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In the Spotlight
March 20, 2020

Message From the President: Online Instruction Extends for Spring Semester

Dear St. Francis College community,

These past couple of weeks have asked us all to draw upon our Franciscan values of compassion and respect in unprecedented ways. I am so grateful for the patience and kindness demonstrated by the St. Francis community as we continue to deal with the rapidly evolving changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. More importantly, I have been inspired by the resilience and adaptability of our faculty and staff as they work expediently to ensure students continue to receive a comprehensive and transformative educational experience.

In response to this fluid situation and guidance from the WHO, CDC, NIH and other state and local health authorities, we are continuously evaluating and adjusting, if appropriate, the College's action plan. Today we are taking another critical step to help safeguard your health and the health of our community to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus:

The College will continue to hold all classes remotely (online) through the end of the spring 2020 semester.

No events will take place on campus during that same period, including events organized by outside groups and those by SFC students, faculty or staff.

I deliver this news with a heavy heart. The completion of the spring semester is one of the most exciting times of year, and I know I share the disappointment of so many of you that we will not be able to enjoy it together on campus.

While there are still no confirmed COVID-19 cases at St. Francis College, doing our part to curtail the virus' spread is an obligation I take seriously. It is simply not in the best interests of our community to resume on-campus activities this academic year.

I'd like to take a moment to fill you in on other details of how things will work during the ongoing period of remote instruction:

  • Only employees who perform functions critical to the operations of the College, which cannot be done remotely, will be informed by their supervisor regarding their need to report to campus. All other employees are expected to work remotely.
  • Students and employees who need items in their lockers or offices must retrieve them by 7pm on Sunday, March 22. The Campus is accessible between 11am and 7pm on both March 21 and 22. Please follow all travel directives in place at the time of your visit. Any locker items not retrieved by Sunday will be stored and available for retrieval at a later date.
  • The Callahan Center will remain open with available computers and Wi-Fi for course related activity from 11am-7pm, on Saturday, March 21 and Sunday, March 22. It will be closed after that date until further notice.
  • Residence halls are currently open, although we ask anyone who can return home do so now.
  • The library will only be available virtually for the remainder of the semester.

We will continue to provide frequent updates via email and ask that you continue to check for more information. The team assembled to assess and respond to this situation has worked tirelessly over the past weeks to transform the St. Francis College experience. Please know their work continues, and that the College remains "open for business" virtually, even if not physically.

On a final note, I know many of you want to know more about our spring 2020 Commencement plans. We are in the process of determining our course of action and will update you by the first week of April.

I hope that you and your family are finding ways to make it through this challenging time.

I appreciate your commitment and continued patience as we make our way through the next few months.

I wish you and your loved ones the best of health.

In Peace and Friendship,
Miguel Martinez-Saenz

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