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Update: January 14, 2021
A Guide to Campus Health and Safety Spring 2021
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“Now the one who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a first installment. So we are always courageous. . . for we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:5-7).

As we plan for the unique circumstances of the spring 2021 semester, Franciscan University strives to provide a dynamic and engaging setting that fosters effective student learning, ongoing conversion and holiness, and personal relationships and community life, all in the context of a safe environment for students, staff, faculty, and guests.

The University’s Guide to Campus Health and Safety will continue to develop and evolve as circumstances, guidance, and regulations change.

Revised Spring 2021 Calendar

  • Classes Begin—Wednesday, January 20, 2021
  • March for Life—Friday, January 29, 2021 (No classes)
  • Spring Break—Canceled
  • St. Joseph Holiday—Friday, March 19, 2021 (No classes)
  • Extended Easter Break—Thursday, April 1, through Monday, April 5, 2021
  • Last Day of Classes—Wednesday, May 5, 2021
  • Baccalaureate Mass—Friday, May 14, 2021
  • Graduation—Saturday, May 15, 2021
  • Mission Trips—May 16-23, 2021

Preparing to Arrive/Return to Campus

Prior to their arrival/return to campus, all students are expected to monitor their symptoms and to avoid close contact with situations that put them at risk for exposure to COVID-19.

Any student who exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 or another communicable disease, or who has been in close contact with any person who has tested positive for COVID-19, should not travel to/return to the University. Contact the Wellness Center’s Health Services at 740.284.7223 to discuss your situation.

Self-Monitoring

All students, faculty, and staff are expected to self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms daily, including daily temperature checks. Students, staff, and faculty are required to stay in their room/stay home if they are sick. Any person experiencing COVID symptoms should contact the COVID Hotline at 740-283-4500.

The University will provide hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, disposable gloves, disposable face masks, and paper towels throughout common and public areas, classrooms, and other facilities across campus for use by students, faculty, and staff.

Symptomatic Testing. Students who have symptoms or who have been exposed to another person with COVID-19 should contact the Wellness Center Health Service at 740-283-4500.  Students may receive COVID-19 testing through the university’s Health Service based upon observable symptoms, subject to the clinical judgment of Health Service staff. The cost of these prescribed tests will generally be covered by the student’s insurance; the university will assist if this cost is a financial burden.

Faculty, staff, and students who have COVID-19 symptoms, have tested positive for COVID-19 or have been potentially exposed to someone with COVID-19 will be required to follow the direction to quarantine or isolate.

Asymptomatic Testing. The University will conduct ongoing surveillance testing outside of Sts. Cosmas and Damian Hall three days per week for faculty, staff, and students who are asymptomatic (do not have COVID symptoms). This testing will be NP swab and saliva-based test. Individuals who test positive will be informed of testing results within 24 hours after the test. Those that test positive will be required to get NP swab test through University Health Service and will have to follow the University’s Covid-19 isolation protocols.

Quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. Quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms. People in quarantine should stay home if feasible, separate themselves from others, monitor their health and follow directions from their state or local health department.  Resident students who are not able to travel home to quarantine will be moved to appropriate university-controlled housing.

Isolation is used to separate people infected with the virus (those who are sick with COVID-19 and those who are infected but asymptomatic) from people who are not infected. People who are in isolation should stay home until it is safe for them to be around others. In the home, anyone sick or infected should separate themselves from others by staying in a specific room or area and using a separate bathroom if available.  The university encourages students to isolate at home if they live within a reasonable driving distance. The university will provide isolation housing to resident students who test positive if they are unable to isolate at home.

Dashboard

The university will publish confirmed positive cases and current active cases of Franciscan University students, faculty, and staff who are studying or working on campus in Steubenville. Faculty and staff cases are reported through the Jefferson County, Ohio or other health departments. Resident and off-campus/commuter student cases are reported through the Wellness Center Health Service or through the Jefferson County Health Department or other health departments. Cases reported are the positive cases known by the University by 4 pm on Tuesday; data are updated online on Wednesday morning.

Face Coverings

Effective July 23, 2020, the state of Ohio requires face coverings in indoor locations that are not residences, and in outdoor locations where six-foot social distancing cannot be consistently maintained from individuals who are not family/household members.

Students are required to wear face coverings in all campus buildings including academic buildings, classrooms, and labs; the J.C. Williams Center and Antonian Hall (except when eating); and John Paul II Library, Finnegan Fieldhouse, Christ the King Chapel, and in public areas of residence halls.

Students are not required to wear face coverings while working a SWOP job alone in an assigned work area; while working out/exercising in Finnegan Fieldhouse, provided they maintain six-foot social distancing; or when outdoors, provided they can maintain social distance. Resident students are not required to wear face coverings while in their bedroom or apartment.

Students who are unable to wear a face covering may seek an accommodation through the Student Academic Support Services office, 740-284-5358.

Social Distancing and Decreasing Density

Capacity limits in most classrooms and meeting rooms has been reduced to increase spacing. Seating in buildings including the St. John Paul II Library and the J.C. Williams Center has been reduced. Students, staff, faculty, and visitors are expected to maintain social distancing as much as practical.

Intensified Cleaning and Sanitizing

The Physical Plant Services Custodial Division utilizes EPA-registered disinfectants

(for COVID-19 and others) for the cleaning and disinfection of all areas where contamination is possible. These are applied according to the manufacturer’s instructions and may include the use of: electrostatic sprayers, Ready to Use (RTU) bottles, or other methods.

Restrooms throughout campus will be cleaned on their regular daily schedule with an additional, separate disinfection of the high-touch surfaces. Residence hall restrooms will be fully cleaned twice per day on weekdays; on weekends, these restrooms will be fully cleaned once per day with an additional, separate disinfection of high-touch areas.

Classrooms, Labs, and Academic Programs

Classroom capacities have been decreased to allow for greater distance between students with a target allowance of 25 sf/student. Additional classrooms have been added at St. Junípero Serra Hall and in other rooms across campus. Online sections of courses have been added, and the limit on online courses for returning students has been increased to three per semester.

Students are required to wear face coverings in classrooms and labs. Professors are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings while teaching or maintain six-foot social distancing from students combined with other provisions as much as possible (e.g., use of a plexiglass barrier).

Academic departments will provide additional instructions and personal protective equipment as appropriate for academic clinicals and other external field experiences.

Faculty will anticipate that students may miss classes due to quarantine/isolation, and they will make provisions in their syllabi (e.g., recording class lectures).

Masses and Confessions

The Weekday 12:05 pm Masses and the Sunday morning Masses will be held in Finnegan Fieldhouse to allow for additional seating. Face coverings will be required for Masses. Capacity for Christ the King Chapel has been reduced; additional daily Masses have been added to compensate for the lower capacity.

Confessions will be held in Christ the King Chapel, with provisions for social distancing.

Residence Life

Resident students will return to their university housing for the spring 2021 semester in scheduled time slots.

Residence halls are limited to residents only; guests and visitors are not be permitted in any residence hall. Capacity limits for all common spaces have been reduced; some common spaces and lounges may be closed. In spaces that are shared by the entire residence hall (e.g., chapels, laundry rooms), face coverings are required.

Household life is a hallmark of Franciscan University’s residence life, and policy changes related to COVID-19 will have a particular impact on the daily operation of household life. Household events involving students who do not live on the household wing will need to take place in larger locations where appropriate distancing can be maintained; outdoor settings will also be encouraged.

Lounges, corridors, and common spaces will be cleaned and disinfected on a daily basis by custodial staff. Residence hall restrooms will be cleaned twice per day. Sink separations in restrooms will be increased by taking some sinks out of service.

In addition to cleaning by custodial staff, RAs will clean high-touch public areas on a daily basis as part of their evening duties.

Residence hall policies may be adjusted throughout the semester as circumstances develop.

Dining Services

Parkhurst has implemented changes to operations and procedures to reduce physical contact, decrease density, and promote safety and sanitation in all dining service operations. Employees have received additional training, participate in daily symptom checks, and wear masks. Sanitation stations are available in all dining service locations. Floor markings and signage promote appropriate spacing. Seating has been reduced and spaced. Table signage informs students of clean tables. Additional plexiglass has been installed.

Additional Provisions at Retail Locations

  • Mobile ordering to eliminate lines.  The full Pub menus for Firehouse Grill, Wraps & Bowls, and Cinco Cantina are available for online ordering.
  • Creamer, sweetener, condiments switched to individual packets.
  • Grill Items are now finished to order at the Grill station to eliminate the need for Self-Service toppings
  • A limited On-the-Go menu will be available at all times at Cupertino’s Café, as well as assorted snacks, chips, candy, and beverages.
  • The Pub will operate under Take-Out only service for the spring semester. Cupertino’s Café will operate as normal.
  • Egan-To-Go has eliminated self-serve options.

Additional Provisions at Antonian Hall

  • Take-out options at all meals.
  • Revised seating capacity maximum for Antonian is 345 guests. Take-Out will be encouraged as we near our maximum capacity.
  • Self-serve stations have been changed to served.
  • Individually packaged items will replace bulk items where necessary. Other items that are self-serve in bulk (for example, cereal) will have touch points sanitized every 30 minutes.
  • Salad bar will be served by a Parkhurst team member.
  • An additional deep clean is conducted every two hours.

Catering

  • No self-served buffets will be available. Served buffets or served, plated meals are available. Any leftovers are not permitted to leave the event to prevent unnecessary hand to hand points of contact.

Varsity Athletics

The University is conducting varsity athletics in accordance with the ongoing direction from the Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC). Currently, the University anticipates that all varsity teams will practice and compete during the spring 2021 semester; competitions will be limited to PAC teams, and the number of competitions will be reduced for each sport season. Student-athletes will participate in daily health screenings, and COVID testing will be conducted on a basis appropriate as high-contact, medium-contact or low-contact sports. Spectators may be permitted at some home contests with limitations and conditions.

Club Sports

Participation in club sports is being considered and will be modified to comply with appropriate COVID precautions.

Intramural Sports

Intramural events and seasons will be modified to comply with appropriate COVID precautions.

Fitness Center

Signups are required for time slots in the fitness center. Machines and weights are distanced according to appropriate guidelines, and capacity is limited. All equipment is disinfected after each use.

Campus Events

Campus events (e.g., guest speakers, socials, concerts, etc.) will be conducted in accordance with guidance from state and local health officials. Events will provide for social distancing, face coverings, reduced capacity in indoor facilities, etc. as appropriate. Outdoor events will be considered whenever practical.

Guests and Visitors to Campus

Guests and visitors are permitted on campus for regularly scheduled Masses and confessions, and certain other events that are open to the public. Prospective students and parents should make arrangements with Admissions to visit during scheduled visitation days. All guests and visitors are expected to comply with COVID-related policies, including policies regarding social distancing and face coverings.

Assumption of Risk

The novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has been declared a worldwide pandemic by the World Health Organization. COVID-19 is extremely contagious and is believed to spread mainly from person-to-person contact. Such exposure or infection has been known to result in personal injury, illness, permanent disability, and death.

While Franciscan University is taking reasonable measures consistent with guidance from the CDC and local health officials to manage the risk of COVID-19, it is important for students and parents to understand that the University cannot eliminate the risk of COVID-19 exposure and infections on campus.  With COVID-19 transmission continuing throughout Ohio and nationally, it is possible that some students will be exposed to COVID-19 and other infections while engaging in campus activities, including attending classes, living on campus, eating in the dining halls, attending activities, and participating in sports and recreation during the upcoming academic year, and that infections will result.    Students who attend Franciscan University this upcoming academic year must appreciate, understand, and accept that these risks cannot be eliminated.

For these reasons, we need our students to accept responsibility for their own health and safety by following CDC and local health guidance and University policy regarding social distancing, hand-washing, face coverings, and other measures students can personally take to mitigate the risk of exposure and transmission of this disease.  COVID-19 is a highly contagious virus, and it is possible to develop and contract the COVID-19 disease even if all the above safety precautions are followed. Students can never be completely shielded from all risk of exposure or illness caused by COVID-19 or other infections. Students who have an underlying condition that makes them particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 and other infections should contact Student Academic Support Services to discuss accommodations.

While we hope all of our students will be able to engage fully in our programs, students who are suspected or confirmed to have a COVID-19 infection may be required by the University to quarantine or isolate if recommended by guidance from local health officials or as required by a medical provider.  Such quarantine or isolation may require the student to leave campus and not participate in certain programs and activities during the period of the quarantine or isolation.

As more information is gathered and known, Franciscan University may modify its health and safety practices outlined above. It is the student’s responsibility to keep apprised of these changes.

Contacts for Questions

Academic Programs

Student Accommodations
Tina Greathouse, Director of Student Academic Support Services
tgreathouse@franciscan.edu
740-284-5358

Dr. Ann Dulany, Dean of Advising and Academic Operations
advising@franciscan.edu
740-284-5262

Online Programming
Dr. Cory Maloney, Dean
cmaloney@franciscan.edu
740-283-6944

Wellness Center

COVID Hotline (for any student or employee experiencing COVID symptoms)
740-283-4500

Health Services
740-284-7223

Charlotte Jones, Associate Director of the Wellness Center
cjones@franciscan.edu

Counseling Services
Matthew Burriss, Director of the Wellness Center
mburriss@franciscan.edu

Student Life
740-283-6441

Quarantine and Isolation Housing
Dominique Nuzum, COVID Student Life Resource Coordinator
dnuzum@franciscan.edu
740-283-6498

Housing Questions
Alison Peleskey, Manager of Residential Services & Student Work Program
apeleskey@franciscan.edu
740-283-6284

Cafeteria, Retail Dining, Catering
Parkhurst Dining Services
740-283-6274
Lee Dortmund
ldortmund@franciscan.edu

Athletics
740-283-6313

Facility and Fitness Center
Alexis Basil, Assistant Athletics
Director for Compliance & Operations
abasil@franciscan.edu
740-284-5810

NCAA Information
Seth Goodyear, Sports Information Director
sgoodyear@franciscan.edu
740-283-6523

Intramural and Club Sports
Kelly Herrmann, Intramural and Club Sports Coordinator
kherrmann@franciscan.edu
740-284-7034

General Athletics Questions
Sarah (Schriner) Salamida
Administrative Assistant
sschriner@franciscan.edu
740-284-7043

Christ the King Chapel

Masses, Liturgies
Pam Salatino, Coordinator of Chapel Ministries
psalatino@franciscan.edu
740-283-6276

or

Rob Palladino,
Director of Chapel Ministries
rpalladino@franciscan.edu
740-283-6506

Human Resources and Employee Policies and Concerns

Mary Lynn Lewis, HR Benefits & Administrative Specialist
mlewis@franciscan.edu
740-283-6398

Enrollment Services

Registrar
registrar@franciscan.edu
740-283-6226

Account Balances, Charges, or Payments
mybill@franciscan.edu
740-284-5255

Financial Aid, Scholarships, or Loans
myaid@franciscan.edu
740-284-5255

Additional Enrollment Services Questions
John Herrmann, Executive Director of Enrollment Services
jherrmann@franciscan.edu
740-284-5215

Information Technology Services

ITS HELP DESK
itshelpdesk@franciscan.edu
740-283-4357

Facility Cleaning and Sanitation

Physical Plant Services
740-283-6278

Mail Services

mailservices@franciscan.edu
740-283-6272

Orientation

orientation@franciscan.edu
740-283-6470

General Questions Regarding Coming Home to Franciscan Plans

David Schmiesing, Vice President of Student Life
Jenn Simms, Administrative Assistant
cominghome@franciscan.edu
740-283-6513

This plan may be modified as circumstances change or in accordance with new local, state, and other guidance.  Please check your email regularly for notices regarding updates to Franciscan University’s health and safety practices.

Update: December 17, 2020
Fr. Dave Announces Changes to Academic Calendar for Spring 2021
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Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students,

Peace and blessings!

As you know, Franciscan University of Steubenville will have an in-person, on-campus spring 2021 semester. But after taking time for prayer and discernment along with dialogue with students, staff, and faculty, including the expertise of our science professors, the University has made some adjustments to the spring Academic Calendar for faculty and students.

Here is the revised schedule for the 2021 Spring Academic Calendar*:

    • Classes Begin—Wednesday, January 20, 2021
    • March for Life—Friday, January 29, 2021 (No classes)
    • Spring Break—Canceled
    • St. Joseph Holiday—Friday, March 19, 2021 (No classes)
    • Extended Easter Break—Thursday, April 1, through Monday, April 5, 2021
    • Last Day of Classes—Wednesday, May 5, 2021
    • Baccalaureate Mass—Friday, May 14, 2021
    • Graduation—Saturday, May 15, 2021
    • Mission Trips—May 17-21, 2021

*Resident students will be able to schedule their check-in times beginning Sunday, January 17, through Tuesday, January 19; more information will be sent to resident students before Christmas.

By lengthening the Christmas break for faculty and students and making these other modifications, I believe we will be well-positioned for another successful semester on campus.  The fall semester was filled with such great blessings even with the challenges, and by God’s grace and your wonderful flexibility and cooperation, we worked together and experienced an amazing semester.

As we continue to “walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:5-7), I am confident we will experience more of God’s graces and blessings throughout the spring semester.

Doubtless you’re aware after this last year, that while we are proceeding with this plan for the spring, new circumstances may dictate that we make additional changes to our Academic Calendar and/or campus life, and we will adjust accordingly.

For now, I pray and ask you to pray with me, that we all have a joyful Advent, Christmas, and New Year, and return refreshed and ready for a new semester together.

May the Lord bless you and give you his peace.

God bless,
Father Dave, TOR
President
Franciscan University of Steubenville

Update: November 18, 2020
New Changes to End-of-Semester Plan
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Dear Students:

Peace.

When we discerned that we would welcome students back to campus, it was always with the understanding that we didn’t know how long it would last, or exactly what it would look like. We made the decision to take it one day, week, month at a time. It has been a blessed semester, and we rejoice in all that God has done and is doing.

We now find our community at a crossroad where we have to make some difficult changes. I trust that we will all take this with the grace that has been exhibited all semester. I am proud of what we have all been able to do together. Yes, we are calling for some additional sacrifices here at the end of the semester. But God has blessed us greatly, and as we approach Thanksgiving, we truly have much for which to be thankful—even as we deal with more changes to our end-of-semester plan.

Here are the latest changes:

  • The last day of in-person classes will now be Tuesday, November 24. All classes after Thanksgiving (Monday, November 30, and Tuesday, December 1) will be online. All final exams will be online.
  • In light of the incidence of COVID-19 across large parts of the country and the likelihood of new close contacts during Thanksgiving celebrations, we strongly encourage students who decide to leave the local area for Thanksgiving Break not to return to campus after Thanksgiving and to check out of their University housing prior to Thanksgiving Break.
  • Any resident student with a full meal plan who officially checks out of University housing by Saturday, November 21, will receive a $250 dining dollars credit by December 10.
  • Any resident student with a full meal plan who officially checks out of University housing by Wednesday, November 25, will receive a $200 dining dollars credit by December 10.
  • Housing and meals will continue to be provided to resident students who choose to remain on campus through the end of the semester. However, meals at Antonian Hall and the J.C. Williams Center will be takeout only, and indoor dining will no longer be offered.
  • The friars will continue to offer daily Mass and hear confessions. Most other University events have been cancelled.

As we walk into these final days of the semester, please know how thankful I am for you.  Since I have been in quarantine, I have had more time for prayer and have been so blessed to pray for you and to reflect on the wonderful works of God this semester.  Each one of you is a part of his great works, and it has been a blessing for me to walk with you these last few months.  Let’s not lose sight of all that God has done. Let’s finish this semester strong, supporting one another in patience, kindness, and charity.

“May the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in all ways” (2 Thess. 3:16).

God bless,
Father Dave, TOR
President
Franciscan University of Steubenville

Update: November 16, 2020
Revised End-of-the-Semester Plan
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Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students,

Peace.

In light of the increasing number of COVID-19 cases within our Franciscan University community, we have made the following significant modifications to our previously announced end-of-the-semester plans.  Also, depending on what transpires over the coming days, this plan may need to be adapted.

The changes are:

  1. Beginning on Tuesday, November 17, any student may choose to finish classes remotely.
  2. Beginning on Tuesday, November 17, faculty may immediately move the remainder of their fall semester classes and exams online.
  3. Professors who decide to continue with in-person class instruction will record all classroom sessions for any students who will be finishing the class remotely.
  4. Professors will let their students know if their classes will be completed either all online or by meeting in person with recorded lectures available for those choosing to finish their classes remotely.
  5. In light of the incidence of COVID-19 across large parts of the country and the likelihood of new close contacts during Thanksgiving celebrations, we strongly encourage students who decide to travel for Thanksgiving Break not to return to campus after Thanksgiving and to check out of their University housing prior to Thanksgiving Break.
  6. Students are encouraged to take a COVID-19 test before traveling home to avoid unknowingly spreading the virus (see test dates below).
  7. Housing and meals will continue to be provided to students who choose to remain on campus through the end of the semester. However, meals at Antonian Hall and the J.C. Williams Center will now be takeout only, and indoor dining will no longer be offered.

As previously announced:

  • Thanksgiving Break will still be observed from Wednesday, November 25, through Sunday, November 29.
  • As scheduled, the last two days of classes will be Monday and Tuesday, November 30 and December 1.
  • As scheduled, exams will begin on Thursday, December 3; the last day of exams will be Tuesday, December 8.

Resident students who choose to remain on campus during Thanksgiving may stay in their housing over Thanksgiving Break at no additional charge. Takeout dining service will be available during each day of the break. Various University facilities will be open during the break on a limited basis. Mass will be offered daily on campus. Resident students are required to check out of their University housing 24 hours after their last exam, and no later than Wednesday, December 9, at Noon.

University offices will continue to maintain normal hours and operations. The University’s emergency paid sick leave policy and COVID-19 accommodation policies remain in effect. Employees not on leave or granted accommodations should continue to work on campus and perform their daily tasks and responsibilities. Any employee who needs to take emergency sick leave or wishes to seek an accommodation may contact HR.  We will continue to monitor the situation on campus and make changes to these instructions if necessary.  Continue to monitor yourself for symptoms, wear masks, and socially distance.

I can’t begin to tell you how proud I am of all of you. In the midst of a pandemic, you have remained peaceful, joyful, and committed, and your efforts, with God’s grace, have carried us nearly to the end of our fall semester. I commend our students, faculty, and staff whose diligence in following the guidelines and in supporting and caring for one another has allowed us to do what many other institutions did not even attempt: having as normal a semester as possible during COVID complete with in-person classes, daily Mass, and lots of quality time outdoors with our learning and faith community.  It has been a blessing!

The FAQs below will answer many of the questions students may have regarding these revisions to our end-of-the-semester plan.

Let us continue to keep one another in prayer, asking God’s blessing to be on us.

God bless,
Father Dave, TOR
President
Franciscan University of Steubenville

Questions You May Have

Each professor will communicate with his/her students regarding classes through the end of the semester.

Each professor will communicate with his/her students specific information regarding final exams. However, all students will have the option of completing final exams remotely.

Yes, effective Tuesday, November 17, any student is able to return home and to complete classes and exams remotely.

Yes, any resident student is able to stay on campus through Thanksgiving Break and through the end of final exams.

Resident students must check out of their room/apartment prior to their departure from campus. Resident students who will still be on campus after Thanksgiving Break must check out of University housing 24 hours after their last final exam, and no later than Wednesday, December 9, at Noon.

Resident students should notify their Residence Director/Residence Coordinator by Thursday, November 19, of their plans for Thanksgiving Break and for checking out of their room for the semester.

Yes, the University will provide asymptomatic saliva-based COVID-19 testing on Wednesday, November 18, and again on Monday, November 23.

Students who have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID and students who become symptomatic over Thanksgiving Break should not return to campus; these students should contact their professors about finishing the semester remotely and should notify their Residence Directors/Residence Coordinators about any change in plans.

The University’s isolation and quarantine policies and procedures will continue to be in effect following Thanksgiving Break. The University will provide isolation and quarantine housing for resident students who test positive or who are close contacts with a person who has tested positive for COVID, and appropriate academic accommodations will be made so the student will be able to complete final exams.

Since the University is not closing the residence halls, dining services, or other facilities and services, room and board charges will not be adjusted, even if a student chooses to return home before the end of the semester.

Update: October 23, 2020
End-of-the-Semester Calendar
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Dear Students:

Peace.

During this unprecedented fall 2020 semester, Franciscan University has sought to provide a dynamic and engaging campus experience that fosters effective student learning, ongoing conversion and holiness, and personal relationships and community life, all in the context of a safe environment for students, staff, faculty, and guests.

As part of this effort, in June, the University announced revisions to the Fall 2020 Academic Calendar. These revisions included starting classes one day early and eliminating the traditional Fall Break. In addition, the University described a Backup Plan to be activated if circumstances made it necessary to conclude in-person instruction and exams prior to Thanksgiving.

Since the arrival of our new students and the return of our current students in August, the University has been able to provide in-person classes and labs for a great majority of our classes, a supportive spiritual and community environment, and a low-incidence of positive COVID cases among students, faculty, and staff. We have been able to achieve this through the efforts and responsible decisions that so many have made throughout the semester, and through the intercession of our Blessed Mother and by the grace of God.

The University’s leadership has consulted, prayed, and discerned throughout the semester regarding the best way to conclude this fall in a manner that provides the best experience for our students and a safe environment for everyone.

The decision has been made to proceed with the Fall 2020 Revised Academic Calendar as announced in June; the Backup Plan will not be activated. Students are encouraged to stay on campus during Thanksgiving Break and to finish the semester and their exams in-person. Students in University housing may stay in their housing over Thanksgiving Break at no additional charge, and limited dining services will be available during the break.

However, students will not be required to return to campus after Thanksgiving Break, and students who choose not to return will have the option to complete our post-Thanksgiving class days and final exams remotely.

Therefore:

  • Thanksgiving Break will still be observed from Wednesday, November 25, through Sunday, November 29.
  • The last two days of classes will be Monday and Tuesday, November 30 and December 1.
  • Exams will begin on Thursday, December 3; the last day of exams will be Tuesday, December 8.
  • Resident students are required to check out of their University housing 24 hours after their last exam, and no later than Wednesday, December 9, at 12 noon.

The FAQs below will answer many of the questions regarding this slight adjustment to the Revised Academic Calendar.

God bless,

Father Dave, TOR
President
Franciscan University of Steubenville

Questions You May Have

The University wants to provide students the opportunity to finish classes, to research and write papers, and to study and take final exams with the physical presence and support of fellow students, faculty, friars, and staff, as well as the resources and facilities available on campus.

Each professor will communicate with his/her students specific information regarding final exams. Generally speaking, in-person courses will have an in-person final exam, with a remote option for those students who choose not to return to the University after Thanksgiving.

Resident students who are not returning after Thanksgiving Break must check out prior to their departure from campus. Resident students who are staying/returning after Thanksgiving Break must check out of University housing 24 hours after their last final exam, and no later than Wednesday, December 9, at Noon.

Resident students must notify their Residence Director/Residence Coordinator by Tuesday, November 17, of their plans. Professors will communicate their expectations with students in each of their classes as to both the final class period and the final examination.

A student who has been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID, or a student who becomes symptomatic over Thanksgiving Break should not return to campus; the student should contact his/her professors about finishing the semester remotely, and should notify his/her Residence Director/Residence Coordinator about the change in plans.

The University’s isolation and quarantine policies and procedures will continue to be in effect following Thanksgiving Break. The University will provide isolation and quarantine housing for resident students who test positive or who are close contacts with a person who has tested positive for COVID, and appropriate academic accommodations will be made so the student will be able to complete final exams.

Since the University is not closing the residence halls, dining services, or other facilities and services, room and board charges will not be adjusted, even if a student chooses not to return to campus after Thanksgiving.

Update: August 31, 2020
Homecoming Events Cancelled
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Unfortunately, due to health and safety concerns for our Franciscan University community, Homecoming Weekend 2020, formerly scheduled for October 2-4, has been cancelled. We will still honor the feast of our Holy Father St. Francis of Assisi on October 4 and the Alumni Awards Ceremony will be rescheduled to a later date, but we will not host a major overall event for parents and alumni this year.

Update: August 26, 2020
COVID-19 Statistics Dashboard
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We have published our COVID-19 Statistics Dashboard page, available here.

This page will be updated by noon each Friday with the previous week’s numbers of confirmed positive COVID-19 cases in three categories: residential students, non-residential/commuter students, and faculty/staff.

In addition, this page will give the total number of Coronavirus tests conducted by our Biology Department in conjunction with Trinity Health System.

Update: August 21, 2020
Chapel Guidelines
Update: August 4, 2020
COVID-19 NOTIFICATION
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To all members of the Franciscan University Community:

The welfare and safety of our community during this time is the University’s primary concern. We are writing to inform you of a recent development relating to COVID-19. 

We recently learned that a University employee tested positive for COVID-19.  The employee, who is now in self-quarantine, was last present on campus on July 27, 2020.  University officials acted quickly to follow appropriate protocols in response to this information.  In consultation with local health officials, this included directly notifying individuals known to have had close contact with the employee.

Given the limited number of University community members who are currently on campus, a small number of individuals were directly notified regarding this situation. Although we understand there may be questions related to this report, we must ask that you respect the privacy of these individuals. The University is following protocols related to cleaning, social distancing and implementing remote work requirements for those at risk for exposure. We will continue to take steps to help protect the health and safety of our community.

We also take this opportunity to remind our community of important information regarding COVID-19. To slow the spread of the virus, we request your attention to and compliance with health-authority-recommended practices – not only to ensure your own well-being, but also the well-being of others.  Health and safety information can be found on the CDC’s website here. State health and safety information can be found here.

Please know that we will continue to monitor guidance and information related to COVID-19. This is a time to be attentive, flexible, serious, and engaged regarding the steps we need to take as a community to care for ourselves and for one another. 

As transmission of COVID-19 persists in Eastern Ohio, we can expect that other employees and students may have confirmed COVID-19 infections in the future.  Consistent with federal guidance, the University does not plan to issue a campus-wide notification for each additional case of COVID-19.  Instead, the University will work in collaboration with local health officials to notify those individuals known to have had close contact with the affected individual.

John Pizzuti
Director of Campus Safety and Compliance
jpizzuti@franciscan.edu
740.283.6238
Update: July 30, 2020
Coming Home to Franciscan
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We have released our comprehensive plan to welcome students back to campus in a manner that facilitates campus health and safety.

Read Coming Home to Franciscan: A Guide to Campus Health and Safety.

Update: June 23, 2020
FALL 2020 ORIENTATION UPDATE
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Franciscan University is planning for the arrival of our new students for Orientation Weekend on August 20-23. We cannot wait to welcome our new students into Franciscan’s one-of-a-kind intellectual and faith community. This fall’s Orientation will likely be more unique than ever as we make adjustments related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here’s what we know right now:

  1. New Student Orientation is still scheduled to begin on Thursday, August 20.
  2. New resident students will move into their residence halls that day on a staggered schedule throughout the entire day.
  3. Our first Orientation session for all new students will be on Thursday evening.
  4. Parents and siblings are normally welcome to join their new students throughout the weekend—this year we will need to limit the number of family members that will be allowed to join each new student during Orientation activities. We will be sharing more about these limits later in the summer.
  5. New students will likely be required to have their temperatures and symptoms checked upon arrival.
  6. We will do everything we can to provide the same information and assistance and family-like atmosphere that has always marked our Orientation Weekends—but this might happen a bit differently than it has in the past.
  7. We will communicate more information as it becomes more clear throughout the rest of the summer. Some of the details for the weekend might not be worked out until August as we adjust to changing circumstances and to evolving regulations and guidance from various entities.
  8. We are very excited for our new students to arrive!

Thanks for your patience and understanding. Further updates will be posted here, and on the Orientation website.

Please do not hesitate to contact us at orientation@franciscan.edu with any questions.

Update: June 18, 2020
REVISED ACADEMIC CALENDAR, FALL 2020
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As we plan for the unique circumstances of the fall 2020 semester, Franciscan University strives to provide a dynamic and engaging setting that fosters effective student learning, ongoing conversion and holiness, and personal relationships and community life, all in the context of a safe environment for students, staff, faculty, and guests.

To advance these goals, the University has adjusted its Fall 2020 Academic Calendar and has also prepared a Backup Plan in the event of a COVID-19 resurgence in the fall. As recent months have shown, patience and flexibility will be required by all as we continue to adjust to circumstances as they evolve.

Fall 2020 Revised Academic Calendar

  1. The first day of classes has been moved ahead one day to Monday, August 24 (from Tuesday, August 25).
  2. Fall break has been cancelled; classes will be held on Thursday, October 29, and Friday, October 30.
  3. Thanksgiving break will still be observed from Wednesday, November 25, through Sunday, November 29, although students will be able to stay on campus during Thanksgiving break.
  4. The last two days of classes will be Monday and Tuesday, November 30 and December 1.
  5. Exams will begin on Thursday, December 3; the last day of exams will be Tuesday, December 8.

Download this revised schedule as a pdf.

This Revised Academic Calendar allows students to complete the semester and final papers and exams in person, as part of our Franciscan University community. At the same time, it will reduce student travel over fall break, and it sets the stage for the possible activation of the Fall 2020 Backup Plan.

Fall 2020 Backup Plan

The University will monitor developments related to COVID-19 throughout the semester and, as circumstances warrant, may implement a Backup Plan that will end in-person instruction on Tuesday, November 24, before Thanksgiving. The final two days of classes will be made up through online or Saturday classes in November; final exams will be conducted through online or remote modalities. Depending on the circumstances, resident students may be required to leave for Thanksgiving break and not return to University housing. The University plans to determine whether or not to activate the Fall 2020 Backup Plan by Friday, October 23.

The Fall 2020 Academic Calendar Revisions and Backup Plan allow the University to plan for a relatively normal conclusion to its fall 2020 semester, which includes the opportunity for students to finish classes, research and write papers, and study and take final exams in the context of our supportive University community. At the same time, the University is prepared to respond by concluding in-person instruction by Thanksgiving and conducting final exams online or through alternative modalities in the event of a COVID-19 resurgence.

Questions You May Have

No. As of now, Franciscan University still plans to conduct New Student Orientation from Thursday, August 20, through Sunday, August 23. Get Orientation Information Here.

Returning resident students will be able to check in to University housing on Saturday, August 22, or Sunday, August 23. More specific arrival information and instructions for returning resident students will be communicated later in the summer.

Yes. Resident students are able to remain in University housing over Thanksgiving break. There will be no charge to stay, provided students communicate with their Residence Director in a timely manner. Limited dining services on campus will be available over Thanksgiving break.

Resident students must check out of University housing 24 hours after their last final exam, and no later than Wednesday, December 9, at Noon.

Room and board charges will not be adjusted under the Revised Academic Calendar. If the University activates the Backup Plan, prorated room and board will be considered if the University closes University housing in addition to concluding in-person instruction.

The University wants to provide the opportunity for students to experience a fall 2020 semester as normally as reasonably possible. This includes the opportunity to finish classes, to research and write papers, and to study and take final exams with the physical presence and support of fellow students, faculty, friars, and staff. Nevertheless, the University is also prepared to conclude in-person classes by Thanksgiving if necessary.

Fall break is normally a time for students to take a deep breath, relax, and catch up on academic work. However, this year the University is preparing for the possible implementation of the Backup Plan by completing as many class days as possible earlier in the semester. Also, the elimination of fall break this year will reduce the amount of student, staff, and faculty travel during the semester, thereby reducing the likelihood of COVID-19 being brought to campus by returning travelers.