We're sailing for home. The campus experience is going to be different than when we left in March because of the COVID-19 crisis.
This much hasn't changed: we are better when we are together and we will be together. This website will be a hub of resources and information as that day draws near.
I’m writing this evening for a number of different reasons, but as you receive this email know that I hope you and your family are doing well and surviving a hot and tumultuous summer. Enjoy the time you have together now as in a few days you’ll be returning to campus.
This past week has brought about a number of developments in the local community as well as on campus. As you know, the rising numbers of COVID infections in the Hampton Roads region led Governor Northam to issue an Executive Order moving this area back to phase 2. Based on this decision, we’ve had to make modifications to our plans for reopening the university. President Trible outlined them in his email earlier today.
I’m sure many of you have questions. I want to invite you to another virtual Town Hall meeting. On Monday, August 3 at 7:30 p.m. I will provide some additional details and answer questions related to our modifications. You will need to register in advance at CNU Town Hall #2 if you’d like to participate. There are a limited number of slots available, so if multiple people in your household would like to participate please do so from the same computer.
In addition to inviting you to the Town Hall, let me address a few broad topics here and share some additional information referenced earlier this summer.
Move in Dates/Opt Out information
While the move-in practices requiring advance scheduling, limited helpers, time limits, and appropriate physical distancing/mask wearing/sanitizing still apply, there are some modifications to move-in.
- 12-month apartments may move in 8/1 to 8/30. Your previously scheduled move-in date/time is still valid, so if you are scheduled for this weekend you may still move in. However, you may also elect to move to a later date if you’d like. You will need to select a new move-in date/time if you choose to reschedule.
- 10-month apartments may move in 8/10 to 8/30. As is the case above, your previously scheduled move-in date/time is still valid, but you may choose to reschedule if you wish.
- 9-month suites may move in 8/24 to 8/30. You will need to select your time and date for moving in during this time frame.
- First year students will have their dates/times shifted two weeks. For example, if you were previously scheduled to move in on August 7 at 9 a.m., you’ll now move in August 21 at 9 a.m. Setting Sail, Welcome Week and Leadership Adventure will follow your new move in dates.
On Monday, additional information will be shared with you about the process to opt out of housing for the fall semester. For those students who wish to reschedule their move-in dates, you will receive an email from your hall director that allows you to make your changes.
As Captains, there are certain obligations that all faculty, staff and students are expected to meet as we move to successfully reopen campus.
- Symptom Screening
By now, all of you should be receiving daily emails requesting you to complete a symptom screening tool. It is something you need to do daily (yes, that includes the weekends) and you need to do now. It is part of our reopening plan to help prevent the spread of the virus. If you are living on campus, you and your party will also be required to complete an in-person screening process before you can enter the residence hall. Get in the habit of completing the screening now so you can familiarize yourself with the process and requirements. It only takes a minute, and every member of our community is required to complete it.
- Campus reopening training
You may recall from the previous town hall as well as our reopening plan that the State Council on Higher Education approved, all of us must complete a training in order to return to campus. Your training is available to you now in Scholar. It shows as one of your courses, so simply access it through the system and complete it. We will be notified when you have successfully completed your training so that you can return to CNU.
- Social Contract
This contract is a clear statement of our commitment to each other. I have attached a copy to this email. It’s important that you understand it’s significance. It’s similar in nature to our Honor Code; it defines who we are and our pledge to one another as part of this community. None of us chose this pandemic, but as members of this community we are choosing to be concerned about each other and taking the appropriate steps to minimize the spread of this virus.
There is obviously a great deal for us to discuss. I hope you’ll join me Monday at 7:30 p.m. for CNU Town Hall #2 to gain more insights, to pose your questions, and to share your concerns.
It has been a challenging 5 months. I can tell you unequivocally that we have missed you deeply and have worked diligently to bring you back to campus. For members of the Classes of ’21, ’22, and ’23, remember what it was like before COVID–19 robbed the world of our sense of normalcy. While campus will have numerous changes that you will see and feel, we are working hard to be the Christopher Newport University you know. For the Class of ’24, we are so excited to have you join our community and while it may not be starting the way any of us desire, know that our efforts to welcome you as a Captain for Life may be delayed, but they will not be defeated.
I look forward to seeing all of you soon. Be safe. Be well.
Our efforts for the last several months have focused on reopening our campus this fall by adopting measures that will limit the risk, as much as possible, to our students, faculty and staff of exposure to the COVID–19 virus.
Accordingly, Christopher Newport University will delay the first day of fall classes to Monday, August 31, in response to the current trends of the virus in Hampton Roads and the additional restrictions Governor Northam has implemented in our region by Executive Order 68.
We are delaying the start of classes by two weeks out of an abundance of caution and concern for our students, faculty and staff, but we look forward to welcoming our freshmen and returning students to campus in late August.
While we are fully prepared and excited to welcome our students back into our residence halls and classrooms with numerous measures in place to reduce risk, we are sensitive to the difficult choice of leaving home to reside in a residence hall. Therefore, if any students wish to remain home, we will release them from their on-campus housing contracts without penalty for the fall semester while taking classes.
A decision to opt out of residence hall living does not have to mean a move to fully remote learning. If you remain within commuting distance, you may continue to take in-person classes. However, the Office of the Registrar is prepared to assist students with changes to their course schedules if choosing to remain at home. Online courses are so designated on the schedule of classes. In-person courses also are being live-streamed for those who cannot attend class.
Freshmen and returning students with 9-month contracts planning to live on campus will receive additional information next week regarding rescheduled move-in times. Returning students planning to live on campus who have 10 and 12-month housing contracts may move in as originally scheduled but dining options will be limited until the start of classes.
Information on how to cancel housing contracts and meal plans will be provided early next week. Students who opt out prior to move-in will receive full refunds for room and board payments already made or may apply those payments to their spring 2021 semester expenses.
We look forward to welcoming the staff back on Monday, August 3, and beginning classes in late August. We will continue to monitor the trends of the virus and respond as necessary should conditions change.
Reopening Christopher Newport
These will be our touchstones as we prepare for and execute a return to in-person education at Christopher Newport for the fall:
Put people first
We are a student-first campus. In these new and unique circumstances, this value must extend to all of our people. It includes the responsibility to care for our own and the responsibility of each of us to care for ourselves and all the people we encounter during the course of a day. Each of us is responsible for every one of us.
We will explore and share new ways of learning, living and working. We must be innovative and agile, turning our current situation into an opportunity for intellectual and personal growth.
Offer inspiring leadership
Reflecting on how we have overcome challenges in the past we will be inspired by the courage and optimism of our Captains working to overcome obstacles. We will inspire each other and the community around us with our commitment, tenacity and heart.
One Christopher Newport
These circumstances require us to rely on and care for our community. We will practice empathy, respect and openness and we will get through this together.