Dear Graduate and Exchange Students,
As you have now all read, the university will host classes and final exams entirely online for the rest of the semester. IU is doing this, like many other universities, in an effort to slow the spreading of the coronavirus. This decision means that you are free to leave Bloomington if you wish, but you are also free to stay.
We are asking everyone to please fill out a short survey here: https://forms.gle/E8toKP5V71kqNuRF8 so we can see what your plans are and help you with any decisions you must make.
The Graduate Legal Studies staff is available to help you by email, phone and Zoom throughout the rest of the semester. We will host live Zoom sessions every weekday.
We are here to try to answer all of the questions you might have during this stressful time.
Here are some of the questions we have received so far, and some of the answers we do (and do not) have:
- Am I required to leave Bloomington?
No. You are not required to leave Bloomington. However, all students are being encouraged to go to a place where they feel safe and supported. For you, this could mean going back to your home country and your family. For others, the coronavirus danger might be worse in your home country so staying in Bloomington is preferable. Some people might wish to go stay with friends or relatives in different parts of the U.S.
- If I live on campus, will I be forced to move out?
Everyone who lives on campus should have received a message from RPS. They definitely will be closing a lot of residence halls and campus apartments. By tomorrow, RPS will provide residents a form to fill out in order to request permission to stay in on campus housing. If coronavirus is very bad in your country, this would be considered a good reason to be permitted to stay. Keep in mind that there will be many, many empty apartments in Bloomington as many of the international and domestic students leave to go home, so finding another place to stay in Bloomington should be relatively easy.
- Will the one-week extension of spring break mean that we will have one more week of class?
We don't know yet. The answer to this question, as well as whether the Law School needs to observe the extra week of spring break (we might not), should be clear by Tuesday or Wednesday this week, and we will let you know.
- What is happening with exams? All exams will probably take place online. We do not It is too early to know all the details, but we and your professors will keep you informed.
- 5. If I go home, will I need to logon to Zoom to watch my classes at the same time they are being taught in Bloomington?
It would be ideal if you could join the class when it is happening; however, we know for some of you that might mean having to watch the class after midnight at home. Try to attend the first week of classes at the same time if you can while the professors get used to using Zoom and Kaltura, which records the classes. You should be able to watch the classes that were recorded with Kaltura later through the Canvas site, but sometimes it might be 12-48 hours before the video is available to watch. You will not be penalized if you cannot attend the class at the original time, but please try.
- Will the commencement ceremony be virtual or in-person?
We do not know the answer yet. However, it is not necessary to take part in the commencement ceremony in order to graduate.
- Will we be reimbursed for the graduation regalia and mandatory fees for things we aren't using (like activity fee)?
The issue of reimbursement is being discussed right now at the university level. As you can imagine, there are many types of reimbursements that will have to be made, and it will be decided in the coming days/weeks.
- What will happen to my visa and OPT status if I leave?
On March 13, the U.S. government announced that as long as you maintain full-time enrollment online during the COVID-19 emergency, there will be no negative impact on your immigration status, even if you depart the United States and take your IU classes online from elsewhere. This temporary provision is in effect for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency.
We look forward to talking with you by Zoom today and for the foreseeable future. Stay strong, everyone!