibility of a temporary adaptation of Hope’s pass/fail policy? This is an active conversation among academic leadership, and the conversation will broaden to faculty governance bodies in the coming days.
- Book buy-back: This much we know: Book buy-back will be a little different this year! We haven’t ironed out all the details but we are working on it.
- Summer research: Will plans for summer research change? Associate Provost Dr. Gerald Griffin is leading this conversation among deans and faculty members. Summer research takes place across all academic divisions, and it looks different from department to department. There are a lot of options and issues to weigh before any decisions are made.
- Summer camps: Will summer camps proceed as planned? Typically, the summer is a very busy time on campus for camps and conferences of all kinds — and many Hope students are involved in the operation of these activities. There is a tight and complex summer schedule of both internal and external groups, which we will need to carefully consider.
• Celebrate student research with us
The annual Celebration of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity will happen virtually on Friday, April 17, from 2:30 to 5 p.m. Join us in online forums to hear Hope students — from across all academic divisions, representing 25 departments and programs — as they share their work. We are #keepingHope by celebrating our student researchers, inventors and creators! Students (current and prospective), families, faculty, staff and community members are all invited, so please help us spread the word. We are eager to showcase one of the hallmarks of a Hope experience — exceptional student research and creative activity.
• Mail services continue
The mail doesn’t stop, and neither does Kristi Rosendahl, manager of Campus Print and Mail Services! Kristi has been hard at work, ensuring that there are processes in place for incoming mail:
- Employees who are approved to be on campus: You may pick up your mail and packages from the Print and Mail Services office between 8 a.m. and noon, Monday through Friday. When on campus, always keep six feet between yourself and other people.
- Employees who are not approved to be on campus: Don’t worry about your mail piling up! Kristi assures us that she will keep your mail safe and sound, and she doesn't mind storing the extra mail in the office. Our friends in Business Services also encourage you not to worry about incoming invoices that may arrive via postal service. (If you receive any invoices through email, you can use your Hope credit card to pay.) If you or your department is expecting an important, fragile or time-sensitive delivery, please email Print and Mail Services in advance.
- Students: Print and Mail Services will send an email notification to students who receive mail. If you are off campus and receive a message that mail has arrived, just follow the directions in the email. If you would like the item forwarded, please reply and include the address you would like the item sent to. Be sure to check for messages about items that arrived prior to spring break; a reminder will be sent. We also request that students verify their permanent address in the “Personal Information” section after logging into plus.hope.edu.
• Reports of COVID-19: To test or not to test
We have been hearing about Hope employees and students reporting symptoms of COVID-19 and working with their health professionals to determine a plan of action. To our knowledge, however, there have been no COVID-19 diagnoses confirmed by positive tests among employees or students. We are in regular conversation with partners on and off campus about next steps, should we learn of confirmed-positive cases.
We understand the challenges of relying on confirmation via positive tests. In Michigan,
testing is still limited to individuals who meet certain criteria. When someone is
tested and the test result is positive, the local health department will step in.
At that point, the health department’s job is to conduct “contact tracing” to identify
individuals who may have had close contact with a known positive case, then notify
and provide advice to those contacts.
Unfortunately, some people may have symptoms of COVID-19 but will not meet the criteria for testing. Without a positive test result, we are unable to confirm a diagnosis among our employees and students — and more importantly, public health officials will not be prompted to conduct contact tracing. For individuals who are symptomatic but not tested, the guidelines are to self-isolate, manage symptoms at home, and reach out for further medical care if symptoms become worse. The incubation period from time of exposure to development of symptoms can be anywhere from 2 to 14 days. But, unless a person has been in close contact with someone with confirmed sickness, we cannot truly know where their exposure occurred.
If you develop symptoms of COVID-19, check with your physician or your local health department. (If you live in the Holland area, you can call the Holland Hospital COVID-19 Hotline at 616.394.2080.) Students, you are welcome to send the Hope Health Center any questions you may have; please use the MESSAGE tab of your patient portal, and an RN will respond.
• Faculty: What if you’re sick?
Faculty, do you have a plan in place in the event that you become too ill to teach your remote classes? As you develop your plan, remember to start with the faculty class absence policy in the Faculty Handbook (C2E), which explains that when you are ill and anticipate being unable to teach a class, you should “inform [your] departmental chairperson as far in advance of the class session as possible. The faculty and chairperson will decide upon appropriate action to be taken.” Also, if you are showing symptoms of COVID-19, contact your family physician for guidance or call the Holland Hospital COVID-19 Hotline (616.394.2080). Please remember to notify Human Resources at email@example.com if: you are sick with COVID-19 symptoms; you are ordered to be quarantined; and/or you have tested positive for the virus.
• HSRT 2020 season canceled
Hope College has made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 season for Hope Summer Repertory Theatre out of concern for the safety of our employees, patrons and community. From our friends at HSRT: “While we are disappointed we will not be bringing you a vibrant summer of theatre for the first time in our 49-year history, we will be using this time to look for ways to keep you and our entire community connected to the arts in these uncertain times and to bring you a very special season in the summer of 2021.” Hats off to Anne Bakker, managing director of HSRT, for all her work to prepare for the upcoming season. We’re looking forward to summer 2021!
• Hope resources
Please note the availability of the following Hope resources:
- CIT Help Desk: The Help Desk is staffed remotely 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, for any technology questions.
- Van Wylen Library: The library is offering remote services. For assistance teaching or learning remotely, faculty should refer to Library Support for Online Teaching and students should refer to Library Support for Online Learning. Also see CIT's Online Teaching Tools.
- The Academic Success Center: ASC services have been transitioned to Google Hangouts Meet. All students are welcome, whether you’ve used ASC services before or not. Visit the ASC website to find links to ASC services and instructions for accessing them, and email your questions to ASC@hope.edu.
- Disability and Accessibility Resources: Support continues for accessibility and accommodations during remote learning. Please visit the DAR website and email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
- Klooster Center for Excellence in Writing: The writing center is now online. Need help? Sign up for an online appointment by emailing email@example.com.
- Hope Bookstore: The Hope Bookstore is operating online. Please visit the bookstore website to browse and place your order.
- Print and Mail Services: The Print and Mail Services office is open 8 a.m. to noon, Monday through Friday. Please see the “Mail services continue” message above for information about mail retrieval.
- Health Center: The Health Center will have limited on-site hours as the majority of their work will be done remotely. Students can send the Health Center a secure message via the patient portal; once you have logged in, select the MESSAGE tab and proceed from there. Please check the Health Center website for more information.
• COVID-19 information
Check these resources for up-to-date information:
- Ottawa County Department of Public Health
- State of Michigan - Coronavirus
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Resources:
- U.S. Department of State - Coronavirus
- WHO - World Health Organization
- Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by Johns Hopkins CSSE (heat map)
- U.S. Department of Education - Resources for educators
- U.S. Department of Labor - Workplace preparation
• Stay connected
Thank you for staying connected with us. Please continue sending your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org!
— COVID-19 Response Team Steering Committee Members: Jennifer Fellinger, Kristyn Bochniak, Lindsey Engelsman, Jeff “First-Person-On-Last-Person-Off-The-Hangout-Meet” Pestun, Dr. Cady Short-Thompson
The health and wellness of Hope’s campus community is a top priority. A newly formed Hope response team, working closely with the college’s Risk and Responsibility Team, will offer guidance based on information from the Ottawa County Department of Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Department of State. This team will continue to track the situation and coordinate efforts to respond to developments and determine how best to minimize risk on campus.
Currently, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Hope College. (Check the michigan.gov/coronavirus website for the status of COVID-19 cases in Michigan.) This situation is rapidly evolving, and the college is committed to ensuring the health and safety of everyone on campus.
In its aspirations to be faithful, welcoming and transformational, Hope College recognizes that this is a time to support one another with grace and compassion. Many of our colleagues and students have family and friends in areas affected by COVID-19, and other students are studying abroad in regions where the outbreak is a growing concern. These members of our campus community may be experiencing real distress at this time. We stand with them, united by a commitment to zero tolerance of discrimination of any kind.
COVID-19 RESPONSE TEAM STEERING COMMITTEE
Submit questions about Hope’s preparation for COVID-19 to email@example.com