Read the latest updates from Saint Leo University about reopening and the coronavirus pandemic.
Saint Leo is currently evaluating the White House’s COVID-19 plan
Yesterday during a press conference, President Biden unveiled a new, national COVID-19 plan, called Path out of the Pandemic. It is a six-pronged plan outlining several action items that individuals and large private and public businesses would need to take, with the goal of speeding up our nation’s recovery from the pandemic.
Employees may have many questions about the plan and are likely wondering what it will mean for Saint Leo University. At this time, the university is awaiting additional information before any changes are made to university operations. The COVID-19 Incident Command Team met this morning to review and discuss the plan and will issue additional communications when information becomes available.
While the details of this plan are being determined, the COVID-19 Incident Command Team highly encourages employees to consider receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, if they have not done so already. This action will help the university reduce its risk for spreading the virus and help our community get closer to resuming business as usual.
Employees are also encouraged to notify Human Resources (email copy of vaccination card to HR@saintleo.edu) if they have been vaccinated against COVID-19. This information will be helpful in planning related to COVID-19 prevention efforts as those who have had the vaccine are not subject to random testing.
Saint Leo shares update about the Fall Semester
The Saint Leo University COVID-19 Response Team would like to confirm that all on-ground classes at University Campus and education centers will continue to be held in-person following Thanksgiving Break.
Many students have asked if the university was planning to move classes online following Thanksgiving Break, and the answer to that question is no. Information suggesting otherwise is not accurate.
Any changes related to the delivery of courses will be sent out through Saint Leo University email. At this time, the university plans to continue to offer classes in-person through the end of the academic semester.
Important information as you prepare to return to campus
The Saint Leo University COVID-19 Incident Command Team recently made an update to the Stage 3 Framework for Advancing the Pride guide concerning our mask policy and quarantine practices.
In accordance with recent guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, masks must be worn indoors when in the presence of others by all individuals (vaccinated and unvaccinated). The only exception is for students who live on University campus while in their personal residence hall room.
It is important to keep in mind that failing to abide by the university’s mask guideline is a violation of the university’s policies. Those found in violation will be subject to disciplinary action. Once our University Campus community (students, faculty and staff) reach an 85 percent COVID-19 vaccination rate or Pasco County achieves a COVID-19 positivity rate below 5 percent, this requirement will be lifted.
In addition, effective this Fall, University Campus students who are identified as needing to quarantine or isolate as a result of COVID-19 and whose permanent residence is within the state of Florida will be asked to return to their homes to do so. Exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis upon request to the COVID-19 Response Team.
With our close-knit communal living environment, Saint Leo University strongly encourages students to consider getting a COVID-19 vaccine before returning to University Campus. The more students who choose to become vaccinated, the more we can return to a normal, engaging and fun academic year.
A special vaccine clinic will be held at the beginning of the semester to make it convenient for students to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Details about this event will be shared soon. In the meantime, students should continue to check their Saint Leo University email for future updates related to COVID-19 and the Fall Semester.
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New Update to COVID-19 Prevention Guidelines
Saint Leo releases update to COVID-19 prevention guidelines
The Saint Leo University COVID-19 Incident Command Team has published new COVID-19 prevention guidelines for the university community that take effect immediately. The stage three Framework for Advancing the Pride reflects the latest health guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Florida Department of Health, and other medical and health experts.
Students, faculty, and staff should plan to fully read the guide to understand how the university will operate in the months ahead. As this COVID-19 pandemic evolves, the university may update this guidance to reflect new research or findings.
Here’s a summary of the updates contained in the Framework for Advancing the Pride:
What is changing?
What is staying the same?
What action do you need to take?
Students, faculty, and staff should continue to check their university email and the Protect the Pride website for updates and additional information related to COVID-19.
Saint Leo University announces fall plans for in-person classes
Saint Leo University is pleased to announce that it fully intends to resume in-person classes for the Fall 2021 Semester at University Campus and all education center locations. At this time, the University plans to discontinue Hybrid and Connected Classroom learning options following the completion of summer courses.
“With the increased availability of COVID-19 vaccines and the decline in the overall number of cases, we believe we can safely bring our community together again in the ways we have traditionally done prior to the pandemic,” said Saint Leo University President Jeffrey Senese. “There is no replacement for the learning that happens when we are physically and socially engaged together, and it is time that we get back to that.”
In the months ahead, the university will be developing plans that will allow the community to safely begin the new academic year in person at its University Campus and education center locations. This will include updates on many of our traditional activities, Dining Services, student events, athletics, as well as opportunities for faculty, staff, and students to obtain a COVID-19 vaccine on-site. We will be issuing new, updated guidelines for our Return to the Pride. Some changes may go into effect during the summer for students studying at education centers.
“On behalf of the COVID-19 Incident Command Team, we are grateful for the support and commitment that faculty, staff, and students demonstrated during this past year to keep our community healthy and safe,” said Dr. Melanie Storms, senior vice president. “We remain optimistic that next academic year will be one in which we can be together again and engage in many of the activities that we have traditionally enjoyed at the university.”
Students, faculty, and staff should continue to check their university email and the Protect the Pride website for updates relating to the start of the new year in the months ahead.
Saint Leo is Proud to Serve as Host for Department of Health COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution
Saint Leo University will serve as the East Pasco County (FL) location for the distribution of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine by the Department of Health. The vaccine will be available to those 65 and older by appointment only, and distribution will be 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Friday, January 15. The Department of Health is unable to accept walk-ins. If a person, age 65 or older, would like to schedule an appointment for the first dose of the vaccine, the patient portal will go live to book appointments, at 2 p.m., January 13.
Appointments for residents 65 and older can be scheduled:
December 11, 2020 | Important information about COVID-19 procedures for the spring
Important information about COVID-19 procedures for the spring
The university community did an excellent job following the guidance put in place to Return to the Pride this Fall. We were able to maintain a low case rate and complete our on-site classes as planned. This success is a cause for celebration and reason to believe that we can successfully navigate the remainder of the academic year with in-person studies.
In preparation for the Spring Semester, the Saint Leo University COVID-19 Incident Command Team is asking the university community to continue to follow the same COVID-19 prevention guidance from the fall, but with some updates. By following the same protocol from the fall, the university can continue to hold in-person classes and keep our community healthy and safe during the Spring Semester.
The Stage 2.5 Framework for Protecting the Pride has been updated to reflect the following changes:
The university is aware that the CDC has recently issued new recommendations regarding the duration of quarantine following exposure to COVID-19. In January, we will monitor and evaluate the university’s guidance based on the latest research from the CDC and changes in the prevalence of the virus, which may decrease as the vaccine is distributed. Faculty, staff, and students should continue to monitor their email and the Protect the Pride website for updates about changes to the university’s guidelines throughout the Spring Semester. Please keep in mind that as a community with students in-residence, the university may choose to be more cautious because the risk of spreading the virus is greater.
We are confident that by continuing to work together, our spring can be as successful as our fall. Have a wonderful holiday break. We look forward to seeing you upon your return in January!
Saint Leo University COVID-19 Incident Command Team
October 29, 2020 | Preparing for the holiday season during the pandemic
Preparing for the holiday season during the pandemic
As the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays approach, we look forward to having the opportunity to give thanks for our community’s health and well-being and to having some time away from day-to-day life.
While we all hope to have a peaceful and healthy holiday season, the reality is that the COVID-19 pandemic will most likely continue to be a part of our lives during the holidays. As we look forward to the holidays, we are aware that what happens in the next few weeks has the potential to significantly impact holiday plans, including travel and the ability to attend family gatherings. In response, we wanted to outline the steps the university will take with regard to students who are in quarantine when our in-person classes transition online after November 20 and through the holiday season.
After consultation with the Department of Health, Saint Leo University is issuing the following guidance in an effort to inform and protect our university community and the greater public:
We are aware that the upcoming Halloween weekend offers many opportunities for social gatherings. We would like to remind all members of our community that anyone who is exposed to COVID-19 over the coming weekend could end up quarantined for a period that includes the Thanksgiving holiday, based on the timing. Please make good choices to ensure both the safety of our community and your own.
Saint Leo University COVID-19 Incident Command Team
October 8, 2020 | Saint Leo University resumes Stage 2 activities at University Campus
Saint Leo University lifts COVID-19 precautions at University Campus
As Dr. Senese mentioned in his video to the community yesterday, the Saint Leo University COVID-19 Incident Command Team is lifting the additional precautionary measures in place for the last two weeks. The student body demonstrated a serious commitment to the health and safety of our university community, which had the intended impact and reduced the number of active cases on our campus.
Starting on Saturday, October 10, the following services and activities will resume under the guidelines provided in Stage 2 of our plan to Return to the Pride. The full document is available here:
As a reminder, sanctions may be issued to those who do not comply with the university guidelines, for example: attending gatherings (on or off campus) where individuals are not wearing masks and social distancing is not practiced; inviting outside guests to your residence hall room or to University Campus; or hosting gatherings with alcohol on University Campus.
Effective Monday, October 12, all students who selected the Hybrid Classroom option, must attend class according to their A/B rotation assignment. The temporary option to attend via the Connected Classroom option will no longer be available for students registered for the Hybrid Classroom. If you wish to permanently change your attendance modality, please contact Student Success to do so. Repeated failure to report to class on a scheduled day may be marked as an absence.
While this period of enhanced social distancing may be over, it is important for our university community to continue to follow the guidelines and not let our commitment fall wayside. Through our contact tracing process during the recent increase in cases, we observed that many students were quarantined or became ill after riding in cars with friends unmasked; attending gathering without masks; and eating meals together for a long period without masks and social distancing.
As we continue the semester, please keep this knowledge in mind. While the guidelines may seem insignificant, the consequences of not following them are great.
Thank you for your support and cooperation in keeping the Saint Leo University community healthy, safe, and strong. Together, we can all protect our pride.
September 25, 2020 | Saint Leo implements additional efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19
Saint Leo implements additional efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19
In keeping with the guiding principles outlined in the Framework for Our Return to the Pride, the Saint Leo University COVID-19 Incident Command Team has decided to implement a two-week social-distancing period to help slow the spread of COVID-19 at University Campus. With the recent spike in cases among students, these additional safety measures are being taken out of an abundance of caution. We believe these efforts are necessary to help us be able to continue to offer classes in residence throughout the remainder of the semester.
Just as we retreated to the safety of our homes to slow the spread of the virus this past spring, similar efforts will be implemented at University Campus. Effective immediately and running until October 9, students, faculty and staff should note the following changes:
While activities involving in-person interaction will be limited, there are several activities and events in which students may participate:
During this period only, University Campus faculty will provide flexibility regarding in-person attendance in the classroom, allowing students to shift to the Connected Classroom (attending class on Zoom) instead of in-person classes. As a result, students may choose to attend class from their personal homes. To be clear, classes will continue to be held in-person throughout this period for those who wish to continue to attend according to their A/B cohort assignment.
In order for these efforts to be successful, it is critically imperative that all members of the Saint Leo community also adhere closely to the basic safety measures designed to prevent the spread of COVID.
Failure to abide by the university’s guidelines will have serious consequences, up to and including suspension from the university, as well as the continued spread of COVID-19 in our community.
While we understand that such restrictions may be uncomfortable, these interim mitigation efforts will go a long way to ensure that our community is healthy, safe, and strong. Your support during this time will allow the university to move quickly through this cautionary period and resume in-person activities swiftly. Please do your part to help us Protect the Pride!
September 22, 2020 | President Senese issues warning for University Campus students
Recently I have heard too many reports that there have been an increasing number of students who are not following the university’s COVID-19 prevention guidelines, which is why I am writing to you today. It is vitally important that students adhere to the guidelines. Students who do not will face serious disciplinary sanctions, which may include removal from university housing, suspension from the university, or dismissal from athletic teams.
Individuals who threaten the health of others (e.g., those who are not following the university requirements on COVID-19), demonstrate a lack of caring for our community, and are as well jeopardizing our ability to offer in-person classes at University Campus. This behavior will not be tolerated. Those who have disregarded and failed to show compassion are behaving in direct opposition to the university’s core values of respect, integrity, excellence, responsible stewardship, personal development, and community. Further this behavior does not exemplify what it means to be a Benedictine community that cares for the well-being of others.
With an escalation in COVID-19 cases on university campus and limited quarantine space available, we will have no choice but to take serious actions against those students who fail to comply with the guidance issued. This is not the first reminder about the university guidelines and protecting our pride on campus. Therefore, and effective immediately, sanctions will be issued to those who do not comply and exhibit behavior such as:
Additionally, because of the recent increase of COVID-19 cases within the university athletic community, Saint Leo is suspending athletic activities for the following teams effective immediately through at least October 4:
In response to the number of incidents with alcohol and off campus visitors to residence halls, no guests from outside each residence hall will be permitted in any on-campus housing. This restriction will be in place until at least October 5 and it may be extended if issues continue to occur. To reiterate, guests in residence hall rooms are limited to students residing in that residence hall only.
Students should review the Framework for Our Return to the Pride guide for details about the university’s guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Thousands of people across the U.S. are dying from the virus each week, some of which include young adults. We cannot be naive about the serious nature of this pandemic. Your focused and serious adherence to the prevention guidelines is critical and will go a long way to protect your fellow Lions, faculty, and staff.
May God bless us and guide us through these difficult times and I pray you heed this message.
Jeffrey D. Senese, Ph.D.
September 16, 2020 | Saint Leo announces plans for Spring Semester
Saint Leo University announces plans for Spring Semester
Saint Leo University has decided to make a modification to the Spring 2021 academic calendar. In an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 at University Campus, Spring Break will be held from April 12 – 16 this year, instead of March 8 – 12 as originally planned. This will allow University Campus students to have the option to move out of their residence halls before Spring Break and complete their courses and final exams online following break. During this time, the residence halls will remain open for students who wish to stay in their residence halls or who will be attending commencement on May 1.
In addition, in the Spring Semester all onground courses will continue to be offered in the same formats as the fall with options to study via the Hybrid Classroom option, going through an A/B group rotation of in-person classes and Zoom, or via the Connected Classroom, attending on Zoom. Students who opted to take courses through the Connected Classroom this fall may opt to transition to the Hybrid Classroom for the spring. A limited number of spaces remain available in the residence halls for students at University Campus who wish to move on campus this spring. Students not currently in residence may apply for university housing. The housing application will be available on October 12 and can be completed at saintleo.edu/residence
Saint Leo University will continue to share news and information with the university community via the Protect the Pride website. Please check this page often for information.
September 4, 2020 | Saint Leo University publishes weekly COVID-19 dashboard
Saint Leo University publishes weekly COVID-19 dashboard
Today Saint Leo University published a new resource on the Protect the Pride website that will provide information about the number of positive COVID-19 cases within the university community. The COVID-19 dashboard will be updated each Friday and will display the current number of positive COVID-19 cases at University Campus and Education Center locations.
While the university also monitors suspected or potential cases of COVID-19, the dashboard will reflect only positive cases, as identified by a positive test result. Please know that confidentiality laws prevent Saint Leo University from disclosing the names of individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19. If you have not heard from a contract tracer, then you are at low risk for contracting COVID-19.
As a reminder, all members of the university community are highly encouraged to report when they have tested positive for COVID-19 or when they have symptoms of the virus. The university depends on this information to help keep the greater university community healthy and safe.
University Campus students should report to the Student Health Center at (352) 588-8347. Education Center students should report to their center directors (click here for list of contacts), and employees should contact their Human Resources business partner.
Please continue to check the Protect the Pride website for additional information updates throughout the semester.
September 2, 2020 | Saint Leo suspends alcohol on campus
What can happen? Saint Leo suspends alcohol on campus
Not following the university’s guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19 can have serious consequences and could jeopardize the health of fellow Lions. While it might seem like nothing will happen from ignoring the guidelines here and there, the reality is that it only takes one interaction for you to be exposed to the virus.
That’s why, in response to the number of parties that occurred on campus last weekend with alcohol consumption and masks not being worn, alcohol use on campus is suspended until further notice. No alcohol will be permitted in the residence halls until the risk of COVID-19 decreases.
Further, please know that not wearing your mask on or off campus is the single greatest risk for you and your friends to be put into quarantine. Being in quarantine alone for 14 days is not fun. Anyone who spends 15 minutes or more without wearing a mask, within six feet of someone who tests positive for the virus, will be put into quarantine. Riding in a car is particularly risky without a mask. Remember, you can be COVID-19 positive and have no symptoms. One individual who tests COVID positive and does not consistently wear a mask can easily be responsible for 15-30 people being quarantined.
Here are some important reminders about the guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID-19:
Our top priority is keeping the Saint Leo and surrounding community safe and healthy, and maintaining the ability to have on-ground classes. Every single person plays a role in protecting the pride. Don’t ask what could happen. Ensure that nothing happens and follow the prevention guidelines. Together, we must all help to Protect the Pride!
August 18, 2020 | A Welcome Message from President Senese
While times may have changed, one thing I can say with certainty is that Saint Leo University’s commitment to serving students has not. Our university has never worked harder or more collaboratively to serve students in the innovative ways that work best for them.
This fall, the university is offering classes through three learning options: hybrid, which offers a rotation between in-person and Zoom classes; connected, where students attend in-person classes exclusively through Zoom; and online, which offers a fully immersive online experience through the Center for Online Learning.
On top of this flexibility, Saint Leo University has implemented enhanced safety practices at its University Campus location. The occupancy for our classrooms, residence halls, and dining hall have been reduced; more grab-and-go food options will be served in our dining venues; and new virtual student activities and events have been developed to keep engagement high throughout the year.
Everyone in our university community will also monitor their health daily through an app, social distancing will be practiced in common spaces, and masks or face coverings are required for all members of our community anytime they are on campus. Enhanced cleaning and sanitation will occur throughout the day and at night to keep our campus clean and safe. I am confident in the work that the university is doing to keep our students, faculty, and staff in good health throughout the year.
While things will be a little different this semester, I believe that the strength of our community spirit will overcome these times and serve as a light forward in the uncertainty. We are stronger when we are together, which makes the reopening of our classrooms that much more important. At Saint Leo University, there will be support and encouragement in all the places where we can connect.
I wish our students, faculty, and staff a successful and rewarding semester. May you broaden your horizons, make progress toward your dreams, and gain new courage for your next step in life.
Very sincerely yours,
Jeffrey D. Senese, Ph.D.
July 29, 2020 | Learning Options for Fall: Hybrid or Connected Classroom
The message below is intended for University Campus and Education Center students.
July 29, 2020
We very much look forward to the start of the 2020-2021 academic year and to welcoming all of you back in August. As we approach the start of the semester, we have received a number of requests for flexibility related to in person classes this Fall.
We want you to know that we have listened to you and are pleased to provide you a new option for learning this Fall. As you may recall, we previously shared that all students attending courses on ground this Fall would be rotating physical attendance with attendance via Zoom (what we are referring to as our Hybrid Classroom). This approach will ensure that all classrooms incorporate appropriate physical distancing for in-person sessions.
We are now offering a second option, the Connected Classroom, for the entire Fall semester. In this approach, students will attend using videoconferencing for all class meetings. The faculty and the instruction will be the same as the Hybrid Classroom approach described above. However, students in the Connected Classroom option will not rotate into the physical classroom and will remain on Zoom throughout the course.
Saint Leo University has long been a leader in creating learning environments that serve our students’ needs. This new option will be no different. Whether you select the Hybrid Classroom or the Connected Classroom learning option for the Fall, please know that our faculty will provide a quality face-to-face experience that will provide you with the connectedness you desire as a student.
To recap, all students will select to attend in one of the two following options:
To select which learning option you would like to use this fall, please complete the classroom choice survey below before Monday, August 10th.
If you do not complete this survey by the deadline, your attendance will automatically default to the Hybrid Classroom choice.
The attendance option you select will apply to all of your scheduled on-ground courses. As a reminder, most campus students will also be enrolled in one 8-week online course during the Fall 1 term. The University also reserves the right to convert additional on-ground courses to the Connected Classroom format as needed. Students will be notified by their instructor should that be necessary. For campus students, regardless of the attendance option you select, our residence halls, dining services, and other campus amenities all remain open as planned. Additional information will follow this week from Residence Life regarding move-in, new student orientation, and your return to campus.
If you have questions about the options provided, please feel free to reach out to your admissions counselor or success coach (campus students) or your advisor (center students) to discuss your options.
Thank you for your patience as we continue to refine plans for you to be successful this fall. See you in a few short weeks.
Mary T. Spoto, Ph.D.
Vice President for Academic Affairs
July 17, 2020 | Information about changes to the course schedule for campus students
The message below is intended for only University Campus students.
We look forward to welcoming you to campus in August and hope that this summer has found you and your loved ones doing well.
The intention of this email is to inform you about your Fall 2020 class schedule. Changes are being made to schedules related to COVID-19 and that align with new safety procedures put in place by Saint Leo University. These modifications are intended to provide a safe environment for students, staff, and faculty during the Fall 2020 Semester while maintaining an effective learning environment for you.
There are a total of 896 course offerings in the Fall 2020 schedule on University Campus alone, but we are working diligently to make these changes and finalize your schedules as quickly as possible.
Because work on your schedules is currently occurring, the course information you view now may change, even multiple times. Please know that your Student Success coach or faculty advisor are working to create the best schedule possible for you. Since multiple changes may occur, you will receive an email once your schedule is complete with steps on how to view your fall schedule. If you do not receive any communication, please contact your Student Success coach, faculty advisor, or program office.
We know that changes made to your schedule can be concerning and make it challenging to see what is ahead, but we assure you these changes are necessary during this time as we create a beneficial and safe learning environment for the fall.
I would also like to share with you some details regarding the Fall 2020 Semester course delivery so you have better insight on how the semester will run. Classes will occur in two different modalities.
For detailed information regarding the university’s COVID-19 plan for Fall 2020, please read the Stage Two: Fall 2020 – Framework for our Return to the Pride guide. Please take the time to read this document in its entirety. Pages seven through eight contain specific information related to academic program delivery.
We are excited about your return to the Saint Leo pride in the coming weeks! We look forward to welcoming you back and helping you achieve your academic goals while keeping you and our wider community safe.
Mary T. Spoto, Ph.D.
Vice President for Academic Affairs
June 24, 2020 | Saint Leo University prepares for a return to the pride
Preparing to Return to the Pride
After the coronavirus put a pause on community life at University Campus and education center locations, the time has come to return and regather our pride of Lions. Today, the Saint Leo University COVID-19 Incident Command Team has released a framework that will allow all locations to resume on-ground classes this August for the start of the Fall Semester.
This framework is the second stage of a four-stage plan that will allow the university to safely and cautiously return to the engaging community that we once knew. The first stage involved the phased return of faculty and staff to the workplace; and now, this second stage provides guidance on the return of students, including details about residential life and classroom-based instruction.
By design, the plan is a framework. It will be up to each area of our university community to further define their procedures and ensure the implementation of the guidance and requirements provided in this framework.
This plan will require help and support from all members of the university community to ensure its success. During these times, it is important to put the needs of the greater community first. By thinking about the well-being of others and following the guidelines outlined in the plan, we will help to #ProtectOurPride.
Additional information about reopening will be coming in the weeks ahead. Be sure to check saintleo.edu/coronavirus for future updates.
June 18, 2020 | President Senese shares coronavirus update
May 21, 2020 | Saint Leo shares a preview of reopening plans at University Campus
Saint Leo University shares a preview of reopening plans at University Campus
This update pertains to University Campus students only.
As the university’s plans and health authorities’ guidance comes together, Saint Leo would like to provide the university community with a preview of a part of the plan that has been finalized.
The university is currently planning to reopen all on-ground classes at University Campus on schedule in August. However, given that many experts have suggested there may be another peak in cases of coronavirus in the late fall, associated with the onset of flu season, the university has preemptively decided to adjust our instructional approach for the end of the fall semester.
Following the Thanksgiving holiday break, all courses at University Campus will resume online for the last two weeks of the term. This change will allow students who reside on campus the option to remain home following Thanksgiving and avoid travel during this time should they so choose. Our residence halls and dining facilities will remain open until the end of semester in accordance with our regularly published academic calendar for those students who would prefer to remain in-residence through this period. Accordingly, room and board fees will remain the same.
The university expects to have the full and finalized fall reopening plan available to view in June. This plan will outline the modifications and precautions that the university will be implementing to ensure the safety of students, faculty, and staff, and provide details about what is expected in our university community.
With every decision that the university makes, it is prioritizing safety while still identifying ways to provide students with the same great, engaging and rewarding Saint Leo University experience that they have come to know.
Please continue to check the website for additional updates relating to Saint Leo University’s plans for reopening in the fall.
May 12, 2020 | Saint Leo University begins to evaluate plans for the Fall
Saint Leo University begins to evaluate plans for the Fall
In its most recent update, the university made the decision to extend online courses throughout the Summer terms and implement work from home for faculty and staff through May 29.
With the availability of new state and federal guidance on the reopening of our nation, Saint Leo University has been working diligently on our plans for the Fall terms at University Campus and our education centers. We are committed to a safe return to learning for all members of our university community. Departmental leaders across our institution are developing guidelines and processes to allow for a productive and engaging fall semester for our students on campus and at our center locations nationwide.
Saint Leo University anticipates announcing the details of our plans for the start of the new academic year in June. Be sure to check saintleo.edu/coronavirus for additional updates.
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:
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.
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 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.
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:
The following recommendations also continue to be in affect:
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:
In accordance with the university’s framework to begin returning to normal operations. Select Education Centers have begun operating from their physical facilities, while other continue to support students remotely. Contact information for each center, as well as their current status is provided below. Scheduling appointments with center staff is strongly encouraged prior to visiting a location.
Savannah Education Center
Phone: (912) 352-8331
This center is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Monday through Thursday and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays.
East Pasco Education Center
Phone: (352) 588-8879
This center is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday through Friday.
Jacksonville Education Center
Phone: (904) 771-7825
This center is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Monday through Thursday and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays.
Key West Education Center
Phone: (305) 293-2847
This center is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday through Thursday and from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Fridays.
Lake City Education Center
Phone: (386) 752-6866.
This center is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Monday through Thursday and from 8 a.m. to noon on Fridays.
MacDill Education Center
Phone: (813) 285-5440
This center is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Monday through Thursday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays.
Mayport Education Center
Phone: (904) 249-0911
Advising hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday through Friday.
Ocala Education Center
Phone: (352) 424-9144
This center is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Monday through Thursday and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays.
Pasco Hernando Education Center
Phone: (352) 588-8879
Center facility remains closed. Please call or email for assistance.
Tampa Education Center
Phone: (813) 226-2776
This center is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Monday through Thursday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays.
Columbus Education Center
Phone: (662) 434-8844
This center is open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. from Monday through Friday.
Corpus Christi Education Center
Phone: (361) 937-1440
This center is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday through Friday by appointment.