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July 31, 2020

Hello Morehead State University Students:

We are ready to welcome you back on campus! The past few months have been spiritless without you here, and we cannot wait for our campus to return to its instruction and student life – with precautions. The following communication has a little length to it, but we wanted to take this opportunity as we approach the fall semester to relay as much information as possible.


A Healthy Return to Campus Life – Our Top Priority

We are a small/medium sized campus and very personally connected to each other, and we believe that this will serve us well from an overall return to campus. Additionally, our campus has beautiful greenspace and a variety of outdoor activities such as hiking, canoeing, etc. for your outdoor enjoyment. 

As you begin your fall semester you will see that we are implementing a multitude of precautionary ‘layers’ to assist in our goal to have a healthy environment:
  • We are requiring face coverings/masks in all campus buildings, with the exception being while you are in your personal residence hall room. You will see signage throughout campus about this requirement when you return.
  • We have signs, markers, and other messaging around campus noting social distancing.
  • We have decreased the overall occupancy of those living on campus in residential halls.
  • We have reduced the number of students in our face-to-face classes.
  • We are offering about 1/3 of our courses online and many more in hybrid format.
  • We will open campus food courts for take-out and we are installing outdoor eating areas.
  • We will be cooperating with St. Claire HealthCare, which almost borders our campus, to provide COVID-19 testing.
  • We have hired additional health care professionals to assist us with student case management and to assist our local health department with contact tracing.
  • We will be utilizing our nurses to randomly take temperatures on campus.
  • We have created a Rapid Response Team of qualified individuals to assist in quickly addressing any COVID-19 student cases or other health issues.
  • Each student will receive a care kit to assist you in monitoring your health (sanitizer, thermometer, complimentary mask). These will be available in your residence hall during check-in, and in various locations around campus the first few days of classes for those who do not reside on campus.

While none of these alone guarantees that we will not have issues, we are hopeful that the cumulative effect of them will act as multiple layers of precaution.


The Need to Obtain a COVID-19 Test Before Returning to MSU

As we try to layer as many precautions as possible, we are asking students to make plans 4-6 days before your return to campus to obtain a COVID-19 test in your home community, and then be careful for those final few days at home. The tests are provided free in most locations. For a listing of available sites in Kentucky please refer to: https://govstatus.egov.com/kycovid19

For out-of-state students, please refer to your local health department to obtain a listing of sites in your community to obtain a test.

You do not need to bring proof of your test with you to campus, but we are asking that you be a team player and are trusting that you will do so – it is also important to get tested to help protect your friends! Should you determine you have any issues, please contact MSU Counseling and Health Services and they will work with you via our Rapid Response Team on a variety of options. 


Residence Hall Move-In: August 8-16, 2020

All students planning to reside in residence halls should have received communication detailing move-in and other planning announcements. We are conducting move-in over the course of multiple days to assist with logistics and spacing students out more. If you have any questions, please contact our MSU Office of Housing as soon as possible at 606-783-2060 or housing@moreheadstate.edu


Classes Begin: August 17, 2020 

If you have not registered for all of your courses, or need to drop/add a course, please do so as soon as possible. Should you have questions, contact your academic advisor for assistance.

If at any time between now and the start of the fall semester you wish to change your schedule from a face-to-face class to hybrid or fully online, you may do so. We want all students to feel comfortable in their class selections and how they may complete them. Likewise, if you have an underlying personal health issue, or feel that you cannot adequately wear a mask in buildings, you might want to explore the option of taking online classes during the fall semester.

During the course of this summer we have moved several class locations to accommodate distancing. Thus, we are requesting that you view your class schedule online a few days before the start of the semester for any classroom location changes. You might also consider emailing your instructor to see if there are any special instructions that they may have for an individual course.


What Would Happen Should You Test Positive for COVID-19 While at MSU

Should you become sick or test positive at any time during the fall semester, please contact MSU Counseling and Health Services in Allie Young Hall by phone and let them know. That call will immediately trigger the start of a response from our Rapid Response Team, and they will be in contact with you and those around you. Should this happen to you, please try to write down those whom you think may have been close to you over the prior days, including their locations and dates, so that our team can work on contact tracing and notification. The team will also assist you and others with additional COVID-19 testing logistics in partnership with our local testing provider. Likewise, they will work with you on a self-isolation plan in our facility or a return to your home, and will assist you with coordinating with your instructors, food delivery, and other needs.

Specific to your classes, if you are asked to isolate at any time or incur sickness, you should contact your instructors immediately and let them know. We will also try to work with them on notification as well. As a part of that, we are asking all our class instructors to be as flexible as possible in assisting you along the way on maintaining pace in your classes, and also assist with as much accommodation as they can.

Knowing that each issue we may encounter has different aspects, our Rapid Response Team will be using a case management approach to adapt to each situation. Counseling and Health Services may be reached at 606-783-2055 or counselingandhealthservices@moreheadstate.edu


Payment for Fall Semester and Reduction of Lines

If you need to speak with someone about your financial aid, billing, or setting up a payment plan, we ask that you try to do that as soon as possible. Our goal is to decrease the number of lines that we typically have at the beginning of any semester. Questions about financial aid should be directed to the Office of Financial Aid at 606) 783-2011 or finaid@moreheadstate.edu. Questions about billing, payment plans, third-party payments, student refunds, or direct deposit, should be directed to the Office of Accounting and Financial Services at 606-783-2019 or billing@moreheadstate.edu. If you would like to schedule a specific time to meet virtually with an Accounting and Financial Services representative prior to the start of the semester you may do so by visiting www.moreheadstate.edu/billing and clicking on the ‘schedule a time’ link.

We encourage you to make sure you have signed your Financial Responsibility Agreement before you arrive on campus. Signing it will activate your meal plan and allow textbook charges at the University Store. Log into my.moreheadstate.edu, select the Self-Service Link and then Student Finance to review/accept the Financial Agreement under the Helpful Links menu to sign your Financial Responsibility Agreement today.


Additional Information and Frequently Asked Questions

Our Healthy at MSU site has been used for regular updates throughout the summer, and we will continue using this site through the fall semester. You will find answers to frequently asked questions, helpful links, and other resources at www.moreheadstate.edu/healthyatmsu.

Also, we highly recommend that each student download the free LiveSafe App. Instructions can be found at www.moreheadstate.edu/livesafe. This app has a daily health verification tool, and links to COVID-19 information. By downloading this app, you will also receive severe weather alerts, and access to emergency contact information.

We know that many students are ready to return to campus, but as we move through this semester you may also determine you need assistance with supports. Please remember we have academic tutors, mental health counselors, academic advisors, and other student support services for you - should you need them.

So that you have some mental image of what to expect when you arrive, the following items might provide you with a picture of the significant time we have spent modifying several areas. For instance, a number of our academic classrooms have moved into larger rooms and auditoriums to distance, classrooms have signage and marked off spots for non-use, rooms have had desks removed to reduce the number of people in a room, and a number of classes have moved to new buildings we have not traditionally used before. For those of you familiar with ADUC – we have even converted a number of its rooms into very nice classrooms. In our food court areas the tables have either been removed or significantly reduced, as it is our hope that most all food service will be take-out and you will use this opportunity to eat outdoors or in other areas.

We know that you are eager to get back to campus to visit with friends and make new ones. As we begin the semester, please consider visiting with friends outside in areas where ample space is available. Additionally, our Vice President for Student Affairs will be sending each club and student organization leader specific guidance on how best to meet and comply with Kentucky’s limitations on the size of social gatherings and meetings. 

As you think about your weekends and possible travel back home or to other places, we are hopeful that everyone will be cognizant of where you go and in the precautions you take. It is important that we all take steps to protect our campus community and be careful with traveling. Should you at any time feel that you have traveled to an area of risk, or been around anyone that may have been exposed when you return home, please consider obtaining a COVID-19 test to protect your friends and family.


A Challenge for You This Fall

As we begin another fall semester, we would encourage all students to get involved. This could come through experiential learning activities like internships, service learning, undergraduate research projects, etc. It can also be involvement with a student organization or campus activity…or two. We believe, and evidence shows, that students who are actively engaged have higher retention, success, and graduation rates. We have over 100 student clubs and organizations and many more opportunities available – and as they adapt to a more virtual environment, it would be a great time for you to be involved. Please take time to look at some of the options available for you at moreheadstate.campuslabs.com/engage.

We understand the uncertainty that some of you may have, and we are committed to helping you work through that uncertainty. If you have questions, please feel free to contact your academic advisor, your home academic department, instructors for your classes, our counseling and health center, and others for assistance. We want to make sure you are ready.

This fall will be a semester that we believe can be successful – if we treat our campus as ONE EAGLE FAMILY. Thus, our challenge for all of our students, faculty, and staff is to work together to provide the best experience we can, with the most precautions we can, and with the most success we can. As ONE EAGLE FAMILY, we can make this happen – together. Our next communication with you will be sent around August 12 with any additional updates.

In addition to reviewing the Healthy at MSU site for additional information, we hope that you will join us in digitally signing the Eagle Family Pledge located at: 
www.moreheadstate.edu/eaglefamilypledge

We are ready to start the fall semester EAGLE STRONG!