NMSU Information Line: 575-646-7373
NMSU Coronavirus information: https://nmsu.edu/coronavirus/
Because of the rapidly changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are updating our guidance to the campus community regarding students returning to campus after spring break.
- If you live in a residence hall and you left for spring break, do not return to campus this semester. Because the university will have only online courses after our extended spring break, there is no reason to return to campus this semester.
- Exceptions to this guidance will be made through Housing and Residential Life only for campus residents who may not have other options.
- Students living in our Family Housing units are not affected by this guidance.
- All employees are now working from home. The only exceptions are for positions that require a physical presence on campus, and even our police force and fire department have reduced staffing.
- NMSU is restricting access to buildings and facilities to anyone who is not a student or employee. Corbett Center Student Union will remain open to allow students access to the Dining Hall, but the hours will be reduced. The U.S. Post Office in Corbett Center will remain open with access from the west entrance to Corbett Center.
- Facilities and Services has begun sanitizing buildings, in coordination with the VPR, deans, department heads, researchers and staff in those buildings. When a crew arrives at a building, please work with them and follow directions for leaving the space, while sanitizing takes place.
Communication is always important, and even more so during this pandemic. At a Wednesday town hall meeting, we had more than 1,500 connections through Panopto and Zoom. We answered as many questions as we could, but the situation changes rapidly, and you should check the NMSU Coronavirus page for updates. We will continue to host town hall events on a weekly basis to keep communications flowing.
Some of the primary messages from the town hall include the following:
- The chief goal of our academic mission is to preserve academic progress for our students. Our academic deans have developed plans for continuity in every course, and those plans are being implemented.
- Faculty need to communicate often with their graduate students, especially ones planning to complete their degree this semester. The Graduate School webpage has updates on deadlines and other information.
- We are taking services to online delivery where we can. The library can be accessed online, as can Campus Tutoring and the Center for Academic Advising and Student Support; counselors are now meeting with students virtually.
- Even as we prepare for the short-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, we need to think longer term. For example, what happens if this pandemic is not over by summer?
At the town hall meeting, we also heard from you: about 200 questions were submitted on topics ranging from academics to travel. We are still working on answering these questions, and the responses we have so far have been posted to the NMSU FAQ page off the main NMSU Coronavirus page. Most of the questions we received demonstrated the depth of care NMSU has for students: How can students take classes online if they lack connectivity? (Answer: Our computer labs are open, and ICT has compiled resources for students who are not in Las Cruces). And how can students continue to earn their paychecks? (Answer: They, too, can work from home.)
It is not hyperbole to call this pandemic a crisis, but there is more than one meaning of crisis. The word itself is Greek (κρήσις or krísis), and while it does mean crisis, it is also a call to think through a challenge, use common sense and good judgment, and come up with the right solution. In Chinese, there are two characters used for crisis, one to indicate crisis and the other to denote opportunity. We have an opportunity to learn during this crisis, by adapting to new circumstances, and common sense and good judgment will be our best tools to get through the pandemic. Take steps to protect yourself and others: Be informed and use common sense and good judgment.
I welcome not only your questions but your ideas and suggestions at President.Floros@nmsu.edu.
Thank you all for everything you have done and continue to do for NMSU.