“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
Participation in club sports is being considered and will be modified to comply with appropriate COVID precautions.
Intramural events and seasons will be modified to comply with appropriate COVID precautions.
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 (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
Tina Greathouse, Director of Student Academic Support Services
Dr. Ann Dulany, Dean of Advising and Academic Operations
Dr. Cory Maloney, Dean
COVID Hotline (for any student or employee experiencing COVID symptoms)
Charlotte Jones, Associate Director of the Wellness Center
Matthew Burriss, Director of the Wellness Center
Quarantine and Isolation Housing
Dominique Nuzum, COVID Student Life Resource Coordinator
Alison Peleskey, Manager of Residential Services & Student Work Program
Cafeteria, Retail Dining, Catering
Parkhurst Dining Services
Facility and Fitness Center
Alexis Basil, Assistant Athletics
Director for Compliance & Operations
Seth Goodyear, Sports Information Director
Intramural and Club Sports
Kelly Herrmann, Intramural and Club Sports Coordinator
General Athletics Questions
Sarah (Schriner) Salamida
Christ the King Chapel
Pam Salatino, Coordinator of Chapel Ministries
Director of Chapel Ministries
Human Resources and Employee Policies and Concerns
Mary Lynn Lewis, HR Benefits & Administrative Specialist
Account Balances, Charges, or Payments
Financial Aid, Scholarships, or Loans
Additional Enrollment Services Questions
John Herrmann, Executive Director of Enrollment Services
Information Technology Services
ITS HELP DESK
Facility Cleaning and Sanitation
Physical Plant Services
General Questions Regarding Coming Home to Franciscan Plans
David Schmiesing, Vice President of Student Life
Jenn Simms, Administrative Assistant
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.