SAU issues update on coronavirus, March 16

Coronavirus

MAGNOLIA (News release) — Recently in response to COVID-19, federal guidelines mandated institutions of higher education to provide payroll benefits to student workers currently receiving federal work-study financial aid and allowing suspension of student work. This change in federally-supported student aid provides students who depend on financial aid the same flexibility to return home as students not dependent on financial aid. SAU took this a step further today, extending student payroll benefits to ALL current student workers regardless of the funding source. SAU will pay all student workers, including those on regular work programs and graduate assistants, for the time they are scheduled to work for the remainder of the semester without requiring students to fulfill work duties. We want our students to have the choice to return home to study while taking online classes or remain on campus, without facing financial burdens of lost revenue.

On-campus tours for future Muleriders have been suspended until further notice. Students planning to visit campus were notified of this change today. The University is enhancing its interactive recruitment tools to provide the personal touch in an online setting. Questions regarding application status or the application process should continue being directed to the Office of Admissions.

Additionally, the newly opened golf driving range is closed until further notice, Panda Express is closed, and changes have been made to dining options to encourage social distancing.

Other actions were taken today to assist students remaining on campus during Spring Break. Fees typically charged for Spring Break residents are waived, and food service options are extended at no additional cost to students.

As events have developed over the past 24 hours, travel policies were further refined in an email to faculty, staff, and students. To view the complete document regarding these guidelines, visit the coronavirus landing page at www.saumag.edu/coronavirus. Please continue to direct questions to taskforce@saumag.edu.

We remain vigilant to fulfill our mission as an institution of higher education, protect our students, faculty, and staff, and make decisions for the welfare of our campus and community. We sincerely appreciate the understanding of our parents and students during this national crisis.

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