University officials postpone Rider and Westminster graduations


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Rider University administrators have postponed graduation ceremonies for seniors on the university’s Lawrence Township campus and for seniors at the Westminster Choir College in Princeton.

Administrators said the decision to postpone the graduation ceremonies and Westminster Choir College’s annual reunion was made in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.

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Gatherings of more than 50 people are prohibited under an executive order issued by Gov. Phil Murphy.

Rider University administrators said they are considering alternate plans. They said an announcement will be made when they have a better idea of the status of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Despite the COVID-19 outbreak, Rider University and Westminster Choir College will remain open, albeit with some changes.

Rider University has moved to remote instruction for students through the rest of the spring semester, in compliance with Murphy’s order for colleges to cease all in-person instruction until further notice as of March 18. The objective is to reduce person-to-person contact and the spread of COVID-19.

The dormitories on the Lawrence Township and Princeton campuses are closed, with limited exceptions, administrators said. Public health officials have recommended that all residential students should go home as soon as possible.

Dining services have been limited since March 18. Meals in containers for take-out service have been made available to faculty members, students and staff members on the Lawrence and Princeton campuses.

At Rider University, meals to go are available in the Mercer Room at Daly Dining Hall. Westminster Choir College students are picking up their meals in the student center.

Rider University has closed the Student Recreation Center and the Richard A. Coppola Pool on its Lawrence Township campus until further notice, also to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The Franklin B. Moore Library on the Lawrence Township campus and the Talbott Library at the Westminster Choir College’s Princeton campus have been closed until further notice, in compliance with an executive order issued by Murphy.

All computer labs on both campuses are closed in compliance with Murphy’s executive order.

All outbound nonessential domestic travel and international university-sponsored air travel have been suspended until further notice, according to administrators.

Students and faculty members who traveled during spring break to any country that is on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) list that has earned a Level 3 warning were required to contact their academic dean, while staff members had been advised to ask their supervisor.

A CDC Level 3 warning means the countries on the list should be avoided by travelers for nonessential travel. The list currently includes European countries and Iceland, where the outbreak of COVID-19 has not been contained.

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