Coker University classes will be online as least until March 27

Coker University has moved classes online and suggested all students return home until classes are moved back to the classroom. This is effective at least until March 27.

HARTSVILLE — Coker University in Hartsville moved all “seated and hybrid classes” online, starting Friday. This will be effective until at least March 27.

Additionally, all university-sponsored events are canceled through the same period. These includes sports events and the Kalmia Gardens Oyster Roast on March 28.

Coker continues to closely monitor the situation concerning the spread of the COVID-19 virus, said Brianna Bunce Douglas, vice president of student affairs and contract services, in an update on COVID-19 on the school website.

“As the situation evolves, our top priority remains the health, safety, and well-being of our community, on and off campus,” she said.

“The decision to move to online instruction was not made lightly,” Douglas said. “With the knowledge that some students may have limited access to the internet, faculty is prepared to accommodate a variety of situations that will enable students to continue to meet their academic requirements.”

Students taking in-seat classes at bridge program sites — Florence-Darlington Technical College, Midlands Technical College, and Northeastern Technical College — will now meet virtually for the same period.

All residential students have been encouraged to return home until in-person classes resume.

Until further notice, guests will not be allowed in the residence halls, including commuting students.

Effective Monday, Coker will move to limited staff on campus only. Most employees will work remotely, though some staff might be required to report to campus given the nature of their job responsibilities.

Campus safety officers will remain in full force on campus 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Campus safety can be reached at 843-383-8140 or by emailing list.campussafety@coker.edu.

Dining services will remain open on a limited basis. However, it will only provide “meals to go,” available for pickup in the serving area.

The Center for Health and Wellness will remain open during its usual hours.

Through at least March 27, university-related travel to any location is prohibited.

Effective Friday, all nonessential visits to campus were suspended through at least March 27.

At this time, all measures outlined above are in place until further notice.

The notice said: “Protecting the health and well-being of our community is at the forefront of this difficult decision. The goal of these changes is to minimize the need to gather in large groups.”

“These past few days have been a powerful reminder of just how connected we are to one another,” Douglas said. “We understand there are personal and logistical challenges to these extraordinary measures, and university leadership, faculty and staff is here for support as we navigate this uncharted territory together.

“The COVID-19 situation continues to change rapidly, and Coker University will continue to operate with guidance from DHEC and Carolina Pines Regional Medical Center, as well as SCICU and the Council for Higher Education. We will continue to keep you updated via email and updates at coker.edu/covid19.”

The South Atlantic Conference and NCAA canceled all remaining competitions for this academic year. In addition, the South Atlantic Conference has decided to cancel all practices for the remainder of the semester.

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