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Air Quality Closure—FAQs

With Santa Clara University classes canceled and campus closed due to air-quality issues, check the home page and FAQs for regularly updated information.

On Nov. 16, SCU President Michael Engh, S.J., announced that campus would remain closed through Sunday, Nov. 25, due to the fact that poor air quality from the Butte County fire is likely to persist on all three of our campuses into the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. 

In addition to regularly checking the SCU website, please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions below.

***This FAQ will be refreshed at 8 p.m. daily, or as additional information becomes available: 

How close are the fires to Santa Clara University?
The Butte County fire is nearly 200 miles away from campus; however, the air quality in our region is impacted.

Why is SCU closing campus?
Campus closed at 10 a.m. Thursday, November 15 through Sunday, Nov. 25, due to unhealthy air quality from the ongoing Camp Fire in Butte County in Northern California, which began Nov. 8 and has been causing increasingly unhealthy levels of pollutants in the air.

What about classes that were supposed to be held Thanksgiving week for students of Santa Clara Law?
The Law School has made special arrangements for classes scheduled on Nov. 19-21, and law students should expect to receive an email directly from their professors.

Where can students go for health care?
Cowell Health Center will be open from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. on Nov. 19-21.  Students can obtain face masks at Cowell Health Center or at the service desk in Benson.

What is the air quality?
In recent days, the air quality in Santa Clara was 180, which is labeled “Unhealthy.” For more information on Bay Area air quality facts see the state website

Air Quality Index
(AQI) Values
Levels of Health ConcernColors
When the AQI is in this range: air quality conditions are: as symbolized by this color:
0 to 50 Good Green
51 to 100 Moderate Yellow
101 to 150 Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups Orange
151 to 200 Unhealthy Red
201 to 300 Very Unhealthy Purple
301 to 500 Hazardous Maroon

Note: Values above 500 are considered Beyond the AQI. Follow recommendations for the Hazardous category. Additional information on reducing exposure to extremely high levels of particle pollution is available here.

What services will remain open for students?
All residence halls are open. Weekend/holiday protocol in place. Contact Campus Safety for lockouts and facility maintenance issues.

Benson Center will be open for limited hours to serve food to students residing on campus. 

Food service hours will be as follows:

Date Mission Bakery Marketplace Cellar Market 
Sat. (11/17)  8 a.m. to 6 p.m.  closed  closed 
Sun. (11/18) 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.  closed  closed 
Mon. (11/19) 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.  closed closed 
Tues. (11/20) 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.  closed closed
Wed. (11/21) 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.  closed closed 

Thu. (11/22)

closed closed closed
Fri. (11/23) closed  closed closed
Sat. (11/24) 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.  closed  closed 
Sun. (11/25) 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.  10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.  10:30 a.m. to 12 a.m.

The Bronco Corner Bookstore hours can be found at Bookstore Closure & Holiday Hours.

The University Library will be open from 12-5 p.m. on Nov. 17-18 and from 8 a.m - 5 p.m. on Nov. 19-21.

Campus Safety will be staffed as usual.

Cowell Health Center will be open from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. on Nov. 19-21.

The Malley Center is closed through Sunday, November 25.

When will campus re-open?
Campus is expected to re-open on Monday, Nov. 26. Check the website for additional information. We will update the website by 8 pm each day.

When will on-campus classes resume?
Classes for undergraduate students as well as graduate students in the Leavey School of Business, the School of Engineering, the Jesuit School of Theology, and the School of Education and Counseling Psychology will resume after Thanksgiving break on Monday, Nov. 26.

The School of Law has made special arrangements for classes scheduled on Nov. 19-21, and law students should expect to receive an email directly from their professors.

Additional information? 

The SCU website, will be regularly updated. Questions? Call 408-554-4000.

What about scheduled sports events?
Two indoor Bronco Athletics NCAA games (men’s basketball and women’s volleyball) took place as scheduled Thursday and Friday. For information about NCAA standards for cancellations, please see the NCAA website.

Other sports and outdoor practices are being canceled. More information is available here

What about Mass at Mission Church?
At the current time, all daily and Sunday Masses are expected to be held as scheduled. More information can be found here.

Page Last Updated: November 24, 8 p.m.