Dear Drew students and families,
Last Tuesday I wrote to inform you of Drew’s adoption of the practice of social distancing in order to decrease COVID-19 risk in our community. Beginning tomorrow, Monday, March 16, and continuing through a currently slated period of three weeks, the University will operate in Drew Virtual Time (DVT) for both learning and business. Making a rapid transition like this is a challenge, and Drew is up for that challenge. Our faculty and staff have been working tirelessly to refine and finalize plans for DVT so that we can continue to execute on our mission of academic excellence. This is a long message, full of important information on academics, learning online, campus life, building access, events and more; please take the time to read it carefully.
As of this date and time, there are no reported cases of COVID-19 on the Drew campus, and University leadership continues to monitor the situation. We know this is a considerable disruption, to say the least, and you have many questions. Our learning experience in the literal Forest is part of what makes Drew so special. Nevertheless, as a community, we are committed to delivering the quality education Drew is known for during these exceptional times—and we will.
With this shift comes disappointment; nonetheless, we are committed to keeping our students, faculty, and staff safe. Social distancing—a conscious effort to limit close contact with people—is our best strategy to reduce community transmission of COVID-19. By having fewer people on campus, we decrease the potential health risk to the larger community. Thank you for helping us to reduce that risk.
We are actively working to address questions related to your education and community experience—from your academic progress and financial aid to your living situations and visas, and everything in between. Though we may not have answers to all of those questions in the information below nor yet at the COVID-19 site, rest assured, that we continue to work on issues that have arisen because of this transition, and will keep you informed.
For now, please read this information, visit the COVID-19 site for FAQ specifically for students and look for further info about the next few weeks and beyond. (If you are curious, you can also find information at the COVID-19 site on how Drew is working with faculty and staff during this time.)
Internships, NYC Semesters, Community-Based Learning, Travel
Drew has suspended all on-site activity for internships. Some students may be able to work remotely with their internship employer, while others will have to complete alternate assignments to complete their internship. All CLA and Caspersen students with internships will be receiving an FAQ communication from the Career Center. All Theo students with internships will receive guidance from the Theological School’s Dean’s office.
Events and Gatherings
For Our Students whose Permanent U.S. Home Is Drew
We know how disappointing this situation is for our students and families. You’re not working in your labs or in your studios, not worshipping or creating theatre or music as a community, not venturing to NYC for class or clubs, not practicing your sports. Your education and community experience is second only to your health and safety when it comes to priorities. And so our goal is to act now for the best chance for a return to normal life in The Forest.
By having fewer people on campus and limited face-to-face interaction, we decrease the potential health risk to the larger community. Your cooperation allows us to care for our community at large, especially for those at high risk. Thank you for your continued understanding.
I want to publicly thank our dedicated and talented faculty and staff, who have been diligently working around the clock for Drew during this unprecedented crisis. We will communicate with you as far in advance as possible regarding a return to on-campus learning and business after April 3. You’ll find this message and FAQ for our community at our COVID-19 site. I urge you to please take care of yourself and your loved ones. We will get through this together.