Mason’s Actions Regarding Governor’s Stay At Home Order

Dear Patriots:

The university is working closely with the state to take precautions and reduce the risk to our community during the coronavirus outbreak. This requires everyone’s help, so we are grateful to everyone who is taking measures to be safe.

As part of those efforts, we’d like to make sure you all saw Virginia Governor Northam’s March 30 Stay at Home Executive Order. This has implications for the Mason community and each of us personally.

The Governor’s order, which is officially known as Executive Order 55, requires all Virginians to remain at home as much as possible, suspend all non-essential travel, and to avoid congregating in groups of 10 or more to prevent the spread of coronavirus. This order reinforces the university’s current guidance for mandatory telework and social distancing precautions with exceptions for healthcare personnel, critical work, research, and instruction that can only be conducted on campus. The order also specifically directs higher education institutions to cease all in-person classes and instruction, and cancel all gatherings of more than ten individuals, consistent with actions Mason has already taken.  The order effectively extends these actions on campus until June 10.

To ensure compliance with this order, deans and supervisors will be asked to reexamine all work currently taking place on campus and with the directive that all non-critical functions cease immediately. The university is working on a process to provide credentials for those faculty and staff who must travel to and from campus. University faculty and staff should carry Mason identification when traveling to and from work.

George Mason University has already prohibited university-sponsored or related domestic and international travel. Although public health officials strongly discourage travel, students, faculty, and staff may travel for personal reasons permitted by the Governor’s order. The university strongly encourages all students, faculty, and staff to avoid all but essential travel necessary to care for yourself or others. If you have traveled internationally, the CDC recommends a 14 day quarantine period.

Residential students who travel internationally or out of state must contact Housing and Residence Life at 703-993-2720 between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, or through email at housing@gmu.edu, to gain official written approval before returning to their residence hall so that quarantine accommodations can be made. Employees who travel must contact Human Resources and Payroll to discuss their return to campus. If you have questions about symptoms or the need to quarantine, please contact your healthcare provider.

We are highlighting these directives to help prevent the spread of coronavirus within our community. Please visit www2.gmu.edu/coronavirus for the latest Mason updates and thank you for doing your part to help the Mason Nation respond to this outbreak.

Respectfully,

David Farris, PhD
Executive Director, Safety and Emergency Management

Lisa Park, MD, MPH
Executive Director, Student Health Services

Mail Services Update

Mail Services has provided the following information:
  •  Fairfax Campus:  There will be no regular mail delivery until normal operations resume.   Mail Services front counter will be open for pick up Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. (The Hub mailroom will be closed on weekends).
  • Arlington and SciTech Campuses: Interoffice mail delivery service will be on Tuesdays and Fridays. There will be no regular mail delivery until normal operations resume.
  • Mail delivery to essential departments will continue per usual schedule.
  • Departments can pick up their mail and packages at Mail Services in The Hub, Monday – Friday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Any questions regarding Mail Services should be directed to Kristin Masters at kmaster@gmu.edu.

Official Grading System Changes for Spring Semester

Dear Mason Nation,

With the extraordinary circumstances created by the coronavirus, including the transition to alternative virtual instruction, the university wants to ensure that all students have opportunities for success this semester. In recognition of that, the Faculty Senate met Tuesday and approved two motions to provide accommodations to grading policies for undergraduate students for the Spring 2020 semester:

  1. Incomplete Grades 
    Incomplete grades (I) may be given to students who are passing a course but who may be unable to complete scheduled coursework by the end of the semester due to extenuating circumstances. Instructors should be flexible in awarding Incompletes if the student requires additional time to finish coursework. The previous deadline for completing work for the spring semester was Friday, October 23, 2020. The deadline for completing work related to an Incomplete grade received in Spring 2020 has been extended to the end of the Fall 2020 semester.
  2. Credit/Non-Credit Opt-In
    Each student registered in A-F graded courses is able to decide individually, on a course-by-course basis, whether they want to receive a letter grade in the class or if they will receive an alternative grade. The default selection, if no action is taken by the student, will be A-F grading. To the extent practicable, faculty will submit A-F grades. For students who opt into alternative grading, the submitted grade would then be converted by the Registrar to alternative grades.

PLEASE NOTE: The Office of the University Registrar will communicate with eligible students to their official Mason-issued e-mail address with information on how to select the new alternative grade mode for their classes. Information on the specific grading categories will also be provided.

For Graduate Students/Law School/Cohort Programs
Students, including undergraduates, enrolled in cohort sections or special programs will follow the decisions of their professional school or of the unit about which courses, if any, are eligible for the credit/non-credit option.

The Antonin Scalia Law School will separately determine the grading policies for its courses.  Graduate programs may select specific graduate courses that are eligible for Credit/Non-Credit declaration by Wednesday, April 1.

For courses not selected, graduate students will be able to request a change in one or more of their courses to this new grading option. All requests will have to be submitted by May 11, and will be subject to their academic unit’s approval based on the following parameter: the student must provide a compelling reason why their academic success has been affected by the changes triggered by the coronavirus/ COVID-19.

We appreciate the broad engagement of the university community with the Faculty Senate on this issue over the past week. As faculty, student learning is our main objective. It is our hope that empowering students to make decisions about the grading categories that will be used to evaluate their work during this unique semester will reduce some of the stress associated with the transition to virtual learning.

Be well.

Shannon Davis
Chair, Faculty Senate

S. David Wu
Provost and Executive Vice President

Message to Mason Students from Student Health Services

Dear Mason Patriots,

Student Health Services (SHS) remains committed to supporting the health of students during this time of unprecedented university operational changes. Information in this email will help students understand how to care for their health if concerned about a potential exposure to coronavirus (COVID-19) or have symptoms of respiratory illness.

While the best way to help prevent the spread of illness is through keeping physical distance from others, remember to stay socially connected with friends and family through video chat, phone, apps, or other means during this time. Continue social distancing, take everyday precautions like washing hands to prevent the spread of illness, and stay informed about COVID-19 using credible sources, such as the main George Mason University coronavirus website, the local health department, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC).

If You Have Been Exposed to Coronavirus

If you have a fever (100.4°F/38°C or higher), cough, or shortness of breath, and think you have been exposed to coronavirus, call your primary healthcare provider for advice and guidance. Stay home, and call your provider before going to the clinic.

Follow the instructions of your healthcare provider or local health department. You may be asked to self-isolate or self-quarantine (stay home and avoid contact with others) and monitor your health. Most people who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to recover at home. The CDC has information on how to protect yourself and others if you are sick and ways to manage your symptoms at home: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/index.html

If you have concerns that you have been exposed to COVID-19 but you do not have any symptoms, call your primary healthcare provider for guidance. Your healthcare provider can evaluate your risk and tell you precautions to take to protect your health and the health of others. This might include self-monitoring for development of symptoms for 14 days.

If you are a student and you were told by your healthcare provider or health department that you may have COVID-19 or may have been exposed to COVID-19, please complete a voluntary self-report form in our secure, online Patient Portal. This information goes directly to Student Health Services and SHS staff will follow-up with you if necessary during operating hours. If you are having symptoms, do not use this portal, please call.

Who to Call for Health Questions

If you are a Mason student and have returned to your permanent residence, call your local primary care provider. Your local healthcare provider will best understand the risks of coronavirus in your community and can help determine whether you need further evaluation or testing. They may tell you to manage your care from home.  Most people who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to recover at home.

Students living on-campus or those living locally for whom Student Health Services is their primary care provider, can call Student Health (703-993-2831) during our open hours for guidance. After-hours, there is a nurse advice phone service available.

Students who do not have a local healthcare provider can call Student Health (703-993-2831) during open hours for guidance. You can also call a local urgent care or primary care clinic.

Call First, Do NOT Walk-In

Call before going to a doctors’ office or healthcare facility if you have symptoms of COVID-19. Calling ahead allows healthcare workers to take appropriate precautions to help reduce the spread of illness before your arrival.

You should not go to an emergency room unless it is an emergency, for example, you are having difficulty breathing. If you need to go to the emergency room, and you have symptoms and a known exposure, you must call ahead to ensure proper infection control protocols are in place before you arrive.

Emergency Symptoms of COVID-19

If you develop any of the following severe symptoms of COVID-19, get medical attention immediately. Call 911 and tell them you may have COVID-19 so they are able to take precautions. Some emergency warning signs include:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face

These are uncertain times and the situation continues to evolve. Our dedicated, compassionate team at Student Health Services is here to support our students. We believe that working together as a community, we will be able to successfully adapt, and come out stronger and more resilient than ever before.

Sincerely,

Lisa L. Park, MD, MPH
Executive Director, Student Health Services

Mason Student Services Center Updates (message from NSFP)

The Mason Student Services Center (MSSC) has suspended in-person services until further notice. To prepare for fully remote services, MSSC has moved their in-person check-in form online. Students may reach MSSC via the check-in form or by email at mssc@gmu.edu.
MSSC has also created a secure link to upload documents (available via the online check-in form) that would normally be submitted in person. MSSC will continue to remain in close communication with partner offices including Financial Aid, Student Accounts, Admissions and The Registrar’s Office, so students continue to receive the best service possible.

Campus Building Closures and Other Updates – A Message from President Holton

Dear Patriots:

The university continues to monitor the coronavirus outbreak and take additional measures as appropriate. This is important as we focus our efforts around resuming the spring semester through alternative virtual instruction, supporting the small community of students who must remain on campus, and providing essential operations to support our mission.

As a result of our continuing focus on the safety of our community, the University will be closing our buildings to the general public for the foreseeable future. We also will be mandating telework for all faculty and staff except for those who need to work on campus to continue critical functions for the university as outlined below.

Building security and core functions

University buildings will be closed effective Wednesday March 25, except as otherwise provided.  All exterior and interior doors will be locked.  Faculty and staff will continue to have cardswipe and key access but must comply with the telework mandates outlined below.

Police and Safety Headquarters will remain open, with police patrolling the campus and facilities monitoring buildings. Southside Dining will provide grab and go dining service for those remaining on campus during hours listed here.  Retail dining establishments with separate entrances will be allowed to remain open so long as they are complying with the Governor’s Executive Order limiting numbers of occupants and enforcing social distancing; more details are available here.

Mason library facilities, including Fenwick, will be closed starting Monday March 23.  Library services will continue to operate, will expand virtual access as feasible, and will be available virtually to support faculty and students in accessing needed materials for online classes and assisting with other resources and services.  For more details about library services and accompanying policy changes during this period, please see:  https://library.gmu.edu/

SUB I will be closed to the public, but Student Health Services, the Mason Card Office, and the Cashier’s Office will be open on a limited access basis. In an effort to limit risk of infection, we ask students to call 703-993-2831 and speak with a nurse prior to coming in to Student Health Services. For more information, visit the Student Health Services page and click the Patient Notice link.

Faculty, staff, and students who wish to access the Mason Card Office should call 703-993-1004 to make an appointment.  The Cashier’s Office will be accepting cash payments by appointment Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.; please call Bill Cunningham, Assistant Director, Cashier’s Office and Account Management, at 703-993-2498 to schedule an appointment. All check payments should be mailed to GMU Cashier’s Office, 4400 University Drive, MS 2E2, Fairfax, Virginia 22040.

The HUB will be closed to the public. Packages from USPS , UPS, FedEx and Amazon will be delivered to the Mail Center in the HUB. Individuals with a valid Mason ID will be able to access the HUB via the ground floor (basement level) door across from the Shenandoah parking deck, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday to Friday for mail and package pickup.

If faculty and staff need more information or have questions about card access please go to https://masonid.gmu.edu/access/ or contact the Card Access Security Office at 703-993-3127, or contact CASO@gmu.edu or Key Control at keys@gmu.edu or 703-993-2823.  If you need to request access to a locked building please review this list to determine the appropriate contact.

 

Telework mandate

The university is mandating that all employees who can work remotely should do so, except those who must report in person to carry out key university functions, such as critical research, teaching including online instruction, supporting students allowed to remain on campus, health care, and administrative and other obligations that cannot be conducted remotely.

Deans, directors, unit leaders and managers have the authority to identify those who must report in person, those who can work remotely, and those who may need limited, intermittent access.  They should share that guidance with their faculty and staff. Those who need access, including on a limited basis, to perform key university functions should coordinate with co-workers to allow for social distancing and of course should continue to practice careful hand hygiene.

Employees shifting to telework should return to campus before Wednesday, March 25 to collect whatever items they may need to work remotely for the remainder of the semester. Please practice social distancing during this time; you may need to schedule individual time in your department for employees to retrieve belongings.

If you have questions about leave, your ability to do your job remotely or your current job duties, please contact your supervisor and/or Employee Relations. If you have questions about Virginia Public Health Emergency Leave, please review the PHEL guidance and/or contact the HR Benefits Team.

Notification of confirmed cases in our community

We want to let you know about another confirmed coronavirus case associated with our campus. On March 14, we received notice from a student regarding their positive diagnosis of coronavirus. The public health department has since confirmed that case and has informed us that since the student had not been on campus since Feb. 25, to include during the infectious period, there is no risk to the campus community from this case.

As I stated in my last message on Friday, we do not anticipate sending messages about coronavirus testing or positive cases each time we learn of a new confirmed case associated with our university. Instead, please visit the university’s confirmed coronavirus cases webpage, which will be updated at 2 p.m. daily if there is new information to share.

Please continue to monitor the Virginia Department of Health for the latest information about the virus in Virginia and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for national and worldwide updates, and George Mason’s coronavirus website for the latest Mason information.

Remember to practice social distancing, wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds, take time to get outdoors, and get sufficient rest.  We remain focused on our core education and research missions along with our commitment to keep our community safe, and thank you all for your cooperation toward those ends.

Sincerely,

Anne Holton
Interim President

Assistance from the Stearns Center

Dear Colleagues,

We have talked with and heard from so many of you this week, and we are endlessly impressed with your determination to support your students, with your flexibility and persistence, and above all with the ways you are working with one another to adjust to an entirely new set of teaching experiences. As we collectively forge a path forward, it’s important to take a deep breath and consider your essential purposes for your courses, so you can focus on the most important learning you want your students to achieve. Your class this semester is not going to look like the class you imagined in January—but we believe that you can support your students, and each other, in sustaining the “access to excellence” foundation that Mason is built on.

As we get ready to start instruction next week, we wanted to share a few thoughts to help get you through this next leg of the journey.

Focus on your goals. As you’re transitioning to remote courses, it’s important to keep in mind what you ultimately want to achieve. What are your goals for the course? How do you want your students to engage with your field’s key concepts and questions? The Stearns Center team can help you think creatively about how to achieve these goals. Please reach out for help through scheduled office hours and webinars and explore some of the Stage Two and Stage Three content on our Instructional Continuity site.

Be flexible. Remember, the activities and assignments you’ve previously used were always the means to an end, a single pathway toward learning about your field. This semester will very likely require all of us to explore new paths. The new plans that you have for next week may not work out as you imagine—but we and your students know you are doing as much as you can to support good learning. Students may also run into difficulties with the new expectations, and again your flexibility will help them continue their learning here at Mason.

Finally, be ready to be flexible with respect to technology access. We have never experienced the demands that we are seeing for so many—the whole country!— to be online at the same time. You should expect some delays as you access online recourses, and it might take a couple of times to access what you or your students need. In some cases, things that were planned to be synchronous might need to be asynchronous, and some tasks that you had planned using one tool might need to adapt to another. Please be patient with yourselves, and with your students.

Communicate. Keep your students updated about your plans, even if some parts of a plan are still in development. You can reduce their stress and increase their success by helping them mentally adjust to your new approaches in advance. (If you’re using a Blackboard site, we recommend using the Announcements function over using student email, since more students check Blackboard and the information will remain accessible in the course.) Encourage students to communicate with you about their own access opportunities and challenges. And communicate with your own colleagues, both about your successes and the challenges you and your students are facing: teams across the university are working to assemble resources, but need accurate information about community needs in order to respond.

Be realistic. Your goal is not to replicate your current face-to-face class, or to create a fully developed online class, but to use online tools to adapt so that you can support learners temporarily through virtual connections. In these first few days of our altered semester, our goal together is to help students begin to make the transition to learning in new environments. As the semester progresses, Stearns Center, ITS, and your local support teams will be available to provide additional suggestions and strategies to help you help your students learn.

Take care of yourself. Your enthusiasm for your subject, your commitment to your students, and your good humor about being a learner yourself will come through to your students and enable their engagement and success. But all of those depend on you finding ways to relieve your stress, to get enough sleep, to ensure that your own family is safe, and to stay healthy. Keep track of resources that may be available through Mason, and be sure to reach out locally to share other ideas with friends and colleagues.

Utilize the resources. At the Stearns Center and in ITS, we continue daily to update the resources we’ve compiled to help you through this challenge. We’ve expanded our team of instructional designers: professionals whose expertise blends technology and teaching strategies, and who have experiences in a range of university disciplines. If you are stuck, need additional tools, or have questions, please contact us to help connect you with available resources. Please contact the ITS Support Center in the event of a technology issue. If you have not already registered for the ITS Alert listserv, please take a moment to subscribe so you can be made aware of issues as they arise.

YOU CAN DO THIS! You’re creating a new path. It’s not an ideal situation and it’s not easy, but you’re not in this alone. If we keep our eyes on our goals and use some creative thinking, we can make it to the right destination—together.

If you have any questions, email the Stearns Center at stearns@gmu.edu.

Thank you from the Stearns Center and ITS teams!

Resuming Classes Virtually and Other Updates – a Message From President Holton

Dear Patriots,

It is an understatement to say that we are living in extraordinary times. When the academic year began, few of us could have imagined that we would be preparing to finish the spring semester teaching our courses online. This is a new reality for all of us, and while we might not have planned on this path, we are taking it and stepping boldly into this new frontier.

At the same time, the outbreak from the coronavirus is intensifying with each day. We continue to monitor developments and respond in a way that protects our community and minimizes widespread exposure.

Sadly, I learned today as did the rest of you that one of our students has tested positive. Our prayers are with that student for a speedy recovery, and we are doing everything we can to provide support and assistance with our partners in the department of health.

We expect more of our community will test positive for COVID-19 in the coming days and weeks. Rather than send out messages every time we learn of a case, I have asked our communications team to add a link to the university’s coronavirus web page, listing the number of cases. This is in line with how our peers at other universities are reporting these cases.

Events cancelled through the end of the semester

The university has decided to extend the cancellation of all events through May 18. We made this decision after considering the Centers for Disease Control’s guidance and recommendations from a working group that included faculty, staff and deans.

We will reevaluate the situation in April and share more details about how this affects future events going forward.

Commencement postponed indefinitely

We have decided to postpone Commencement and our degree celebrations indefinitely. This was among the most difficult decisions we have had to make. These are time-honored traditions that students and their families look forward to, and we did not make this decision lightly. Our hope is to either reschedule at a later date, and/or to find a creative way to celebrate our students online. We will be seeking input from our graduating students on how they would like to be celebrated during these unprecedented times.  We’ll be in touch soon on this, as well.

Study abroad cancelled for summer session

Because of the U.S. Department of State Travel advisory elevation to level 4, it is not possible to run our summer abroad faculty-led programs this year. Many of our peer institutions have also cancelled their summer programs. I know this is a disappointment to our dedicated faculty and staff and to the nearly 500 students who participate in these programs each summer, but it is the right thing to do for the health and safety of our community.

Resuming classes on Monday, March 23

I know many of you are eager to resume your studies and coursework.  Our hard-working faculty, with the excellent support of the Provost’s office and the Stearns Center and others across the university, are standing up about 5,500 classes in a virtual alternative format to ensure that we can maintain our instructional continuity. That’s a remarkable accomplishment. I am proud of the collaborative spirit I have seen within and among our departments, schools and colleges.

I also want to thank our faculty and staff for their flexibility and creativity. Whether you’ve found new ways to do your job remotely or you’ve taken on entirely new responsibilities, we appreciate your adaptability during this time.

Please know that it is reasonable to expect some bumps along the way, particularly this first week. Patience and persistence will be key, as will collaboration and kindness. We will get through this together.  Some students and faculty are new to the online environment, and we will all be learning as we go. Our technology leaders are in frequent contact with Cisco, Blackboard and Microsoft to ensure increased capacity. However, because many schools and businesses are looking to these same vendors for support, there may be technology glitches.  Faculty are encouraged to make back up plans for course instruction or consider asynchronous class structures.

Please contact the ITS Support Center in the event of a technology problem so it can be monitored and shared, and monitor the ITS Alert page. If you have not already registered for the ITS Alert listserv, please take a moment to subscribe so you can be made aware of issues as they arise.

Students are advised to visit https://learningservices.gmu.edu/keeplearning/ for resources, tips and helpful advice. I also encourage you to watch this video with five tips for online learning success from  Associate Professor Melissa Broeckelman-Post.

The Stearns Center’s Instructional Continuity page has valuable resources for faculty, as does as does ITS’s Working Remotely: A Guide to Maintaining Continuity.

We know this transition is not seamless, nor is it easy, but it is the path forward to completing our educational goals this semester, and I have the full confidence in our university community that we will succeed.

Grading

I know many of you, students and faculty alike, have questions regarding grading structures in light of the instructional transition. This is a faculty governance question. Once the Faculty Senate has the opportunity to review options, we will communicate more details to you about this. We are committed to a successful semester in this new environment.

Financial resources for students

We know that the alternative instruction format and other potentially challenges may cause additional financial burdens. Both the Stay Mason Student Support Fund  and the Student Emergency Assistance Fund are taking applications from students to provide emergency relief related to this new environment. University Life also has other resources for health and well-being during this time.

Refunds for housing, dining and parking

As many of you know, we are closing our residence halls to all but those students with extraordinary circumstances. This is an important step to prevent the spread of the virus.

Many of you have asked about refunds. The university is committed to refunding money to students for housing, dining and parking. We are working out the details and will get more information to you soon.

Taking care of yourself

All of this can be overwhelming, and I know we are all doing our best to stay positive and focused on what matters most. Your studies can be a wonderful distraction from the headlines, and I urge everyone to take care of themselves and each other. Rest. Eat healthful meals. Get outside. Find time for family and friends – whether it be in small groups practicing social distancing, or using online tools that help keep us together.

I appreciate everyone’s flexibility and creativity to make the best of this changing situation. I am proud to be a part of Mason Nation, and I know you are too.

Sincerely,

Anne Holton
Interim President

UL: A Note of Gratitude from Rose Pascarell

Dear All University Life Colleagues:

I hope you and your loved ones are well, and you are doing your best to negotiate the daily shifts and changes. It is somewhat inconceivable how much our world has changed over the past few weeks. As changes occur, we are settling into new ways of working in support of and service to our students.

To help with any questions you may have about how the university is receiving updated information and responding to daily changes, here is a sense of our current structure: there are daily meetings occurring with the Emergency Operations Group (several UL members sit on this group), the President’s Executive Council (I am a member of this group), UL Cabinet Response Team, as well as continuous communication between many of us on those teams.

We are kept abreast of campus, local, national and international cases and trends, led by Dr. Park and her colleagues Dr. McCall and Dr. Wintermeyer in Student Health Services. Dr. Park is working in tandem with Julie Zobel and Dave Farris in Emergency Health and Safety, gathering daily information from local health departments, the Commonwealth, and the CDC in order to provide the entire university with updated information. Their expertise, together with the information they continue to gather, thoughtfully informs the decisions the president and senior leaders have made thus far.

But my message to you today isn’t about work. It’s about all of you, individually and collectively, and the way you’ve shown up for our students and each other in this moment. The care you are demonstrating right now, by teleworking, refraining from crowds, and being vigilant about hand washing shows your deep compassion and appreciation for the larger human condition, particularly the most vulnerable in our population. The compassion you are showing by recognizing that some of us need to remain on campus in modifies structures in order to serve students — particularly our colleagues in Student Health Services, Housing and Residential Life, Counseling and Psychological Services, and International Programs and Services is humbling.

I appreciate your offers to help each other in new and different ways. The care you are taking to ensure our students are safe, secure and in the best possible position to succeed, is simply astounding. The creativity I’ve witnessed over the past two weeks in particular is unparalleled.

As we are likely in for more challenging weeks ahead, I urge you to reserve some of the care you give to others for yourself. Whether you rely on physical, social, spiritual or emotional self-care, please remember to take care of you in the days ahead (and you’ll be hearing more from the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being about short, simple well-being and self-care activities). The COVID-19 virus is called novel because we’ve never seen anything like it before — please continue to keep up with the latest fact-based developments here.

And as I said, keep in mind that many of our colleagues and friends, including those in housekeeping, facilities, housing and residence life, student health services, and counseling and psychological services to name a few are still — and will remain — on-site for the foreseeable future. Let’s show our gratitude to them as they continue to care for the hundreds of residential students who cannot return home.

We’re all doing our best in this uncharted territory, and I’m grateful to each of you for the contributions you are making to our students, to each other, and to Mason. Your care and compassion for each other and our students are making these unfathomable circumstances a little more bearable.

Thank you, sincerely.

Rose