Wilkes University

An Important Message From the President's Office re: Updated COVID-19 Information

As we all grapple with the spread of COVID-19 across the country, we continue to make plans and accommodations for the University and its members. Please know that at this time we, like everyone else, have no idea how long it will take for us to return to normal operations. In the meantime, we will endeavor to provide the most optimal learning, working and living conditions that we can for our students, faculty and staff.  We thank everyone for the positivity, empathy and support being expressed for those needing our help.  

There are many questions about how these next few weeks will operate. I will be transparent when I say that there are some answers we simply do not have right now. Below are the answers we do have and we will continue to work on those we do not.

Residence Life
As previously noted, our residence halls will close at 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 15. In a previous email from the Office of Residence Life, students were provided instructions about hall closings. Those with extenuating circumstances may be able to stay. These requests are due by 12 noon tomorrow, Saturday, March 14. If we are able to return to classes on April 6, the residence halls will reopen at 12 noon on Saturday, April 4.

Food Service
Effective Monday, March 16, the Henry Student Center dining hall will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. for students, faculty and staff. All other locations, including Starbucks, the POD, Which Wich and Grille Works, will be closed until further notice. Flex dollars will continue to be accepted at off-campus restaurants for as long as those locations are open.

Athletics and Recreation
The following facilities will be accessible from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. You will need to swipe in to access most of these locations.

  • Marts Fitness Center
  • Henry Gymnasium
  • Multi-Purpose “Blue” Room
  • Ralston Athletic Complex

In addition, the YMCA is maintaining their normal operating hours. If this should change, we will update you.

Library and I.T.
The I.T. helpdesk will maintain regular operating hours. Operating hours for the Farley Library this weekend are as follows:

  • Saturday, March 14: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Sunday, March 15: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

From Monday, March 16 to Monday, April 6, students, faculty and staff can access the library via their swipe card. Hours will be as follows:

  • 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday through Friday
  • Closed on Saturdays and Sundays

The library will maintain 24/7 lower-level access throughout the recess. It is accessible via the West South Street entrance. Computers and wi-fi are located in the Farley Library. In addition, Comcast is offering lower-cost services for those in need of connectivity at this time. Learn more here.

Building Access
Access to academic buildings will be limited to faculty and staff until April 6.  Academic departments will communicate directly with students regarding special circumstances. The Henry Student Center will be accessible with swipe cards from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day.

Labs and Experiential Learning
At this point, P4 pharmacy rotations and nursing clinicals for graduating students will continue. We understand that every discipline has different needs and arrangements. Classes and labs will not meet and we anticipate that faculty will find alternative ways to address this course content when we return. Faculty and academic leaders will be in touch with students about these plans.

Colonel Food Pantry
The food pantry will be available for students who need it. Please contact Kristin Osipower at ext. 5904 for assistance.

All events are cancelled through at least Sunday, April 5. All tours, admissions, alumni and special events on and off campus are cancelled.

Monetary Adjustments
Understandably you may have questions about whether you will be refunded for housing and meal plans that you will not use for the next several weeks. Right now, our top priority is focused on COVID-19 and keeping our campus community safe. But please be assured that Wilkes will offer prorated refunds or credits (based on your individual situation) on housing and meal plans. Due to possible financial aid implications, these are complex issues and we need some time to prepare accordingly. Furthering these complexities is the unknown nature of just how long students will be away from campus. We will share more details as they develop, including the value of monetary adjustments and when they will be administered.

Your questions and concerns have helped us identify many areas of consideration. We want to continue to hear about what’s on your mind. In addition to our departmental contact information, we have created a form for you to submit your questions. We will address common questions in a group format, add answers to our COVID-19 informational web page or get back to you directly.

Finally, I want to say that I am very proud of what I have witnessed on campus in recent days. People are helping one another, comforting one another and continue to smile and laugh through their tension and anxiety. You are all embodying what it means to Be Colonel through your kindness, patience and concern. We share it for you and your loved ones. 

Paul S. Adams