Northwestern moves to ‘essential’ staff, faculty and students only on campus


Daily file photo by Daniel Tian

Graduate Student Commons. TGS coalition members requested support and institutional equity for marginalized students at a Wednesday town hall.

Marissa Martinez, Editor in Chief

After March 20 at 5 p.m., only essential faculty, staff and students are physically allowed on site at Northwestern until April 3, according to a Thursday email from University administrators. Within this group, if anyone experiences symptoms of COVID-19, also known as the novel coronavirus, they have been asked to not come to campus.

This shift does not affect undergraduate students currently living on campus, but applies to graduate students, postdocs, staff and faculty, according to University spokesperson Jon Yates.

In a Friday email, President Morton Schapiro added that those who choose to leave campus will be able to do so because roads and highways remain open at this time. Students who have been granted permission to stay will retain access to housing, dining and emergency services. Anyone who wants to access a campus building will require an ID at all times of day.

As of Friday afternoon, there have been six confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Northwestern’s campus, including four people associated with the Kellogg School of Management’s Global Hub.

Administrative functions like Facilities, Information Technology, Safety and Security, Human Resources and Financial Operations will maintain certain staff on site to deliver support for campus, the Thursday email read. Other staff members that are considered essential to be onsite have been identified by deans and vice presidents. A full list can be found here.

In addition, nonessential research has been suspended, except for COVID-19 research that could mitigate the disease’s spread, critical infrastructure procedures, time- and data-conscious activities and critical medical research. Animal and human research has also been reduced. Those participating in essential activities have been instructed to practice social distancing and other proper safety protocols.

Individuals who have been deemed not essential to be onsite are to remain off campus until the extended Spring Break ends April 4. According to the email, Human Resources has announced a special curriculum for remote learning for those not required to be onsite. All faculty and staff, graduate students and postdocs will be paid as they normally would during this time.

“It is imperative that we prepare to resume classes in two weeks, and our faculty and staff will be instrumental in making this happen,” the Thursday email read.

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