March 29, 2020
I write this afternoon to share important updates about the changes that have taken place in the last few weeks while you have been on extended spring break and to provide key resources to help you through the rest of the semester and beyond.
Tomorrow will be the dawn of a new era for our campus as we enter virtual classrooms to complete this historic spring 2020 semester.
It was just a little over three weeks ago that we hosted Jagathon: IUPUI Dance Marathon in the Campus Center. With everything that has happened since then, it seems like years ago.
Below is a recap of recent national and global declarations related to the COVID-19 crisis.
- On March 11, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic.
- On March 13, the President of the United States declared a national emergency with respect to the virus.
- On March 23, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb issued an Executive Order directing Indiana residents to stay at home and avoid all but essential activities outside of the home.
Before things get better, it appears we still may have some challenging days ahead. The United States has now surpassed every other country in terms of diagnosed COVID-19 cases and the number of cases in Indiana is rising exponentially. Our state numbers aren't expected to peak for a number of weeks.
You can help flatten the curve and turn the corner on this crisis.
- Please protect yourselves and your loved ones by following the public health advisories coming from local, state, and federal authorities, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Check the IU coronavirus website, which is updated on a daily basis, and check your email for updates from campus.
- Staying informed about changes on campus and in the city will help you stay safe.
Our number one priority as a campus community is protecting everyone's health and safety. Each one of you has a role to play in that. None of us should consider ourselves exceptions to the rules because none of us is immune to this virus. This is truly a matter of life and death. Stay at home, wash your hands, and take other precautions. This is for others' safety as well as your own.
Changes that have taken place on campus are designed to keep everyone safe.
- Instruction is all online and will be throughout the spring and summer.
- Student services are online.
- Our staff and faculty are staying home, in compliance with the governor's order.
- Campus buildings are locked.
- Indianapolis bars are closed, and the restaurants are only available for take-out.
- All campus events have been canceled, postponed, or moved online. This includes Top 100, Elite 50, Jagapalooza, and graduation.
- Gyms, pools, and fitness centers are closed.
- Physical access to University Library is unavailable; services are online.
- IUPUI housing is closed except for students who were caught here when borders closed or for those with no other place to be.
Even as all of us practice social and physical distancing, please know that you are not alone. Each one of you has a team backing you up: professors, advisors, librarians, resident assistants for those of you who remain on campus, and many others. We are here to support you and will stay connected with you throughout this crisis and the remainder of the academic year.
We have resources to help with the transition to online learning.
- The Keep Learning website has been created to ease the transition to online learning. Even if this isn't your first experience with online classes, it's worth a look.
- Students, faculty, and staff can access Wi-Fi in Lot 92 (630 N. Blackford Street, north of Gateway Garage), the 1st floor of Gateway Garage, and parts of floors 1 and 2 in Blackford Garage.
- Those needing internet access may also refer to this Spectrum Wi-Fi map of free hotspots across the United States.
- If you are still having trouble with technology, talk with your professors or advisors. They may have access to additional resources.
Health and wellness are more important than ever.
- Stay connected with family and friends virtually.
- Be sure to exercise and stay active being sure to maintain social and physical distance.
- The Student Health Clinic in Coleman Hall will remain open (call first at 317-274-8214), and CAPS will be providing all services to students virtually; you can call 317-274-2584 to speak with a CAPS staff member.
- If you have trouble navigating other issues, you may turn to the Office of Student Advocacy, which will be available online.
To the Class of 2020:
On behalf of IUPUI faculty and staff, we are heartbroken for you and your loved ones that your commencement exercises have been postponed. Just as you and your families do, faculty and staff look forward to this milestone in your lives and the life of our campus, especially because it is an important celebration of your success. Rest assured, we will find a way to mark this milestone for you, and once it is safe to do so, we will be extending invitations to the Class of 2020 graduation celebration.
Every faculty and staff member on campus understands that your ultimate goal at IUPUI is to complete your degree successfully and to graduate. We are doing everything we can to make sure that COVID-19 doesn't stand between you and your future.
We are all in this together, facing questions, decisions, and situations we had never imagined. Now is the time to keep learning and find creative ways to stay healthy, to stay connected, and to communicate with each other.
We will face this crisis with the grace, resilience, and determination that we bring to everything we do as Jaguars, and we will come out stronger on the other side.
Stay safe and well,
Nasser H. Paydar