The following message was emailed to the campus community on April 24, 2020.
Dear Santa Clara University community,
The days sometimes blend in as we shelter-in-place and it is hard to believe that beautiful spring days are now upon us. We miss our community, our campus is truly not the same without all of you here, but know you all are in our thoughts. Please bear with us as there are a lot of important updates this week:
Confirmed Cases: We were notified earlier this week that a faculty member tested positive for COVID-19 on April 20. This faculty member is at home recovering. Since this faculty member intermittently used a studio on campus, colleagues who had used the same facility were notified and alerted on health guidance to follow. The building has gone through deep disinfecting protocols. We also wanted to report that the staff member who tested positive last week is at home recuperating. If and when the spread of the virus impacts members of our community, we will continue to engage in contact tracing, notify appropriate parties, and update our SCU community on all confirmed cases.
Resident Student Move-Out Status: All resident students received an email on April 22, with instructions to log into the Housing portal, via eCampus to report their move-out status (i.e. I have completely moved out of my residence; I have belongings on campus that I need to retrieve; I am interested in packing/storage or packing/shipping, etc.) no later than Friday, May 1, 2020. This information will assist the University in planning for the retrieval of personal belongings left in the residence halls. The move-out status form is a survey, and does not lock a student into a decision at this time. When we are able to set future move-out dates, all move-out procedures will comply with county guidelines including social distancing.
Important Information for Off-campus Students: As we mentioned last week, the statewide shelter-in-place order and the County Health Officer’s order remain in effect. Sheltering-in-place requires all residents to stay at home except to perform essential activities. We want to reiterate that a return to campus and adjacent neighborhoods is not advisable at this time. Unfortunately, some off-campus student residents have not been complying with these public health rules and were recently issued citations by the Santa Clara Police Department. The County’s order prohibits hosting or attending any gatherings, regardless of size. The consequences of throwing parties or hosting gatherings are significant and can include citations and fines from both the police and Santa Clara University, in the case of SCU-owned off-campus housing. Santa Clara PD will continue to enforce and respond to complaints during this shelter-in-place.
A note to all students who are currently living far from campus and are thinking about returning to their off-campus or nearby campus housing: please understand that these prohibitions on congregating in groups, and social distancing protocols, protect not just individuals but our vulnerable neighbors as well. If we all do our part, Campus Safety and SCPD can focus on those most in need in our community. This is bigger than just us. We are one community, and each of us plays an important role in keeping each other safe and helping beat this virus.
Face-covering Recommendations: The Santa Clara County Public Health Department, along with Bay Area health officials, recommends that residents cover their nose and mouth with a bandana or home-sewn fabric coverings when leaving home for essential activities, such as grocery shopping, doctor appointments, and obtaining supplies needed to work/study from home. Essential businesses, including SCU, have been urged to ensure that all employees wear face coverings when they are on campus, even when no one else is present, to help prevent the spread of respiratory droplets. Face coverings should not be medical masks or other similar products, but can be made of any type of breathable material that will cover nose and mouth (such as bandanas or home-sewn masks). Medical masks are in short supply and need to be reserved for health care personnel.
2020 CENSUS: Every ten years, the U.S. conducts a national census to provide an understanding of the population within the United States. This year, the census launched as the nation found itself in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Santa Clara University will respond for all students who lived in student housing this year, which includes the residence halls, University Villas, Neighborhood Units and graduate/law housing. Students who lived in student housing during this past academic year, do not need to respond to the Census. Additional details about complying with the 2020 Census can be found under the Resources for Students section of our FAQ.
Clarification of Mercury News Article: Yesterday Provost Kloppenberg sent out this email that addressed an article on the fall plans of some Bay Area universities, including SCU. Per the provost, “while it is our hope to have in-person classes if conditions in the county and state are safe and appropriate, the story did not accurately convey the conditions under which we would do so.” Fr. O’Brien has set up working teams to prepare and plan for various scenarios for fall instruction. As always, we will prioritize our commitment to the academic enterprise and the well-being of our community, relying on the ongoing guidance of state and county officials. We will continue to update you as we get more information.
Finally, we hope you have been following Fr. O’Brien’s Bridging the Distance video series which aims to help us stay connected to campus. In yesterday’s episode, Fr. Michael Zampelli, from our Theatre and Dance department, says, “... we will come out on the other side of this with a greater sense of ourselves and a greater connection with each other.” Stay safe and well.
Vice Provost for Student Life
Chief Operating Officer