Message from Springfield College President Mary-Beth Cooper
Wednesday, March 11, 2020
Springfield College is extending Spring Break, originally scheduled for March 14-22, by one additional week which will conclude March 29, 2020. This decision was made in an effort to reduce potential pathways for community spread of COVID-19 within our community.
The additional week will allow faculty time to prepare course content both at the undergraduate and graduate level to be delivered on-line in the event it becomes necessary. It also provides the College with the opportunity to understand more fully the evolution of the COVID-19 outbreak, especially now that the World Health Organization today (Wed., Mar. 11) declared the outbreak a pandemic, acknowledging what has seemed clear for some time — that the virus will likely spread to all countries on the globe, and of news yesterday that Gov. Baker has declared a state of emergency for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts over the concerns surrounding the outbreak.
The additional week will also enable us to be well-positioned to resume classes, whether in person or online, as anticipated on March 30.
Classes and College events will continue as scheduled through Sunday, March 15, 2020.
Students should pack accordingly and plan on not being able to return to campus for at least two weeks.
Regional campus classes and operations will follow main campus protocol, unless other guidance is issued by the CDC.
It has been a team effort of College administrators, our health leaders, including faculty, members of our Board of Trustees, in a true shared governance model, have been closely monitoring the situation in an environment that places the highest priority on the safety and well-being of our students, faculty and staff.
We ask that members of the Springfield College community should not come to campus or attend class when they are sick (especially if they are coughing, sneezing, or have a fever), or if they are caring for someone who is sick. Faculty and staff will continue to work and record regular hours as necessary and appropriate, to complete their scheduled work hours and timecard.
In the past few days, it has become clear that the spread of the virus continues across the country. While there continues to be no reported cases of the virus on the Springfield College campus, we need to focus on mitigating its possible effects while determining how best to advance the educational mission of our students with minimal disruption.
The Wellness Center (e.g. rec center, pool, wellness activities) will be closed from March 14 through March 22 so that Department of Facilities Management staff may sanitize recreation areas in the wellness center. The Health Center will remain open.
The College is reviewing plans to postpone, cancel, or virtualize all college-sponsored in-person events. Employees are strongly encouraged to limit contact and conduct meetings online or via telephone, whenever possible.
We also ask that guests refrain from visiting campus during Spring Break through March 30, or as requested by the College based on evolving information.
The College will be virtualizing its in person Accepted Student Open House, scheduled to be held on Sunday, April 5, 2020, and providing a digital format for accepted students to utilize as they are making their decision to deposit and join our Springfield College family.
Athletic events that are being altered by the plans in place will be communicated by the athletic director and coaches. All Spring Break team travel has been canceled, effective Saturday, Mar. 14. Teams are allowed to stay on campus to train and compete. There will be no spectators allowed to view sporting events starting March 16, with the exception of limited family.
All faculty, staff, and students must register all college-related travel plans occurring now through commencement (domestic and international). We strongly encourage campus community members to register all personal travel with the College and reconsider personal trips that involve cruises or visits to Level II or Level III countries. A link to the registration page is on the College’s coronavirus information website.
As a reminder, the College's current restrictions on travel include the following:
- If you are traveling to a Level II or Level III area (check cdc.gov/travel for updates), or going on any cruise (regardless of origin/destination) prior to April 30, 2020, the College’s leadership strongly cautions you against doing so and we will continue to follow the advice of the CDC for all travel related concerns.
- Students are strongly urged to reconsider all international travel through April 30, 2020.
- Upon your return from either a Level III or Level III country/location or any cruise, you will be required to self-quarantine for 14-days.
- Students and faculty/staff who are self-quarantined are not allowed on campus or at college-related events.
I am mindful of the needs and schedules of our students, staff, and faculty, however we are faced with a challenging and uncertain situation.
We want to thank everyone for their patience and cooperation. We as a College will continue to work on our contingency plans with the goal of finishing the semester strong.
The College will continue to keep students, faculty, and staff updated. In addition, please continue to check the College’s COVID-19 website for updates. The uncertainty of what may happen next is the worst part. I understand that this is a very disappointing and stressful time for many of you and I am especially saddened for our seniors who did not anticipate that this is how they were going to spend their final 80 days of their senior year on this campus.
You can imagine this is not the last you’ll hear from me on this. We will continue to update the website with more information.