Coronavirus Information | March 17, 2020
We continue to closely follow the potential public threat posed by the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.
To the Manhattan College Community,
Thank you for all you have done over the last week to help protect our students, our College community, and the public by limiting personal contact on our campus. The more we learn about the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the more we understand the urgency of social distancing.
Thank you especially to our faculty, who have worked tirelessly to adapt their courses and teaching methods for delivery through on-line platforms. The good news in the midst of this severe disruption of all of our lives is that our core mission—excellence in teaching and learning and care for our students—continues.
I write today to provide updates and especially to inform you of several important—and difficult—decisions.
In light of our responsibilities to our students, employees, and community, and in compliance with the strict guidelines and requirements being set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and New York City and New York State health departments, it is clear that we will not be able to bring our faculty and students back together for face-to-face instruction this semester. Therefore, we will continue all courses in an online format for the remainder of the semester. In addition, we will work to reduce to a minimum occupancy in our residence halls, requiring all but a small number of students with extenuating circumstances to vacate (or not to return to) residence halls. (See below for more on residence hall policy.)
While the campus will remain open to essential employees and vendors, employees should work remotely whenever possible in the coming weeks. Remote work arrangements must be coordinated with your supervisor, vice president, and human resources, and may be modified at any time.
Effective immediately, all in-person events at Manhattan College are suspended until further notice and unauthorized visitors are not permitted.
To Our Graduating Students
We know you are concerned not only about classes but also about the celebrations which mark the end of your journey at Manhattan College, including Senior Week and Commencement. Please know we are committed to celebrating your achievements. As you may know, the CDC has urged cancelling of all gatherings of more than 50 people for the next eight weeks. In the weeks ahead, we will make an announcement about plans for Manhattan College’s Commencement events, currently scheduled to begin on May 13. We will provide an update as soon as possible, but no later than April 15.
Additional Information for Resident Students
For those who are in residence and have the ability to move out, we will begin to vacate the residence halls during the next week. Please begin to pack your belongings in anticipation of instructions that will be forthcoming from Residence Life. Should you need any assistance, contact Residence Life by emailing email@example.com.
In order to ensure the safety of our Manhattan College community, we cannot accommodate walk-ins to retrieve belongings. To facilitate social distancing, this process will be handled by appointment only. Residence Life will send correspondence to resident students with information about the process on how and when to retrieve belongings.
A separate email will be sent to students who were approved to remain on campus during Spring Break, including an application to extend their stay. Please be assured that eligible students will be accommodated and have a place to stay.
While our students’ and faculty’s lives are profoundly disrupted, we will continue to work together to sustain academic rigor and excellence across the schools. That especially includes accommodating students with the resources and tutoring that would typically be available, and additional support to help make this a successful transition to online learning.
Student Employees and Graduate Assistants
In a separate update, we will communicate with student employees and graduate/lab assistants with additional guidance, as we get more information from the Department of Education and New York State.
Notification from the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference
Early Tuesday morning, the MAAC commissioner notified all presidents of MAAC institutions that two officials who worked at last week’s MAAC Basketball Tournament have tested positive for coronavirus. We are closely monitoring the situation and attending to the needs and concerns of students who may have had contact with the official.
Finally, thank you for your patience as we navigate these unprecedented challenges. The magnitude of these announcements and the sadness they will cause is not lost on us. We know you will have questions that we are not yet in a position to answer fully, but we are committed to providing as much information as we can as soon as we can. Should you have questions or concerns, please direct them to COVIDfirstname.lastname@example.org and we will make sure they are properly addressed in a timely manner.
Now more than ever, we encourage the entire College community to stay connected through our social media sites: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as well as our College’s website, manhattan.edu. These platforms provide an opportunity to remain current and engaged with fellow Jaspers.
As always, we continue to remember in prayer those affected by the coronavirus, their families, and the healthcare providers and first responders who serve our community.
Wishing you health and continued success in your studies—and looking forward with you to a return to the normal rhythms of our community.
Brennan O’Donnell, Ph.D.