Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update
March 20, 2020
Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,
Today, Gov. Pritzker announced a Stay-At-Home order beginning 5 p.m. Saturday through April 7. The order advises all Illinois residents to stay at home to the greatest extent possible except for essential activities; closes non-essential retail businesses; and reminds everyone to practice social distancing, remaining at least 6 feet from all others when outside the home.
In the executive order, universities are considered “essential businesses” for the purposes of facilitating distance learning, performing critical research, or performing essential functions. It also mandates that NIU be more explicit in how we respond to helping stem the outbreak in Illinois.
Please follow the instructions below:
- HOUSING and ESSENTIAL ITEMS: Through Sunday, we will continue to allow for move out and pickup of personal items from residence halls, Northern View and select academic programs (i.e. musical instruments, art materials) by appointment following best measures for social distancing. After Sunday, NIU will only be able to accommodate scheduled pickup of essential (school supplies, medicine etc.) items for students who email firstname.lastname@example.org to request appointments.Visual and Performing Arts students will receive an email shortly with instructions on how to pick up their personal items and supplies.Those students who have informed us that they must stay in the residence halls will be expected to follow the governor’s executive order, especially as it relates to social distancing.
- UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT EMPLOYEES: Effective today, all work (both on- and off-campus) by undergraduate students will need to cease for the remainder of the semester. The exception to this is for students who choose to continue working remotely on pre-approved grant projects or in housing and dining.NIU recognizes the additional hardship these limitations on undergraduate student work will put on our student employees and is committed to supporting you with a financial solution that would cover the time we anticipated you working this semester. Any students who worked in March will be paid for those hours, and we will communicate more specific information to all student employees by Wednesday, March 25 about additional compensation.
- GRADUATE STUDENT EMPLOYEES: Please continue to work remotely during this time. All graduate assistants should check in with their supervisors regarding their remote assignments.
- CLASSES: NIU faculty will begin teaching remotely Monday as planned. If you have not already done so, please begin to familiarize yourself with the resources provided on our Keep Learning site. Distance learning can be highly effective if you are open-minded and prepared.
- ON-CAMPUS RESOURCES: Effective today, the Holmes Student Center and all libraries will be closed for in-person visits. Please review Campus Operations for a complete listing of updates.
- During this time, our university remains open, courses will continue to be held remotely and limited services will be operating on campus. Only employees who are deemed necessary for delivery of those services will be permitted to work on campus, and your supervisor will be in communications with you. Those employees who are working remotely will be permitted to retrieve essential materials from their office or workspace. We ask you to minimize the number of visits and to not remain on campus longer than necessary.Please know that we are committed to ensuring that our employees continue to receive pay and benefits during this time.
We know today’s news will pose new obstacles for our community, and we will need to continue to take things day by day. Your continued support and patience are both inspiring and much needed.
Lisa C. Freeman
originally posted March 20, 2020 in NIU Updates