April 20, 2020
Dear Panther Family.
I pray this letter finds you and your family safe. To those who are experiencing loss and illness, we are fervently praying for your healing and comfort. We are a family and together, we will continue to meet the challenges we face. As I walk around campus, it is difficult seeing our quiet campus during a time when it is usually vibrant and full of students, faculty, and staff. We miss you and look forward to seeing you back on campus and celebrating our graduates in the near future.
CARES Act: Virginia Union University has been approved for federal emergency relief aid due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A portion of the funding is reserved to help with student needs. You can access the form to apply for support, using your VUU email address, by clicking here.
If you are an enrolled Spring 2020 student and do not have a VUU email address, contact ITC@vuu.edu. You can learn more about the CARES Act here.
Safety: The health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff continue to be our top priority. Our Facilities Management team, faculty, staff, and students including SGA are participating in ongoing environmental safety training to safeguard our campus.
Students: Classes end in 10 days! Please continue to study and attend your virtual classes. Our faculty and staff are here to assist you along the way to academic success. We want you to finish your classes #VUUStrong! Here are some of the ways we are working to assist you:
- The VUU Call Center remains open to address questions/concerns in a timely manner. Call 804-257-5673 during the hours of 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
- The answers to many of your questions can be found on our VUU Coronavirus 2020 FAQs webpage at www.vuu.edu/coronavirus-2020/students
All student services are now virtual to include Tutoring and Testing Services and Student Engagement
- Expanded health services to include Televisits via VUU’s CAHN partnership. If you feel ill, call them at 804-780-0840.
The Graduating Senior Survey will be released on Monday, April 20, 2020 via email to all graduating seniors. The Graduating Senior Survey is an opportunity for seniors to provide feedback on their VUU matriculation, preparation, and engagement.
Student Course Evaluations are due by May 9, 2020. We encourage all students to complete course evaluations, as your voice is valued and valuable. This is an opportunity to share how VUU can improve instruction, learning environments, and the way we interface with students.
We will continue to keep everyone updated as we work towards your return to campus life. We love you and miss you. Together we will get through this pandemic.
With Panther Pride,
Hakim J. Lucas, Ph.D.
President & CEO
Virginia Union University is continuing to monitor updates about “COVID-19,” more commonly known as coronavirus. We are working with Capital Area Health Network (CAHN), our University-based healthcare provider, and following the recommendations from the Virginia Department of Health(VDH) as well as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
As of April 17, 2020, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has confirmed 7,491 cases of COVID-19 in Virginia. The VDH states that "the risk of exposure for members of the public is low, but individual risk is dependent on exposure."
Click here to read the Virginia Union University Corona Virus Memo
Share your travel plans:
We strongly urge students, faculty, and staff after reading the travel information from the CDC site noted above to share any travel plans with us by clicking the following link and submitting the form provided. This will help us to take any additional precautions should the need arise. Please click here to fill out the form.
Below are some informational items for you:
Centers for Disease Control Fact sheet (English)
Informacion (en español)
We want to share a few items of utmost importance.
- We continue to ask everyone to practice healthy habits such as washing their hands with soap and water for at least 20-30 seconds, not sharing drinks or eating utensils, and staying home and getting rest if they are sick. These steps remain the best defense against coronavirus, flu, and other communicable diseases.
- We know that special attention must be given to each of our facilities to ensure they are as clean as possible daily. We will be working with our maintenance and custodial team to take a fresh look at each of our buildings to see if there are any additional cleaning techniques we need to utilize.
- As you enjoy Spring Break, we are asking our University community to exercise special caution with regards to travel, especially as traveling to certain countries could increase the potential risk of exposure. A few things to consider:
- The CDC maintains a Travel Information website related to COVID-19, and specifically recommends avoiding all nonessential travel to countries at Warning Level 3. Note that these ratings can change rapidly.
- We urge faculty, staff, and students who have personal or professional plans to travel either internationally or to affected areas in the U.S. to reconsider their travel. In doing so, we ask each of you to take into account the possibility of travel delays, future quarantines, or prolonged self-isolation when returning from travel to VUU as students, faculty, and staff returning from a level 1, 2, or 3 country should self-isolate for 14 days upon return.
- We strongly urge students, faculty, and staff after reading the travel information from the CDC site noted above to share any travel plans with us by clicking the following link and submitting the form provided. This will help us to take any additional precautions should the need arise. Click here to fill out the form.
The decisions we are making rely heavily on the guidance we are receiving from the CDC and the Virginia Department of Health and are intended to protect the health and welfare of our faculty, staff, students, and local community. We recognize the uncertainty this global health issue is creating and are committed to keeping you informed and up-to-date as this situation evolves.
With the wealth of media overload about the coronavirus, it is normal to feel overwhelmed by anxiety, panic, worry, in addition to other things that are on your plate. Here are 5 tips to manage your anxiety.
- Trust your resources: we get a lot of news from social media, friends, family, etc. that can exacerbate things. Panicking about inaccurate information is a waste of time! Think critically about the source, and stay tuned to information provided from VUU. Here’s a link to the CDC that provides up to date briefings. Use this link to learn more about managing anxiety and stress from the CDC.
- Take a news break: staying on top of the news is one way our brains like to feel in control of an out of control situation. However, it’s a shortcut to more stress and worry! What can you do?
- Designate 5-10 minutes in the morning and afternoon to check reliable sources for updates.
- Turn off push notifications from news media outlets.
- Limit time on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
- Focus on what you can control: when things seen scary and unknown, it’s helpful to focus on what you can control. Here are some practical things you can do:
- Follow handwashing steps
- Get your flu shot
- Keep hand sanitizer in your bag and use it
- Get enough rest
- Cover your cough/sneeze with a tissue
- Stay home when you are sick
- Avoid touching your face
- Use healthy coping strategies: taking a break from school, work, etc., is essential for feeling balanced and well. Make sure you are doing something for yourself each other. Here are some ideas:
- Get help if you need it: If you’re tried at least 1-4 coping strategies, anxiety is still causing problems, and experiencing:
- Trouble sleeping or eating
- Problems with focus and attention
- Difficulty going to class or work
- Thoughts about harming or killing yourself
- For employees: reach out to your health insurance provider for a referral to a licensed clinician, for students, contact counseling services at firstname.lastname@example.org or stop by Henderson 1013.