Coronavirus Updates - All events on Post through May 14 are cancelled, and Post is closed to the general public. More

For Cadets

Information current as of March 29, 2020

  • All classes will move to online instruction beginning March 25, 2020, and will continue through the end of the semester.
  • Certain courses are not conducive to an online medium of instruction. Instructors for these courses will contact cadets on an individual basis to provide instruction details.
  • Modifications to requirements for Satisfactory Academic Progress are possible, but not guaranteed at the federal level. If they are implemented, they may help mitigate any effects from courses that, due to circumstances, result in an incomplete.
  • Cadets must virtually attend all classes. For those class sessions that are taught synchronously (live), attendance is mandatory. For those class sessions taught asynchronously, cadets are expected to review the material in the timeframe allotted by the instructor.
  • Cadets participating in online instruction who will be visible to others through virtual means will adhere to summer school dress and appearance standards.
  • Cadets who are currently utilizing academic accommodations may contact the Office of Disability Services at 540-464-7667 to discuss any necessary adjustments that may be required.
  • VMI academic support centers – the VMI Library, Math Resource Center, Miller Academic Center, Writing Center, and Career Services – will be available virtually to cadets.
  • The same academic integrity rules and expectations will apply to the online learning environment. The VMI Honor Code is in effect.
  • Cadets are expected to participate in their courses from an off-Post location. Cadets should not report to Post until further notice.
  • Cadets who require access to Post to gather personal items may contact Lt. Col. Faust at faustkl@vmi.edu.
  • Cadets with a legitimate need to return to Post and reside in barracks may request to return to the Institute prior to the start of online classes on March 25. Those who are approved to do so will be on an approved roster and will reside in barracks. Return times designated by the commandant’s office Sunday, March 22, will be from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. Cadets who believe they have a legitimate need, must fill out a request form and email it to Col. Faust no later than 7 a.m. on Friday, March 20. Legitimate needs may include:
    • Technical or internet access issues that prevent participation in online courses;
    • Extenuating family circumstances (explanation required);
    • Cadets whose family resides overseas;
    • Cadets who can demonstrate they have no home or other housing options.
  • Cadets who are not approved to reside in barracks should not arrive on Post and expect access to barracks or any other Post building. Please follow the procedure set forth for applying to live in barracks or for retrieving personal belongings.
  • Cadets who are approved to reside in barracks during the period of online instruction will be required to complete a medical questionnaire and screening upon arriving on Post before final approval is granted to move into barracks.
  • Cadets who are approved to reside in barracks will be in uniform (OCP / gym dyke) outside of barracks, and be subject to daily accountability and cleanliness / hygiene standards.
  • To comply with social distancing recommendations and to help control the spread of illness, cadets who are approved to stay on Post will be required to reside in barracks with regulated and limited opportunities to travel off-Post.
  • During the period of online instruction, the VMI Infirmary will continue to provide limited services to cadets.
    • Hours of operation are 7 a.m. – 7 p.m., Monday through Friday.
    • To speak with a provider during business hours, call 540-464-7218.
    • For less urgent questions, email infirmary@vmi.edu.
    • For illnesses or urgent matters after hours, call 540-460-5202 to speak with Dr. Copeland.
    • No overnight care will be provided in the infirmary.
  • Cadets residing in barracks should call the nurse before coming to the infirmary. The nurse will provide instructions based on the situation.
  • Cadets who left a medication or allergy serum at the infirmary and need it mailed are asked to call 540-464-7218 to make arrangements.
  • NCAA spring sports including lacrosse, outdoor track and field, water polo, and baseball are currently suspended and their status for the remainder of the academic year is under review. Additional announcements will be forthcoming regarding other NCAA competition.
  • All VMI facilities (on Post and off Post) are closed to the public. No visitors, family members, guests, or cadets who are not authorized to reside in barracks during this period of online instruction will be permitted on Post or in the Stonewall Jackson House, New Market Battlefield, barracks, or Lejeune Hall.
  • Those unaffiliated with the Institute may drive through Post or walk on designated outside walkways maintaining social distance. Unaffiliated individuals are requested not to loiter or congregate on Post.
  • Preston Library will be closed to the public as well as VMI employees who are not members of the library staff. All electronic resources will continue to be available. Employees who wish to access print materials (with the exception of interlibrary loan print materials, which are not available) will need to request and checkout books from Preston Library via a form. Directions/guidance is given here: https://libguides.vmi.edu/distancelearning under the tab “Faculty: Request Library Book Checkout.”
  • All Post buildings will be locked until further notice. Employees may use their VMI IDs to access their offices. Availability of spaces in many Post buildings will be reduced to accommodate for available staffing and to reduce maintenance.

With the decision to provide academic instruction online this highlights the question about refunds.  We are reviewing multiple approaches to address refunds which would reflect fairness to the individual cadet and the Institute.  While appearing simple, there are many elements that are part of the review to include guidance on federal financial aid, private scholarships from the Alumni Agencies, scholarships from ROTC, existing contractual obligations…all balanced with the myriad of financial package variations that exist with each cadet.  We will announce very shortly how VMI plans to provide refunds in a manner that is fair to each cadet and the Institute’s ability to posture services for long term success at ‘essential’ levels of operation.

  • The first session of summer school (Summer Session I: 19 May – 19 June) will be conducted in the distance learning (on-line) mode. The decisions regarding mode and place for Summer Session II, commencing 22 June, the Summer Summer Transition Program (STP) on 22 June, and the optional Parents Orientation on 22 June are pending.  The College Orientation Workshop (COW) is currently scheduled at VMI this summer, but may slip to the latter half of the period or be cancelled. 
  • Based on the State Department’s Level 4 travel advisory and recommendations of public health experts, VMI will not commence any study abroad program prior to 15 June 2020.  This includes Project Global Officer.  Our Program Directors are working diligently with host country providers to determine the possibility of rescheduling their study abroad programs for later in the summer (after 15 June). 
  • We are studying an “earlier return” of Cadre on 2 August to insure the train-up and preparation for Matriculation, due to the loss of this 2nd Semester, the Retreat, and that transition and planning period. In several weeks, the Commandant will select and announce the Sergeants and Corporals for the next year, and working with the Class Leadership, designate the cadets comprising the Cadre for the 2020-21 Academic Year.   Assumption of Command ceremony is being studied.  Fourth Class leadership (Class Officers) will be voted on upon return of the entire Class on 23 August 2020.
  • The New Cadet Oath Ceremony is currently scheduled for 6 September 2020.
  • Institute Awards Convocation (14 May) has been cancelled. Cadet awards will be announced and mailed to cadets during the summer furlough period.
  • Joint Commissioning Ceremony scheduled for 15 May in Cameron Hall has been cancelled. See below for further details.
  • The Class of 2020 will be invited back to Post as the centerpiece of our December graduation ceremony on 19 December 2020 (tentative) in Cameron Hall. This ceremony will be given all the pomp and circumstance, speakers, awards, and publicity associated with our May ceremony. Our cadets deserve to be recognized as do the family and friends who have supported them through the years, and we will make it a splendid celebration. Understanding that some graduating 1st Class cadets will not be able to join us in December due to military and job obligations, graduates of the Class of 2020 will also be most welcome to participate in the May 2021 commencement exercise. We will work with the armed services and employers to encourage their attendance at this December 2020 graduation ceremony. VMI will mail diplomas upon final grades and graduate certification.

The Joint Commissioning Ceremony scheduled for 15 May in Cameron Hall has been cancelled.  Individual commissioning ceremonies will be scheduled with respective ROTC Departments and conducted over a period of time in May or June for all Cadets who have met degree requirements.  Cadets will be commissioned in time to meet Officer school dates and career start points.  These ceremonies will allow Cadets to be commissioned in a small group setting on post at VMI under the supervision of the Army, Navy, and Air Force Detachments and will include photographer support to capture this special moment. 

Scheduling and size of individual ceremonies will comply with restrictive Department of Defense and State of Virginia guidance related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Any requests for alternate commissioning locations should be submitted to your respective ROTC department. After our new officers begin their military journeys, as mentioned previously, we hope that most can make it back to take part in the VMI Commencement Ceremony in December, and, if unable to return, to cross the stage at the May 2021 graduation ceremony.

It is preferred and highly encouraged that cadets expecting to commission return to Post one time, to clear barracks and conduct an individual commissioning through the ROTC on the same day.  Graduation requirements necessary to commission will not be approved and official until after May 13.  Priority to schedule barracks clearance will be given to commissioning cadets from May 14 through May 17.  Please schedule your barracks move-out and coordinate with your respective ROTC detachment to do both during the same trip.

OVERVIEW:  It is intended for Cadets to clear their barracks room in a safe, orderly and efficient manner during a scheduled single trip back to VMI. In order to provide as much possible flexibility and planning of available time and transportation, Cadets will schedule their return to VMI between 14 April and 3 May, and again between 12-17 May, to retrieve their personal belongings, as well as to turn in VMI issued uniforms, NCAA/Club gear, ROTC equipment and other items that belong at VMI. The Registrar’s Office, the Office of Financial Aid, the Athletic Department, the Mail Room and other offices will notify individual cadets if they have any additional administrative or other requirements for Cadets to accomplish while on post. Cadets will bring all of their VMI uniforms, all VMI owned equipment, NCAA/Club gear and all ROTC gear back to Post with them when they return to clear their barracks room

Cadets should plan for enough cargo space to take and haul all of their personal belongings with them to be stored at home, or arrange for some other coordinated storage location off Post. It is each Cadet’s individual responsibility to clear their barracks room, store their own personal belongings over the summer or make appropriate arrangements with a BR, roommate, host family etc. to have this done for you. Cadets who are unable to clear and store their own belongings and who have exhausted all attempts and available options are to contact CSM Rubenstein at rubensteinsd@vmi.edu no later than 8 April.

All Post buildings are closed to cadets and to the public. Access to other Post buildings during your visit will be coordinated through CSM Rubenstein at rubensteinsd@vmi.edu and the Commandant’s office. Please let her know of any access requests when you make your appointment to clear out barracks.  At the same time, you should also let your Department Head or Coach know.  You will not be granted access to any building on Post unless you have coordinated with the Commandant’s office and been medically screened and cleared by medical personnel from the Infirmary.

 

Cadets will sign up to arrive and clear during two 4-hour blocks each day. No more than 40 slots will be available for each of the time blocks, 1000-1400 hours and 1400-1800 hours each day. In order to spread out arrivals during each time block, Cadets may return at any time during their scheduled time block but are not to return to VMI prior to 1000 hours. Barracks will close and Cadets are to be completed their barracks clearance no later than 1800 hours each day. Scheduled dates are as follows:

  • Tuesday, 14 April thru Sunday, 19 April
  • Tuesday, 21 April thru Sunday, 26 April
  • Tuesday, 28 April thru Sunday, 3 May
  • Final Exam Week (No Barracks Clearance)
  • Tuesday, 12 May thru Sunday, 17 May

80 cadets scheduled each day are authorized to clear barracks and adhere to distance and group number directives. Each cadet is authorized to bring no more than one other person into the barracks to assist them in retrieving their belongings. These restrictions exist to minimize the number of individuals coming into contact with one another and to reduce the risk of introducing or spreading infection.

The online sign up form will be sent out on 3 April. Sign-ups will close at 1600 hours on 13 April. As a simple courtesy and to reduce disruption, it is requested and encouraged that Cadets from Virginia, or a closer proximity to VMI, defer most of the weekend scheduled time slots to Cadets who are traveling much longer distances from further out-of-state locations.

Cadets unable to return to VMI at all, arrange to have another individual (another cadet, host family member, etc.) pack out and clear barracks for them, or have a scheduling conflict (full schedule on a particular date) must notify CSM Rubenstein rubensteinsd@vmi.edu by 1600 hours by 8 April.

* The clearance schedule will be adjusted as necessary, if and when VMI receives additional guidance from local, state, and national authorities. The Office of Communications and Marketing will update the VMI Community when these changes occur.

The safety of all members of the VMI community is paramount throughout the barracks clearance process. No individual who is currently sick, has been exposed to someone who is sick or is exhibiting signs of infection with COVID-19 may return to Post. Common COVID-19 symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. A quick medical questionnaire and screening will be conducted prior to entering barracks.

Individuals must be symptom free for 14 days prior to being permitted to return to Post. Anyone with direct contact with an infected individual must self-quarantine and show no signs of infection for 14 days before returning to Post.

The VMI Physical Plant staff will thoroughly clean common areas such as railings, door knobs, light switches, and bathroom fixtures daily. Hand sanitizer will be available as well as latex gloves for those who wish to utilize them.

 


Information for Cadets regarding Barracks Housing:

With regard to barracks housing, the default should be: “Remain at home and prepare yourself for online instruction”, from Wednesday, March 25th through Friday, April 17th.   

VMI will allow selected cadets, who can demonstrate a legitimate need, to return to the Institute prior to the start of online classes on March 25th.  These cadets will reside in barracks and return at times designated by the Commandant’s Office on Sunday, March 22nd from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.  Cadets who believe they have a legitimate need must complete the Application for In Residence Early Return and submit it to Lt Col Faust (faustkl@vmi.edu) no later than 7:00 a.m. on Friday, March 20th.  Cadets will be notified as to whether or not their request is approved no later than 4:00 p.m., March 20th.  We implore you to get this application in sooner, rather than later.  Cadets who are approved to reside in barracks will complete their classes online, just like the rest of the Corps.

Cadets wishing to return for reasons of convenience, including travel arrangements made prior to the official return date, will not be approved.  Cadets with plane tickets or other prearranged travel plans are highly encouraged to contact their airline or travel agent to see what options exist for vouchers, reimbursement or rescheduling.  The following are acceptable reasons for cadets to apply to return to Post early:

  • Cadets who have technical issues that prevent participation in online courses, do not have home internet sufficient to support online classes or who do not have any reasonable public internet options
  • Cadets with extenuating family circumstances that precludes them from staying at home (explanation required)
  • Cadets whose family resides overseas, who truly have no home or no other housing options, including Cadets who cannot go home because travel restrictions prevent them from getting there or returning back to VMI upon resumption of in-person classes

Upon their return, and after an initial medical questionnaire & screening, the Commandant’s Staff will brief all early returning cadets on the rules and regulations to which they will adhere in order to remain housed in barracks.  These rules and regulations will include uniform requirements (OCPs / gym dyke outside of barracks), basic daily accountability, basic cleanliness/orderliness/hygiene, and some restricted access to Post Facilities.  To comply with social distancing recommendations and to help control the spread of the coronavirus, the movements of returning cadets off Post will also be regulated.  These living and learning conditions have been brought about by truly extenuating circumstances and will be implemented, at least initially, to adhere to our obligation to protect the health and safety of our cadets, faculty, staff, employees and the local community.  Cadets should not expect to “come and go” as they please.  They will be required to reside in barracks with regulated and limited opportunities to travel off post.  Reduced food services will be available, as will some laundry services.  Designated barracks and some limited activity in Cocke Hall may also be available.  Chaplain Phillips will work with individual cadets and the local community on access to religious services. 

Questions concerning barracks housing should be addressed to the Commandant’s Staff at (540) 464-7313 or faustkl@vmi.edu

Cadets requesting to return are required to complete a health questionnaire and simple medical screening prior to occupying a barracks room.  Cadets who have or are exhibiting symptoms, believe that they have been exposed to coronavirus, have traveled to hotspot locations or have been told to self-isolate, will not be approved for barracks housing.  The VMI Infirmary has final approval for each cadet prior to being admitted back into barracks housing.

Early return will only be approved for cadets who can demonstrate that they would be unable to complete their academic requirements if they were not to return to the Institute. Cadets who are concerned about being in residence due to a project or coursework involving actual lab work, experimentation or physical face-to-face requirements, should contact their instructor prior to submitting an application.


Information for Cadets regarding Mail and/or Packages:

Cadets who have mail and / or packages awaiting them in the VMI Mail Room may request these items to be forwarded on to their current location. To do so, cadets should contact the VMI Mail Room directly at (540) 464-7745 or the Mail Room Supervisor, Mr. Hudson, via e-mail (hudsonjw@vmi.edu). Requests to forward mail and packages must come from cadets. Requests from parents cannot be fulfilled.

Cadets must provide the following information when requesting items to be forwarded on:

  • Cadet Name
  • Description of item (Amazon package, letter, etc.)
  • VMI Box Number
  • Complete forwarding address (name, address, state and zip code)

Packages will be forwarded via the United States Postal Service or UPS. All shipping costs will be charged to the cadet’s Student Account.


Information for Cadets regarding Retrieval of Personal Belongings:

Prior to departing on spring furlough, cadets were directed to take home laptop computers, necessary books and download important academic materials in the event VMI went to online instruction. However, we understand that some cadets may have other essential academic or personal belongings in barracks that they must retrieve for the online instruction period. Therefore, cadets needing to pick up essential items from barracks will be able to do so from 2 to 5 p.m. tomorrow, Sunday, March 15. Cadets may also pick up essential items between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 20. Cadets wishing to return to barracks to collect belongings must notify Lt. Col. Faust at faustkl@vmi.edu before coming to Lexington. Cadets unable to return during these times should notify Lt. Col. Faust to arrange a time when they can collect their belongings.

Cadets may also request the Commandant’s Office to ship critical items to them if they are not able to return to Lexington. Academic and medical materials will take priority over other items including sports (NCAA) equipment.  Cadets wishing for this to happen should email Lt Col Faust with the following information:

  • Description of the items
  • Detailed instructions on where the items are located in barracks
  • Explanation as to why the items cannot be picked up in person (i.e.: cadet resides five hours from Lexington, have no means of transportation, etc.)
  • Address to which the items are to be sent

Packages will be forwarded via the United States Postal Service or UPS. All shipping costs will be charged to the cadet’s Student Account.