MTSO’s Response to the Novel Coronavirus
MTSO is addressing concerns surrounding the spread of COVID-19 in the following ways.
Online classes continue through the end of the semester
No classes will meet face-to-face between now and the end of the Spring Semester. Our faculty and educational-technology staff have been working diligently to facilitate this transition. Students can expect to receive necessary details regarding the online resumption of each class in coming days.
Field education and clinical pastoral education are being handled contextually. The field education office is contacting students and their supervisors to discuss individual situations.
Chapel continues online
The MTSO community continues to meet for Tuesday chapel via video stream. Links to 1 p.m. services will be sent to students, faculty and staff via email. We will link to archived services here.
The library facility is closed
Dickhaut Library will not be available for on-site research or checking out books for the remainder of the semester.
Library staff can still provide full text of electronic articles or ebook chapters. Library staff can also scan print articles and book chapters to be sent to students as PDF documents. Staffers are working on ways of providing reserve readings as needed. OhioLINK shipments of requested materials to the campus ceased as of March 19.
Commencement has been postponed
After considering the health risks and likely trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have decided to postpone MTSO’s commencement ceremony, which had been scheduled for May 23. Please note that this is a postponement, not a cancellation.
Because we’re unable to predict the nature of social-distancing guidelines as the summer progresses, we have not yet chosen a new commencement date. While we’re eager to mark our calendars and look forward to that time together, we don’t want to risk choosing a date today only to reschedule again down the road.
Closing Convocation and senior awards will take place as scheduled but via an online format.
Campus services are affected
The MTSO mailroom will have limited hours, from 1 to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. Also, mail will not be distributed to offices or other parts of campus. If you have ordered things to be delivered to campus, you will need to pick them up when the mailroom is open.
The dining hall will not serve meals while classes are being taught entirely online, and Dewire Residence Hall will be closed to overnight guests.
Events are postponed
Mindful of the need for social distancing, we are choosing to host no events or gatherings on campus through the end of the Spring Semester. We are exploring options for offering events at different dates or virtually when possible. Some events have already been rescheduled.
Staff members are working remotely
All staff members will work from home to the extent that is possible, effective immediately. Those who need to be on campus will coordinate on-campus activity with others to avoid contact.
Social distancing and healthy hygiene are musts
During any time you need to spend in campus facilities, you should stay at least 6 feet away from any other person – or, preferably, in a different room altogether. Each of us has a responsibility to practice social distancing and follow other guidelines for slowing the spread of germs. Here are specific recommendations from the CDC.
Travel is restricted
All school-sponsored international travel is suspended, effective immediately. This includes new travel as well as any currently booked trips between now and the end of May. That date could change as new information becomes available.
School-sponsored air travel in the United States must be approved by the president.
We join health experts in discouraging personal travel. If you or a member of your household has traveled internationally since Feb. 25, please consult the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention list of countries where sustained transmission of the virus has been known to occur. If you or a member of your household have visited any of the countries on the CDC list, you are asked to do two things:
- Report your trip to email@example.com.
- Stay home for 14 days following you or your household member’s return to ensure that you don't risk spreading the disease.
Communication will continue
As conditions evolve, we will continue to evaluate our situation and pursue the best options for fulfilling our educational mission in new and different ways. It is vital that members of the MTSO community monitor their mtso.edu email accounts for updates. We also will post updated information on this web page.