NORTH MIAMI, Fla. (July 28, 2020) -- On Tuesday, July 28, 2020, Johnson & Wales University released a memo on the University's plans for re-opening this fall. As part of that memo, it was announced that effective immediately JWU Athletics North Miami will discontinue all sports seasons and competitions.
Below is that memo.
Since March, every decision regarding JWU campus operations has been based on the latest information and guidance we have received from federal, state, and local public health and government officials. Throughout these months, our priority has been the health and wellbeing of the JWU community as we fulfill our academic mission and support our students toward the successful completion of their degrees. Like so many colleges throughout the country during these uncertain times, we have been planning for different scenarios for the fall semester that would provide a safe environment to meet our academic goals.
In June, we announced our intention to invite all undergraduate students to return to campus for the 2020-2021 academic year after close consultation with our states' governors' offices, departments of health and other agencies. Unfortunately, over the past few weeks, as the surge in the number of people testing positive for COVID-19 nationwide continues to increase significantly, many states are now instituting or extending executive orders requiring 14-day quarantine periods for people arriving from "hot spot" states. In addition, capacity restrictions for classrooms, residence halls and other indoor facilities will remain in place for many of our campuses.
FALL RE-OPENING PLAN
To comply with the latest government mandates, the university will welcome to campus this fall all of our first-year students, regardless of major (except for the North Miami and Denver campuses), students on internships, and only those returning and transfer students who are enrolled in classes that require a laboratory component. (At the North Miami and Denver campuses, students enrolled solely in lecture, non-lab academic classes can request on-campus housing.) Returning students who are enrolled solely in lecture, non-lab academic classes will be taught remotely for the upcoming fall semester. Students can determine if their courses will be offered in-person or via remote delivery by accessing their class schedules through jwuLink. More information regarding how students can access their schedule will be sent in the near future.
Students who live off campus are welcome to come to campus to use facilities, including the library, computer labs, and fitness centers (subject to local and state guidelines). Student Academic & Financial Services, Experiential Education & Career Services, Tutoring, Personal Counseling, and other services will be accessible in-person and virtually.
We know this decision may be disappointing to students, families, and faculty and staff. We recognize that many students and their families have made housing decisions for the fall while also understanding that this continues to be a fluid, ever-changing situation as public health and government officials grapple with mitigating the spread of the coronavirus. After carefully reviewing multiple options and evaluating many factors – and with the start of school only weeks away – we had to make the best decision for our entire community of students, families, faculty, and staff based on what we know today. This decision applies solely to the fall semester. A decision on the spring semester will be made later this year after assessing local, state, and federal guidelines.
In addition to abiding by the most up-to-date government guidelines, we are also impacted by decisions made by JWU-affiliated organizations. On July 20, GNAC, the Great Northeast Athletic Conference of which the JWU Providence Campus is a member, announced that it will postpone conference athletic competitions for the fall sports season. Other conferences around the nation have announced similar decisions to postpone championships until early 2021.
To best prioritize and protect the health and wellbeing of the student-athletes who will be attending classes in person, as well as the JWU and surrounding communities, the university has decided to cancel the fall sports season at the Providence and Charlotte campuses. Last month, the president of the JWU Denver Campus announced the difficult decision to end all of its athletic programs, effective immediately. In addition, North Miami Athletics programs will discontinue all sports seasons and competitions. Student athletes will be hearing from their coaches to discuss these decisions in more detail and offer guidance.
As our day-to-day world now consists of wearing masks and maintaining six-foot physical distancing to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, we cannot put our student athletes at risk by their participation in close contact or other sports. While the decision is deeply disappointing, especially for our seniors who had been looking forward to their final collegiate season of competition, it is necessary. A decision regarding the winter and spring sport seasons will be made in the coming months. We will miss being in the stands cheering for our Wildcats; however, protecting the health of all involved will always be our number one goal.
Knowing that many of you will have questions about the fall semester, we are in the process of updating the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section on the Wildcat Welcome website. In addition, separate communications are being prepared to be sent from the Office of the Provost, each campus president, and student services offices to provide more specific information regarding the fall semester for students, faculty, and staff. Please continue to check your JWU email, jwuLink, the Wildcat Welcome website, and the JWU Mobile app for information and updates.
As has been said many times this year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are in this together, and we will get through this together. I look forward to the time when we can all be together again on campus.