MUNCIE, Ind. (WANE) – Ball State University President Geoffrey S. Mearns announced in a letter to parents and students that as of Sunday, March 29 at 5 p.m., residence halls will close. Students have been asked to make preparations to leave and they can do so as soon as they reasonably can.
Mearns noted that Ball State will make very limited exceptions to this directive only in extraordinary cases. These include where students may not have safe and suitable alternative living arrangements, or where they have prohibitive travel restrictions or exceptional ongoing academic commitments.
Because of COVID-19 concerns, Ball State will not enforce the standard housing contract provisions. Students will receive a credit to their bursar accounts in the appropriate pro-rata amount, subject to applicable federal financial aid regulations, to be applied to future expenses. Mearns has authorized staff, in exceptional circumstances, to consider whether providing a pro-rata refund to a student, instead of a credit, is necessary to relieve unusual financial hardship.
Mearns also announced the following actions:
University Operations – Campus services, including dining, the library, and recreational facilities remain open for the time being. As a reminder, all campus dining facilities are able to provide a “to go” container for any food option.
Faculty and Staff – Consistent with Governor Holcomb’s directive regarding state employees, administrators and supervisors are encouraged to authorize their faculty and staff to work remotely, while fulfilling our current commitment to maintain operations. The university will provide more specific guidance to all faculty and staff. In the meantime, non-essential in-person meetings should be limited to 10 persons or less, and individuals who are at greater risk should not attend in-person meetings. Whenever possible, meetings should be conducted virtually.
Communications – Ball State will be regularly updating its website: bsu.edu/coronavirus. Mearns added that Ball State will likely have to take additional aggressive steps as additional information and guidance is provided.
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