UGA Administrative Building Mug.jpg copy commencement canceled

All public events at UGA have been canceled for the remainder of the semester to promote social distancing due to COVID-19 concerns. These events include commencement, intercollegiate athletics, performances, student activities and honors week activities. (Photo/Jason Born)

The University of Georgia spring 2020 commencement ceremonies for both undergraduate and graduate students have been canceled, according to a Tuesday Archnews email.

“We realize that the cancellation of many of these activities is extremely disappointing — particularly the cancellation of Spring Commencement on Friday, May 8, 2020,” the email read. “Therefore, we are exploring other ways to honor our graduates and will communicate when those plans are known.”

Students will still be able to graduate during spring semester consistent with academic standards, according to the email.

All 26 University System of Georgia institutions will move to online instruction for the remainder of the semester per a USG decision announced Monday. Along with commencement, all public events for the remainder of the semester have been canceled, including intercollegiate athletics, performances, student activities and honors week activities, the email said.

The email also detailed limited campus operations for the remainder of the semester. The university is working to develop prorated refunds for residence halls, dining plans and other fees.

The university will maintain a “a strict schedule of appointments” for students to move out of their residence halls in a way that “supports social distancing,” according to the email.

Students must sign up for appointment slots between March 19-27 to move out of their dorms, according to a University Housing email sent to students living in residence halls Tuesday. Each time slot has 12 possible openings.

The Housing email said appointment slots are per building to limit the number of people on campus at one time. Students who arrive on campus without an appointment time will be turned away — UGACard access to residence halls has been revoked for all residents. The email said students could bring no more than two people to the room during checkout and are limited to two hours.

Students need to make requests to live on-campus through the remainder of the semester due to extenuating circumstances by noon on March 20, according to the Housing email.

Adequate on-campus operations will be maintained to give students who need it access to “loaned IT devices and WiFi” to complete online coursework, the email said.

UGA will maintain enough staff to support the students living on campus who have no other housing options, according to the email. Bolton Dining Commons is the only dining hall remaining open and is offering take-out service for students in the residence halls. A plan for delivery service is in place, but no specifics for that plan were given.

Information technology staff will maintain email, academic support and business support systems, the email said. Essential personnel will remain on campus to “maintain core campus infrastructure and core institutional functions,” which includes research facilities, lab safety and animal care.

Parking Services will continue to follow its spring break schedule. The email said if space is available, existing permit holders can park in lots and decks outside of their assigned lots without penalty. Parking workers will monitor lots to ensure permit holders have enough space for parking in their designated lots.

The majority of university faculty and staff members will work remotely using telecommunications, according to the email. Staff who provide “essential services” are working flexible schedules to reduce the number of employees physically on campus.

Student advising appointments will take place virtually. All Maymester study abroad programs have been canceled. The email said the university is monitoring the status of summer study abroad programs.

All research not conducted remotely should wind down by 5 p.m. Friday, according to the email. The university may exempt research on COVID-19.

Classes resume online on March 30. The withdrawal date has been extended to April 17. The email said the university plans to complete the spring 2020 semester on the original end date of May 6.

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