Dear Monmouth University Students & Families:
As I committed to you on Thursday, we have carefully reviewed Executive Order No. 175, which New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed into law on August 13. I also joined other New Jersey college and university presidents in a meeting with Governor Murphy to gain additional clarity on the executive order, which allows for in-person instruction to resume in New Jersey. With this new clarity, we have decided that we will return to a mix of in-person, hybrid, and online delivery for the coming fall semester.
We understand that the rollercoaster of COVID-19 preparation, planning, and adjustment in recent weeks has tested the resolve and emotional reserves of our students, their families, and our faculty and staff. I assure you that at every juncture of this incredibly complex and ever-changing crisis, we have tried to use the best available public health information to make the best possible decisions, and then to communicate those decisions to you.
Executive Order No. 175 has prompted a number of key changes for your experience this fall:
Fall Course Schedule. We have worked to restore much of the fall course schedule from 10 days ago, comprised of a mix of in-person, hybrid, and online courses. However, there are some differences, so please log in to WebAdvisor and check your course schedule and the delivery modality of your courses. While we will not be able to completely satisfy the preferred schedule of every student (some students would prefer all courses to be online and some students would prefer all courses to be in person), our advisors and department chairs stand ready to answer any questions about schedule adjustments.
Campus Living and Learning. The new State guidance allows for many of the living and learning options we had always hoped to offer this fall:
- Dining: Dining services will be available to all students. In addition to an array of menu options in our dining locations, a new mobile ordering app will enable students to order their meals in advance. Meals ordered via the app will be ready for takeout, with additional outdoor space available where students can sit and eat. A limited amount of indoor seating will also be available, subject to social distancing protocols.
- Computer labs: Computer labs can now be open as long as users maintain social distance and observe other health and safety protocols.
- Library: The Guggenheim Memorial Library will be open to students, but with reduced capacity to allow for social distancing. Computer use and study space will be available for students and the campus community following health and safety guidelines. Contactless book request and pickup service will continue during the fall semester.
- Residential Life: If you have reconsidered your decision to defer or cancel your housing, you may reinstate your room assignment for the fall by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Residential halls will still follow all previously described community standards.
While these modifications are welcome, let me be clear that Executive Order No. 175 does not in any way relax the extensive safety requirements and protocols we have previously communicated to students, faculty, and staff. The health and safety of our students – and of those who serve them – remains our highest priority.
Tuition Payment Deadline Extended. We have extended the billing deadline to Friday, August 21, so that students and families have a little extra time to review and ask questions about the updates to our reopening plan. As a reminder, we will honor requests for full refunds for housing up until the day before the student’s scheduled move-in, and tuition and fees are fully refundable through September 15, one week after the start of classes.
We know things have changed rapidly. First-year and transfer students are invited to join me on an open call on Tuesday, August 18, at 7 p.m., while returning students are invited to join me on Tuesday, August 18 at 8:30 p.m. to discuss our revised plan and answer some of the questions we did not have time to get to on our previous calls. First-year and transfer students should register for the Zoom meeting through your applicant portal, while returning students should visit our registration page. Until then, please feel free to address your questions to our team at FallRestart@monmouth.edu.
In closing, thank you for your confidence and trust during this extremely challenging time.
Dr. Patrick F. Leahy