The COVID-19 Planning & Response Team (President’s Cabinet, members of TLU’s Safety and Emergency Management Committee, members of the faculty executive committee, the director of athletics, and the director for international education) will continue to meet regularly at 9 am; however, beginning this week, the daily campus updates will transition to twice-weekly communications on Mondays and Thursdays unless circumstances warrant additional communication.
We have one new update for today as well as previous announcements, updated as appropriate to reflect any new details. As always, all updates and announcements dating back to early March are available on tlu.edu/news and tlu.edu/semc.
- TLU Class of 2020: President Cottrell recorded a special message for our 2020 graduates prior to what would have been their May 9, 2020, Spring Commencement ceremony. The ceremony has been rescheduled for Saturday, August 1, but diplomas are being mailed to graduates this week. For more information related to Commencement, please visit the public page of My.TLU.EDU.
PREVIOUS UPDATES & IMPORTANT INFORMATION:
- Employee work plan: The President’s Cabinet continually reviews the work plan for employees in its weekly meetings and made the decision yesterday to extend the current work plan, with approximately 80% of staff working from home, until at least May 31. The Cabinet also decided that each VP will work with their departments to create a phased-in plan for a limited number of employees to return beginning in June after important safety protocols and procedures have been outlined and communicated to everyone.
- Drop-off return for textbook rentals: Students may drop off their textbook rentals from 10 am to 4 pm (Monday through Friday) until Monday, May 18, at the back of the TLU Bookstore. To ensure we have a safe and smooth process, please follow these guidelines:
- There will be signage to direct you to the drop-off area which is on the west side of the Alumni Student Center (ASC)
- Remain in your vehicle. A staff member, wearing gloves and a mask, will come to your vehicle to collect the returns (If staff members are not present there will be instructions on how to contact them.)
- Make sure each textbook to be returned has the student’s name, ID# and name of the textbook included inside each book. You may print the sample form located on MyTLU by clicking here to use for this or make your own.
- Drop-off return for library items: Library books and small items (fitbits, DVDs, etc.) may be returned in the library’s book drop at any time. The book drop is accessed via a slot that is located on the front wall of the library, to the left of the main doors as you face the library entrance. Laptop computers on loan from the library may be returned to the bookstore drop-off listed above. As you exit your vehicle to return a library item, please make sure you are wearing a mask while on campus.
The safest way to return books is through the mail:
- Textbook rental returns via USPS, UPS, etc.: The deadline for returning rental textbooks has been extended an additional week (through May 18) to provide everyone extra time on their returns. Rented textbooks may be returned by doing the following:
1000 W. Court Street
Seguin, TX 78155
*Students can request reimbursement of shipping costs by completing a COVID Emergency Aid Request form and submitting it along with a receipt to Student Financial Services. This can be used for textbooks and library books.
- Textbook Buybacks: We will not be having an in-store Book Buyback this semester. If you wish to sell back any of your textbooks (perhaps even books from previous semesters), please visit the “Sell Textbooks” page on the Bookstore website (https://bookstore.tlu.edu ) It’s a simple, hassle-free way to earn some cash for your textbooks. PLEASE REMEMBER NOT TO SELL BACK ANY RENTAL TEXTBOOKS. If you are unsure if your book is a rental, contact us and we can verify the status of your book. As always, feel free to email any questions to email@example.com.
- Move-out process for students still needing to retrieve personal belongings: In accordance with state and county guidelines, we have resumed our move-out process for students needing to retrieve their personal belongings on a scheduled basis. We have created an appointment form for students to sign-up for a time: https://www.jotform.com/tlureslife/spring20checkout. It is important to sign-up so your ID card works or your apartment is accessible. You must sign-up 24 hours in advance so that we can properly prepare for your return to campus. As part of the check-out process, you must complete an online check-out form and return your key. Those details will be on your room/apartment door with the locations where you can return your room/apartment key. If you are unable to check-out this week, please contact our office at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will work with you on a plan.
- Emergency Aid: All students have now been mailed the COVID-19 Emergency Aid Request form. We are in the process of sending emails to the students that have submitted requests informing them of their status. You can also see the status of your application by logging into MyTLU and going to the Document Tracking section on the Financial Aid page. Students are encouraged to apply for these federal funds designed to help assist them with financial hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. To help you in this process, we are providing these eligibility details and guidelines and an attached FAQ:
- Only students who are Title IV eligible are eligible to receive the emergency grant funds. Until we receive more guidance from ED on other alternatives, the easiest way for TLU to confirm a student is Title IV eligible is for the student to file either the 19-20 or 20-21 FAFSA. The FAFSA goes through the federal eligibility checks when processed. You do not have to have received federal financial aid, but you must meet this criteria:
- Eligibility: Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen. International and DACA students are not eligible for these grants. Be enrolled as a regular student in an eligible degree or non-degree seeking program. i.e. not dual enrollment, auditing classes, etc.
- Purpose: Must be granted for expenses incurred after March 13, 2020, that are related to COVID-19 such as rent, utilities, course related materials, computer, printer, travel, storage, etc., related to TLU’s move to online classes and closing the campus. This is not an exhaustive list as you may have increased expenses for food, electricity, etc., from being home all the time. Please provide documentation that shows the expenses such as receipts and utility bills. Note: We are not allowed to reimburse for lost wages as they are not an expense even though they are COVID related.
- Disbursement of Funds: Funds will be disbursed by check to the student. We are not allowed to hold it on account for future semesters nor are we allowed to use it toward any student balance you may owe. Once you have received the funds, you may use the funds to either reimburse yourself for expenses already paid or, if you choose, you can use it to pay your TLU bill. If using to pay your TLU bill, you will need to pay it through your normal means of payment.
- Timing of Disbursement: We will begin disbursing funds the week of April 27 as requests are reviewed and approved. Students will receive an email once their request has been reviewed and a grant awarded. Students can expect to receive the check within 5-7 days after notice is given.
- Please note: This grant is for the student and, as such, the request must be completed and signed by the student.
- Housing sign-up for 2020-2021: Priority sign-up has ended but housing for 2020-2021 is still available. The application is on the Residence Life page of My.TLU.EDU. For more details about the process, please refer to the email that was sent out earlier. For more information, please contact email@example.com
- Summer classes: More than 65 classes are on the summer schedule at a rate of $370 per credit hour. This provides students an opportunity to take classes at a lower rate than in the long semesters. As a reminder, Mayterm will be offered online, Summer A will be offered online, and Summer B will be offered with both online and face-to-face courses, assuming health guidelines allow that.
- The ASC is open Monday-Friday from 8 am to 5 pm and is closed on the weekends.
In addition to our daily campus updates (posted on tlu.edu/semc and My.TLU.EDU), President Cottrell has hosted six livestream town hall meetings with TLU faculty, staff, and students that are posted on TLU’s YouTube channel.
Stay safe and be well!
TLU Safety and Emergency Response Committee