Today's Update: Wednesday, March 11

March 11, 2020

Dear Student Life Team:

As you may have seen on the news, the World Health Organization has now declared Coronavirus a pandemic. Obviously, we are not alone in dealing with this situation, nor are we alone in dealing with extremely important issues involving keeping our community healthy and safe. That perspective may help as we navigate these largely uncharted waters.  
 
There are discussions going on nearly around the clock here at Ohio State, and we are rapidly making decisions about how best to address this situation. Still, for every question answered there are a dozen more that still need attention, and I ask for your patience and flexibility, and also your help in identifying things that may need more immediate attention. Working together, we will always be more effective.  
 
As I have mentioned before, if you have questions or ideas, send them to studentlife@osu.edu. We will do our best to answer them as answers are available. And don’t forget about the open update session for all Student Life staff on Friday, March 13, from 1 to 2:15 p.m. We will use Zoom to videoconference it. You can go online to find more information about joining a Zoom meeting and more information will be available tomorrow.     
 
Here are the most recent updates: 
 
Student Support 

  • While the residence halls won’t reopen until Saturday (3/14), we are working on a plan to allow students to come back tomorrow and Friday to pick up their belongings. An email is going out today to parents and students about this. Staff will let them in the building. However, students will not be permitted to stay until the halls reopen.  
  • One of the big unanswered questions currently is how many students will be on campus as of next week. We can’t really know in advance, but a survey has been sent to students living in the residence halls asking if they plan to return and when. 

Telecommuting 
Details are still being worked out, but there are a couple things you can do to help get ready for whatever our work environment may be in the coming weeks.   

  • Log into employee self-service and update your contact information. This includes your work address, home address, business phone, mobile phone and home phone. It is important that we have the most up-to-date information to be able to disseminate important information as this situation evolves. To update your information, log in to your eProfileand click on the link in Personal Information -> Personal Information Summary and review your contact information. 
  • Since telecommuting is a possibility for some people, it is important to know if your home internet can handle it. Bandwidth and ping rate are the standard measures for evaluating network performance. Student Life Technology Services says to test your home internet speed, use a device that supports an internet browser that is connected to you to your home internet. Navigate to Speedtest.net and click on the ‘GO’ button in the middle of the page. The website will run a test to determine your maximum upload and download speeds. These speeds will vary slightly based on several factors but in general they provide a quick estimate of the capability of your network. The speeds required to perform a specific function will vary. You can follow the guides provided by the FCC on what speed you will need. If you are performing multiple functions at the same time, simply add up the minimum speed requirements. 

We will no doubt be doing more video conferencing, including adding Zoom to the all Student Life staff information session on Friday. There are two Ohio State options for video meetings. 

 
Human Resources guidance for managers and supervisors 
Human Resources (OHR) is currently working on guidelines for employees, including student employees. We will pass those along as soon as they are available.  

 
Travel 

  • You may have seen the message from Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Michael Papadakis. The university's office of Business and Finance has issued temporary guidelines for travel and the approval process. The simple version:  
  • Effective immediately and until further notice, all university-sponsored international travel is suspended. This includes new travel as well as any currently booked trips between now and April 20.  
  • University-sponsored domestic air travel will be limited to business essential travel and will be approved on an as-needed basis. This includes new travel as well as any currently booked trips between now and April 20. 
  • Check with your director or business manager for more detail on the Business and Finance guidance.  
  • The ban on non-essential university trips includes both flying and driving.  

 
Again, thank you for your patience and flexibility. I’ll continue to update you as new information comes in.  
 
All my best to you,
Melissa