SIUE provides essential services during campus closure

EDWARDSVILLE — All campuses at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville were officially closed Wednesday due to a snowstorm, but the lack of field classes doesn’t mean everything is closed.

Several SIUE departments remained open with limited hours and services, including the Morris University Center, Food Services, Campus Recreation, SIUE Policing and Facilities Management.

University housing will remain open, including reception and service staff, although some housing offices may have changed their operations.

“Between COVID and the potential for record snowfall for February, this presents many challenges for the university,” said Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Jeffrey Waple. “But we have a great team of housing, catering and campus managers. We have people whose job it is to clear roads and sidewalks.

“One of the challenges with this storm is that we were unable to pre-treat the roads with salt due to the rain and warmer temperatures on Tuesday. This will hinder snow and ice removal or at least slow it down. .

SIUE has three freshman residence halls that house 1,500 students combined. Evergreen Hall, which is intended for upperclass students, has an additional 500 residents, while Cougar Village apartments can accommodate up to 1,500 students at peak times.

“We now have a lot of single residents in Cougar Village, as well as a lot of private rooms, so at the peak we have about 3,000 students on campus and we’re about 2,800 right now,” Waple said. “With COVID we also have quarantine space which takes away some of the space normally available if we need to isolate students.”

Waple noted that Center Court and Union Station at the Morris University Center both have an increased supply of takeout items ahead of the snowstorm.

“Catering services began ramping up production on Monday for take-out meals. I spoke to the catering staff at noon (Tuesday) and they told me that the students were filling up. I was just at Starbucks on campus, and it was packed. Students were given drinks, sandwiches and stuff to take away.

“Although we have no classes due to bad weather, we are still open as we have at least 2,800 students living on campus. Our catering operations will be open although they may be limited depending on the number of staff who can enter due to weather.

On Tuesday evening, SIUE shared some advice via email for students after the decision to close the campus on Wednesday.

Part of the message was simply to remind students to prepare for inclement weather.

“Make sure all of their devices are charged, including your cell phone, and make sure you have enough warm clothes,” Waple said. “Make sure you have enough meals and make sure you have enough gas in your car.

“We don’t know how much snow we’re going to get or what’s going to happen with the roads. But restaurants will be open and the Morris University Center will be open as well as the Rec Center. »

Waple added that the Morris University Center and campus recreation will be open as a warm and safe place in case students experience a power outage in their residence halls.

“If students need a place to stay warm or take a hot shower in the event of a power outage, we have those options available,” Waple said. “The Vadalabene center and the leisure center have a good backup generator in case we lose electricity.

“We have standby generators with different lifespans in the residence halls and at the Morris University Center. If this is a long-term power outage, we may need to call on our city partners (from Edwardsville) for assistance.

Tuesday’s message to students included a notice that on-campus COVID-19 SHIELD testing would suspend operations during the inclement weather shutdown. If the campus closure continues for several days, additional guidance regarding compliance expectations will be communicated.

“Due to Governor (JB) Pritzker’s executive, we have a testing procedure for everyone on campus who is unvaccinated,” Waple said. “Obviously we don’t want people coming in to be tested if classes are closed, and we can temporarily switch to a voluntary testing procedure.

“We also understand that depending on road conditions, our couriers may not be able to get to the Springfield labs. SHIELD could also close its labs for a day or two due to weather, so test results would be delayed.

The post also said faculty members should let students know about specific lesson plans and expectations as soon as possible.

SIUE advice for inclement weather by class modality includes:

  • SIUE courses scheduled as part of a fully online asynchronous program (examples include but are not limited to online MBA and RN/BSN programs) may continue fully online and run as scheduled without interruption . Faculty should be flexible, as much as possible, if there are critical deadlines for these days.
  • For students enrolled in other asynchronous and synchronous online courses (not part of a fully online program), faculty must follow policy 1C1. While learning may continue and the faculty member may hold contact hours, they may choose another option as outlined in this policy. If there are synchronous requirements or deadlines, these meeting opportunities should be optional or offered flexibly. Many students struggle to connect to the internet, and inclement weather can increase the difficulty of accessing reliable internet. Therefore, in these courses, the deadlines should be moved to a weather-free day.
  • Classes scheduled as hybrid/blended (with both online and on-site components) should proceed as follows: If the inclement weather closure is a scheduled online meeting, that meeting may proceed as scheduled, but the course member faculty must adhere to the guidelines provided for synchronous online courses, above. The faculty member may choose to provide an alternative activity or make other accommodations in accordance with University policy 1C1. If the inclement weather closure corresponds to a scheduled field meeting, the faculty member will substitute an assigned alternative activity in place of the field meeting, in accordance with 1C1. (The 1C1 policy can be found here:
  • Finally, for courses scheduled as all-field (f2f course), the faculty member must follow policy 1C1 and provide an assigned alternative activity in lieu of the field meeting.

Most importantly, faculty members should inform students of their plans and expectations as soon as possible. Also, according to 1C1, teachers must document how they make adjustments. Teachers can approach inclement weather in a variety of ways. If students have questions, they should contact their Dean or the Provost’s Office for assistance.

Michelle J. Kelley