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6/15: COVID-19 Update #18

The following message was emailed to the campus community on May 15, 2020.

Dear Santa Clara University community,

As is our custom on Fridays, we provide a digest of updates to provide clarity, support, and guidance for the weeks ahead.

Planning for Fall 2020: As we have expressed previously, our hope continues to be to resume in-person instruction in the fall, provided we can do so while safeguarding the health and safety of our campus.  Like all universities, we are evaluating various scenarios—including in-person classes, virtual learning, or a blend of the two—to re-open as much as possible for fall instruction. It is becoming clearer that any scenario will likely require strict social distancing and enhanced safety measures to keep our community safe amidst the constant threat of COVID-19 resurgence. Reopening our campus will also require a robust infrastructure for testing potential cases, tracing contacts of confirmed cases, and isolating those at risk of infection. This will have an impact on all of our activities. 

Santa Clara leadership is undertaking extensive planning for all possible scenarios. Father O’Brien has charged seven Resilience and Recovery teams to develop comprehensive plans to prepare the campus for the next 18 months. Working together, the teams focus on Teaching and Learning, Financial Planning, Campus Operations, Staff Engagement, Student Experience (including Student Life, Athletics, Campus Ministry, and many other programs), Legal Guidance and Government Relations, and Communications. For more information, please consult the Resilience and Recovery Working Group website, which includes member lists and ways for you to submit suggestions and comments. After wide consultation on campus, and review of best practices at other universities, the teams will offer recommendations to help Fr. O’Brien make decisions informed also by the latest public health guidance.  

Spring 2020 Move Out: We continue to finalize plans for a staged and orderly move-out of campus housing that will comply with Santa Clara County Public Health Department (SCCPHD) guidance on social distancing. There are still appointments available for students or their proxies who live within 50 miles of campus to pick up their belongings.

For students who live more than 50 miles from SCU, we have requested approval from the County to allow students to safely return to campus to retrieve their personal belongings in June. If you live more than 50 miles from campus and you want to designate a proxy (family or friend) who lives within 50 miles of campus, please do so between now and May 25. Information about how to designate a proxy as well as sign-up your proxy for a move-out time can be found on the Housing Office's Spring 2020 Move-Out Information page. 

Additionally, for students who want to have their belongings packed, stored, and/or shipped, a vendor has been secured and the process is being finalized. Please visit the Housing Office website the week of May 25 for additional information.

Celebrating the Class of 2020: A special online event, “Celebrating the Class of 2020,” will take place on June 13 at noon PDT to honor our undergraduates and confer their degrees. We are looking forward to this virtual celebration to mark the day until an in-person commencement ceremony can be held. Information was sent to graduating seniors regarding updating their address to receive a special celebration box. Graduate students should check with their programs regarding virtual celebrations. More information on the Commencement website. Watch for a virtual digital celebration kit as well as more information in the coming week on ways families, faculty, and staff members can honor our graduates.

Join us in Worship: Due to overwhelming interest in the Sunday Masses last week on Zoom, we will now be adding a livestream option, available via the Campus Ministry YouTube channel.  We thank all of you for your interest and offer our regrets for those who were not able to join Mass live last week.

This Sunday Campus Ministry will have an Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Mass, featuring hymns and readings from 15 languages, traditions, and cultures.  If you previously registered via Zoom, and your unique registration link does not work due to space limitations, please join other students, faculty, staff, parents, alumni, and friends to view the livestream on YouTube. Please subscribe to the Campus Ministry YouTube channel and open the Campus Ministry YouTube page Sunday at 10:00 a.m. to view the livestream.

CARES Act: The University continues to distribute funds from the federal stimulus package, Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Funding under the Act stipulates that at least 50% of the allocation be used to assist undergraduate and graduate students with unanticipated expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19. The application is available through eCampus and a dedicated CARES Act Relief Fund FAQ page has additional information. 

A reminder to continue to consult our COVID-19 website and its regularly updated frequently asked questions section. You may also email questions to

We ask for your continued support and prayers as this pandemic continues to challenge our community and our world.   

Jeanne Rosenberger
Vice Provost for Student Life

John Ottoboni
Chief Operating Officer