TO: MVSU Students within Residence Halls
FROM: MVSU President Dr. Jerryl Briggs, Sr.
DATE: March 23, 2020
RE: Clarification in regard to remaining in campus housing
Many of you have reached out to me in regard to remaining in your residence hall. To clear up any confusion, we are not mandating that you immediately leave campus housing without a suitable alternative; however, it is extremely important to understand that as this pandemic continues to grow and spread, we must exhaust every measure to ensure your safety and that of our campus community, including vacating the residence halls. Therefore, we are asking that you be specific in communicating your plans and needs regarding on campus housing.
In an earlier memo, I asked that you “only return to your residence hall if there are compelling, extenuating circumstances that make it absolutely necessary to remain on campus.” Through surveying and speaking directly with you all, we were able to identify some of the concerns that limited your ability to go home and complete your coursework through alternative instruction. Since then, we have worked to provide support for transportation and technology needs, and we will continue to seek additional support to ensure your ability to complete your classes for this semester.
During a televised interview today, Surgeon General Jerome Adams reiterated the importance of “staying at home to help stop the spread of the virus.” This is coupled with some states issuing these stay-at-home mandates for most employees, with the exceptions being for medical and public safety personnel. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) both support that the safest place for all to be at this point is at home in your permanent residence.
Although we continue to address safety measures on campus, we still cannot fully know that everyone is practicing safety measures outlined by the CDC and MSDH, thus creating a heightened concern for us all.
Managing through this crisis has been a moving target, meaning what seems to work and be reasonable today may be completely different tomorrow. However, one thing is clear—the number of confirmed cases has increased both within our state and nationally. Thus, we must remain diligent and proactive in our strategizing. We know that Governor Tate Reeves has already declared a State of Emergency for Mississippi and this may lead to further mandates. Assuming the state of emergency continues, we can expect further reductions in the number of employees physically coming to campus on a daily basis.
Moving forward, we will continue to follow all guidance and direction from the Mississippi Department of Health (MSDH) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC). As we continue to work through this unfortunate pandemic, we ask that you remain flexible and patient, and together we will keep Valley in Motion.