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Santa Clara University A Message from the Provost
Further Updates to Undergraduate Winter 2021 Plans


Dear Santa Clara University Undergraduates Students,

As promised last week, we write to further update you on Santa Clara County’s Stay at Home order and its impact on our plans for winter 2021 quarter.

Since we wrote to you last Friday, we heard from many families who were profoundly disappointed that the order, which took effect Sunday, has delayed move-in day for on-campus residents and in-person classes, and that we don’t yet have a firm date to resume such plans.

First and foremost, we want to convey that we remain committed to having students live on campus and take classes in person for winter 2021, as soon as health conditions in our county allow. At this time, provided the current Stay at Home order is lifted in early January, we are hoping to be able to schedule move-in at the end of January or early February. Please see the email sent today to students who have committed to housing for winter 2021 (which also answers many common questions).

This has been a tremendously trying time for all of us, and we share in the deep weariness, frustration, and yearning we heard from our families, anxiously awaiting the “green light” that a phased return to normal campus life can begin.

We will be watching three major public health orders and directives from the state and county, which impact our ability to announce move-in dates and our plans for in-person classes (note that this table will be regularly updated on Prepared SCU):

Stay at Home Order
The current Santa Clara County Stay at Home order ends Jan. 4 but could be extended, depending on trends in available intensive-care-unit (ICU) beds.  Our students cannot move in while such an order is in effect.

Blueprint for a Safer Economy
Santa Clara County continues to be in the most-restrictive “purple tier” in California’s system for COVID-19 openings, which limits the types of in-person instruction that can occur. Students are allowed to move into reduced-capacity on-campus housing (as we have planned) under purple tier, following safety and social-distancing protocols.

Mandatory Directive on Travel
Currently in Santa Clara County, anyone coming into the county from more than 150 miles away must self-quarantine for 14 days. If this were still in effect in the winter quarter, students traveling from more than 150 miles away would be effectively “locked down” for 14 days. 

Academic Update

  • Academic Calendar. The January 4 - March 19 dates for the winter quarter 2020-21 undergraduate academic calendar are unchanged. All courses will begin January 4 fully online to start. Courses that include modified in-person instructional activities will begin through remote instruction on January 4 and commence in-person activities on or after February 1 (dependent on public health orders).  
  • Winter 2021 Class Enrollment Deadlines. For more information on winter 2021 undergraduate enrollment deadlines, please view the 2020-2021 Undergraduate Academic Calendar. Students will have until January 8 to make changes to their class schedule. If you have specific questions regarding class availability or registration, please contact the Office of the Registrar.

Testing Plans + Health and Safety

We will be offering weekly COVID-19 testing in winter 2021 starting the week of Jan. 4, free to off-campus students, faculty, staff, and—once move-in starts—on-campus resident students. This weekly testing will be mandatory for students coming to campus for any purpose—classes, utilizing study areas in the Benson Memorial Center or Learning Commons; or picking up grab-and-go food. Off-campus students are strongly encouraged to take part in weekly testing for the health of themselves, their housemates, and the surrounding community.

Entry Testing for On-Campus Residents. Those who live on campus will be required to be tested twice: once at the beginning of the week they move in (Monday or Tuesday) and again on Thursday or Friday of that week. Testing will be available all five days for this purpose, and three days a week for the rest of the quarter. We strongly encourage off-campus resident students to follow the same procedure of testing twice the week that they move back.

Locations on campus. Testing will be available Monday through Wednesday from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. (no appointment necessary) at three testing centers on campus:

  • Benson Memorial Center (Williman Room)
  • Locatelli Student Activity Center
  • Lucas Hall Room 125

Students will self-administer saliva tests under supervision of a trained health aide. Please note: Saliva tests require participants to refrain from eating, drinking, smoking, or chewing for one hour prior to testing. Samples will then be sent to a contracted laboratory. Most results will be returned within one day.

Professor Kat Saxton Information Series

Many questions you may have about COVID-19 safety —including what the county’s “purple tier” means and how to quarantine properly—are being answered in a weekly ‘Ask Professor Kat Saxton’ short video series on Instagram. A compilation of such videos is available on the Ask Professor Kat Saxton webpage (which includes a form for submitting more questions). 

Finally, we want to send our gratitude and appreciation for all you have done to get through this truly extraordinary quarter. We hope you are filled with pride at the work you have accomplished and enjoy your well-deserved break. We will continue our regular updates in the new year. In the meantime, we send our warmest holiday wishes to you and your families.

Stay safe and well,

Lisa A. Kloppenberg
Provost and Vice President, Academic Affairs

Jeanne Rosenberger
Vice Provost for Student Life