Emergency Communications - GU Alert

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Coronavirus Prevention and Preparedness

Greenville University cares! We make the health and safety of our students, employees, and campus visitors a top priority. We commit to helping you stay informed through regular communication on this webpage.

Communication Updates

UPDATE: 3/31/2020 at 1:20pm CDT



UPDATE: 3/20/2020 at 9:05am CDT

Dear Graduates, 

Due to the evolution of COVID-19, we unfortunately must cancel the Commencement ceremonies scheduled in May. We are following the recommendations of the CDC, IDPH, and other public health officials that large events should be suspended for at least eight weeks.


It is with great sorrow, and deep contemplation, that we came to this decision. You each deserve to participate in this meaningful tradition and celebrate with your family the hard work and many accomplishments you experienced during your time as a student at Greenville University. As such, we are working as quickly as possible to identify an alternate date for the ceremonies in the coming year. We know you will have many questions, and we plan to send out further communication to answer these questions. At this time we can tell you the following:


  • Commencement is cancelled for May but we are looking for options to reschedule in the coming year.
  • Wait on ordering regalia if you haven’t already. If you have already ordered, keep it for now.
  • We will still award all academic and non-academic awards
  • Honor cords (undergraduate) and hoods (graduate) will be mailed with a diploma folder in May.  Honor cords and hoods will be worn at the rescheduled commencement ceremony.
  • Graduates will receive their diploma in the mail approximately six weeks after their degree is posted.

We appreciate your patience, cooperation, and adaptability in these trying times. We care deeply for you and will work diligently to honor your hard work. Please tune into the GSGA Town Hall meeting, Friday at 4:30pm by clicking this Zoom link to hear more on Greenville University updates from our GSGA cabinet and GSGA president, Sidney Webster.

Thank you,

Brian Hartley
Vice President for Academic Affairs


UPDATE: 3/16/2020 at 5:00pm CDT

Communication from Dean of Students Ross Baker 

Hear from our executive vice president, dean of students, and student body president in this video update. 

UPDATE: 3/13/2020 at 3:45pm CDT

Statement from Executive Vice President Suzanne Davis. 

UPDATE: 3/13/2020 at 1:00pm CDT

Things have changed in the last 24 hours.

Given yesterday’s statement by the Governor of Illinois, we have changed course to extend Spring Break one week.

During that week, we will move all courses online for the remainder of spring semester.

(Classes already scheduled to begin online will continue without disruption.)

While we regret our students not being able to access the enriched on-campus educational experience, we share the governor’s concern and have shifted course.

Rapid changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in the last 24 hours, and a diagnosed case in a nearby county, compel us to help members of our campus community avoid large group gatherings and promote self-isolation to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Our responsibility to students, their families, staff and faculty requires that we incorporate a different approach to learning for the remainder of the semester. We have given this decision great thought and understand that it will disrupt the lives of our students, our faculty and staff, parents, and community members.  

With that in mind, we are taking the following proactive measures:    

  • Effective today (Friday, March 13), we are extending spring break for face-to-face classes until March 20, 2020. This extension allows faculty and students to pause and prepare for a transition to online classes. 
  • Regular online classes will continue as scheduled with no disruption. For example, Block B for both undergraduate and graduate level courses online will start March 16, 2020, as scheduled.
  • All face-to face-classes will resume March 23, 2020, via remote instruction. Students transitioning to remote instruction will receive more information from us and from their professors as we make the transition.
  • All classes will continue in an online format through the end of spring semester. We understand that this transition may be difficult. Student Success will personally assist any students with special circumstances that may inhibit online learning.
  • On-campus events including athletic events scheduled through April 5 have been canceled. We will re-evaluate the situation on or before April 6.
  • Belongings of students not on campus during Spring Break will continue to be secured
  • Please do not attempt to return to campus for your belongings until after April 6.
  • We will send specific instructions about returning to campus in the coming weeks.  If you have an extenuating circumstance, please reach out to community life directly at [email protected]

We will continue to review and assess the situation and apprise students as we make decisions about events like Commencement.

On-campus housing remains open to students currently living in the residence halls with prior approval. Students will have the option of continuing to stay, and GU will continue to assess any health risks to the community in line with the current coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak. The library will remain open and services such as dining, counseling, health service, and tutoring on campus will continue. We may limit the hours those services operate, however, depending on the volume of students who choose to stay. The Office of Community Life will be in touch with students with more information about these changes.

For more details, please visit the forthcoming FAQ section on this GU Alert page.  Check back often as we add new information daily. You can also sign up to receive GU Alerts by registering here.

GU remains committed to our students' success and to the health and well-being of everyone in our community. We will continue to learn and work together even with a different kind of learning delivery. We remain committed to the Greenville University educational experience and face-to-face, hands-on education we are known for. We look forward to our eventual return to face-to-face learning in the summer and fall.  

With Hope,

GU Response Team


Initial Communication on 3/12/2020

No cases.

There are currently no confirmed or suspected cases of coronavirus involving any Greenville University students or employees. (updated 3/11/2020). After Spring Break (March 9-13) classes will resume March 16.

  • Students or employees experiencing symptoms—fever, coughing, shortness of breath—should see a doctor for testing before returning to campus.

GU prepared.

Greenville University leaders continue to work with local and state health departments, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to closely monitor developments. Recommended precautions are the same as those we already take for influenza. We know what to do.

You can help us and your community by following these standard precautions.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

GU has taken rigorous mitigation measures for our students and community members:

  • An emergency response planning committee (ERPC) was established and has been meeting more than daily.
  • The ERPC identified what departments are essential to the continuing operations of the university during a crisis.
  • Essential departments have been required to prepare continuity of operation plans to ensure that they can provide vital services in a pandemic crisis.
  • Frequently Asked Questions were prepared for employees.
  • All University procedures were reviewed for impact from COVID-19 and adjusted accordingly.
  • A website page devoted to communication and helpful resources is up and will continue to be updated as more information is available.
  • GU leaders, as well as our community life and campus safety teams remain in close contact with local, state, and federal agencies to receive their recommendations.
  • GU has an up-to-date emergency response plan that includes a pandemic response.
  • We verified with the Illinois Public Health Department that our cleaning supplies are the correct ones to fight viruses.
  • We stocked up on cleaning supplies.
  • We significantly increased our cleaning regimen of public places.
  • We posted cautionary signage on proper hygiene to avoid illness.
  • We distributed hand sanitizer throughout campus.
  • We will encourage social distancing if necessary.

GU Communicates.

We commit to sharing accurate and timely information as the situation evolves. Check back on this webpage often. We will post all communication and updates to this webpage as we communicate with our community.

  • GU has a text alert system for students and employees, who had the opportunity to opt into this system when they first registered. Students who would like to confirm or update their registration may click here. All, employees—faculty and staff—may confirm or update their registration on this staff registration form.

GU’s ideal location.

GU’s location in an area of low population density puts us at a lower risk for virus exposure.

  • Campus is located within one mile of two approved testing sites, the local hospital and the county health department.
  • These sites can confirm new cases within hours.

On Monday, March 9, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker issued a disaster proclamation for the state in response to the coronavirus. This precautionary step positions Illinois to receive federal funds to help manage the situation.

Tips to Avoid Infection

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) recommends taking the following precautions to protect against infection.

    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • Stay home when you are sick.
    • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Click here for the CDC’s precautions to prevent illness.

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