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The Kearney Center has compiled all the most important information for this week in one place! We want to make finding information easy for you, so we've put all important announcements here in this of the Kearney Center Current Student Newsletter. Watch for the monthly newsletter at the beginning of each month! You can find this edition and others on the Kearney Center website.

Updates: July 6-July 12, 2020 

Important Message from Jacy Fry

Dear Students,
 
News travels quickly and I’m certain most of you heard that SEVP (Student & Exchange Visitor Program) updated their guidance for fall 2020 yesterday.  You’re likely wondering what this means for you considering the University’s Return to Learn plan.  The Kearney Center is working to understand the new guidance and apply it to our current and prospective students.  Unfortunately, the guidance leaves a lot of questions unanswered and we are working with our SEVP Field Representative to clarify these.
 
Here is what we know:
  • This new guidance DOES NOT mean all international students cannot be in the U.S. for fall 2020.
  • This new guidance DOES allow degree-seeking students at MSU, Mankato to take more than one class or three credits online for fall 2020 if they are in the U.S.
  • This new guidance DOES NOT affect students currently on OPT.
  • This new guidance DOES NOT allow current MSU, Mankato F-1 students who are outside the U.S. to continue studying from abroad and keep their SEVIS records active.
 
There are blogs, articles, social media groups/chats circulating that can lead to rumors.  The media likes to create a hype often not covering the full picture.  You may have friends at other schools in the U.S. whose situations will be different from yours.  The Kearney Center will keep you informed.  Please continue to check your email, read the weekly newsletter, and follow us on social media so you don’t miss any updates.
 
We have our weekly Open Info Session with the Kearney Center staff tomorrow, Wednesday, July 8th at 12:00pm CST.  Please join us!  We will do our best to answer your questions. 
https://minnstate.zoom.us/j/9773474322 - password: kearney
 
Hang in there! I know you are receiving a lot of information at a stressful time.  We are so happy you are part of the Maverick family and will support you through this.  Don’t forget the goals you set when deciding to be a Maverick…we want to help you achieve those so you can move on and do great things! 
 
All the best,
Jacy


Kearney Center Open Sessions

Every Wednesday, Kearney Center staff will be available to talk through concerns, questions and policies for one hour. Find more information on our calendar.


Food Assistance

The Kearney Center updates our social media frequently with offers and help that we hear about. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to find out the most updated information.
Go to Kearney Center's COVID-19 Website

Immigration Updates

  • If you GRADUATED on 05/08/2020, your 60-day grace periods ends on 07/06/2020. Before your grace period you can do any of the following:
    • Apply for Post-Completion OPT; OR
    • Transfer out your SEVIS record to another institution; OR
    • Apply for another visa type; OR
    • Change your educational level at MSU-Mankato; OR
    • Depart the United States by 07/06/2020.
    • ***Please note: If no action is done to your SEVIS record, it will auto-complete on 07/06/2020
  • Traveling: If you are planning on traveling internationally during this time, please make sure you meet with your immigration advisor to talk about travel considerations and travel restrictions. The COVID-19 FAQ site contains information about potential travel restrictions from your home country.
  • Need a Currently Enrolled Letter?: You can request a currently enrolled letter online. Once you submit the form, you will receive a letter within 3-5 business days. 
  • Summer Advising Hours Posted: 
  • Fall 2020 registration: Fall 2020 registration is open—you may need to meet with you academic advisor to obtain your individual access code in order to register for the Fall 2020 semester. For undergraduate students, you must enroll in at least 12 credits. For graduate students, you must enroll in at least 6 credits to maintain your full-time student status

ISA Election Updates

An ISA Presidential and Vice Presidential Candidate Presentation was held on Monday, July 6 with the 2020-21 running candidate team:
Mr. Liberty Hombe, Presidential Candidate from the Republic of South Africa, and Mr. Freeman Moma, Vice-Presidential Candidate from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 
 
Attendees learned more about the candidates and asked questions about what they plan to accomplish in office if elected. If you missed the event, please invest some time to listen to the presentation. This will help you may make your informed vote in the ISA election happening July 13-17. (Watch for the link to vote.)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Important ISA Election Updates
If you missed previous emails, the ISA Election Committee sent information about the election.
 
Due to the withdrawal of one of the ISA candidate teams, it was necessary that the committee explore and come to a decision about how best to address the ISA Election while ensuring that all international students have the best opportunity to share their opinion about leadership for 2020-2021.
 
After much deliberation, the ISA Election Committee decided that: Mr. Liberty Hombe, Presidential Candidate and Mr. Freeman Moma, Vice-Presidential Candidate will run as the only candidate pair. You will still have the opportunity to vote with your decision of yes or no during the election.
 
We recognize that you may have questions, so in an effort to be as transparent about the process as possible, we invite you to read the following information:
 
How did we get here?
A timeline and process were created so that the election could conclude before the end of the Spring semester and to draw as wide a pool of candidates as possible. Please find actions taken in red on the left side and the appropriate dates on the right.
Application for election committee  Posted by Tuesday April 13
Due date: Wednesday April 15 by 5 pm. 
Election Committee Meeting with KCISS advisor Thursday April 16 at 12 pm. 
ISA and General Assembly Meeting to Approve Election Rules   Friday April 17 
1st round: Candidate Applications Posted by Friday, April 17
Due date: Sunday, April 19 by 11.45 p.m. 
2nd round: Candidate Applications Posted by Wednesday, June 10  
Due date: Wednesday, June 24 by 11.59 p.m. 
Announcement of Candidates for Election   Thursday, June 25 by 11:59 pm  
Questions & Answer Session with Candidate Teams about Election guidelines.  Friday June 26 to Friday July 3 
****The candidate application was opened twice, after no applications were received in the 1st application period.
 
Upon the withdrawal of one candidate team, the ISA Election Committee, after much deliberation, decided that reopening the application for yet a third time would not be productive as it would require a large timeline shift, and could perhaps risk finding a new President and Vice President for 2020-2021. The Committee also wanted to be fair to the remaining candidates who had applied on time.  
 
How does the election work now or do the remaining candidates automatically win?
The ISA Election Committee values international students’ voices the most and therefore we have enabled a process that still gives you the power to decide who should lead you next year. While just one pair of candidates is left, there will be “yes/no” voting (just like with “regular” elections). This means that you will have the opportunity to vote yes or no about the remaining pair and their goals and platform.
 
To assure that a majority vote will be clear and regulate representation, a 60 percent rule will be implemented. This means that the candidate pair will only win if 60 percent of all votes are “yes.” Any percent below 60 will be counted as lost. The election will take place on July 13 at 9 a.m. to July 17 at 3 p.m.
 
Is the ISA Election Committee allowed to change the elections in an unconventional way?
We all have carefully read and interpreted the official ISA constitution and its election guidelines, and the ISA Election Committee has concluded that nowhere is this kind of adjustment prohibited. Therefore, this decision is final and legitimate.
 
Nonetheless, we do understand that this is not the kind of election we all would have wished for or expected to be necessary. Every decision made by the ISA Election Committee is thoughtful and includes a lot of scenario thinking. COVID-19 circumstances have pushed us all out of our comfort zones in various ways and into new ways of doing things. Recruiting candidates during COVID times has been very difficult and required innovation.  
 
Thus, while we all wished for a different kind of election, we kindly ask you to respect this decision and share your voice by voting in the upcoming election on July 13 at 9 a.m. to July 17 at 3 p.m.
 
How is the neutrality of the ISA Election Committee assured?
Although just one pair of candidates is remaining, the ISA Election Committee assures and follows all standards of neutrality. Therefore, we will never post anything that forces students to vote into one direction. What that means is that we will never tell any students to vote with a yes or no for these candidates.
 
All that the ISA Election Committee will do is promote the presentation by the candidates on July 6 from 1-2 p.m. on Zoom and distribute their recorded presentation. Likewise, the Kearney Center will only provide information to make you aware of webinar and election opportunities. Neither the ISA Election Committee nor Kearney Center are in favor or against the remaining candidates. We will not endorse or evaluate any statements made by the candidate pairing.
 
Finally: Choose your ISA leadership by voting in the election next week! Watch for the upcoming link so you can vote. We would love to see you all participate! It’s your chance to make an impact!  
 
All the best,
The ISA Election Committee

Campus Updates


Virtual Town Hall Series 

President Davenport has invited the campus community to join him and the president's Cabinet in a series of Virtual Town Hall events via Zoom. The Virtual Town Hall series is part of an ongoing effort to maintain communication across campus and discuss topics of interest.

GRADUATE STUDENT VIRTUAL TOWN HALLS
Upcoming Graduate Student Town Halls

Tuesday, July 21, 2020 @ 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
 

Return to Learn

Stay informed and updated on Fall 2020 announcements and information at the Return to Learn website. This link will bring you to every announcement that has been sent out by the University administration.


Remote Access to a Doctor!

When MSU Health Services is closed, you have a remote option through your insurance plan to talk to a doctor.  It is HealthiestYou Telehealth.  1-855-870-5858   www.telehealth4students.com    You will need your insurance ID number which is on your card or your account with UHC Student Resources.  This is free for anybody on UHCSR.    To access your card, go to www.uhcsr.com/myaccount    This is a great option for nights, weekends, winter break or when you are traveling.
 

COVID-19 Hotline 

If you have concerns about COVID-19 (coronavirus), please call the student health services hotline at (507) 389-5591 to discuss your symptoms. They also have a COVID self-check on your Patient Portal to enter symptoms and receive advice.  If it has been determined that you should be tested for COVID-19, the International Student Insurance is waiving any deductible or copay costs. 
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