This morning, March 20, President Raymond once again sent out a campus-wide update regarding the COVID-19 situation. In the email, Raymond announced that Haverford would be moving to virtual learning for the rest of the semester: no longer will the student body return by April 6.
“This decision comes after extensive consultation with students, faculty, and staff here at the College and in concert with leadership at Bryn Mawr College and Swarthmore College, with whom our plans align,” wrote President Raymond. “We believe that these steps comply with Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s order of Thursday, March 19 regarding business closures.”
Students who have already received permission to stay on campus through April 6 may remain until the end of the semester, but President Raymond warned that while Haverford has “every intention of maintaining this residential option for students who need it, we would be obligated to comply with any future public health directives that might limit how many students we are able to accommodate, or where they might be accommodated.”
President Raymond also asked students not to return to campus to move out for the time being. Haverford will soon announce a plan for students to receive their belongings, likely with an extended time frame.
The email also addresses the petition created by the class of 2020 currently circulating on social media platforms. The petition, which currently has 1,477 signatures, asks Haverford to make all courses this semester credit/no credit with an option to uncover grades afterward. President Raymond noted that the Educational Policy Committee is currently investigating the proposal and will make a decision in the near future. Similar petitions created by students at peer colleges have succeeded; for instance, Wellesley College just announced that it will implement a move to a credit/no credit/credit with distinction semester—without the option to receive a typical grade on the 4.0 scale.
In tandem with the decision to suspend in-person classes for the rest of the semester, alumni weekend and Commencement were also canceled. Seniors are stunned and heartbroken by the news.
“It’s very painful to miss out on the traditions that define senior year at Haverford—Haverfest, Pinwheel Day, senior week, and most especially Commencement, which represents the hard work and sacrifices of students and their families,” said Maya Ahmed ‘20, an economics major. “And more than all the rest, I’m extremely sad to miss seeing my friends and professors for the last time as an undergraduate student. Haverford was the source of some of my best memories”