A Message from the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs

Preparations for the 2020 Fall Semester
August 2, 2020

Dear Morganites:

I hope everyone is continuing to remain safe during this pandemic. Please know this will be a fall semester unlike any that we have ever experienced before due to COVID-19, and it will require your cooperation to maintain a safe living and learning environment. To assist you as you begin to finalize your plans to return to the University this fall, please review the following important information.

Pledge to Safety

This fall we are asking our entire campus community to acknowledge our Community Responsibility Pledge, a.k.a., our “Rules of Engagement” to help reduce the potential spread of the COVID-19. This will require everyone to adhere to CDC Guidelines by wearing a mask, remaining socially distant, and washing your hands frequently!

Testing

To mitigate the potential spread of the virus, all students, and employees will be required to provide documentation verifying they have received a negative COVID-19 test result before moving into University managed housing and/or returning to class and work. Specific details will be forthcoming regarding when you should get tested and where to submit your test results before returning to campus. You can learn more about the University’s call for mandatory testing online (see: https://news.morgan.edu/covid-19-testing-for-return/)    

Modes of Instruction

All classes, even those that will be offered face-to-face, will have a remote or online option. Please continue to check your Morgan email for additional information about the available modes of instruction for this fall. You can learn more about the University’s Student Choice and Faculty Option for instruction online (see: https://news.morgan.edu/reopening-fall2020-updates/)

Housing

As I announced during our virtual town Hall on July 17th, we have made intentional decisions to reduce the housing density on campus by 30%.  We have designated Blount Towers, O’Connell Hall and Thurgood Marshall Apartments as single occupancy assignments to reduce the number of students sharing bathrooms in these facilities.  Rawlings, Cummings, Baldwin, Harper Tubman, Marble Hall Gardens and several HH-Midtown Apartments will remain as double room occupancy and we are reconfiguring the room layouts and providing medical room dividers (upon request) to help mitigate the potential spread of the virus in these facilities. The University has made a decision to terminate our lease with Kensington Gate Apartments so we will be presenting options for these students in the next several days to relocate. Lastly, we have secured additional single room apartments at HH-Midtown, the Sheraton Hotel, and we are in discussion with the Morgan View Complex to support upper-class students with single room options. Please be advised that we are currently at our residential capacity. However, you may still apply for housing via our wait-list application process at https://www.morgan.edu/residencelife . We also recognize that many of you may still be uncomfortable with living on campus. If so, please know that you can cancel your housing contract without penalty by accessing the following link on the Housing website https://www.morgan.edu/residencelife.

Over the next several weeks, I will provide additional updates on housing and campus life expectations as we plan for the start of the semester.  We ask that you continue to check your Morgan email and the Reopening MSU page (see: https://www.morgan.edu/reopeningmsu) for updates regarding our Fall Reopening Plans. You can also visit COVID-19 update page for additional information (see: https://www.morgan.edu/coronavirus).

Financial Aid/Emergency Support Fund

Finally, recognizing the financial strain caused by the pandemic, the University has committed additional institutional financial aid to assist students in financing their education. If you still have a financial need after accepting any federal or state financial aid, you may apply for institutional aid at https://morgan.academicworks.com/. If you are experiencing financial challenges due to COVID-19, you may also apply for emergency funding through the Growing the Future Opportunity Fund at https://www.morgan.edu/studentemergencyfund.

We look forward to welcoming you back to campus and the start of the fall semester!

Sincerely,

Dr. Kevin Banks
Vice President of Student Affairs