COVID-19 response FAQs | April 1
Charleston Southern announced last week its decision to extend online instruction through the remainder of the spring 2020 semester in a proactive response to the COVID-19 threat. The campus will be closed to students during this time.
Please see the following FAQs for additional information.
- What are the move-out procedures for resident students?
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Charleston Southern University campus will be closed to students and visitors for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester. The Residence Life staff has a plan in place to get our Bucs moved out as safely, quickly and efficiently as possible, all while limiting contact with other students and staff. The process will be conducted over a two-week period between April 1-14, 2020. Please see this page to view further instructions.
- Is the CSU Bookstore open at this time?
While the physical bookstore is closed, they are working on plans for rental book return at the end of the semester and delivery of graduation regalia.
- How do we handle rental textbook returns?
At this time, the plan is you will be emailed shipping labels, delivered to the email address that you used to purchase the books, toward the end of the semester. (Please be sure to check your spam box/no international shipping) The return period will be extended, and late fees should not be incurred as long as books are returned in a timely manner.
- Has a date been decided for the postponed graduation ceremony?
May commencement is postponed and will be conducted on a future date, but that date is still to be determined.
Degrees will be conferred on May 8 for all seniors who complete their degree requirements. Degrees will be placed in the mail to the address students used on their graduation application beginning May 11 and may take a couple weeks to complete.
- How do I receive my graduation regalia that I already ordered?
The bookstore is planning to have your regalia shipped to you at the address you provided the registrar’s office on your application for graduation. Hopefully, shipments will begin no later than mid-April.
- How do I access the CSU Student Community on Blackboard?
Log into Blackboard.
- After you log into Blackboard, scroll your mouse to the far right at the top in the dark blue bar and you will see “Community” to the right of “Courses” (below your name at the top).
- Select the appropriate Community to access the Community.
- The dark blue menu bar on the left side of the page shows available resources.
- How can I receive help in math, writing or a specific subject?
Virtual tutors are available for you via the Learning Center, Writing Center and Math Lab! You may access any of these through the CSU Student Community. Learn more here.
- Are there free internet opportunities for me while I’m at home?
There are many options!
Various Internet Service Providers are offering low-cost or free internet access options to help ensure people stay connected to the internet as more schools suspend classes and companies encourage employees to work from home. Contact your local service provider to inquire about access and discounts. The following links are examples of provider announcements.
- Comcast / Xfinity
- Comcast has also opened their Xfinity hotspots for free. Anyone should be able to connect to one of those hotspots if it shows up in the available WiFi connection on their device.
- Charter / Spectrum
- ISPs Raise Speeds and Suspend Data Caps
- Verizon has now increased the amount of data that can be used without penalty making cellphones useful for hotspots.
- AT&T: Keeping Service Connected and Waiving Charges
- AT&T is offering schools 60 days of unlimited data for laptops, tablets and hotspots.
- AT&T will keep their public WiFi hotspots open for anyone who needs them.
- AT&T will keep service connected, waive late payment fees, and waive data, voice and text overage charges for any wireless customer experiencing hardship caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
- In many rural areas, local school districts are parking school buses with WiFi to make internet access available to students. Even though they are closed, public libraries, restaurants, and hotels are also boosting their coverage so that the internet is available outside the buildings. Areas such as Goose Creek have citywide internet coverage thanks to Google.
- Comcast / Xfinity
- Is there free software for me to use while at home?
All students have access to Microsoft Office 365 through their CSUStudent.net Office 365 account. Follow the directions below to download your copy (Mac or Windows).
- Go to https://www.outlook.com/csustudent.net and log in with your BucMail username and password.
- Click the “Waffle” icon on the top left of the page.
- Click on “All Apps.” From here you can also use the online version of some Apps.
- At the bottom the list, click “Explore all our apps”
- Click “Install Office,” Choose “Office 365 apps”
You may also use the online versions if you do not want to install.
- Will resident students receive a prorated housing and/or meal plan refund for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester?
We appreciate your patience during this pandemic situation as we’ve focused on the safety of our students, faculty and staff. Please know we are working diligently to develop this process as quickly as we can but will be unable to finalize details until we receive governmental guidance regarding distribution of federal funds. We are monitoring this situation daily and will post details as they become available.
- Is the campus fully closed?
At present, only essential university employees are required to report to work on campus. All other employees should continue working remotely unless mission requirements or supervisor direction allow otherwise. For the safety of our staff and guests, all on-campus events are canceled until further notice.
Students may not come to campus unless they have permission from Residence Life and Security to do so.
- Are the April Registration Day and future Saturday Session visits canceled?
All on-campus events are canceled until further notice, at least through early May 2020. That includes all campus visits. We have a wonderful virtual alternative – check it out here.
- Will this decision affect my financial aid?
No. Online instruction means we continue as usual in our academic semester.