March 17, 2020
As we prepare for the remote instructional period, we understand that you may have questions about credits or reimbursements to your student accounts for services you will not have access to. I want to assure you that we are taking steps to limit any financial hardship you may face as a result of these changes and ensure that any reimbursement or credit action we take does not have unintended consequences on financial aid or scholarships you may have.
Following is what we are planning but will not act upon until we have a better sense of the full extent and impact of the emergency modifications the University has implemented. We should be able to provide you details on the exact process and timing by April 10.
For resident students who will not remain on campus during the remote learning and limited access period:
- You will receive a credit to your student account, pending review of financial aid and institutional scholarship award criteria, at the nightly rate for your residence hall effective Tuesday March 24 and continuing for the period in which the university is operating with limited access.
- You may request a credit of meal plan funds, pending review of financial aid and institutional scholarship award criteria, for the number of days you were unable to access your plan, in accordance with the type of plan you purchased. Commuters who purchased meal plans will be eligible to do this as well. We will consider reimbursement for those students who are graduating and not returning to the University in the fall.
For students approved to remain on campus during the remote learning and limited access period:
- You will continue to have access to dining services, with limited locations, hours and offerings, in accordance with the directive of the department of higher education of New Jersey, which recommends grab and go/takeout meals in order to maintain social distancing. We will post hours and services on social media, website, email and in your assigned residence by Friday, March 20.
- For any student who is experiencing an extraordinary financial hardship or food insecurity as a result of this pandemic and the changes the University made to respond, please contact us at StudentDevelopment@wpunj.edu so we can connect you with appropriate support services. This email will be monitored daily by myself and members of my leadership team.
As we adjust our daily routines and shifting priorities in response to the COVID-19 virus, we recognize that the current situation can be stressful for you and your loved ones. We remind students that it is especially important to practice self-care during this time. There are many healthy activities students can engage in, while still following recommendations for social distancing. These include eating healthy meals, getting plenty of rest, going outside for a walk in the fresh air, reading for pleasure, watching a movie, journaling, listening to music and connecting with a friend via phone or video chat. Additional strategies and guidance for self-care and coping is provided by the CDC here:
If you find that you are experiencing difficulties in coping and would like to speak with a counselor, our counseling staff is available for remote appointments Monday through Friday between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm. Please call the Counseling, Health & Wellness Center at 973-720-2257 to set up an appointment or be connected with a counselor. Additionally, an on call Counselor will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to respond to mental health emergencies.
Our number one priority is the health and safety of our community and we will continue to make decisions accordingly. Please be safe, take care of yourself and continue to follow provided advice on handwashing, avoiding potential contagions, and social distancing. Please continue to check your email for periodic communications and our website
for regular updates.
Dr. Miki Cammarata
Vice President for Student Development