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Announcement Archive

 

Aug. 7, 2020 • TO ALL STUDENTS

These emails dive in on topics of importance as we prepare for the fall semester in the COVID-19 environment. Follow @Ouachita’s stories on Facebook and Instagram to see and hear more about the day’s topic and how it is practically implemented on campus.

 

COVID-19-related packing tips

As you are gearing up for returning to campus, whether that is living in a residence hall or apartment, here are a few extra packing tips to keep in mind this year.

  • Pack light this year. Less clutter in your room or apartment will make it easier to keep clean. While we have every intention of remaining on campus this semester, packing light will also ease any unexpected transitions back home, whether that is for a short time or several weeks.
  • Coordinate with your roommates before you arrive on campus to avoid duplicate items, especially appliances like microwaves and refrigerators.
  • Shop before you come. While Arkadelphia does have a Walmart and other stores in town, the influx of students to town can create shortages on top of the existing shortages due to COVID-19.

See our other typical packing tips here.

 

COVID-19-related Items

While it’s always helpful to have basic health and wellness supplies with you, COVID-19 makes these items more important than ever. Ouachita will supply each student with one cloth face mask, a travel size hand sanitizer and a digital thermometer. Other suggested items to bring include the following. Note that some of these items are in short supply nationwide.

  • Additional cloth face coverings (bring at least two to add to the one Ouachita provides)
  • Additional personal hygiene supplies: hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol content), antibacterial soap, face tissue (like Kleenex)
  • Over-the-counter medicine: acetaminophen, ibuprofen, cough medicine, throat lozenges, cough drops, anti-diarrheal medication, antacids, laxatives
  • Prescription medication (keep on hand at least a 3-week supply)
  • Your health information, including: health insurance card, list of your allergies, and contact information for your primary health care provider
  • Cleaning supplies (See CDC recommendations on cleaning and disinfecting.)
  • Room-size HEPA or ultra-violet filter (We are supplementing HVAC air quality efforts across campus with small HEPA filters in classrooms and office spaces. You may want to consider purchasing one for your individual dorm room or apartment. We recommend an air purifier designed for small rooms with a “True HEPA filter,” which are typically $80-150. The unit we are using for offices is GermGuardian AC4825, but numerous other reliable brands include: InvisiClean, VAVA, Airthereal, Oion, Eureka, Honeywell, Levoit, TruSens and others. You can purchase these online through Amazon, Walmart, Target, Home Depot and others.)

 

Prepare a COVID-19 Emergency Bag

In the event that you must leave campus to quarantine or isolate due to COVID-19, we recommend preparing an emergency bag ahead of time to ease stress during that transition. Be prepared to spend about 10 days in isolation or 14 days in quarantine. Once you leave campus, you may not return to your room to retrieve personal items until you are cleared by a physician in order to protect the campus community from exposure. (See more on Ouachita’s quarantine and isolation plan here.) In addition to typical items like clothing, toiletries and other personal hygiene items (feminine products, contact lens solution, etc.), make sure you include:

  • Important papers, such as your ID and insurance information
  • Cloth face coverings
  • Over-the-counter and prescription medications (see suggestions above)
  • Thermometer and first aid kit
  • Soap, hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes
  • Items needed for classwork: computer, books, notebooks, chargers for electronic devices, etc.
  • Paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils
  • Entertainment: books, games, puzzles, electronic devices, etc.

________________________________

Ouachita follows guidance and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Arkansas Department of Health. Additional information on Ouachita’s COVID-19 response is available at obu.edu/coronavirus​.

Aug. 6, 2020 • TO ALL STUDENTS, FACULTY & STAFF

 
A Letter from Ouachita’s Health Monitoring and Action Team

Ouachita’s Health Monitoring and Action Team (HMAT) is convinced the university is prepared for the potential of a successful fall 2020 residential semester.

HMAT has researched and collaborated with national and state health institutions, peer universities,  national research institutions and infectious disease experts to develop the protocols and recommendations to be used this semester on campus. Over the summer months, we completed a 627-item Safe Return to College checklist, developed and approved unanimously 70 campus protocols and worked closely with many staff, faculty and students in hands-on work and analytic programs.

We know the semester can be successful if, from the first day together on campus, the entire Ouachita family strives to follow the Four Pillars of Protection: face coverings, physical distancing, personal hygiene and disinfecting.

We even tested these pillars on campus with about 100 students who were here this summer for natural sciences research or football. The researchers had zero infections. The football players were all tested for COVID-19 before arriving on campus. One player developed a COVID-19 infection a few days later and went home, but zero other football players were infected because of their stringent following of the four pillars.

HMAT acknowledges that Ouachita will have active cases of COVID-19 this fall on campus; however, we also acknowledge and firmly believe we can contain the infection and keep an outbreak from occurring if everyone works together. Our ability to do on-campus rapid result testing and internal contact tracing will provide key strategies for a quick response to infections with immediate isolation and quarantine.

Our main word of caution to us all is to approach the semester with an attitude of service and selflessness. When seeking to keep our community safe from COVID-19, don’t look for loopholes; instead, go above and beyond in meeting safety guidelines.

We are optimistic about success, because we know the ability, strength and good will of the Ouachita community. Thank you all for joining with us as we approach this challenging semester with humility, courage and optimism.

Take care, Tigers!

HMAT Signatures

Ouachita Baptist University’s Health Monitoring and Action Team

Dr. Wesley Kluck, vice president for student development and university physician – chair

Tyrese Allen, Student Senate president

Dr. Byron Eubanks, chair of the Department of Philosophy and director of the Sutton Center for Integrity

Tim Harrell, director of student life

Caitlin Hetzel, director of housing and assistant director of residence life

Dr. Tim Knight, dean of the Patterson School of Natural Sciences

Missy Lewis, compliance officer and IT Services project coordinator

Sherri Phelps, director of human resources

Rickey Rogers, dean of students and director of residence life

David Sharp, director of athletics

James Taylor, director of campus ministries

Molly Wallace, director of health services

Brooke Zimny, assistant to the president for communications & marketing – ex officio

Aug. 5, 2020 • TO ALL STUDENTS, FACULTY & STAFF

These emails dive in on topics of importance as we prepare for the fall semester in the COVID-19 environment. Follow @Ouachita’s stories on Facebook and Instagram to see and hear more about the day’s topic and how it is practically implemented on campus.


In the Classroom

Ouachita is fortunate due to the size of its physical campus and student population, as well as low student/faculty ratios and location, to be able to offer most of its classes in person on the typical schedule. However, your daily classroom experience will look a little different as we seek to keep our community safe this semester.

 

Physical Distancing

  • All classrooms will have adjusted layouts to allow physical distancing of 6 feet. This not only helps protect each individual’s health but also minimizes the need for quarantine should someone in your class become infected with COVID-19. Even if you are in the same room with an individual who is contagious, if you observe physical distancing, you are not considered a “close contact” who is required to quarantine. You’ll see tape on the floor to mark where furniture should be placed. Do not adjust room layouts, as they have been carefully evaluated for this purpose.
  • Each room on campus has a reduced “COVID capacity” to help ensure physical distancing. This means some of your classes may be held in rooms that aren’t typical to accommodate the number of students in your section. Most of Ouachita’s large event venues, such as Walker Conference Center, Verser Theatre and others, will be used this semester as classrooms to accommodate large classes and still maintain physical distancing. Don’t worry, the number of students in your class hasn’t increased; you still won’t experience a large lecture-hall style class at Ouachita. We’ll just have more space around each person than usual.
  • For specialized classes like labs and music performance, instructors in those areas will adjust to meet health protocols while maintaining the hands-on learning you expect at Ouachita.
  • We’ll be careful entering and exiting classrooms. Instructors may develop protocols to minimize close contact, and campus buildings will have signage noting one-way traffic. Please don’t congregate in the hallways between classes; keep moving toward your next destination.

 

Other Health Measures

  • Face coverings are required in classes for students and instructors. Each instructor will have personal amplification units to help mitigate the challenges of hearing and speaking through a mask. Face shields are not currently approved face coverings.
  • Facilities staff will give extra attention to high-touch common areas throughout campus. Because it is not practical for them to clean every classroom between classes, sanitation supplies will be available in each classroom for students and instructors to use. Additionally, each classroom will be sanitized with an electrostatic fogger each night.
  • Each student, faculty and staff member will receive their own travel-size hand sanitizer from Ouachita for the fall, and more than 250 touchless hand sanitizer stations will be available across campus.
  • We will avoid having several people touch papers or other items in class.
  • More classes may be held outdoors, taking advantage of our beautiful campus and setting in the natural state.
  • Small HEPA filters will be present in each classroom, in addition to system-wide air filtration and HVAC optimization in each building.
  • Typical water fountains will be out of service, but several new touchless water bottle filling stations will be available across campus.

Remote Technology

  • If students are unable to attend class due to illness or quarantine, a variety of remote learning solutions will be used to help them keep up with their class work. Options include use of a mobile flexible learning – or “Mo-Flex” – unit, which allows students to remotely participate in class with live video conferencing technology, or the use of Moodle, recorded lectures or other technology. Faculty members have been working throughout the summer to prepare for a variety of scenarios.
  • IT Services is available to help you troubleshoot problems that come up during remote learning – should that be a short-term or long-term need. Call 870-245-5567 or email support@obu.edu to get help.

________________________________

Ouachita follows guidance and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Arkansas Department of Health. Additional information on Ouachita’s COVID-19 response is available at obu.edu/coronavirus​.

July 31, 2020 • TO ALL STUDENTS

These emails dive in on topics of importance as we prepare for the fall semester in the COVID-19 environment. Follow @Ouachita’s stories on Facebook and Instagram to see and hear more about the day’s topic and how it is practically implemented on campus.

Care and commitment: We’re all in this together

Even with all the precautions and resources in place for the Fall 2020 semester, the success of our efforts are up to each individual in our campus community. Our collective commitment to physical distancing, face coverings, hygiene and more is imperative to help control the spread of COVID-19.

The three items below are required before each student completes online check-in next week, Aug. 5-7, which confirms your class schedules.

COVID-19 Education: “Take Care, Tigers” Tutorial

All students, faculty and staff must complete the “Take Care, Tigers” Tutorial via Moodle prior to classes beginning. It should take less than half an hour and have you up-to-speed on expectations before arriving to campus. 

 

Health Screening Prior to Arrival to Campus

Before arriving on campus, each student, faculty and staff member must verify that:

  • I have not been determined to be actively infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
  • I do not have a fever, cough or other symptoms of COVID-19 as listed on the CDC website.
  • I have not been in close contact with anyone known or suspected to have tested positive for COVID-19 in the 14 days prior to arriving on campus.
  • I have not, in the 14 days prior to arriving on campus, returned from travel or traveled through an area with state or local travel restrictions that mandate quarantine on arrival home.

 

Community Pledge

Additionally, we invite all students, faculty and staff to dedicate themselves to maintaining a safe campus community with the following pledge.

Ouachita Baptist University Community COVID-19 Pledge

Respect for Self, Respect for Others and Respect for Ouachita’s Christian Mission define how our community learns, works and lives together in ordinary times – and even more so in the extraordinary pandemic context. Reflecting Christ’s command to love our neighbors as ourselves, our unique calling as an educational community and our understanding of the risks and challenges of COVID-19, we pledge together to follow the guidelines below.

 

I pledge to

  • Follow federal, state and local guidelines and directives;
  • Wear a face mask in common spaces indoors and wherever social distancing is difficult to maintain outdoors, or as otherwise mandated by governmental authorities;
  • Observe physical distancing of 6 feet or as guidelines permit;
  • Practice frequent handwashing and use hand sanitizer;
  • Not gather in groups larger than Arkansas Department of Health or CDC limits;
  • Observe personal hygiene and respiratory etiquette, such as coughing into my elbow;
  • Immediately contact Health Services if I experience symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed, and to follow all university directives for isolation and quarantine;
  • Immediately notify Ouachita Health Services if I test positive for COVID-19;
  • Complete Ouachita’s online education program for COVID-19.

I recognize that being part of the Ouachita community means my behavior affects everyone else on campus and the people of Arkadelphia. Therefore, I pledge to strive to exercise healthy discretion in my behaviors and habits and follow all of the guidelines for a healthier college environment for others and myself.

________________________________

Ouachita follows guidance and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Arkansas Department of Health. Additional information on Ouachita’s COVID-19 response is available at obu.edu/coronavirus​.

July 30, 2020 • TO ALL STUDENTS, FACULTY & STAFF

These emails dive in on topics of importance as we prepare for the fall semester in the COVID-19 environment. Follow @Ouachita’s stories on Facebook and Instagram to see and hear more about the day’s topic and how it is practically implemented on campus.

Watch our latest video overview of what fall will look like on campus.

Managing Illness, Quarantine & More

Even with the many health protocols in place on campus, we expect there will be positive cases of COVID-19 within the campus community.​ Here’s what to know if you or someone close to you contracts the virus. While this email is lengthier than our previous messages, please read it completely. First, let’s learn some lingo.

 

What do you mean, “quarantine”?

  • Quarantine: Separating yourself from others because you have been in close contact with someone who has had COVID-19. Quarantine lasts 14 days from your last close contact with someone who has COVID-19. People in quarantine should stay home, social distance from others in the household and monitor their health. Learn more about quarantine from the CDC.
  • Isolation: Separating yourself from others because you are infected with COVID-19 or because you are waiting on a COVID-19 test result. People in isolation should stay home away from others. (Consult with your physician about additional care if illness is severe.) Isolation lasts at least 10 days since symptoms first appeared, at least 24 hours with no fever (without medication) and should be exhibiting no symptoms. For asymptomatic individuals, isolation lasts 10 days since the date of the positive test. Learn more about isolation from the CDC.
  • Contact Tracing: Contact tracing is a public health strategy that identifies and monitors individuals who have come in contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 to educate them on best practices for quarantine. When executed quickly, this helps prevent the spread of the virus.
  • Asymptomatic: To have COVID-19 but not exhibit any symptoms of the virus. Asymptomatic individuals are still contagious, which is why masks, distancing, hygiene and quarantine measures are in place for even those who feel well.
  • Close Contact: A close contact for quarantine and contact tracing purposes is defined as being within 6 feet of an individual for 15 minutes or longer (regardless of face coverings). For Ouachita students, this automatically includes your Student Family Group (roommates, suitemates or hallmates, depending on your residence hall). Athletics teams who engage in close contact also are included. Others also are considered close contacts if they cross the 6-feet + 15-minute barrier. If you follow the new spacing requirements for seating in classes, you are not considered a close contact of your classmates.

 

Where do I go for quarantine or isolation?

No one wants to be quarantined or isolated for COVID-19. However, we must have contingency plans to prepare for that possibility. Because residence facilities at universities were not built to meet CDC guidelines for quarantine/isolation, students are expected to have their own plans of action for quarantine or isolation. Please think through this plan with your family prior to arriving on campus for the fall semester. For the protection of our campus community, students may not remain in on-campus housing for quarantine or isolation, unless living in a Ouachita apartment, and must receive approval from Ouachita Health Services to return. Exceptions may be granted to students unable to return home due to distance or other factors based on availability on campus. Appeals for exceptions will not be accepted in advance. For questions about the exemption process, contact Caitlin Hetzel, director of housing, at hetzelc@obu.edu. Review CDC recommendations on caring for someone who is sick here.

 

What do I do if I am sick? (View a flowchart here.)

  1. Evaluate if you need to be tested for COVID-19 by contacting Ouachita’s Office of Health Services (OHS) at 870-245-5244, your resident director, apartment manager or resident assistant. You may also use the CDC’s online Self-Checker (report your screening result to OHS).
  2. Do not go to class or public spaces if you are sick, even if you test negative for COVID-19; you could test positive later.
  3. If testing is recommended, isolate until you have results.
  4. If testing is not recommended, take care at home or in your residence facility until you are better.
  5. If you test positive for COVID-19:
  6. Report your test results to OHS at 870-245-5244 and to your RD/apartment manager (students) or supervisor (employees).
  7. Isolate at home away from others until released (typically 10 days).
  8. Cooperate with contact tracers by keeping a log of your symptoms and temperature and providing information about those you’ve been in close contact with. Please answer phone calls from unrecognized numbers.
  9. Continue class/work remotely if your symptoms aren’t severe. Contact your instructors/supervisor to work out the details of remote learning/working. Student Development also will verify students’ absence with instructors.
  10. Do not return to campus without a release. Contact OHS at 870-245-5244 or covid@obu.edu to obtain a release or to submit a release obtained from another source. Employees should receive a release from the Arkansas Department of Health or their physician. Be sure to bring a copy of your release with you to campus to show your supervisor or others who request it.
  11. If you test negative for COVID-19: Take care at home or in your residence facility until you are symptom-free.

 

What do I do if I’m exposed to someone who tests positive for COVID-19? (View a flowchart here.)

  1. Evaluate if you are considered a close contact with the individual. For students, this includes your Student Family Group and possibly your athletic team. For everyone, this includes being within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more of the positive individual. See the CDC’s definition of a close contact.
  2. If you are not a “close contact,” carry on as usual and continue monitoring your symptoms.
  3. If you are a “close contact,” quarantine immediately.
  4. Report your exposure to OHS at 870-245-5244 and to your RD/apartment manager (students) or supervisor (employees).
  5. Quarantine for 14 days since your last exposure and monitor for symptoms of COVID-19.
  6. Get tested for COVID-19.
  7. If you develop symptoms, get a COVID-19 test immediately.
  8. If you do not develop symptoms, get a COVID-19 test 3-5 days after exposure.
  9. If you test positive, refer to the process above. (What do I do if I am sick?)
  10. If you test negative, remain in quarantine for the complete 14 days; the infection can begin any time in the 14 day period, even after your negative result.
  11. Cooperate with contact tracers as they check in on your symptoms and temperature. Please answer phone calls from unrecognized numbers.
  12. Continue class or work remotely. Contact your instructors/supervisor to work out the details of remote learning/working. Student Development also will verify students’ absence with instructors.
  13. Do not return to campus without a release. Contact OHS at 870-245-5244 or covid@obu.edu to obtain a release or to submit a release obtained from another source. Employees should receive a release from the Arkansas Department of Health or their physician. Be sure to bring a copy of your release with you to campus to show your supervisor or others who request it.

  

What else will help us manage the spread?

  • On-campus testing: Ouachita will offer on-campus testing for COVID-19 with same-day results. Testing will be available for students, faculty, staff and employee family members, and health insurance will be taken. Quick results will help us make fast and well-informed decisions about quarantine and isolation. More details on where on-campus testing will be located and protocols for getting a test are forthcoming.
  • Internal contact tracing: Ouachita is working closely with and under the direction of the Arkansas Department of Health and UAMS to provide contact tracing support for the on-campus community. Approximately 30 trained Ouachita students and staff members, including all residence hall directors will form our campus team and will treat all information exchanged confidentially. They will call to inform, educate and check in on anyone directly connected to a COVID-19 case. It’s important that you notify Ouachita Health Services if you test positive for COVID-19 so that our internal team can handle contact tracing for your case as efficiently as possible.
  • Personal responsibility: Even with all the precautions and resources in place, the success of our efforts are up to each individual in our campus community. Our collective commitment to physical distancing, face coverings, hygiene and sanitation is imperative to help control the spread of COVID-19.

________________________________

Ouachita follows guidance and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Arkansas Department of Health. Additional information on Ouachita’s COVID-19 response is available at obu.edu/coronavirus​.

July 23, 2020 • TO ALL STUDENTS, FACULTY & STAFF

 These emails dive in on topics of importance as we prepare for the fall semester in the COVID-19 environment.

 

Student Move-In Fall 2020

New students, we could not be more excited to welcome you to residential life on campus! And returning students, it’s been unusually long since we last saw you! As you prepare, please know the move-in process this year will look slightly different and is intended for a smooth transition and your continued safety.

Below are the precautions we will take during move-in for Fall 2020. This information will provide an opportunity for you and your family to schedule a move-in time and start making plans for that date and time.

If you have general questions, contact Rickey Rogers. For questions about apartment move-in, specifically, contact Caitlin Hetzel. You can also find additional information about move-in based on your classification here:

New Student Move-in
Upperclassman Move-in

 

Scheduled Move-In Times

Appointments are scheduled in 3-hour blocks each day August 13-August 15 and are specific to each residence hall or apartment complex. It’s important that you arrive during your chosen time so that we can minimize the number of people moving through the residence halls at once. This system allows us to keep the number of students moving in at less than 8 students per hour per facility throughout the weekend.

Special protocols will be in place for move-in this year in light of COVID-19. Policies and plans are subject to change as guidance regarding COVID-19 is updated to reflect the current situation in Arkansas and Clark County. All activities will follow the most current standards for health precautions, including such measures as physical distancing, frequent hand sanitation and face coverings. 

In an effort to honor physical distancing we have opened additional move-in times for new students to include Thursday afternoon and Thursday evening.

Locate your specific residence hall and follow these directions:

  1. Click on the name of your residence hall or apartment complex, and that will link to your specific residence sign-up.
  2. Click one of the available timeslots for the specific day and time to register for your sign-up appointment.
  3. After you click submit, you are set.
  4. Additional information pertaining to your residence hall or apartment complex will be coming from your Resident Director or Apartment Manager within the next few weeks with specifics for the day of check-in. 

Freshman Residence Halls

Frances Crawford - East
Frances Crawford - West
Flippen-Perrin
O.C. Bailey

Upperclassman Residence Halls

Gosser Hall
Anthony
Susie Everett
Maddox
Georgia Hickingbotham
Tollett

​Apartment Complexes (All new apartment residents and students storing items currently must sign up for a check-in time. Current renters, please do not sign up.)

Caddo Place
Kluck Hillside
Lancelot
Pine Square, Kelly House, & Speights House
Starlite
Stone

________________________________

Ouachita follows guidance and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Arkansas Department of Health. Additional information on Ouachita’s COVID-19 response is available at obu.edu/coronavirus​.

July 22, 2020 • TO ALL STUDENTS, FACULTY & STAFF

These emails dive in on topics of importance as we prepare for the fall semester in the COVID-19 environment. Follow @Ouachita’s stories on Facebook and Instagram to see and hear more about the day’s topic and how it is practically implemented on campus.

What to do when you feel sick

We know every cough or bout of congestion can be cause for alarm these days, and we want you to be more in tune with your wellness than ever and help you discern the best path forward. Not only will this help your own personal health but will help protect the Ouachita community as a whole. Additionally, while we have all gone to work or class not feeling our best before, we encourage you to stay home or in your room/apartment and use remote working and learning tools if you are sick.

 

Monitor Your Symptoms for COVID-19

​​Throughout the semester, every member of the campus communit​y is expected to monitor their own symptoms daily for COVID-19. Students, as well as faculty and staff, will each receive a digital thermometer in addition to a face mask and hand sanitizer. RDs and apartment managers also have thermometers on hand. Keep in mind that a fever is only one thing to watch for. The following symptoms all are associated with COVID-19:

  • Coughing, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fever/chills
  • New sinus congestion
  • Generalized muscle aches
  • Unusual, sudden-onset headache
  • Fatigue
  • New gastrointestinal symptoms (e.g. diarrhea) 
  • New loss of taste or smell

If you experience any of these symptoms: 

  1. Complete the Symptom Self-Checker on the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html​. This screening will guide you on next steps, such as the need for a COVID-19 test, consultation with a medical professional or self-quarantine.
  2. Contact Health Services to inform them of your screening results. If needed, a telemedicine or in-person visit will be scheduled. 
  3. Ouachita will have on-campus testing for COVID-19 through the fall. If you need to be tested for COVID-19, Health Services can help guide you through that process. (More information about testing, what happens if you contract COVID-19 and quarantine procedures is coming soon.)

 

Health Services

  • Walk-in services are temporarily unavailable to maximize physical distancing and minimize interactions among sick individuals. Call before stopping by: 870-245-5244.
  • Increased telemedicine appointments will be available using secure software that can be accessed via a PC, phone or other mobile device. 
  • In-person appointments will be available as needed following initial phone or telemed screening.
  • There will be designated times for well visits that cannot be accommodated via telemedicine, such as allergy shots, TB screening and flu shots.
  • Keep in mind that the majority of illnesses that occur after hours can be seen the next day. Do not go to the Emergency Room if you think you have been exposed to or have symptoms of COVID-19 unless you are having emergency medical symptoms (trouble breathing and pain or pressure in your chest). If you have questions about what to do after hours, check first with your RA and RD.

 

Counseling Services

  • The pandemic has been an unusually stressful time for everyone. We are here to help. Counseling Services now has five counselors available to meet your needs.
  • See online resources by Counseling Services on the Ouachita Stories Blog.
  • In-person counseling sessions will continue with physical distancing and masks in place. Request an appointment at obu.edu/counseling
  • Telecounseling also will be available. Ask for this service when you request your appointment.

 

Health-related Accommodations

  • We recognize that certain individuals are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 or have health conditions that will make following COVID-19 guidelines difficult. Read more online about our Accommodations for Residential Students.
  • Students who do not qualify for accommodations for health reasons but believe their circumstances warrant a COVID-19-related exception to the policy requiring their return to campus may submit a written request to their dean via email. See "Other Exceptions" on the Accommodations for Residential Students webpage.

________________________________

Ouachita follows guidance and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Arkansas Department of Health. Additional information on Ouachita’s COVID-19 response is available at obu.edu/coronavirus​.

July 20, 2020 • TO ALL STUDENTS, FACULTY & STAFF

These emails dive in on topics of importance as we prepare for the fall semester in the COVID-19 environment. Follow @Ouachita’s stories on Facebook and Instagram to see and hear more about the day’s topic and how it is practically implemented on campus.

Masks and more: Face coverings

Face coverings can be hot and uncomfortable. We get it. However, we also know that consistent use of masks and other face coverings is one of the best things we can do to protect members of our community from COVID-19. Because the virus spreads mainly from person-to-person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks, masks help keep those droplets from getting to nearby people. A cloth mask may only offer partial protection to the wearer, but it may keep the wearer from spreading the virus to others. Because we can spread the virus even while we are not experiencing symptoms, we all should wear them to protect each other. Ouachita prides itself on its sense of community and selfless service, and we're counting on you to live that out this semester. 

 

What kind of face coverings should I wear?

  • ​​Cloth masks with more than one layer and that are washable are ideal, although disposable paper or surgical masks are acceptable. 
  • Face shields are not currently approved as they are not proven to protect those in proximity of the wearer.
  • Every student, faculty and staff member will receive one Ouachita face mask at the beginning of the semester. 
  • We encourage you to have 3-7 washable masks on hand to have an ample, rotating supply to keep them clean.
  • Learn from the CDC how to make your own cloth face covering.

 

When do I wear my mask?

 

When may I remove my mask?

  • ​​When you are alone in your private office or workspace. If someone enters the space, you should put your mask on.
  • Outdoors when you are able to maintain 6 feet of physical distancing.
  • When you are actively eating or drinking. Please put your mask back on during or after meals when you are visiting with friends.
  • When giving a presentation or teaching inside, your mask may be removed for a short period of time if needed for a demonstration.
  • When singing or performing inside, a covering is not required if a 12-foot distance can be maintained.
  • In your residence hall or apartment when you are with only your roommate or suite mates (or for O.C. Bailey, Susie Everett and Georgia Hickingbotham residents, your hall mates). We will call this your Student Family Group this semester.

 

How do I wear my mask?

  • Wash your hands before and after handling a mask.
  • Place the mask snugly over your nose and mouth and against the sides of your face.
  • You should be able to breathe normally with your mask on.
  • Don't put the mask around your neck or up on your forehead.
  • Remove the mask by holding the strings, and fold the outside corners in to "close" it when it's removed.
  • Wash your cloth mask after every wear with your regular laundry and on the warmest appropriate setting. Dry completely. To air dry, place the mask in direct sunlight, if possible. See more from the CDC about washing your mask.​

Remember, while wearing masks is a good measure to reduce the spread of COVID-19, physical distancing and​ frequent, thorough handwashing are still the best ways to avoid getting the virus. See more on face coverings from the CDC.

________________________________

Ouachita follows guidance and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Arkansas Department of Health. Additional information on Ouachita’s COVID-19 response is available at obu.edu/coronavirus​.

July 17, 2020 • TO ALL STUDENTS, FACULTY & STAFF

These emails dive in on topics of importance as we prepare for the fall semester in the COVID-19 environment. Follow @Ouachita’s stories on Facebook and Instagram to see and hear more about the day’s topic and how it is practically implemented on campus.

Grabbing a bite: Campus dining   

Our various campus dining options will follow the most recent guidelines by the CDC and Arkansas Department of Health, which are subject to change. Signage and campus dining staff will be available in each venue to help you navigate as things may change.​

 

Getting Food

  • Buffet-style stations will be converted to staff-served or to-go options, and Dr. Jack's drip coffee will be served at the counter.
  • To-go options will increase, including moving “Tiger Express” to the lobby of Walker near the Commons for easier access.
  • Selections in Evans Food Court will be streamlined to expedite service to minimize crowds, including the addition of combo meals at Chick-fil-A and Tiger Grill and a limited menu at Sandella's.
  • Single use utensils and plates will be made more available, and reusable utensils will be pre-wrapped for each individual.
  • Simple Servings and options for special dietary needs still will be available.
  • Traffic flow has been re-routed to allow for physical distancing while you wait in line, as you choose your meal and as you exit. 
  • In Evans Student Center, additional registers will be available to minimize wait times. 
  • Signage and extra staff will be available to help you.

 

Seating

  • Seating in Ouachita Commons will be reduced to meet current Arkansas Department of Health guidelines. Currently, that means 6 per round table and reduced booth seating. 
  • In Evans Student Center, all tables will be removed from the food court to improve traffic flow. 
  • Tables will replace the couches near Dr. Jack’s Coffeehouse, and plexiglass barriers are being installed between booths.
  • Use of outdoor spaces for dining will be encouraged, such as the existing Evans Student Center overlook balcony and Neighbor’s Table and new picnic tables being installed across campus.

 

Sanitation

  • Dining Services staff will wear recommended PPE and will execute elevated cleaning protocols, including cleaning and disinfection after each table is used.
  • Additional plexiglass barriers will be in place throughout the dining facilities, and touchless ID card scanning will be available.
  • Self-serve sanitation supplies also will be available to individuals in the dining facilities.
  • Diners are required to wear masks in the dining facilities any time they are not actively eating or drinking.

________________________________

Ouachita follows guidance and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Arkansas Department of Health. Additional information on Ouachita’s COVID-19 response is available at obu.edu/coronavirus​.

July 27, 2020 • TO ALL STUDENTS, FACULTY & STAFF

These emails dive in on topics of importance as we prepare for the fall semester in the COVID-19 environment. Follow @Ouachita’s stories on Facebook and Instagram to see and hear more about the day’s topic and how it is practically implemented on campus.

 

Keep your distance: Physical distancing

It’s in the Ouachita DNA to be social, but how does that happen in a social-distance environment? We prefer to use the term "physical distancing" because we still believe our social connections can and will be alive and well this semester. However, because limiting close face-to-face contact with others is the best way to reduce the spread of COVID-19, physical distancing will be a part of virtually every aspect of campus this semester. We will follow the CDC's recommended 6 feet of distance between individuals (about two arms' length). This distance helps avoid the spread of respiratory droplets when we cough, sneeze or talk. As COVID-19 primarily spreads from person-to-person contact, keeping our distance is especially important.

 

How we'll keep our distance

  • Reminder "Take Care, Tigers!" signage will be​ placed around campus on doors, floors and more.
  • Certain spaces will have adjusted traffic flow, such as one-way stairwells or hallways.
  • Every room on campus will have an adjusted "COVID Capacity," which will be posted outside the room. This includes bathrooms, so be sure to knock and wait your turn using physical distancing. (Keep this reduced capacity in mind as you consider restroom breaks in your schedule; lines may move more slowly.) Elevators also will be single capacity.
  • Classroom seating will be spaced out, and larger rooms will be used as classrooms that don't typically serve that purpose (like Tiger Den or Verser Theatre).
  • Visitation guidelines will change in the residence halls. (More on this to come.)
  • Because there will be reduced capacity in places like the student center and residence halls, additional spaces will be made available for students to safely gather (like Walker Conference Center).
  • Some offices on campus will have appointment policies rather than their typical walk-in options. Just call ahead to make sure you aren't arriving at a busy time.  

 

What you can do to help

  • ​Don't hug or handshake. We're a friendly campus, but let's use non-contact greetings for now.
  • ​Simply be aware and respectful of your distance from others. Remember that people have various comfort levels and anxiety about the pandemic. If you feel someone is crowding you, don't be shy to ask for more space. 
  • Be respectful of faculty/staff office spaces. Ask before entering, conduct your conversation from the doorway or move your meeting to a larger space. 
  • Watch for signage across campus. Each office could have slightly different approaches to how they manage their area based on personal needs or the physical limitations of the space.
  • Don't congregate in hallways. Before and after class, keep the traffic flow moving, and visit with friends outdoors or in larger spaces where distancing is easier to achieve.
  • Continue to practice physical distancing off campus. Limit your contact when running errands or choosing social activities. Avoid crowded places, and wash your hands any time you've been to a public area. Take advantage of the many beautiful outdoor recreation areas for fun and exercise.

 

Exceptions

  • ​​You do not have to practice physical distancing with other students in your residence life Student Family Group (roommates, suitemates). You'll get more tips for distancing in residence facilities from your resident directors when you move in.
  • ​In certain spaces, like hallways, distancing could be difficult to achieve. In these instances, simply keep moving to minimize the time spent in close quarters with others.

 

Maintaining Social Connections

  • ​​Just because we are physically distant this semester, we still encourage you to be socially connected. We will have creative ways you can still enjoy social life at Ouachita and encourage you to engage your imagination, as well. 
  • If you are struggling with this new environment, please reach out to your RA or RD or to Counseling Services.

________________________________

Ouachita follows guidance and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Arkansas Department of Health. Additional information on Ouachita’s COVID-19 response is available at obu.edu/coronavirus​.

Dear students, faculty and staff: 

I hope you’re finding ways to enjoy the advantages of summer even in these times. Your university is diligently working to prepare for on-campus classes in this COVID-19 environment with two overarching goals in mind: supporting the health and safety of our Ouachita community and facilitating the kinds of relational experiences that make Ouachita, Ouachita. I’m writing to share an important update.

The Health Monitoring and Action Team, charged with planning for the fall, has researched options and proposed a revised academic calendar in consultation with various leadership groups (i.e., Administrative Council, Deans Council, University Committee, Student Senate and a parent advisory group). The consensus among these groups is that the fall calendar should be adjusted to begin classes on Monday, Aug. 17, eight days earlier than previously scheduled; compress the time we are together on campus; and not return to campus following Thanksgiving.

Here are the details that we know at this time:

  • Move-in for all students will be Thursday through Saturday, Aug. 13-15, on a staggered schedule to minimize crowds.
  • Classes begin on Monday, Aug. 17.
  • Classes will meet on Labor Day, Sept. 7, and Fall Break, Oct. 8-9.
  • In-person classes end Tuesday, Nov. 24.
  • Final exams will be administered remotely Nov. 30-Dec. 4.
  • Online Fall Term 1 classes will run from Monday, Aug. 17, through Sunday, Oct. 11; Online Fall Term 2 classes will run from Monday, Oct. 12, through Sunday, Dec. 6.

This plan maintains the number of class days needed in the semester while minimizing remote learning and is similar to alternative schedules announced at other universities in Arkansas and across the nation. We know from our own campus data that instances of the flu typically increase in the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and COVID-19 could spread in a similar way.

We realize this change raises questions about move-in, social life, the classroom environment, athletics and many campus events. We are working to provide answers for these questions and will communicate with you throughout the summer; thanks for your patience. We will send details about move-in later this month so that you can make your travel plans.

While this semester will not be normal, we are committed to making it meaningful. The challenges presented by COVID-19 give us the opportunity to be innovative and imaginative while also making careful preparations. 

I begin each day by praying for Ouachita, especially that our individual lives will be marked by an uncommon level of service to one another for the common good of our campus community. Please join me in this prayer and commitment. Thank you.

Kind regards, Ben 

Ben R. Sells, PhD
President
Ouachita Baptist University

June 4, 2020 • TO ALL STUDENTS

In an effort to keep the campus community informed as we navigate the summer and prepare for the fall semester, we will use this email format to release information about​plans to resume classes in the fall and other related updates. Much of this information also will be posted online at obu.edu/coronavirus.

Message from the President: On Tuesday of this week, a returning student stopped by my office; I was so excited to see and greet a Ouachita student! Your faculty and staff, your president, serve here because we care deeply for college students – for you. Lisa and I can’t wait to see all Ouachita students! Our entire campus is focused on preparing to safely welcome new and returning students for on-campus classes and residence life in August. Beginning with this email, you will be sent frequent updates. As you’ve already learned the past three months, life changes quickly, and it requires us to be adaptive and flexible. Based on my first four years at Ouachita, I’m confident that our campus community will rise to the occasion. While the fall semester won’t be normal, we can make it meaningful. I will do my utmost to make it so for you and ask that you join with me in making this commitment. Here’s my prayer for Ouachita, taken from Ephesians 3:20: "God can do anything, you know – far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us." (The Message).

What’s New on Campus: In the weeks and months since you were last on campus, faculty and staff also have been largely working from home, adjusting their classes and service to the remote environment. This week marked the first step back toward the return to campus in the fall, with many staff returning to their campus offices. Through June and July, staff members are working on an adjusted schedule, working on campus Mondays through Wednesdays and remotely on Thursdays; offices are closed on Fridays with some exceptions.

Even as employees are returning to work in this way, many additional protocols are in place to ensure the safety of our campus community. For example, social distancing, increased disinfection and lower room occupancies are being observed. Masks are expected in common spaces, and many meetings are still being conducted via Zoom. 

If you need help from a Ouachita office this summer, please call or email before dropping by. Some offices are closed to in-person visitors to protect the health of employees. Additionally, guests to campus are required to complete a screening form before entering buildings. If you plan to stop by campus to conduct business or visit a faculty or staff member, please complete the screening at obu.edu/covid19screening and communicate your plans with your host.

Check @ouachita's Instagram story this summer for updates and to get a peek at what life is like on campus in this unusual time.

Health Monitoring & Action Team: The Health Monitoring & Action Team, chaired by Dr. Wesley Kluck, university physician and vice president for student development, has been meeting frequently to develop guidelines for our return to work and classes on campus. Members of the team include faculty and staff from across campus, as well as Student Senate President Tyrese Allen. Many plans are in progress, and information will be released to you here and posted at obu.edu/coronavirus as it is available.

Dear students, faculty, staff and extended Ouachita community, 

As we near the end of a semester marked with unprecedented challenges for our university, our people and the world, we also look to the future with calculated optimism. I write to confirm that we plan to resume on-campus classes and residential life for fall 2020.

As always, the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff and guests continues to lead our decision-making. As we monitor the COVID-19 situation, it is especially informed by guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and the Arkansas Department of Health. 

I’ve appointed Dr. Wesley Kluck, who serves as Ouachita’s university physician and vice president for student development, to lead a Health Monitoring and Action Team. They will help us develop protocols to prepare to return to campus safely – staff and faculty over the summer and students in the fall. The team is already at work, engaging with campus leadership groups, academic schools, administrative departments and athletics leadership to think through necessary details for a variety of scenarios. I am confident we can adapt, as needed, to deliver Ouachita’s distinct education and experience and deliver on our mission.

Similar to other universities, there are a host of issues and questions to address. With the benefit of time, data, wisdom and innovation, along with the cooperation of the campus community and God’s grace, I know that Ouachita will rise to the challenge.

I’m so proud of you, our students, faculty and staff, for your exemplary attitude and effort that have marked Ouachita’s response to COVID-19. Thank you again! 

We will continue to communicate with you during the summer months via email and at obu.edu/coronavirus as more specific plans for fall are confirmed. For now, congratulations on concluding this historic academic year; we look forward to seeing you again – in person – in the coming weeks.

 

Sincere regards, Ben

Ben R. Sells, Ph.D.
President
Ouachita Baptist University

“The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.” (Psalm 118:14, CSB)

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Message from the President: Students, we miss you! This morning, I prayed Psalm 118:14 for you: “The Lord is my strength and my song, and has become my salvation.” May this be true for you today, and in all your days to come.

Yesterday, I hosed a virtual forum for our employees to provide a university update. I devoted significant time to sharing insights from your responses to surveys the past three weeks. One of my roles, especially as you’re away from campus, is to speak on your behalf to help faculty and staff better serve you. Following are some of my comments, informed by your feedback.

On a positive note, students:

  • Recognized the unique challenges of the current environment.
  • Applauded the efforts made by faculty and staff.
  • Affirmed the adjustments in the grading and class withdrawal policies.
  • Complimented the room and board credit.
  • Appreciated the process for moving out of residence halls.

Students also consistently cite these challenges:

  • Some of them describe their learning environments as difficult, even grim. This is due to their technology challenges, limited space, presence of siblings, expectations of their parents in regards to helping at home – including the necessity of working to help support the family, and economic uncertainty.
  • Many commented that in the absence of face-to-face instruction, they feel that instructors are adding extra assignments and assessments that make it difficult to manage all their course work under the circumstances.
  • Students report missing the benefit of personal interaction with their instructors, especially in those classes where they have not been able to see the faces and hear the voices of faculty and classmates.

I concluded my comments about students in this way:

We’re all trying to make the best of a bad situation. As we conclude this semester, one we hope to never repeat, it’s interesting to consider what students will reflect on this summer and in the years to come about their “Ouachita pandemic experience.” I think what will mean the most to them is the extent to which they believe each of us personally invested in them and walked with them through these weeks.

Students, for those of you who continue to feel that you’re struggling academically and/or personally during this time – and need additional assistance but not sure where to turn – I encourage you to reach out to your RD or to Dean Rickey Rogers. They will work with you and others on campus to do whatever we can.

Graduating seniors, we will communicate plans for Commencement early next week. Returning students, we’re at work preparing for your return to campus for the fall semester.

I closed my remarks to faculty and staff, and want to share with you, the image below which is the cover of a card recently given to me by one of my adult daughters. I look at it each morning and evening because it conveys hope and opportunity. It reflects the perspective I try to carry throughout the day. The Lord is our strength, song, and salvation. In the midst of this pandemic, better days are ahead for you and for the Ouachita community.

  • Integrity Project Award Winners: Congratulations to the following award-winners for this year’s Integrity Project, coordinated by Ouachita’s Sutton Center for Integrity, with the theme “honesty.” The winning entries will be posted on obusignal.com.
    • Essay Winners: 1st Place – Rylee Roberts, $400; 2nd Place – Samantha Boyd $200
    • Video Winners: 1st Place – Rachel Mills $600; 2nd Place – Abby Putterill $300

  • Campus Ministries Resources: Chapel Podcast on Apple Podcasts & Soundcloud • New episodes available each Tuesday // Noonday via Instagram Live: @obucm • Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays • 12 noon // Weekly recommendations on the CM Blog

“It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in humanity. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in nobles.”
(Psalm 118:8-9, CSB)

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Message from the President: Thank you for your responses to our weekly survey! I shared the results from the two questions with all faculty and staff, and several of us read every comment. Your feedback helps us serve you. For example, it directly influenced our decision to adjust the grade policy that was announced earlier this week. Over 600 students participated in each survey, and I invite you to respond again by answering two questions by following this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WeekThreeOuachita. Thank you!

Chicago Semester: Sara Chiang from Chicago Semester will hold a virtual info session specifically for Ouachita students on Tuesday, April 21, from 4:30-5 p.m. Learn about internships, costs, housing and the Ouachita credits that Chicago Semester fulfills. Learn how you could receive an internship with organizations such as Chicago Fire FC like Ouachita communications student Kyle Sharp. Sign up for the session here. // Questions? Contact Sara Chiang at sara.chiang@chicagosemester.org or Doug Sonheim at sonheimd@obu.edu.

“Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted;  but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:30-31, ESV)

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Temporary Grade Designation Policy: In response to the exceptional learning circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic, we have adopted a temporary alternate grade designation policy for this semester. It is available for students enrolled in Spring 2020 residential classes and Spring Term 2 online classes. Simply put, after final grades are posted, students may request to change letter grades to “Pass,” “Low Pass” or “No Credit” on a course-by-course basis. See https://obu.edu/registrar/special-policies-spring-2020/ for the full policy. Additionally, the withdrawal deadline has been extended to April 30.

“Because of the Lord’s faithful love we do not perish, for his mercies never end. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lam. 3:22-24, CSB)

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Message from the President: Seniors on Student Senate met by Zoom today to discuss a date for Commencement. We anticipate announcing the rescheduled date before the end of this month.

Message from the President: I want to hear from you about Week One. In an earlier message to you, I wrote, “we’ve worked hard to prepare and anticipate the challenges, but we know we’ll have to continually assess and adjust – and we will.” In that spirit, would you take a moment and answer four questions? Your feedback will help me and others continue to serve you as we prepare for Week Two. Complete the brief survey here. Thank you!

  • Tiger Serve Day is still on for this Saturday, April 4! We are asking all volunteers to serve their families at their homes or at outdoor projects at their neighbor’s homes respecting social distancing and following CDC and local guidelines. Wear your TSD T-shirt on Saturday and post a picture of your work site to Instagram, tagging @obuelrodcenter #DoingGood. A word on safety:
    • If you’re under “shelter in place,” serve within the context of your immediate family at home.
    • If you can serve a neighbor by working in the yard, call to ask first and then refrain from making face-to-face contact.
    • This year, you can especially serve people by making a phone call, writing a letter, or emailing/texting.
    • To ensure safety, serve individually or with your family but not with a friend.​
  • Residence Hall Applications are due by this Sunday, April 5, at 11:59 p.m. Apply in your INFO Portal. Learn more at https://obu.edu/reslife/house-process-information/. Questions? Contact Caitlin Hetzel, director of housing: hetzelc@obu.edu, 870-245-5225.

  • Ouachita’s monthly student account balance statements will be delayed until Monday, April 6. Please be patient as our staff finalizes the posting of Board of Trustee-approved partial room and board credits for students who were required to leave campus and for the payment of remaining work-study allocations. Greater detail will be provided with the statements to all current students on Monday. Payment due dates also will be extended to April 30 and May 29 for any account balances remaining due.

  • Pre-registration: The Summer and Fall 2020 course schedules are now available in your INFO Portal (Academic Information>Course Schedule). The pre-registration schedule is below. Your advisor will contact you about scheduling an appointment. In the meantime, use the Pre-registration Schedule Worksheet to prepare a tentative schedule. See more details in this week’s email from Dr. Stan Poole. Additional resources are available the Student Advising web page.

 

Seniors

89 or more projected hours

April 6 & 7

Monday & Tuesday

Juniors

59 or more projected hours

April 8, 9, & 10

Wednesday, Thursday & Friday

Sophomores 

29 or more projected hours 

April 13 & 14

Monday & Tuesday

Freshmen  

all other students

April 15, 16, & 17

Wednesday, Thursday & Friday

 

  • Summer School Enrollment: If you plan to enroll in summer courses at Ouachita, please see our Summer 2020 Registration Procedures for important information and deadlines. // If you plan to take a summer course at another institution, you must complete and submit a Course Substitution Form prior to taking the course. If you do not do this, we cannot guarantee that the course you take will be accepted for credit toward your Ouachita degree requirements. Course Substitution Forms are available in your INFO Portal under “Forms.” // Questions? Contact your dean’s office, your advisor or the Office of the Registrar: registrar@obu.edu or 870-245-5580.

  • Online Summer Spanish Courses: The following options are available to take Elementary Spanish online this summer:
    • 8-Week Summer Term (June 1-July 26): Both Elementary Spanish 1 (SPAN 1013, seq. #440) and Elementary Spanish 2 (SPAN 1023, seq. #442) will be offered
    • 11-Week Full Summer Semester (May 11-July 26): Elementary Spanish Summer Intensive (SPAN 1016, seq. #116) will be offered. In this NEW offering, students earn credit for both SPAN 1013 and 1023. Residential students must have at least 59 hours to take this course.

“He will also strengthen you to the end, so that you will be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful; you were called by him into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:8-9, CSB)

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Withdrawal Deadline Extended: In recognition of our changed circumstances, we are extending the withdrawal deadline for all courses currently in progress to Thursday, April 30. See today's email from Dr. Stan Poole for details.

You will keep in perfect peace  those whose minds are steadfast,  because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever,  for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.” (Isaiah 26:3-4, NIV) 

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS 

  • Ouachita’s monthly student account balance statements will be delayed until Monday, April 6. Please be patient as our staff finalizes the posting of Board of Trustee-approved partial room and board credits for students who were required to leave campus and for the payment of remaining work-study allocations. Greater detail will be provided with the statements to all current students on Monday. Payment due dates also will be extended to April 30 and May 29 for any account balances remaining due.

  • Pre-registration: The Summer and Fall 2020 course schedules are now available in your INFO Portal (Academic Information>Course Schedule). The pre-registration schedule is below. Your advisor will contact you about scheduling an appointment. In the meantime, use the Pre-registration Schedule Worksheet to prepare a tentative schedule. See more details in today’s email from Dr. Stan Poole. Additional resources are available the Student Advising web page.

Seniors

89 or more projected hours

April 6 & 7

Monday & Tuesday

Juniors

59 or more projected hours

April 8, 9, & 10

Wednesday, Thursday & Friday

Sophomores 

29 or more projected hours 

April 13 & 14

Monday & Tuesday

Freshmen  

all other students

April 15, 16, & 17

Wednesday, Thursday & Friday

 

  • RecLife Intramural Esport Survey: For those who would like to stay connected to Reclife and to one another during this time, Reclife will be offering intramural Esport seasons! We plan to offer competitive and casual seasons for both individuals and groups to participate in. Before we open up signups next week we want to hear from you on what games you would be interested in competing on. If you are interested in participating in a Reclife Esport season, please take a couple of minutes to complete this survey (https://forms.gle/fUNjm4bbzKsKCuMB7) so that we can get a better idea of you want to play! Thanks in advance.

“Therefore we are always full of courage, and we know that as long as we are alive here on earth we are absent from the Lord – for we live by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7, NET) 

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Message from the President: I love walking across campus – seeing you, hearing you, saying “hello” to you. So today, I especially missed being with you in Chapel. While we’ve very focused on remote instruction and helping you achieve your academic goals these six weeks, we’re also focused on reimagining the Ouachita experience outside the classroom. I know some social clubs met by Zoom last night – that’s great! We encourage groups and friends to engage virtually. Chapel is different in these times, as communicated earlier, but we can participate by listening via podcast for messages crafted especially for you, for us, in these days. The first comes from Dr. Scott Duvall and is available on Apple Podcasts & Soundcloud. He shares thoughts from Psalms 46, speaking to the craziness of the world and the steadfastness of God. As I listened to him this morning, it seemed as I was hearing not just from a teacher, but from a shepherd and a pastor. I needed that, and perhaps you do too. We go forward, even as we’re apart, together. 

  • Tiger Serve Day is still on for this Saturday, April 4! We are asking all volunteers to serve their families at their homes or at outdoor projects at their neighbor’s homes respecting social distancing. Wear your TSD T-shirt on Saturday and post a picture of your work site to Instagram, tagging @obuelrodcenter #DoingGood. 

  • Residence Hall Applications are now open in your INFO Portal through April 5 at 11:59 p.m. Learn more at https://obu.edu/reslife/house-process-information/. Questions? Contact Caitlin Hetzel, director of housing: hetzelc@obu.edu, 870-245-5225.

  • Academic Resources: 
    • Speer Writing Center is offering synchronous sessions via Zoom. Email OBUSpeerWritingCenter@gmail.com to make an appointment (specify 15-minute or 30-minute session) or for more information. Or see the center’s website or follow along on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
    • Riley-Hickingbotham Library’s physical location is now closed to in-person patrons. Many library resources are available online at obu.edu/library and are most easily accessible by use of the proxy server. Librarians can help you utilize these tools. Get help from a librarian here: http://libanswers.obu.edu/index.php. For additional needs, contact the librarian on duty at 870-245-5119 for special arrangements.
    • Textbooks: The Ouachita Campus Store has partnered with VitalSource Bookshelf to make many e-textbooks available for free. Learn more here.
    • Academic Success Center: Ouachita’s ASC is offering services remotely. See details at obu.edu/success.

  • Health Services will now offer telehealth appointments for Ouachita students, faculty and staff to address non-urgent medical concerns. Contact Molly Wallace, RN, director of health services, at wallacem@obu.edu to request an appointment. If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, we ask that you notify Nurse Molly at wallacem@obu.edu or 870-245-5244; it is not mandatory but encouraged.

  • Campus Ministries Resources: Chapel Podcast on Apple Podcasts & Soundcloud • New episodes available each Tuesday // Noonday via Instagram Live: @obucm • Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays • 12 noon // Weekly recommendations on the CM Blog

“Since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.” (Colossians 1:9-10, ​NIV)

Here are some resources, updated weekly, from Campus Ministries to encourage your faith:
https://obu.edu/campusministries/cms-weekly-recommendations-3-30/

Here’s a message from Dan Jarboe, university counselor, to help you manage your mental health:
https://obu.edu/voices/blog/coronavirus-news-related-anxiety/

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Message from the President: When you can’t see very far ahead, go as far ahead as you can see. That advice, given to me by a mentor 20 years ago, came to mind this morning in thinking about you and your first day of remote instruction. In normal times, the last six weeks of a semester, in which classes meet 10 or 15 times each plus for a final, is relatively short. But, these aren’t normal times; a day may feel like a week. Sometimes, when I think about the next six weeks or six months or even the next six years, there are so many unknowns and uncertainties that it can be daunting. I can’t see that far ahead! But, the truth is, I couldn’t see that far ahead even in pre-COVID-19 times. In this unusual season, when we really feel we can’t see very far ahead, let’s just go as far ahead as we can see – in most cases, one class and one day at a time. Your faculty and staff are on this journey with you. I was encouraged this morning by Psalm 145:8, “The Lord is near to all those who call upon him.” We go forward, even as we’re apart, together. 

While we’ve emailed you about several resources for a successful start, we believe these three are especially helpful:

Tools for Remote Learning
Zoom EDU: Zoom for Students
Request individual support: support@obu.edu or 870-245-5567

  • Tiger Serve Day is still on for this Saturday, April 4! We are asking all volunteers to serve their families at their homes or at outdoor projects at their neighbor’s homes respecting social distancing. Sample projects serving your parents could include spring cleaning, organizational work and outdoor work. Sample projects serving a neighbor could include trimming bushes, cleaning pollen off decks and porches, washing cars, cleaning out gutters, weeding flower beds, mowing and weed-eating. There is a lot a work to be done at our homes and in our neighborhoods! We hope all of you will use this opportunity to “do good”  wherever you are! Wear your TSD T-shirt on Saturday and post a picture of your work site to Instagram, tagging @obuelrodcenter #DoingGood. Let’s keep the spirit of service alive in our communities on April 4 – and invite Ouachita alumni to join in, as well!

  • Speer Writing Center is offering synchronous sessions via Zoom. Email OBUSpeerWritingCenter@gmail.com to make an appointment (specify 15-minute or 30-minute session) or for more information. Or see the center’s website or follow along on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

  • Riley-Hickingbotham Library’s physical location is now closed to in-person patrons. Many library resources are available online at obu.edu/library and are most easily accessible by use of the proxy server. Librarians can help you utilize these tools. Get help from a librarian here: http://libanswers.obu.edu/index.php. For additional needs, contact the librarian on duty at 870-245-5119 for special arrangements.

  • Textbooks: The Ouachita Campus Store has partnered with VitalSource Bookshelf to make many e-textbooks available for free. Learn more here.

  • Academic Success Center: Ouachita’s ASC is offering services remotely while classes are online. We know you may be excited, scared, or nervous about what’s in store for you and your academic progress the next few weeks. We are praying for you and here to help. // Questions about tutoring? Contact Lyndi Greenwich at greenwichl@obu.edu.

  • Tutoring will be available via Zoom starting Monday, March 30, by request. Request tutoring: http://bit.ly/ASCtutorrequest. (Help video: http://bit.ly/Tutorregistration)

  • ASC video resources are available on YouTube: http://bit.ly/youtubeASC.

  • Math tutoring with Lyndi Greenwich will take place via Zoom every Tuesday and Thursday at 2 p.m. starting Tuesday, March 31: http://bit.ly/obumathhelp1. She will assist with Intro. to Problem Solving, College Algebra, and Math of Liberal Arts.

  • Student success coaching sessions are available with staff members if you are concerned about your academic progress. Email academicsuccesscenter@obu.edu to request a meeting.

  • Chapel: Each Tuesday a chapel podcast will be available via Apple Podcasts. No attendance will be taken during the period this online chapel policy is in place, but students are strongly encouraged to listen and enjoy hearing from faculty and staff who will be the speakers. Students who missed four or fewer Chapel services this semester while on campus will receive a credit for the semester. Those who have already missed five or more Chapel services will not receive credit for the semester.

  • Health Services will now offer telehealth appointments for Ouachita students, faculty and staff. The office is no longer open for walk-in appointments or questions. Contact Molly Wallace, RN, director of health services, at wallacem@obu.edu to request an appointment. These telehealth appointments are available to address non-urgent medical concerns. Nurse Molly cannot diagnose or send in prescriptions but can recommend home care or direct you to additional medical care. For serious or urgent medical concerns, contact your local healthcare provider or visit an urgent care center or emergency department. If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, we ask that you notify Nurse Molly at wallacem@obu.edu or 870-245-5244; it is not mandatory but encouraged.

  • Residence Hall Applications are now open in your INFO Portal through April 5 at 11:59 p.m. Learn more at https://obu.edu/reslife/house-process-information/. Questions? Contact Caitlin Hetzel, director of housing: hetzelc@obu.edu, 870-245-5225.

  • Noonday via Instagram Live: @obucm • Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays • 12 noon

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.” (1 John 5:14-15, NIV)

Here are some resources, updated weekly, from Campus Ministries to encourage your faith:
https://obu.edu/campusministries/cms-weekly-recommendations-3-23/

Here’s a message from Dan Jarboe, university counselor, to help you manage your mental health:
https://obu.edu/voices/blog/coronavirus-news-related-anxiety/

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Tech Help: These resources will help you jump into remote learning next week, including helpful links, resources for internet access, Zoom tutorials and more: Tools for Remote Learning // Request support: support@obu.edu or 870-245-5567 (Leave a call-back number if a representative is not immediately available.

  • Help us help you adjust to remote learning: Please complete this brief survey to help us assess your needs and concerns regarding the remote learning environment that will begin next Monday, March 30.

  • Move out for students to retrieve their belongings left in campus housing will take place Thursday, March 26, through Sunday, March 29. See the FAQ webpage for details.

  • U.S. Census: If you normally live in university housing (disregarding the COVID-19 situation), you will complete the U.S. Census through Ouachita. We will send additional information on how to do this as it is available. If you are a commuter, you or your parents should complete the census on your own at https://2020census.gov/. // Questions? Watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4Ee8ol_LxY.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; in all your ways know him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6, CSB)

Here are some resources, updated weekly, from Campus Ministries to encourage your faith:
https://obu.edu/campusministries/cms-weekly-recommendations-3-23/

Here’s a message from Dan Jarboe, university counselor, to help you manage your mental health:
https://obu.edu/voices/blog/coronavirus-news-related-anxiety/

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Help us help you adjust to remote learning: Please complete this brief survey to help us assess your needs and concerns regarding the remote learning environment that will begin next Monday, March 30. As a reminder, you can email support@obu.edu or call 870-245-5567 to reach IT Services for tech support. Be sure to leave a call-back number if a representative is not immediately available.

  • Move out for students to retrieve their belongings left in campus housing will take place Thursday, March 26, through Sunday, March 29. See the FAQ webpage for details.

  • Mail: The Ouachita Post Office will begin forwarding your mail to the address in your Info portal starting March 30. Please check your portal to verify that we have the most up-to-date address. We will forward packages and USPS mail except “junk mail.”

  • Textbooks: The Ouachita Campus Store will send information soon on how to ship your rental textbooks back at the end of the semester and about a drop box if you are local. They also will send information about eBook access to textbooks for the remainder of the semester.

  • Health Services will now offer telehealth appointments for Ouachita students, faculty and staff. The office is no longer open for walk-in appointments or questions. Contact Molly Wallace, RN, director of health services, at wallacem@obu.edu to request an appointment. These telehealth appointments are available to address non-urgent medical concerns. Nurse Molly cannot diagnose or send in prescriptions but can recommend home care or direct you to additional medical care. For serious or urgent medical concerns, contact your local healthcare provider or visit an urgent care center or emergency department. If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, we ask that you notify Nurse Molly at wallacem@obu.edu or 870-245-5244; it is not mandatory but encouraged.

  • Prescription Tip from Health Services: Many students have established care with a healthcare provider in the Arkadelphia area. If you are out-of-state and need a prescription for medications that your provider cannot prescribe across state lines (e.g. medications for ADD), we suggest contacting your provider prior to moving out of your residence facility to make arrangements for picking up the prescription and getting it filled prior to leaving the state. Make these arrangements prior to coming to campus. The Office of Health Services will not be open for appointments or questions.

  • Tiger Serve Day is still on for spring 2020! While we are not on campus together, our Elrod Center staff and student leadership team will host a virtual Tiger Serve Day on Saturday, April 4, with the Ouachita community serving in our own unique places. Start thinking creatively about acts of service that respect social distancing. This may look like serving a family member with a project around the house or serving a neighbor nearby; we also will provide a list of ideas. Then in April we’ll share photos on social media of Ouachitonians serving far and wide in their unique ways. We’re excited for the opportunity to still serve as a community!

  • Residence Hall Applications are now open through April 5 at 11:59 p.m. Learn more at https://obu.edu/reslife/house-process-information/. Questions? Contact Caitlin Hetzel, director of housing: hetzelc@obu.edu, 870-245-5225. Instructions for applying:
  1. Go to your INFO portal.
  2. Select “Student Development”
  3. Select “Housing – Application for Fall Semester”
  4. Follow the directions on the page. 

Move out for students to retrieve their belongings left in campus housing will take place Thursday, March 26, through Sunday, March 29. See the email from Rickey Rogers this afternoon for details.

“Therefore, be imitators of God, as dearly loved children, and walk in love, as Christ also loved us and gave himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering to God.” (Ephesians 5:1-2, CSB)

Here are some resources, updated weekly, from Campus Ministries to encourage your faith:
https://obu.edu/campusministries/cms-weekly-recommendations-3-23/

Here’s a message from Dan Jarboe, university counselor, to help you manage your mental health:
https://obu.edu/voices/blog/coronavirus-news-related-anxiety/

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Help us help you adjust to remote learning: Please complete this brief survey to help us assess your needs and concerns regarding the remote learning environment that will begin next Monday, March 30. As a reminder, you can email support@obu.edu or call 870-245-5567 to reach IT Services for tech support. Be sure to leave a call-back number if a representative is not immediately available.

  • Move out for students to retrieve their belongings left in campus housing will take place Thursday, March 26, through Sunday, March 29. See the FAQ webpage for details.
     

Ouachita will not resume on-campus classes this semester; remote instruction will continue through Finals Week. Please see the email Dr. Sells sent this afternoon for further details about this decision.

“Lord, you have been our refuge in every generation. Before the mountains were born, before you gave birth to the earth and the world, from eternity to eternity, you are God.” (Psalm 90:1-2, CSB)

Here are some resources from Campus Ministries to encourage your faith:
https://obu.edu/campusministries/cms-weekly-recommendations/

Here’s a message from Dan Jarboe, university counselor, to help you manage your mental health:
https://obu.edu/voices/blog/coronavirus-news-related-anxiety/

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS               

  • Residence Hall Applications are now open. The deadline to complete the application is April 5 at 11:59 p.m. Only one person from each suite needs to fill out the application. Anyone not included on an application will not be housed for Fall 2020. Learn more about the process at https://obu.edu/reslife/house-process-information/. If you need help finding a roommate or suitemate, reach out to your RD or Caitlin Hetzel, director of housing: hetzelc@obu.edu, 870-245-5225. Instructions for applying:
  1. Go to your INFO portal.
  2. Select “Student Development”
  3. Select “Housing – Application for Fall Semester”
  4. Follow the directions on the page.
  • Email access: Remember to check your OBU email account regularly during this time off campus and keep your mailbox open. This is the primary way faculty and staff will contact you.

  • eBook Access: BBA and the Ouachita Store are offering free access to eBooks while we are in this remote learning environment. An email from BBA is forthcoming with additional details.

  • Noonday via Instagram Live: @obucm • Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays • 12 noon

  • Academic Success Center: Ouachita’s ASC will offer services remotely while classes are online. We know you may be excited, scared, or nervous about what’s in store for you and your academic progress the next few weeks. We are praying for you and here to help. // Questions about tutoring? Contact Lyndi Greenwich at greenwichl@obu.edu. 

  • Tutoring will be available via Zoom starting Monday, March 30, by request. Request tutoring: http://bit.ly/ASCtutorrequest. (Help video: http://bit.ly/Tutorregistration) 

  • ASC video resources are available on YouTube: http://bit.ly/youtubeASC. 

  • Math tutoring with Lyndi Greenwich will take place via Zoom every Tuesday and Thursday at 2 p.m. starting Tuesday, March 31: http://bit.ly/obumathhelp1. She will assist with Intro. to Problem Solving, College Algebra, and Math of Liberal Arts.

  • Student success coaching sessions are available with staff members if you are concerned about your academic progress. Email academicsuccesscenter@obu.edu to request a meeting.

  • Exercise Tips on Staying Active During the Coronavirus Pandemic // Questions? Contact Dr. Terry DeWitt at dewittt@obu.edu.

  • Find your 1098-T “Tuition Statement” IRS Form on your INFO Portal under Forms>1098-T Form>Select a 1098-T Year. Questions? Contact Kristi Clay, director of business services: clayk@obu.edu, 870-245-5417.

Dear Students,

Truly, I can hardly bear to write these words – the hardest thing to tell you in my four years: we will not be resuming on-campus classes this semester. As a result, remote instruction will continue through Finals Week.

This decision is based on these three primary considerations:

  • A confirmed COVID-19 case in our county, along with multiple cases in the many cities and towns where students reside, makes it too risky to bring 1,500 students back to Arkadelphia.
  • Guidance from the CDC and the state of Arkansas limits the size of groups and prohibits serving food to groups in the cafeteria.
  • The decision will bring clarity for all of us in how we finish the semester.

I’m so sorry for you, for us, for Ouachita. We recognize the real disappointment. More than anything, we want you and those you love to be safe and healthy.

This decision raises a number of questions including:

  • When and how can students return to campus to collect their belongings? Given the nature of COVID-19, we need to develop plans that reflect appropriate health and safety precautions. We will provide updated information on Monday, March 23. Please wait for further instruction before returning to campus for your belongings.
  • What if, under these new circumstances, a student’s current location and living arrangements are not suitable for completing the semester?  To request an exception to be housed on campus, fill out the form at https://form.jotform.com/200796637578168 starting Monday, March 23.
  • Will students get a refund? We remain committed to passing on any net room and board savings to students to the extent possible.
  • What does it mean for Commencement? To comply with official guidance on avoiding large gatherings at least through mid-May, Ouachita will not hold Commencement on May 9. However, I will work with a group of graduating seniors, faculty, and staff to develop a plan to honor and celebrate the class of 2020 – the class I started with.

We know there are more questions, we are attending to them, and we will continue to communicate with you.

Your faculty have been working non-stop, racing to be ready to launch remote instruction on March 30. The effort they have put forward to reconfigure their classes has been inspiring. Staff have mobilized with the same intensity to reimagine how they can best serve you from a distance. Expect an email on Tuesday with “next steps” for starting on March 30.

For a season, Ouachita is scattered. This is temporary. It will eventually get better. And at some point, we’ll be together again. For the balance of this semester, I commit to you that your faculty and staff will put forth an extraordinary effort. And, I ask that you do the same.

None of us will ever forget this semester. Because we’re people of Christian faith and Ouachitonians, I believe we will someday look back and say: “I’m a better person – it gave me the opportunity to become the person God intended me to be in ways I didn’t want or anticipate but that I don’t regret.”

That’s my prayer. May it be so.

 

Kindest regards, Ben

Ben R. Sells, Ph.D.
President
Ouachita Baptist University

“God is our refuge and strength, a helper who is always found in times of trouble.” (Psalm 46:1, CSB) 

Here are some resources from Campus Ministries to encourage your faith:
https://obu.edu/campusministries/cms-weekly-recommendations/

Here’s a message from Dan Jarboe, university counselor, to help you manage your mental health:
https://obu.edu/voices/blog/coronavirus-news-related-anxiety/

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS         

  • Residence Hall Applications open TOMORROW, Friday, March 20. The deadline to complete the application is April 5 at 11:59 p.m. Only one person from each suite needs to fill out the application. Anyone not included on an application will not be housed for Fall 2020. Learn more about the process at https://obu.edu/reslife/house-process-information/. If you need help finding a roommate or suitemate, reach out to your RD or Caitlin Hetzel, director of housing: hetzelc@obu.edu, 870-245-5225. Instructions for applying:
  1. Go to your INFO portal.
  2. Select “Student Development”
  3. Select “Housing – Application for Fall Semester”
  4. Follow the directions on the page.
  • Email access: Remember to check your OBU email account regularly during this time off campus and keep your mailbox open. This is the primary way faculty and staff will contact you.
  • eBook Access: BBA and the Ouachita Store are offering free access to eBooks while we are in this remote learning environment. An email from BBA is forthcoming with additional details.
  • Noonday via Instagram Live: @obucm • Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays • 12 noon
  • Academic Success Center: Ouachita’s ASC will offer services remotely while classes are online. We know you may be excited, scared, or nervous about what’s in store for you and your academic progress the next few weeks. We are praying for you and here to help. // Questions about tutoring? Contact Lyndi Greenwich at greenwichl@obu.edu.
  • Tutoring will be available via Zoom starting Monday, March 30, by request. Request tutoring: http://bit.ly/ASCtutorrequest. (Help video: http://bit.ly/Tutorregistration)
  • ASC video resources are available on YouTube: http://bit.ly/youtubeASC.
  • Math tutoring with Lyndi Greenwich will take place via Zoom every Tuesday and Thursday at 2 p.m. starting Tuesday, March 31: http://bit.ly/obumathhelp. She will assist with Intro. to Problem Solving, College Algebra, and Math of Liberal Arts.
  • Student success coaching sessions are available with staff members if you are concerned about your academic progress. Email academicsuccesscenter@obu.edu to request a meeting.
  • Exercise Tips on Staying Active During the Coronavirus Pandemic // Questions? Contact Dr. Terry DeWitt at dewittt@obu.edu.
  • Find your 1098-T “Tuition Statement” IRS Form on your INFO Portal under Forms>1098-T Form>Select a 1098-T Year. Questions? Contact Kristi Clay, director of business services: clayk@obu.edu, 870-245-5417.

In this unusual time apart, Ouachita will provide regular updates from across campus in this email format. The most current information also is available at obu.edu/coronavirus.

Current Operational Plan:

No classes/Offices open March 16-25
No classes/Offices closed March 26-29
Classes online/Offices open March 30-April 10
On-campus classes resume April 13

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
(1 Peter 5:7, NIV)

Here are some resources from Campus Ministries to encourage your faith:
https://obu.edu/campusministries/cms-weekly-recommendations/

Here’s a message from Dan Jarboe, university counselor, to help you manage your mental health:
https://obu.edu/voices/blog/coronavirus-news-related-anxiety/

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Good afternoon, Ouachita students!

What an extraordinary past few days in the life of our campus and country. During lunch on Friday, I was hanging out in the caf and stu wanting to see you and be around you, and I wish I could have talked to each of you. Even as this change in plans is for our health and safety, I so regret the disruption to your Ouachita experience. In all my interactions with you on Thursday and Friday, I so appreciated your spirit and attitude in the midst of so many changes and emotions.

This is temporary. It will eventually get better. And we’ll be together, again.

Until then, we’ll endeavor to provide timely, clear, and helpful information – and to be available for you. There are questions that have been addressed and questions to answer. We won’t think of everything, so ask questions. Find the most updated information at: www.obu.edu/coronavirus. We also will start sending a “Ouachita Update” each afternoon as information is available. Watch for those emails coming from update@obu.edu, with consolidated information relevant to our entire student body.

All faculty and staff are preparing this week to help you successfully start classes again on March 30. While you can’t walk into their office to talk, you can contact them by phone or email, and I encourage you to do so.

If you’re unsure of who to contact about something, I’m giving you my cell phone: #######. Start with a text, provide your name, and explain the situation, and I’ll do what I can to assist you. I’m confident in God, you, and the Ouachita community.

 

Love, Ben

Ben R. Sells, PhD
President
Ouachita Baptist University
@OuachitaPrez

 

P.S. I’m reading through Psalms each month for my daily devotions. During these extraordinary days, I was drawn this morning to Psalm 81:9-10: There shall be no strange God among you, neither shall you worship any other God. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt; open your mouth wide, and I shall fill it. “Lord, I ask that you give us Spirit-led wisdom and agility in all areas of our lives.”

Dear Ouachita students:

We have prayerfully sought wisdom about how our campus community should respond to coronavirus (COVID-19) to best protect our students and the broader community. While there currently are no confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 in the Arkadelphia area or at Ouachita, we believe the following precautionary measures are the responsible path we must take.

  • Ouachita’s Spring Break will be extended, with classes canceled from Monday, March 16, through Sunday, March 29. (Offices will be open Monday, March 16, through Wednesday, March 25.) Classes will resume in online formats from Monday, March 30, to Sunday, April 12. Course instructors will communicate to their classes how their specific instruction methods will change during this period of time.
  • At this point, on-campus instruction is planned to resume on Monday, April 13. (Note that this day previously was scheduled as a holiday for campus.) We will continually monitor the public health situation to assess if this online instruction period should be extended beyond April 13.
  • Students living in Ouachita housing must leave campus by Sunday, March 15. Exceptions will be granted to students who have no other housing options, including international or third culture students, married students or those with other extenuating circumstances. Contact your RD if you need on-campus housing and dining services.
  • Ouachita’s campus will maintain its daily operations, with faculty and staff continuing their good work of educating and serving our students while following health protocols from the CDC.
  • Campus events from March 16 to April 12 are canceled, as are university-sponsored trips. Additional information about events planned for later in the semester is forthcoming.

I understand that these measures are incredibly disruptive to your lives and this campus, and we have not made these decisions lightly. I am truly sorry for the impact it has on your Ouachita experience. We have learned from global public health leaders the importance of slowing the spread of COVID-19 through social distancing to mitigate the impact of the disease, which has now been labeled a pandemic by the World Health Organization. Combined with the timing and widespread travel associated with Spring Break, we believe taking this course of action now may prevent more drastic measures later in the semester.

I recognize this decision raises many questions and issues which we will address as we can. In this unusual time, let’s endeavor to extend grace and understanding to one another. We will continue to update you via email and post updates and FAQs on our COVID-19 webpage.

Ouachita is a tight-knit – and resilient – community: I have great faith in you and us. Together, with wisdom from the Lord, we will navigate this season. Following is a prayer, from “The Daily Prayer App” that has meant much to Lisa and me today – and is our prayer for you.

“Most loving Father, whose will it is for us to give thanks for all things, to fear nothing but the loss of you, and to cast all our care on you who care for us: Preserve us from faithless fears and worldly anxieties, that no clouds of this mortal life may hide from us the light of that love which is immortal, and which you have manifested to us in your Son Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.”

Kind regards,

Ben R. Sells, PhD
President
Ouachita Baptist University
@OuachitaPrez

  • Dr. Wesley Kluck, vice president for student development and university physician – chair
  • Ian Cosh, vice president for community and international engagement
  • Ethan Dial, Student Senate president
  • Jon Fitzgerald, general manager of Sodexo dining services
  • Dr. Monica Hardin, associate vice president for graduate and professional studies
  • Tim Harrell, director of student life
  • Caitlin Hetzel, director of housing and assistant director of residence life
  • Kari Ledford, marketing and retail operations manager of Sodexo dining services
  • Bryan McKinney, university counsel and dean of the Hickingbotham School of Business
  • Bill Phelps, assistant to the president for IT services and facilities management
  • Sherri Phelps, director of human resources
  • Brooke Zimny, assistant to the president for communications and marketing

The Coronavirus Task Force is no longer an active committee.

Dear Ouachita students:

I’m writing to provide a further update on coronavirus (COVID-19) since my email on Monday. Universities across the state and nation are making plans to manage the situation, and Ouachita is no exception.

At this point no decision has been made to suspend on-campus classes. However, we’re taking steps to transition to online or alternate delivery formats for current classes if it becomes necessary.

In today’s environment, it’s natural for rumors to develop. You will continue to hear the most up-to-date and official information from me and other university officials, along with information on our website at obu.edu/coronavirus.

Knowing the character of the Ouachita community, and with wisdom that comes from the Lord, together we will navigate well this unusual season.

 

Kind regards,

Ben R. Sells, PhD
President
Ouachita Baptist University
@OuachitaPrez

As Spring Break quickly approaches and the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread, we have developed the following guidelines for travel.

Ouachita-sponsored trips outside the United States:

These trips are suspended until further notice, with the exception of the Biblical Studies trip to Israel, which is still tentative.

Ouachita-sponsored trips inside the United States:

Trips are suspended to “hot spot” locations where COVID-19 has been confirmed in large numbers. States currently affected include California, New York, Oregon and Washington.

Guests visiting Ouachita:

Guests to campus traveling from a country with a Level 2, 3 or 4 advisory related to COVID-19 or to a U.S. hot spot (see current CDC andState Department guidelines) may be required to self-quarantine for 14 days prior to coming to campus.

Personal travel:

Your personal travel is discouraged to another country with Level 2, 3 or 4 advisory related to COVID-19 or to a U.S. hot spot. A self-quarantine at home may be required before returning to campus for those who travel to these locations or on a cruise ship where COVID-19 is confirmed. For students, this could affect the timely completion of classes for the spring semester.

We believe these are responsible and proactive steps to protect our campus community. We also recognize that these actions disrupt educational and personal plans as well as create stress.

We will continue to monitor the situation and adjust our approach, sending email updates as needed. Current campus recommendations also will be posted at obu.edu/coronavirus.

 

Sincere regards,

Ben R. Sells, PhD
President
Ouachita Baptist University
@OuachitaPrez

Next Steps

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