From Student Life

Student Life Messages

COVID-19 Update: Housing and Dining (March 23, 2020 at 5 p.m.)

Dear Student and Parents,

By now, you have received communication from TWU’s Chancellor and President, Dr. Carine Feyten, indicating Texas Woman’s recommendation for restricted access to campus. Please know that as an institution, we are doing everything we can to provide a continuation of services so that students can maintain access to their education until this health crisis is over.

As a student-centered university, TWU considers providing affordable, accessible options central to our mission and strives to ease the financial burden students face when pursuing higher education. Our commitment to maintaining affordability remains at the forefront of all of our decisions through this crisis as well.

University Housing and Dining has been actively listening to our students and their families as we navigate this rapidly evolving health crisis and have made the following decisions.

  • TWU Housing and Dining Services will remain open for those who choose to stay in their residence hall to complete their course work remotely for the remainder of the semester.
  • This last week, some students chose to leave TWU’s residence halls to complete their coursework from a distance. Students who voluntarily checked out of their rooms will receive a prorated credit for housing based on a check-out date of March 23.
  • The prorated housing credit will be applied to the students’ remaining account balance. Any additional credit would be applied to a future term within the next twelve months and can be applied to housing, dining, or tuition and fees.
  • The Spring 2020 Dining meal plan credits will be calculated and a prorated amount will be applied for a future term and will be required to be utilized by December 15, 2020.
  • Students who still have belongings on campus on Friday, March 27, will be considered “living on campus” for the remainder of the Spring 2020 term and will be ineligible for housing prorated credit as the student’s current space is occupied. Spring 2020 Dining Dollars credit will be calculated and the remaining amount will be applied for a future term.

We understand some of our students have nowhere else to go at this time or it is simply safer to stay on campus. Therefore, TWU will continue to find ways to increase social distancing and implement additional cleaning measures for those who have remained on campus. Finally, we are still providing all the amenities for students—with an added emphasis on health and safety—while working even harder to provide the best-in-class educational experience to the students who have left and are still receiving their education remotely.

My best wishes to you for a safe spring 2020 remainder of the semester.


With Pioneer Pride,

Monica Mendez-Grant
Vice President for Student Life

Update - All Students (March 18, 2020 at 9 a.m.)

Dear Students,

As you know, TWU has made the decision to complete the remainder of the semester via online courses. This decision will create new challenges for many of our students, and we are committed to helping you complete the semester within the context of this new normal.

Staff members from across the university are working to support the university’s priorities. Some services, like Dining and the Library, will limit hours, so check their websites for details and updates. Many services on campus will remain open in order to assist you, including:

Work Study

We know work study impacts many students. According to the Department of Education, universities can continue to pay students via work study even if they aren’t working due to closures related to COVID-19. Under the department’s guidelines, colleges can still pay students through the Federal Work Study program as long as the college is paying other faculty and staff and continues to pay for its share of the program. (In most cases, colleges–or the employer–and the federal government split the cost of work study.) For those of you employed through work study, I expect more information will be forthcoming from your supervisor.

Internet Connectivity Available for Students

With the transition comes questions about access and connectivity. The FCC has recently made an agreement with providers stating late fees will be waived and service will not be terminated for lack of payment. https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-363033A1.pdf Additionally, several providers are offering additional options. To assist you, a few options are listed below:

Academic Accommodations

As we move to all online delivery of courses, you may need to submit a request for academic accommodations. Students do not need any documentation or doctor's notes for requests related to the virus.

Programming

In an effort to meet you where you are, Student Life programming will migrate to providing online options to help keep you connected during this time. While all in-person athletics games, events and activities will be canceled through the end of the spring semester, virtual options will be offered when feasible, so be sure to keep an eye out for our student newsletter and social media posts.

We recognize this is an uncertain time, and that through this rapidly evolving situation you have ongoing concerns. These major disruptions to life can cause a lot of mixed feelings and emotions. Our leadership is meeting regularly to address and enact response efforts as the situation continues to evolve. Thank you for your patience while understanding that additional changes and modifications may be necessary. Please remember to take care of one another. We are all in this together.

Sincerely,

Monica Mendez-Grant
Vice President for Student Life

COVID-19 Update -TWU Residential Students (March 17, 2020 at 9:28 a.m.)

Dear Students,

By now you have received the communication from Dr. Feyten about TWU’s decision to complete the remainder of the semester via online courses. This decision was not made lightly. I have been reminded this week how choices today may impact tomorrow. During this unprecedented moment in our history, I wanted to provide you with some additional updates specifically regarding housing and dining, student services available as well as an update on federal work-study. While I sincerely regret the disruption this decision will cause, please know your health and that of our broader campus community remains the University’s top priority.

Everyone who can go home and return to their permanent residence is encouraged to do so. However, for students who need to remain on campus because there is no other option, our residence halls and dining services will remain open for you. Please note that while these students remain on campus, these students will also complete their courses online.

Housing Check-Out Process

  • Check-out will require a process similar to check-in so that not everyone is on campus at the same time in compliance with social distancing guidelines. While we will offer express check-out, you will need to turn in your key to hall staff or the front desk.
  • Check-out will begin on Wednesday, March 18 and will continue through Sunday, March 22.
  • If friends or family will help you move, please limit the number of people to 2 or 3.
  • If you are feeling sick, we will work out an alternate check-out schedule for you. Please stay off campus (if home) or in your dorm if you are sick during the move out event so we may follow CDC guidelines for keeping our community health.
  • Large bins, dollies or carts will not be available (for safety reasons), so be prepared to carry things or bring your own dollies.
  • Students will not be charged a contract breakage fee for university housing. We are taking into account all considerations and factors, including the impact of a decision to an individual’s student financial aid. More information will be forthcoming.

STUDENTS REMAINING ON-CAMPUS
Operational Updates

  • We will continue to have staff available for assistance.
  • In addition to Dining and Housing, Student Health, Counseling, Disability Support, Student Life, Library, Center for Student Development, Student Union and Financial Aid are among the essential offices that will remain open during this time as well.
  • Mail and package delivery may be delayed.
  • Limited Dining options will be available.

Programmatic Updates (following check-out)

  • Non-residents will not be permitted in the residence halls.
  • Remaining residents may be moved and/or consolidated to promote safety measures.
  • Empty rooms will be disinfected.
  • Residence hall programming will be limited.
  • Supplies such as board games, moving carts and dollies will be unavailable for check out.

Housing & Dining Protocols

In our residence halls

  • All high touch areas are being wiped down multiple times each day.
  • Trash is removed daily.
  • Disinfectants are rotated to increase effectiveness of eliminating germs.

In our dining locations

  • All high touch areas are being wiped down multiple times each day.
  • Hours have been modified to allow for deeper cleaning so that all surface areas and doors can be cleaned and sanitized.
  • Condiments, cereal and utensils are now individually packaged.
  • Use of personal cups at our water and soda fountains has been suspended.
  • All self-serve options have been modified to full-service.
  • We have gone cash free to reduce exposure to germs.

Work Study

We know work study impacts many students. According to the U.S. Department of Education, “For students enrolled and performing Federal Work Study (FWS) at a campus that must close due to COVID-19, or for a FWS student who is employed by an employer that closes as a result of COVID-19, the institution may continue paying the student Federal Work Study wages during that closure if it occurred after the beginning of the term, if the institution is continuing to pay its other employees (including faculty/staff), and the institution continues to meet its institutional wage share requirement.” TWU is committed to ensuring your success and has intentions of supporting you. I expect more information will be forthcoming from your supervisor.

Our primary concern is for your safety and well-being. If you are able to go home, we encourage you to do so. We know that preparing to move on short notice is not easy, and we appreciate your flexibility, patience and understanding as we continue to work through this difficult time. I have enormous pride in our community, and I trust that this will be a time for us to come together to support each other in the challenging days ahead.

Sincerely,
Monica Mendez-Grant
Vice President for Student Life

Page last updated 6:00 PM, March 23, 2020