COVID-19 Information

MTSO’s Ongoing Response to the Novel Coronavirus

MTSO pivots Oct. 18 to fully online classes for remainder of Fall Semester

MTSO opened the Fall Semester under our Campus Extend plan, a learning experience gathered across physical and virtual space. For eight weeks, this allowed those who wished to come together on campus to do so while observing our Healthy Together protocols.

We met in classrooms, in chapel and during spontaneous outdoor lunches together. Most important, we did so while observing physical distancing and other precautions to protect one another from the coronavirus. We know of no instances of the virus on campus.

While the situation on our campus remains stable, we exist within a state that is now facing unprecedented struggles. On Oct. 17, Ohio had 2,234 reported new cases of COVID-19, the state’s highest total to date. With the current surge, we feel a civic responsibility to further diminish the chances the virus could spread via MTSO to our neighbors in the broader community.

Consistent with our commitment to be guided by our institutional commitments and the best public health information available, MTSO has pivoted to fully online education for the remainder of the Fall Semester, effective Oct. 18.

January Term will be fully online; Spring Semester classes will be online and possibly in person

Classes will be fully online during the January Term.

We pledge that all Spring Semester classes will be available online. We are evaluating whether we can also offer an in-person classroom experience in the spring. Once the decision has been made, we will communicate it as quickly as possible.

Healthy Together protocols

To ensure that each of us clearly understands our individual responsibility as a member of the MTSO community, the Administrative Council approved a Healthy Together COVID-19 Protocol in the summer of 2020. All students and employees were required to read and sign the appropriate protocol prior to Fall Semester.

For those who have a need to be in public spaces on campus following the Oct. 18 pivot to fully online classes, the protocols remain in erffect.

The student protocol is here. The employee protocol is here.

Here is more information about safety measures MTSO has taken and safety measures required of individuals.

Staff members are working remotely

All staff members are asked to work from home to the extent that is possible. Those who need to be on campus should coordinate with others to avoid contact. When essential tasks bring us to campus, our Healthy Together protocols continue to apply.

Chapel

Effective Oct. 20, we will gather fully online for our 1 p.m. Tuesday chapel services. Here is archived video of sermons from chapel services this semester:

Sept. 1: “A Good Psalm for a Pandemic?” by President Jay Rundell

Sept. 8: “Afraid of Your Own Shadow” by Assistant Professor of Homiletics, Worship, and Black Church and African Diasporic Studies Kyle Brooks

Sept. 22: “What You Have Is What You Need” by Director of Enrollment Management Benjamin Hall

Sept. 29: “Can You Imagine?” by Director of Strategic Initiatives and Operations Leigh Precise

Oct. 13: “Your People” by MTSO alumna Megan Buehler

Oct. 20: “Passing the Baton” by Assistant Professor of Homiletics, Worship, and Black Church and African Diasporic Studies Kyle Brooks

Oct. 27: Student reflections on clinical pastoral education

Nov. 10: “Sacred Gift and Inalienable Worth” by UU House of Studies Director Susan Ritchie

Nov. 17: Trans Day of Remembrance and “Ordinary/Feast Days,” sermon by Dean Valerie Bridgeman

Mailroom

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.

Lower campus buildings are closed

Gault Hall, Werner Hall and the Dickhaut Library are closed and locked, with the exception of Werner Hall’s Coffee Shop door, which allows access to the mailroom.

Single-night housing

Single-night housing is available to MTSO students who need a room for one or two nights a week. To apply, use this application. Questions? Email housing@mtso.edu.

Library

Access to the Dickhaut Library and the MTSO physical collection is suspended for faculty and students. Walkthrough browsing, study spaces and library computer use will not be available until further notice.

Requests for MTSO and OhioLINK materials can be made by using the online request form on the library’s website. Items will be left for contactless pickup in Werner Hall in the room directly across from the mailroom.

Library staff is expanding virtual services, including updating the library website content. Online research consultations can be arranged by using the online form on the library’s website or emailing Library Director Elonda Clay at eclay@mtso.edu or the Assistant Library Director David Powell at dpowell@mtso.edu.

Library staff members can provide full text of electronic articles or ebook chapters and can scan print articles and book chapters to be sent to students as PDF documents.

Travel restrictions

All school-sponsored travel is suspended.

Ongoing communication

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.