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Coronavirus Information and Updates for the Widener Law Commonwealth Community

Widener University and Widener Law Commonwealth are actively monitoring the Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. Law school information and updates about developments with the illness, Widener Law Commonwealth’s response to it, or any impact on law school classes or operations will be available here. Additionally, links will be provided to Widener University's coronavirus webpage and communications.

Important Information for Widener Law Commonwealth


Fall 2020 Update: A LETTER FROM INTERIM DEAN HUSSEY

Widener University Commonwealth Law School Interim Dean Michael Hussey provides updates to students on the Fall 2020 semester.

Positive COVID-19 Cases by Campus

The information on this Widener University webpage reflects weekly and monthly data on the number of individuals who have reported positive test results for COVID-19. All students and staff must report symptoms and positive test results to Student Health Services at 610.499.1183 or [email protected]

Selected Email Updates from Dean Teplitz

Review selected past email updates from Dean Teplitz.

Health & Safety Plan for PA Dept of Education

The Pennsylvania Department of Education requires Pennsylvania postsecondary education institutions to publish a “Health and Safety Plan” before resuming in-person operations. Widener's plan will be communicated to students, faculty, and staff and is available online as well. See Widener's Health and Safety Plan.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will classes be held on campus this fall?

The University and the law school announced on July 28, 2020 that due to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases nationwide and in Pennsylvania, fall semester classes will be offered remotely. This decision was made thoughtfully and scientifically based on recommendations from public health officials.

What About Spring? Will I have to attend classes in person?

No, if we return to in-person classes in the spring and you have health or safety concerns about returning to campus or some other obstacle stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, such as lack of local housing, you will be able to attend almost all classes remotely. We will continue to be flexible throughout the 2020-21 academic year.

A few classes, like the Clinic or externships, may require in-person attendance. Please contact Professors Scott or Simcox if you have concerns about participating in your clinical or externship program.

CAN I WATCH THE RECORDINGS OF CLASS ONLINE ON MY OWN SCHEDULE?

Even though classes will be delivered remotely, you will be expected to be present at the time the live class is scheduled.  Unless your professor instructs otherwise, in order to be marked present, your camera must be enabled. It is expected that you will participate in the same manner that you would if you were sitting in the classroom. It is not a substitute for attendance to listen to a recording of a class session at a later time.

WILL GRADES BE GIVEN THIS FALL, OR WILL CLASSES BE OPTIONAL PASS/FAIL?

Final course grades will be determined using the standard grading policy that is outlined in Section 3-101 of the Student Handbook

Students will be required to be in good academic standing pursuant to Section 1-1001 of the Student Handbook following the fall semester.

How will final exams be administered?

All law school final exams will be conducted remotely. We will provide more information about exam policies and procedures during the semester.

Will the library be AVAILABLE?

The physical space will be open but with limited in-person services and with occupancy limits and rules about physical distancing. Face masks are required to be worn at all times while on campus and in the library lounge and main library. Additionally, no food will be permitted in the library lounge and main library.

Priority will be given to students who are lacking a quiet work environment or a stable internet connection. We cannot guarantee space for everyone. 

A reservation system will also be implemented to ensure that the library maintains a safe population density. It is important that we minimize unnecessary contacts and also keep building occupancy low so if you do not need to use the law library we encourage you to work from home.

The Law Library will continue to be fully operational and our librarians will remain accessible to you virtually. More information about library hours and policies will be available shortly.

WILL MASKS BE REQUIRED?

Yes, Pennsylvania public health guidelines require everyone to wear masks in public. If you choose to come to campus to use the library, you will need to wear a face mask. In order to protect the safety of our community and also those who have extended family members who may have risk factors, this rule will be enforced. If you cannot comply with this rule, you will need to work from home.

WHAT WILL THE LAW SCHOOL DO to enforce required campus safety measures?

Students who do not abide by the required safety measures will not be permitted to be on campus and use the library facilities. If corrective measures are not followed, as a last resort, students may be subjected to disciplinary action and/or the placement of a letter in their academic file that may be reviewed by the Bar Examiners.

Anonymous reports for non-compliance can be made through the online suggestion box and will be investigated by the Dean of Students.

WHAT if I WAS ON CAMPUS AND NOW HAVE COVID-19 SYMPTOMS OR HAVE TESTED POSITIVE?

If you were on campus within the past 14 days and now have COVID-19 symptoms or have tested positive, please immediately contact Dean Teplitz or Ellen DeLuca, Director of Student Health at 610.499.1183 or [email protected]. You will be connected to the Department of Health or your medical provider.

Additionally, Director DeLuca will have the ability to communicate with people with whom you may have come into contact. It is extremely important that you reach out to us so that you can help protect our Widener Law Commonwealth community. Your name will not be shared with anyone contacted.

Community alerts will be shared in matters where a potential risk of exposure exists.

WHAT ABOUT STUDENT ORGANIZATION EVENTS?

Student organizations may not schedule in-person events or meetings during the fall semester. However, the Student Bar Association is working hard to find new virtual opportunities for us to build community and stay connected. We anticipate that robust virtual programming will be available for you to stay engaged. Please be sure to check your e-mail and social media pages so that you learn about the virtual programs that will be offered.

The Student Organization Building will remain closed this fall. If you need things in those offices, please contact Dean Teplitz.

WILL I BE ABLE TO PAY REDUCED TUITION?

Decisions about tuition are made at the university level, not by the Law School. Tuition rates will remain the same regardless of course delivery. Tuition is based on the number of credits that you are taking and you will still have the opportunity to earn all of your registered credits. In the past, the Law School has had online offerings and the tuition for those courses has always been consistent with in-class courses. We do not expect a deviation from these practices.

The law school has established an emergency relief fund for eligible students who have suffered financial losses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis by our relief fund committee until funds are depleted.

WHAT if i need to schedule a meeting with my professor or another office like the CAREER DEVELOPMENT OFFICE, registrar, financial aid, or student affairs?

Your professors remain accessible and campus administrative offices are fully operational but we will not have any in-person meetings this semester. Please contact your professor and campus offices via telephone, email, Zoom, or Teams.

WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO GET IN TOUCH WITH THESE OFFICES?

Registrar:  [email protected] or Teams Chat:  CWREG
Financial Aid: [email protected] or Teams Chat:  CWFINAID
Career Development:  [email protected] or Teams Chat:  ELMANDRELL
Law Library:  [email protected]
Media Services:  [email protected]
ITS Help Desk:  [email protected]
Dean of Students:  [email protected] or Teams Chat:  RBTEPLITZ
Campus Safety:  717.541.1911

University Communications

All Widener University (main campus) communications are available at widener.edu/coronavirus. We encourage all members of the Widener community, including faculty and staff, to monitor widener.edu/coronavirus for important updates that may pertain to them. 

Additional Resources

Links are also available at widener.edu/coronavirus.

Last Modified: This page was last updated on September 10, 2020 at 10:50 AM

CONTACT INFORMATION

Randi Teplitz
Assistant Dean of Students
Phone: 
717.541.3952
Email: 
[email protected]

Related Widener University Page


widener.edu/coronavirus



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