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Most Recent Coronavirus Updates

UPDATE 3/17/2020

Update for our Resident Students from the Vice President and Dean for Student Development, Dr. Kirk Manning

As you navigate this challenging time, please know that all of us continue to keep you in our thoughts and we stand ready to help you as best we can.

We are moving forward with further reductions in our residence hall services, I want to apprise you of several important steps being implemented.

  • Dr. Fitzpatrick announced earlier today, we will be transitioning commencement to a virtual format. Graduating Seniors will be getting another message soon, with further details.  Those seniors who live far away (100 miles plus) and want to go home soon are invited to stop by President Fitzpatrick's office on Wednesday, March 18 or Thursday, March 19 (9:00 am-4:00 pm) to take a picture with her in cap and gown (which we'll provide). More details will be coming soon, regarding other commencement items.
  • Unless you are granted an extension, for extenuating circumstances, resident students who are currently on campus are expected to move out of their residence hall room by 4:00 pm on Sunday, March 22, 2020.
  • We realize that some students have not returned from Spring Break. Resident students who are not currently on campus should complete this form to set an appointment time to check out. Unless you have extenuating circumstances, check-out is required by no later than 4:00 pm, Sunday, April 5, 2020. It is important that you set an appointment time if you're moving out after March 22, since we will be restricting access (electronic and key access) to residence halls after March 22.
  • We understand that some students have extenuating circumstances that make the above schedule difficult or impossible. We are willing to work with you. Please contact Mr. Norman Huling at [email protected] to make this request. Include details to support your request.
  • Some students have requested information about whether there will be any financial adjustments made regarding room and board charges. Please know that we have been dealing with health and welfare needs of resident students first. We will soon be distributing information about these financial questions. Any financial adjustments that may be made are predicated on an on-time checkout; students who stay past that date would have their financial status considered on a case-by-case basis. Campus services will be extremely limited during the current period during which face-to-face instruction has been suspended. The gym and fitness center are closed, and only take-out meals can be provided (per governmental mandate).


As Dr. Fitzpatrick, Dr. Murray and I have said in previous communications, I want to close by reminding you how much we care about you and value you as members of the STAC community. 
These are tough times, but together, we are strong. Be safe, be well, use available resources, help each other, and we will all share in a bright future once this crisis is over.


UPDATE 3/16/2020

An IMPORTANT MESSAGE to our students from the Office of the Provost, Dr. Robert Murray

I want to alert you to some important decisions Dr. Fitzpatrick and the college administration made today:

  1. All face-to-face learning at the College is suspended for the remainder of the semester, and all classes will be taught online. There will be no in-person instruction of any kind — no tutoring, no library use, no mentoring, no labs. This decision is in accord with the recent announcement from Rockland County Executive Ed Day.
  2. In order for the faculty to plan for a more effective transition to online courses for the rest of the semester, no online classes will be conducted on Monday, March 23 or Tuesday, March 24, 2020.
  3. If you feel you do not have adequate technology to complete the semester in this way, please let me know.
  4. Unfortunately, the Honors Convocation is canceled.
  5. A decision regarding Commencement will be forthcoming.


Finally, let me add how much respect and admiration I have for you all — these are confusing times, and I know seven weeks of online work is not what you expected. We all feel the same — and we all know and appreciate how much work you are putting into this semester to make it work in the best way possible.

As always, please let me know if you have any questions.


UPDATE 3/16/2020

Update from the President, Dr. Margaret Fitzpatrick, S.C., Ed.D

I so appreciate each one of you and your dedication to our mission.

The following decisions have been made:

  1. All face-to-face learning at the College will be suspended for the remainder of the semester, and all classes must be taught online. There will be no in-person instruction of any kind -- no tutoring, no library use, no mentoring, no labs. This decision is in accord with the recent announcement from Rockland County Executive Ed Day.
  2. The Honors Convocation is canceled.
  3. The President’s Council Breakfast and the end-of-the-year luncheon is canceled.
  4. Many meetings will be held online such as the College Planning Board meeting
  5. The upcoming Accepted Students Days and the Spring Open House will be held virtually.
  6. Fireside chats and other such meetings are canceled for this semester but may be rescheduled.
  7. No employee travel to conferences or meetings at a distance until the end of May. After May, each situation will be evaluated by a Cabinet member.
  8. The fitness center and the gym will be closed indefinitely following County directives.


COMMENCEMENT: A decision about Commencement will be forthcoming soon.

All of these decisions are made with a heavy heart in these unprecedented times. Let’s take care of each other, have STAC flourish in new and unexpected ways, and may we be good neighbors to each other.

May God bless us and our families.


UPDATE 3/16/2020

An Important Update to our faculty from the Office of the Provost, Dr. Robert Murray

This morning, Dr. Fitzpatrick and I held a meeting with the Academic Deans, Maria Coupe, Dr. Mihal, and Dr. Wagner to discuss our current academic situation. Working together, we made the following decisions:

  1. All face-to-face learning at the College will be suspended for the remainder of the semester, and all classes must be taught online. There will be no in-person instruction of any kind — no tutoring, no library use, no mentoring, no labs. This decision is in accord with today's announcement from Rockland County Executive Ed Day.
  2. In order for faculty to plan for a more effective transition to online courses for the rest of the semester, no online classes will be conducted on Monday, March 23 or Tuesday, March 24. Please consider this as faculty development time to work on converting your classes to an online platform for the remaining seven weeks.
  3. If you do not have the supplies you feel you need to teach online, such as a webcam, the president has authorized spending up to $50.00 for the purchase of these materials. Contact your dean first with your request and save your receipt so it can be submitted for reimbursement.
  4. All these meetings will be held online: School meetings, Curriculum Committee, the Faculty Senate, and the College Planning Board.
  5. The upcoming Accepted Students Day will be held online; Mike DiBartolomeo will follow up with an email with additional details.
  6. The annual Faculty Retreat will be canceled.
  7. No conference travel until the end of the semester.
  8. Finally, I want to reiterate how much I appreciate your cooperation and compassion for your students at this time — and how much work you have put into converting your classes.


A few important notes to remember:

  • Please do your best to log your contact hours with students; we don't know what kind of accountability (NYSED, MIddle States) there will be at the end of all this.
  • Maintain consistent contact with your students so they do not feel lost and confused.
  • Practice some flexibility and understanding, especially in the early weeks, because, like many of us, students are getting used to learning in a new way, and are doing a lot more juggling than they are used to.

  • UPDATE 3/15/2020

A message to our students from the Office of the Provost, Dr. Robert Murray

Tomorrow we begin our temporary online instruction program. Your professors have spent this past week preparing your classes for you so that your education will be as seamless as possible.

However, this complicated process of converting classes to an online format relies on one very simple step: all students must check their stac.edu email every day, many times a day.

Taking part in the online work of the class is equivalent to attending class — not taking part is the same as being absent. If you are not checking your email, you will not be aware of the class work and that will jeopardize your grade.

Since you are reading this, it is clear that you are checking your email — so please be sure to spread the word among all your friends that checking their email may be the only way to get essential information about classes and what is being expected of you.

Good luck this week — and let me know how I can help.

All the best,
Dr. Murray


UPDATE 3/12/2020

A message to our students from the Director of Health Services, Eileen Mastrovito, RN

As you prepare to return to campus we want you to be mindful of yourself and the college community. If you are experiencing a fever and respiratory symptoms, please do not return to campus and inform Health Services at [email protected] or 845-398-4242.

St. Thomas Aquinas College continues to actively monitor the spread of novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and evaluate the potential impact on our community. The well-being of our students, faculty, staff, campus visitors and their families remains our top priority.

There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at STAC. Please refer to President Margaret Fitzpatrick's message for current information about the status of campus operations. We have reviewed, and adjusted any planned College trips that involve international travel, on a case-by-case basis. Members of our community should refer to U.S. State Department recommendations regarding their own foreign travel.

Please be assured that St. Thomas Aquinas College has plans in place should the situation with COVID-19 change and warrant extra precautions to safeguard health. We will update you on those if they come into play. Please take a moment to ensure your contact information is current and accurate in Banner and E2Campus. You can check on Banner information by contacting the Registrar's Office at (845) 398-4300, and information can be updated on E2Campus here.

In the meantime, please remember that symptoms of COVID-19 can mimic those of the flu or a cold. Anyone who does not feel well should stay home and seek appropriate medical attention.

Please continue to practice good habits to prevent the spread of all respiratory illnesses. These include:

  • Covering your nose and mouth with a tissue or sleeve when sneezing or coughing — do not use your hands
  • Washing your hands often with soap and water. Using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if you can't wash
  • Staying home if you are not feeling well
  • Avoiding contact with sick people
  • Getting the flu shot. It is not too late and flu vaccines help keep us healthy

We are committed to keeping you informed about this developing situation.


UPDATE 3/11/2020

Message from the Office of the Provost, Dr. Robert Murray

As you know by now, like other colleges in the area, St. Thomas Aquinas College is moving to an all-online instructional format for next week. There will be no face-to-face instruction from Monday, March 16 to Friday, March 20; face-to-face instruction will resume on campus on Monday, March 23.

I can assure you that this decision was made after careful consideration, after consulting with local health professionals and in the best interests of all involved.

It is important for you to know that the College is not closed -- the work of your classes will continue and your professors will expect you to remain engaged with the class in whatever way they have set up for you. They will be in touch with you to let you know the details of what they expect and how each course will be run next week.

We are doing everything possible to maintain the high educational standard we provide in the classroom, no matter what platform of instruction is used. If you have any questions about the specific details of how your professors will be handling your courses, please contact them directly to find out their expectations for the coming week.


UPDATE 3/10/2020

Letter from the President, Dr. Margaret Fitzpatrick, S.C., Ed.D

To the College community,

The emergency preparedness team has been collaborating over these past few weeks regarding COVID-19 and the impact on our community. There are no cases of COVID-19 among our staff and student body. Out of an abundance of caution, St. Thomas Aquinas College has made the following decisions:

  1. All instruction for the period from Monday, March 16 to Friday, March 20 will be conducted online. There are no in-person class meetings.
  2. All residence life complexes will remain open and resident students can move back as scheduled starting at 12 noon on Sunday, March 15, 2020.
  3. The college campus will be open and administration and staff are expected to follow their usual work schedules.

STAC has taken and continues to take this situation seriously. Among other things, ARAMARK, following CDC guidelines, has conducted deep cleanings of the entire campus.

Please continue to monitor your email and the STAC website for updates regarding future schedules and/or events.

Thank you for your cooperation. May we do our part to keep ourselves healthy while fulfilling our professional responsibilities.

Sincerely,
Margaret Mary Fitzpatrick, S. C., Ed.D
President


Update 3/6/2020

We would like to update you on STAC’s response to COVID19 (Coronavirus). There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at STAC. The College is operating normally: all classes, activities, and events are on their standard schedules under usual rules and policies.

Our responsibility is to continue providing a quality education for our students in a safe environment.

The following is a summary of the actions being taken:

  • The Emergency Management Team has met several times during the past week and continues to provide continual information sharing amongst the team.
  • The Director of Health Services has ongoing direct contact with the Rockland County Health Department.
  • The Emergency Management Team is reviewing events on campus. Out of an abundance of caution, the college is reviewing all non-essential events on campus.
  • We have met with Aramark Housekeeping Services. Aramark has been and will continue to follow CDC Guidelines during their operations. This is being overseen by the Senior Vice President of Administration.
  • The Office of the Provost has facilitated the ability to continue classes using online resources if needed.
  • Our continuity of business planning is in place.

It is important to remember that we should be mindful but not fearful.

Please continue to practice good habits to prevent the spread of all respiratory illnesses. These include:

  • Covering your nose and mouth with a tissue or sleeve when sneezing or coughing — do not use your hands
  • Washing your hands often with soap and water. Using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if you can't wash
  • Staying home if you are not feeling well
  • Avoiding contact with sick people
  • Getting the flu shot. It is not too late and flu vaccines help keep us healthy