March 30: Important Payroll Update For All Students with On-Campus Jobs

One of the most common questions we have heard during our response to the COVID-19 outbreak is how we intended to support students who have either lost on-campus jobs or had their number of hours working in on-campus jobs significantly reduced as a result.

The answers have been complicated and have required close collaboration with our partners at the Minnesota State system and beyond, but we now have a procedure in place for providing support and relief to students with on-campus jobs — regardless of whether wages were paid through work-study funds or regular college or university payroll.

Starting with the pay period that began on Wednesday, March 18, we will pay student workers for their normally scheduled hours for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester, regardless of how much they are actually able to work. This allows our students who rely on on-campus employment to maintain access to this important source of income during this uncertain time.

Student workers will enter the number of hours they actually worked in their timecards in eTimesheets, following their usual process. From there, supervisors will have the ability to use the new supervisor screen and adjust hours to reflect the difference between hours scheduled and hours worked. Supervisors can then indicate one of three COVID-19-related reasons for the difference:

–   Job not possible

–   Sick with COVID-19

–   Caring for someone with COVID-19

Supervisors and student employees should work together to determine a code appropriate for each case.

This procedure will be in place for the duration of the spring academic semester.

Due dates for both student workers and supervisors are being extended to account for the need to learn how to use the new screens in eTimesheets. Information on these new screens, which should be available by April 2, will be coming later this week.

For this pay period: Student timesheets are due in eTimesheets by Friday, April 3; supervisors must approve timesheets by Monday, April 6.

March 27: Important Updates on the A.C. Clark Library Building and Services

Dear students,

We realize many of you may be busy with getting ready for online classes on Monday, adjusting to a new work routine, or worrying about personal health, the health of loved ones, and people all across the world. But we’d like to take a minute of your day to let you that the Library will continue to provide research services and resources to help you finish the semester strong.

The library building will be closed for the rest of the semester, but Library faculty & staff have been working to ensure continuing access to most of our services and resources.

Research Assistance and General Information

BSU librarians are providing reference services through email, text, chat, and one-on-one consultations by appointment on Zoom.

Online Resources

Our collection of online resources continues to be accessible through our Online Resources page, and through Library OneSearch.

Computers & Printing

If you are looking for computer lab access, computers and printing are available in Decker Hall Room 108.  Access to the lab is limited to currently registered students, using key card access.  For assistance with computer and technology questions, please contact the IT Helpdesk (helpdesk@bemidjistate.edu, 218-755-3777).

Checking Out & Returning BSU Library Physical Books

Even though the library building is closed and we have great electronic resources, we realize some things are still only available in a physical format.  If the library has books, DVDs, CDs, etc. that you need, we’re providing access to physical materials through campus delivery/mail.  We are working on a plan for the eventual return of library material.

Please note: We have extended the due date of all currently loaned BSU Library materials to 5/12/20, and are working with our library partners to extend the due dates of all loaned interlibrary loan materials.

Interlibrary Loan

Students can continue using interlibrary loan (ILL) services. Please note that physical items requested through ILL may not be available and wait times for requested materials may be longer than usual. For the most current information on BSU interlibrary loan services during COVID-19, visit the interlibrary loan guide                                                                        

All of this information, including questions and answers, can be found on our Library Services and Resources during COVID-19guide, which is also linked on our website. We will continually update this page as information changes.

Our overall goal is to continue to provide access to resources and services for you to successfully complete this spring semester. If you have a concern or question about library resources and services, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Be well,

A.C. Clark Library faculty & staff

March 29: Emergency guidance from Office of Higher Education: face-to-face instruction suspended for two weeks

In new guidance issued tonight by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education, we have been advised that in-person instruction will not be allowed at Minnesota State system institutions for the duration of the Governor’s Stay Home Minnesota executive order. This is a change from guidance given earlier this week.

We will allow students to come to campus and pick up materials they will need for their off-site courses (course materials, kits, etc.).

We have been advised that this guidance does not prevent faculty research in a lab, as long as it is not part of any class or instructional activity, but that it does affect non-credit courses.

The Office of Higher Education will be issuing additional information on this guidance at some point on Monday, March 30.

This new guidance should not impact either Bemidji State University or Northwest Technical College, as we do not believe that any in-person instruction is being scheduled during this two-week period.

However, if any members of our faculty are planning in-person instructional activities between now and April 10, tonight’s new guidance means you will need to change these plans.

We will share any additional information about this new guidance after we hear from the Office of Higher Education at some point tomorrow.

March 30: Test Proctoring Services and Placement Testing (Accuplacer) Suspended at BSU

Two updates to Bemidji State University’s Test Proctoring Services and Placement Testing (Accuplacer)

Test Proctoring Services: In accordance with Governor Walz Stay Home Minnesota executive order and new guidance by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education, BSU WILL BE SUSPENDING ALL ON-SITE (IN-PERSON) TEST PROCTORING SERVICES for the duration of the Governor’s executive order. This means that students WILL NOT be able to receive in-person proctoring at Bemidji State University in Decker Hall 202, Student Success Center. Last Monday, March 23, a Fac/Staff message was received regarding online proctoring solutions, Respondus Monitor, attached. Please refer to Respondus Monitor online exam proctoring option Fac/Staff message for more information.

Placement Testing (Accuplacer): In accordance with guidance from the system office, ALL ONSITE AND ONLINE COURSE PLACEMENT TESTING HAS BEEN SUSPENDED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. For BSU this means we will not be administering the Accuplacer Placement Tests until we receive further information and guidance from the system office.

If you have any questions regarding this announcement, please direct your questions to advising@bemidjistate.edu or proctor@bemidjistate.edu and either Zachary Johnson or Karen Stish, Test Proctor Coordinator, will connect with you.


Contact
  • Zachary Johnson, director of the Advising Success Center; (218) 755-2226, zachary.johnson@bemidjistate.edu

March 27: Expectations for Campus Access During Stay Home, Minnesota Order

Dear Colleagues;

With Gov. Walz’s Stay Home Minnesota order taking effect tonight at 11:59 p.m., I wanted to provide some clarification for what this order means for building access at Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College.

We are aligning with the Minnesota State system and with the Governor’s orders to treat remote work, telework or other off-campus work as our default expectation. The Governor’s order is clear — “All workers who can work from home must do so.” We have already established remote work as our default at both of our campuses, and this order reinforces our need to continue this arrangement.

As you know, some of our employees must be on campus in order to do their work. For example, remote work isn’t possible for mailroom or physical plant employees, those who care for our remaining on-campus resident students, or for a very small group of our faculty.

To protect their health, safety, and wellbeing to the greatest extent possible, the rest of us should not be on campus.

We are complying with requests to stay home in our personal lives. It is my expectation that we also comply with our directive to stay home in our professional lives, as well.

Unless you have received direction from your supervisor that you are required to be on campus, and unless you have a scheduled shift, you should not be on either the BSU or NTC campuses until the Stay Home Minnesota order expires on April 10.

Mail Access
For the next two weeks, campus mail will be available in the mailroom. If you need to pick up your mail, contact Chris Haley at 755-3921 or Christopher.Haley@bemidjistate.edu; he will tell you if you have mail and, if you do, will deliver it to you outside of Deputy Hall.

Sincerely,

Faith C. Hensrud, Ed.D.
President
Bemidji State University & Northwest Technical College
1500 Birchmont Drive NE, #3
Bemidji, MN 56601
(218) 755-2011

March 26: Update from President Hensrud on Gov. Walz’s Stay Home Minnesota order

As promised late yesterday afternoon, I would like to provide you with some additional information about how yesterday’s Stay Home Minnesota order by Gov. Walz will impact us here at Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College. This impact will ultimately be minimal, given the steps we have already taken to shift instruction to alternate modes of delivery and reduce the number of people on our campuses.

Most of the information I will share in this update you likely have seen before. So I want to use this message to reinforce the seriousness of the Governor’s order and the absolute importance that we abide by his request and stay home to the greatest extent possible until April 10. This increased response is necessary to allow our health care facilities time to prepare for the number of Minnesotans who will become infected with COVID-19, particularly those who will require ICU care. It is of critical importance that our number of infected neighbors does not overwhelm our health care system’s ability to properly treat and care for them.

Current Conditions Remaining in Effect

With this order in place, it is helpful to clarify some current conditions that will remain in effect once classes resume on March 30. In general, while we will continue to limit public access to our campuses, we have been deemed an essential service and our operations will continue. All employees who are currently working remotely will continue to do so. We expect to have between 70-85 students in our residence halls, all of whom have been granted emergency exceptions to remain on campus. They will continue to receive services from campus dining and the Student Center for Health and Counseling at reduced levels or on shortened schedules. The campus will still have support and services from the mail room, facilities staff and Public Safety. Chancellor Malhotra reinforced last evening in a message to presidents that the Stay Home Minnesota order does not impact our ability to continue limited in-person instruction as long as we practice physical distancing and follow proper cleaning protocols. All construction projects will continue, as construction has also been included as an essential service to the state.

Student & Employee Technology Needs Beginning March 30

Many students and employees have questions regarding access to technology once courses resume — including computers, Internet access and specialized software needed for certain courses. Employees who have not already done so should reach out to their supervisors, and your supervisors will work with IT to get the equipment or software you need.

If you know of students who need support, encourage them to use the Student Technology Survey on our coronavirus website:
https://www.bemidjistate.edu/coronavirus/student-resources/student-it-survey/

IT already has received more than 170 submissions from this survey, so please continue encouraging your students to take advantage of this resource.

Thank you once again for all the work you have done over the last two weeks. Starting Monday, our students will need us more than ever — and I know our campuses are up to the challenge.

Our top priorities remain protecting the health, safety and wellbeing of our students and employees, and ensuring that our students complete their semesters. We are in this together.

March 25: President Hensrud Letter to Campus re: “Stay At Home” Order

Minnesota Gov. Walz has issued a Stay at Home order, effective Friday, March 27, at 11:59 p.m., to help the state in its battle against the COVID-19 pandemic. This order will remain in place for two weeks, until Friday, April 10, at 5 p.m.

You may be wondering how this order will affect us at Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College. The attached memo from Chancellor Devinder Malhotra indicates that the 37 Minnesota State colleges and universities have been granted an exception from this order, as we provide essential services for the people of Minnesota.

During this two-week Stay at Home order, we will continue to provide our instructional services beginning on Monday, March 30, via alternative delivery methods, as we have been planning. We also will continue to provide services and support for our students, also using alternative modes of delivery and following social distancing protocols for any necessary in-person interactions.

In addition, we will continue to limit public access to our campuses.

Review the chancellor’s attached memo for additional information. I will have more to share with all of you on this tomorrow, as I understand that this new order is sure to raise many questions about how we operate moving forward.

Sincerely,

Faith C. Hensrud
President of Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College

March 25: Student Resources for Tutoring

The following message was sent to all students at Northwest Technical College on March 25, 2020:

Dear NTC Students,

We hope you are all doing well in the midst of this chaos. We wanted to share some important information for you in regards to the Student Success Center and testing, tutoring, and your classes.

First and foremost, our goal at NTC during this time is twofold:

  1. Protect the health and safety of our students, staff, and communities
  2. Assist our students in completing their courses by the end of the semester

With that said, we will continue to provide tutoring services to all of our students via Zoom and Tutor.com this semester. Tutor.com is going to be an extremely valuable resource for our students. You can access Tutor.com by clicking on the Tutor.com tab when you login to D2L. All students have 15 hours of free use on Tutor.com, and if you maximize your 15 hours we can actually get you additional hours as well. Contact the Student Success Center if you need more hours.

-As a reminder, our statistics show that students who use tutoring score higher than students who do not. For example, last Spring semester, 75% of students who utilized tutoring received an A or B in their class, and 90% ended up passing their class. Tutoring works! Below is all of our NTC tutors and their contact information:

Most proctored testing will be done remotely using Zoom and on-campus classes will mostly run online. We have created tutorials regarding Zoom and the D2L Brightspace Pulse app to help you:

As always, your advisors, staff, faculty, and fellow students are a great resource and we certainly encourage teamwork and appreciate our students’ efforts to assist one another in learning, understanding, and completing these final 6 weeks of the semester. Check your email regularly for updates, and help share this information with your fellow classmates!

Other vital resources include:

Modified hours & service delivery for the Student Center for Health and Counseling

UPDATE — April 1, 2020

The Student Center for Health and Counseling provides telehealth and teletherapy services through HIPAA-compliant web conferencing software. In person services are available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays by appointment only.

Students are still be able to make appointments, and keep existing appointments. You can continue to schedule online for counseling and medical appointments, please note there is a new log in, you will need to use your StarID@go.minnstate.eduand your StarID password.

After you schedule your appointment online, your provider or the office manager will send you an invite via email with a link to log into your Zoom Healthcare Compliant meeting.

Schedule an Appointment


What if I’m sick?

If you are sick, please call the Bemidji State University Student Center for Health and Counseling nurse hotline at 218-755-2777 Monday through Friday 9 a.m.–4 p.m.  A nurse will return your call as soon as possible and consult with a medical provider when as needed. Our staff are working remotely on days the clinic is not physically open and will remain available for your needs via alternative methods.

  • For after-hours care, please call Sanford Health Bemidji Main Clinic at 218-333-5000 or 800- 821-5167

Counseling

All counseling services will move to remote delivery effective March 23, 2020. Students will continue to schedule online or by calling the clinic at 218-755-2053 and your counselor will reach out to you to confirm whether your appointment will be conducted via telephone or video web conferencing.

If you, or someone you know, is considering suicide, there are people ready to help.

For immediate help please dial 9-11.

Crisis Hotlines

Crisis Text Line — Text “MN” to 741741
Services also available through CrisisTextLine.org and Facebook Messenger

Local Counseling Crisis Line — 1-800-422-0045
Sanford Bemidji Hospital — 218-751-5430
Emergency Room — 218-333-5595
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline — 1-800-273-TALK
National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255


Managing Stress & Distress

Managing Distress Related to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)


Recent news reports about the novel coronavirus, travel restrictions, and concerns for our own and our loved ones’ health may contribute to increased mental and emotional health distress. Common reactions to distressing events and uncertainty may include: increased anxiety, worry, and fear; feelings of being overwhelmed; sadness, hopelessness, and/or dread about the future; inability to concentrate or focus; significant changes in sleep, appetite and/or self-care; social isolation or withdrawal; thoughts about death, dying and/or suicide; unhealthy coping behaviors (increased substance abuse, impulsiveness, self-injury, etc.).

Tips for Managing Distress
  • Acknowledge your reactions to this situation: Allow yourself time to reflect on what you are feeling and how you may be reacting to or coping with these feelings.
  • Take care of your body: Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate.  Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs.
  • Take breaks: Make time to unwind.  Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
  • Connect with others: Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media.  Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
  • Seek accurate information from credible sources: The Center for Disease Control and Prevention and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration are good resources. You may also find useful information from local or state public health agencies. Limit exposure to social media and reports that sensationalize the facts.
  • Follow protection and prevention tips provided by qualified medical professionals, including Student Health and Counseling Services.
  • Seek out and utilize campus resources.

Thank your patience and understanding during this difficult time.  Please direct feedback and concerns to me directly by calling 218-755-3936 or emailing yvette.anderson@bemdijistate.edu

SPSS Program Free Install Until June 30, 2020

These links will allow the download of an SPSS program installer and a text file with a license authorization code.

  • SPSS 26 for Windows
  • SPSS 26 for Mac
  • The students will need to login to OneDrive using their StarID@go.minnstate.edu credentials, if they aren’t already logged in.
  • Once logged in, the installer and text file can be selected and downloaded.
  • The license authorization code is good through June 30, 2020.

An alternative is to download a free trial (ex. June 15, 2020) of SPSS directly from IBM. https://www.ibm.com/analytics/academic-statistical-software

This requires students to create a free account for the trial.