As the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues to spread, Soochow University established an epidemic prevention team at the first emergency meeting on January 28th, 2020 in accordance with the policies of the Ministry of Education. The school has also set up an "epidemic prevention section" on its Chinese official website to provide faculty, staff, students and parents with the latest information, including educational measures, dorm policies, and related announcements, etc.
With President Wei-Ta Pan as the convener and Vice Presidents Wei-Liang Chao and Bau-Tscheng Dung as deputies, the team is in the command of Secretary General Kai-Chieh Chia as the Executive Director.
During the winter break, SCU decided to extend the vacation to March 2nd. The Office of General Affairs had installed sterilizers with 75% alcohol in approximately 200 sites on each floor of each building, increasing the frequency of disinfection in public areas and providing adequate hand wash.
At the same time, a two-day large-scale disinfection was carried out on the campuses before the new semester starts. Besides, Health Center has conducted the contact history survey of teachers and students to track fever cases, urging those who have visited China, Hong Kong, and Macau, or have been listed as restricted individuals by the CDC, to report to the Center.
After the beginning of the term, faculty and staff would take students’ body temperature at six check points to prevent possible coronavirus transmission. The team also offers thermometers that can be borrowed for use by various units and students.
As for Hong Kong and Macau students, the school adopts the centralized management of the entire dormitory in line with the official regulations of one student per room. The students only need to pay for the meals, and they can stay in their bedrooms provided with bedding, thermometers, masks, alcohol and other personal items without accommodation fees. In addition, the staff will monitor the daily health status of each student who is under home quarantine and report to the local government. After the isolation is over, the dormitory will be cleaned and disinfected.
In order to protect students’ right to education, the University implements new educational measures such as a flexible mechanism of selecting courses as there will be no minimum credits for this semester. In accordance with the regulations for foreign students in Taiwan, the school also extends the course selection deadline to April 10th.
For students who cannot return to Taiwan or Soochow campuses, the school encourages them to take distance learning courses as the teachers can use the Moodle platform to provide students with online learning. Depending on the circumstances of some cases, teachers will modify their assessment methods including giving online tests or make-up exams and allowing assignments in place of presentations. The school will continue to pay close attention to the physical and mental conditions and actual needs of students affected by the outbreak, offering necessary resources to help them learn at ease.