As communities worldwide face the COVID-19 pandemic, Tulane University has taken major steps in responding to keep the campus community safe while allowing students to continue their education.
The university announced last week that all classes will be conducted online starting Monday, March 23, through the end of the semester, and students on the uptown campus must move out of their residence halls by March 22.
“We are very much going to miss engaging with our students face to face and seeing them on the quads, in the residence halls and throughout our campuses. They are the heart and soul of Tulane,” Tulane President Mike Fitts said in an email Monday.
Students finished up their last in-person classes on Friday, March 13, and began packing up and moving their belongings the next day. Tulane’s partner, University and Student Services, was on campus starting Thursday, March 12, distributing boxes to students outside of McAlister Auditorium so they can prepare their personal belongings for summer storage. In an effort to assist students with storage for more than the usual summer months, Tulane is covering the two additional months of storage and box costs. Students will pay the same amount for storage as if they left in May. USS will continue to distribute boxes through March 21. (Students can sign up for storage by clicking here.)
Students can also purchase boxes from the FedEx office in the Lavin-Bernick Center for University Life and arrange to have their items shipped home. The office is adding capacity to serve the students as quickly as possible.
Additionally, Tulane Mail Services will still process packages and mail as they arrive, and notifications will be sent to students’ Tulane email address. Mail Services is also offering a Mail Forwarding Form so the office can make sure any mail is properly forwarded as students leave campus.
Students who are not able to leave their residence halls and return to their hometowns during the outbreak were asked to fill out a Housing Exemption Request for an exemption. These requests were reviewed on a case-by-case basis. According to Tulane President Mike Fitts, 400 students will be remaining in the on-campus residence halls.
“It was important to allow students who could not return home to have a place to stay on campus,” Fitts said.
According to Tulane University Housing and Residence Life, staff will be on campus to ensure that residence halls are being cleaned in order to minimize health concerns. If a student or their roommate who is staying on campus is showing signs of illness, the university will maintain resources at Campus Health for them to call at 504-862-8121 between 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. and 855-487-0290 after 5 p.m.
Fitts said although Tulane currently has no known cases of COVID-19, reducing the campus population was “necessary for us to do our part in protecting our community and the public's health during this pandemic.”
“These past weeks have been a challenging time for our community, but we have proven again and again that the bonds that hold us together are stronger than any threat we face.”