I know that most of you have been focused this week on making sure your students have everything they need to get off to a good start this semester.
As you do that, I thought you might also enjoy some light reading in the summer issue of Longwood magazine that I hope will be one more confirmation that you and your student made a good decision in choosing Longwood.
I hope move-in went well for those of you whose students are already settled into their residence halls. For those of you whose students move in Saturday and Sunday, I hope the weather cooperates and that you have a smooth process as well.
There are a couple of items I thought I’d share with you today that will let you know how hard we’re working to make this a great semester for your student, that will keep you informed about some important developments and that you may want to pass along to your student.
I can’t stress enough how crucial it is for new students to reach out to their fellow students during these early days of the semester, when everyone is looking to make new friends. Please encourage your student to speak to other students, smile and just generally to be friendly—even if they’re not usually the outgoing type. They will be so glad they did.
New Lancer Days
For parents of new students, please encourage your student to take full advantage of the remaining activities scheduled for tomorrow and Sunday as part of New Lancer Days. This is a crucial time for new students to connect with fellow Lancers in their Peer Mentor Groups as well as their Peer Mentor, who will be an important resource this semester. You can see the schedule for New Lancer days here.
Movies, Magicians and Glow-in-the-Dark Yoga
The Lancer Productions schedule is full of socially distanced activities for all students. Just in September these include Welcome Back Bingo on Sept. 4, Movie Night on Sept. 11, a performance by magician/mentalist Craig Karges on Sept. 19 and a Glowga session (glow-in-the-dark yoga) on Sept. 25. There is also a designated area in Upchurch University Center for students to play video games with others, but they should bring their own console.
Also, you can let your student know about a virtual Involvement Fair about joining student organizations that’s coming up Sept. 1. They can access the fair by going to lancerlink.longwood.edu that day. To prepare to make the most of the fair, your student can complete the Get Involved Calculator on Lancer Link, which will help them connect with their areas of interest.
Take a Chair
You might want to invest in an outdoor chair for your student to use when activities and events are held outside. For example, here’s one that looked promising (but I haven’t bought one myself). If you’ve already moved your student to campus and want to ship them a chair (or another package) via USPS, FedEx or UPS, please see the instructions below.
And while we’re on the subject of chairs, the university has purchased about 100 new Adirondack chairs that will be placed around campus soon to encourage students to get outside and meet with friends. Please encourage your student to make use of the natural beauty of our campus in the fall.
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
Your student can find their PO box number by going to my.longwood.edu to connect to Banner self-service. They should look for their mailing address. Each Longwood student—except Lancer Park residents—has an individual PO box with a 6-digit number. Mail for Lancer Park residents is sent to their address in Lancer Park, which they can also find through my.longwood.edu.
Family Fall Weekends
Longwood—and Farmville—are special places to visit any time, but especially in the fall.
This year, instead of a designated Family Weekend, we are encouraging you to visit at your convenience and on your schedule. This will also help spread out the number of visitors on campus and in the community.
While you are always welcome and encouraged to visit, several weekends in September have been designated as Family Fall Weekends: Sept. 11-13, Sept. 18-20 and Sept. 25-27. (As a reminder, the policy that prohibits outside guests from entering the residence halls and other Longwood-managed housing will be reviewed by Labor Day and a decision made whether or not to extend it.)
New Town Ordinance Regarding Face Coverings and Gatherings
On Wednesday, the town of Farmville passed an ordinance laying out requirements for face coverings and gatherings that your student should be aware of. Here’s the full ordinance—and a quick summary:
Face coverings are required in public places (except in certain circumstances described in the ordinance).
Gatherings of more than 50 persons are prohibited (except as provided for in the ordinance).
Gatherings are defined as planned or spontaneous (indoor or outdoor or both) events. This includes parties (including those at private residences), celebrations and other social events.
Fines of up to $300 may be imposed for violations of the ordinance.
The LiveSafe app is an important tool for students and can also be downloaded by parents. Friends and family can virtually walk each other home, contact dispatchers and find other valuable safety resources through the app.
Longwood uses Omnilert to send emergency notifications to the campus community. Parents may also sign up for emergency alerts by going to longwood.omnilert.net and clicking “sign up.” If you already have an account, you can add an email or cell phone by logging in.
Faculty Get Creative
Longwood faculty are committed to making this fall a rich and engaging academic experience for your student. Many of them will be deploying new learning technologies and resources that will not just enhance instruction in the face of this fall’s limitations, but far into the future as well. Some examples of these innovative teaching methods are described here.
I know most of you are up to your eyebrows in packing and other preparations to move your student to campus next week.
Even under “normal” circumstances, moving a student in can be a challenge, especially for first-timers. So it’s been heart-warming over the last week or so to see the flurry of activity on the Longwood Parents Facebook page, with veteran Lancer parents providing information and reassurances to anxious moms and dads posting questions about dropping off their freshmen.
I work in marketing and communications, where we talk a lot about the Longwood family. From my vantage point, that family clearly includes parents as well as students, faculty and staff. A big “thank you” to those of you who have made preparations for the start of this semester a little less stressful for your fellow Longwood parents.
Along that line, I thought I would also try to provide some helpful information about some updated policies and guidelines, move-in and campus life this semester. (Your student received an email yesterday with some of this information.) We’re looking forward to having your Lancers back on campus!
Policies and Guidelines
As part of our return-to-campus protocol, we are implementing a policy regarding visitors in Longwood-managed housing that will be in effect at least until Labor Day. At that time, we will evaluate in light of public health conditions and guidance, and either extend these restrictions or potentially adjust them with other continued precautions. In the meantime, students who live in Longwood-managed housing should not have any guests who are not residents of their housing group (outlined below). This restriction applies to parents and other family members. Housing Groupings Lancer Park Moss Hall Johns Hall Longwood Landings Sharp, Register and Stubbs halls Cox and Wheeler halls
We have asked that your student limit travel off campus this semester, including visits home. While this is an inconvenience, limiting the spread of the Covid-19 virus is paramount so that everyone can stay on campus. If your student must leave campus, they are responsible for following the same guidance they are adhering to while at Longwood—daily symptom checks, wearing a face covering in public areas, maintaining social distance, and washing their hands properly and often.
Please make sure your student has an adequate supply of face coverings, which will be required in public spaces inside all campus buildings, including residence halls, Longwood-managed housing and classrooms. Longwood will supply each student with two cloth face masks—residential students will get their masks from their RA or REC, and off-campus students will get theirs by coming to the Commuter Lounge in Upchurch 202—but students should bring extras so they always have one on hand.
Your student should have received details about their designated move-in date and time via their Longwood email. That information can also be found here, based on your student’s residence hall and room number. (Note that Johns and Moss halls were formerly named Frazer and Curry, respectively.)
Up to 3 helpers will be allowed to assist your student with bringing their belongings to their room or apartment. Volunteers won’t be available to help due to Covid-19 safety precautions.
If you will need a dolly or cart to move items in, please bring one with you. We will not provide carts or dollies. You should also bring your own face coverings, gloves and any other personal protective equipment (PPE) you need to follow Covid-19 safety guidelines.
Longwood’s Dorrill Dining Hall and other food outlets, including the campus Starbucks, will be operating this semester, with safety precautions in place.
At this time, appointments are required to see a health-care practitioner in person at the University Health Center, and students should call ahead if they need to drop off paperwork or to pay a bill. Telehealth visits also are available. The University Health Center’s number is 434-395-2102. Please remember that parents cannot make appointments for their students. If your student needs an appointment, they need to make the call.
Longwood’s Health and Fitness Center is open and the Campus Recreation staff have planned a variety of activities, all with Covid-19 precautions in place. Students are required to wear a face covering when entering and exiting the Health and Fitness Center. In-person fitness classes that will be offered this fall include spin and barbells. Classes to be offered in an online format include yoga, boxing and Pilates. Intramural activities will include a disc golf league and tournament; a modified sand volleyball league (no net play and only 3 members per team); and a pickleball league.
Washers and dryers in all laundry facilities in Longwood-managed housing can be operated with Lancer CA$H (accessible through your student’s Lancer Card) or with quarters. You can find information about how to add Lancer CA$H funds to the Lancer Card here. Note that a package of laundry “swipes” to operate washers and dryers is already included in the housing fees for students living in Lancer Park and Longwood Landings.
As a resident of Farmville, I have been seeing signs around town that the beginning of the academic year is drawing near. The number of cars at rental properties is growing, and there’s more traffic on Main Street.
Soon students who live in Longwood-managed housing will arrive in vehicles packed with “essentials” that mom and/or dad will help them haul into the places they’ll call home for the next eight months or so. Keeping those “essentials” to a minimum is even more important this year than ever. Precautions prevent us from having our usual contingent of volunteers to help with move-in, so your student will be relying on up to three family members or friends to help. More move-in information is available here.
Even though 2020-21 will be different, there’s a lot that will be the same—including the sense of excitement and possibilities that comes with a new school year.
The plan for the semester continues to evolve, and your student received an email this past Friday detailing some new elements in that plan. Our What Will Fall Look Like? page has been updated with this new information that will help your student prepare to return to campus.
Here are a couple of especially important updates:
About 20 percent of classes this fall will be taught fully online. If your student is registered for a course that is moving from in person to fully online, they will be notified via email by the end of the day Friday, Aug. 7. The updates regarding class format can be found through the my.longwood.edu portal in your student’s “Week at a Glance.” If you have any questions about online classes, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Face coverings will be required in public areas of Longwood-managed housing at all times.
Additional updates on our What Will Fall Look Like? page include information about how to keep safe prior to arriving on campus and what to pack.
Most importantly, please remind your student that a successful fall semester depends on their strictly following recommended guidelines: wearing a face covering, social distancing and frequently washing their hands. If they want to have a successful semester, they must do their part.