- Return to campus plan
- Safe health practices in response to the coronavirus pandemic
- Campus planning for COVID-19 positive testing results
- Tech answers the COVID-19 challenge
- CARES Act
- UPDATED State Travel Guidelines
- Travel Guidance from ULS
- COVID-19 ULS Directives
- Guidance from Louisiana Department of Health
- Online instruction considerations
- Guide for Teleworking
Update for Students
Good Morning. We have been sending you a lot of information to keep you informed about campus operations, resources, and general information. Today, I want to take a break from that and just talk to you about you. It is very challenging to do that by email, by video or, yes, even by Zoom. But this is the platform that we have right now. I hope you will read this message.
I understand that your education and your life is being disrupted and you are experiencing many emotions. Be sure to take care of yourself emotionally. Continue to reach out to your friends, your family, and your professors. Let’s stay connected!
Our university is following our educational commitment to you in ways that were not what we envisioned even two weeks ago. But we are not backing off of our commitment to you, and we will continue to pursue our tenet of excellence in education whether in person or remote. We are confident that this is only for a short period of time, and that we will be able to get back together in person and continue to do all of the things outside of class that make this campus special.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to our faculty and staff if you are facing challenges. They care about you. I asked four faculty and staff members to send me a short note last night that I could share with you today. Please read their message to you. And understand that we have others all across our campus that are fully committed to you and to getting us through this disruption in our lives.
From Dr. Donna Thomas, Department Chair of Psychology & Behavioral Sciences
Dear students, It was hard to write this, so hard to get started. That’s not easy for me to admit, but I did because it’s helpful to acknowledge what I feel. During the past week or so, I imagine you felt so many things: disbelief, sadness, anger, anxiety, relief. Wait, relief? Sure! Some of you probably felt relieved to not wake up for an 8 a.m. class. And that’s OK. It’s also OK to feel the other things I mentioned, even though we usually think of them as negative emotions. Here’s some weird advice: don’t just feel your negative emotions, share them. Yes, connect with your friends and loved ones because many of them are feeling the same way. One of the most powerful things about group therapy is finding out there are others who think and feel just like you do.
Social distancing is a best practice to keep us healthy, but before a few weeks ago, I’d never heard the phrase. Something about it didn’t sit right with me and then I realized, it’s not social distancing we need, it’s physical distancing. In fact, social closeness is what we need. Even if we’re not all in the same place, we can connect. I encourage you to use FaceTime, Skype, or go “old school” and actually call someone. Visit with faculty during their Zoom office hours. Stay active! And even when you decide to binge watch the latest streaming series, share it with someone even if they’re somewhere else. You’ll enjoy it so much more!
Here’s one thing that hit me hard this past week, but I find so much comfort in it: Louisiana Tech is not a place, it is people. It is you, our students, and I can’t wait to have you back on campus.
From Mrs. Stacy Gilbert, Dean of Student Services and Academic Support
There have been so many instances where this crisis has reminded me of the tornado last spring. I remember being asked by alumni and friends in the days following, “How are things? How are the students? What’s it like being on campus?” My response was “it is both heart-wrenching and heartwarming all at the same time.” I feel exactly the same in this crisis. It is so heart-wrenching to watch students packing cars to leave before the quarter is over. It is heart-wrenching to see Spring Quarter graduates taking pictures in the empty Quad and knowing this is not what they had envisioned for their final quarter at Tech.
It’s heart-wrenching not to see students in Tolliver laughing, studying and hanging out. However, it is so heartwarming to see students supporting students at every turn. Tutors jumping in ready to help students in an online environment. Heartwarming to see faculty supporting faculty in new teaching and learning strategies conducive to the online environment. Heartwarming to watch students figuring out the new responsibility of social distancing. We have the absolute best university community. We will get through this Tech family, and I believe we will be better after it’s over. Students, adjusting to this new normal will take time, but know you don’t have to figure it out alone. You are not alone. There are so many resources to help you. If you need help finding those resources, I am happy to point you in the right direction. Feel free to shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org). I look forward to hearing from you.
From Dr. Jamie Newman, Associate Dean of College of Applied and Natural Sciences
As we go through a spring quarter we never could have imagined and we may feel alone as we are told to isolate as much as possible, it is important that we stay connected. We are going through all of this together. We are all scared, exhausted, and sad making it more important than ever that we be there for each other. The novelty of the virus and the constant news of cases is scary. This is why everyone is taking actions necessary to slow the spread of the virus. This allows our health care providers to care for those who need it most and our scientists to conduct the critical research to develop vaccines and treatments. We are all exhausted as we learn how to be online educators, online students, teachers to our own children, and create new work environments from our homes and apartments. This is challenging as we are forced to navigate technology, time management, and relationships. Finally, we are all deeply saddened by the quiet on campus and athletic venues, the absence of celebration, and the dark offices, classrooms, and labs where we are used to seeing students and faculty working together to learn, create, and solve problems.
As we go through this uncertain time, we have to be there for each other; let one another share stories, concerns, fears, and sadness, while remembering to celebrate accomplishments through virtual chats, emails, social media posts, and good old-fashioned cards. We also need to be there to help each other see the opportunity that will arise from these challenges. We will learn that there is value developing online instruction and in learning how to be online students while we miss the interactions we have always enjoyed and maybe even taken for granted when everyone was so available on campus. We will need to learn to be comfortable sharing virtually, seeing ourselves (as awkward as it may be) on a computer screen so that we can stay connected. For those of you participating in undergraduate and graduate research projects, this is a time to explore other parts of that experience you may not have had time for like reading the literature, learning about new techniques, and writing the papers and reports that will allow your research to be recognized by the academic community. We as faculty are facing all of the same challenges, concerns, and sadness that you are as students. Don’t be afraid to reach out to us for anything you need during this time, even if it is to share a cup of coffee over zoom and talk about how crazy all of this is and what it will mean for your future. We may not have the answers to all of your questions, but we will listen and remind you that you are not alone, we are still here for you, and we will be patient with you, as you are with us, as we get through this globally historical event. Stay safe, healthy, and connected. We miss you on campus and look forward to hearing from you and seeing you again soon.
From Dr. Heath Tims, Associate Dean, College of Engineering and Science
Given all that is going on around us, I think all of us are a little confused…and … if we are honest with ourselves, a little scared. Two weeks ago, I received a call that the Eco-Marathon competition had been canceled. Our team from Louisiana Tech had put in thousands of hours of work, and we were preparing to show what we had accomplished. We are consistently one of the top performers. We receive a lot of attention due to the cars that we build, and we typically win. The idea that we couldn’t compete was heartbreaking. I was devastated for the students who poured their heart and soul into this project. Little did I know that this was the tip of a giant iceberg that was headed our way. Ever since that day two weeks ago, each day has brought about new questions and uncertainty. After our community was hit by the tornado a year ago, we were all looking forward to a spring that we could enjoy and celebrate. What we all hoped to be an amazing spring term has changed in a way none of us ever expected. My heart aches for all of us (especially our seniors). However, I want to encourage all of us to cherish the experiences and relationships that we have at Louisiana Tech. We are all trying to figure out how to navigate the situation we are in. We want to stay connected with you even while we are apart. Keep in touch with us, message us, Zoom us, and DM us 🙂 and know that we are here for you!
Last year our students rallied immediately in the wake of the tornado, and I am ready to see how we respond during and after the current crisis. I can’t wait until we are back together. I know that as Bulldogs we will rally because we are Bulldog Strong. For now, focus on your new online classes. When we return, we will be ready to be together in the classroom, enjoy every event, cheer as loud as can be, and hang out with our Bulldog Family!
Even while you are away — make sure you keep connected and stay Loyal Blue!