BRYAN, Texas — UPDATE: March 26, 2020
Blinn College has just issued an announcement saying the Blinn College District Board of Trustees authorized the College to issue prorated refunds or credits for student housing, food services, and parking services impacted by the COVID-19 coronavirus.
Trustees also heard a report regarding the College’s response to COVID-19, and announcements were made regarding student housing check-out procedures and the postponement of Spring commencement and pinning ceremonies.
Refunds will cover pro-rated costs of services for the dates between March 15, 2020, and May 14, 2020. Students may choose to apply any pro-rated amounts as a credit to their Fall 2020 student fees or receive a direct refund. The amount of any pro-rated refund or credit will first be used to reduce any existing balance in the students’ fee account, with any remaining amount refunded.
Students residing in on-campus housing must make an appointment with their hall director, remove their belongings, and return their room and mailbox keys by April 20, 2020, to be eligible for the housing refund. Students who are unable to retrieve their items due to travel restrictions must contact their hall director no later than April 20, 2020. Special consideration for an extended time to retrieve items will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Karen Buck, Vice Chancellor for Administration and Student Services, announced that Blinn has postponed its Spring 2020 commencement and pinning ceremonies. These ceremonies will be rescheduled for late summer or early fall when local, state, and federal restrictions allow and when it is safe for the Blinn College community to come together again.
Previous story March 12, 2020
Blinn College has announced that they will be extending Spring Break one week due to coronavirus concerns. Faculty and staff will return on Monday, March 16th, but students will return on Monday, March 23rd.
This extra week will provide Blinn employees time to conduct additional trainings and prepare to resume instruction. To do so, Blinn is taking the following actions for the Spring semester:
- All campuses and services will remain open during the week of March 16th and students may utilize campus services. Residence halls, dining halls, health and counseling services, libraries, testing centers, learning centers, computer labs, and other services will remain open. However, Blinn encourages students to consider remaining home if possible.
- Blinn will move most courses to an online environment on Monday, March 23rd. Hands-on, skills-based classes such as labs, clinicals, and external internships will continue in their current format. Students, please look for future announcements from the College regarding course format.
- Blinn has identified faculty who require eCampus training to prepare for moving to an online environment. These trainings will take place during the week of March 16th, and the College anticipates all training to be completed by Friday, March 20th.
- We temporarily have suspended Blinn’s current absence policy. Students, please contact your instructors if you will not be able to attend for medical reasons.
- Bryan Collegiate High School and off-campus dual credit courses will continue as previously scheduled.
- Blinn is conducting a deep clean of all campuses. Once students return, all common areas, residence halls, classrooms, and restrooms will undergo frequent deep cleans, particularly in high touch points such as tables and doors. The disinfectant used, VIREX, is approved to be effective against COVID-19.
- Blinn’s Food Services are undergoing extra cleanings and the College is eliminating self-service food buffets.
- Blinn will be open and available for faculty and staff to complete tasks in their offices or workstations.
- To provide greater flexibility for faculty and staff, the College is exploring adjusted work schedules. The Human Resources Department and supervisors will work directly with employees to make these changes as needed.
- We will continue to keep the public informed regarding the cancellation of upcoming events. Large public events such as the Performing Arts Series concert by The Young Irelanders on March 17th, the groundbreaking ceremony for the new science, technology, engineering, and innovation building on March 20th, and College-sanctioned events at the Dr. W.W. O’Donnell Performing Arts Center such as concerts and plays have been canceled.
- All employee travel will be restricted to essential business purposes only. Please contact your vice chancellor regarding special exemptions, if needed.
- Blinn’s study abroad trips, including the trip scheduled to begin May 23rd to Granada, Spain, have been canceled.
- Campus tours for prospective students will remain as scheduled; however, the College is rescheduling smaller Preview Day events.
- The Brenham Campus Kruse Center will be open for scheduled classes and practices; however, it will be closed for recreational and community use.
- Hiring interviews and processes will be completed online. For questions, please contact the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Human Resources.
- Blinn is exploring its options regarding NJCAA athletic contests, and more information will be included in forthcoming announcements.
Students who are in self-isolation or are unable to return to campus on March 23rd for health reasons should contact their instructors.
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