Daily COVID-19 Update: April 6, 2020

Dear Bereans,

This is the update for Monday, April 6, 2020.

The latest concerning COVID-19 in Madison County

We had one more additional case over the weekend in the county for a total to date of 14.  Two remain hospitalized, eight are recovering at home, three are recovered and one, as noted previously, unfortunately, passed away last week.  Current projections suggest the peak in cases in Kentucky to occur in about 3 weeks, but with cases continuing all the way into June.

An announcement from the Internships Office

After considering the ongoing uncertainties and the risks that participating in summer internships pose to our students, the Administrative Committee has made the decision to suspend academic internships for summer 2020. Many internship sites have already canceled or delayed their internships indefinitely, and others are likely to do so. We understand that this is disappointing news to students and will present new challenges in regard to the summer.

The Office of Internships offers the following information and will follow-up with interns by email.

  • All continuing students in good standing who submitted acceptable offers to the Office of Internships by the March 31st deadline in anticipation of a summer internship will still receive a payment of $1,000 by direct deposit in late August as summer savings.
  • If you are an international student with an F-1 visa and have submitted an offer for a paid internship, you will be allowed registration for academic credit, without funding from the College, enabling you to provide CPT authorization, but if you are an F-1 student whose offer is unpaid, you will not be able to participate in the internship.
  • If you are a domestic student and accepted an offer for a paid internship, you could make the personal decision to participate on a non-credit basis, but we would encourage you to carefully consider the risks involved, depending on the location and the type of work you would be doing.
  • If you are a domestic student who has accepted an offer for an unpaid internship from an organization, you may want to consider asking the internship site supervisor about the possibility of doing projects remotely, if that makes sense for you. It would be simply for experience gained, with no course credit or funding from the College, but might offer some valuable experience that could still be included on your resume. If you choose to do this, we would recommend a limited number of hours per week (10-20), but this would be at your discretion.
  • Any intern who has accepted an offer may ask the organization if they could have the option of deferring the internship until next summer.

Questions can be directed to Esther Livingston in the Internships Office.

A COVID-19 Perspective from the Restorative Justice Perspective

By Jeff From, Adjunct Lecturer of Peace and Social Justice Studies

March 11th was the last day that our Restorative Justice class was able to meet. The students entered the class with the shocked look that I have come to associate with people who have experienced a sudden loss. This, of course, was an appropriate reaction.

COVID-19 poses an interesting challenge for the field of restorative justice (RJ). In its more time-tested practice inside the criminal justice system (CJS), RJ asks three basic questions: who has been hurt; what are their needs; whose obligation is it to address those needs? In the CJS there are usually victims (those who have been harmed) and offenders (those who have harmed). So, in the current  COVID-19 global pandemic, there are people who are harmed when our communities respond to prevent the spread, but who is the offender? How do we use RJ practices when there is so much ambiguity?

The class settled in and as with every previous RJ class we sat in a circle of chairs, and we participated in a circle process with a talking piece. The opening reflection on 3/11 was, “What is on your mind?” Students expressed fear, but mostly concern for other students. They shared suggestions about how things could be handled, but there was little to no blame placed on the AC, Student Life, or President Roelofs. Then the class broke into smaller circles where I asked, ”What are the challenges that COVID-19 poses for the RJ field?” The conversations in the small groups continued as the students moved to telling stories, planning for the future, and sharing concerns. Then, the next question, ”What are some of the opportunities this situation might present for the college, the community, and yourself?”

Coming back to the class circle for sharing their learning, the students were insightful in their responses and allowed the emotions that were present to be expressed. This is when the understanding of how RJ works in ambiguous situations came to light: restorative justice helps us to work with the emotions created from the harm or the trauma so that we can have the conversations we need to have to move us forward.

There are 16 students and 17 learners in the spring 2020 Restorative Justice class. We are apart, but still working with the emotions of the harm that has happened. We have the challenges presented by COVID-19, and we have the tools to navigate and move forward in the new reality.

We’re thinking of you every day, wherever you are,
Lyle Roelofs, President