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Message for students living on campus about Mayor’s stay-at-home order

This message was sent to all students living on campus

Dear on-campus students,

We are writing to follow up on Mayor Schewel’s announcement that the City of Durham will enact a “stay at home” order effective Thursday, March 26 at 6 p.m.

All Duke students who are living on campus or in Durham must abide by this order, just as we expect Duke students to follow local and state laws. Students who are approved to remain on campus may not leave campus, and off-campus students may not come on campus.

For students who are approved to remain on campus at this point, Duke defines “home” as your current room assignment on West Campus or at 300/301 Swift Avenue or SmartHome. Students on campus must remain in their assigned residence hall and assigned room as much as possible.

You may leave your residential assignment in order to:

  • Take walks or get exercise on campus grounds. Please continue to practice social distancing and remain six feet away from others on campus.
  • Pick up to-go food orders or visit the University Store, again while remaining on campus grounds.
  • Exercise your approved emotional support animal on campus.
  • Attend to urgent medical needs, such as visiting Student Health or the Emergency Room. Please reschedule all non-essential medical appointments. If you are experiencing respiratory symptoms consistent with the onset of COVID-19, please call Student Health for instructions before visiting the clinic.

During the stay-at-home period, undergraduate students living in Duke residence halls may not travel off-campus for reasons unrelated to the above circumstances, and students living off-campus may not enter any Duke buildings.  Failure to abide by these expectations will result in disciplinary action through the Office of Student Conduct. This is in addition to any action that the city and law enforcement agencies may take.

If you have questions, please contact keeplearning@duke.edu. For urgent needs, students who remain on campus should contact the RA On Call or the Dean on Call at 984-287-0300. Additional reminders around existing resources are below.

Join Mayor Schewel’s call for young people to act responsibly for the sake of yourselves and other community members. As he said in this morning’s press conference, “We have to offer another kind of kindness now—the kindness of distance.”

Thank you for your attention to this information and for all that you are already doing to maintain social distancing, wash hands, and look out for yourselves and others. We are here to support you in the days ahead and appreciate that this is not easy for anyone.

Sincerely yours,

Mary Pat McMahon
Vice Provost of Student Affairs

Gary Bennett
Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education

Message to off-campus students about Mayor’s stay-at-home order

This message was sent to all students who live off-campus in Durham

Dear off-campus students,
We are writing to follow up on Mayor Schewel’s announcement that the City of Durham will enact a “stay at home” order effective Thursday, March 26 at 6 p.m.

All Duke students who are living in Durham must abide by this order, just as we expect Duke students to follow local and state laws.

 We understand that many of you have already left the Durham area—please continue to take care and stay safe where you are!

For those of you who are still in Durham: during the stay-at-home period, students living off-campus may not come to campus or enter any Duke buildings. (Limited numbers of graduate students may have obtained prior approval to perform their duties in research labs with an essential function.) Failure to abide by these expectations will result in disciplinary action through the Office of Student Conduct. This is in addition to any action that the city and law enforcement agencies may take.

If you have questions, please contact keeplearning@duke.edu.
Join Mayor Schewel’s call for young people to act responsibly for the sake of yourselves and other community members. As he said in this morning’s press conference, “We have to offer another kind of kindness now—the kindness of distance.”Thank you for your attention to this information and for all that you are already doing to maintain social distancing, wash hands, and look out for yourselves and others. We are here to support you in the days ahead and appreciate that this is not easy for anyone.
Sincerely yours,
Mary Pat McMahon
Vice Provost of Student Affairs
Gary Bennett
Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education

Durham Stay-at-Home Order

To All Duke students, faculty and staff,  

The City of Durham has enacted a Stay-at-Home order for all residents and businesses effective Thursday, March 26 at 6:00 pm.  This order is consistent with the actions and policies that Duke has undertaken over the past several weeks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community and protect our health care workers, hospitals and clinics so they can continue their vital service.  We expect to see similar orders from Wake County and other parts of the region in the next several days.  

The new Durham Stay-at-Home order supersedes any previous Duke policies and applies to ALL residents of Durham (including students residing on- and off-campus) and ALL faculty and staff employees at Duke facilities in Durham.  It provides specific exemptions for health care workers as well others who are supporting critical operations at Duke and elsewhere.  

Anyone at Duke who is currently supporting critical operations should continue to report to your designated work location as scheduled.  As needs evolve, there are some that may be redeployed to roles that also require you to report to campus. For those that are working remotely, we are redoubling our efforts to ensure that all employees supporting critical services at Duke have the necessary equipment to safeguard your health and well-being.  

Individuals who are maintaining critical research laboratory functions may continue to do so provided they observe safety guidelines.  However, access to offices and classrooms for the purposes of teaching online classes is no longer permitted.  We understand and regret that this may cause a disruption – the Keep Teaching team is working on alternatives and will be communicating directly with faculty.  

Students who are currently living in Duke residence halls must remain on campus in their assigned residence hall and assigned room as much as possible, but are permitted to take walks or get exercise on campus grounds (while practicing social distancing and remaining six feet away from others on campus); picking up to-go food orders or visiting the University Store; and attending to urgent medical needs, such as visiting Student Health.  

This continues to be a rapidly changing situation and we will update the Duke community as quickly as we can provide verified information.  You can also visit https://coronavirus.duke.edu for the latest news and Duke policies.  

Thank you to the countless individuals throughout the Duke community who have performed selfless and courageous service to meet the needs of our students, the community and world.  We are fortunate to be part of such a strong, committed, caring and passionate community.  

Kyle J. Cavanaugh
Vice President for Administration and Emergency Coordinator

The Importance of Inclusion

Dear Colleagues,

I have been deeply disturbed by recent reports of bias incidents targeting Chinese, Chinese-American, and Asian individuals throughout the United States.  Meeting the global challenge of COVID-19 calls perhaps as never before on our common humanity and regard for others; it cannot be allowed to become a cause for scapegoating, bias, or hatred.

Duke has benefitted from a vibrant relationship with China since well before we became a university. Our very first international student, Han Jiaozhun, or Charlie Soong, came to what was then Trinity College in 1880 from Hainan province.  And we take pride in Duke Kunshan University, our innovative joint venture in Jiangsu province. Over the decades, thousands of Chinese and Chinese-American students, faculty, staff, and visitors have come to our campus to study, work, conduct research, and treat patients. These colleagues, classmates, friends, and neighbors are a vitally important part of our university community.

The recent spate of bias incidents across America not only reflects the most misguided, distorted, and base biases about the coronavirus, it is also thwarting the public health response to the virus’s spread. I want to be quite clear: Duke resoundingly condemns any discrimination or bias against our Asian or Asian-American neighbors, and we pledge to continue advocating for our shared values of inclusion, mutual trust, and respect.

To that end, Duke is prepared to provide assistance to students, staff, and faculty who may need it. If you believe you have experienced discrimination or harassment based upon your race, national origin or other protected identity, please contact the Office for Institutional Equity for assistance at 919-684-8222 or oie-help@duke.edu. You may also consider other Reporting Resources to address additional concerns.

In these unsettling times, I encourage every person associated with Duke University to join me in supporting those among us who might need a kind word or some assistance—and to remember to take care of ourselves and one another as we meet the challenges ahead.

Sincerely,
Vincent E. Price

U.S. State Department Global Travel Advisory for all U.S. Citizens

TO:                  All Duke Students, Faculty and Staff
FROM:            Kyle J. Cavanaugh
                        Vice President for Administration and Emergency Coordinator

We want to be sure that you saw the news that the U.S. State Department has issued a Level 4 Travel Advisory for all U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19. The advisory (copied below) recommends that U.S. citizens arrange to return to the U.S. immediately unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period.

If you are currently out of the country and intend to return to the U.S. we strongly encourage you to make travel arrangements immediately, and to observe the guidelines about self-isolating that comes from public health authorities when you return.  Additional guidance, including requirements for quarantine, is available on the Duke Coronavirus website

The full text of the State Department advisory is below:

The Department of State advises U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19.  In countries where commercial departure options remain available, U.S. citizens who live in the United States should arrange for immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period.  U.S. citizens who live abroad should avoid all international travel.  Many countries are experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks and implementing travel restrictions and mandatory quarantines, closing borders, and prohibiting non-citizens from entry with little advance notice.  Airlines have cancelled many international flights and several cruise operators have suspended operations or cancelled trips.  If you choose to travel internationally, your travel plans may be severely disrupted, and you may be forced to remain outside of the United States for an indefinite timeframe.

On March 14, the Department of State authorized the departure of U.S. personnel and family members from any diplomatic or consular post in the world who have determined they are at higher risk of a poor outcome if exposed to COVID-19 or who have requested departure based on a commensurate justification.  These departures may limit the ability of U.S. Embassies and consulates to provide services to U.S. citizens.

For the latest information regarding COVID-19, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) website.

You are encouraged to visit travel.state.gov to view individual Travel Advisories for the most urgent threats to safety and security. Please also visit the website of the relevant U.S. embassy or consulate to see information on entry restrictions, foreign quarantine policies, and urgent health information provided by local governments.

Travelers are urged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency. The Department uses these Alerts to convey information about terrorist threats, security incidents, planned demonstrations, natural disasters, etc. In an emergency, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate or call the following numbers: 1(888) 407-4747 (toll-free in the United States and Canada) or 1 (202) 501-4444 from other countries or jurisdictions.

 If you decide to travel abroad or are already outside the United States:

Consider returning to your country of residence immediately using whatever commercial means are available.

Have a travel plan that does not rely on the U.S. Government for assistance.

Review and follow the CDC’s guidelines for the prevention of coronavirus.

Check with your airline, cruise lines, or travel operators regarding any updated information about your travel plans and/or restrictions.

Visit travel.state.gov to view individual Travel Advisories for the most urgent threats to safety and security.

Visit our Embassy webpages on COVID-19 for information on conditions in each country or jurisdiction.

Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website on the latest travel restrictions to the United States

Visit Keeping workplaces, homes, schools, or commercial establishments safe.

Undergraduate Grading Policy Changes

This email was sent to all undergraduate students on March 18, 2020

Dear Duke Students,

The unprecedented challenges imposed by COVID-19 require us to consider novel ways to support the curricular efforts of our undergraduate students and faculty. This is a moment that has been characterized by widespread anxiety, uncertainty, social, and geographic disruption. As academic leaders of this great university, we believe that bold action is necessary to maximize undergraduates’ curricular engagement.

Accordingly, during Spring 2020, we will transition all courses to a satisfactory/unsatisfactory (S/U) grading option, but allow undergraduates the opportunity of receiving a letter grade.

Effective immediately, Spring 2020 courses will transition to a default S/U grading option. If you choose to receive a letter grade for any class, you can indicate so by submitting a form to the registrar’s office no later than April 22 at 5:00 pm EST. You can find the form here: https://registrar.duke.edu/forms/su-graded.

Moreover:

  • Courses taken for S/U grades during Spring 2020 will count towards curricular, major, continuation, and graduation requirements.
  • A grade of S (satisfactory) will be awarded if you earn the equivalent of a letter grade of C- or higher.
  • Grades of S and U are not factored into your grade point average.
  • This policy does not apply to 500/600-level courses. These courses are subject to graduate-level grading policies. More detail about these courses will follow.
  • Given this shift, we will suspend the Dean’s List for the Spring 2020 semester.
  • Duke will include a designation on undergraduate students’ transcripts, indicating the extraordinary circumstances encountered in the present semester.

We expect that this strategy will ease the necessary transitions into remote course delivery and promote strong engagement throughout this most extraordinary phase of Duke’s history.

Best wishes for a healthy, fulfilling, and intellectually stimulating semester.

Go Duke!

Sally Kornbluth, Provost
Valerie Ashby, Dean, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
Ravi Bellamkonda, Dean, Pratt School of Engineering
Gary Bennett, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education
Jennifer Francis, Executive Vice Provost
Judith Kelley, Dean, Sanford School of Public Policy
Mary Pat McMahon, Vice Provost/Vice President Student Affairs
Toddi Steelman, Dean, Nicholas School of the Environment

Closing of Duke University Libraries

Dear Duke Community,   

The Duke Libraries will close to the Duke and broader communities on Wednesday March 18 at 5pm. Library staff will continue to scan documents, focusing on course requests, through 5:00 pm Friday, March 20, 2020. All library staff will work from home thereafter.  

To ensure the health and safety of users and library staff through close of business March 18, users who wish to check out books will be distributed as necessary to checkout stations spread apart in Perkins and Lilly so users can move through quickly and with as much distance from each other as possible.  

At the same time, the Libraries are making extra efforts to enable digital alternatives. The public services staff is developing information for faculty and students and will be posting it to the Library’s COVID-19 update page (https://library.duke.edu/about/coronavirus) on library resources available and whom to ask for help.  Library leadership is working to arrange open access to collections for research purposes, and will be sharing updates on the update page as soon as they have them. As well, the library will maintain extended online chat services from 9:00 am to 12:00 midnight (asklib) for reference questions; they will also offer research consultations as well as (if requested) instructional sessions by Zoom.  

Please know that Libraries staff will make best efforts to meet specific course and research needs. We ask for everyone’s understanding given that interlibrary lending systems are shut down nationally, and there is limited ability to move materials between libraries within the university.   

Professional school libraries messages will follow soon or are available on websites:  

School of Medicine: https://mclibrary.duke.edu/about/coronavirus   

Fuqua School of Business: The Ford Library is closed and librarians are providing library services remotely. The Reference Librarians Team is using email and chat (https://library.fuqua.duke.edu/about/askus.htm) to help students and faculty with research. The Data Services Team (library-data-requests@fuqua.duke.edu) will continue to assist faculty with data purchases. For further information about Ford Library collections and services, visit this website: https://library.fuqua.duke.edu   

Sincerely,  

Deborah Jakubs
Rita DiGiallonardo Holloway University Librarian & Vice Provost for Library Affairs  

Jennifer Francis
Executive Vice Provost

Duke Admin COVID-19 Recap – Ep. 1

This email was sent to all students on March 16, 2020

Dear students,
We appreciate that you are navigating many transitions and challenges on this Monday of extended spring break. We also know you have questions about Duke’s response so far to the coronavirus global health crisis and impact on your studies.

This week we’ll take your undergraduate life-related questions through keeplearning@duke.edu and respond via interviews with Duke students and by updating the FAQs on our website. Special thanks to Linda Zhang ’20 for leading this kickoff video.

Best,
Gary Bennett
Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education

Mary Pat McMahon
Vice Provost of Student Affairs

New information for international students

This message was sent by email to all international students on March 14, 2020. It is also included in the FAQ at https://keeplearning.duke.edu/

Dear International Students:

We know that this is a stressful time for you and we want to provide as much support and guidance as we can. Please know that we are closely monitoring developments related to visa issues and will communicate with you as we learn about policies. In the meantime, we hope that the following information will be helpful to you:

1. Q- As an F-1 or J-1 student, I am only allowed to take one online course per semester, how does Duke’s decision to allow me to take all courses online affect my visa status?

A- The Student and Exchange Visitor Program, which governs the international student population, has recognized that most colleges and universities are transitioning to online instruction and has temporarily relaxed restrictions on online coursework. Students will be able to temporarily pursue online courses full-time inside or outside the U.S. until Duke University determines it is safe to resume classes on campus.

2. Q- If I return to my home country and complete my courses online, will my F-1 SEVIS file remain open?

A- Yes, you can complete your courses online. As long as you remain enrolled as a full-time student, we will not close or terminate your SEVIS file. Your situation would be similar to a Study Abroad student who started coursework in the U.S. and completed it outside the U.S. Keeping your SEVIS file open will allow you to reenter the U.S. as a F-1 student.

3. Q- I heard I cannot be outside the country for more than 5 months or I will lose my F-1 status. Is this true?

A- The 5-month absence rule only applies if you are no longer a Duke student due to the termination of your SEVIS record. If you are outside the U.S. 5 months or more after your SEVIS record was terminated, you lose your ability to reenter as a F-1 student. We must issue a new I-20 with a new SEVIS number. If that happens, your F-1 status will restart, which may affect your ability to request employment authorization in the U.S. WE WILL NOT CLOSE YOUR SEVIS FILE IF YOU ARE ENROLLED AS A FULL-TIME STUDENT ONLINE AND YOU INTEND TO RETURN AFTER THE CRISIS OR IN FALL 2020.

4. Q- What about the visa in my passport? Will it expire after 5 months?

A- The visa in your passport will NOT expire as long as you are enrolled full-time online during the Spring term because you still have a connection to your Duke academic program. Remember to check your visa to verify it is a multiple entry visa and has an expiration date AFTERyou reenter the U.S. If it was a single entry visa, you must request a new visa before returning to the U.S. If you have a two-entry visa, the visa is only valid for two entries before the expiration date.

5. Q- I prefer to return home to complete my semester online but my visa has expired. What do I do?

A- If your visa has expired, you must request a new visa before you reenter the U.S. Detailed information about the visa process can be found on our website.

6. Q- I will graduate in May 2020 and would like to apply for Post-Graduation Optional Practical Training (OPT). Can I still do so?

A- Yes, you can still apply for OPT. We recommend that you apply before you leave the U.S. We cannot assist you after you physically leave the U.S. because you will not have an I-94 showing you are in the U.S. Further details on Post-Graduation Optional Practical Training can be found on our website.

7. Q- I will not graduate in May 2020 and have received an internship for the summer. What options do I have to reenter the U.S. receive employment authorization?

A- Your choices are Pre-Completion Optional Practical Training or Curricular Practical Training. The processing time for Pre-Completion Optional Practical Training is anywhere from 3 to 4 months. If you have not already applied, there is a very low likelihood you will receive approval for the summer. If you qualify for Curricular Practical Training and receive an internship, we cannot process the approval while you are outside the U.S., but if you send our office the required information when you reenter the U.S. and send us a copy of your I-94, we will be able to process Curricular Practical Training approval.

8. Q- I filed for Pre- or Post-Graduation Optional Practical Training, and I plan to leave the U.S. How will I receive the Practical Training approval card?

A- The Duke Visa Services Office will contact you with instructions.  We will mail the the card to you when it arrives.

9. Q- What if I want to stay on campus because I cannot leave the U.S.?

A- If you are presently on campus and cannot return home, whether due to travel restrictions, costs of travel, or another consideration that may supersede this direction, you must complete the housing registration form. Student Affairs staff will follow up with you directly to learn more. Detailed information can be found at Update for All Students in Residence Halls.

10. Q- Can I stay in the U.S. through the end of the Spring 2020 semester – but not on the Duke campus – and not return to Duke for the duration of the crisis after the semester ends?

A- You must be enrolled in a full-time schedule of Duke online classes to remain in the U.S. If you relocate within the U.S., then you must update your address in DukeHub so we can notify the Student and Exchange Visitor Program of your new location. IF YOU ARE NOT GOING TO PURSUE FULL-TIME DUKE ONLINE COURSES AFTER THE END OF THE SPRING 2020 SEMESTER, YOU WILL NOT BE IN A VALID F-1 STATUS AND MUST LEAVE THE U.S.

11. Q- Duke has restrictions on travel to certain countries. What is the update on this issue?

A- Duke has restrictions on university-funded or sponsored travel.  However, personal travel is permitted. There is additional guidance on this issue at: https://coronavirus.duke.edu/events-travel/.

12. Q- I have additional questions about visas. Whom do I contact?

A- Email visahelp@mc.duke.edu and an advisor will assist you or call Duke Visa Services at 919-681-8472.

Sincerely,
Duke Visa Services

Revised Duke Bus and Van Schedule

The updated transit schedule has been posted to the Parking & Transportation website. The new schedule is effective March 16. 

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