WILMINGTON — Wilmington College’s spring semester classes will resume exclusively online as the nation hunkers down in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This decision comes after Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and the State Dept. of Public Safety implemented both mandated and recommended protocols with regard to public safety and this especially virulent virus, which was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. The Centers for Disease Control strongly recommends avoiding gatherings of 50 or persons and the state’s closing of restaurants for a minimum of eight weeks includes college and university cafeterias.
All of these declarations factored into President Jim Reynolds’ decision in which the safety of students, faculty and staff is paramount.
“I am announcing today (March 16) that Wilmington College’s main campus will cease in-person classroom instruction for the remainder of the spring semester,” he said, noting that no face-to-face classes will be held and all courses will be placed into an online delivery mode.
“This means that, for all our students, we will provide a way for them to finish the spring semester and lose no progress towards their degrees,” he added. “Students scheduled to graduate this semester will graduate.”
Last week — the College’s spring break — Reynolds announced the suspension of classes and activities held on campus for a period of two weeks, from March 16 through March 27, in hope the emergency could be quickly brought under control. however, almost on a daily basis, graver predictions emerged and ever-increasing measures implemented in an attempt to reduce the contagion’s spread.
The College is allowing students to return to their residence halls — in a precise and orderly fashion prescribed in a communication to them from the president — to gather books and their personal belongings.
“We are working hard to be nimble and flexible, and at the same time calm and resolute, as we work to serve our students in these extremely trying and unprecedented days.,” Reynolds added. “No one has been through this kind of national emergency before, and we all are working hard to take care and respond as rapidly as we can.”
The president expressed his heartfelt empathy for the especially “difficult time” students are experiencing with the sudden disruption or normalcy: no longer residing on campus, spring sports season cancelled, College programming on hiatus, relinquishing the expectation of regularly seeing classmates and friends, and the uncertainty of the future.