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PITTSBURG — On Tuesday, Pittsburg State University announced that it is taking further precautions to minimize risk of COVID-19, including closing residence halls and canceling commencement ceremonies.


Following guidance from the CDC, Gov. Laura Kelly issued an executive order Monday to ban gatherings of 50 or more people in Kansas to limit the spread of the coronavirus.


Coursework


Faculty will deliver courses via alternative delivery methods through the end of the spring semester. This removes further disruptions for faculty and students, the university said in a release. This week, faculty began transitioning coursework to alternate delivery methods, which students are to begin after Spring Break on March 30.


Housing


The university will restrict communal living environments on campus to help preserve the health and safety of students, faculty, staff, and the community. Residence halls on campus will close starting March 23, which was to have been the first day of Spring Break.


All residential international students and a small number of domestic students in exceptional circumstances who cannot return to their permanent residences will be allowed to stay but may be moved to a different room to reduce density. The closure does not apply to Block22, the university said in the release.


Commencement


Based on expert recommendations, the university made the decision to cancel in-person commencement ceremonies in May along with all commencement-related activities.


“We know how disappointing this is, as it’s an important milestone that all of us — not just students but also staff and faculty — look forward to each semester that marks the end of one chapter and the beginning of another,” PSU President Steve Scott said in the release. “We will soon begin work on alternative ways to celebrate this great accomplishment, and graduates will be welcomed to walk at future ceremonies.”


Online:


The university's online resource for COVID-19 is live at pittstate.edu/coronavirus. Resources and information will be added to this page as this public health challenge evolves, the university said.