Roberts Restart Ready

Message from President Porterfield

June 22, 2020

Dear Students, Faculty, Staff and Families,

As the Finger Lakes Region projects to move forward with phase four planned for June 26, I am delighted to share that Roberts Wesleyan College will be starting a modified Fall semester on campus beginning August 24!  We will be offering in-person and online options in many programs for our traditional, adult, graduate and seminary students this Fall. To help enable this restart, traditional undergraduate students will be able to choose between a fully online semester or an in-person semester, through a survey.  

For certain, how we interact as we learn, live, worship and work together will need to be a little different, but our core functioning as a Christian community of higher education remains unchanged. The following information includes our current planning and alignment with the New York State Guidelines. 

The safety, health and well-being of our campus community will always be paramount in our decision-making, and we are prepared to modify our plans should the conditions change. We will continue to monitor all updates from New York State as we move forward to restart operations this fall as outlined below. Please check your Roberts email regularly and check our Roberts Restart webpage for the latest updates and information.

Students enrolled in non-traditional undergraduate courses, adult and graduate degree programs and Northeastern Seminary can expect to hear from their Program Directors directly in early July about details of their program.  All cohort courses running between November 21, 2020 through January 11, 2021 will be held online only.

Please check your Roberts (or Northeastern) email and the Roberts Restart website regularly.

The following information is applicable to students enrolled in traditional undergraduate programs.

Adjusted Traditional Academic Calendar:

The significant changes in our academic and operational calendar are based on advice from Monroe County, New York State and CDC experts, who believe we could be facing a second wave of COVID-19 sometime late fall or early winter.  The outline for Fall 2020 for our Traditional Undergraduate and BELL student body is as follows:

  • Traditional undergraduate students will choose between a fully online semester or an in-person semester. We ask that all traditional undergraduate students fill out this form by July 1. If the College does not receive a response from you, we will assume that you are planning to join us in-person.
  • New traditional undergraduate first-year and transfer student Fall 2020 Orientation will be August 21-23
  • The first day of Fall Semester classes will be Monday, August 24 as scheduled.
  • Classes will continue through Friday, November 20 with no fall break.
  • After Thanksgiving, classes will continue in an online format only until the end of the semester (students will not be permitted to stay beyond November 21 unless approved by the College due to specific program requirements). 
  • Final exams will be issued online in early December as scheduled with the semester concluding on December 11. 
  • We will begin the Spring Semester 2021 as scheduled on January 11 on campus.

 

As you return to campus, the experience will look different. The College has worked according to state and local public health guidelines and has been in communication with peer institutions with Rochester area colleges and in other regions of the country. We are not alone in experiencing the monumental changes of our work and school lives. It is not what any of us wanted or expected. However, leaning on the faithfulness of God, we can embrace the opportunity to lead others in our response to change and our willingness to extend grace to others around us on the journey.  

This announcement is just the start of our communications about your return or your start at Roberts Wesleyan College. In the near future, look for additional information for student move-in dates, guidance for faculty and staff returning to the workplace and additional details about new campus operations.

The Roberts Restart website will be updated throughout the summer as more details are available. Additional information will be communicated directly to you through your Roberts email account, from the Roberts Restart Team

I know there is a lot on your minds, and we will do everything possible to provide answers to the many questions you may have between now and August 24. During this time, we must all prepare for some inconveniences and align with new community standards and behaviors that will help ensure a safe campus. Thank you for your commitment to Roberts Restart 2020 including these important responsibilities.  

We are looking forward to seeing you on campus and continuing to serve all of our students and campus community with education for character.

With Prayer and Optimism,

Dr. Deana L. Porterfield
President

Health and Safety Measures

A  safe and healthy environment to teach, learn, work and be in authentic community is our top priority. We will be enhancing sanitation efforts across campus and ask all to keep others in mind in order to ensure everyone’s safety. In coordination with federal, state and local guidance, we will ask you to practice physical distancing, wash your hands often, use hand sanitizer, maintain clean spaces and wear appropriate face coverings/masks (provided by the College for those who need them), among other best practices. 

To ensure we protect ourselves and each other through: 

  • Signage reinforcing rules throughout the campus 
  • Individuals maintaining a 6 foot physical distance; wearing appropriate face coverings (mask, shield) will be required at all times
  • Wearing face masks when unable to maintain distance required (you can wear your own or the college will supply at no cost)
  • Requiring daily health screenings before coming to campus via an easy to use app
  • Increasing Hand sanitizing stations located around campus
  • Designating quarantine location in the event of a COVID case among resident students 
  • Enhancing standards for cleaning and sanitation

Custodial staff will continue to clean offices and workspaces according to CDC guidelines. The cleanliness of the physical campus is very important to stop the spread. Daily cleaning in academic buildings includes cleaning and disinfecting of tables and equipment, cleaning bathrooms and paying close attention to common touch and hard service areas. Academic buildings are disinfected using different cleaning products that are rotated. Carpets are cleaned and disinfected.  Individual dorm rooms are taken care of by the resident and we recommend bringing disinfectant cleaning products. In addition, disinfectant is available through the Facilities office. Daily residence hall cleaning includes cleaning of the bathrooms, kitchen, lounges, commons spaces and high touch areas. Students in apartment style housing and Davison Hall will continue to be responsible for cleaning apartments and suites in Davison Hall.

Individuals with COVID-19 symptoms or knowledge of exposure should seek medical care and must not report to work or class. We will post signage in campus buildings with these important reminders.

Academic Experience

Classes will be offered in-person and online in order to best serve all students. Our goal is to offer as much flexibility for students and faculty as possible. While continuing to offer the highest quality education whether the student is learning virtually or in-person. Classrooms will be adjusted in order to follow physical distancing guidelines and reduced occupancy requirements. Under guidance from our infectious disease and public health experts, we have revised the academic calendar to begin classes on August 24th and go through November 20 in person. We made the difficult decision to eliminate fall break to minimize possible virus spread associated with travel. After Thanksgiving break, we will finish the semester online. The last day will be December 11. Thank you for your understanding and know that we will do everything possible to offer flexibility and accommodation as needed.

Health Protocols Within The Classroom

What new precautions and protocols will be in place within the classroom?

  • For in-person classes, a physical distance of six feet between all persons will be required at all times
  • Students will be required to wear face masks to protect themselves and others. Students can bring their own, buy them at the bookstore, or get them through the College for free
  • Class sizes will be reduced in many courses and less time will be spent in classrooms with more time completing work outside of class.
  • Meetings with professors during their office hours will be by appointment only.  Professors will accommodate both in-person and virtual appointments
  • Virtual learning will continue to be a method of instruction.  Students may choose the online option at the beginning of the semester or to move to this option in the event of illness or a required quarantine

Adult & Graduate Students

In addition to the health protocols above, adult and graduate programs are making specific decisions and will be in contact with their students by program with more details. Some general details to note are:

  • The campus library, computer labs and buildings will be open to students
  • Students coming to campus will be required to adhere to campus guidelines which will include maintaining physical distance from others; wearing a face mask or covering (mask, shield) will be required at all times
  • Everyone who comes to campus must attest to being in good health, report a temperature below 100 degrees for 24 hours, and wear a face mask or covering (mask, shield) 
  • Any courses that meet between November 21 and January 14 will be offered online

Traditional Undergraduate Students

Our mission to prepare thoughtful, spiritually mature, service-oriented people who will help transform society remains, no matter what this fall semester looks like. We are committed to supporting every student as they continue to learn and grow. It is important for us to provide flexibility and understanding as we all navigate through these changes. Whether students choose to return to campus or participate in remote learning, we want to foster a sense of community and belonging among everyone. To that end, we will be creative going forward, expanding offerings across campus for virtual access.

Student Experience FAQs

Move-In (Click to Expand)

How will move-in at the residence halls be modified?

Resident students will be moving in at different times according to their involvements on campus. We will do our best to minimize contact during move-in. Families will be given more specific instructions upon arrival to their residence hall. Fall student-athletes who are new students at Roberts will arrive early for pre-season training as assigned by their coach. All other new students will arrive on Friday, August 21. Most returning students will arrive on Sunday, August 23 unless they are required to arrive earlier to perform student leader responsibilities.  

Health Protocols (Click to Expand)

What new precautions and protocols will be in place?

We will continue to monitor NYS and Monroe County health and safety guidelines throughout the academic year, making adjustments as needed. Cleaning standards will be enhanced throughout the campus, including residence halls.

What precautions and protocols will I be expected to practice?

We are still developing protocols, but at the present time anyone on campus will be expected to wear protective face coverings (masks, shields) while indoors in public places or anytime you are not able to keep appropriate physical distancing.

Cost (Click to Expand)

Has there been a change to the cost of attendance for the 2020-21 academic year?

All charges will remain the same including tuition, room, and meal plans for the Fall 2020 bill. 

Any credits for room and board because of the College's decision to move to virtual delivery will be assessed at the end of the fall semester. Credits will be applied to the Spring semester in the form of a grant.  Account adjustments may alter financial aid packages due to State and Federal financial aid policies.

Please note that change of residency status could have financial aid implications as well.  Please reach out to the Office of Student Financial Services at 585-594-6150 if you have any questions.

Garlock Dining Services (Click to Expand)

What can I expect from the dining experience?

We are planning several modifications and enhancements to the dining experiences. Plates will be prepared by the dining hall employees and served to the customer. There will be no self-serve buffet. Take-out options will be encouraged. Extended lunch and dinner periods, as well as adding a Late Night meal option, will be offered.

The dining room will be closed for an hour in the morning and two hours in the afternoon for the purpose of cleaning and sanitizing. 

Spiritual Life (Click to Expand)

How will Chapel & Spiritual Life be different?

We will minimize the number of large group gatherings. We plan to offer smaller community group style gatherings throughout the week, as well as continue to offer the Kickstart videos throughout the year. As weather permits, we will offer outdoor worship events.

Residence Halls (Click to Expand)

What do I need to know about Residence Hall changes?

We will not offer triple rooms for Fall 2020 and have maximized the availability of single occupancy rooms. We will have double-rooms and those living as roommates or suite mates will be considered a family at Roberts and therefore face coverings are not required while in rooms. We have identified designated space on campus in the event we need to provide housing for resident students who test positive for COVID-19.

There will be no visitation allowed in residence halls; this includes visits by off-campus guests or commuters as well as from fellow resident students who reside in other buildings.

Do I have to wear a face covering in my room?

If you have a roommate or suitemates you are not required to wear a face covering where you live. Those people will be considered your family at Roberts. However, if someone becomes ill that you share living space with, it is important to follow the precautions such as staying in your room if you feel sick like you have been exposed, contact your healthcare provider or call the Health Center at 585-594-6360 or Campus Safety after hours at 585-594-7777.

Do I have to wear a face covering in my room? Can I visit with friends that live in the same residence hall that I do? What about meeting with friends that live in other residence halls? Can my friend who is not a Roberts student visit?

If you have a roommate or suitemates you are not required to wear a face covering where you live. Those people will be considered your family at Roberts. However, if someone becomes ill that you share living space with, it is important to follow the precautions such as staying in your room if you feel sick like you have been exposed, contact your healthcare provider or call the Health Center at 585-594-6360 or Campus Safety after hours at 585-594-7777.
Yes, you can visit with friends in the same residence hall. We ask that you maintain physical distancing and meet in common areas. If you meet in smaller areas, we would suggest that you wear face coverings. We would also encourage you to meet outside in the nice weather- a few ideas are to take a walk around campus, get a coffee at Jitters or sit by the pond in the fire pit area.
 
At this time we are not allowing visitors from off-campus (friends, commuter students) in dorms.   
We are working to balance increased precautions (such as not allowing visitors in dorms and encouraging students to meet up in common areas) with reasonable expectations to mitigate the spread of the virus. Everyone has a role to play in helping to mitigate the spread of the virus.

Athletics

Students participating in Athletics will be invited back to campus in a phased approach. Student Athletes will hear from their coaches directly regarding the details of their return to campus. The NCAA has shared that each conference will make their own decisions and we hope to know more.

The guidance from the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU) for on-campus gyms states that under Phase Four, the higher education guidance for on-campus gyms are subject to the broader industry guidance for gyms. We interpret this to mean the Roberts Wesleyan College on-campus gym cannot reopen until the state issues guidance allowing all gyms in Phase Four regions to reopen.

VAC

  • The VAC will be available to all students when they return to campus. We are awaiting further guidance from NYS on the reopening of the workout facility and pool specifically
  • The VAC will remain closed to the community until further notice

Events & Visitors to Campus

While nearly all of us have been off-campus during the past few months, our Facilities team has conducted a thorough deep-cleaning of all our buildings. They will continue to implement a carefully guided regimen of sanitation and disinfecting of all facilities, including residence halls. We will continue to monitor NYS and Monroe County health and safety guidelines throughout the academic year, making adjustments as needed.

Everyone on our campus will be expected to adhere to our community standards and public health guidelines to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, which include wearing face masks and practicing physical distancing.

  • No visitors will be permitted in campus buildings until August 3. After that time, administrative and academic visitors will be welcomed on a limited basis
  • Limited in-person events
  • Physical distancing and face coverings required

NYS Reopening Plan

For any information regarding the New York State reopening plan, please use this link.

Frequently Asked Questions

Roberts Restart Frequently Asked Questions

What changes, in alignment with the Monroe County and New York State guidelines, will be made on the Roberts campus to mitigate the spread of the Coronavirus in the fall?

  • For in-person classes, a physical distance of six feet between all persons will be required at all times. 
  • Class sizes will be reduced in many courses and less time will be spent in classrooms with more time completing work outside of class
  • Students will be required to wear face masks to protect themselves and others. Students can bring their own, buy them at the bookstore or can get them through the College for free.
  • There will be protocols for closely monitoring students' health, screening and containment in defined quarantine areas.
  • Meetings with professors during their office hours will be by appointment only.  Professors will accommodate both in-person and virtual appointments.
  • Virtual learning will continue to be a method of instruction.  Students may choose their preference option at the beginning of the semester. We ask all traditional undergraduate students to fill out this form to declare your learning preference for the Fall of 2020. Please complete the form by July 15.  The College will assume in-person should you not complete the survey. 

What will the Fall 2020 academic calendar look like for traditional undergraduate students?

  • Classes will start on August 24th
  • 2020-21 Academic Calendar
  • Students have two choices, virtual or in-person learning. Some courses can only be completed in-person. Traditional Undergraduate students should indicate their learning preference for the fall using this form (complete by July 15). 
  • All cohort courses running between November 21, 2020 through January 11, 2021 will be held online only.

What will courses look like in Fall 2020 for adult and graduate students?

  • Your program director will contact you about changes to your program calendar. 
  • The campus library, computer labs and buildings will be open to students.
  • Students coming to campus will be required to adhere to campus guidelines which will include maintaining physical distance from others and wearing a face mask. 
  • Everyone who comes to campus must attest to being in good health, report a temperature below 100 degrees for 24 hours, and wear a face mask.
  • Any courses that meet between November 21 and January 11 will be offered online.

If I normally take online courses, will there be any changes?

  • All online courses will run as scheduled. 

What will Athletics look like for the fall?

Commuting students can participate in athletics. Athletes, whether commuting or residential, will need to  participate in face-to face classes if they are planning to participate in their sport. 

Specifics about each team will be coming as we await further guidance from the NACAA and ECC.

What about the restart for Northeastern Seminary?

Northeastern Seminary students will receive a separate communication, and should refer to the NES website for further details.

I have an off-campus job and will live on campus; can I leave campus and return after my shift?

Yes, students can go to jobs off-campus. We will assume you will be adhering to the protocols set-up at your job including wearing face coverings, frequent hand washing, etc. to mitigate the spread of the virus. On campus we will have temperature check stations, maintaining a 6 foot distance and wearing a face covering at all times. All these protocols are to ensure we are protecting ourselves and others.

Is Roberts Wesleyan College a COVID-19 testing site?

Roberts Wesleyan College will not be a testing site. However, there are many in Monroe County that a student could go to for testing if presenting symptoms of COVID-19. 
We will be able to assist students who need to be tested with locations near the College.

Roberts Restart Rules for Employees (click here)

Check in. Swipe in. Be all in.

Considerations of all faculty and staff are being considered as we work through the best process for returning to campus. We are phasing in the return of our workforce with a focus on the health and safety of our community. Department Heads will be contacting employees about specific work arrangements for teams and individuals in the coming weeks. We will work with faculty and staff to balance individual needs with those of the school, unit or department. Faculty and staff will be asked to abide by the community standards for health and safety.

  • Phased return to campus: 20% on 6/22, 50% on 7/7, 80% on 8/3
  • Health screenings/assessments are completed daily before coming to campus
  • 50% capacity in large work areas
  • Virtual meetings will continue
  • Signage toolkits available for personalized areas 
  • Employee building access documented through electronic card access system

Questions and Concerns