March 28: Message to Students on Campus and Davidson Employees: North Carolina Stay-At-Home Order

Governor Cooper yesterday issued a Stay at Home Order for all of North Carolina, which you likely are aware of. This order has similar rules to the one issued by Mecklenburg County earlier in the week, but the state order lasts longer, for thirty days–from 5 p.m. on Monday, March 30 until at least April 28.

Until Monday evening, we remain under the county order.

Like the Mecklenburg County order and the earlier state Declaration of Emergency, this new statewide Stay at Home order lists educational institutions, including colleges, as Essential Businesses and Operations “for purposes of facilitating remote learning, performing critical research, or performing essential functions, provided that the Social Distancing Requirements…are maintained to the greatest extent possible.”

As we understand it, this new statewide order does not change anything about the way we are operating now except to lengthen the period of time that we are under a stay-at-home order. 

For students who are on campus:

  • You should NOT leave campus for anything other than essential goods or services, such as: prescriptions, medicine or a doctor’s appointment.
  • Vail Commons is providing meals to all students on campus.  So grocery trips should be only for essential needs. 
  • You may walk to campus buildings as you need to, but you must follow physical distancing guidelines outside and inside.  That means staying six feet away from other individuals.  Gatherings of more than nine people are prohibited under any circumstances.  And please frequently wash your hands.
  • You can be outside as much as you want, provided you are practicing physical distancing. We have a big, beautiful campus, so take advantage of it. That includes exercise, such as running on the cross country trail.

Faculty will continue to teach their classes remotely and may be on campus to use classrooms or technology they do not have at home or to attend to research that cannot be managed remotely.

Staff will continue to work remotely whenever possible, and some staff will continue to come to campus to support our students or perform other critical maintenance and infrastructure work. Managers will continue to give staff direction as to whether their presence is necessary on campus.

We appreciate all the work you are doing, whether from home or on campus, and we encourage you to keep safety in mind in everything you do.  As we are reminded in the Governor’s order:

  • Maintain a distance of at least six feet from others.
  • Wash your hands using soap and water for at least 20 seconds as frequently as possible, and/or use hand sanitizer.
  • Regularly clean high-touch surfaces.
  • Do everything you can online.

Take care, and please let us know if we can be of help to you. 

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March 27: President Quillen: Figuring It Out

Our creative staff in Vail Commons figured things out. They needed to feed the more than 100 students who remain on campus every day in a dining hall designed for short, close lines and a lot of self-service. They reconfigured so that staff in protective gloves do the serving. They pasted arrows and “stop” lines in blue tape on the floor to show six feet of separation.  And they switched all meals to take out to reduce person-to-person interaction.

Our Technology & Innovation and library staff guided faculty who previously had minimal need for interactive technology and helped them become start up broadcasters. They found laptops and even desktops – not antiques yet – for students to take home for remote instruction.

Our facilities teams are cleaning the dorms more often with smarter techniques and more powerful tools and cleaners. They choreograph where they are working so they don’t get close to one another, and the smell of disinfectant leaves no doubt about the strength of the work.

Our Business Services team members are keeping the post office open with fewer people, so that students on campus can still get mail, and remotely are maintaining essential operations.

Our Campus Police officers know that, in order to do their job, they may not be able to keep the six feet of physical distancing that helps protect them. 

Many people at Davidson whose jobs are even more critical now are expanding and adapting how they work to meet extraordinary circumstances. 

One of our alums, James Jenkins, who works at Boston’s JFK Presidential Library and Museum, recently wrote to us, “We are made for unprecedented times.”

Those words certainly apply to our colleagues who help keep us as safe as possible and, then, do it, again, the next day.

Take good care and stay connected.

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March 25: President Quillen: Gratitude

The collective creativity and caring of this community continues to inspire me—you’ve done virtual labs, shared your artistic talent, and prepared an online global premiere while also finding new ways to build connections across geography and time zones. I’m grateful for your determination and resilience.

I’m equally grateful for your candor. This is hard. There is much we don’t and can’t know. Thank you for expressing your concerns and worries, and thank you for making space for this and listening to one another. You may find this brief interview helpful (I did). We will get through this together because we are a genuine community where each person is valued and loved. 

I’ve found that a simple daily routine helps me, one that includes breaks from news and facetime chats with my daughter. I’m also fortunate to be able to take long walks, listening to podcasts wholly unrelated to the coronavirus. 

On a related note, for those of you with access to CBSSN, you can watch two classic men’s basketball games from 2008 this evening—Davidson versus Gonzaga (at 8 p.m. EDT) and Davidson versus Georgetown (at 10 p.m. EDT). I also know of several movie suggestions that folks are sharing on social media.

It’s worth figuring out what helps you, and maybe sharing that with others. Our shared vulnerability can be a real strength. 

Thank you all so much for all you’re doing.

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March 24: What does Mecklenburg County’s ‘Stay at Home’ order mean for campus? 

You likely are aware that Mecklenburg County issued a ‘stay at home’ order that takes effect Thursday morning. Refer to Governor Cooper's Executive Orders to date. We already were following many of the guidelines, but here is what you need to know:

Students 

  • You should NOT leave campus for anything other than essential goods or services, such as: prescriptions, medicine or a doctor’s appointment.
  • Vail Commons is providing meals to all students on campus. So grocery trips should be only for essential needs. 
  • You may walk to campus buildings as you need to, but you must follow physical distancing guidelines outside and inside. That means staying six feet away from other individuals. Gatherings of more than nine people are prohibited under any circumstances. And please frequently wash your hands.
  • You can be outside as much as you want, provided you are practicing physical distancing. We have a big, beautiful campus, so take advantage of it. That includes exercise, such as running on the cross country trail.

Faculty and Staff Members

  • Beginning Thursday morning, staff employees should only be coming to campus as permitted by their manager.  Managers may approve staff to come to campus for the following reasons:
    • to facilitate delivery of distance learning;
    • to perform essential functions, including, but not limited to, providing meals for students and maintaining facilities; and
    • to perform the minimum necessary activities that facilitate employees being able to continue to work remotely from home (for example, limited visits to campus to process check payments or sort physical mail). 
  • Faculty members who need to use on-campus resources for remote instruction and faculty and staff feeding and caring for animals and organisms in labs are also allowed to continue coming to campus under the Mecklenburg County order. Staff members who are directly supporting remote instruction are also permitted to come to campus.
  • Employees who are on campus must follow physical distancing guidelines outside and inside. That means staying six feet away from other individuals. Gatherings of more than nine people are prohibited under any circumstances.  And please frequently wash your hands.
  • Like students, you are welcome to use the outdoor areas of campus for exercise, provided you are practicing physical distancing.

If you have questions please feel free to contact Kim Ball (staff) or Philip Jefferson (faculty). We know that it seems like every day brings another change in what is accessible and when. We are persevering through these anxious times together and appreciate your help and patience in keeping each other safe.

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March 23: President Quillen: Connecting

One student last week posted that they didn't realize the sensitivity of the computer microphone and apologized for "cereal sound effect."  A classmate acknowledged that their dog fell off the bed and barked at the UPS delivery during the same class.  

A student in Professor Antonio Spikes's class demanded a Zoom introduction to his cat, Sylvestra, which led to #classcat and, of course, #cats. 

A parent reported to friends how her student watched as a classmate asked to be excused so that he could take cover during a tremor.  New Zoom guidance: You don't need to ask to be excused during an earthquake. 

And you may have seen Professor Michelle Kuchera's tweet:  "TIL that I talk with my hands a lot. Day 1 of virtual classes for us." 

You all are finding ways to stay close in spite of the physical distance that we have to keep right now, such as tomorrow night’s open mic on Zoom for poetry, art and song.  You’re creatively sharing moments, frustrations and joys as if you were sitting in the Union.  You’re taking what first might have seemed like an electronic obstacle and are turning it into a connective bridge.  While I’m not surprised, I’m proud of and grateful for your deep understanding of the situation and your role in supporting one another through it. 

If it hasn't already, the stress of having to stay in one place will start to build.  I know you’ll find ways to ease it:  virtual snacks and meals with your friends and classmates, video tours of your house – might want to let the other inhabitants know, first – and watching shows "together."   We will need each other more in the coming days.

You each have a lot to share and that matters even more in these difficult circumstances. Please know that when I or others insist on physical distancing and implore you to stay home, we’re doing it because we care about you. You matter so much to us.

I will do my part and send you updates from campus, where we miss all of you.

Thank you for your support for each other and those around us.  

#DAVIDSONTRUE

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