Indiana State has now moved to online classes and with that brings campus cancellations. The campus is taking extreme caution with eliminating all risks involved with COVID-19.
With that said there have been changes to the previous precautions. One facility on campus, the Student Recreation Center “is closed effective immediately until further notice” as stated in the message from the President sent out on the afternoon of Monday March 16. This includes all group exercise, training, swim, and club activities.
The dining halls and selected food outlets in the Commons will also be closing and “will remain open for carry-out only.”
With this change, there will also be no in-person seating to further ensure that students do not congregate in larger groups within the Commons and HMSU lounge areas because of the official suggestion to avoid groups of 10 people or more. Chairs have been removed to ensure students avoid congregating in the area.
The Cunningham Memorial Library will stay open but will have reduced hours, but it is suggested to “practice social distancing and avoid congregating in groups” while in the library or other areas on campus.
Students are now told to remove all personal belongings within the Residence Halls at this time because they are closing this Saturday.
As mentioned also in the letter from the President: “The Residence halls, with the exception of 500 Wabash, University Apartments, and those who have arranged spring break housing, will close at noon on Saturday, March 21.”
Because of the cancellation of face to face classes for the rest of the semester, Spring Commencement Ceremonies are also being cancelled. However, Curtis said “a virtual commencement will be planned, and we will be in touch with graduates with more details.”
As well as events on campus, all have been cancelled to also abide by the suggestion of avoiding crowds of 10 people or more. This means all student organization events and meetings, per the Recreation Center FAQs, “cannot physically meet, but can virtually via online. All in person events and meetings are to be cancelled during the time of online-only instruction regardless if they occur on or off campus.” This includes Intramurals and Sport Club competitions, practices, travel & events.
The cancellations will extend to Fraternity and Sorority events as well.
It is to be noted that, “As registered student organizations, the expectation is that ALL fraternity and sorority life events (chapter meetings, philanthropy, service, social, member development, new member presentations, intramurals, etc.), regardless of location, should be rescheduled, cancelled, or converted to a digital/distance option. Please note that any events that are held, in violation of this interim action, may result in a referral to Student Conduct & Integrity for review and possible adjudication” as stated in the Student Question and Answer page on the ISU website for COVID-19.
This also includes other Greek Life events such as Spring Week, Tandem, Greek Leadership Series III, TriCouncil meetings, and more. Read the FAQ page for more info.
The impact of COVID-19 is also felt around the world with cancellations of many highly publicized events.
Many sports associations such as the NBA suspended its season shortly after March 11, Major League Soccer suspended its season for at least 30 days beginning March 12, the National Hockey League being put on pause, Major League Baseball also pushed its season back at least two weeks and suspended spring training games. The NCAA has also cancelled Division I men’s and women’s basketball tournaments.
The virus has also affected many cultural, theatrical, and entertainment events. Many artists as well as St. Patrick’s Day events were cancelled to follow the previous guidelines of not having 50 people or more in any given area, but since that has recently changed, more cancellations are happening.
This has also affected the dining and entertainment experience as many restaurants and bars are closing. On March 15, Following Michigan, Ohio and Illinois, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb ordered bars and restaurants to close dining services amid the outbreak through the end of march, but will still allow delivery and takeout. To ensure the practice of social distancing occurs, the following states have also been reported by WPTA21 and RTV6 Indianapolis to have done the same: California, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, New jersey, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island and Washington.
The University President Deborah Curtis acknowledges that this is a trying time for many and wants to advise those to “not hesitate to ask for help with navigating these changes. We are a family and are here for you,” said Curtis.