For the News Tribune
KEYSER - West Virginia University Potomac State College Dean of Student Experience Lucas Taylor outlined in a letter to the campus community Tuesday plans for a return to campus in the fall designed to create a safe and meaningful experience for all students.
The letter is as follows:
Dear Potomac State Campus Community:
Over the past few weeks, you have begun to hear about WVU’s plans for returning to our campuses this fall, specifically those plans that affect the academic experience and address safety concerns. We know that the time you spend outside the classroom is an important part of your WVU Potomac State experience. Student life contributes significantly to your education, and we are planning for you to live and engage, make new friends and memories, while maintaining the health and safety of all.
WVU Potomac State is committed to providing a diverse and meaningful experience for all students.
First-year students, you will be supported as you navigate your transition to Potomac State. Starting college in the midst of a global pandemic was probably not on your college checklist, but your first year will provide you a solid foundation for your time at Potomac State.
Families, we will provide your student support to make sound decisions and excel academically while experiencing the positive results from contributing to their communities.
Returning students will find that even though campus looks different, the emphasis on campus experiences will be the same. The formats will change; however, we will continue to offer programming, including weekly events, intramurals, recreational activities, athletics and student organization and SGA led activities.
We expect each student – along with staff and faculty – to take steps to be safe, including mask-wearing, proper physical distancing and hand washing. Our ability to offer on-campus instruction and programs depends on the individual actions of our students and community members. Everyone must accept personal responsibility and accountability. Families can keep our campus community safe by staying in touch with their student and reinforcing the importance of the safety measures the university is taking.
We know you have questions about Potomac State residence hall move-in, student activities and resources. Here is information to help you plan for August and beyond.
WVU Potomac State residence halls will operate at normal capacity to provide housing for all students who want a traditional residential experience. Our staff is committed to offering programs, services and opportunities for students to build community with their peers and residential staff, while we navigate a "new normal" during the COVID-19 pandemic. Engagement will be online, or in-person, depending upon the situation and guidance from public health experts and campus leadership.
•Move-in will begin Wednesday, Aug. 12, and end Friday, Aug. 14. First-time students will move-in the 12th and 13th and returners on the 14.
•First-time students with an even room number assignment will move in Wednesday, Aug. 12, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
•First-time students with an uneven room number assignment will move in Thursday, Aug. 13, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
•Returning students will move in Friday, Aug. 14, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
•If a student is unable to move in on their designated date, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
•We will be announcing specifics related to dining services at a later date.
•Information about COVID-19 testing, isolation and quarantine will be provided in July.
Student Activities and Programming
A wide range of activities and programming will be available to both our commuter and residence hall students. Events will be adapted to make them accessible to all, with particular emphasis on providing engaging activities while maintaining proper social distancing guidelines. Details about events and programs will be released in July.
· Activities centered around Welcome Week are being planned but have not been finalized yet.
•The Student Rec Center will be open with social distancing guidelines in place.
•The Student Union and Library will be open for student use.
•Residence halls will offer programming and activities.
•Student Experience departments will each offer services to students, though they may be delivered virtually rather than in-person.
•Athletic programs will be competing in the fall; more details will be forthcoming in July.
We’re sure you may still have questions after reviewing the above information which is why we’ll be holding a Potomac State College Campus Conversation to address your questions regarding move-in, student activities and programs and the student experience. This will be a Zoom meeting to be held Thursday, June 25, beginning at 3:30 p.m. To join, click https://wvu.zoom.us/j/97391440154
It’s likely that your last school year ended differently than you expected, whether it was completing coursework virtually, canceled sports programs, proms and graduations or a campus visit to WVU. We know this next academic year will be different than any of us have experienced, yet the staff members across the department of Student Experience are ready and eager to help you achieve your educational and experiential goals.
As President Gee said when announcing WVU’s plan for returning to campus this fall, it’s clear you want to be on campus with your professors and fellow Catamounts. We know there are sure to be adjustments to our plan, and so we ask you to be flexible and patient while taking good care of yourself. Working together, we will achieve much.
We’re looking forward to welcoming you to campus in a few short weeks. Go Catamounts!
Dean of Student Experience