Bethel College takes COVID-19 action plan

For Newton Now

NORTH NEWTON — Effective at 10 p.m. Fri., March 13, Bethel College will enter a temporary phase intended to increase social distancing among students and employees.

The main features of this phase include preparing for remote and online delivery of courses, a suspension of group activities and college travel, and workplace adjustments for faculty and staff.

This plan will remain in effect until college officials are confident that the spread of COVID-19 no longer poses a safety risk to normal campus operations.

Bethel’s Emergency Management Response Team will be partnering with local agencies to monitor the spread of the virus. The campus will remain open during this period.

By Mon., March 16, all students need to decide whether to stay on campus or temporarily return home.

Bethel College is primarily a residential campus. Therefore, the college will remain open during these next two weeks, including student support services, academic resources, residence halls, dining facilities, and athletic and recreation facilities.

There are future scenarios under which students may be required to leave campus or be asked to return to campus for the resumption of face-to-face instruction.

Students are not required to attend classes during the week of March 16-20 or during the regularly scheduled spring break, March 23-27.

Classes will resume Mon., March 30, at their regularly scheduled times, in a format to be determined.

Clinical activities and off-campus learning placements may be exempted from remote delivery. Classroom experiences such as labs, studio art, and performance classes are still being evaluated.

Professors will provide information about these courses as soon as possible, but students may have to make housing decisions without complete information about their courses.

Students should expect additional information from professors on course plans by Fri., March 20.

Effective Fri., March 13, at 10 p.m., the college is canceling or postponing all non-essential large indoor gatherings and public events involving 50 or more people. These include regularly scheduled events such as Life Enrichment, convocation, guest lectures, performing arts events, and other gatherings meeting the aforementioned criteria.

Effective immediately, Bethel College will suspend indefinitely all athletic activities, including all practices, travel, and competition for spring sports.

Bethel College will continue to work with the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC) and National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) to closely monitor decisions about the spring 2020 National Championships.

Effective immediately and until further notice, all college-sponsored travel (domestic and international) is suspended, including the spring break Concert Choir tour.

Bethel’s Information Management Services (IMS) will be providing 24/7 technology services during this temporary period of remote delivery.