Coronavirus and Our Campus

Current Status

On Sunday, March 22, we received confirmation that an undergraduate student of Saint Mary’s College tested positive for COVID-19. Currently, the student is recovering at home under medical care and following quarantine guidelines. 

This is the first case of COVID-19 among our campus community. We will continue to monitor the coronavirus pandemic and provide updates as it relates to our community.

Important Updates for our Campus Community

March 19, 2020

The CDC has urged everyone to continue social distancing for the next eight weeks, prompting the College to make the difficult decision to extend online learning through the end of the semester. There is simply no way we can ask students to come back to campus and risk their health, or the health of our faculty and staff.

We are working through important details, including how students can retrieve their personal belongings. Today, the mayor of South Bend issued an emergency declaration which includes an advisory stating that non-essential travel is no longer allowed for residents of the city and county. This development will, of course, impact these decisions. At this point, please do not come to campus.

We are gathering information on how best to facilitate the move-out process in an orderly way that minimizes health risks for students and their families. Thank you for understanding that for the time being, you must not return to campus until you are provided instructions. The students who have been personally authorized to remain by the Vice President of Student Affairs will be allowed to stay on campus. 

+FAQs for Semester Completion

Are we coming back for face-to-face classes on April 13? Online instruction will continue through the end of the semester. Face-to-face instruction will not resume for the spring semester. 

Why was this decision made? The College’s leadership has been carefully monitoring the progress of the pandemic. On March 19, 2020, St. Joseph County declared an official local emergency, allowing only essential travel. Although every consideration was made to resume face-to-face instruction in April, it was determined that for the health and well being of our students and our community, our best course of action is to complete the spring semester online.

How will my grades be affected by this change? Your online classes will be graded as communicated in your course syllabus. However, we have made an important change regarding the pass/fail option. Normally, we would only allow a course to be counted as pass/fail if the student declared the desire for such in the first 10 days of the semester and courses taken pass/fail could only count toward elective credits. However, given the unplanned changes in course delivery, we are extending the opportunity to declare a course for pass/fail grading to April 30 to allow courses graded pass/fail to count toward Sophia requirements. 

For those unfamiliar with pass/fail grading, if you earn a passing grade (i.e., A-D) it will be recorded on your transcript as a pass and not factor into your GPA. If you earn a failing grade, it will be recorded as an F on your transcript and will be included in the calculation of your GPA.

Here are the guidelines for pass/fail for the Spring 2020 semester:

  • You may declare a course pass/fail until Thursday April 30 (this is the last day of classes and the same day as the last date to withdraw from a course)
  • Please fill out this google form to make your request: Spring 2020 Pass/Fail request form
  • You do not need to inform anyone else of your decision, including the faculty member
  • Courses graded pass/fail can be counted toward Sophia and general electives only
  • As is usual, courses graded as pass/fail will not fulfill requirements for majors or minors (including supporting courses required in your major/minor); thus, you should not take a course in your major or minor as a pass/fail course
  • You may take more than the typically allowed two courses pass/fail per semester; any courses taken this semester as pass/fail will not count toward the total maximum of six courses allowed toward your degree
  • A decision to take a course pass/fail may not be reversed at a later date
  • A course taken pass/fail does not apply to the 12 graded hours required for calculation of honors 

If you have any questions about this policy or have particular questions about how this decision might affect you, please contact the advising office at advising@saintmarys.edu

Will Commencement be cancelled or postponed? The CDC advised against taking part in, or hosting, gatherings of 50 people or more until mid-May. Even though it falls outside this time period, any decision relating to Commencement is one we will not make just yet. President Nekvasil is committed to doing everything she can to allow the Class of 2020 their moment of recognition. We will communicate any news on Commencement in the coming weeks.

Are the Residence Halls closed? Saint Mary’s College residence halls are closed. Further information regarding retrieval of your items will be forthcoming. The students who have been personally authorized by the Vice President of Student Affairs  to remain have been moved off campus. 

When may I come to campus to retrieve my belongings? DO NOT RETURN TO CAMPUS UNTIL OUR MOVE-OUT PLAN IS RELEASED. In order to continue to provide as safe an environment as possible for our college community, we will adhere to current CDC recommendations. In addition, St. Joseph County, where Saint Mary’s is located, is currently under a travel advisory. This advisory could restrict the ability of students to come to campus immediately. In the next few weeks we will release a detailed, orderly move-out plan. When coming to retrieve your belongings, YOU WILL NOT BE PERMITTED TO STAY OVERNIGHT.

If I am currently on campus, do I need to move out? Saint Mary’s College residence halls are closed.  The students who have been personally authorized by the Vice President of Student Affairs to remain have been moved off campus.

Will I get a refund for the unused portion of my room and/or board? The College is working hard to determine how room and board adjustments will be handled; clarification will be provided as soon as we know more. This is a complex process, as any refunds might require us to adjust financial aid. We expect clarification from the federal government on this matter and want to avoid taking any premature action that could inadvertently result in added out-of-pocket expenses for families.

Commencement

The CDC advised against taking part in, or hosting, gatherings of 50 people or more during the next 8 weeks. Even though it falls outside this time period, any decision relating to Commencement is not one we are willing to make just yet. Interim President Nekvasil is committed to doing everything she can to allow the Class of 2020 their moment of recognition. We will communicate any news on Commencement in the coming weeks.

Personal Belongings

While we determine the move-out process, be assured that all student rooms will remain locked and secure through the duration of our campus restriction. 

Instruction and Classes

Saint Mary’s is extending its online instruction through the end of the semester. Please see the FAQs for Semester Completion on changes to the grading system. Pre-registration for fall 2020 classes will begin April 14 and continue through August 30. Undergraduate student registration information can be found by clicking here.  Graduate student registration information can be found by clicking here.

Campus Status

Saint Mary’s College business and academic services remain in operation. Administrative offices remain operational, as well as campus safety. The majority of college employees, including approved student workers, are following state and county travel restrictions and are teleworking.

On-Campus Services

1st Source Bank: Campus location closed.
Angela Health and Wellness Facility: Athletic facility is closed. 
Health and Counseling Center: Students should call the Health and Counseling office at 574-284-4805 to arrange telephone triage or Google Meet options. 
Dining Services: Closed.
Cushwa-Leighton Library: The Cushwa-Leighton Library will offer most of its services online-only. Please see Help Page to get library information resources (articles, ebooks, etc.), and to contact us. The Library space will be closed beginning March 25, 2020. Please contact library staff from the Help Page if you need to make an appointment to access the library for any reason.
Trumper Computer Center: Open to only those students permitted to live on campus.
Convenience Store in the Grill (Student Center): Closed.
Post Office: Hours are currently unchanged.
Bookstore: Online orders only. Free shipping with no minimum purchase: www.shaheenbookstore.com 
ECDC: Will be closed until April 3.
Church of Our Lady of Loretto: All Masses are suspended. See the frequently asked questions in College Operations below to read the directive from Bishop Kevin Rhoades. 

Study Abroad Students

All study abroad programs have been cancelled. Students have been strongly encouraged to return to the United States from their locations in Australia, Austria, France, Ireland, Italy, and Spain. To learn more about the specifics of each study abroad program, click on the following links: AustraliaAustriaFranceIrelandItaly, and Spain.

Travel

For the time being, we are suspending all non-essential faculty and staff domestic travel and suspending all international travel. 

Events

The College has taken proactive steps to try to minimize the risks for our community. The CDC advised against taking part in, or hosting, gatherings of 50 people or more until mid-May. With this in mind, all College events have been suspended during this timeframe. Please check our webpage for further updates.

Sisters of the Holy Cross

For those of you who frequently visit the convent, we ask that you refrain from doing so until further notice. Some of our most vulnerable campus residents are our Sisters.  We do not want to expose them unnecessarily.

A Note About Tolerance 

Unfortunately, the fear that comes with a threat to communities, such as we see with coronavirus, often leads individuals to target certain ethnic groups resulting in incidents of bias and harassment. The College upholds its commitment to respecting the dignity of every individual and expect all members of the Saint Mary’s family to do the same.

+FAQs Regarding Academics and College Operations

Why the change in policy? Saint Mary’s College leadership has been monitoring the rapid changes regarding the spread of coronavirus locally, across the country, and the world. Eliminating unnecessary contact between students is an appropriate strategy to follow. It is our responsibility to help slow the spread of the virus, both at Saint Mary’s and in our greater community. 

Who is allowed to continue living in the residence halls? Saint Mary’s College residence halls are closed.  The students who have been personally authorized to remain by the Vice President of Student Affairs have been moved off campus. 

What if I need to get something from my room? While we determine the move-out process, be assured that all student rooms will remain locked and secure through the duration of our campus restriction. 

What if I have a compelling need/reason to be on campus? Contact the Vice President for Student Affairs at studentaffairs@saintmarys.edu. Cases need to be approved by Interim Vice-President for Student Affairs Linda Timm. 

Will students who are allowed to remain be tested for coronavirus? Only students who exhibit symptoms of the virus may be tested. Our Health and Counseling Center is in direct contact with the St Joseph County Health Department regarding testing and reporting.  

Will face-to-face classes resume on April 14? No. The College has extended online learning through the end of the semester. 

Is the College still open? Saint Mary’s College business and academic services remain in operation. Administrative offices remain operational, as well as campus safety. The majority of college employees, including approved student workers, are following state and county travel restrictions and are teleworking.   

Will I receive reimbursement for Room and Board? The College is working hard to determine how room and board adjustments will be handled; clarification will be provided as soon as we know more. This is a complex process, as any refunds might require us to adjust financial aid. We expect clarification from the federal government on this matter and want to avoid taking any premature action that could inadvertently result in added out-of-pocket expenses for families. 

Will all classes be available online? Students should check their email for instructions and further directions from the faculty.

Will students be able to complete courses such as labs, student teaching, clinicals, etc? Specific questions regarding academic programs or classes should be directed to the department chairs and/or faculty. 

Will the spring semester be extended to account for the extra week of spring break? No. Saint Mary’s College students will be able to complete the semester's class work on schedule.

Will students be able to register for the fall semester? Pre-registration for fall 2020 classes will begin April 14 and continue through August 30. Undergraduate student registration information can be found by clicking here.  Graduate student registration information can be found by clicking here.

Will students be able to go through the room selection process? Room selection will proceed as planned. Please watch your email for instructions on the room selection process.

Is the Early Childhood Learning Center (ECDC) open? ECDC is closed until at least April 3. Contact ECDC directly with questions.

Are Masses still offered at Church of Our Lady of Loretto? In accordance with the directive issued by Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades and to promote the health and well-being of our community, we must suspend the celebration of Masses in the Church of Our Lady of Loretto beginning March 18. This will remain in effect until further notice. The Bishop’s full letter can be accessed here.

+FAQs for the Business Office

Student Accounts

Is the office open for in-person visits? The office is closed for in-person visits to support our staff to work remotely. All staff will be teleworking and available by phone and email during regular business hours.

How can I contact Student Accounts? The Student Accounts Office will be maintaining regular business hours: 8 a.m.—5 p.m., M-F. The Student Accounts Manager can be reached via email: studentaccounts@saintmarys.edu or phone: (574) 284-4730.

Will I receive reimbursement for Room and Board? The College is working hard to determine how room and board adjustments will be handled; clarification will be provided as soon as we know more. This is a complex process, as any refunds might require us to adjust financial aid. We expect clarification from the federal government on this matter and want to avoid taking any premature action that could inadvertently result in added out-of-pocket expenses for families.

Will 1st Source bank be open on campus? 1st Source Bank is currently closed on campus.

Since my student is not on campus, do I still need to pay my bill? While Saint Mary’s College has suspended all in-person classes through the end of the semester, we do not have answers yet on how bill adjustments will be handled. Please continue with regular payment to avoid late fees associated with missed or late payments, according to the College’s standard payment policy.

How do I make a payment on my student account? There are two ways to pay your bill, as follows:

1. Pay online using Touchnet. This can be done using ACH or by credit card.

2. Pay by mail with check, certified check, or money order, mailed to:

Saint Mary’s College
P.O. Box 180
South Bend, IN 46624 

Accounts Payable

Is the office open for in person visits? The office is closed for in-person visits to support our staff to work remotely. All staff will be teleworking and available by phone and email during regular business hours.

How can I contact Accounts Payable? Accounts payable will be maintaining regular business hours: 8 a.m.—5 p.m., M-F. They can be reached via email at acctspayable@saintmarys.edu or by phone at (574) 284-4729.

How do I submit invoices for payment? Please email invoices to acctspayable@saintmarys.edu. Please indicate on the invoice or in the email that the invoice is approved, who it is approved by, and where it should be coded. Please ensure that all approvers are cc:ed on the email.

Payroll and Time Submission for Non-Exempt Employees

Is the office open for in person visits? The office is closed for in-person visits, although staff are on-site at Saint Mary’s College. Thank you for supporting the social distancing of our staff, out of consideration for their continued health and safety. 

How can I contact the Payroll Office? The Payroll office will be available from 1—5 p.m., Monday through Friday. They can be reached via email at payroll@saintmarys.edu or by phone at (574) 284-4733.

How do I submit my time worked if I am working remotely? Supervisors must ensure that hourly (i.e., non-exempt) teleworking employees track hours worked, including overtime. Hours worked and benefit time being utilized (vacation, sick, personal, FMLA, etc.)  must be reported on the Telework Timesheet available on the HR Staff Portal, by the employee each pay period. Timesheets need to be approved and submitted by the designated pay period due date.  Timesheets should be sent via email to your supervisor, with a carbon copy to the Division Vice President for approval. Supervisors will forward all approved Telework Timesheets via email to payroll@saintmarys.edu.

Requests to work overtime, schedule vacation, use sick leave, or personal/vacation leaves are subject to the approval of the supervisor and should be reported using the standard method (i.e., PRISM, accessed via my.saintmarys.edu).

The staff member remains obligated to comply with all pertinent College rules, policies and practices, and instructions that would apply if the staff member were working at their regular location at the College.

How do I submit my time worked if I am still on campus?  Employees must complete the Telework Timesheet available on the HR Staff Portal each pay period. Timesheets need to be approved and submitted by the designated pay period due date. Timesheets should be sent via email to your supervisor, with a carbon copy to the Division Vice President for approval. Supervisors will forward all approved Telework Timesheets via email to payroll@saintmarys.edu.

Requests to work overtime, schedule vacation, use sick leave, or leaves are subject to the approval of the supervisor and should be reported using the standard method (i.e., PRISM, accessed via my.saintmarys.edu)

How do I submit my time worked if I am still on campus and I do not have access to a computer? To accommodate a move to telework and allow for effective payroll adaptation to this new working condition, we request that all non-exempt hourly employees, other than by exception, please submit the Telework Timesheet, available on the HR Staff Portal. Paper timecards can be provided by request from your supervisor. Supervisors must request a paper timecard via email to payroll@saintmarys.edu.  If you have received an exception for paper timecard submission, please complete and submit the timecard as usual. There will be a box provided outside of the payroll office to return completed, signed, and approved timecards.

Requests to work overtime, schedule vacation, use sick leave, or leaves are subject to the approval of the supervisor and should be reported using the standard method (i.e., PRISM, accessed via my.saintmarys.edu).

Student Payroll

Is the office open for in person visits? The office is closed for in-person visits, although staff are on-site at Saint Mary’s College. Thank you for supporting the social distancing of our staff, out of consideration for their continued health and safety. 

How can I contact the Payroll Office? The Payroll office will be available from 1—5 p.m., Monday through Friday. They can be reached via email at payroll@saintmarys.edu or by phone at (574) 284-4733.

How do my students track and submit their time for approval? Student Employees should continue to record and submit their time online via the Online Time Entry system. In order to enter their time online while away from campus, students must download and connect to Saint Mary’s VPN. Instructions for setting up the VPN on personal computers are available on the Saint Mary’s Portal.

Security Department

On Campus Emergencies: dial 911
Non-emergency Calls: dial (574) 284-5000

Non-emergency Calls for Notre Dame's Campus: dial (574) 631-5555