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Coronavirus Response Updates

March 12, 2020

This page will be updated regularly to provide the latest Coronavirus news to the Saint Francis Community.  The entire Spring 2020 semester has moved online. View details >

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April 17, 2020: Daily Update

Dear Saint Francis University Community: 

Saint Francis University continues to seek new and creative ways in which we can deliver our educational and co-curricular experiences to the community virtually.  I remain impressed with the spirit of our faculty, staff and students as they explore innovative ways to deliver the annual traditions that are closely regarded at Saint Francis University.  

Our intention for fall 2020 is to be back on campus.  Administration continues to meet and monitor the pandemic situation daily.  Several scenarios are being worked on so that when guidelines from the Office of the Governor are released to open the state back up we are ready to move forward.

As previously announced on April 1, 2020, we will not implement any additional changes to current employment for administrative and operational staff pay through April 30.  We will provide an update next week.

Please review the following information and updates:    

Class of 2020 Commencement

We are pleased to inform the community that we have tentative plans for an in-person Commencement during Homecoming Weekend (October 8-11, 2020).  Holding the celebration at a time when we are welcoming alumni back to campus provides the opportunity for past, present and future graduates to come together to celebrate the achievements of our graduates while sharing in the spirit of our beloved campus community.  This plan has been endorsed by SGA and the Senior Class President and we will continue to seek their advice as we coordinate the event.  More details will be shared as they are available.

President’s Awards Convocation

Mark your calendar!  The annual President’s Awards Convocation will be held virtually on Tuesday, April 28 at 7:00 pm.  We want to recognize the many accomplishments of our students and colleagues as we’ve done each year on the last day of spring semester classes.   More details to follow.  

Summer Classes (Module I)

Saint Francis University will be operating under a virtual learning environment throughout the summer Module/Session I.  A decision relative to the delivery of Module II will be made no later than May 15th.  

CARES Act

There have been several inquiries relating to whether Saint Francis University will qualify for any financial assistance under the SBA Paycheck Protection Program Loans.  We have investigated this and the university does not qualify with well over the 500 employee limit.  We continue to research what programs are available to assist our financial navigation of the COVID19 pandemic.  The University has applied to receive approximately $704,000 for which it is eligible through the CARES Act for student aid relief.  Guidance on how funds can be spent is expected from the Department of Education within the next three weeks.  Pending this guidance, the university is forming a committee to discuss how we might best utilize these funds.

Alumni Weekend

We are deeply disappointed to announce the cancellation of Alumni Weekend (July 2020).  Given the uncertainty ahead relative to social distancing guidelines and the amount of preparation that is involved University administration determined that canceling would be in everyone’s best interest.  Looking forward to 2021, we will celebrate our loyal alumni and kick off a year long celebration of Saint Francis University’s 175th anniversary.   

Donut Heaven

Plans are underway to facilitate a virtual Donut Heaven.  SGA is working to continue the cherished annual year-end Saint Francis University event.  We look forward to all students participating!  Watch out for the return of your favorite faculty and administration serving you!  

SGA Survey

Last week the Student Government Association sponsored a survey for students in collaboration with Academic Affairs.  The survey focused on the student experience and perceptions of the transition to virtual learning.  The results of this survey are being compiled and will be shared with the community next week.  

 All Saint Francis University communications, information and resources related to the Coronavirus can be found at www.francis.edu/coronavirus.  Specific questions and concerns  that may arise should be directed to covid19@francis.edu.

As we rapidly approach the end of the semester, know above all that you are not alone.  We are all experiencing feelings of uncertainty, disappointment for the cancelation of traditions held in person, and degrees of hardship.  Remember the academic support services and Counseling Services that are available to you.

With less than two weeks remaining in the semester, final exams to complete, and summer before us, I ask the Lord’s blessings upon you as you navigate through these uncertain times.  May He give you peace.

Sincerely,

Fr. Malachi, T.O.R.
President 

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April 15, 2020: Daily Update

Counseling Services:

Dear Students and SFU Community,

I am writing to you to share updates and decisions relative to the Saint Francis University Counseling Center’s response to the global Coronavirus (COVID-19). In order to provide continuity of care and consistency of services during this difficult time, the Counseling Center has moved all counseling support to a remote format.

  • At this time, all in-person counseling services have been discontinued. 
  • Telephone support services are available to all existing student clients.
  • Telephone consultation and referral services are available to all students who are not existing clients of the Counseling Center. 
  • If you would like to schedule a tele-appointment, please email counseling@francis.edu or call (814) 472-3211 for assistance. 

Please note that this approach is likely to change as additional formats and platforms become available. For updates, information, and resources, please check the University’s dedicated webpage. 

For immediate assistance you may contact:

As always, your wellbeing is our primary concern. We are committed to do our best to provide the help and support necessary to overcome the challenges that lie ahead.  Please continue to keep the entire SFU community in your thoughts and prayers as we navigate this unprecedented situation together. Stay healthy and take care! 

Sincerely,
Laura Corbett-Contorchick
Coordinator of Counseling Services 

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March 27, 2020: Daily Update

Dear Saint Francis University Students, Parents and Guardians:

As we close out another week of virtual learning, know that I continue to pray for strength and healing during this challenging time.  For each of you, I hope you can find time this weekend to focus on moments of beauty in the midst of adversity.  

Below is information related to frequently asked questions as well as resources available.

Easter Break

The university will continue to observe the Easter holiday as noted on the university calendar (Thursday, April 9 - Monday, April 13).  University employees will be on holiday break on Friday, April 10 and Monday, April 13. 

Academic Support Services

Students are our priority and we understand the transition to a virtual learning environment is different for each individual.  Your faculty, department chair, Deans and Center for Academic Success team are standing ready to help! Links to all your resources can be found at francis.edu/studentresources/.  If for any reason you need help, please know your Saint Francis University community is available and waiting to help you achieve success. 

Counseling Services

The Office of Counseling Services is available to all community members virtually.  We understand the on-going changes related to the global pandemic may cause stress and anxiety.   

Individuals are also encouraged to reference SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline 24 hours a day/7 days a week. Crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress is available by phone at  1-800-985-5990, text “TalkWithUs” to 66746, or by logging on to DisasterDistress.samhsa.gov.    

A Community of Faith and Prayer

We are a community of faith and prayer therefore, I am providing you the following faith based resources:  

Daily Masses from Sacred Heart Friary are livestreamed on Instagram - @sfuministry

Facebook - @CampusMinistrySFU on Mon, Wed, Fri at 12:00 noon and Tues, Thurs at 12:25 pm and Sunday at 8:00 pm

Daily Scripture readings (print and audio) are available at www.usccb.org

Daily devotions for young people are available at www.studentdevos.com

Resources for Responding to COVID-19 at www.umcdiscipleship.org

Franciscan Prayers and Devotions at https://sacredheartfla.org  

"The Stations of the Cross with Father Reed" on YouTube

While I know that the global pandemic has forced all of us to alter the ways we work, study and live, I encourage you all to consider ways in which we can continue to support our fellow community members.  My prayers are continually with you all. May the Lord give us His Peace.

Sincerely,

Fr. Malachi, T.O.R.

President

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March 25, 2020  (Campus Access, Help in Flash, Employee Retirement, CES credits & More)

https://www.francis.edu/News/2020/03/March-25-Community-Update/

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March 23, 2020 (Commencement, CES, Study Abroad, Housing)

Dear University Community:

Saint Francis University continues to forge ahead during these most unprecedented times by delivering on our mission in creative and original ways.  I am grateful to the students, faculty, and staff who have demonstrated tremendous resolve during a time when there has been much uncertainty.  

The announcement last week to continue the remainder of the semester in our virtual learning environment raises questions for many.  Know that the institution continues to work hard to resolve the issues within our control. 

Below are some answers and information related to frequently asked questions.

Commencement

Saint Francis University is committed to celebrating the success of our graduates and we understand the importance of the day for our students and their families.  We are committed to an in-person commencement celebration at a later date. The administration is engaged with the Student Government Association in planning this event.  As details develop we will update the community.  

The graduating class of 2020 who have been charged a graduation fee will receive a credit on their billing statement. If that credit generates a refund, one will be issued. This includes December 2019 and May 2020 graduates.  

Study Abroad

We are pleased to inform the campus that our students studying in Ambialet, France safely returned to the United States this past weekend.  We are glad they are back in their homes and reunited with their families.  

University administration has made the decision to cancel all summer short term study abroad offerings, including the ASL Immersion program.  Programs scheduled to leave in May/June will not depart as previously scheduled given the global COVID-19 pandemic. Information related to program refunds is forthcoming. 

Community Enrichment Series (CES)

Details on alternative ways to earn CES credits are forthcoming.  This week a team of faculty and staff will be releasing details on ways students may accomplish these credits.   

Campus Housing

The Office of Residence Life will release information related to a coordinated move-out process when permissible.  Until then residential students may not return to campus to remove belongings.  

All Saint Francis University communications, information and resources related to the Coronavirus can be found at www.francis.edu/coronavirus.  Specific questions and concerns  that may arise should be directed to covid19@francis.edu

Throughout these days of uncertainty, please be assured of my prayers.  We will continue to work together to protect the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff and community at large.  

Sincerely,

Very Rev. Malachi Van Tassell, T.O.R., Ph.D.

President

 

March 23, 2020 (Residence Life Update)

Greetings SFU Resident Students,

First, let me start off by saying we miss you.  We really do.  The campus is never the same when the students are gone. We know that so many of you may be struggling with navigating this new time.  Please know that our staff remains here to assist you in whatever we can.  Even though you may not physically be on campus, you are still members of our Residence Life family and we are committed to doing whatever we can to help assist you through this global crisis.  

We recognize with the information that came out on Friday, March 20, that this is not how you expected your time at the physical SFU campus to come to a close.  We are heartbroken with you.  For those of you not currently in Pennsylvania, we are under very tight restrictions right now from Governor Wolf, and the physical campus is now CLOSED.  You can not come to the physical campus for any reason at this time. However, all University personnel will continue to work remotely during this time.  Our office phone is forwarded to a staff cell phone and all emails are being checked regularly. On a virtual level, we remain open.  

We realize that so many of you left campus on Friday, March 13  with the intention of returning in 2 weeks, and did not take everything with you.  Once we have confirmation that we can allow people to return to campus, you will receive a link to a Google form to schedule your check out day/ time.  The initial form will have days/ times set up over the course of at least 2 weeks, but we will extend as needed.  Students will be asked to confirm with their roommate(s) so they are not arriving back at the same time, to help maintain social distancing.  We know this is difficult, as we recognize that you want to say a proper goodbye in person.  But for your safety, and the safety of others, we do ask that you adhere to this.  

Students will be able to schedule in 3 hour blocks.  This hopefully will allow you time to pack up your room and remove your belongings before the next group will enter the hall.  Groups will not extend to 10- 15 students depending on the size of the hall.  We also ask that you do not bring more than 2 people with you to help.  If you do have more than 2, we kindly ask that the additional people remain at the vehicle. 

Students will express check out.  When you arrive, each room will have instructions and a key envelope attached.  Once you have completed your check out, you will sign off on the instruction sheet, place your key in the key envelope and leave both on your desk, locking the door behind you as you depart.  To allow as many people in as is deemed safe, staff will not be conducting Room Condition Reports and/ or room inspections.  Students will not be assessed any damage or cleaning charges beyond extreme structural damage.  We do recommend that students take a photo of the room prior to leaving to serve as your official receipt of the check out.  With regards to storage:   As storage rooms will not be accessible during check out,  students are strongly encouraged to take all belongings home.  We are working on a plan for limited storage arrangements and will have further details out with the scheduling email.

Additional information will be sent with the scheduling form.  We know this is a difficult time, and want you to know that we truly want to work with you and your family to help expedite the move out process.  Once we have the dates confirmed, the scheduling information will be emailed to all resident students. 

If you have already removed your belongings, but have kept your key- we do ask that you let us know so we can best track who needs to return to campus.  Keys can be mailed to the following address:  Office of Residence Life, PO Box 600 Loretto, PA 15940.  Please return your keys no later than May 15, 2020. We do recommend that if you are mailing your key, that you purchase a heavier envelope, and secure the key to a piece of card-stock before mailing.  In the past, we have sometimes received empty envelopes as an unsecured key has ripped out.  Once we confirm receipt of your key- a staff member will let you know.

With regards to housing selection 2020-2021: Our intent is to have all returning students have housing selected in the coming weeks.  We do want to recognize that you are still navigating through online coursework and getting acclimated to being at home. We want you to focus on your academics.  Once we have a revised timeline in place, we will be in touch.  You will have plenty of time to plan and prepare for Room Draw and HATP/ Suite selections. 

This is surely an unprecedented time in all of our lives.  But by working together, I am confident that we will come out stronger as an SFU family.  As Saint Francis of Assisi once said "A single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows."  May your light continue to flourish and strengthen during these days.  Know that we are keeping you in our thoughts and prayers and look forward to the day when we can all return "home" in Loretto. 

With best wishes to you and yours,

Donald Miles
Director of Residence Life

 

March 20, 2020

Dear Students, Staff and Administration,

As we wrap up week one here are some important updates for you as we work to continue and deepen our support for your success in learning at a distance

Helpdesk Shift to 24/7 Provider

In an effort to continue to provide great technology support to our students, faculty and staff in our new remote environment, we are supplementing our technology support center to be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.   Moving forward, you will request all technolog support through Help in a Flash,  my.francis.edu and select the Help Desk icon.

Technology

Requests previously submitted via School Dude are to be submitted via Help in a Flash. 
Access to School Dude has been suspended until further notice.  Behind the scenes, we now have a team of technology support personnel ready to address you needs as quickly and efficiently as possible.   The IT and library teams have been working diligently to rollout this supplemental support capability in just a matter of days so we ask for your patience as we iron out any of the kinks over the next week or so.   We look forward to helping you at any hour, any day of the week with your technology needs!

24/7 Library research assistance is available via the library home page library.francis.edu and select the chat button at the bottom of the screen.

Internet and Canvas and Learning Resource Sluggishnes

SFU is aware that many internet functions are performing slowly from time to time. Please
understand that this structure is entirely new to the entire USA.  We cannot"fix it" from a
technical standpoint, but there are things we all can do as community users. Somethings to
keep in mind while conducting virtual classes and creating online content:

  • Consider only audio conferencing, much less bandwidth needed compared to video.
  • Assignments that can be posted to Canvas one time and student can complete and
    submit at a later time.
  • Linking to content already with a major provider rather than uploading or sharing
    (example link to YouTube or link to Google Docs).
  • For exams, use asynchronous, if possible, instead of all at one time, and/or allow extra
    time to complete the exams due to slower bandwidth impacting the platforms and
    applications.
  • Consider working during off-peak times, for example, there is usually a slowdown late
    morning when the west coast comes online.
  • Establish a home schedule that provides priority to learning activities, rather than
    competing with family entertainment needs that use the same virtual resources.

Thank you to the faculty who have in a short time moved into the completed virtual
teaching/learning environment. Thank you for the dedicated staff supporting the systems
behind the scenes to make the learning possible. And, most importantly, thank you, students for your willingness and dedication to continue your learning from a distance.

Please be safe and healthy. Take time to care of yourself.

Dr. Karan Powell
Vice President of Academic Affairs

 

March 19, 2020 (Counseling Center Update)

Dear Students and SFU Community,

I am writing to you to share updates and decisions relative to the Saint Francis University Counseling Center’s response to the global Coronavirus (COVID-19).  While there are no confirmed cases on our campus, protecting the health and safety of our students remains the Counseling Center’s top priority.  

Effective immediately, the Counseling Center is moving all counseling support to a remote format. 

  • At this time, all face-to-face counseling services will be discontinued. 
  • Telephone support services will be available to all existing student clients.
  • Telephone consultation and referral services will be available to all students who are not existing clients of the Counseling Center. 
  • If you would like to schedule a tele-appointment, please email counseling@francis.edu or call (814) 472-3211 for assistance. 

Please note that this approach is likely to change as additional formats and platforms become available. For updates, information, and resources, please check the University’s dedicated webpage

In the event of a crisis, for immediate assistance: 

Thank you, again, for your cooperation and understanding during this difficult time.  Please continue to keep the community in your thoughts and prayers as we navigate this unprecedented situation. Stay healthy and take care! 

Sincerely,

Laura Corbett-Contorchick

Coordinator of Counseling Services 

March 17, 2020 (NEC press release)

NEC Official at NEC Men's Basketball Championship at Robert Morris Tests Positive for COVID-19 Virus

SFU Community Announcement

https://northeastconference.org/news/2020/3/17/MBB_NEC_Statement_3_17_20.aspx

 

March 17, 2020 (Health Center Hours and App)

A letter from MyHealth@School (Health Center):

Please continue to do your part by WASHING YOUR HANDS, CLEANING YOUR PERSONAL WORK AREA, CLEANING YOUR CELL PHONE, and practicing SOCIAL DISTANCING.

Important info:

  • Hours: Monday-Thursday 7:30 - 4pm, Friday 7:30 - 2pm
  • If you feel ill: PLEASE CALL FIRST before coming over: (814) 472-3008
  • Telemedicine: If you would like to be seen by a provider using your own cell phone, read instructions here for setting up the app: MyHealth@School Instructions >

All of the staff here at MyHealth@School continues to wish you well.

Mandy, Sandy, & Tom

 

March 17, 2020 (JFK closed)

Saint Francis University continues to monitor the global spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and make modifications to our environment in an effort to maintain the health and safety of our campus community. Effective immediately, the JFK Student Center will be closed until further notice.

The Center for Student Engagement/JFK Center staff will be working remotely during this time and will respond to all incoming communications as quickly as possible. Please contact the main JFK Student Center phone number at 814-472-3005 or via email at studentlife@francis.edu

 

March 17, 2020 (Bookstore closed)

The Campus Bookstore will be CLOSED as of noon March 17 until further notice.

Bookstore staff will remain working and will continue to process online merchandise and book orders.  Should there come a time that we are restricted from working, we will update that information via email. 

Please email us at bookstore@francis.edu with questions or concerns, and a member of our staff will respond in a timely manner.  Thank you.

 

March 17, 2020 (Mail Room hours)

As of March 18, 2020 until further notice; Mail Service will be open:

Monday - Friday  12:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Delivery of mail and packages to campus departments/buildings is suspended until further notice.  You may pick up/drop off department mail at Mail Services during these hours ONLY. Any questions; please call Mail Services @3032 or email at: mhoover@francis.edu.

 

March 17, 2020 (Financial Aid Contact)

In the next two weeks, and possibly longer, as we are working mostly remotely, please send all communications regarding student financial aid questions to finaid@francis.edu.

We will be checking email and returning voicemails via email as well as utilizing Cranium Cafe to keep connected with our students.  

Thank you, 
Office of Financial Aid

 

March 17, 2020 (Keirn Museum closed)

The Keirn Family World War II Museum will be closed until further notice.

 

March 16, 2020 (Student Counseling Center Update)

At this time, the Counseling Center has adopted the following approach to ensure continuity of services for students:

  • Face-to-face counseling services will continue to be offered to students remaining on campus at this time; however, we are asking that students who are experiencing any symptoms do not come to the Counseling Center. Please call us at (814) 472-3211 or email counseling@francis.edu for assistance.
  • Telephone support services will be available to all existing student clients.
  • Telephone consultation and referral services will be available to students who are not existing clients of the Counseling Center.

    Please note that, due to rapid developments in this situation, this approach is subject to change. Additional updates, information, and resources will be added to the University’s dedicated webpage.

    Thank you for your cooperation and understanding during this difficult time.  Please continue to keep the community in your thoughts and prayers as we navigate this unprecedented situation. Stay healthy and take care.

     

    March 16, 2020 (JFK Hours) 

    The JFK Center hours of operation will be Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. until further notice. Please direct questions to the Lori Schrift at Ext. 3005. 

     

    March 16, 2020 (Stokes Athletic Center Closed)

    Effective today, March 16, 2020, The Maurice Stokes Athletics Center will be closed for recreational usage (DeGol Arena, Auxiliary gym,  track, and pool) until further notice. The weight room at DeGol Fieldhouse is also closed.

     

    March 16, 2020 (Fitness Center Closed)

    The DiSepio Fitness Center is now close until further notice. 

     

    March 15, 2020 (Letter from the President regarding students currently living in France and on-campus)

    Dear Campus Community:

    Saint Francis University continues to monitor the global spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).  

    As you know, the virus and its impact have become a profound challenge at every level of society.  My administrative team met over the weekend, and will continue to meet daily, to discuss the development of COVID-19 and subsequent strategies for maintaining a healthy and safe environment.  

    Below is the most up to date information for our community:

    Campus Employees

    We have a tireless workforce at Saint Francis University who are resourceful, dedicated and eager to serve. Campus offices and facilities remain open with limitations/modifications.  We realize that with the closure of most K-12 schools, there might be additional strain on employees. My administrative team has discussed how we can support employees throughout the next few weeks.  Human resources will be sending communication to faculty and staff regarding flexible leave time and telecommuting requests.  

    The university is strongly encouraging faculty and staff to adopt social distancing strategies in the workplace. Best practice guidelines should be reviewed by all supervisors and employees.   

    Services of graduate assistants and teaching assistants will be augmented by existing faculty and staff. 

    While our students are transitioning to a virtual environment and moving out of residence halls, employees may find that they are able to assist with other arising needs that the university has encountered.  We are looking for employees who might be willing to take on roles related to student support, animal care/feeding, academic assistance or other functions on campus. Please notify your supervisor if you would like to be considered for a role. 

    Students Studying in France

    Campus personnel have remained diligent in regards to communicating with and monitoring our students studying in France.  Many students studying in Ambialet, France were traveling during their previously scheduled spring break. Given the changing regulations related to travel, we are requiring students to return to Ambialet no later than Monday, March 16th.        

    Students Living On Campus

    Some students will not be able to spend this virtual learning period at home for a variety of reasons.  The Office of Residence Life is working with all students remaining in campus housing to support them as needed.  A high level of care and concern continues even at these most challenging times.    

    We are identifying ways to maintain a safe environment should students present symptoms of the virus.  At this point we have no confirmed cases of COVOD-19 on campus.    

    All Saint Francis University communications, information and resources related to the Coronavirus can be found at www.francis.edu/coronavirus.  Specific questions and concerns  that may arise should be directed to covid19@francis.edu.  

    I will continue to communicate changes as they develop.  I know we all have been deeply affected by the disruption of the semester and of the global events we are facing.  I remain profoundly appreciative to all the faculty and staff who have worked so hard to navigate these challenges.  Thank you for your continued care and support.

    Let us not forget the theme of the academic year: “We are a community of faith and prayer.”  As we live this out each day, let us pray for one another and keep faith in our God who is by our side.  May the Lord bless us and give us His peace.

    Very Rev. Malachi Van Tassell, T.O.R., Ph.D.

    President



    March 13, 2020 (Community Update)

    Dear Campus Community,

    As students transition off campus and faculty prepare courses for virtual delivery, we are doing the best we can to provide information and support.  This is an unprecedented situation for our students, faculty and staff.   

    Colleges and universities are being asked to do our part to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.  As you know we are moving towards a virtual learning environment on Wednesday, March 18th. Residence halls are closing today at 6:00 pm.  Please see changes relative to Athletics below. Students were provided details from the Office of Residence Life via email with instructions for moving on campus.  You can stay up to date with pertinent campus messages at www.francis.edu/coronavirus

    We believe we will have much better information in the coming 7-10 days.  As we learn more, we will make determinations about the best way to move ahead with the semester.  Below are answers and information related to frequently asked questions.      

    Athletic Practices and Competitions

    Effective immediately, all Saint Francis Athletics competitions and practices for the remainder of the spring semester, including any spring sporting events that occur beyond the academic year, are canceled.

    The University policy follows the directive of the Northeast Conference, who moved to cancel all competitions and practices for all teams on campuses for the remainder of the spring semester today (Friday, March 13).

    Statement from the Northeast Conference League Office:

    “With the evolving nature of the COVID-19 public health threat and in light of yesterday’s announcement by the NCAA to cancel the remaining NCAA championships, the Northeast Conference Presidents convened by conference call this morning and voted to cancel all competition (conference and non-conference) as well as organized and formal practices for all teams on NEC campuses for the remainder of the spring semester.  In addition, the NEC has announced a moratorium on all on- and off-campus in-person recruiting activities until further notice.”

    The cancellation of all sports extends to the University’s non-affiliated NEC programs, which include men’s volleyball and water polo.  

    In light of the cancellation of all athletics practices and competitions, the Office of Residence Life is changing the departure date and time for students that previously requested housing until Monday, March 16th at 10:00 am.  Students may still request extensions via the Office of Residence Life.  

    Campus Offices and Facilities

    Saint Francis University campus offices and facilities will remain open.  We are working to facilitate continuous employment during this period to continue to provide the full range of services and support to students and faculty that we always do, albeit via different means and methods in some cases.  Torvian Dining Hall remains operational with regular hours today. This weekend Torvian will be open and begin hours of 7:00 am - 8:00 pm on Monday, March 16th.  

    Custodial Services

    Deep cleaning is occurring in all common areas, restrooms, locker rooms across campus facilities.

    Transportation

    Shuttle services for students will run through Sunday, March 15th morning.  All shuttle services are free of charge for students. We are working to coordinate transportation for those students remaining on campus through the Center for Student Engagement.  We will notify students via email. For additional details please contact the Center for Student Engagement at 814-472-3005.

    Graduation

    We recognize the decisions the University has made are especially trying for our students who are looking forward to graduating in May.  It is still too early to make any decisions regarding commencement at this time. We are sensitive to families that need adequate time to make travel arrangements.     

    Refunds

    Auxiliary fees, such as room and board, support many aspects of our students’ well-being and safety on campus. We need to examine all of the services that will be impacted before we determine how financial aspects of this change will need to be handled. Please know that we are working to deliver a response as soon as we can.  

    Students Studying in Ambialet, France

    Appropriate university personnel are in constant communication with SFU staff in France to make decisions relative to the safety and well-being of our students abroad.  This situation continues to develop quickly but we remain vigilant towards ensuring the safety and well-being of those operating out of our facility in France.    

    Specific questions and concerns should be directed to covid19@francis.edu

    March 13, 2020 (Dining Hall Hours)

    Torvian Hours & Costs

    • Regular hours Friday, March 13
    • Saturday and Sundays (beginning 3/14)
      • 10:30 AM to 7:00 PM
    • Monday thru Friday (beginning 3/16)
      • 7:00 AM to 8 PM
    • Cost: Starting 3/16, Torvian will be offering meals at reduced rates:
      • Breakfast: $3.50
      • Lunch: $5.00
      • Dinner: $7.00
    •  All stations will be open.

    Hours are subject to change so watch for any updates.

    - Frankies closes Friday, March 13 at 6:00 PM, reopens Sunday, March 29 at 6:00 PM
    - Adamucci's closes Friday March 13 at 3:00 PM, reopens Monday, March 30 at 7:00 AM
    - Padua Express closes Friday, March 13 at 1:30 PM, reopens Monday, March 30 at 7:00 AM

     

    March 13, 2020 (SFU Athletics Competitions & Practices Canceled for Remainder of Semester)

    Loretto, Pa. – Effective immediately, all Saint Francis Athletics competitions and practices for the remainder of the spring semester, including any spring sporting events that occur beyond the academic year, are canceled.

    The University policy follows the directive of the Northeast Conference, who moved to cancel all competitions and practices for all teams on campuses for the remainder of the spring semester today (Friday, March 13).

    Statement from the Northeast Conference League Office:

    “With the evolving nature of the COVID-19 public health threat and in light of yesterday’s announcement by the NCAA to cancel the remaining NCAA championships, the Northeast Conference Presidents convened by conference call this morning and voted to cancel all competition (conference and non-conference) as well as organized and formal practices for all teams on NEC campuses for the remainder of the spring semester.  In addition, the NEC has announced a moratorium on all on- and off-campus in-person recruiting activities until further notice.”

    The cancellation of all sports extends to the University’s non-affiliated NEC programs, which include men’s volleyball and water polo. 

     

    March 12, 2020 (Residence Life - Housing Closing Procedures)

    When you leave your housing for the break, please complete the following:

    • Close and lock windows.
    • Leave blinds or curtains in open position except for 1st and ground floors.
    • Unplug all electrical appliances. (You may leave computers and refrigerators plugged in. If you leave your devices plugged in, the University will not be responsible for any damage due to a power surge.)
    • Turn off all alarm clocks, including computer based systems.
    • Remove all perishable food from the refrigerator.
    • Remove all room trash and dispose of it properly. Trash left in rooms will attract bugs.
    • Take valuable items home. (Although reasonable precautions will be taken to safeguard your belongings, the University is not responsible for loss or theft.)
      Remove any pet fish or plants.
    • Turn lights off.
    • Lock your door.
    • Double check to make sure your door is locked.

     

    March 12, 2020 (Residence Life Statement)

    In accordance with the email sent earlier today by Fr. Malachi, University Housing will close as of Friday, March 13, 2020.  Accommodations for late departure can be made as well as for any student needing assistance beyond that time.

    WE ARE REQUESTING ALL RESIDENT STUDENTS TO COMPLETE THE ONLINE FORM FOUND HERE.  Residence Life Housing Request.  Even if you are leaving prior to 6PM Friday, please take a few minutes to complete.

    This information will be shared with various departments across campus to ensure services are in place during this time.  We have been made aware that Dining Services will continue to be made available.  As we receive further updates, we will notify the students who are on campus.  

    We understand the challenges of the notice of the departure from campus and please know that we are willing to assist you as you navigate this time.  If you need assistance with transportation, please contact the Center for Student Engagement. 


    March 12, 2020 (Ambialet Study Abroad Statement)

    Saint Francis University’s on-site classes, in Loretto, will continue through Friday, March 13th.  Classes will be offered virtually beginning Wednesday March 18 with in person classes resuming tentatively March 30.  No later than March 27 the University will evaluate the situation and confirm the start date of face to face classes.  Managing the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff is the institution's top priority.  

    SFU students in France have begun their spring break. They are traveling to smaller, more discrete areas reviewed by the staff in Ambialet.  In addition, the staff in Ambialet is in close contact with all students even while on break.  Upon their return to Ambialet following their break, the students will remain in Ambialet to complete their semester.  Ambialet is a very small and an extremely remote village. Students will be safer in Ambialet rather than rushing them to crowded airports and putting them on crowded planes to bring them back to the U.S.

    While they remain in Ambialet, extra measures are in place with frequent cleanings, reducing contact with villagers and the outside community, and monitoring and support from the SFU staff and team in Ambialet.  There is access to multiple doctors who speak both French and English.  Students will get medical attention at early signs of illness.  There are rooms at our site that currently unused.  If a student becomes ill, (s)he will be moved into a private space.

    The 30-day travel ban announced last evening by President Trump for those coming from Europe to the U.S. applies to foreign nationals. The ban takes effect tomorrow (Friday at midnight) and does not apply to American citizens and permanent legal residents and their families.

    If a student would like to return to the U.S. before the end of the semester, please let me know and I will help with the return flight change. Arrangements will be put in place to complete the coursework online. 

    The University continues to monitor the situation very closely.  The decisions made are very measured with the best interest of our students in mind. If there are any changes to the University’s decision, Juie Horvath will notify you asap. 

    March 12, 2020 (Athletics Coronavirus Statement)

    Loretto, Pa. – In light of COVID-19 and out of concern for the well-being of our student-athletes, Saint Francis Athletics has announced the suspension of all in-season spring sport competitions until further notice.

    The announcement comes in conjunction with the Northeast Conference’s decision to suspend all of its spring sports conference play immediately through at least Mar. 29. You can view the full release from the league office here:

    https://northeastconference.org/news/2020/3/12/NEC_WBB_Tournament_Update_3_12_20.aspx

    Additionally, Saint Francis Athletics will suspend all non-championship sports at this time.

    For further updates visit the University’s Coronavirus home page https://www.francis.edu/coronavirus/ or visit www.sfuathletics.com.

    March 11, 2020 (Communication to Parents)

    Being apart from your son or daughter is hard even under the best circumstances, and we know that it must be incredibly frustrating to be separated during this international outbreak of coronavirus.  

    Things are developing quickly and we are working to ensure the safety of all community members, while communicating on a regular basis. Please know the Saint Francis University administration shares the same desire as you - to keep our students safe.

    The fact that there are confirmed cases of the virus in Pennsylvania is not an unexpected development, given the recent spread. Still, there is no indication that there is an immediate risk to our community.   We will continue to track guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and remain in daily contact with UPMC and PA Department of Health and local experts. 

    At this point we are continuing to follow our existing class schedules and we will keep you informed of any changes. 

    For daily updates and to see what steps are being taken to protect our students, please use the following mechanisms to stay up to date:  

    The University is in constant communication with the CDC and other agencies in an effort to keep our community safe and healthy. We recognize you likely will have a lot of questions. We will move as quickly as possible to provide answers in this rapidly evolving situation.


    March 09, 2020 (Campus Community Update)

    The following are steps we are taking to protect the health and well-being of our community amid the global health risk posed by coronavirus.

    The fact that there are confirmed cases of the virus in Pennsylvania is not an unexpected development, given the recent spread. Still, there is no indication that there is an immediate risk to our community.   We will continue to track guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and remain in daily contact with UPMC and PA Department of Health and local experts. 

    During this time, the safety of the Saint Francis community remains the primary focus behind all of our efforts. We also are working diligently to ensure continuity of the university's mission in the event the virus makes its way to any of our campuses. We implemented our Pandemic Response Plan and have several working groups (executive group, prevention group, education group, and operations group) to help the university stay ahead of developments, create comprehensive plans to safeguard our community, maintain smooth operations, and deliver consistent communications. These efforts have been underway since February 4, 2020, and are aimed at mitigating potential short- and long-term impacts.

    • myhealth@school (Student Health): As an accredited health care facility, our Student Health Center has staff who are trained in current infectious disease control procedures, and protocols are in place if someone were to present with symptoms requiring testing, isolation, or care. myhealth@school has been planning for weeks to ensure they have ample medical supplies and staffing to be prepared to care for our student community. Call (814) 472-3008 immediately if you have symptoms or have been in contact with a confirmed case. We have established protocol to work with the Department of Health, and they will handle all suspected cases and determine the testing needs.  In addition, the Counseling Center is available for students seeking confidential support. 
    • Dining Services: We are following the protocol issued by Parkhurst of mandating all guests who visit Torvian and Frankies to use hand sanitizer as they enter. We have made Clorox wipes available and ask that you clean your table before use and after using it.  Please do not refill any cups or plates, get new ones.  You will see additional staff cleaning tables, and you will see the fewer dishes and silverware being put out and rotated out for cleaning more frequently.   Any student who has any symptoms should not visit the dining halls and should coordinate meal delivery by Residence Life (814) 472-3029.
    • Facilities:  We ensured all of our cleaning supplies are certified to kill the coronavirus. We took advantage of Spring break to "foam" every bathroom, shower stalls, shower curtains.  Every air vent was cleaned and disinfected, and all common areas were cleaned. Additional hand sanitizing stations have been mounted at building exits and in other high-traffic areas. Extra cleaning is occurring in locker rooms, lounges, and bathrooms. 
    • Classes: We have several different models to ensure the university's mission of offering high-quality education will be uninterrupted. If needed, we will select the model to be implemented based on the severity and frequency of the threat to campus.  Please rest assured that none of these models will result in the loss of any time or effort you have already completed.  

    Our Executive Group will get daily updates on the status of any threat to campus, and our Pandemic Operations group will meet twice a week to make sure we are ready to take any steps necessary. Please continue to be diligent in your handwashing and cleaning any potentially infected areas you come in contact with.  In this uncertain environment, we are making complex decisions using the best information we have available to us. We will always use what are current best practices for our decision.  

    Please feel free to email me any questions or concerns in regards to what is happening and as always keep the entire community in your prayers.