Jewell’s Response to COVID-19, to date

The William Jewell College website announcing the end of in-person classes for the Spring Semester

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread the global disruption is increasing. Along with other academic institutions worldwide, William Jewell College has engaged in a crisis response strategy intended to keep students, staff and faculty safe while maintaining essential operations and ensuring classes are still offered. 

Below is a timeline of Jewell’s actions, to date, in response to the ongoing pandemic: 

  • March 11: 
    • A letter written by Anne Dema, provost, was read to all Jewell students in their classes explaining that a task force had been established and the college was monitoring the situation closely. Students were asked to monitor their emails closely over spring break, March 16-22. 
    • Jewell’s online coronavirus news center was made available for the public to view. 
  • March 12: 
    • An email was sent to all students, staff and faculty declaring that Jewell would be moving to online classes until April 5. Co-curricular activities, including inter-collegiate athletics, were also suspended at this time. This email explained that dorms would remain open for students who successfully completed a housing screening form by March 18.
  • March 16: 
    • Information regarding the screening process for dorms was emailed to residential students. College residences were scheduled to open March 22 at 2 p.m. 
    • Students who do not have access to wifi at home were invited to complete a form and be sent a hotspot so they may successfully complete the semester remotely. 
  • March 17: 
    • President Elizabeth MacLeod Walls emailed all students, faculty and staff to announce that Jewell classes would be hosted online for the remainder of the semester, until May 15. It was stated that campus housing would remain available for students who are screened and who “choose to [return] between now and the end of the academic year.” The email declared it likely that large spring semester events, including Honors Convocation and Parents’ Weekend, will be cancelled.  
  • March 18: 
    • The Career Development team announced that all remaining events for the semester would be moved online. 
    • Fitness centers in Mathes and Shumaker Halls were closed until the end of the semester. 
    • Residential living on Jewell’s campus was suspended “immediately” and all students were asked to move off campus “as quickly as possible.” Students with an acute need to remain in the Jewell dorms were allowed to appeal, and their situations were evaluated on a case-by-case basis. 
    • Curry library services announced, via email, the adapted services offered while classes are held online.
  • March 19:
    • Landon Jones, Director of Campus Security, emailed all students, staff and faculty with a set of guidelines for activities and work conducted on-campus during the pandemic. 
  • March 22: 
    • An email containing information regarding whom to contact at Jewell and for what reasons was sent to students, staff and faculty. The email included information regarding academic resources, counseling services and student life. 
    • The guidelines of the Clay County stay-at-home order were emailed to all students, staff and faculty, and it was explained that, as a higher education institution, Jewell is considered an essential business. Hence, essential employees are allowed to continue coming to the campus to perform essential functions. 
  • March 23:
    • Spring break officially ended and Jewell faculty resumed teaching classes, albeit online. 

Sofia Arthurs-Schoppe

Sofia is a senior chemistry and communication major at William Jewell College. Currently she serves as the Editor in Chief of the Hilltop Monitor.

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