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H-SC postpones all athletic events, limits access to campus

Hampden-Sydney College (H-SC) revealed in a Thursday evening, March 12, message to the H-SC community that athletic contests and events are postponed until further notice due to concerns connected to the coronavirus COVID-19.

The message also included more detailed instructions for students, including when and how they could have access to campus.

President Dr. Larry Stimpert opened the message with some written words for the H-SC community.

“I am writing to update you on the college’s planning regarding the novel coronavirus COVID-19,” he stated. “As you know from the college’s message earlier today, we have made the difficult decision to extend spring break for students through Sunday, March 22.”

He wrote that “unprecedented” is the word increasingly being used to describe this outbreak.

“This is an apt description that applies equally well to both the nature of the outbreak as well as the steps being taken in many areas of society, including higher education,” he wrote. “Given the unprecedented nature of the situation, we must take many factors into account, harnessing the guidance of public health experts, monitoring the actions of peer institutions and remembering our own unique mission, situation and charge.”

He reiterated the college’s commitment to its mission of forming good men and good citizens in an atmosphere of sound learning.

“The decision to extend spring break is one that we believe advances both elements of that mission, giving the college more time to prepare for a return to class — whether remote or in-person — as well as to continue putting in place the most effective measures to safeguard the well-being of students, faculty and staff, which is so essential for an atmosphere of sound learning.”

He then drew readers’ attention to the following information about safety and other preparatory measures that are being taken by the college as well as specific information and advice for students, faculty and staff members.

All members of the community should continue to update the college about any travel.

Athletic contests and events are postponed until further notice. Student-athletes still on campus may remain on campus until noon Saturday, March 14.

Extra efforts are being made to thoroughly clean and disinfect public spaces on campus.

As of 5:00 p.m. Friday, March 13, the TigeRec Center will be closed until further notice.

College officials said they will be evaluating all upcoming on- and off-campus college events and will issue further guidance next week.

“Please note that we do require that individuals who have been exposed to COVID-19 or have been to a CDC Level 3 country in the last 14 days refrain from visiting,” officials stated in the message.

Students currently on campus should plan to leave campus by no later than noon Saturday, March 14.

Those with extenuating circumstances who wish to remain on or return to campus may seek permission to do so by completing the Request to Remain on Campus form found here — https://secure4.hsc.edu/formsstudaff/view.php?id=34780. Meals will be available for students who are approved to remain on campus.    

Students wishing to pick up any essential belongings from residence halls may contact H-SC Dean of Students Robert Sabbatini at rsabbatini@hsc.edu. 

“Please know that your belongings are safe on campus and that residence halls are secure,” officials stated in the message.

They also encouraged students to self-monitor their health and be aware of their surroundings.

“If you are feeling sick, or believe you may have been in close contact with someone affected by the virus, please consider undergoing a health screening with a medical provider, and please notify Student Health Services at (434) 223-6167,” officials stated.

Later this month, the college will notify program participants with an updated reassessment of H-SC summer abroad programs. All members of the community are encouraged to continue monitoring the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for the most updated travel advisories.

For faculty and staff, all non-essential work-related travel is prohibited.