We are nearly halfway through spring quarter, and campus is abuzz with a sense of optimism and renewal. Good news continues on the COVID-19 testing front. Over the last two weeks, with more than 2,000 on-campus tests, we continue to hover around 0.1% positivity rate. Thank you for continuing to follow safety protocols, getting vaccinated, and avoiding large gatherings.
Below please find helpful information on some favorable changes on campus; how to attain vaccines; Commencement updates; fall academics, on-campus housing and more.
Face Coverings Outdoors
Due to the sustained low positivity rate, increasing levels of vaccinated Broncos, and new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, SCU will be relaxing its requirement that face coverings be worn at all times outdoors on campus. Starting May 1, individuals who maintain a social distance from those not in their households may remove their face coverings while outdoors.
This change will not apply for large gatherings (more than 25 people) such as the June 11 in-person commencement celebration event, where face coverings will be required. Also, outdoor fitness spaces such as the parking garage weight room and Sullivan Aquatic Center still require face coverings when others are present. Those gathering in small groups must still follow social distancing guidelines, and unvaccinated people are urged to continue wearing face coverings.
Face coverings continue to be mandatory at all times indoors, except while eating or drinking at approved dining locations.
Class of 2021 Commencement
On Thursday, members of the Class of 2021 received an email letting them know that they can invite two guests to the in-person celebration that is scheduled for Friday, June 11. This in-person component will be followed by the official Virtual Commencement on Saturday, June 12 at noon-1 (starting at 11:30 a.m. for the pre-show. Additional details are on the Commencement website.
Vaccine Requirement for Fall 2021
As was shared with the community on Tuesday, Santa Clara University will require graduate and undergraduate students to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 for fall 2021. The requirement will go into effect once at least one of the three currently available vaccines has received full approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or the start of fall term, whichever is later.
The availability of vaccine appointments has improved considerably in recent weeks, including these developments:
- Pop-up sites: The Santa Clara County Public Health Department is going to start alerting Santa Clara University to the availability of “pop-up” vaccine sites within walking distance to campus, where students can get their first or second vaccine doses. These sites will be set up when there is a surplus of vaccine supply on a given day, so students will need to be prepared to go quickly to the site to get their shot. Currently, these sites are focused in other parts of the county but may appear near campus in the future. Timely information will be shared via text message through SCU Bronco Alert, and via social media.
- Grocery, drugstore, and other vaccination sites. As you’ll find on California’s vaccine website, several retail stores are offering vaccination, including some Safeway Pharmacies (not available at the Safeway closest to campus, however), CVS, Lucky, and Walmart. To find information about vaccination sites convenient to campus and when they open up for appointments, keep checking the state website or the county website, or follow @HealthySCC on Twitter for advice and other information.
Vaccine Transportation Options
In response to feedback from some students that they had trouble finding transportation to their vaccine appointments, Santa Clara University is in negotiations with ZipCar and Lyft to help provide rides to vaccination sites. More information will be forthcoming in next week’s update.
Also, remember that Valley Transportation Authority offers free bus or light-rail rides to vaccine appointments. Clicking on their interactive site will provide directions to testing sites including Levi’s Stadium.
Vax Verify Update
Thanks so much to the over 950 people who have used the campus Vax Verify system to register that they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Keep up the good work! To verify your own vaccination through Vax Verify, bring a CDC vaccination card showing either two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, along with your SCU ID, to the Benson Memorial COVID testing center anytime between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. on weekdays.
Effective May 1, limited indoor dining will be available in Benson. Seating will be socially distanced, with 1-2 seats per table. Food and beverage will still be served as grab-and-go and ordered through our mobile ordering app, but students will be able to eat their food indoors on a limited-capacity basis. Outdoor seating for students continues to be available on the patios adjacent to the Benson Memorial Center and around campus.
The Cellar Market, located in the basement of the Benson Memorial Center is open 7 days a week from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and is a great place for students to use their dining plan points for grocery items, snacks, beverages, produce, and more.
On-Campus Housing for 2021-22
We are looking forward to having students return to campus in the fall. There are a variety of living options that are inclusive and engaging places for students to meet fellow Broncos and immerse themselves in one of our RLC themes or live in a neighborhood unit just off-campus. Space is still available for on-campus housing for 2021-22 and the application and process can be found via eCampus on the Housing Portal.
Reminder: Fall 2021 Class Registration
This is a reminder that mandatory advising for fall class registration will begin soon (May 3-14), and that fall class registration will take place beginning the week of May 17.
Our plans to fully return to campus with on-campus residential housing, campus activities, and in-person classes for our undergraduate students, include complying with state and county health guidelines that will be in effect for fall quarter. This means that there may be changes to the class modality—seating density, class location, and fully in-person vs. hybrid format. This information will be shared with you as it becomes available, with updates in the Class Notes section of both eCampus and CourseAvail. In the meantime, you should plan your classes according to the current schedule as provided in eCampus/CourseAvail.
To better help you find the exact courses you are seeking, please make use of the “advanced” search function in CourseAvail (just below the search feature). This allows you to search for certain criteria (eg. classes that satisfy a specific Core requirement; classes that meet on a particular day; online classes, etc.).
The HUB Writing Center
It’s Week Five! Do you have papers or presentations due? The HUB can help! Make an appointment to talk about your essays, research papers, lab reports, cover letters for internships or other applications, and more! Access our appointment system through the HUB’s website and check out our online resources.
Library and Learning Commons
Beginning Sunday, May 2, the Library will expand hours for reservable study space. Study space can be reserved online 24 hours in advance online at the library website. Expanded hours for reservable study are:
Sunday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
An in-person, outdoor, Sunday Mass for students only will be celebrated at 5 p.m. at the Mission Church this coming Sunday, May 2, and on Sundays throughout the quarter. Preregistration is required each week for these Masses. Reconciliation will be available this coming Sunday from 4 to 4:45 p.m. near the bell tower of the Mission. For weekday night Masses and other programs sponsored by Campus Ministry, please see the Campus Ministry website or the Get Connected website.
As you enjoy the promise of spring, be sure to take good care of yourself.
Vice Provost for Student Life