April 15, 2020 | Saint Leo continues online courses into the summer, cancels June events
Saint Leo continues online courses into the summer, cancels June events
As the Spring Semester comes to an end, Saint Leo University has made the decision to continue offering classes online only through the summer semester. This decision is made out of an abundance of caution due to the situation with the coronavirus and the potential need for continued social distancing measures. Additionally, all university events planned on campus for June will now be canceled or postponed (this includes all camps and conferences). Virtual events planned online will continue as scheduled.
This change will apply for both the Summer 1 and 2 terms for all courses, including all accelerated summer courses taught at education centers and University Campus. Students who have already registered for courses this summer can look for additional guidance from their instructors. Please check your Saint Leo University email and D2L for further information.
For students utilizing veteran benefits, please note that the Department of Veteran Affairs has confirmed that Post 9/11 GI Bill students whose residential courses were transitioned to online due to the coronavirus will continue to receive the MHA rate for resident training. This means that Summer 1 and 2 courses, originally scheduled to take place on-ground, will still qualify for the “in-resident” MHA rate. If the course was originally in an online format, it will still only qualify for the online MHA rate. Students who have questions about how this might apply to them are advised to discuss their individual situations with the Student Veteran Financial Services office.
For additional university information about the coronavirus, including a list of recently refreshed frequently asked questions, please visit saintleo.edu/coronavirus.
April 9, 2020 | Saint Leo touched by coronavirus, postpones commencement
Saint Leo University community touched by coronavirus, postpones commencement ceremonies
During the peak of the coronavirus pandemic in our nation, the Saint Leo University community is feeling the gravity of its impact. This week, the university learned that several members of our community off-campus have been confirmed with the coronavirus: students in our online undergraduate and graduate programs; alumni living across the nation; and family members of students, faculty, and staff.
This saddening news calls for us to rally together and offer our thoughts, prayers, and compassion for those touched by the virus. The strength of our university community has never been more important.
The ongoing effects of the coronavirus has also required the university to make additional operational changes after evaluating recent federal and state guidance. This week, Saint Leo University made the decision to postpone all scheduled commencement ceremonies and activities until later this year.
The decision to postpone commencement was made out of an abundance of caution for all those who will be participating or might need to travel to attend. Health authorities are uncertain of when large-scale social gatherings can safely resume.
This means that the following planned ceremonies will be rescheduled for a date later in 2020:
- Key West Commencement, originally scheduled for April 18
- Florida Commencement, originally rescheduled for June 1
- San Diego Commencement, originally scheduled for May 8
- Virginia Commencement, originally scheduled for May 16
- Corpus Christi Commencement, originally scheduled for May 22
- South Carolina Commencement, originally scheduled for May 29
- Savannah Commencement, originally scheduled for June 6
- Atlanta Commencement, originally scheduled for June 20
As soon as plans are finalized, students will be notified of the new date by email and mail. Information also will be posted on the Saint Leo website at saintleo.edu/commencement. Saint Leo University will continue to provide updates about the coronavirus via this website, so be sure to check back periodically for additional information.
March 31, 2020 | Room & Board credit available to residential students
Room & Board credit available to residential students, room safety checks scheduled
After moving to online classes for the remainder of the spring semester, Saint Leo University is offering residential students the opportunity to receive a room and board credit. Additionally, the university will be conducting residence hall room safety checks starting on April 2.
Room and Board Credit
In recognition of the impact students may be facing as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, all residential students who have returned home and are no longer living on campus will receive a $400 credit. This credit will be applied in the form of a grant toward their balance owed for Spring or their Fall Semester student account if their current account has a zero balance. For graduating seniors, this credit will be applied toward their balance owed for the Spring Semester or will be issued as a refund if the account has a positive balance.
To qualify for the credit, students must have vacated their rooms on campus, returned to their permanent residence, and officially registered their departure with Residence Life (even if their belongings still remain). Credits will be applied in the form of a grant and will be reflected on the student account in eLion by the end of April. Students who have not yet registered their status with Residence Life will have until April 3 to do so in order to be eligible for this credit. Please remember that all belongings must be removed, rooms cleaned, and keys returned by June 1. Commuter students will receive a separate communication pertaining to credits for meal plans.
Room Safety Checks
With many of the university’s residential students having moved home without returning to campus following Spring Break, there is a need for Residence Life to conduct room checks in accordance with the housing policy. Many students were unable to remove food and trash before leaving, and as a result, these rooms may contain spoiled food and trash, which have the potential to make the residence halls unsafe for the students who have remained on campus.
Beginning April 2, Saint Leo staff will be entering each room where students have indicated they are not living on campus, but have left their belongings. Room checks will also be conducted on the rooms of students who have not responded to outreach. Staff will be removing trash and cleaning out refrigerators. A minimum of two staff will take care of each room. Other appropriate security measures will also be in place.
Students who have additional questions about the credit may contact Student Financial Services at (800) 240-7658 or if students have questions about room checks or move out, please contact Residence Life at (352) 588-8268.
March 30, 2020 | Virginia and Corpus Christi commencement ceremonies postponed
Additional commencement ceremonies postponed
As a result of recent preventative recommendations for the coronavirus, Saint Leo University has announced it will be postponing two additional commencement ceremonies. The Virginia commencement ceremony, originally scheduled for Saturday, May 16, and the Corpus Christi commencement ceremony set for Friday, May 22, have been postponed and will be rescheduled at a later date.
These decisions to delay commencement were not made lightly. Commencement is such an important time for our students, their families, and the entire university community.
Saint Leo University will communicate new commencement ceremony dates as soon as they become available. Additional information about all planned commencement ceremonies can be found at saintleo.edu/commencement.
March 25, 2020 | Message from President Senese: We’re Here for You
Dear Saint Leo University Community,
With our university fully completing the transition to online classes this week, I wanted to take a moment to remind you all of the support that exists within our university community. News reports about the coronavirus continue to paint a concerning picture, and I know that many of you and your loved ones may be facing challenges with this situation.
It is natural to feel apprehensive or become distracted by the impacts of the virus situation we are in at present. This indeed is an unpredictable and unprecedented time in our nation’s history. But while there are many unknowns, what I do know is that we will be able to get through this time with the help and support of others.
At Saint Leo University, we strive to be and are a tremendously helpful and caring community. Please know that we are here to help one another succeed. In speaking with Lawson Jolly, our director of Counseling Services this week, I want to share some helpful advice he provided as well as some of my own:
Whether you are a student facing difficulty completing your assignments or using the online technology, or a faculty or staff member facing the challenge of working from home, I urge you to communicate your concerns, should you have them, with the appropriate individual (your instructor, your supervisor, or Human Resources business partner, etc.). The most important part of my advice is that I am asking you to communicate because they cannot help if they do not know you need help. We care about your well-being, and we are available to assist you.
Just as the spread of the virus is new to our world, it is new to all of us at Saint Leo University. I know many of you are wondering about what is next for our university. We’ve received questions from students wondering about our plans for the celebration of commencement, if our grading criteria will be changed, or if refunds will be provided for student residence or meal plans. Please know the leadership team and I are working through these details and will share information about these matters as soon as possible. Faculty and staff also have similar questions, many of them centering around working from home, planning events, managing remote workers, or scheduling work activities. I ask each of you to communicate as well. Please do not guess the answers to your questions on your own. Talk to your supervisor or Human Resources, and they will help you find answers.
Now to Jolly’s advice, I agree with him when he urged us to remember that everyone is facing their own unique challenges. While some members of our community may be able to maintain business as usual, other members may be faced with critical issues impacting their way of life. We don’t know what others are going through, so let’s do our best to have compassion.
Again, at Saint Leo University, we are here to support you. Students, please know that Counseling Services is available around-the-clock at (352) 588-TALK, and our Student Financial Services team is available for consultation at (800) 240-7658. Faculty and staff, our employee assistance program (EAP), a free benefit available by phone at (877) 398-5816, is available to support you, as well as our Human Resources team.
We will get through this time, we just have to do it together. Wishing you health and peace of mind. May God bless.
Very sincerely yours,
Jeffrey D. Senese, Ph.D.
March 20, 2020 | President Senese shares an update on summer terms
President Jeffrey Senese delivers update to the university community
March 17, 2020 | Message from President Senese: Extending Online Classes and Commencement
Dear students, faculty, and staff,
Since we first learned of the coronavirus and the serious threat that it posed to the welfare of the university community, my instinct has always been to make decisions based on three factors: scientific evidence, the university’s core values, and guidance from leading authorities on the matter.
That is why after meeting with the leadership team and incident command this morning, it has become apparent that we need to make some shifts in university operations based on the new information we have received. Effective today, please make note of the following changes relating to coursework, residential life, and commencement:
We are extending online classes through the end of the semester.
After hearing the recommendation of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to the state universities, Saint Leo University will extend our online course delivery for the remainder of the spring semester. While I know there were several engaging events planned for the remainder of the academic year, faculty and staff are working diligently to make the online learning experience just as rewarding. Students should continue to check their university email and Lions Share for course updates and information.
The university will remain open with support for those students who remain in our residence halls on campus. However, we also recognize that the decision to extend online delivery for the remainder of the semester will allow many students who have been undecided about how to proceed, to decide to return home at this time. Indeed, we encourage all students who are still living in our residence halls to consider doing so. For those who have already returned home, we will extend our move-out deadline to June 1 to allow flexibility in returning to campus for your belongings. We know that this transition will raise questions for many of you. We have updated our FAQs in attempt to address many of the details associated with this decision.
As a result of stronger guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding large group gatherings, Saint Leo University will be rescheduling the celebration of commencement for a later date at select locations.
- The Key West commencement ceremony scheduled for April 18 is postponed and will be rescheduled at a later date.
- The Florida commencement ceremony originally scheduled for May 2 has been rescheduled for June 1. The Saint Leo Under the Stars graduation celebration and Baccalaureate Mass have been rescheduled for May 31.
- The San Diego commencement ceremony scheduled for May 8 is postponed and will be rescheduled at a later date.
As of now all other ceremonies remain as originally scheduled. However, this situation is fluid, and as a result, students should check back frequently for updates regarding their commencement location.
Please know that these decisions to extend online classes and delay commencement were not made lightly. We know how important commencement is for not only our students and their families, and the entire university community. Commencement is a celebration recognizing years of sacrifice and hard work. Because of the importance, we are committed to moving forward with a ceremony as soon as prudent under the current circumstances.
I encourage you to continue to stay connected and engage with your university during this transition. Now more than ever, it will be important for us to truly embrace our core values by caring and supporting one another through these changes. Together, we can make the most of this situation and hopefully be better in spite of it.
Stay well, and may God bless.
Jeffrey D. Senese, Ph.D.
March 16, 2020 | Communication for Parents and Family Members from President Senese
Dear parents and family members,
Being the father of a student who attends college more than 1,000 miles from our home here in Florida, I appreciate how important it is at this time to offer a direct communication to parents and family members. Saint Leo is more adept at managing situations like the coronavirus (COVID-19) given our annual experience addressing hurricanes, and our staff and faculty are used to supporting our students during such times. We are very fortunate that this is the case.
Please know as well that during the past several weeks, the Saint Leo University leadership team and I have had to act swiftly in response to the rapid spread of COVID-19 in Florida and the United States. Our decision to transition to fully online courses last week was made based on the need to keep the health and well-being of our university community at the forefront and in accordance with the guidance the CDC and state public health authorities.
When it comes to times of stress and difficulties, I tend to share the same outlook as author Amit Ray: “In every crisis, doubt, or confusion, take the higher path – the path of compassion, courage, understanding, and love.”
At Saint Leo University, that is what we aim to do during this time of uncertainty surrounding COVID-19. Our core values call for us to act compassionately and with integrity to protect the members of our university community, and we will continue to keep these values at the center of every decision we make during this unfolding public health threat.
In the days ahead, we may be faced with the need to make additional, difficult decisions to protect the health of our students, faculty, and staff. Currently, the university’s incident command team and I are closely evaluating our commencement ceremonies, scheduled for late this spring, and the measures we may need to take to ensure they are done safely for students and families.
We are also proactively thinking about the health of students living in the residence halls on University Campus. While we continue to offer students living on campus all the essential services they need – from shuttle services to a variety of dining options on campus – at other universities across the nation, state health departments have issued orders for the complete evacuation of student residence halls. While this has not been a recommendation here, it is something we have to be prepared to do if asked. I realize this recommendation would be incredibly disruptive to our community, but I askfor you to consider plans now should we be required to take this step.
As parents of a Saint Leo University student, you play an important role in their success, and we want to keep you informed during this interesting time. Please know that our university website is the best place for you to find information and resources about the university’s response to the virus. Check this site – saintleo.edu/coronavirus– regularly as additional information will be posted there when available.
Thank you for your understanding, cooperation, and support as we work to keep our Saint Leo University community healthy. Stay well, and may God bless.
Jeffrey D. Senese, Ph.D
March 13, 2020 | A message from President Senese about the coronavirus
March 11, 2020 | Saint Leo University transitions to all online classes
Saint Leo University Coronavirus FAQ
Para información en español sobre el Coronavirus haga clic aquí.
Saint Leo University transitions to all online classes
In an effort to protect the health and well-being of the university community, Saint Leo University has decided to make adjustments to university operations following guidance issued to the state universities in Florida regarding coronavirus.
- Saint Leo University is requiring that faculty, staff, and students must register all university-sponsored travel. This includes both domestic and international travel. Please email COVID19Travel@saintleo.edu with your name, cell phone number, locations you intend to visit, dates of travel, and the reason for your trip. Students, please also include your Saint Leo residence hall and room number or local address/education center. Failure to register your trip may jeopardize your opportunity to be reimbursed for any university sponsored travel.
Classes for University Campus students will be suspended for the week of March 16-20, in order to allow faculty to prepare to deliver all classes online beginning Monday, March 23. This additional week will provide the campus community time to make this significant transition. This move to online is occurring out of an abundance of caution to protect the well-being of our community in light of the unpredictable spread of coronavirus. We hope to resume face-to-face classes and activities as soon as the situation permits. Please continue to monitor this website for ongoing updates. Faculty will receive additional information regarding this transition via email.
Students should expect guidance from their instructors regarding their coursework and continue to check their email and Lions Share for further information. Students should be prepared to begin online classes on Monday, March 23. In the meantime, all students are encouraged to stay current with reading and other assignments.
Students are asked to return to their permanent residence following Spring Break, rather than returning to campus and are strongly encouraged to remain off-campus during this period of online instruction. Housing will be available on a limited basis for Spring sports student-athletes and students who are unable to return home. Students requiring ongoing housing will be asked to register with Residence Life. All residential students will receive an email with additional instructions regarding this option.
Saint Leo WorldWide
All courses currently being taught on ground at all education centers will transition to fully online instruction effective Monday, March 16. We hope to resume face-to-face classes and activities as soon as the situation permits. Please continue to monitor this website for ongoing updates. Faculty will receive additional information regarding this change via email. Students should expect guidance from their instructors for details on this transition and should continue to check university email and Lions Share for course information.
Effective immediately, the university is canceling all large group events. Additional details about individual cancellations will be shared by event organizers. All fall and winter sports activities are suspended indefinitely. In addition, no fans will be permitted at the Acrobatic and Tumbling home events.
The university asks that all individuals avoid non-essential travel. With this recommendation in mind, the university is requiring that faculty, staff, and students register all university-sponsored travel. This includes both domestic and international. Please email COVID19Travel@saintleo.edu with your name, cell phone number, locations you intend to visit, dates of travel, and the reason for your trip. Please also include your Saint Leo residence hall and room number or local address/education center. Failure to register your trip may jeopardize your opportunity to be reimbursed for any university-sponsored travel. Please be aware that all travel will be reviewed and is subject to cancellation if deemed non-essential.
Please note, all university locations will remain open and operations will continue during this time. The university will continue to offer all essential services including dining, counseling, health services, etc. but potentially on a more limited basis.
March 10, 2020 | Students, faculty and staff asked to register travel plans
In an effort to protect the health and safety of our community, Saint Leo University is continuing to follow the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local health authorities about the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19). At this time, there are no known cases of the virus throughout the Saint Leo University community.
Please remember that the single best thing you can do is to continue to take steps to prevent the spread of all illness through frequent handwashing; using hand sanitizer; avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth; and distancing yourself from others should you become ill.
This week, the Saint Leo University incident command team made the following new recommendations, which are supported by the President:
- Avoid non-essential travel. Students, faculty, and staff should avoid all non-essential travel to the best of their ability.
- If you traveled on a cruise during Spring Break (or plan to do so in coming weeks), please monitor your health upon your return. University Campus students returning from a cruise should visit the Health Center in DeChantal Hall before returning to their residence hall or classes. Students in this group will be provided additional guidance, which they are expected to follow. Online and education center students, as well as all faculty and staff, are expected to follow the CDC guidance and “monitor their health and limit interactions with others for 14 days after returning to the United States. If you become symptomatic, immediately self-isolate and contact your county health department or health care provider.”
The following recommendations also continue to be in affect:
- All student, faculty, and staff university-related travel to CDC Risk Level 2 and 3 locations is prohibited until further notice. Saint Leo University is following the CDC guidelines for international travel. As of March 3, the CDC is recommending individuals avoid nonessential travel to areas with sustained and ongoing transmission. Risk assessments change from day to day; please continue to monitor the CDC for the current status of any locations for future travel up to and including the date of departure. Faculty, staff, and students traveling back from these countries should stay at home for 14 days to ensure they do not have the virus before returning to campus or their educational center. Again, future university-related travel to these countries is prohibited until further notice.
- All study abroad trips and programs have been canceled. The university will contact students who planned trips and provide additional information.
- Use your personal judgement when making travel plans. Employees and students who have university-related travel plans to locations not currently listed with the CDC have no obligation to participate and may decline to attend without penalty. This includes both domestic and international travel.
March 6, 2020 | Saint Leo University issues guidance on traveling
The information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) so far suggests that most coronavirus (COVID-19) illness is mild; however, a risk of more serious illness is possible. Older people and people with certain underlying health conditions like heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes, for example, appear to be at greater risk of serious illness.
In an effort to protect the health and safety of the university community, Saint Leo University is asking for students, faculty, and staff to carefully consider both their personal and professional travel plans and take note of CDC recommendations about COVID-19.
For those who plan to travel outside the United States at any time this semester, please register your travel destination with the university by sending your name, cell phone number, countries visited, and dates of travel to COVID19Travel@saintleo.edu. For students, please also include your Saint Leo residence hall and room number or local address/education center.
For those who develop an illness while away, please return to your permanent home and alert the university so we may make class and other accommodations. In addition, if you are traveling to a country that is a CDC Level 2 or 3 risk (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html) or if your travel destination is declared a CDC Level 2 or 3 risk while you are away, we ask that you return to your permanent home for a 14-day self-quarantine even if you are symptom-free.
For employees, please notify your supervisor if you are ill. Students or employees should not return to main campus or an education center until after the self-quarantine period has passed. Contact us at COVID19Travel@saintleo.edu for next steps.
As a university, we are meeting every day to assess the current status of COVID-19 and are frequently consulting with the Florida Department of Health and other experts. Please be assured that we are doing everything we can to keep our community safe.
Thank you for helping us keep Saint Leo University a healthy learning environment for everyone.
March 3, 2020 | Saint Leo University is closely monitoring the coronavirus
Saint Leo University is continuing to follow the updates and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local and state health authorities concerning the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) respiratory illness. In response, the university has activated its incident response team who will meet regularly to react to the evolving circumstances surrounding COVID-19. The health and safety of the university community is of high importance, and the university is prepared to respond should the spread of the virus worsen.
At this time, Saint Leo University has made the following recommendations in an effort to ensure the health and well-being of the university community:
- All student, faculty, and staff travel to CDC Risk Level 2 and 3 locations is prohibited until further notice. Saint Leo University is following the CDC guidelines for international travel. As of March 3, the CDC is recommending individuals avoid nonessential travel to areas with sustained and ongoing transmission. Risk assessments change from day to day; please continue to monitor the CDC for the current status of any locations for future travel up to and including the date of departure. Faculty, staff, and students traveling back from these countries (whether it be university sponsored or personal travel) should stay at home for 14 days to ensure they do not have the virus before returning to campus or their educational center. Again, future travel to these countries is prohibited until further notice.
- All study abroad trips and programs have been canceled. The university will contact students who planned trips and provide additional information.
- Use your personal judgement when making travel plans. Employees and students who have travel plans to locations not currently listed with the CDC have no obligation to participate and may decline to attend without penalty. This includes both domestic and international travel.
- Consider the CDC’s recommendation when making spring break travel plans. Information about the spread of the coronavirus is fluid and may result in changes to your travel plans. The CDC has shared that individuals traveling abroad may face “unpredictable circumstances, travel restrictions, challenges returning home, or accessing health care while abroad."