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Coronavirus Campus Communication 8/3/2020 – Official Message from the Office of the President

Coronavirus Campus Communication 8/3/2020 – Official Message from the Office of the President

Dear Students and Families,

Ramapo College is eager to welcome our new students and to reconnect with our returning students for the academic year 2020-2021.

It is hard to believe that we are less than one month away from the official start of the Fall 2020 semester! Over the last several weeks, you have received updates from me and others about how the College has advanced plans for returning to campus and continuing to offer the high-quality, student-centered instruction and services for which Ramapo is known. I am pleased to share that late last week, the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education (OSHE) reported that our Restart Plan was in alignment with the State of New Jersey’s restart standards and that no further review from OSHE was deemed necessary. Creating a successful Restart Plan is the first of many steps required to move toward normalcy, and I write to you now to reaffirm Ramapo College’s commitment to your health and safety. I also want to share with you more about how, despite the ongoing challenges wrought by this public health crisis, we will continue to deliver on our promise of student success.

The Roadrunner Spirit

What a time it is to be Roadrunners! The Roadrunner spirit is alive and well at Ramapo for some very good reasons. First, we are so pleased that you have chosen Ramapo College and that we have chosen you; our interest in and admiration for one another will make cooperation and collaboration mutually beneficial and rewarding. Second, ensuring your success is the promise we make to you, and we want to assure you that the members of the faculty, staff, and administration are here to do just that. Third, the thoughtful development and earnest implementation of our Restart Plan represent the Roadrunner spirit and, in turn, our unwavering commitment to your success.

The Roadrunner is well-known for its speed and agility; however, it is also commended by ornithologists for its resilient nature. Did you know that the Roadrunner has actually evolved a range of adaptations to deal with the extremes of a desert climate? In addition, Native American and Mexican legends and belief systems have long revered the species for its courage, strength, speed, and endurance. We will all continue to rely on our Roadrunner spirit and our shared well of resilience, courage, strength, speed, and endurance as we proceed through another academic year and as we work closely with you to optimize your personal, scholastic, and professional growth.

The Roadrunner Restart

As of today, August 3, the State of New Jersey remains in Stage 2 of its Restart and Recovery. To align with the State’s status, Ramapo College will open at Stage 2 of our Restart Plan for the Fall semester.  Stage 2 means that all New Jersey colleges and universities are only permitted to offer some labs, clinical rotations, technical, and hands-on instruction courses face-to-face and on-campus. All other types of courses must occur virtually according to the State mandate.

In addition to offering a limited number of face-to-face classes on-campus, Stage 2 operations allow our Library to open at 25% capacity and our residence halls to house a reduced number of students. Whether you participate in the Fall 2020 semester from on-campus or off, we will do our best to ensure that Ramapo feels like #HomeSweetPo to you. For more detailed information about what being in Stage 2 will mean for your individual Ramapo College experience, please visit the Ramapo College of New Jersey Restart Website.

Class Schedules

The Restart Website includes important information about health and safety guidelines, student programs and services, residence life and dining, the NJ Athletic Conference’s decision to suspend fall sports, and most importantly…your Fall 2020 class schedule!

I am sure you are eager to know if any of your classes will include face-to-face meetings/sessions on-campus this semester, so  instructions on how to access and read your class schedule are available on the Restart Website. These instructions will direct you how to interpret your Fall 2020 detailed class schedule, which is now accessible via Web Self-Service. Google Chrome users may consider using Firefox, Edge or Safari to access Web Self-Service.

Town Halls

Your faculty, advisors, and peer leaders know first-hand that the start of a new academic year often feels overwhelming, and we fully acknowledge that Academic Year 2020-2021 brings unique concerns and wariness due to modifications to our normal operations as a result of the global pandemic. To discuss changes in campus operations and to address your concerns and questions, we will be hosting two virtual Town Halls for students and their families. These informative Town Hall events will include remarks, and Q&A with our talented folks in enrollment management, student affairs  and academic affairs. From questions about how to opt into a fully virtual Fall term to what safety precautions will be implemented on-campus to how to manage your senior-year internship requirements, we will have answers for you. You will receive the link to the Town Hall meeting that applies to you prior to the meeting.

  • Town Hall for New Students and their Families: Monday, August 10th at 12pm
  • Town Hall for Returning Students and their Families: Tuesday, August 11th at 12pm

In addition to the Town Halls, you can expect future more specific emails about Residence Life, Advisement, Library Services, and Health and Safety, in the coming days.

I so look forward to experiencing the Fall 2020 semester with you. I am as confident in your individual capacity to achieve and grow as I am in the College’s long-standing and unwavering commitment to ensuring your success. After all, we are all Roadrunners. #WeAreRCNJ

Peter P. Mercer