March 18: University Housing

Dear Mason Patriot,

Our top priority remains the health and safety of you, our students. We know you have questions and concerns and we thank you for your continued patience as we have created a plan about residency and move out.

In order to minimize the risks to students and in light of the university’s decision to extend alternative virtual instruction for the remainder of the semester, we will begin to close the residence halls for the semester to all but those with exceptional circumstances. We will complete the process outlined below by 9 p.m. on Wednesday, March 25.

  • Effective immediately and through Wednesday, March 25, residents will be able to access their space to retrieve basic belongings. If you have what you need, there is no need or requirement for you to return.
  • Please ensure that good social distancing measures are adhered to during this time to retrieve belongings.
  • Departing residents will not have access beyond Wednesday, March 25 for the foreseeable future.
  • Please note that the stated timeframe above is not a formal moving out period. Students will have the option to return to their residences after Monday, April 13 to formally move out, once the university has a better sense of the situation and we can allow for appropriate social distancing.
  • Use this parking pass when removing belongings between now and March 25th or moving out of the halls after April 13th.

Requests for an exemption

Students who need to stay past Wednesday, March 25, will be required to show exceptional circumstances. Based on the guidance we’ve received, we know that by greatly reducing the number of students in residence, we will reduce risk and we can more easily manage social distancing and health concerns that may emerge.

The Mason Housing Portal will make request for exemption forms available starting Wednesday March 18. Please note: all students seeking an exemption must file a new request form.

Approvals will be granted within 24-48 hours and will be granted in exceptional circumstances where it is impossible for residents to return home. Examples include:

  • International students whose residence is outside the U.S. who are unable to return home
  • Student employees who have been identified as critical to on-site operations
  • Students who must continue in an internship, clinical placement, or practicum which requires on-site presence
  • Students whose personal circumstances prevent them from returning home. Examples include:
    • Absence of an off-campus home
    • Home is quarantined
    • Home presents a safety/health threat to self or others
    • Students for whom returning home would prevent them from accessing courses remotely because of inability to access internet/technology capability at home – please note the university will be working with these students to eliminate these barriers and will expect them to return home when they have been addressed.
All requests must include supporting documentation where necessary, including:
  • Names of supervisors with contact information for verification
  • Any correspondence supporting your request to stay
Students who are not approved will need to depart campus by Wednesday, March 25.  Please know that our top priority is the safety and well being of our residents.

Limited Services and expectations after March 25

To keep our community safe, all residents who are approved to remain on campus should understand the following conditions and limitations:
  • Dining options and hours will be limited, as will other services and HRL desks will have modified hours and services.  Public safety officers will continue be on campus.
  • No programming or events will be held in the halls during this time.
  • You should limit travel to the minimum necessary and practice good hygiene and social distancing for the safety of yourself and those around you.
  • Guests will not be permitted in the halls during this time.
  • We may need to make room changes or moves at any time to ensure health and safety.
  • If you are tested for COVID-19 you will be moved to a location for isolation for a minimum of 14 days or until cleared by health professionals.
  • If you are exposed to COVID-19, you may be moved in order to facilitate a 14-day quarantine.

We know we can count on students to comply with these rules as well as all those in the student code of conduct which will continue to apply during this time.

Formal Moving Out Period

Beginning the week of April 13, we anticipate creating a staggered move-out schedule through the end of the semester. This will allow for appropriate social distancing for a safe move-out process.  More specific details will come out once we have more information. We regret that requests to move out in the meanwhile cannot be accommodated.

Refunds

At this time, we are exploring ways to refund students not returning. We realize this action prompts several questions and concerns and we will be following up with more communication soon to address this. Please continue to check your Mason email.

We thank you for your patience while we work together to navigate the far-reaching impacts of COVID-19. You are in our thoughts and we wish you nothing but the best during this time.  We are so proud of our resilient Mason Nation and thank you for your patience, resilience and cooperation.

Sincerely,

Dr. Christopher J. Holland
Chief Housing Officer

SHS Services Update

As healthcare professionals at Student Health Services, we are working hard and adjusting daily to support the  healthcare questions and needs of our community.

Given the present pandemic, SHS is implementing the following steps, in order to reduce the risk of community spread of the virus:

  • Students should not walk into the clinic without calling first.
  • Students must call the Fairfax Clinic (703-993-2831) to talk with a nurse about symptoms, illness, or a health concern. The nurse will evaluate the concern and determine the appropriate level of care needed.
  • Many appointments may be able to be conducted over the phone.
  • No routine appointments (such as vaccinations or physical exams) will be scheduled during this time.
  • Students should call or email the Immunization and Insurance Offices to have questions answered. Immunization and Insurance Offices are closed to in-person visits.

These practices help reduce the risk of exposing others, both patients and healthcare workers, to potential illness. Thank you for helping us keep the Mason community safe.

Sincerely,

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

Transitioning to Telework

Dear Patriots,

As we continue to shift our administrative operations to telework, we wanted to share some guidance and resources to help you in that process, as employees and managers. As communicated previously, Mason’s operations remain open with employees encouraged to telework.

Transitioning to Telework

Teleworking will mean different things for different people, as different roles transition more easily to telework. There are some jobs and assignments that require onsite presence and cannot be done remotely. It is important that employees work closely with their supervisor to make decisions and accommodations for their specific situation and responsibilities. HR & Payroll has put together Telework Guidelines for employees and managers to help navigate this process. If you are currently teleworking, or will begin teleworking, please complete a telework form.

At times, this may require flexibility and modifications to an employee’s scope of work to rethink how to make the best use of their skills and bandwidth in this environment. It is important that everyone is able to continue working and is able to do so in a safe environment. Where alternative duties cannot be identified, supervisors should contact Employee Relations at emprel@gmu.edu.

Student employees (i.e., student wage workers, graduate assistants) are not required to telework, but those who want to continue working remotely should follow guidance provided for faculty and staff. The University Flexible Work Policy will be expanded temporarily during this time to include student workers.

Using Technology to Telework

In this new remote environment, many employees will need to use new tools or use familiar technology in an unfamiliar way.  Information to help employees stay connected with workplace is available at Working Remotely: A Guide to Maintaining Continuity.

Most Mason applications—Office 365, Patriot Web, Blackboard/myMason—are available via the Internet with just your NetID and Patriot Pass Password. Some select services, including MESA and Banner Admin, may require the Virtual Private Network (VPN) when teleworking. Webex Meetings and Webex Teams accounts have been established for every employee, and Windows Virtual Desktops will be available to provide access to Blackboard and Microsoft Office 365 applications on personal, non-Mason computers, by the end of the week.

Call forwarding to an external line, such as a cell or home phone, is available. Contact your department’s Telecom Coordinator or Telecom Administration to coordinate getting this service. Update your email signature, out-of-office and voice mail greetings as necessary to provide your updated contact information and availability.

Flexibility and Leave

We recognize many of you are facing additional responsibilities outside of work during the day, as child or other care needs may be more demanding with the closing of schools, daycares and other facilities. Employees should work with their managers to prioritize their responsibilities and encourage all to be flexible and accommodating, and report leave as appropriate.

To respond to these situations, employees have access to the Public Health Emergency Leave (PHEL), as well as personal leave for supplemental time off. PHEL usage guidelines have been expanded beyond direct COVID-19 testing or treatment, which we will continue to update on our Public Health Emergency Leave Guide.

The Road Ahead

This is unprecedented for Mason as an institution, as it is for all of us as individuals, so we appreciate your continued flexibility in this evolving situation. We do not know how long this is going to last. We will continue to develop additional guidance and new tools, which we will share through regular updates and communication. Please let your supervisor know what more we can do to help in these challenging times.

We will continue to communicate with you as this situation progresses. The latest and most comprehensive information is available on Mason’s official coronavirus page. Thank you for your contribution to Mason and doing your part to ensure we can deliver on our mission of teaching, research, and service during this trying time.

Sincerely,

Carol Dillon Kissal
Senior Vice President, Administration and Finance

Message from Dean Ginsberg

Colleagues:

I hope that you are remaining safe, healthy and well.

As I have been saying, “…extraordinary times require extraordinary efforts by extraordinary people doing extraordinary things.” I am proud to have extraordinary colleagues.

Thanks to everyone for ALL you are doing—and will do—as we support each other and assure the continued learning and development of our students.

As we transition to the “new reality” we all face, and continue the important “online lift” of our academic programs to an online format, it is very important that we remain connected, share information pertinent to developments at our university and continue support for each other during this complex time.

I will be communicating regularly with you. And, I promise that I will make every possible effort to share information that will keep you informed about issues pertinent to Mason’s plans, associated policies and practices and ways that we can continue to support each other and our students.

I write this message as a follow-up to Interim President Holton’s and Provost Wu’s March 16 messages, which I hope you already have read.

In addition, please open, read and carefully review ALL MESSAGES that come to you from the university as they will provide you with important information. Indeed, additional information will be forthcoming as the coronavirus crisis continues to be dynamic, fast moving and circumstances continue to be rapidly changing.

As was reported by Interim President Holton, in her message distributed on March 16, given recent guidance from the CDC and other public health agencies and health professionals, Mason has decided to extend the period of online instruction for ALL classes for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester.

In addition, as also was reported in the March 16 message, the university’s academic calendar has been revised slightly such that the spring 2020 semester will be extended by one week. Consequently, the summer 2020 class schedule will begin on June 1, a week later than originally had been planned. I strongly suggest that you review the message from Interim President Holton, as well as other university messages and websites, for specific changes in the dates for and schedule of the academic calendar for spring 2020 and summer 2020.

Also, I want to reinforce and underscore recent communications from Provost Wu that no coursework or class activities, including evaluative assignments, are to be due or take place prior to the March 23 restart of classes (in an online format) other than for the small number of our classes that had re-started on March 16.

Also, in terms of CEHD faculty communications with students I want to inform you about an important shift in the “funnel for communications” from what I communicated last Friday.

  • Effective immediately, rather than sending communications to me that you intend for your students, if your message to your students is specific to your class, course requirements or other matters pertinent to your role as an instructor for your course, please send the message directly to your students. It is no longer necessary, or required, that you send your DRAFT messages to me (and Meg Yoder and Jerome Boettcher) for review and approval prior to distribution.
  • Please consult, as is necessary and appropriate, with your Academic Program Coordinator and/or School Director or Division Director, and please keep them informed about any issues or problems that may arise.
  • If you include in your message to your students’ information regarding Mason’s policy or practices related to the coronavirus crisis, please cite university policy as it is/was provided by the university. That is, please refer students to the specific policies of the university, likely the Mason web page (gmu.edu/coronavirus). I do not want to “slow” communications, yet also I want to be certain that all messages are accurate and consistent and only include information that is/was provided by the university.
  • Please be sure that your message is consistent with your syllabus for your course.
  • I also remind you not to offer medical advice.
  • I strongly encourage you to be positive in the language of your message to your students and help to motivate them and provide support for them – this is a very difficult time for us all.

Preparations are continuing intensively across the university to transition all of our classes to an online format. As we all prepare for online instruction for all classes, I remind you that there are many resources that are available to you which are summarized in the message I sent to you on Friday. In addition, for guidance on instructional continuity, please refer to the March 13 and March 16 messages from Provost Wu.

Currently, Mason’s campuses remain open, yet this is a fluid situation as guidance from the CDC and other public health agencies continues to be refined. Libraries, computer labs, Mason operations and Mason administrative offices now remain open and fully functioning, although many administrative offices are functioning virtually.

I also want to share with you that Mason has decided, until further notice, that:

  • Students who are employed (full- or part-time) by Mason in teaching, research or administrative roles, or who are engaging in research or providing support for research as part of their studies, should NOT be required to work in university facilities, whether on- or off-campus.
  • Where possible, faculty and staff supervisors should make arrangements for students to work remotely.
  • If a faculty or staff supervisor believes it is essential that one or more students come to university facilities, whether for teaching, research, or administrative support purposes, they must request an exception from this university policy from the Office of the Dean (my office) upon the recommendation of their School or Division Director.
  • Requests for an exception to this university policy must state why: a)  it is essential that the student works on site, b) when the student is needed for on-site work, c) where the student’s work will be performed, d) working arrangements for the student including supervisor support and social distancing strategies implemented, and e) contact information for any student seeking and granted an exception to this policy.
  • Decisions on requests for exceptions ordinarily would be made within 24-48 hours of receipt. However, university policy is that, effective immediately, no undergraduate students, individuals under age 18 or external visitors will be permitted in Mason’s research labs or facilities.

Again, thanks to each of you for your many efforts during this unprecedented time. I am very appreciative and express to you my sincere gratitude.

All the best—stay safe, healthy and well.

President Anne Holton at Budget Town Hall, September 2019

A message from President Holton

Dear Patriots,

This is an extraordinary time for everyone, so I would like to begin this message by expressing my sincere gratitude and admiration to the entire Mason community. I am continually amazed and inspired by the creativity and resilience of our people. When I first heard the phrase Innovation is Our Tradition, I had some understanding of what that means here. I’m beginning to understand deeply just how significant it is. It is a sense of purpose that we bring to every challenge or opportunity, one that I think makes us even better with every new day

Today the university’s leadership has made some decisions regarding the rest of the semester that will allow us to be successful in our mission during this continued period of uncertainty. These decisions were made based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and ongoing increasing cases in our region, along with input from the faculty, our deans and our Board of Visitors. Please remember you can find all our central communications on the university’s coronavirus website.

Online instruction extended
We are extending online instruction for the remainder of the semester. We feel this is the right decision to safeguard the health and safety of our campus community. We recognize that this is not ideal, and we look forward to getting back to our normal routines, including face-to-face-instruction and the robust faculty-student interaction it allows, as soon as we can. We will be in contact with our residential students soon about the implications of this change for them.

Academic calendar and registration
The additional week of spring break will require us to extend the spring semester for a week. The last day of class will be Monday, May 11 and final exams will be held May 13-20. Registration for summer classes will be delayed by one week and time tickets will be adjusted accordingly. This extension does not apply to the law school or classes that are on an eight-week calendar, or online special cohort classes, or other specialty courses whose schedules were not delayed by the extension of spring break.

We expect the summer term to begin on June 1, and summer session adjustments will be made. We expect normal operations to resume in time for fall.

Commencement will be rescheduled
Based on the changes to the academic calendar this semester, we have decided to postpone commencement by at least one week. Therefore, commencement will not be held as scheduled on May 15. Degree celebrations that were scheduled for May 13-16 will also be rescheduled.

We are tentatively looking at rescheduling commencement for May 22,  if future developments make large gatherings feasible then. We will provide additional details as soon as possible.

Recruiting goes virtual, acceptance deadline extended
The Office of Admissions has cancelled all on-campus recruitment events until further notice. Admissions is encouraging students to visit the virtual tour, and the team is actively working on video content and virtual options to continue to connect with students and families. Additionally, in order to give students more time to make their decisions about next fall, the Admissions Office has extended the National Candidates Reply date for Freshmen from May 1 to June 1. The Mason Nation is an incredible place, and we look forward to sharing it with an amazing group of new Patriots this fall.

Telework implementation and security

Faculty are working to transition their classes to alternative virtual instruction. ITS has helpful instructions on its Working Remotely page. We appreciate your flexibility and creativity that allow us to continue instruction and provide necessary services to our campus community.

We continue to strongly encourage teleworking options for employees where feasible.  Human Resources will soon provide additional information on teleworking to help guide supervisors and employees. Please work with your managers and refer to existing policies and procedures.

We are sensitive to maintaining the safety and security of those who are working on campus. The Card Access Security Office has shared details about opportunities to restrict access to your departments to cardholders.

Health and wellness
If you are not well or at high risk of experiencing serious medical complications as a result of COVID-19 exposure, please do not come to campus. We would like to remind travelers returning from countries designated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as level 3 (China, Iran, South Korea, most of Europe, the United Kingdom and Ireland) that you are to remain off campus for 14 days, practice social distancing and inform the Benefits team within Human Resources of your travel history. If you have a health concern, please reach out to your health care professional.

Take time to take care of yourself. University Life Vice President Rose Pascarell shared available resources for our community; please take advantage of these and other university resources, and continue to practice social distancing, wash your hands, and get sufficient rest.

I am so proud to be a part of this community. I appreciate the spirit of teamwork and support that runs through this university, and I look forward to seeing us continue that spirit in the weeks ahead.

Sincerely,

Anne Holton
Interim President

Headshot of Rose Pascarell, VP on University Life

Update from Rose Pascarell, Vice President for University Life

UPDATE: The RAC is closed March 16-22.

Patriots,

Thanks for hanging in there.

Though this week was filled with uncertainties and questions, we are working hard to stabilize things as much as possible for you during this time. While this is new territory for all of us, we will do our best to remain responsive and keep you informed as new information becomes available.

Please remember to reference www2.gmu.edu/coronavirus. It is a great resource to get the most updated accurate info and FAQ’s. There are also links to the CDC and other sites that will provide more information related to the virus.

Many of you may be feeling anxious over the unanswered questions regarding this coronavirus.The sudden changes to your schedule and daily routine can be unsettling, along with additional concerns you may have about your health and the health of your loved ones. In this moment, remember Mason offers several online options focused on your care and well being.

ONLINE SUPPORT RESOURCES FOR YOU AVAILABLE RIGHT NOW

Please check out the online resources and articles on the websites for the Center for the Advancement of Well BeingCounseling and Psychological Services, and Student Health Services. Now is an excellent time to join BurnAlong (free to you) and participate in online classes  — exercise, dance, yoga, relaxation — all in community and at a distance. BurnAlong also runs on a social platform so you can invite your friends, roommates, and others to join you in these activities.

Counseling and Psychological Services will soon offer virtual workshops addressing anxiety, including worry related to COVID19 as well as workshops focused on healthy coping skills. All Mason students can register for free, online psychoeducational support through Therapy Assisted Online (TAO).

UPDATED  HOURS

Updated hours for many student services and student-facing offices during Spring Break Week 2 are listed on the University Life website. The hours will likely change as new information emerges – this could happen on a daily or weekly basis and we will update that information as quickly as possible. The Mason Student Services Center and all University Life offices are open and providing service on a modified schedule, either in person, online, or via telephone.

WHAT TO EXPECT THIS WEEK

This week, you will receive information to help you get ready for online instruction, including the most effective approaches to online learning. Some of you may be very familiar with online courses and others may be first timers. By the way, this is also true for Mason faculty. Many are very familiar with online instruction; others are thinking through this in real time. Please be patient with yourself and your faculty as we move through this together. And please remember to maintain communication with your instructors regarding your accessibility needs as we transition to online learning.

During this time, it may seem tempting to connect with each other as you would normally, prior to the precautionary distancing measures now in place.  I cannot stress strongly enough the need to focus on physical distancing to ensure not just your health and well-being, but everyone around you as well.  Do not meet in large groups on or off campus  – it’s just not smart right now.  Connect with each other in other ways — online, outside in the fresh air, or remotely. Look for updated e-activities organized by Student Involvement, LEAD and other University Life offices soon. You can still work out at Mason Recreation. And if you feel ill, rest at home to keep others safe and healthy.

Finally — stay connected to each other. Show compassion for yourself and others, and continue to be courageous as we move through this together. In times of crisis, communities usually realize they are stronger and more resilient than anyone knew. That’s us, Mason Patriots. That’s you.

Rose Pascarell
Vice President for University Life

Update on Mason’s Response to Coronavirus Outbreak

Dear Patriots,

We appreciate your flexibility during the continuing changes associated with the coronavirus outbreak. As the situation evolves, Mason’s response evolves with it. We will continue to communicate with you via email as much as possible to make sure you have the most updated information. Please also continue to refer to the university’s coronavirus website, which is the official source for university updates.

We want to share some additional information and guidance about George Mason University operations during this time.

Events: All events are cancelled until April 10. All student events, registered student organization functions, social functions, and gatherings are cancelled.  Programing for students who remain on campus during this period will be organized and managed by University Life. Only routine administrative and academic functions may be held on campus. Whenever possible, faculty and staff should conduct meetings using collaborative technology.  If a face-to-face meeting is necessary, meetings must be held in space managed by the department and social distancing must be maintained.  To reinforce this restriction, reservations will not be taken through University Events during this time.

Telework: In an effort to promote social distancing, the university is encouraging faculty, staff and student employees to telework during this time. Teleworking employees are expected to be reachable by phone and email, attend meetings via Webex, and be able to perform their duties as they would while present on campus. Supervisors are responsible for ensuring that telework accommodations do not diminish university service delivery.

Additional resources are being deployed to support the institution’s migration to a telework environment. ITS has created Webex accounts for all Mason employees and is setting up Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, which will allow employees remote access to basic office tools from their personal computers. For status and support, please check ITS’ Working Remotely.  Please look for additional guidance on this topic soon, and share any questions you may have with your supervisor in the meantime.

Travel: On Thursday, March 12, Gov. Northam prohibited out of state travel for all employees of the Commonwealth, with exceptions for those whose work requires them to commute in the Northern Virginia/DC metro region. We are seeking additional guidance from the Commonwealth regarding official travel across state lines within DC region and will share those details when they become available. The university has restricted all student, faculty, and staff domestic and international travel. International travel is prohibited.

Student organizations, teams, and clubs are prohibited from travelling domestically for university related functions.  Employees should suspend all domestic travel unless it is required to support a critical business or academic function that cannot be accomplished remotely. Use of commercial transportation is prohibited. Attendance at events and conferences does not qualify as an exemption to this restriction.  Supervisors must approve critical travel in the local area and social distancing must be maintained at the traveler’s destination.

Public Health Emergency Leave (PHEL): The Commonwealth of Virginia has announced Public Health Emergency Leave (PHEL), which provides employees with up to eighty (80) hours of leave when the State Health Commission and Governor declare communicable disease of public health threat conditions, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.  All state employees, covered or not covered by the Virginia Personnel Act, are eligible, including student wage employees, non-student wage employees, graduate assistants, and adjunct faculty. Employees may use PHEL to attend to their own medical needs or the medical needs of an immediate family member being treated for COVID-19.  For more information on PHEL, please see this guidance from HR.

We appreciate your patience as we prioritize the health and safety of our Mason community.

Respectfully,

David Farris, PhD
Executive Director, Safety & Emergency Management

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

President Anne Holton at Budget Town Hall, September 2019

An update on the university’s coronavirus response from President Holton

Dear Patriots:

We all are experiencing a great deal of uncertainty as we respond to the evolving coronavirus outbreak. I want to thank everyone in our community for showing such resilience and adaptability. I am continually impressed with how the Mason Nation responds to challenges and finds ways to thrive during them. We continue to monitor this situation and want to make certain that everyone is informed as we depart from our normal routines and make adjustments. With that, I’d like to share some additional details about health and safety precautions being taken at the university.

All Campus Events Cancelled from March 13 through April 10

Out of an abundance of caution and in accordance with the Commonwealth’s announcement today, campus events from March 13 through April 10 will be canceled. This includes university events and events at EagleBank Arena, as well as events organized by outside groups. Our admissions team has also cancelled campus visits and is implementing virtual visits for prospective Patriots and their families. We will continue to evaluate the situation and extend the cancellation period further, if needed.

We are assessing the governor’s guidance following his call for a state of emergency for the commonwealth, and will adjust our plan and communicate as appropriate.

We know this is in an inconvenience but we believe it is an important step toward curtailing the spread of the coronavirus. Mason is hardly alone in these restrictions, and we believe this is the right thing to do to protect public health.

This does not apply to routine departmental activities or meetings with 30 people or fewer, although we strongly recommend all meetings be held in rooms with sufficient space to allow social distancing. This may require securing a larger meeting space or converting to telepresence options.  If you would like to reschedule an event, please reach out to your event coordinator for assistance.

Practice Social Distancing

To minimize the potential spread of coronavirus at the university, we are asking all students, faculty and staff to implement social distancing measures wherever and whenever possible.  Examples of social distancing include leaving six feet between individuals in meeting spaces, avoid large gatherings and limit direct contact with others.

The university will remain open, and faculty and staff will be working through this time. We anticipate that there may be the need to reduce some services and hours of operation to implement social distancing measures, so please check the FAQs on the university’s coronavirus website for updates or reach out directly to departments for more guidance.  I appreciate everyone’s patience during this time.

As stated in my previous message, if you feel unwell, please stay home. Some faculty and staff may need commence teleworking immediately, particularly those who have medical conditions that put them at high risk. If faculty and staff believe the best option is teleworking, please work with your supervisor.

Travelers Returning from Level 3 areas

We know that risk of spreading the virus can be controlled by self-quarantine, so for those members of our community who are returning from travel, we want to remind you of the CDC level 3 travel restrictions and guidelines.

All students, faculty, and staff returning from these areas are advised to stay home for 14 days after returning from travel, monitor their health, and practice social distancing.

The Office of Housing and Residence Life has reached out to all residential students, and the majority of those students will not be living on campus at this time.  Any student requesting an exception must disclose if they have traveled to a level 3 country prior to returning. Faculty and staff returning from those countries are also required to disclose this information to Human Resources.

We will continue to keep you informed of the university’s response to this situation. In the coming days, you may receive information directly from our various departments. I recommend everyone stay current with the university’s information channels – email, website and social media. I also urge all of you to take care of your health and keep a positive attitude, and keep in the mind the most vulnerable in our community. Moments like this make me proud to be a part of the Mason Nation.

Sincerely,

Anne Holton
Interim President

Headshot of Rose Pascarell, VP on University Life

A message from Rose Pascarell, Vice President for University Life

Dear Mason Families,
I hope you are all doing well during this challenging time. I’m sure by now you’ve read the messages from President Holton which extended spring break through March 20, followed by online instruction from March 23 through Friday, April 3. In addition, all campus events have been cancelled, postponed, or will be offered virtually.
We will continue to communicate with you and your students throughout the next few weeks, and we will advise you when Mason operations and events fully resume. While there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus associated with our community at this moment, health care professionals locally, domestically, and globally expect that the virus will continue to spread in the coming weeks, and out of caution and care for our students and community (and in conjunction with other universities throughout Virginia and the United States), we are doing our part to avoid the spread.
All students will soon receive an email from my office, which will detail information about services and facilities that will remain open next week during the extended spring break. Many students may be feeling some anxiety in this time of uncertainty and change. This is understandable, and it means we need to make extra efforts to take care of our mental health and well-being. Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) will soon be offering virtual workshops addressing anxiety, including worry related to COVID19 as well as workshops focused on healthy coping skills. Updates on CAPS offerings including links to self-help resources can be found on their website: caps.gmu.edu. In addition, all Mason students are eligible to register for free, online psychoeducational support through Therapy Assisted Online (TAO): caps.gmu.edu/therapy-assistance-online-tao.
We also realize that some students have extenuating circumstances or logistical challenges that make their return to on campus housing the only viable option, and we assure you we will work with individual students to assess their needs as well as their personal health safety.
In these unprecedented times, we are working to keep our Mason communities informed, and we ask for your patience as the circumstances and information continues to evolve rapidly. The University’s coronavirus website will continue to be an excellent resource for updates and new information, and I encourage you and your student to check the website often.
Your personal healthcare provider continues to be the best source of information about your own and your family members’ medical condition and concerns.
Please continue to stay calm, informed and healthy.

Thanks,

Rose

Rose Pascarell
Vice President for University Life