From Vice President for Student Affairs Frank Shushok Jr.
In an Aug. 23 message sent to students, Shushok listed the following requirements to assist with decision-making.
- There should not be ANY non-university sanctioned/monitored gatherings, on or off campus, larger than 15 people.
- Face masks/coverings should be worn at all social gatherings, with 6-foot physical distancing. Individuals should remove themselves from situations where this is not possible.
- Independent outdoor exercise is the only exception to the obligation of the face covering requirement.
Community Wellness Commitment
Be committed. Be well.
Instruction began on Monday, Aug. 24, and will conclude on Dec. 16, as previously scheduled. Instruction will is a hybrid of in-person and online courses. The eight instructional days after Thanksgiving break and final exams will be conducted entirely online, and residence hall occupancy will conclude at the start of Thanksgiving break.
Holidays and breaks prior to Thanksgiving will be observed, but nonessential travel away from campus is discouraged. Those who travel away from Blacksburg at any time before Thanksgiving break may be subject to quarantine upon return, depending on the location of travel and potential exposure to the coronavirus.
As the summer and fall seasons progress, we will have increased clarity on the health precautions that will be necessary for the spring 2021 semester.
Tuition and Financial Support
Current tuition charges reflect the cost to deliver instruction regardless of modality (in-person, virtual, or a combination). The most significant costs of instruction are the salaries and benefits of faculty and staff, who have been working through the spring and into the fall to deliver the highest-quality educational experience possible with the academic rigor expected at Virginia Tech. The campus disruption and the move to deliver classes online have actually led to increased costs in many parts of the university. Though many personnel and technology costs have increased, the university’s Board of Visitors recently approved both a tuition freeze and an increase in student financial aid to help students and their families during this unprecedented time.
Virginia Tech seeks to ensure a holistic, vibrant student experience that meets student needs and expectations and is sensitive to the overall cost of education. Comprehensive fees are a mandatory cost of attendance for students matriculating to the Blacksburg campus that support the operation of self-supporting (auxiliary enterprise) units that provide services for the benefit of all students. For students enrolled less than full-time, the comprehensive fee is pro-rated. In recognition of students living and studying away from the Blacksburg campus, comprehensive fees may be reduced by $300 per semester for full-time students enrolled in an all-virtual schedule and who certify that they will reside more than 50 miles from the Blacksburg campus for the entire semester. More information and an application form can be found here.
For a list and description of fees, visit the Bursar website. The site outlines the mandatory fees, comprehensive fee components, supplemental program fees specific to individual colleges, and more. Mandatory fees cover the estimated cost of delivering a bundled set of services. These bundled services are designed as part of the total cost of attendance, without regard to individual usage of each service, to create the maximum community benefit at the lowest cost.
Student Emergency Fund
Through generous donations provided by many caring Hokies, the Dean of Students Office has been entrusted to manage a fund for students who find themselves in immediate financial need, due to no fault of their own. This means that any student currently enrolled at Virginia Tech can apply for a one-time grant to help during this trying time.
The process for applying is simple. Complete the contact form, and a representative from the Dean of Students Office will be in contact with you.
CARES Act Funding and Commercial Loan Relief
Virginia Tech is receiving $9.7 million in CARES Act funding. The university will distribute the funds to both undergraduate and graduate students through a process of formula-driven distributions and expanded individual emergency support. In an effort to get relief into the hands of students and families as soon as possible, Virginia Tech will distribute the majority of the student aid support based on a formula. The formula will consider factors that include Pell grant eligibility and prior borrowing from direct subsidized or alternative loan programs. Both undergraduate and graduate students with needs, and faculty and staff who learn of students with COVID-19 related emergency financial needs, should contact the Dean of Students Office at 540-231-3787 or email@example.com.
The Commonwealth of Virginia has announced an initiative, in partnership with several other states, to offer payment relief options for Virginians with commercially owned Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) loans, Perkins loans, or privately held student loans.
Private student loan servicers providing relief include:
- Aspire Resources Inc.
- College Ave Student Loan Servicing LLC
- Earnest Operations LLC
- Edfinancial Services LLC
- Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corp.
- Lendkey Technologies Inc.
- Higher Education Loan Authority of the State of Missouri (MOHELA)
- Nelnet Inc.
- SoFi Lending Corp.
- Tuition Options LLC
- United Guaranty Services Inc.
- Upstart Network Inc.
- Utah Higher Education Assistance Authority (UHEAA)
- Vermont Student Assistance Corp. (VSAC)
Borrowers with private student loans can check their monthly billing statements for contact information.
Borrowers can visit the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Federal Student Aid or call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-433-3243 or 1-800-730-8913 (TDD) to determine the types of federal loans they have and who their servicers are.
Student employees are an important part of Virginia Tech’s workforce, and students will continue to be hired into roles such as those in dining services and other areas as the need for student workers arises during the fall 2020 semester. We do anticipate that there will be fewer overall students jobs given the operational changes at the university in response to COVID-19.
Remote Opportunities for Students
We understand that some members of our community are not comfortable engaging in in-person instruction this fall due to underlying medical conditions or a concern over transmission to friends or family members. To the extent possible, faculty, academic department heads and advisors will continue to work with students to maximize learning opportunities in a virtual format.
Undergraduate students who are concerned about academic issues (missing class, missing assignments, courses) can reach out to their academic advisor, Academic Advising Office, Dean of Students Office, or the undergraduate associate dean for their college:
- College of Architecture and Urban Studies: Kathryn Albright, firstname.lastname@example.org
- College of Agriculture and Life Sciences: Susan Sumner, email@example.com
- Pamplin College of Business: Lara Khansa, firstname.lastname@example.org
- College of Engineering: Keith Thompson, email@example.com
- College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences: Dan Thorp, firstname.lastname@example.org
- College of Natural Resources and Environment: Keith Goyne, email@example.com
- College of Science: Robin Panneton, firstname.lastname@example.org
Graduate students can contact their advisor, their graduate program director, and/or the Graduate School.
The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning offers tips for students working in an online environment. The Student Success Center (SSC) will also be available to support your academic progress by offering its services, including tutoring, through an online format. A complete list of academic excellence programs can be found on their website. To request tutoring, please email email@example.com. All other requests should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We know that our international students have many more complex situations and questions, and we’ve provided more in-depth information for both undergraduate and graduate international students on the Cranwell International Center website.
Regarding internet access away from campus, see the Home Internet Tips page. To optimize what you can do with a lower-speed internet connection, check out steps 1-4. If you have no internet access at home, steps 2 and 5 offer tips on contacting internet providers and finding community WiFi resources, respectively. Many internet service providers are offering low cost or free options for students who need to complete courses online, so be sure you let them know you are a Virginia Tech student.
We will take a phased approach this fall, placing emphasis on in-person instruction that enhances experiential learning. In-person modes of instruction will be prioritized for courses, labs, studios, and performances that cannot be offered remotely at comparable quality.
Decisions on modes of instruction have been made and students are encouraged to check their schedules in HokieSPA so they can plan accordingly. Students should also monitor their schedules for the possibility of changes as faculty work to finalize plans and delivery modes for their fall courses. This VT News article provides further information.
Due to the limited capacity of most instructional spaces that have been modified to accommodate physical distancing, many lectures and discussion sections will be delivered online, preferably synchronously to enable real-time interactions between students and instructors. Depending on the availability of suitably-sized instructional spaces, lectures and discussion sections may also be presented in-person and synchronously transmitted to other spaces, as long as physical distancing and other public health requirements are met in all locations.
Smaller lectures, sections, and laboratories will be offered in person, providing that the spaces allow for proper distancing.
Our goal is to provide an in-person campus experience to the greatest extent possible while taking measures to minimize the health and safety risks for our campus community. Should public health guidelines relax during the fall semester, in-person teaching and learning will be expanded.
As students begin the fall semester, they will know their course delivery mode and the expectations from the beginning of the term. Thus, we don’t anticipate any extension of the credit/non-credit options offered during the spring.
There will not be an alternative grading option for the fall semester. Students can consult with the Dean of Students Office about pursuing academic relief if they’ve been met with unforeseeable circumstances that would have impacted their academic success for the semester.
Students will also want to be aware of the academic calendar for the term, which includes the last day to switch Pass/Fail, resign without grade penalty, or the last day to use a “W”.
Oct. 5: Last day for students to web drop an individual fall class without grade penalty.
Oct. 5: Last day to change grade option from A-F to P/F by 5 p.m. Visit the University Registrar in 250 Student Services Building to process a grade change option.
Professional students at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine and the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine will continue to return to clinics and in-person instruction in a phased approach during the fall.
Third- and fourth-year students at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine returned to clinical rotations on Monday, July 6. The second-year class will continue the next block of study virtually with plans to start in-person learning on Monday, Aug. 31. The new first-year class is scheduled to begin orientation Monday, July 27. Orientation will be a blend of virtual and in-person experiences. Their first block of study will begin primarily in-person on Monday, Aug. 3.
DVM students at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine began a phased return to clinics this summer, starting on June 22. The fall semester for DVM students in years 1-3 will begin on Monday, Aug. 10, and all courses will be completed by Thanksgiving (Nov. 25). Orientation for the DVM Class of 2024 will be held virtually, with workshops scheduled throughout July and August. The traditional White Coat Ceremony has been postponed, and will be scheduled for a later date.
Lab spaces will be arranged with proper physical distancing and safety measures. For guidance on scaling laboratory spaces and operations, the use of face coverings in research and laboratory settings, and other useful information, see Environmental Health & Safety COVID-19 FAQs.
Virginia Tech has canceled all fall 2020 study abroad programs. A full set of FAQs about the programs is available on the Global Education Office website.
Study Spaces, Gathering Areas, Wi-Fi
If your in-person class ends at 9 a.m. and your next online class starts right away, what do you do?
This map will direct you to outdoor study and gathering spaces across campus.
This map will direct you to indoor study spaces across campus.
Both of these maps are available in the Hokie Ready app by clicking on the Maps icon.
Outdoors: These six sites - Dietrick Plaza, Peddrew-Yates Plaza, Owens Plaza, Lavery Hall Plaza (near Turner Place), Burchard Plaza, and Derring Hall overhang - are all great places to study and gather outdoors. All of these locations have outdoor furniture, lighting, and coverage from the elements. Burchard Plaza, Dietrick Plaza, and the Derring Hall overhang have new power sources to charge your devices.
Wi-Fi: Alongside the existing outdoor Wi-Fi areas, the university is upgrading outdoor Wi-Fi at several locations, including Burchard Hall plaza, Hahn Garden area, Owens Hall courtyard, and the Lavery Hall patio near Turner Place. The map referenced above shows the approximate range at each of the existing and new locations.
Indoors: The rooms listed below are reserved for students who need to study or attend an online course - especially for those who might not be able to get back to their apartment in the time between an in-person and online course. While the rooms will have capacity limits, there are nearly 600 seats available across the 53 rooms, which are dedicated to this academic use.
Indoor Study Spaces Hours (Subject to Change)
Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
- McBryde Hall: 207, 212, 216, 219, 226, 230, 233, 302, 316, 328, 332
- Pamplin Hall: 1001, 1002, 1003, 1004, 1008, 2001, 2002, 2028, 2030, 3001, 3004, 3010, 3028
Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.
- Architecture Annex: 7
- Davidson Hall: 201, 301
- Derring Hall: 1076, 1084, 3092
- Goodwin Hall: 145, 155
- Hutcheson Hall: 209
- Lavery Hall: 335
- Major Williams Hall: 434, 532
- Randolph Hall: 110, 116, 121, 206, 206A, 211, 222, 316
- Robeson Hall: 101, 116, 122
- Saunders Hall: 408
- Seitz Hall: 207
- Torgersen Bridge
- Wallace Hall: 244
- Whittemore Hall: 257, 277
- Williams Hall: 209
Squires Student Center: Monday-Friday: 7 a.m. - 10 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday: 10 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Johnston Student Center: Monday-Thursday: 7 a.m. - 7 p.m; Friday: 7 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday: closed
Graduate Life Center: Monday-Friday: 7:30 a.m. - 10 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday: Closed, although accessible 24/7 to all graduate students through swipe access
Beginning Monday, Aug. 17, the University Libraries began providing in-person services and opened Newman Library in accordance with the university's health and safety guidelines. Students will be able to check seat availability and reserve a study spot through the University Libraries' online reservation system before coming to the library. Check out the library's Ready page for more information.
Hygiene best practices
When returning to campus, all members of the university should follow these public health measures to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, flu, and other viruses.
Face coverings and masks
Everyone on our campuses (students, faculty, staff, visitors, and others) is required to properly wear a face covering or mask in the following indoor and outdoor settings. Make sure it fully covers the mouth and nose at all times.
- Wear a face covering or mask unless working alone in a workspace with a closed door or a residence hall room with the door closed. If working or studying in an open-air cubicle, wear a face covering.
- The exception would be for those with a medical condition that prevents them from wearing a face covering.
- In these instances, these individuals should wear a face shield.
- Employees who are unable to wear a face covering or face shield should be referred to the university’s ADA and Accessibility Services office.
- Both face shields and face coverings with clear space over the mouth are available for order by colleges and departments through Virginia Tech Procurement).
- Face shields or face coverings with clear spaces should be used in:
- Speaking with those who are hard of hearing.
- Lecturing in situations where wearing a mask would make them inaudible.
- The exception would be for those with a medical condition that prevents them from wearing a face covering.
Wear a face covering or mask at all times. Even if you’re momentarily alone, you can expect that you will encounter someone. The only instance in which you can exercise without a face covering is if you are alone, but you need to be prepared to put one on if you encounter someone. Exceptions and expectations relating to chronic health conditions are still applicable. However, even under these outdoor conditions, wearing a face covering will set a good example to the community at large.
We trust and expect that members of our Virginia Tech community will each make a personal commitment to wear a face covering or mask, and abide by all public health guidelines, in order to lower the health risks for our community.
Students, employees, and visitors are encouraged to obtain their own face coverings before returning to campus. Additionally, in high-traffic areas on campus, one-time-use face coverings will be available, as supplies allow.
Disposable surgical masks are available at four pickup points across the Blacksburg campus. All members of the university community who forget or lose a mask, or feel like they need a replacement for the day, can pick one up at:
- Student Services Building, at the Hokie Passport Services lobby area
- Squires Student Center, at the welcome desk
- Virginia Tech Police Department, at the security center through the double doors; officers will also maintain extra mask supplies within their cruisers
- North End Center, at the lobby outside the Procurement suite
Additionally, the EHS frequently-asked questions page shares further information on respirators, the process for departments ordering PPE, workplace accommodations and medical exemptions, and more.
Students must wear a face covering or mask in a variety of indoor and outdoor settings, along with 6-foot physical distancing. Individuals should remove themselves from situations where this is not possible. Independent outdoor exercise is the only exception to the obligation of the face covering requirement.
On-campus residential students received a kit (in their room upon arrival) that contains two cloth reusable face coverings and other supplies.
When in residence hall common spaces, such as hallways, study lounges, and stairwells, students should wear a face covering at all times. Face coverings should also be worn when in close proximity (less than 6 feet) with others. While in a residence hall room alone or with a roommate, students are not required to wear a face covering. If anyone beyond the primary occupants are in the room, face coverings are required.
Students with specific PPE needs or questions may reach out to Hokie Wellness by emailing email@example.com or calling (540) 231-2233.
Face coverings/masks are to be worn at all times when on campus. Exceptions include circumstances when an employee is working alone in a workspace with a closed door and if an employee is continually distanced from anyone else outdoors, such as when exercising outdoors. However, even under these outdoor conditions, wearing a face covering will set a good example to the community at large. Exceptions and expectations relating to chronic health conditions are still applicable.
We encourage supervisors to connect with their employees, as needed, to discuss individual concerns or questions. For the health and safety of the community, those who do not wear face coverings may face disciplinary action.
The university will provide face shields for instructors to wear, given that face coverings could make the instructors inaudible to students.
With regard to face coverings, we encourage instructors to connect with their students, as needed, to discuss individual circumstances. For the health and safety of the community, those who do not wear face coverings may face disciplinary action.
Additionally, the provost’s office has outlined specific guidelines for classroom conduct, including the use of face coverings.
Employees must wear a face covering or mask in a variety of indoor and outdoor settings. For guidance on scaling laboratory operations, the use of face coverings in research and laboratory settings, and other useful information, see the Environmental Health & Safety COVID-19 FAQs.
Departments may order masks, face coverings, and other supplies through Virginia Tech's Procurement team by completing PPE/Critical Supplies Planning Survey. Procurement is distributing PPE ordered through them using a centralized process. Read this campus notice for more information.
In conjunction with wearing a face covering and practicing good personal hygiene, physical distancing is an important component in helping to prevent the spread of coronavirus. When in doubt, strive to stay 6 feet away from others in both indoor and outdoor settings. Virginia Tech will also play a role in helping to foster physical distancing in such ways as rearranging classroom furniture, altering traffic flow in and out of buildings, installing distancing floor decals, and much more.
The governor’s continued restrictions on gathering sizes reflect the seriousness with which we need to adhere to public health guidelines and protect those around us, particularly the most vulnerable. Should the Dean of Students Office or the Blacksburg Police Department need to respond to concerns about noise violations or disruptive parties, a referral will be made to the Student Conduct office for their follow-up. We are asking students to take personal responsibility in helping to keep the public safe. In the spring semester, students responded accordingly, and we expect that they will do the same in the fall semester.
What you can do to stop the spread of viruses like coronavirus and the flu:
- Cover your mouth when you cough and sneeze.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Wash your hands often and for 20 seconds at a time.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
- Stay home if you are sick.
Cleaning and disinfecting
Virginia Tech is committed to maintaining the highest standards of cleanliness across all university facilities. Click here to learn about enhanced on-campus cleaning and disinfecting procedures, the installation of new hand-sanitizer stations, and other useful information. Follow these helpful CDC guidelines for tips on cleaning and disinfecting personal living and office spaces.
Don’t forget about the flu
Flu season will begin ramping up in early fall. Find the latest resources around flu prevention at Virginia Tech.
In order to provide an on-campus living experience that promotes public health safety, Housing and Residence Life (HRL) will limit the number of students living on campus to no more than two people per room and require all on-campus students to sign a Health and Wellbeing Commitment.
Isolation and Quarantine
Learn more about the isolation and quarantine protocol here.
Students who test positive for COVID-19 after the initial move-in testing will be asked to return to their permanent residence unless there is an extenuating circumstance for them to relocate to an isolation space in one of the residence halls for the duration of their isolation time. If in isolation, they will submit their daily food selections to Dining Services through an online form along with delivery instructions and be able to use their dining plans to pay for the meals. Students will also be provided with nonperishable snack items in their isolation kit. Students will be contacted by Schiffert Health Center daily and may contact the Dean of Students Office for assistance with any academic concerns.
Students who may be at-risk for COVID-19 may be asked to self-quarantine. Depending on the level of risk for COVID-19, Schiffert will provide instruction on how to implement quarantine behaviors.
Common Space and Programming
Furniture in residence hall common spaces will be configured to ensure appropriate physical distancing, and students will be expected to follow maximum occupancy guidelines.
Housing and Residence Life, along with other Student Affairs departments, will offer virtual and adjusted in-person programs for students living on campus.
We are excited to welcome students back into our facilities in the fall in a safe and healthy manner. We have implemented a number of safety measures to keep both students and staff safe. While we know this will create a different dining experience for our customers, we are committed to public health safety for the Virginia Tech community.
Get a glimpse at how using our dining centers will look this fall.
We have implemented the following measures to increase public health safety while continuing to serve students:
- Installation of Plexiglas dividers to separate customers and staff.
- Mandatory face coverings and gloves for all staff, with handwashing every 30 minutes.
- Maintaining 100 percent cashless operations, with installation of touchless payment and additional Grubhub self-ordering and payment kiosks.
- Reduction of seating in all dining facilities to align with the most current guidelines.
- Removal of all self-serve areas to include salad bars and condiment stations. Beverage dispensing machines will be available for use with the purchase of a drink cup. Refillable bottles will not be permitted in the dining centers.
- Guidance for physical distancing in all lines and spaces.
- Limited vendor access to building interiors.
- Installation of hand-sanitizer dispensers throughout all dining facilities at register stands and entry points.
- Regular cleaning of high-touch areas, including tables and chairs after each seating.
- Temporary suspension of debit/credit card transactions at the start of the semester.
For those that do not have a dining plan, food trucks will be available on campus for students to use credit/debit or cash to purchase food. The coffee vendor in Newman Library will be open.
We will continue to update our hours and services.
Unfortunately, we are not able to accommodate both on-campus and off-campus students while maintaining physical distancing and public safety guidelines for students and our staff. Therefore, we are not offering the sale of new dining plans to off-campus students for the fall semester under the current regulations. Fall 2020 dining plans for off-campus students have been canceled.
If an off-campus student is interested in the purchase of an off-campus dining plan, they can add themselves to the Dining Plan Waitlist in the Dining Plans section of StarRez. Dining will contact students on the waitlist if they are able to offer an off-campus dining plan option in the future.
If you rolled over a dining plan to fall 2020, you will be able to use your remaining Flex Dollars, Commuter Cash, Flex additions, and Dining Dollars at available dining facilities. You will not be able to add any additional money to your account, however. Any remaining balances must be used during the fall 2020 semester. Balances can be located at www.hokiepassport.vt.edu.
Athletics and Rec Sports
Virginia Tech Athletics continues to work with the NCAA and the ACC to develop potential scenarios related to fall competitions. Find the latest updates at hokiesports.com. Read our football Q&A here.
In a Sept. 1 story, Virginia Tech and the Town of Blacksburg outlined plans to prohibit tailgating in university and town parking lots and public spaces, for football games and all other fall sporting events.
McComas Hall and the Rec Sports Field House will be open for use with limited occupancy throughout the day to adhere to occupancy and physical distancing guidelines. Outdoor recreation spaces, such as the lower SRA turf fields, fitness park, tennis courts, Challenge Course, and golf course, will be open for a combination of walk-up open recreation and scheduled programs. Intramural Sports will offer dual/individual activities, self-report leagues, and skill-based sport competitions. Venture Out will deliver programming through a combination of in-person and virtual offerings, including gear rental and adventure trips.
Recreational Sports’ group exercise programs will return this fall with new membership options that provide in-person and virtual classes. In-person group exercise classes adhering to physical distancing guidelines (max of 15 participants/class) will be held each week and will be offered Monday-Sunday with advance registration. Recreational Sports will also offer a virtual membership option that gives members access to over 20 virtual classes each week. For more information on group classes, please visit recsports.vt.edu/groupexmembership.
Events And Programs
Students: No event, on campus or off campus, can have more than 15 people attending, unless the event is sanctioned or monitored by Virginia Tech. This limit is primarily designed to address high-risk social gatherings, such as parties, where behavior can jeopardize the health and well-being of the community. The limit isn’t meant to prevent someone from attending a religious service, or meeting a work obligation, or joining others to peacefully protest, or going to the grocery store. The goal is to encourage all members of the campus community to personally prioritize the practice of health guidelines. Wear a face covering and stay at least 6 feet apart – at all events, regardless of size or type. And if you go with a group of people to an event or location, don’t exceed 15 people as you travel, and don’t merge your group into a larger group when you get there.
Employees: No unapproved, work-related gathering involving more than 15 people is permitted. When a task cannot be accomplished without more than 15 people gathering, a plan must be developed to mitigate health safety risk and the plan must be approved by the unit leader.
Our planning assumes gathering limits will be in effect through the fall semester. For up-to-date information on both live and virtual events, go to:
- Moss Arts Center
- Perspective Gallery
- School of Performing Arts
- School of Visual Arts
- Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology
- Creative Writing Program
- Virginia Tech Union
- Black Student Alliance
The commencement celebration for May 2020 graduates, initially scheduled for Sept. 26, cannot take place, given the changes to the football schedule and the additional changes that are possible. Guidelines on in-person gatherings also continue to evolve, including local restrictions on the number of people who can gather together.
Alumni Relations staff members are working with Class of 2020 leaders to find a new way to recognize and celebrate the class. We will communicate in greater detail as soon as we can, by email and online.
For questions or more information contact the Office of Special Events at SpecialEventsOffice@vt.edu or 540-231-5027.
Commencement activities for December 2020 graduates will be announced at a later date.
Graduate students often have dual roles – as students and as graduate assistants, graduate teaching assistants, and graduate research assistants – and they contribute to the teaching and learning, research and discovery, and service and engagement missions of the university across its colleges and campuses. The university recognizes and supports your belief that progress toward your degree is important and the Graduate School will work with you toward that end.
During the fall 2020 semester, your rights and choices will be respected regarding courses and assistantships. Students can find links to key webpages students use most often on our Current Students page. Visit the Graduate School’s Ready Information page and the Guidelines for Graduate Education during COVID-19 for the latest information. Also visit the guidelines articulated in the Expectations for Graduate Study document available on the Graduate School website.
Graduate students who are concerned about academic issues (missing class, missing assignments, courses) can contact their advisor, their graduate program director, and/or the Graduate School.
Graduate students who hold assistantship appointments (GTAs, GRAs, and GAs) should discuss with their supervisor available options for carrying out their duties, including working remotely. Supervisors are asked to be understanding and as accommodating as reasonable. Graduate program directors are available to assist in specific situations, following the guidance from the Graduate School. The Graduate School Ombudsperson’s Office also is available for consultation as desired. Graduate assistants with an underlying medical condition and/or a disability that places them at a higher risk should contact ADA and Accessibility Services.
Mental Health And Well-Being
Whether we’re on campus or still at home, our mental health remains an important part of staying healthy. Hokie Wellness continues to maintain virtual offerings that all students, faculty, and staff can access.
Your mental health and well-being is our top priority, and we have a variety of resources available to you:
Parking and Transportation
Find the latest information about parking and transportation, including parking on the Blacksburg campus, alternative transportation, and more.
Beginning Aug. 3, all university community members must display a permit or pay a daily fee to park on the Blacksburg campus. Learn more about all of your parking options. Student commuter parking permits went on sale Aug. 7; all other student parking permits went on sale Aug. 10. The 2019-20 permits will expire Aug. 31.
The Blacksburg Transit (BT) website also highlights the latest schedule updates.
All Campus Connect trips have been canceled for the foreseeable future. Please email NCRShuttle@vt.edu with any questions.
E-scooter service on the Virginia Tech campus has been suspended.
Facilities And Enhanced Cleaning
Virginia Tech is committed to maintaining the highest standards of cleanliness across all campus facilities. Learn about enhanced cleaning procedures, installation of new hand-sanitizer stations, and much more.
Virginia Tech is committed to maintaining the highest standards of cleanliness across all of its campus facilities. In conjunction with physical distancing and personal hygiene strategies, to minimize spread and health risks for the most vulnerable populations, the university is employing a consistent, thorough, and deliberate cleaning process.
Student Travel Guidelines
Students have been advised not to travel during the fall semester, but to wait until on-campus instruction ends in November. Student travel for academic and co-curricular purposes is discouraged until further notice due to public health guidance related to COVID-19 transmission and travel.
Departments and programs should sponsor travel only if the experience’s outcomes are critical to course learning goals and cannot be achieved virtually or through an alternative on-campus experience. This guidance applies to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students.
Departments and programs organizing student travel for off-campus academic experiences are expected to follow the university’s health and safety guidelines (physical distancing, face coverings, transportation, post-travel isolation, etc.) including while traveling to and from the off-campus locations. Organizers must ensure students who are not able to participate in such travel receive alternative opportunities for the experience to ensure equity and inclusion.
University-sponsored student travel should occur only if the travel can be conducted in full compliance with public health guidance issued by Virginia Tech, the Virginia Department of Health, and, if applicable, the destination at the time of travel. It is the responsibility of the faculty or staff member organizing the trip (instructor, registered student organization advisor, etc.) to ensure that the student travel is fully compliant. The faculty or staff member organizing the trip should review protocols for health and safety at the off-campus site to ensure compliance with all state and university health and safety protocols.
Student travel for academic programs can be cancelled without notice at any time, even if previously approved, at the university’s discretion in the interest of health and safety.
This guidance does not apply to student travel to Virginia Tech facilities outside Blacksburg, such as the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC.
Student Affairs is following the guideline that all student travel is discouraged. Below are some specific guidelines as examples or exceptions that may be made:
- Limited local travel (day trips) for student groups (Living-Learning Communities, student organizations), Student Affairs-sponsored trips (i.e., Venture Out programs) may happen but must follow health and safety guidelines.
- Travel is not allowed for student organizations, except in the instances listed above. The Student Budget Board will not fund travel. If student organizations have questions, they should connect with their advisor or The Source (firstname.lastname@example.org). Groups affiliated with Fraternity and Sorority Life need to contact their FSL chapter coach in advance if they want to engage in travel associated with regional/national activities and programs.
- Travel for service or volunteer programs, such as those organized by VT-Engage, will not take place during the fall semester. This is for local, domestic, and abroad trips. Further, VT Engage will follow the recommendations from the Global Travel Oversight Committee regarding abroad travel.
- Rec Sports has told all club teams that they are not allowed to travel or host any competitions or clinics. All other aspects of student travel (regional intramural tournaments, fitness expo, fitness certifications, etc.) are also following these same guidelines.
A student’s failure to follow Virginia and university guidelines related to health precautions may violate relevant policies in the Student Code of Conduct. The Student Conduct’s Education and Enforcement Strategies for Addressing Student Behavior On Campus web page outlines how the university will address COVID-19-related problems.
Please also note that the Town of Blacksburg has passed an emergency ordinance concerning gathering sizes and face coverings.
How to share concerns:
- Faculty, staff, and other students must be willing to challenge students who do not uphold standards and, when possible, to engage in dialogue about the issue.
- Students should speak with their professor or R.A. to share their concerns.
- Incidents where it is believed individuals are violating public health guidelines to the Dean of Students Office can be reported by filling out this form.