Honors College responds to COVID-19 concerns

Rachel Basela, Life & Arts Editor

It’s been over a week since Oakland University went virtual, and the Honors College (HC) has responded to many of the questions being asked by its students. Clarifications were made by HC faculty via email about students’ meeting requirements and annual ceremonies being postponed.

Students who are set to graduate from the HC were advised by Dean Graeme Harper that the HC Medallion and Award Ceremony will not take place on Wednesday, April 15 as it was previously scheduled.

“This postponement does not change your status as a [soon-to-be] Honors College graduate, of course,” Harper said in an email sent Wednesday, March 11. “We will update you in the month ahead of progress on the Honors College Medallion and Awards Ceremony.”

The HC staff also told seniors their poster presentation requirement has been met as long as they have turned in their posters. Since Research and Scholarship Day — originally scheduled for Monday through Wednesday, March 23-25 — has been canceled, a digital book of the seniors’ work will be put together in the coming weeks, according to an email sent Saturday, March 14.

Final HC theses can now be submitted through Thursday, April 30, though the original Friday, April 3 deadline still stands for draft submissions.

“Submit a draft of your thesis on April 3 (by 11:59 p.m.), as previously noted,” Harper said in an email from Tuesday, March 17. “If your April 3 draft is not your final version, you can submit the final version by April 30.”

With registration for next year’s classes opening this week, HC advisers are available to meet remotely. According to a Wednesday, March 18 notice from Harper, “The Honors College is open for email and phone and/or video link discussions and appointments, as usual.”

All HC students are required to participate in at least 10 hours of involvement that benefits their community and is unpaid. The deadline to complete these hours has been extended to August 31, per Harper in his Tuesday, March 17 email.

Since the university is not holding events for the duration of the semester, students who have not completed their HC event requirement do not have to be concerned about making up a missed event.

“We will be waiving the HC event requirement, as it stands, for 2019-2020,” Harper wrote to HC students Tuesday, March 17. “For those who have already completed this, your Honors College event attendance will count as involvement hours.”

Another requirement that is being changed due to the circumstances of remote learning is the Sophomore Imagination Lab. The Tuesday, March 17 email presented a plan for students who might be concerned about not completing their requirement.

“For any second year student who has not completed the Imagination Lab — which is a requirement — we will offer a ‘remote’ option over summer 2020,” Harper said via email.  “Some transfer students have also been advised to take this, and you too should access the summer ‘remote’ lab when it is advertised.”

As many HC students and faculty are feeling the effects of the novel coronavirus on their education, plans have been set in place to combat fear and answer questions. More information will come in the following weeks as Harper and the HC staff continue to update the community.