Student/Parent Town Hall available for viewing
Thanks to all of our students and parents who joined our virtual Town Halls Wednesday afternoon and Thursday night to discuss plans for fall.
For those of you who were unable to attend either Town Hall, a replay of Thursday’s Zoom Town Hall is available here. The password is ^6T#EZ9K.
A final Zoom Town Hall is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 6. Access links have been emailed to students and parents over the last two weeks. Another reminder will be sent Aug. 5.
In our Fall Reopening Plan that we released to students and parents on July 14, we indicated that students from states on New York’s list of surging COVID-19 cases would possibly have to quarantine at their own expense for two weeks in New York state before coming to campus.
However, the university has been able to create a plan to allow residential students to quarantine on campus, including meal delivery if they have a University meal plan, at no expense. See Option 1 below.
We were hopeful in mid-July that, over the subsequent two weeks, Gov. Cuomo would accept recommendations to amend the policy from CICU, the state’s private college lobbyist in Albany. But while it’s possible that could still happen, we aren’t in a position to wait any longer to make a decision. We need to proceed with the state’s policy as it now exists.
Per New York State's Department of Health, all students traveling to New York state from a state with a significant degree of community-wide spread of COVID-19 must quarantine for 14 days when they enter New York.
As of July 30, there are 34 states, plus Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico, on New York's travel advisory list. For an updated list of impacted states, check the NYS covid-19-travel-advisory. Please be aware that this list and travel restrictions are fluid and subject to frequent change.
In an effort to assist our students in complying with NYS mandated travel restrictions, St. Bonaventure University is asking all students entering New York from a listed state/area to complete the RETURN TO NY survey by noon, August 3, to indicate their plan for meeting the 14-day self-quarantine requirement.
ONLY students coming from restricted areas need to complete the survey.
- Option 1. (Fall 2020 RESIDENTIAL STUDENTS ONLY)
- Quarantine on campus for 14 days beginning August 5th. If students can’t arrive on the SBU campus by August 5th, they will need to select either Option 2 or 3. Option 1 includes an on-campus room assignment (no charge). Every effort will be made to utilize the student’s fall room assignment. If the student has a University meal plan (Platinum, Gold or Silver), food will be delivered to the students quarantine room/apartment (no charge). If a student does not have a meal plan (Platinum, Gold or Silver), they will need to bring enough food with them for the 14 day quarantine period. (NOTE: Residence Life staff needs to prepare for the arrival of more than 1,000 other students beginning Aug. 21, which is why the quarantine needs to end on Aug. 19 to give them time to prepare; meal delivery and daily check-ins would not be possible otherwise.)
- Option 2.
- Quarantine at a local hotel. Hotel costs are the responsibility of the student. No meals will be provided by the University. Students will need to provide their own transportation back to campus after the quarantine period for themselves and their belongings. Students can start their 14 day quarantine period at any time, but students cannot come to campus for housing or classes until 14 days of quarantine have been completed.
- Option 3.
- Students can secure quarters (NY family, friends, etc.) for quarantine on their own at their own expense. No meals will be provided by the University. They will be allowed to stay with relatives who live in New York state. Students will need to provide their own transportation back to campus for themselves and their belongings after the quarantine period. Students cannot come to campus for housing or classes until 14 days of quarantine have been completed.
All students traveling from impacted locations are REQUIRED to complete the New York State Traveler Health Form. Students will also be required to sign a St. Bonaventure University attestation, confirming they have complied with quarantine requirements, upon arrival to campus.
All students are REQUIRED to submit, via the Health Portal, a negative Covid-19 PCR test and answer the 48-hour pre-arrival questionnaire prior to coming to campus. Questions regarding quarantine or meeting the COVID-19 test requirement can be addressed by the Center for Student Wellness @ 716-375-2352 or via email at email@example.com.
July 22, 2020
St. Bonaventure University has been forced to postpone Family Weekend and the Class of 2020’s rescheduled commencement ceremony.
Several factors contributed to the decisions, said Tom Missel, chief communications officer.
“With significant social distancing and crowd-gathering restrictions still in place, and strict limits we’ve put in place prohibiting almost all visitors to campus, our hands were tied,” Missel said.
When the university announced on its virtual graduation ceremony in May that an in-person weekend celebration would be held Oct. 10-11, “we were optimistic then that we’d be able to resume large gatherings in the fall,” Missel said.
“That was the perfect weekend because it was fall break and the campus would have been virtually empty to welcome graduates and their parents back to campus.”
However, the university had to eliminate its Oct. 10-13 mid-term break when it amended its fall academic calendar to start classes a week early and to finish in-person instruction by Thanksgiving.
"I am still committed to my promise of offering the Class of 2020 an opportunity to return to campus to celebrate their graduation,” said Dr. Dennis DePerro, university president. “Hopefully we can reschedule for the spring, but given the continued uncertainty related to the pandemic, it’s just not prudent to commit to a specific date until we know for sure we can conduct a safe and meaningful event.”
To maximize safety for the campus community once classes begin Aug. 24, the university has also put strict restrictions on visitation for the fall semester.
The only visitors allowed on campus are current and prospective students, university employees, parents and families during move-in and move-out periods, essential vendors and business partners, delivery drivers, community members with P.O. boxes at the campus’ U.S. Post Office, and people using the spur of the Recreation Trail that winds through campus.
Family Weekend, which was scheduled for Sept. 26-27, could take place in the spring semester if conditions warrant, but just like the rescheduled graduation ceremony, “it doesn’t make much sense for us to commit to a date given the uncertainty,” Missel said.
Other than some student-specific programming, no events will be held on campus, including at the Quick Center for the Arts, during the fall semester.
>“It’s an unfortunate byproduct of the pandemic, losing so many events that attract people from all over the region, but our top priority this fall is the health and safety of our students and employees,” DePerro said.
Fans won’t be allowed at fall collegiate sports contests in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday.
Atlantic 10 Conference and institutional leaders have postponed fall sports, but agreed to a “look-in window” in mid-September, allowing for a potentially truncated competitive schedule amongst conference opponents if the COVID-19 risk has substantially been reduced.
June 30, 2020
Dear Members of the Bonaventure community:
I hope you and your families are safe and healthy, and that you’ve been able to figure out some creative ways to enjoy the summer.
After consultation with the Board of Trustees, faculty and administrators, we’ve determined that a change in the fall academic calendar is prudent. As has been the case since the COVID-19 pandemic began, causing an unprecedented interruption in the lives of almost everyone on the planet, the health and safety of our campus community remains our highest priority.
Classes for the Fall 2020 semester will begin on Monday, Aug. 24, a week earlier than originally scheduled. On-campus instruction will end on Tuesday, Nov. 24, with the fall semester to conclude Nov. 30 through Dec. 10 with three days of online-only instruction, a reading/study day (Dec. 3) and five days of online final exams.
With very few exceptions, students living on campus must leave campus no later than Wednesday, Nov. 25, not to return to campus until the beginning of the spring semester.
The mid-term break of Oct. 12-13 has been eliminated. This is being done to maximize the opportunities for face-to-face instruction before the Thanksgiving break and to reduce student travel from and back to campus, the same reason we’re ending on-campus instruction Nov. 24.
Many colleges and universities have made similar alterations to their calendars, all with the goal of making the best out of a difficult situation. We have an obligation to do all we can to limit the spread of COVID-19 until a vaccine or antibody treatment is developed.
The staggered move-in schedule for residence halls needs to be adhered to promote physical distancing. Freshmen will move in Friday, Aug. 21, and transfers will move in Saturday, Aug. 22. Freshmen and transfers will receive a specific time window that they can move in when they receive their housing assignment on July 31 from the Office of Residence Life.
Returning students with last names beginning with A-L will move in on Saturday, Aug. 22, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and returning students from M-Z will return on Sunday, Aug. 23, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Further details about move-in dates will be forthcoming from the Office of Residence Life.
Our ultimate goal is to have on-campus classes until Thanksgiving, but that will only be possible if all of us — students, faculty and staff — are committed to acting selflessly and abiding by the health and safety protocols we’ve established with guidance from the county and state Health Departments.
By the end of July, the university’s complete comprehensive re-opening plan will be available, but some of the key points to focus on are:
- MANDATORY COVID-19 TEST: You must get a COVID-19 PCR molecular test within 14 days of your return to campus, upload to SBU’s student health portal a negative test result, and be asymptomatic for COVID-19 to be allowed to return to campus.
- MANDATORY PRE-ARRIVAL SCREENING: Students must complete via MySBU.edu a pre-arrival screening no more than 48 hours prior to arrival on campus. Results will be routed to SBU Health Services for follow-up. Any student indicating the presence of COVID-19-like symptoms will not be permitted on campus.
- FACE COVERINGS: Unless you are in your room with your roommate, residence hall bathroom, or seated at a dining facility on campus, you will need to wear a face covering indoors; this includes classrooms, where seats will be 6 feet apart. You will also need to wear a mask outdoors when you're traveling between buildings. In their welcome back starter kit, all students (off-campus included) will receive a Buff Gaiter face covering and a limited supply of disposable face coverings.
- SCREENING: Students will need to fill out a periodic health screening assessment online every Wednesday to monitor them for symptoms, exposure and travel. Employees need to fill out an assessment each day they come to campus.
- POSITIVE TESTS DURING THE SEMESTER: Symptomatic students who test positive during the semester will be placed in a first-floor Doyle Hall room set aside for isolation. Immediate roommates of students who have tested positive for COVID-19 — either in a dorm, townhouse or apartment setting — will be isolated until the County Health Department determines that they are not a threat to the general population and can rejoin the general student population. Students who live in group housing with an individual who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, but who are not symptomatic or have not yet tested positive themselves, will be quarantined in their apartment/dorm suite/townhouse. They would also be allowed to return home.
- ACADEMICS: Thanks to the creative efforts of our Facilities Department and the flexibility of our faculty, we have identified a number of large spaces on campus to use for instruction. These spaces allow for socially distanced classroom experiences and include galleries in the Quick Arts Center, large meeting rooms, and event spaces on campus. The additional instructional spaces allow for the de-densification of academic buildings. Some course meeting times will be adjusted to better spread course meetings over the day to minimize densities in the buildings at popular teaching times.
- ONLINE COURSEWORK: Some faculty are choosing to teach their courses in a hybrid fashion — some students in the classroom, some in their living spaces, and rotating those students from class to class — to lower densities in academic spaces. Faculty in labs are also teaching in a hybrid fashion, splitting their courses in halves and rotating students through labs to create social distancing. Plus, some courses may be fully online to accommodate faculty from a vulnerable population who need to teach remotely. If any of the courses you’ve registered for have transitioned to fully online, you’ll be able to access your schedule on my.sbu.edu well before school begins.
- SCHEDULED FALL GATHERINGS: Decisions about proceeding with Family Weekend (Sept. 26-27) and the rescheduled Class of 2020 Commencement Weekend (Oct. 10-11) will be made later this summer once we receive additional guidance from the state about crowd-gathering limits.
If a COVID-19 case should surface on campus this fall, we have a containment plan, choreographed with the help of the county Health Department, that we believe will effectively minimize any spread of the virus.
Two factors clearly work in our favor: Cattaraugus County has had fewer than 100 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began and New York state is now leading the nation in efforts to reduce the spread of the virus. That’s because the citizens of the county and state have taken the pandemic seriously. We’ll need every member of the campus community to do the same once school begins in a few weeks.
It's important to remember that these requirements will help keep the entire #BonaFamily safe. The more our community complies with the safety protocols, the better chance we’ll have to complete the semester on campus until Thanksgiving break.
Precautions might be inconvenient at times, but they are a small sacrifice and part of our responsibility as a campus community to watch out for each other. Our Franciscan tradition calls us to take care of those who are most at risk. Following the reopening guidelines is just one way for us to strengthen a community built on our values of compassion, wisdom and integrity.
As I mentioned earlier, the university’s complete reopening plan will be available no later than July 31. We will also schedule Zoom information sessions in August to answer any questions you might have. If you have any questions in the meantime, please feel free to send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I know these are uncertain times, but what I am certain of is how diligently our staff has worked these last several weeks to develop a plan that gives us the best chance to have a safe and successful fall semester.
I look forward to seeing you all in a few weeks.
Peace and all good,
Dr. Dennis DePerro
St. Bonaventure President
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May 22, 2020
Dear Members of the Bonaventure community:
I hope you and your families are safe and healthy at this extraordinary time.
Now that the academic year has come to a close, I first want to thank all of you – students and your families, our faculty and staff -- who persevered these last two months to get to the finish line.
This unprecedented disruption presented by the COVID-19 pandemic offered significant challenges that we had to navigate more quickly than any of us could have imagined. I’m eternally grateful to the entire Bonaventure community for their remarkable efforts to make possible what seemed impossible two months ago.
As one academic year ends, the next is not far off on the horizon. While we understand there likely will be health and safety guidelines to follow, we have every hope of resuming residential life on campus in the fall.
Of course, doing so will ultimately be contingent on the governor’s plan to reopen New York and consultation with our Board of Trustees. We will comply fully with whatever we’re asked to do to ensure that we can welcome students back to campus.
Our faculty, staff and administration are committed to delivering to our students the quality education and vibrant campus experience they deserve and have come to expect. Our decision-making process throughout this time of uncertainty has always been mission-driven, with the safety of our students the center of our attention. Be assured that will always be true.
We meet several times a week with government and health officials, who provide us with the latest guidance to ensure public health and safety, everything from the latest news on testing availability to making sure the collective voice of higher education in New York is heard by state leaders in Albany.
While we are optimistic that we can resume residential campus life in the fall, we also realize it’s premature to lay out a specific roadmap of what “normal” might look like when students return.
Glimmers of optimism surface each week. Our region of New York just entered Phase 1 of reopening this week, and we’re hopeful to enter Phase 2 in early June, which would allow many employees to return to campus.
But as we all understand, the unknown still outweighs the known. That’s why we have been developing several contingency health and physical-distancing protocols based on what we know now and what we might be expected to offer once classes begin.
We will implement screening and testing protocols for our campus community and we’re working with local health officials on possible implementation plans. We do take some comfort in knowing that only about 50 cases of COVID-19 have been registered in Cattaraugus County, and to our knowledge, no one in our university community has tested positive for COVID-19.
Our Student Affairs team is developing an elaborate three-pronged plan to address: institutional policies (including an infection control plan); Health Service enhancements; and campus community policies (gathering sizes, physical distancing, visitors, staggered student arrival, etc.).
Our Academic Affairs, Facilities and Dining Services teams are working on models to reconfigure classroom and dining spaces.
Our campus community’s response to this global crisis has been innovative and collaborative, and should instill confidence that we can overcome the challenges ahead. That response has been and always will be rooted in our Franciscan values of compassion, wisdom and integrity.
If you didn’t have a chance to tune in Sunday, you can still view the “Celebration of Graduation” on our YouTube Channel. On the broadcast, I announced Oct. 10-11 as the rescheduled dates for the Class of 2020’s Commencement Weekend on campus. Event details will be shared over the course of the next few months.
I wish you all good health and continue to keep the entire Bonaventure community in my prayers.
Peace and all good,
Dr. Dennis DePerro
St. Bonaventure President
May 22, 2020
Letters with details about refunds are being mailed today (Friday, May 22) to St. Bonaventure University students who are eligible for CARES Act emergency grants and room/board refunds. Please refer to your student account statement posted online for details of your total refund.
If you were signed up for direct deposit with the university, your total refund – which includes your CARES emergency grant if you were eligible -- has been deposited to your bank account on file with St. Bonaventure.
If you do not have a bank account on file with the university, enclosed with the letter is a check for your total refund, which includes the emergency grant if you were eligible.
Upon receipt of the letter, if you have any questions, please email Student Accounts at email@example.com.
March 25, 2020
To the Class of 2020:
It would be easy to say “I can only imagine what you’re going through,” but that would be a lie. I can’t.
The last few weeks of your college career, especially at a place as special as Bona’s, should be an unforgettable time in your lives.
Unfortunately, it’s unforgettable for all the wrong reasons. The global pandemic that’s consuming our attention right now is so much bigger than any one of us or any single event in our lives. But that reality doesn’t minimize the pain of sacrificing one of the significant milestones in anyone’s life: college graduation.
I promise you this, however: I will do everything in my power to celebrate graduation with you, on this campus, in a manner you deserve, sometime later this year. It is my hope that you will come back to campus and join us for this celebration, but we will understand if this isn’t possible.
Given the uncertainty the entire nation is dealing with, it would be inappropriate to choose a specific date at this moment, but the university is committed to your Commencement ceremony.
I know how much graduation means to you, and even more so to many of your families, so we will do all we can to plan a Commencement Weekend — once we get the all clear to return to normalcy — far enough in advance to give you ample opportunity to plan for a celebration of your time at Bonaventure.
In the meantime, please know how hard your professors are working to make your final weeks of academia as rewarding as possible.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to them if you have any concerns, or to contact any office on campus that might be able to assist you as you draw closer to graduation. Contact information for all key offices was included in the Notice Board we sent Sunday and is also available here.
Our intention is to mail your diplomas on the same schedule as we would normally so you can proceed with your plans for a career or graduate school.
This storm will pass and one day, when you reflect on this time, you’ll realize that the decisions made were focused on ensuring safety for our world. As we often say, “Once a Bonnie, always a Bonnie,” so your journey with us will never end.
I hope and pray that you and your families are doing well at this unsettling and unprecedented time.
Peace and all good,
Dr. Dennis DePerro
March 19, 2020
Dear Members of the Bonaventure Community:
St. Bonaventure University will continue online-only classes for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester. Students need to be out of their rooms by 8 p.m. Monday, March 23.
This applies to all residential students, those who are still on campus and those who returned home last weekend.
In our efforts to minimize crowd gathering on campus during this process, students returning to campus to pick up their belongings are asked to follow specific instructions.
These decisions today are necessitated by two factors: the trend suggesting no end in immediate sight to the impact of COVID-19, and the mandate from New York state today to reduce our campus workforce to 25% or less.
The university is taking it one step further, requiring only essential personnel to report. Senior management will contact division supervisors today or Friday to explain their plans for employees to work remotely.
Regardless of staff deployment, all employees of St. Bonaventure University will continue to receive their full paychecks during this period.
Students who fall into one of these categories can request to stay on campus:
1. international students;
2. those who don’t feel safe returning to a high-risk COVID-19 zone;
3. and those with limited access to technology to continue their studies this semester.
Essential services (food, housing, counseling, academic support, etc.) for these students will remain in place. The request form to stay on campus is in the move-out information link above.
Students unable to remove their belongings during this four-day window ending March 23 at 8 p.m. should email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange an alternate pickup date.
As of today, we still do not have a confirmed case of the virus on campus, and no one has tested positive in Cattaraugus County.
As always, students, please reach out to your professors if you have any questions regarding your coursework.
To our seniors and graduate students anticipating graduation in May: Commencement Weekend has been postponed, but knowing how meaningful a day this is, not only to you but to your family, we are committed to conducting Commencement later this year. More details will follow once life begins to return to normal.
Regular updates about developments in SBU’s coronavirus response can be found at www.sbu.edu/coronavirus.
I know this has been a chaotic, almost surreal time in all of our lives. It feels like seven weeks have been crammed into the last seven days. I can’t thank enough the Bonaventure community — students, faculty, staff and parents — for your understanding and support during this unprecedented time.
Peace and all good,
Dr. Dennis DePerro