After much prayerful consideration regarding the COVID-19 pandemic’s apparent course over the next few weeks, Charleston Southern University has decided to finish the spring semester online. Consistent with accreditation mandates, faculty are modifying certain experiential learning requirements when necessary, including those for student teachers and nursing students.
“We know our traditional students will be deeply disappointed, as are we, that our on-campus activities are ending much earlier than we hoped. But this move is the best option to protect our students, faculty, staff, and the greater community from the ill effects of the public health pandemic,” President Dondi Costin said.
Commencement The May graduation ceremony is postponed and will be conducted on a future date to be determined. Degrees will be conferred on May 8 and placed in the mail for all seniors who complete their degree requirements. We look forward to celebrating this milestone with our graduates and their families in a meaningful way when it is considered safe to do so.
“Making this decision now also allows our students the opportunity to make plans in the best interests of themselves and their families,” Costin said. “Amid the difficulties we all face during this challenging season, Charleston Southern is committed to creating memorable experiences for our Bucs and recognizing their hard-earned accomplishments, including a future commencement event for the Class of 2020.”
University Operations 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.
Student Housing Residence Life will launch an orderly two-week move-out process that will begin on April 1, 2020, a start date chosen to honor the federal government’s current 15-day stay-at-home recommendation. The move-out process will allow students to gather their belongings in a convenient, timely fashion while maintaining safe social distancing. Students will be given several options to return to campus to check out within a two-week period. In extenuating circumstances, other options may be provided on a case-by-case basis. More information, including details on the process and schedule, will be released to residential students in the next few days.
The university is researching possible housing and dining plan refunds and is conferring with federal and state officials to ensure all guidelines are met. The university will communicate details to affected parties as soon as university operations return to normal. We appreciate your patience as we evaluate all aspects of this developing situation.
Financial Aid Registration for summer and fall 2020 will continue as scheduled. All holds have been removed for now to allow students the opportunity to register. The federal government requires prior-year balances to be paid in full before the fall semester begins. All charges incurred prior to the fall 2020 semester must be paid in full by August 1, 2020. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Virtual Student Experience Despite social distancing, we are still building community through a variety of virtual opportunities, including:
Healthy Living CSU Campus Recreation is hosting daily workouts on Campus Rec social media. Workouts can be done with little or no equipment from the comfort of one’s home (i.e., kickboxing and PiYo). Follow them on Instagram.
Anyone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms is encouraged to use MUSC Health’s free Coronavirus Virtual Health Screening. Please continue to follow the CDC’s recommendations for social distancing and hygiene, as well as the CSU Health Resources page for updates and helpful tips.
Mental Health The CSU Counseling Services team is available for consultation and referral to ALL currently enrolled students via phone or video conferencing Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Appointment requests may be made here. In the event of an emergency, please contact 911, 211, the National Suicide Hotline at 843-744-HELP (4357) or visit your nearest ER.
Spiritual Life Daily devotionals from our scattered campus community are available on social media as a way to keep our Bucs connected and uplifted. Look for our BUCkle Up posts each evening on YouTube, Facebook stories and Instagram stories.
Brief chapel services will be conducted each Wednesday at 11 a.m. online beginning March 25 through April 22. Elevate services will also be available online every Thursday night until final exam week.
The campus community is encouraged to join CSU in daily prayer at 10 a.m. View the list of prayer topics and/or submit a prayer request for the Campus Ministries team at charlestonsouthern.edu/prayer.
Launching Soon Look for online chat options available soon on the CSU website. This is a great option for current students, prospective students, parents and families who may have questions regarding the admissions process, financial aid, degree program information, and more.
Chapel Credits All students will receive chapel credits for the two remaining chapels originally scheduled for the spring 2020 semester. May 2020 graduates who still lack the number of chapel credits required to graduate should email Laurie Diel, executive assistant to the dean of students, at firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible. We will work with students to develop a plan for them to graduate on time.
Prospective Students Our CSU Enrollment Team will be communicating with incoming students in the days ahead, and more information on preregistration for new students will be coming soon. Current student registration is proceeding as scheduled.
Please note that as of March 21, ETS unveiled a GRE and TOEFL that can be taken at home. The tests, which are open for registration, are available in the United States, Canada, Colombia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Hong Kong and Macau (China). Learn more at https://www.ets.org/s/cv/important-update.
Campus visits are limited to individual appointments only when it is safe to travel again. We will host a virtual Open House in the next two weeks. Live virtual campus tours are available this spring, with livestream dates coming soon. In the meantime, visit the campus virtual tour here.
Stay Connected & Encouraged “I continue to be proud of and inspired by the way our Charleston Southern family has chosen to make the best of a bad situation. But I am not surprised because that’s exactly what I would have expected from a community committed to integrating faith in learning, leading, and serving. We remain steadfast in the rock-ribbed sufficiency of a rock-solid Savior who transforms the overwhelmed into overcomers every single time,” said Costin. “In troubled times, it doesn’t get any better than that.”
In an effort to provide continued campus connection, President Costin will share weekly videos for the remainder of this semester via social media. Follow along at CSU main accounts: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn.