August 6, 2020

Livestream Session Addressed Return-to-Campus Culture

Faculty and staff attended a live Q&A webinar via Zoom yesterday, as the state entered Phase 3 of the governor’s “Forward Virginia” reopening plan. Called “Commitment to Community,” the session focused on how the University will help students prepare for and commit to behavioral and social expectations and requirements when they return to campus next month.

UMW Chief of Staff Jeff McClurken moderated the livestream event, which featured panelists Vice President for Student Affairs Juliette Landphair, Associate Vice President and Dean of Student Life Cedric Rucker, Assistant Dean for Residence Life and Housing David Fleming, and University Physician and Director of the Student Health Center Nancy Wang.

“We know how much our students want to come back to campus,” Landphair said. “They want to resume their holistic Mary Washington experience as much as possible.”

Landphair explained that establishing a culture of compliance – an environment that encourages adherence to sound public health principles and a purposeful intent to prevent the spread of disease – is a “gating requirement,” or prerequisite to re-opening. In that vein, UMW’s Return to Campus Plan will be submitted to SCHEV for approval and shared with campus on Monday, July 6.

The plan, panelists said, focuses on moving forward the core mission of Mary Washington and builds on existing codes of conduct, as well as the University’s statement of community values, known as ASPIRE.

“We don’t want to see a situation where individuals feel stigmatized in any way,” said Rucker, who has spent the past several weeks speaking with incoming students. “That’s why ASPIRE is also important. We want to celebrate everyone but also make sure that everyone is committed to ensuring that the academic process moves forward as smoothly as possible.”

Students, faculty and staff will be asked to complete training modules focused on “MMDC” – monitoring, masking, distancing and cleaning – and all individuals must pledge to uphold the guidelines.

Among their many questions, employees who tuned in to the hourlong session asked how faculty and staff will be expected to enforce behavioral guidelines, how claimed health exemptions to regulations will be handled and how the University is collaborating with city officials.

The Return to Campus Plan will address many of yesterday’s topics of concern, such as quarantine and isolation, testing and tracing, and communication of positive cases, McClurken said. If questions still exist after reading the document, he encouraged employees to restate them at next week’s livestream Q&A event on Wednesday, July 8, at 3 p.m., via Zoom or YouTube.

Watch yesterday’s Q&A below.

 

 

Retrieval of student belongings

The following message is from the Office of Student Affairs.

To all faculty and staff:

As was described in this April 6 message to students, starting tomorrow and continuing through May 1, individual residential students and their family members will be on campus picking up their belongings. Per state public health guidance and recommendations to colleges and universities about belongings retrieval, our process allows for a limited number of students on campus at a time.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Assistant Dean for Residence Life and Housing Dave Fleming.

Fleming Interviewed About Willard Hall Renovation on WVTF

Dave Fleming, Assistant Dean of Residence Life and Housing

Dave Fleming, Assistant Dean of Residence Life and Housing

Dave Fleming, Assistant Dean for Residence Life and Housing, was recently interviewed by WVTF Radio IQ 88.3 about the recently renovated and refurbished Willard Hall.

And at the University of Mary Washington students have just moved into the oldest residence on campus. Willard Hall opened in 1911 but has been fully renovated – preserving the historic vibe while adding modern convenience: hardwood floors, open common areas, study nooks, a media room and community kitchen. Assistant Dean for Residence Life and Housing, Dave Fleming, says the project became a rush job four years ago.

“In 2016 we had a steam pipe rupture underneath the building, which buckled some of the flooring here. We were about a year out from renovating anyway, so we decided to close a year early and start that renovation.”

Opened in 1911, Willard Hall is the oldest residence hall on UMW's campus. It recently welcomed students back after a full renovation, which retained the building's historic charm while adding modern amenities. Photo Credit: Radio IQ.

Opened in 1911, Willard Hall is the oldest residence hall on UMW’s campus. It recently welcomed students back after a full renovation, which retained the building’s historic charm while adding modern amenities. Photo Credit: Radio IQ.

Planners were determined to retain the building’s historic charm while adding modern amenities.

“We had a historic preservationist on the construction team,” Fleming explains. “He’s actually a graduate from Mary Washington in historic preservation, and so he was able to really help us navigate some of those decisions.”

And he adds that students were consulted as plans evolved.

“A lot of the surveys that we’ve conducted indicated that the number one thing that students want is more study spaces so we were able to create some of those small study spaces for them.” Read more.

Ribbon-Cutting Marks New Chapter for Willard Hall

The ribbon is cut during the Willard Hall dedication. The group includes BOV members and student representatives, along with Assistant Dean of Residence Life and Housing Dave Fleming and BOV Rector Heather Mullins Crislip ’95 (far left), UMW President Troy Paino (front) and senior Maggie McCotter (with scissors). Photo by Matthew Brooks.

The ribbon is cut during the Willard Hall dedication. The group includes BOV members and student representatives, along with Assistant Dean of Residence Life and Housing Dave Fleming and BOV Rector Heather Mullins Crislip ’95 (far left), UMW President Troy Paino (front) and senior Maggie McCotter (with scissors). Photo by Matthew Brooks.

UMW senior Maggie McCotter loves the sunlight that streams into her third-floor Willard Hall room. She likes the rustic gleam of the refurbished hardwood floors under her feet, her view of the bubbling Palmieri Fountain, the building’s proximity to the post office and Vocelli Pizza.

“I take pride in being one of the first to live here” after an extensive renovation, she told students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends gathered in the structure’s main living area for a dedication on Friday.

A Willard Hall resident assistant, McCotter joined 156 first-year students who moved in at the start of the spring semester in January, but last week’s event, part of a daylong Board of Visitors meeting, makes it official. Generations have made their home at Mary Washington’s oldest residence hall, built in 1911. But McCotter and her charges are among the first to enjoy a new type of turn-of-the-century splendor, where modern touches – a media room, “teaching” kitchen and transformable spaces – mingle with prized pieces from the past.

Architects worked tirelessly to preserve the elegance of the building, which originally housed dining, offices and classrooms, plus a post office, infirmary and gift shop, according to History of Mary Washington College by Edward Alvey Jr. The $19.3 million renovation salvaged brick walls, maple hardwood floors, ornate iron banisters, molding and trim, and original skylight shafts, along with parts of the building’s open floorplan. Read more.