Oklahoma State University is locking its doors.
University officials confirmed Wednesday that all buildings will be closed on March 25 at 6 p.m. and will remain that way until April 15. This decision comes just one day after Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt enacted an executive order that forces all non-essential businesses-- in counties with positive COVID-19 cases-- to close for 21 days.
While OSU’s doors are closing, the university statement said that support will still be there for students who need it.
“Our dedicated staff and faculty will continue to provide services through telecommuting and, for some, on-campus work to support essential and mission-critical functions,” the statement read. “If you need access to a building during this time, please contact your advisor, supervisor or dean.”
This decision also does not affect students who live on campus or those who need to move out of their on-campus dorms.
“This decision does not apply to students who have opted to remain living on campus, nor does it affect our current process for students to move out of residence halls,” the statement read.
Any student needing an extension for on-campus living must fill out an extension form-- which is attached to the university’s announcement email.
The university also mentioned that it is taking many measures to help out the most vulnerable populations to the COVID-19 virus: the elderly and people with underlying health conditions.
“For our staff and faculty members over the age of 65 or vulnerable individuals with serious underlying medical conditions, we are here to assist you,” the statement read. “Options for telecommuting will be prioritized for these individuals; however, if there are no options for telecommuting, please know that you will be provided administrative leave, as well as leave provided under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act once enacted. For staff and faculty who are unable to telecommute and are not in an on-campus essential/mission-critical position, administrative leave will be provided. If there are questions regarding this, please reach out to your supervisor and/or HR consultant for assistance and clarity.”
Despite the somber subject matter, OSU president Burns Hargis-- who wrote the university statement sent out on Wednesday-- left students with an encouraging message.
“Thank you for your patience and support of one another during this time,” Hargis said. “As the Cowboy Family, we will continue to persevere and get through this together.”