Letter to Undergraduates: Support for the remote learning transition

Dear Undergraduates,

We know that the news that Brown is transitioning to remote learning raises many questions for students. The health and wellbeing of our students remains a top priority as Brown responds to this worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, and we understand that this period of transition to remote learning may be stressful.

Our colleagues across the University are here to support you, and we want to be sure that you have the information you need to make arrangements for this transition. For on-campus students and students in Brown-owned housing, that includes moving out by 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 22, unless you receive approval to remain in residence through the petition process (explained in the message sent earlier today from Residential Life). Travel is likely to become more complicated as the coronavirus situation evolves, so we encourage you to make arrangements to leave as soon as logistically possible.

Many questions can be answered by first reading these communications closely:

●      President Paxson’s message to the Brown community

●      Message from Residential Life (subject: “Action Required: Moving Out of Residence”)

●      FAQ on Housing & Dining

We have a phone bank of staff working 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. to respond quickly to housing and other general questions through the Office of Residential Life phone line (401-863-3500). Please use the Administrator on Call only for health or safety emergencies. 

GUIDANCE FOR STUDENT MOVE-OUT

Students in Residence Halls and Brown-owned Housing:

●      Register your date of departure or submit a petition if your circumstances prevent you from leaving campus by 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 22. The deadline for submitting a petition is Wednesday, March 18. Instructions are in the message you received from Residential Life.

●      Many boxes were delivered this afternoon, and they will continue to be delivered to residential areas. We continue to ask that you take only what you need and pack efficiently.

●      Look for messages from your RPL with information about checking out and returning your key.

●      Be sure to take important personal items including, but not limited to identification documents, medications, etc. on your person. 

●      Update your mailing address in Banner, especially if you have ordered packages recently.

Responding to Financial Barriers

●      Students for whom departing campus would create a severe financial or personal hardship, including international students with concerns about travel restrictions, should submit a petition to remain on campus (contained in the message from Residential Life).

●      Students with the highest demonstrated financial need have received outreach from colleagues in the College about support for staying on campus, traveling away from campus, and additional advising resources.

●      The University has established a dedicated COVID-19 Transition E-Gap Fund for undergraduate students with high demonstrated financial need to assist with emergent expenses related to the transition to remote learning. Depending on a student’s individual circumstances and financial need, E-Gap funding may provide partial support for travel, moving and storage, and education-related expenses. The application will be available on the UFunds website by 2:30 p.m. on Friday, March 13. 

●      Student employees are encouraged to leave campus as soon as possible. Student employees should let their supervisor know as soon as they have finalized their plans to depart campus, and should be in communication with their supervisors to discuss whether their work can be performed remotely. It is anticipated that student work that can be performed remotely will resume after March 30.

Parties and Gatherings

The decision to transition to remote learning has been made in the context of a serious public health situation. We have an opportunity to care not just for ourselves, but also for peers and the faculty and staff who provide support. Parties and large gatherings violate the principle of social distancing and can contribute to the spread of infection. This is particularly important considering that some members of our community (students, staff and faculty) are more vulnerable given underlying health conditions. With this in mind, the University is prohibiting organized events during this transition period and encouraging social distancing. Violations will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards.

We understand that students have many questions and concerns, and we care about you. Support resources like Student Support Services (401-863-3145), CAPS (401-863-3476) and deans in the College (401-863-9800) are here to support you. The University is still open, and we are all mobilized to help as most of you travel from campus during this challenging time.

 

Sincerely,

Eric Estes, Vice President for Campus Life
Rashid Zia, Dean of the College  
Koren Bakkegard, Associate Vice President for Campus Life and Dean of Students