Inspired by theSkimm, longer than the E-announcements, created with your short attention span in mind.  

By Jaimee Hood

Almost two weeks after Governor Tim Walz issued #StayHomeMN, standing in the TSA line at the airport sounds kind of nice. Even when plans change, there’s something nice about knowing we’re not in it alone. Here’s what’s going on in your (virtual) community. 

Can we jump on a Google Hangout?

Bethel students and faculty made the transition to full-time online learning this week. Many used Google Meets, a video-conferencing tool in the Google Suite, to provide a face-to-face element to class and extracurricular meetings. Others used Zoom, which has a waiting room function that profs like for office hours.

Among those on the Google platform were outgoing President Jay Barnes and incoming President-Elect Ross Allen, who started what will become a weekly series of live streams called Monday Meetups where they will share updates with community members. 

I am not done, chaaaaaaanging

John Mayer, and also the effects of COVID-19 on Bethel life as the national and local situation continues to evolve day by day. Here are the most up-to-date answers we have on some pressing questions you may have. 

What’s going on with grading?

In an email CAS students received March 30, Associate Provost Debra Sullivan-Trainor announced that in light of the unexpected mid-semester transition to virtual courses, the university had decided to make pass/fail (or satisfactory/unsatisfactory, S/U) the default grading mode for most spring semester courses. Okay, but what does that mean? If you get a “D” or higher, you’re going to pass. In most cases, you also need to complete all the coursework (assignments, tests, etc.). Some students are considering grad school or transferring, or know they need to complete a class for a certification they are trying to achieve. If this is you, you need to opt-in by May 1. The form to do so can be found here

Do I still have to pay my parking ticket? 

Probably. Chief Financial Officer Amy Blaz sent out a community-wide email last week detailing Bethel’s plan for refunding spring housing and meal plan charges. That plan was updated in another community-wide email April 3. In the original plan announced April 1, students who lived on-campus were refunded 25% of their spring semester housing charges, with a meal plan refund based on which block you selected at the beginning of the year. Now, housing charges as well as parking and commuter fees charged after March 28 will be refunded at 100 percent. If you have unpaid charges in your student account, the refund will first be applied to that, and the remaining balance gets refunded to you. If you have questions specific to your student account, you can reach out to business-office@bethel.edu

What if I get sick?

In yet another community-wide email sent April 2, Director of Communications Tim Hammer urged Bethel community members to comply with CDC and MDH recommendations and notify Bethel if you – or someone you have spent one or more hours with – have a test-confirmed case of COVID-19, a clinical COVID-19 diagnosis from a medical professional or COVID-19 symptoms that are interfering with or preventing your online learning or work. To report any of these scenarios, fill out this form. With questions, contact the emergency management team at covid-19@bethel.edu

Driver, roll up the petition, please

President Jay Barnes announced March 27 that spring commencement will be held in a virtual format due to the impact of COVID-19. The ceremony usually called a crowd of more than 1,000 people in Benson Great Hall, many of whom would be at risk from the virus. According to Barnes, this decision was based on projections of the virus’ lifespan which made such a large, confined gathering unsafe. 

In response to this decision, Senior Communication Studies major Ally Pehler created a petition to reinstate the physical commencement ceremony at a later date rather than holding it online.

As of April 6, 808 people have signed the petition

And if March wasn’t mad enough for you

Or if you’re feeling the loss of peanuts and crackerjacks. Or if you have a lingering urge to shout “gooooooal.” Basically, for the first time in recent memory, the five major sports of the world have been shut down from middle school to pro leagues. 

From a free subscription to The Athletic, to a few sports movie suggestions, Sports Editor Joe Hiti put together a list of how to get your sports fix, even in a sports drought. 

 

Additional reporting by Molly Korzenowski.

 

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