2022-2023 Undergraduate Students Update

Table of Contents

Dear Returning Students,

It is with great pleasure that I welcome you back to campus for the 2022-2223 academic year! The summer is quickly passing us by and before you know it classes will begin, leaves will start to change color, and the fall semester will be underway. As we look forward to the start of the school year we are cautiously optimistic that the worst of the pandemic is over and we return to our normal campus routines. We will, however, continue to collect information relative to vaccinations and ask that you update your status before arriving to campus. COVID-19 protocols and related links can be found on the University's COVID page.

Since you've been away several campus improvement projects have taken place to enhance the student experience. Most notably, Henry's Dining Hall has undergone a complete renovation making the facility more inviting and comfortable to enjoy meals and socialize. Another noticeable improvement is the new sidewalks and lighting along South Franklin St. and South St. There have also been several less visual improvements by way of new roofs and HVAC systems that will provide a more comfortable experience for everyone using those facilities.

Towards the end of the spring semester the University announced a significant academic restructuring consolidating a number of schools and colleges into three distinct colleges:

  • College of Arts and Sciences led by Dr. Paul Riggs. The academic programs included are: English, Global Cultures History, Language and Philosophy; Integrative Media, Arts and Design; Behavioral and Social Sciences; Communication Studies; and Performing Arts.
  • College of Business and Engineering led by Dr. Abel Adekola. The academic programs included here are: Finance, Accounting and Management; Marketing. Sports Management and Hospitality Leadership; Mechanical and Electrical Engineering; and Aerospace Studies.
  • College of Health and Education led by Dr. Debra Zbegner. The academic programs include: graduate and undergraduate nursing (Passan School of Nursing); Pharmaceutical Sciences and Pharmacy Practice (Nesbitt School of Pharmacy); and graduate and undergraduate Education

A number of issues nationally, and globally, have captured our attention over the summer months, to name a few: the war in Ukraine; the January 6th senate hearings; Supreme Court decisions; gun violence; racial injustice; and global warming. The challenge for all of us, as an intellectual community, is to share in healthy discourse, both in and out of the classroom, so that we can promote understanding and determine how we might contribute to solving problems and bringing everyone together as a global community.

I would be remiss if I did not thank and congratulate Dr. Paul Adams as he concludes his distinguished administrative career serving the University for over forty years in various capacities, most notably as interim president and long standing vice president of student affairs. Dr. Adams made many contributions to student life at Wilkes utilizing his wealth of knowledge and strong relational skills to help students individually, and collectively, with genuine care and understanding. I am happy to say that Dr. Adams will continue to serve students as an adjunct instructor in the graduate education program.

As we begin this academic year, please know that we continue to stand ready to work with you in support of your success. Please take a few minutes to read through the following material that will help you prepare for the upcoming academic year. Should you have any questions and you are unclear about whom to contact, please be in touch with the Office of Student Affairs at Passan Hall (267 South Franklin Street, 570.408.4100). Please feel free to share this update with your families. Should you have any questions with which I can help, please call me at 570-408-4103.

We look forward to seeing you upon your return this fall.

Sincerely,

Mark Allen
Interim Vice President, Student Affairs

Message from the COVID-19 Task Force

Wilkes University is eager to welcome you to campus for the 2022-23 academic year. Thanks to vaccines and booster doses that are readily available, as well as emerging therapeutic treatments for those who are ill, the pandemic has become much more manageable. Masks are generally not required (unless otherwise noted) and active cases as reported to the University are reflected on our campus dashboard. Though the COVID 19 vaccine is not required, it is the best protection we have. We encourage everyone who can be vaccinated to do so for the health and safety of themselves and others.

Moving forward, Wilkes will continue to monitor the viral situation on campus and in our greater community. In the event a surge requires us to temporarily adjust our protocols, details will be shared via your Wilkes email address. As always, our decisions will be made with your health and safety at top of mind and under the guidance of national, state and regional health officials.

Please consult our frequently asked questions on the link below for additional information on the semester ahead.

Fall Planning Information

Residence Life

Returning Students

Move-in for returning resident students is contingent upon where you are placed. For detailed move in information, please visit the Move In Day page.

First-Year Students

Move in for first year resident students will be Thursday, Aug. 25 based on your e-Mentor assignment. These times will also be sent to students' emails and visible on the Housing site through the portal. Students should pick up their keys from the tent outside of the Henry Student Center.

Please note that the first available meal for all students will be Thursday, Aug. 25 with lunch.

Winter Recess

Move Out

24 hours after last final or 12/21/2022 at 11 a.m., whichever comes first.

Move In begins for Spring 2022 Semester

01/14/2023 at 12 p.m.

Spring Recess

Move Out

03/04/2023 at 11 a.m.

Move In

03/12/2023 at 12 p.m.

Summer Recess

Move Out

24 hours after last final OR 05/13/2023 at 12 p.m., whichever comes first.

Additional Information

Residence Halls close for Winter Recess, Spring Recess and Summer Recess. All students will be expected to vacate unless approval to stay is received from the Office of Residence Life.

You will receive reminders about hall closings to your Wilkes email as well as information to request access to your housing assignment during official University breaks. Please visit the online housing calendar page for more information.

Wilkes University Police

Wilkes University notifies the campus community of emergency and crisis situations using Wilkes Alerts. These messages provide information on what is happening, what to do, and links to available additional information. The University employs text and email messaging as another technological solution for communicating swiftly and effectively with our campus community in the event of an extreme emergency on campus.

This system will be used only for emergency communication and not for general information or advertisements. While there is no charge to register a phone, your service provider may charge you a nominal fee for the airtime used for receiving these messages. Possible uses for this system will include closures and delays, community crime notifications, weather emergencies and power outages.

University faculty, staff and students Wilkes email addresses are automatically enrolled into Wilkes Alerts. Your Wilkes Alert account is accessible via the Wilkes Portal using your Wilkes username and password. Parents, guardians, and family members of students should ask their student to add their phone number and email address as their second or third contact numbers.

Once your cell phone is registered and validated, a text message will let you know that you have successfully signed up for the notifications.

In support of our emergency notification system, Wilkes University also offers a public safety app called the Wilkes Shield. This app is free to download at the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store. Once downloaded onto your smartphone, users have the ability to make emergency calls to the University Police Department, send/ receive real time text messages on the iReport function and access campus resource information. The app also has a COVID-self assessment tool designed to assist the user in determining their health safety before coming to campus.

Those who have signed up for parking this semester will be notified by email of additional information related to when and where to pick their parking permit.

Individuals who do not pick up their permit on the assigned date may forfeit their ability to park on campus and their application will be moved to the back of the list for further consideration.

University College

"The Center for Student Success"

If you would like extra support in a class, take advantage of our peer tutoring. The individual tutor request form, small group, and supplemental instruction schedules will be posted on the peer tutoring page and emailed to students in selected classes. For more information on tutoring, contact Katy Betnar, Director of the Learning Center at katy.betnar@wilkes.edu.

University College will offer study skills workshops during Welcome Weekend. In addition to the workshops, students can make an individual appointment with Jessica Buickus (jessica.buickus@wilkes.edu) to identify and develop appropriate strategies to improve their learning. Areas of focus may include strategic time/task management, goal setting and motivation, textbook reading, note-taking and preparing for exams.

If you have a documented disability and are in need of accommodations, please contact Ms. Katy Betnar at katy.betnar@wilkes.edu. The Disability Support Services Office is located in Conyngham Hall. For more information, please review the online documentation guidelines and related information.

Your professors have the opportunity to share any concerns they have about your performance through an early alert message. Early alert allows you to be proactive in developing new plans or approaches to your coursework. You will receive an email with the professor's concerns. A copy is also received by your advisor and University College. These alerts give us the opportunity to help you continue towards your academic goals.

The beginning of the semester will be a great time to reconnect with your academic advisor! Be sure to contact them to set a meeting the first few weeks of the fall semester. Keeping your advisor informed of anything that may affect your educational plan can allow them the opportunity to support you along your academic pathway. You will also want to be sure your advisor is aware of your progress or any difficulties you are facing. They can lead you to academic support that may be helpful. Your advisor will help guide you through your college curriculum, along with providing professional and career support.

Advising Coordinators in University College work as part of the team of professionals to provide advising support to advisors and students in the academic colleges and schools across campus. If you are unable to reach your advisor, you can email the advising coordinators at advising@wilkes.edu for additional support.

Several years ago, a new policy went into effect that may help students who change their major. The GPA Adjustment Policy is a policy and procedure for a student to request removal of substandard grades in majors/programs for which they attempted, but did not continue to pursue. Removing grades of less than 2.0 may help the student gain confidence in his/her academic ability, choose another academic career path, increase their GPA to be removed from Academic Probation or Ineligibility, and, possibly, reinstate financial aid. Specific conditions must be met in order for the policy to be enacted.

The complete policy, its procedure and the form are available electronically on the Registrar's form page.

Registrar Forms Page

GPA Adjustment Full Policy (.pdf)

Policy Summary

  1. The student must change majors/programs. This can include changing between declared majors/programs, changing from declared majors/programs to "undeclared," or changing from "undeclared" to declared majors/programs.
  2. The student must receive permission from the Department Chair of the new major to invoke this policy along with the support of staff in University College.
  3. The student may initiate the GPA Adjustment Policy anytime during his/her current academic career. A returning student may apply the Policy to previously completed courses with no time limit.
  4. The student may only apply a maximum of 18 credit hours of courses to the GPA Adjustment Policy during his/her academic career at Wilkes.
  5. The student must follow the Director of Financial Aid's Federal Guidelines regarding the maximum number of acceptable credits earned each academic year and minimum GPA. This implies that the Policy may be applied more than once during his/her academic career at Wilkes as long as the student follows the Federal Guidelines and changes majors/programs a second time.

Center for Career Development and Internships

The staff of the Center for Career Development and Internships invites all students to participate in our events and services designed to help you launch successful careers. The Center is comprised of a designated academic Internship and Cooperative Education Program, designed to support your search for experiential opportunities to enhance your professional development and academic career. Contact Sharon Castano at sharon.castano@wilkes.edu, ext. 2950 for information about planning your internship. Also at the CCDI, Career Services provides mentorship and coaching to all students of every major regarding their career planning and decision-making, as well as connections to professionals and resources to help them reach their employment or graduate school goals. Connect with us at careers@wilkes.edu, or call ext. 4060.

A fall semester highlight is the launch of The Career Gateway Program, which affords students the opportunity to explore, connect and gain guided experiences from their first through senior years while achieving a professional network to bring forward into a career.

Prepare to join the #1 career network app, Handshake! Learn of opportunities from thousands of employers, along with personalized career development resources and updates, by downloading the Handshake app and completing your profile.

Join Handshake

Also, take advantage of:

  • Internship, career or grad school questions? Connect with us via our zoom sessions during the semester.
  • Handshake for the Event times and register to attend.
  • Employer Visits via zoom or Microsoft Meetings
  • "Career Conversations" are hosted via podcast with a variety of alumni!
  • Virtual Resume Sessions
  • The Fall Intern, Career and Graduate School Fair on 10/20/22 - learn more and register on Handshake!

For additional information and services:

International Student and Scholar Services

The Office of International Student and Scholar Services is a part of the Office of Global Engagement and offer's cultural, social, immigration and academic support for international students and scholars. The Office organizes campus wide events, which offer opportunities for integration and mutual learning between domestic and international students and hosts workshops on American cultural issues and challenges.

International Student Services hosts a Global Coffee Hour held every Wednesday from 2 - 4 p.m. in the Savitz Multicultural Lounge (second floor SUB). American and international students gather to learn about world cultures in an informal setting of conversation and playing board games. Occasionally there are themed presentations and there is always coffee and other refreshments. All students are invited to attend.

For more information, contact:

Off-Campus Student Information

If you have not already done so, students residing off campus (in apartments, not at home) are asked to provide their off-campus address and telephone number via the link below. Sharing your local address does not substitute for the Wilkes Emergency Contact System or vice versa.

Off-Campus Address Form

If you have any questions about off-campus life, please contact:

Gretchen Yeninas
Office of Students Affairs
gretchen.yeninas@wilkes.edu
570-408-4107

University Dining Service News

  • Keep an eye out for all of the seasonal favorites that you love!
  • Join us at the Starbucks location inside UCOM Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and weekends from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • The P.O.D. Market is the one stop shop for all of your convenience needs on campus, and this fall you can get your Sushi fix too! Pick up your favorite roll Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.!
  • Eating healthy in a hurry? The P.O.D. Market at Stark will have a full line of Grab & Go salads and sandwiches, as well as Naked Juice options.
  • Greens To Go will be serving up your favorite salads, as well as new weekly features like Asian Chicken Salad and Pear Walnut Chicken Salad. Greens To Go is open Monday through Friday 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • From the Grille to the freshly toasted sandwiches, you're sure to find something to appease your appetite!
  • Schedule:
    • Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
    • Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    • Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Vegetarian Zone: find your vegetarian options at our Vegetarian Station or make a delicious salad from our vegetarian salad bar.
  • Vegan & vegetarian items made-to-order for lunch each day!
  • Food allergy? No problem! Campus Dining is here to make eating easy for you at Wilkes! Our visiting dietitian, Michelle would love to talk with you! Our gluten free area is expanding this Fall! We now have more options at Henry's including gluten free grill favorites, breakfast options and more! Email james.watkinson@wilkes.edu with any allergy concerns.
  • Cash Equivalency is a cash amount that is credited towards the purchase of food items in Rifkin Food Court (Grilleworks & Which Wich?) and Greens To Go in the Stark Learning Center.
  • A "meal" is deducted from your meal plan balance and a cash equivalent value is applied toward the total cost of items purchased.
  • Any outstanding balance can be paid for with Dining or Flex Dollars, cash or credit.
  • Students may use one swipe during each of the following periods
    • Breakfast & Late Night Swipe: $5.11
    • Lunch & Dinner Swipe: $6.46

Athletics

Opening Season Contests

Cross Country @ Misericordia Sept. 1 - Away

Men's Soccer @ Penn State Berks Sept. 1 - Away

Women's Soccer @ Penn State Berks Sept. 1 - Away

Football @ Keystone Sept. 3 - Away

Field Hockey @ York Sept. 3 - Away

Women's Volleyball @ Keystone Sept. 1 - Away

For complete schedules and additional athletics information, visit gowilkesu.com.

Health and Wellness Services

University policy requires that all students living in university owned housing or participating in an intercollegiate athletic program must show proof of health insurance in addition to the completed health form before receiving keys for housing.

International students on an F or J visa must have proof of health insurance and can write to the International Office (cathylee.arcuino@wilkes.edu) for suggestions of companies that meet requirements. Wilkes University does not offer any type of student health plan. It is up to the individual to obtain health care coverage privately.

In an effort to help the student find an affordable health insurance policy the following link may be used as a resource: www.individualhealthquotes.com/listings.jsp.

Masks must be worn at all times at the Health and Wellness Services Office.
  • In an effort to reduce face to face symptom assessment, all visits will be made by appointment only after answering a few questions prior to making the appointment. Please call 570-408-4730.
  • Doctor's hours will remain Tuesday 9 to 11 and Wednesday 10 to 12 by appointment only.
  • Telemedicine will be offered via a secure internet/HIPPA compliant system. For a telemedicine appointment call 570-408-4730. You will be instructed how to access telemedicine when you are making the appointment.
  • Allergy shots and other injections, including Mantoux testing, will require an appointment. Call 570-408-4730.
  • Appointments can be made between the hours of 8:30 am and 4:30 pm. The office will be closed from 12 to 1 for lunch.
  • For Wilkes University Counseling Center appointments, you can call 570-408- 4101 or directly email Dr. Maria Richards at maria.richards@wilkes.edu or Melissa Gaudio at melissa.gaudio@wilkes.edu.
  • To the best of our ability, we will offer all of our regular services but sometimes in a different landscape. We will provide a safe and effective health and wellness experience to our Wilkes campus community, while following the CDC guidelines regarding Covid-19.
  • In case of an emergency, call 911.

Student Leaders

  • Megan Makovsky, President Student Government
  • Danielle Morris, Vice President Student Government
  • Marytere Quintana-Avila ,Treasurer Student Government
  • Michael Nowak, President Residence Hall Council
  • Brynn Stahl, President Commuter Council
  • Kathrine Ermeus, President Multi-Cultural Student Coalition
  • Kaelin Hughes, President Programming Board

Required Notifications

Wilkes University is committed to providing a welcoming environment for all members of our community and to ensuring that all educational and employment decisions are based on individuals' abilities and qualifications. Wilkes University prohibits discrimination in its educational programs, employment, admissions or any activities on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, age, religion, disability, pregnancy, gender, gender identity and/or expression, sexual orientation, marital or family status, military or veteran status, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected under applicable federal, state or local laws.

Consistent with this principle, Wilkes University will comply with state and federal laws such as the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act or other applicable state law, Title IX, Title VI and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, the Ethnic Intimidation Act of 1982 (P.L. 537-154) and other laws that prohibit discrimination.

As a recipient of federal financial assistance for education activities, Wilkes University is required by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 to ensure that all of its education programs and activities do not discriminate on the basis of sex/gender, including in admissions and employment. Sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating and domestic violence, and stalking are forms of sex discrimination, which are prohibited under Title IX and this Policy.

All members and visitors of the Wilkes University community have the right to raise concerns or make a complaint regarding discrimination under this Policy without fear of retaliation. Inquiries about this Policy statement may be addressed to the University's Title IX Coordinator in person, by mail, by telephone or by email, using the contact information listed below. A report may be made at any time (including during non- business hours). Anonymous complaints may also be made via the online reporting form.

Title IX Coordinator

Elizabeth C. Leo, Esq.
(570) 408-7788
elizabeth.leo@wilkes.edu

Deputy Title IX Coordinators

Student Coordinator

Philip J. Ruthkosky, PhD
Interim Dean of Students
2nd Floor Passan Hall Wilkes-Barre, PA 18766
(570) 408-4108philip.ruthkosky@wilkes.edu

Faculty & Staff Coordinator

Kristin Pitarra
Human Resources Director
10 East South Street, Suite A
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18766
(570) 408-2034
kristin.pitarra@wilkes.edu

Inquiries about Title IX may be directed to Wilkes University’s Title IX Coordinator, the Assistant Secretary, or both. The Assistant Secretary can be contacted at U.S. Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education, 400 Maryland Avenue S.W., Washington, D.C. 20202, or (800) 421-3481. For further information on notice of non-discrimination, you can find the address and phone number of the OCR office that serves your area online or call 1-800-421-3481.

Information regarding graduation and persistence rates as required by the Students' Right to Know Act is available at the Office of Student Affairs, the Registrar's Office, the Office of Admissions and the Athletic Director's Office. Consistent with law, this information is disseminated according to regulations.

The Wilkes University Police Department prepares and distributes the For Your Safety Annual Safety and Security Report. This document is prepared in compliance with Act 73 of 1988 of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, 20 USC 1092(f). This report is available in hard copy format upon request during normal business hours at the Department of Public Safety, 148 S. Main St.; the Office of Admissions, Chase Hall, Reception Area; and the Office of Student Affairs, Passan Hall, Reception Area. An electronic copy of this report is available on the University website. Additionally, daily logs and crime logs are available for review during normal business hours at the Department of Public Safety. Any questions regarding this report and the specific requirements of the Acts that govern its production can be addressed to the Department of Public Safety, ext. 4982

Please take a few moments to review the documents linked below. They provides important drug and alcohol information, including:

  • Effects associated with drug and alcohol use and abuse.
  • Federal, state and local laws and campus policies.
  • Resources for those seeking professional help.

Drug and Alcohol Prevention

The University encourages all students to take seriously their responsibility, as citizens, to vote. Voter registration information is available online at usa.gov/register-to-vote. It takes only minutes to register!

Student Handbook

The Undergraduate Student Handbook is available online below

Undergraduate Student Handbook

In the Handbook, you can find important resource information as well as the most current policies and procedures at the University.

Attendance Policy

We strongly recommend all members of the University community to be attentive to their health and safeguard others by following the CDC's guideline to "stay home when you are sick" and to seek appropriate medical evaluation.

Instructors are expected to:

  1. Inform students in writing of their attendance policy at the beginning of the semester.
  2. Take attendance and report excessive absences to the Dean of Student Affairs.
  3. Discourage absence from classes prior to the beginning of a holiday period.

Attendance at all scheduled classes is expected and required. Repeated absences are a sufficient cause for failure.

After five consecutive instructional hours of unexcused absences from a class, students may be readmitted to the class only by action of the Office of Student Affairs and the department chairperson concerned. Any absence beyond that permitted in the course is a matter between the student and the instructor. Absences due to illness, religious holidays, or participation in athletic or other University sponsored activities are usually considered to be acceptable reasons for absences, but notification of such absences and arrangements to make up missed work should be made with the instructor by the student.

In the unfortunate event of a death in the family, students are asked to contact the Office of Student Affairs so that notification might be sent to faculty members and arrangements made with them to assist students in making up missed work.

If students are ill and will be missing a test, examination, or presentation, it is their responsibility to contact the instructor by email prior to the start of the missed activity.

When students are going to be absent for a period of two days or more, if they notify the Office of Student Affairs, written notification of their extended absence will be sent to the students' instructors.

Pandemic-Related Protocol

Students who are engaging in isolation or quarantine at the direction of the Wilkes Barre Health Department, Wilkes University Health and Wellness Services Office or their health care professional, should not attend class. Students will be required to provide documentation of isolation/quarantine directions from their healthcare professional to the office of Health and Wellness Services. Students will not be penalized for absences, missed exams, labs or other critical academic activities, unless they fail to notify their instructors of their absences. Students must take responsibility for their absences and keep up with their coursework if they cannot attend class.

They must:

  • Inform their instructors/professors and the Office of Student Affairs of their inability to attend class prior to class meetings.
  • Refrain from coming to the classroom or visiting the instructor/professor.
  • Maintain open communication by notifying instructors and student health services (anita.burns@wilkes.edu, 570-408-4730) as soon as they become aware of the situation.
  • Keep up with classwork, unless they are unable to do so.
  • When available, attend class remotely and submit assignments digitally, unless they are unable to do so.
  • Work with their instructors to reschedule exams, labs and other critical academic activities as soon as possible.