Making the Move Smooth: Here’s some information to help with your Lancer’s move-in plans

Less than a month from now many of you will be moving your students into their Longwood-managed residence hall or apartment. Move-in is set for Aug. 18-22.

I know some of you have this process down to a science, and I’ve seen you sharing your expertise on the Longwood parents Facebook page. I know your fellow parents are extremely grateful for your help.

The move-in schedule is designed to minimize crowds and traffic as much as possible, but let’s be honest, moving a student into a campus residence can be hard work. It probably will be hot, there will be a lot of people and, on top of that, it will probably be a little emotional. Saying good-bye to your “baby” can be hard, even if they are (mostly) all grown up.

In line for the elevator

Having a smooth move-in means having a plan, and having a plan depends on having good information.

So here are answers to some FAQs about what to do—and what not to do—for move-in, as well as some helpful links and contact information for the Residential and Commuter Life office.

Q: When can my student move in?
A: That depends. Below is a pared-down, basic schedule. Be sure to check for your student’s specific date(s) and time(s), which are based on their individual housing assignment and status. Your student received an individualized email with this information. That information and more also can be found in an online, printable info sheet here.
—New Students in Johns and Moss Halls: Aug. 18-19
Specific dates and times are determined by the student’s housing assignment.
—New Students in Wheeler (non-Honors students), Sharp and Register Halls: Aug. 19
—Transfer and Readmitted Students in Residence Halls and Longwood Apartments: Aug. 19-22
—Continuing Students in Residence Halls: Aug. 20-22
—Continuing Students in Longwood Apartments: Aug. 20-22

Q: What if my student can’t move in at their designated date/time?
A: Early arrival is limited to certain groups of students, but your student can move in after their designated date/time. Notify Residential and Commuter Life in writing at housing@longwood.edu of your planned arrival date/time.

Q: Where is the unloading area for my student’s residence hall/apartment complex?
A: Each residence hall and Longwood-managed apartment complex has a specific unloading area. Directions to each unloading area can be found here.

Unloading at Moss Hall

Q: How many family members and friends can help my student move in?
A: Students are encouraged to limit assistance from family and friends to three helpers in an effort to promote social distancing. Everyone participating in move-in should bring their own face coverings, gloves and other safety items (PPE).

Encourage your student to think twice—or three or four times—about what they will really need because it all has to be taken inside.

Q: Will there be any volunteers from Longwood helping with move-in?
A: To uphold social distancing and safety, the university will not be providing volunteers to help new students moving into main campus housing.

Q: Will the university provide carts or dollies for move-in?
A: Due to Covid-19 sanitation requirements, these items will not be provided. Families are encouraged to bring their own dollies or carts.

On move-in day, a dolly is a girl’s—and a dad’s—best friend.

Q: Are there any items that are not allowed in Longwood-managed housing?
A: For safety and other reasons, there are some items that students are not allowed to bring on campus. The “What Not To Bring” list can be found here. You’ll also find lists with suggestions for what you can and should bring. Please be sure to check these lists BEFORE packing.

Q: How long are we allowed to remain in the unloading area? Where should we move our car after unloading? Is it OK to park in lots of nearby businesses?
A: As soon as your car is unloaded, you should move it immediately to the designated parking area for your student’s residence hall or apartment complex. This allows others to advance into the unloading area. Directions to the designated parking area for each residence hall and apartment complex can be found here. There will be staff on site to assist with directing families where to unload and park. Do not park in private business lots. Towing is enforced.

Be ready for the emotional side of move-in day, too.

Q. What if my student has not paid all of their tuition or fees prior to move-in?
A. You can make your final payment on move-in day, but it must be before your student unloads and checks in. If your student has an outstanding university balance when you arrive for move-in, enter campus at Wynne Drive and take the provided shuttle from the Wynne Parking Lot to Student Accounts and Financial Aid to complete the payment process. This will prevent you from experiencing interruptions during check-in. If at all possible, it’s best to make sure your student’s balance has been paid before move-in day.

Additional information about move-in can be found here. 

If you still have questions, feel free to call Residential and Commuter Life at 434-395-2080 or email housing@longwood.edu.

We’re counting the days until our students are back on campus!

—Sabrina Brown

Welcome to Parent Pipeline! Save the date for Family Weekend Sept. 17-19

Hello, Parents!

First of all, I want to welcome all of you who are new to Parent Pipeline, especially those of you who joined after attending orientation.

I can tell from the posts on the Facebook page for Longwood parents that many of you who will be moving a student to campus for the first time this fall are getting a head start on sorting out the logistics of that task. I am honestly impressed with the level of detail in the questions you’re asking, and it’s great to see parents who have “been there, done that” sharing their experiences and advice. The Lancer Family in action is a beautiful thing.

I hope you’ll also be able to find some helpful information in Parent Pipeline this year.

HELPFUL INFO FROM THE PIPELINE ARCHIVES

I’ll get started with a link to a post I wrote this past spring that answered some common questions from parents (all dates mentioned are 2021). And here’s another post that provides some information about services and activities that are available to students at no extra charge. If your student is new to Longwood, you might want to share this information with them.

SHIPPING A PACKAGE TO YOUR STUDENT

If you’d like to ship a package to your student’s PO box, you can do that through the U.S. Postal Service.

If you’d like to ship via UPS or FedEx (neither of which will ship to a PO box), you can use this address:
Student Name
Longwood University
201 High Street
6-digit number of your student’s PO box (include ONLY the numbers; don’t include the words PO Box)
Farmville, VA 23909

SAVE THE DATE! FAMILY WEEKEND SEPT. 17-19

Finally, I’m hoping you’ll save the date for Family Weekend, which is coming up Sept. 17-19. You’ll get to see how your Lancer is adapting to college life as well as explore campus and Farmville. And with so many other parents on campus, your student will feel like part of the crowd having you here.

If you’re wondering about where to stay, there are a lot of options in Farmville and in the surrounding area. Here’s a list with descriptions and contact information.

You can find more information about Family Weekend on the registration page and on the Family Weekend webpage. You can also download the Guidebook app, which will have a more robust schedule as plans are finalized and will be updated if changes are made.

Here are some of the highlights:
—Everyone who attends Family Weekend needs to register. Base tickets are $10 for family members age 5 and older. Base tickets for Longwood students and children under 5 are free, but they still need to register.
—This year’s Family Weekend coincides with the Heart of Virginia Festival on Saturday, Sept. 18, an all-day, downtown street fair with food, games, vendors, live music and more.
—Activities and events included in the base ticket include an outdoor concert at Riverside Park in downtown Farmville, family game night and a yoga class.
—A painting class ($35) and The Great Dubois variety show ($5) are also on the schedule for an additional fee. Longwood students are admitted free to the variety show with their Lancer IDs but they’ll need a ticket for the painting class. The painting class isn’t suitable for very young children; those 5 and older require a ticket.

—Sabrina Brown

Making Good on Our Commitment to Affordability: Tuition remains the same as last year

Making good on Longwood’s commitment to affordability, the Board of Visitors (the university’s governing body) decided at their most recent meeting that there would be no increase in tuition this year, making this the second time in three years that Longwood’s budget has not included a tuition increase.

Longwood’s average percentage increase in tuition over recent years is one of the very lowest among Virginia public universities—an average of 3 percent per year since 2014.

Overall, we hope this is good news for your family.

Specifically, annual in-state, full-time tuition (12-18 credit hours per semester) in 2021-22 will be the same as in 2019-20 and 2020-21:
In-state annual tuition
$8,180

The university has restructured full-time, out-of-state tuition for 2021-22 (12-18 credit hours per semester), resetting both tuition and scholarship award amounts. The net result of this adjustment is that out-of-state, full-time tuition costs, with scholarship awards taken into consideration, will remain flat in 2021-22 as well.
Out-of-state annual tuition
$20,000

There will be a small increase in the comprehensive fee for next year, 3.14 percent, for both in-state and out-of-state students. This fee funds auxiliary operations including health services, student activities, career services and recreation opportunities.

Costs for meal plans and housing were set earlier this year.

The 2021-22 academic year includes substantial support for the financial needs of students, addressing a need for families impacted by Covid-19. More than $17.5 million will be given to students in financial support in the 2021-22 academic year.

“Longwood recognizes the impact the last year has had on family budgets, and we maintain our commitment to keeping college affordable,” said President W. Taylor Reveley IV. “We have examined every area of the university for savings and efficiencies with the goal in mind of keeping tuition flat again for our students. With support from the governor and General Assembly, we’ve made real progress and will continue to work on our students’ and families’ behalf on college affordability.”

—Sabrina Brown

Working toward a return to “normal” this fall: Covid-19 vaccinations for students

I wanted to be sure you were aware of the email that went out yesterday (Wednesday, June 9) to students attending Longwood this fall letting them know that they will be required to have a Covid-19 vaccination.

Here are some of the key points from the email:
—The American College Health Association’s latest guidance states clearly: “With comprehensive vaccination, indoor classes, group sizes, residence hall occupancy, eating establishment operations, and sporting events may default to pre-pandemic guidance.”
—If the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has not granted full approval to at least one of the vaccines by July 15, we will extend the deadline for this requirement.
—Several other Virginia universities have instituted a similar vaccination requirement, and, like those other universities, Longwood will allow religious and medical exemptions, as we do with other required vaccines.
—Students who do not confirm vaccination, for whatever reason, may be subject to several Covid-19 precautions based on current guidance from the commonwealth.
—All incoming and returning students will receive by the end of July a link to a short, straightforward web form that will ask them either to confirm that they have been vaccinated, or accept the conditions.
—If you have questions, email questions@longwood.edu.

Below is the complete text of the email sent to your student Wednesday, June 9:

Dear Students,

Over this past 15 months, we have successfully navigated the Covid-19 pandemic by stepping up as a community—looking out not just for ourselves, but for one another. We have also come to appreciate how extraordinarily important it is to be together in person. When we gather fully again this fall, we will all be eager to put the burdensome restrictions of this past year behind us.

Official guidance from the CDC and others makes clear the pathway to a normal year is vaccinations. As the American College Health Association’s latest guidance states clearly: “With comprehensive vaccination, indoor classes, group sizes, residence hall occupancy, eating establishment operations, and sporting events may default to pre-pandemic guidance.”

That is why I am sharing the news today of Longwood’s decision to require students on campus to be vaccinated for Covid-19. The requirement will be added to our existing and longstanding vaccination requirements for the coming academic year. It does not apply to online-only students who are not on campus.

Like other Virginia universities, we will allow religious and medical exemptions, as we do with other required vaccines.

If you do not confirm you are vaccinated, for any reason, you will still be allowed to register and come to campus. However, all students (including those completing student teaching) who do not certify they are vaccinated will need to sign a form acknowledging they may be subject while on campus to masking requirements, mandatory testing or restrictions on certain activities, including many social activities. If unvaccinated, you will also likely be required to quarantine for up to two weeks if contact exposed to a positive case (which is no longer the case for anyone who is vaccinated).

All incoming and returning students will receive by the end of July a link to a short, straightforward web form that will ask them either to confirm that they have been vaccinated, or accept the conditions.

We recognize some people may prefer to wait to be vaccinated until the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has moved at least one of the approved vaccines out of the current Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) status and given it full approval. We don’t know exactly when that might take place—it could be a matter of days, weeks or months before the required review of long-term safety data is complete. If such approval has not been granted by July 15, we will extend the deadline for this requirement.

Following direction provided by the Commonwealth for state employees, and recognizing a range of individual circumstances, we are encouraging but not mandating vaccinations for Longwood employees.

In closing, like virtually every university, Longwood already requires a number of vaccinations for communicable diseases, with reasonable exemptions. The reasoning for all of them is the same: We live, work, and study together—and a critical mass of our community being vaccinated protects all of us, not just the recipient.

Covid-19 vaccines have now been administered with extraordinary safety and efficacy more than 2 billion times globally, and are driving down cases and hospitalizations across the U.S. and elsewhere. They are the tool that will allow us all to return to normal—and that will be the case here on campus this fall, too.

Thank you. Be on the lookout for further communication about the web link next month. If you have questions, you can email questions@longwood.edu.

Matthew McWilliams
Assistant Vice President for Communications
Longwood University

Commencement 2021: Hugs, smiles and mortarboard styles

Is there anything that puts more joy in your heart than seeing your child graduate from college? As the parent of a college graduate myself, I’d have to say, “Nothing I can think of.”

All the questions we parents ask ourselves while our sons and daughters are in college—Will they make friends? Will they be happy? Will they find their academic niche?—are laid to rest on the morning of Commencement day, and all that’s left is the celebrating.

And I can tell you there was plenty of celebrating on campus this past weekend as graduate and undergraduate students received their degrees in person, surrounded by their fellow graduates and seated in socially distanced family pods, where they were flanked by loved ones. Longwood’s senior class was among the few across the commonwealth to gather entirely together for Commencement.

If you didn’t attend the ceremony and would like a summary of what happened, you can read all about it here. You can also view a digital copy of the Commencement program.

But, as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, so that’s what I’ll devote most of this post to today.

Heartfelt congratulations to all of you whose Lancers moved to alumni status this weekend. Please know that, along with your students, you are a forever part of the Longwood family.

—Sabrina Brown

Students who portrayed Longwood’s mascot, Elwood, are revealed at Commencement, recognizable by the distinctive feet of their alter identity.

With handshakes from President Reveley on temporary hiatus from the ceremony due to Covid-19 precautions, students were encouraged to follow tradition and get a dose of good luck by touching the Joan of Arc statue that had been moved to the stage from the Rotunda.



 

One of Longwood’s many student organizations is the Service-Dog Training and Education Program (STEP at LU). One pup participated in the ceremony with their trainer.

New events center set to open in summer 2023

I hope your student had a great spring semester. It’s hard to believe Commencement is this weekend. Congratulations to those of you whose seniors are graduating!

This summer promises to be exciting as we anticipate work beginning on Longwood’s new Joan Perry Brock Center.

If your student will be a freshman or a sophomore next year, they will have the opportunity to experience this amazing new facility in person when it opens in summer 2023.

Located in the heart of campus next to Willett Hall, the 3,000-seat center will be the home to Longwood’s men’s and women’s basketball teams as well as the venue for Convocation, concerts and a host of other community events. This much-needed building will fit in seamlessly into campus and become an integral part of the downtown Farmville community.

Check out the introductory website to get a taste of what the center will look like inside and out, and share in the excitement of what the Brock Center will mean for your Lancer and Longwood’s entire student body.

—Sabrina Brown

Happy Days: Going to the drive-in, playing in the mud and more

Your students have been working and playing hard this spring.

I’ll let these photos of Spring Weekend and other activities speak (mostly) for themselves. I hope it makes your heart happy to see your Lancers thriving.

Senior art students are showing off their creative works in this year’s Point of Departure exhibition at the Longwood Center for the Visual Arts.

Oozeball (volleyball played in the mud) is a time-honored Spring Weekend tradition at Longwood.

Also a Spring Weekend favorite is Bandfest, this year held in a drive-in format with virtual performances on a giant screen. Bandfest is put on by WMLU, Longwood’s radio station.

The two biology majors shown above were among just 60 undergraduates nationwide selected to be featured in one of the most prestigious research showcases in the country. You can read about them here. Research is an important part of the Longwood experience across all disciplines—so much so that for one day each semester classes are cancelled and students present their work.  Check out this semester’s presentations during Longwood’s Student Showcase for Research and Creative Inquiry here.

The String Ensemble, new this year, played selections ranging from Vivaldi to bluegrass in its spring concert. It’s just one of many Longwood music groups that enrich college life for music majors and nonmajors alike.

—Sabrina Brown

Covid-19 vaccines available for students

I wanted to let you know that you may be hearing from your student tomorrow that we are holding student Covid-19 vaccine clinics this Friday, April 16, and Monday, April 19.

Your student will receive an email in the morning (Thursday) with a link to sign up for an appointment. We’ll hold a second vaccine clinic in early May, three weeks after this one. If necessary, your student will be able to stay a bit longer in their residence hall in order to receive their second dose.

You can find much more information about the clinics and the vaccine at www.longwood.edu/covid19#students.

—Sabrina Brown

The Good News for Fall: Taking steps toward an in-person normal

I know we’re all looking forward to the time when life returns to pre-pandemic normal. For those of us with college students, helping our children cope with this disruption at such a critical juncture in their lives has been a constant focus of our attention.

I hope the good news I’m sharing with you today will provide some reassurance about your Lancer’s well-being now and next year.

Below are some of the high points of a conversation with Provost Larissa Smith and Associate Vice President Matt McGregor, both of whom have been central to Longwood’s successful response to Covid-19 over the past 12 months and are part of the team developing the plan for fall 2021. (You can read the full text of the conversation here.)

—Building on the success of a full academic year with students on campus and in classrooms, Longwood is looking to the fall 2021 semester with an eye toward offering even more in-person classes and providing an experience as close to normal as possible.

—The exact classroom and other precautions in place next fall will depend on a range of factors, including public health guidelines at the time classes start. The precautions in place this year, and commitment of our students to looking out for one another, are what have allowed students to remain on campus during the past 12 months without a single instance known or suspected instance of the virus spreading through classrooms or academic settings.

—Plans are for the G.A.M.E., Oktoberfest, Parents Weekend and some of the other events we traditionally hold in the fall to take place in person in some form. We know how important these are.

Clubs and organizations should be able to meet and gather in a way much closer to normal.

Some of you may be wondering if your student will be able to continue taking classes online next year.

Here is Dr. Smith’s explanation: “When they register for classes, undergraduate students have the option to search for classes with different meeting times and methods, though there are typically very few online-only classes. We anticipate it will be extremely rare for us to make accommodations for a student to attend their scheduled in-person classes remotely. We believe in the power of a residential academic community, and we know that our students learn better that way. Students with questions about this can email questions@longwood.edu.”

And some of you may be wondering about Covid-19 vaccinations for college students.

Matt McGregor: “Currently, Virginia public universities like Longwood cannot require Covid-19 vaccinations because they are approved under an FDA emergency-use protocol. For now, we are certainly encouraging students to get vaccinated when they can and are working with the state to try to help them do so. Gov. Northam has opened up pre-registration to all Virginia residents 16-64 years old to begin vaccinations on April 18, and we urge students to pre-register and receive a vaccine.”

Commencement 2021:

This week we sent out information to senior students about our plans for Commencement 2021. In several discussions with the senior class, students asked for a way to celebrate together as a class in one ceremony. We are honoring those wishes, even though under the rigorous state commencement guidelines that will limit the number of guests allowed. Undergraduate Commencement will be May 15 at 9:30 a.m. on Wheeler Mall. Each participating senior will be allowed two guests, and each family group will sit in “pods” socially distanced per the state’s guidelines. An outdoor Graduate Commencement will take place May 14 at 5:30 p.m. on Stubbs Mall. Students will have an opportunity to sign up for professional photos that Sunday with larger groups of family and friends at Longwood House, where President Reveley will join graduates in their celebration in full regalia for photos.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to send them to questions@longwood.edu. That’s the fastest and best way to get reliable answers.

—Sabrina Brown

Tell Your Friends: Now is the perfect time for high-school juniors to visit Longwood

Kara enjoyed a weekend visit from her dad.

If you’re like me, it only takes a couple of days of mild temperatures and sunshine to make you want to hop in the car and go—somewhere, anywhere.

So I have a suggestion that would add some purpose to that urge, both for you and for your friends, family or neighbors who have high-school students delving into a college search this spring.

Think about a trip to Farmville and Longwood.

April 1 and 2 (Thursday and Friday) are days off from classes for Longwood students. That’s a great opportunity to spend some time with your Lancer.

But first, I’d like to talk with you about how you can provide valuable help to people you know whose high-school students are looking at colleges.

Figuring out what a college or university is really like can be difficult. As the parent of a current student, you have so much insight into what it’s like to attend Longwood. Don’t be hesitant to share your and your Lancer’s experiences with friends and family. They will appreciate your insider’s perspective.

If you think Longwood would be a good fit for a high-school junior you know, please encourage their family to bring them to campus for a visit. Just in time for spring break, Longwood is hosting a series of on-campus visit days especially for high-school juniors and their families.

Dates for the junior visit days are: Mach 29-April 1, April 5-8, and April 10.

In-person tours are part of Longwood’s visit days for high-school juniors in late March and early April.

Visitors will be able to
—Take an in-person tour of campus with a guide who’s a current student (while observing safety measures, including wearing a face covering)
—Get answers to questions
—And enjoy a complimentary lunch

You can direct anyone who’s interested to the registration page here.

If you already have a student at Longwood, the first weekend of April might be a perfect time to visit campus. No classes will be held Thursday, April 1, and Friday, April 2. Maybe your Lancer would enjoy dinner out with the fam sometime during that weekend. A walk or bike ride together down the High Bridge Trail is also perfect “family time,” or you could do some shopping along Main Street.

The High Bridge Trail, which is accessible right in downtown Farmville, is a great place for hiking and biking.

Several restaurants downtown have outdoor seating. And so do the Virginia Tasting Cellar and 3 Roads Brewery (nonalcoholic beverages are available). Bikes can be rented downtown, and, for students, they can be checked out through the Health and Fitness Center (depending on availability).

The Virginia Tasting Cellar has a large patio, and you can order food from Charley’s upstairs.

If you or your friends make the trip and are looking for a great place to stay overnight in Farmville, take a look at the Hotel Weyanoke, newly renovated and located right across High Street from campus. Mention promo code LU15 to receive a discount or book here.

Hotel Weyanoke, a boutique hotel that has undergone a complete renovation, is right across High Street from campus.

—Sabrina Brown