Back to Brooklyn: Fall 2023
The public health situation continues to evolve, and we remain committed to the health and safety of our community.
We are following the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and abiding by the requirements of New York State and New York City. Please follow this website for SFC’s most current COVID-19 protocols and requirements.
The environment we maintain on campus is guided by two core principles:
- Optimizing our community's well-being by mitigating COVID-19 transmission.
- Delivering a stellar Franciscan education aimed at student success and achievement.
All members of the SFC community are responsible for supporting and protecting the health, safety and well-being of themselves and others. Effective April 26, 2023, proof of COVID-19 vaccinations, boosters and exemptions is no longer required for new or current St. Francis College students, faculty or staff.
Our policies and plans will be updated as appropriate as more information becomes available, and we will continue to provide regular updates to the campus community.
Questions? Email [email protected].
As a reminder, the College does not require that all students, faculty and staff be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of accessing College buildings (including the residence hall) during the 2023-2024 academic year.
Vaccines are free and widely available in New York City or New York State.
The College continues to strongly encourage all SFC-eligible students, faculty, and staff to receive a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine before returning to campus in the fall of 2023. Getting a booster is important to combat the spread of COVID-19 and is an essential part of our health and safety plan for the fall 2023 semester.
Students, faculty and staff who are eligible for a booster are strongly encouraged to get a booster dose.
Individuals are “eligible” for a COVID-19 booster shot if:
- 2 months have passed since receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine; or
- 5 months have passed since receiving the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine;
- 6 months have passed since receiving the second dose of the Moderna vaccine;
- 6 months have passed since receiving the final dose of any WHO-listed vaccine.
Our records reflect that a significant percentage of the SFC community is currently eligible (based on the date of their prior vaccination) for a COVID-19 booster. Your booster shot can be any of the three authorized or approved vaccines. You may get a Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson booster shot, regardless of which vaccine you received for your initial vaccination series.
Where to Obtain the Booster Shot
- Visit Am I ELIGIBLE tool to schedule an appointment at an NYS-operated vaccination site. Walk-in appointments are accepted at NYS sites for all eligible individuals.
- To find a vaccination site, visit https://vaccinefinder.nyc.gov/ and choose your preferred brand from the “Any vaccine” drop-down.
- For pop-up and mobile sites, head to NYC’s Vaccine Command Center.
- You can call 877-VAX-4NYC (877-829-4692) for help finding a city-run vaccination site.
- To schedule a free in-home vaccination, visit https://forms.cityofnewyork.us/f/home or call 877-829-4692.
- Ask your doctor, pharmacist or community health center about booster shots. Check your local pharmacy’s website (e.g., Walgreens).
- To find a nearby provider, search vaccines.gov, text your ZIP code to 438829 or call 1-800-232-0233 to find locations near you.
Bring your CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record card to your booster shot appointment so your provider can fill in the information about your booster dose.
St. Francis College is committed to an “in-person academic experience” in the fall of 2023, as permitted by the state, and the safety of community members. Classes and labs will be taught in person, subject to these limitations.
St. Francis College will also offer more distance and hybrid courses in fall 2023 than in semesters preceding the COVID pandemic, including some degree programs that students can now complete entirely online. Please see the registration materials for additional details.
SFC International is thrilled to host new international students on campus for fall 2023, joining our continuing students as an international community of nearly 350 students.
If any students are not able to travel to the U.S., please contact the Manager of SFC International, Elizabeth Baldwin, at [email protected] to explore options.
Academic advisors will assist students with their individual schedules and answer any questions or concerns. Advising sessions can be scheduled on the Navigate app.
The health, wellness and safety of the College community is our highest priority. As the pandemic continues to evolve, the College is monitoring and following the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the New York State (NYS) Department of Health, the local department of health and all applicable federal, state and local agencies.
All members of the College community are expected to fully comply with all CDC, NYS and local health department guidelines.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the College has also developed reasonable and appropriate public health measures designed to prevent, control and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on campus in accordance with applicable laws, regulations and public health guidance.
All students and employees are also required to follow the College’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols and policies, which include but are not limited to:
- Vaccination: All employees and students are encouraged to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to access College buildings or to participate in College-sponsored activities for the 2023-2024 academic year.
- Follow CDC prevention measures.
- Get vaccinated.
- Wear a mask.
- Try to stay 6 feet away from others (social distance).
- Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated spaces.
- Test to prevent spread to others.
- Wash your hands often.
- Cover coughs and sneezes.
- Clean and disinfect.
- Monitor your health daily.
- Mask Wearing: Beginning on Monday, March 7, 2022, mask-wearing will no longer be required for SFC students and employees while on campus.
Vaccinations will continue to be encouraged for all, except those with medical or religious exemptions, who must continue with required testing.
Vaccinations will still be encouraged to access the gym.
All visitors (non-SFC students and employees) do not have to show proof of vaccination or a negative test in order to enter campus for any reason.
While mask-wearing will no longer be required, anyone who wants to keep wearing a mask is encouraged and free to do so.
If you are at high risk of severe illness, talk to your healthcare provider about whether you need to wear a mask and take other precautions. If you are not feeling well, please stay home.
Mask-wearing is still required in the following cases:
You recently tested positive for COVID-19 and just completed isolation.
You were in close contact (e.g., within your household) with someone who tested positive.
For more information on isolation and quarantine requirements, visit the CDC’s website and New York State’s website.
We will continue monitoring city, state and national trends and policies, and update campus policies accordingly, should our area of Kings County enter an elevated-risk category in the future. The mask requirement could re-emerge should circumstances change and risks increase.
- Health Promoting Behaviors: The College will continue to facilitate health-promoting behaviors such as hand washing and respiratory hygiene/cough etiquette to reduce the spread of infectious illnesses, including COVID-19. It will also provide frequent reminders of proper hand hygiene (verbally, posters, videos) with hand sanitizer widely available in common areas and rooms. Regardless of vaccination status, all students and employees are expected to:
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Hand sanitizer should be used if soap and water are not readily available.
- Avoid close contact with people and do not shake hands.
- Cover all coughs and sneezes, preferably with a tissue that can be discarded in a closed container after use. In absence of a tissue, use your sleeve or elbow.
- Utilize sanitizer stations throughout campus. Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects, including buttons, door handles, counters, workstations, keyboards, etc.
- Testing: Consider getting a COVID-19 test whether you are traveling or not. Testing locations are available here and here. If your test result is positive, please notify [email protected] or [email protected]. We encourage students to use at-home tests for self-monitoring if experiencing symptoms. You must provide proof of a negative COVID test from a certified lab (rapid test from the last 72 hours or PCR from the last 7 days) each time you come to campus.
- Monitor your health daily. If you feel sick or were recently exposed to COVID-19, stay home. If you are experiencing COVID symptoms, stay home, except to get tested, so you don’t spread the virus to others on campus if you are positive. For some, these symptoms are mild, but they should not be overlooked, particularly if you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. Follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop.
- Comply with the Isolation and Quarantine Guidelines Below.
- Report Positive Cases. Anyone who has been on campus who tests positive for COVID-19 or is self-quarantining due to contact with a positive person must report this to Student Health Services at [email protected] or Human Resources Office at [email protected]. Reporting positive cases helps us monitor and appropriately respond to spikes in positive cases and implement ongoing testing or quarantine requirements appropriately
- If you test positive, as soon as possible identify anyone with whom you came in close contact while contagious and alert them that you've tested positive. You're contagious with COVID-19 as early as two days prior to symptom onset or testing positive. If you have COVID-19, close contact is defined as being within 6 feet of someone for a combined total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period (for example, three individual 5-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes) while contagious. It is important to let people know that they have been exposed.
Our facilities and housekeeping teams will continue to clean and sanitize the campus based on CDC and NYS Department of Health guidelines, as well as Occupational and Environmental Safety Office (OESO) protocols. The College will continue to use Environmental Protection Agency-approved products. Additional measures include but are not limited to:
- Regular cleaning, as prescribed by building occupancies, continues. Priorities have been adjusted to provide for increased cleaning and disinfecting of high-traffic, high-touch surfaces.
- Disinfecting wipes will be provided and there will be various sanitizing stations throughout the College.
- Building occupants are also encouraged to wipe down commonly used surfaces before and after use with products that meet the EPA’s criteria for use against COVID-19 and are appropriate for the surface, which will be available throughout campus. This includes any shared-space location or equipment (e.g., copiers, printers, computers, A/V and other electrical equipment, coffee makers, desks and tables, light switches, doorknobs, etc.).
- Plexiglass barriers remain in place in certain areas.
- Where possible, the College will ensure there is an adequate flow of fresh air to workspaces and optimize the ventilation system. MERV 13 filters will continue to be used in accordance with CDC recommendations. LED sanitizing systems have been installed in air handlers.
St. Francis College’s administrative and student-support offices will be open on campus during the College’s normal business hours, although some staff may work remotely at least periodically.
Anyone needing the services of an administrative office should contact specific individuals or the office generally. Students can schedule appointments with many support services through the Navigate app, or by emailing the office:
Anyone needing services from an administrative office should reach out first by email to see if the matter can be handled remotely before visiting campus.
- Academic Affairs | [email protected]
- Admissions | [email protected]
- Advancement | [email protected]
- Bursar | [email protected]
- Center for Career Exploration | [email protected]
- Center for Student Success/Student Advisement | [email protected]
- Center for Learning & Leadership | [email protected]
- Financial Aid | [email protected]
- Human Resources | [email protected]
- International | [email protected]
- Mission, Ministry & Interfaith Dialogue | [email protected]
- Office of Accessibility & Accountability | [email protected]
- Registrar | [email protected]
- Residence Life | [email protected]
- Service Desk (IT) | [email protected]
- Student Health & Counseling Services | [email protected]
For the fall 2023 semester, SFC will continue in-person instruction on campus, in an environment that stresses safety and minimizes the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
Under SFC's Remote Work policy, most employees will not be required or expected to be on campus every day. Employees must collaborate with their supervisors to develop an approved work schedule that may include both on-campus and off-site work. Any employee approved to work remotely must submit an Acknowledgment and Approval Form for Remote Work to [email protected], signed by both the employee and the employee's supervisor.
Student-facing employees should expect to be on campus at least three days a week in the semester, and certain departments may also need a stronger on-campus presence to support recruitment and other student-facing programs.
Faculty are expected to be on campus when instructing classes or labs or conducting other College business, as was the case pre-pandemic. They may be on campus at other times, to use campus facilities and resources. With the exception of required Athletics travel and travel that is directly tied to the essential operations of the College (e.g., student enrollment), all employee travel sponsored by St. Francis College continues to remain suspended until further notice.
New York Hero Act
The New York Health and Essential Rights Act (NY HERO Act) was signed into law on May 5, 2021. The law mandates extensive new workplace health and safety protections in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose of the NY HERO Act is to protect employees against exposure and disease during a future airborne infectious disease outbreak. On September 6, 2021, Governor Kathy Hochul announced the designation of COVID-19 as an airborne infectious disease under the HERO Act. This designation requires all employers to implement workplace safety plans and currently remains in effect.
St. Francis College Residence Halls will continue to house students this semester. The Resident acknowledges and understands that:
- The College may update COVID-19 rules, protocols, and precautions in compliance with current state and local guidelines and restrictions at any time as conditions change and restrictions and guidelines evolve;
- There is an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19, which is a contagious disease, in any place where people are present, including College residence halls, common areas, classrooms, and other areas on campus;
- The College cannot guarantee that Residents and other members of the campus community will not be exposed to and/or contract COVID-19 or other illnesses; and
- Residents are expected to follow all community standards set forth in various documents, including but not limited to the CORD. Residents who jeopardize the safety of others and/or fail to meet the standards may be removed from the Residence Hall.
All Residents opting to live in the Residence Hall are reminded that failure to fully comply with the College’s health and safety standards and/or violation of the policies in the CORD and/or this Agreement may result in disciplinary action, including but not limited to a Resident’s immediate removal from campus, immediate removal from the Residence Hall, transition to remote learning, suspension, or expulsion from the College. Disciplinary actions against Residents will be adjudicated according to the process in the CORD. The College continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation closely and will take action as warranted.
Additionally, Residents must:
- Follow and abide by Quarantine and Isolation Requirements and Guidelines as applicable in accordance with New York State requirements. COVID Guidelines are subject to review by the College and may be updated.
- SFC does not provide quarantine or isolation spaces. Any resident who tests positive is required to find their own accommodations to complete the CDC-required isolation or quarantine.
- Any resident that fails to comply with isolation safety requirements may be subject to discipline in accordance with College policies and procedures.
- Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms, including but not limited to fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headaches, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting or diarrhea. This list does not include all possible symptoms.
- Anyone with flu-like or COVID-19 symptoms must be evaluated by a healthcare provider prior to returning to the Residence Hall and when necessary, will be required to self-isolate.
- Pay close attention to personal hygiene including frequent handwashing with soap and water and/or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Keep themselves informed and aware of what SFC is doing in response to the pandemic, watch their emails daily, and contact the Office of Residence Life if they have questions.
College-sponsored events, meetings and gatherings (regardless of whether they are in College buildings or on campus) may be subject to limitations, including capacity and duration limits, pre-approval requirements, and additional health and safety protocols.
College community members who are sponsoring and organizing College-sponsored events, meetings and gatherings are responsible for complying with such requirements and ensuring that all participants are made aware of any applicable requirements. For example:
- Any on-campus events organized and hosted by St. Francis College-affiliated groups, departments or individuals in the 2023-24 academic year must adhere to all campus rules, including those regarding COVID-19 vaccinations and mask-wearing on-site, regardless of vaccination status.
- To host an on-campus event, organizers must receive permission from the Office of Special Events.
- Campus facilities are currently available for outside groups, organizations and individuals to hold events. Contact the Office of Special Events for more information and a copy of SFC's Facility Rental Agreement.
All visitors and vendors of the College are encouraged to be fully vaccinated. At this time, please note that the College is also strongly encouraging visitors and vendors who are eligible for a booster to receive a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine; visitors and vendors who are not yet eligible are strongly encouraged to get a booster dose as soon as they become eligible.
- Visitors: People who are not SFC students, faculty members or other employees and who do not have an SFC ID. Visitors include prospective students, parents, spouses, children and other family members, alumni, donors, the general public and local community members.
- Vendors: Include, among others, suppliers, contractors and others performing work on campus.
- Fully vaccinated: In general, people are considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.
We want to ensure you are fully prepared for the semester, and access to technology is especially critical now with our new course designs.
Please check out the technology resources our Center for Learning and Leadership and Technology Service Desk team has put together to help meet the needs of all students.
- As a St. Francis College Terrier, you have access to discounts on technology resources such as PCs, laptops and other personal devices. You will need to use your college email when purchasing any items to ensure you receive the student discount:
To shop for Apple products, click the following link: Apple for Education.
To shop for several vendors, including HP and Lenovo, please click the following link: CDWG Technology Discounts.
If you need to purchase a headphone/microphone headset that is compatible with the on-campus computer stations, here is our recommendation: Logitech USB Headset H390 with Noise Cancelling Mic
If you are a returning student, be sure to also check out your eligibility to receive CARES Act funding.
- The Center for Learning and Leadership team will host weekly Virtual Tech Review Lunch and Learn, where we will provide insight on SFC tech resources such as Canvas, Navigate, Self-Service, WebAdvisor, etc., and answer any tech issues or questions students may have. Be on the lookout in your SFC email for dates and times.
- Check out some of the technology resources our Academic Enhancement team has found online, which may be helpful to check out if you are searching for an inexpensive computer or Internet plan. Please know that these resources are not specifically endorsed by St. Francis College but have been pulled together by our academic support team to help save you time!
- Many internet service providers have plans for students and may offer discounts based on household income. A full list of low-cost internet providers and technology resources can be found here.
- Did you know your smartphone could be used as a WiFi hotspot? Connect with your cell phone provider and, if possible, upgrade your phone plan to include tethering so you can use you cell phone as a hotspot when on the go!
- Altice offers Internet for approximately 15$/month and has Veteran-friendly discounts.
- NYC residents can access low-cost Internet here.
- Some organizations offer refurbished computers if you meet certain eligibility requirements; check out: https://www.pcsforpeople.org/
- Look at Dell’s website, where they sell refurbished computers.
- Do you want to buy a laptop but, are confused on which specs you should be looking for? Have no fear, we are here to help! Your computer should have the following specs so you can tackle every assignment you have with confidence!
- At least an Intel Core i5 processor (i7 preferred)
- Windows 10 x 64
- 16 GB of RAM
- 500 GB hard drive
- Wireless networking adapter (for Internet)
- Three-year warranty (recommended)
- Also, pick a computer according to your degree, as many companies recommend computers that are more suited to certain fields/programs.
- Everyday resources to help save a few dollars:
- If you shop with Chrome, use Rakuten. Believe the hype!
- Add Honey as a browser extension so you can use coupons you didn’t even know existed!
- Make an account with UNiDAYS so you have access to tons of in-store and online discounts exclusively for students!
- Take advantage of Amazon Prime for students, where you can sign up for Prime for ½ the price!
Under CDC Guidance, asymptomatic individuals exposed to COVID-19 need not isolate, regardless of vaccination status. Instead, those exposed to COVID-19 should wear a high-quality mask for 10 days and be tested on day 5. Individuals awaiting test results must isolate if experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. Those who test negative may end isolation.
Those who test positive MUST isolate immediately for a minimum of 5 days. Depending on the severity of symptoms and your healthcare provider’s advice, you may need to isolate for a longer period. If, after day 5, symptoms are improving, isolation may end as long as there is no fever for at least 24 hours without the aid of fever-suppressing medication. As a precaution, you should continue to wear a mask, until at least day 11.
As always, if you are not feeling well, or have any questions regarding COVID-19 and proper treatment, we recommend you speak to your healthcare provider. For more information on isolation and requirements, visit the CDC’s website and NY State’s website.
For additional information on isolation, including how to safely separate from others, see:
- CDC Isolation
- NYSDOH Guidance (PDF) and Contacts Guidance Web Page
- COVID-19 Quarantine and Isolation and Guidance Tool
St. Francis College continues to be one of the most affordable private colleges in New York City.
Find important information through the following links:
If students are in need of additional funds, and qualify (undergraduate students who receive Pell Grants) and have not applied already, the application for the HEERF III relief fund is still open. Here is the link for more info and application: HEERF III and American Rescue Plan page.
The College is committed to enforcing these safety protocols and to providing you with tools and information about what to do if observe behavior that does not comply.
Students, staff and faculty who violate the College’s COVID-19 policies and procedures will be subject to appropriate discipline or other consequences in accordance with applicable College policy.
Visitors, vendors and affiliates who violate the College’s COVID-19 policies and procedures will be prohibited from accessing SFC buildings or campus grounds and may be prohibited from doing business with the College in the future.
Should you see someone on campus failing to follow the health and safety protocols, if you are comfortable doing so, politely ask the person to follow the protocols.
You may also report non-compliance to College officials. Matters related to employee non-compliance will be handled by the Office of Human Resources ([email protected]). Matters related to student non-compliance will be addressed by Student Affairs, ([email protected]). Students who refuse to follow these health and safety protocols will be subject to disciplinary action for failure to comply with a College policy, which could lead to penalties ranging from a warning to expulsion.
The College may utilize interim suspension and expedite the Student Conduct Procedures when addressing behavior that threatens the health and safety of others. Students who engage in, facilitate or organize irresponsible and reckless behavior that puts the community at risk may face formal disciplinary action through the Office of Student Affairs (or appropriate College official). Sanctions may include restriction from campus, immediate removal from the residence halls and cancellation of the housing license or suspension from the College.