Daily COVID-19 Update: March 17, 2020

Dear Bereans,

This is the update for Tuesday, March 17.

From the Campus Christian Center

Please find attached some guidance for caring for yourself and others in troubled times.

Before they left campus last week, many members of the graduating class of 2020 gathered for the traditional class photo on the steps of Union College Church.  It was inspiring to all of us that they chose not to let a little thing like a pandemic stop them from enjoying their classmates and finding a way to celebrate their upcoming success and mark this tradition.  Please know, Class of 2020, that we will not miss the opportunity of celebrating your accomplishments, even if, this year, it cannot immediately follow the end of the academic year.  (Many thanks to Crystal Wylie for taking this and many other photos at the occasion.)

Class of 2020 on the steps of Union Church

Housing and Meals reimbursements for students who moved out from the residence halls

The Administrative Committee has authorized a refund of $1,000 to residence hall students who have left campus.  Students continuing to reside on campus will continue to have access to their existing meal plan from the Dining Hall.  Students working on campus voluntarily and not residing on campus will not be eligible to continue to use their meal plan from Dining.  Students working, but not residing on campus, do have the option to eat from Dining by paying the daily door rate for walk-up customers.  The refund will be applied to the student account; if that creates a credit balance on the account, a check or direct deposit in the amount of the credit balance will be issued to the student.

An announcement from Berea Kids Eat – a program of Grow Appalachia

Today Berea Kids Eat served 1496 meals. Meals from Berea College dining were directly distributed through a drive up meal service at Berea Community School. With the help of Berea Community School and Partners for Education, we were able to develop systems, a communication plan, and launch a smooth first day. The Health Department and White House Clinic provided on site hygiene training, and we implemented hourly protocols and regular practices which we aim to serve as models. Tomorrow Berea Kids Eat and Berea Community School will launch the mobile bus distribution into neighborhoods, following a strict sanitation and hygiene protocol, and no physical contact along with physical and social distancing protocols.  Many thanks to Martina Leforce for leading this important initiative!

An announcement from the Office of Internships

The Internship Office acknowledges that this will be a very different year for summer internships.  It is responding to the changed circumstances by working remotely with students through phone appointments, email and Handshake to provide assistance, review offers and process requests for credit and funding. Under the circumstances their guidelines have been modified.

  • Given the uncertainties that employers are facing, as well as those related to travel, internship start dates should not be earlier than June 1, except by specific exception granted by the Office of Internships. The June 1st start date will provide some time for employers to adjust and allow 4-6 weeks for interns to make their housing and travel plans after receiving any applicable funding (between April 15th and May 1st).
  • This year, students should submit their offers via email to internships@berea.edu by March 31, and then they will have until the April 14th deadline for internship proposals (which has remained unchanged) to complete the rest of the process.
  • The Internship Office encourages students who have applied for internships and are waiting to hear back, to reach out to the employer, inquire about their status, and let them know that, because everything is being handled remotely, offers are required by March 31st.

An announcement regarding the Seabury and Forestry Outreach Centers

  • In light of the advice that is now coming out in many parts of the country to close gyms, Seabury Center will be closed indefinitely.
  • Because larger groups than the current recommended limit of 10 sometimes visit the Forestry Outreach Center and because it is not possible to clean adequately after each visitor, the Forestry Outreach Center will be closing as well.  The staff does plan to continue to offer hikes for Berea College students, when the weather permits.  Regrettably, because of theft of bath tissue and subsequent unfortunate behavior, we are also having to close the public restrooms outside the Center