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All visitors are required to bring and wear a mask. Click here for a complete list of COVID-19 resources, protocols and procedures.

Coronavirus FAQs & Important Terms

Please find important terms and FAQs about how St. Thomas University is responding to the Coronavirus below.

FAQs - BobcatGo!

If I want to attend virtually, do I need to change my classes or class schedule?

No, you will not need to change your class schedule at all, we have already built in this flexibility into courses. Students may choose to attend in person or virtually to meet their needs or preferences.

If students choose to attend virtually, all they need to do is notify us through their personal BobcatGo! page at the by clicking here to quickly answer some questions about Fall 2020.

How is in-person classroom different than in previous semesters?

STU is limiting classroom capacity to 50% or less of normal seating capacity. Many classes are being moved to larger spaces to accommodate this in-person spacing. Virtual attendance is unlimited. In some cases, large classes have modified attendance which is designated in advance by day of the week (for example, Tuesday OR Thursday, but not both) to accommodate in-person spacing. When attendance is modified, students will be notified through our learning management systems (Canvas for most students; LexisNexis at the School of Law). Together, these strategies help ensure that students have flexibility to attend in person or virtually.

What does virtual class participation look like?

Students will attend class virtually join via a designated Zoom link. We have added technology to classrooms so that everyone can join, no matter from where. Through their devices, students can see and hear faculty and participate during class. Be sure to see the BobcatGo! Classroom demonstration video.

Will we provide PPE for students that do not arrive on campus with it?

Students are expected to bring and use their own masks. Hand sanitizing stations are available throughout classroom buildings, at the library, and other common areas. Students are welcome to bring and use additional PPE as they wish. Also, masks and other PPE are sold on campus at the STU Bookstore.

How often are we cleaning?

The STU housekeeping staff is cleaning in accordance with federal, state, and local guidelines. Classrooms are cleaned daily. Additionally, disinfectant solution and paper towels are available in each classroom for student and faculty use to sanitize their respective classroom spaces as desired.

For additional information, please review the following links:

Introduction of BobcatGo! Strategy: https://youtu.be/lRZKNDT5gXU

Demonstration of BobcatGo! Classroom: https://youtu.be/FPqTPgC3d4

FAQs - General Information

Have any cases of coronavirus been reported at STU?

4 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported at STU.

Is the campus open?

Yes, campus is open. Anybody who is on campus will be required to wear a face mask and will have their temperature taken.

How is the campus being cleaned?

St. Thomas University and the Physical Plant Department are committed to ensuring a clean and safe work environment for students, faculty, and staff. This includes but is not limited to: increased frequency in custodial staff sanitizing all high traffic areas of campus, providing offices with additional cleaning supplies, and installing hand sanitization stations across campus.

Lastly, STU has increased the number of times and ways that it is cleaning all of our most frequented areas including our Library, Bobcat Café, Student Center and classrooms, and we encourage all faculty and staff to keep their offices and areas clean and wipe down surfaces at least twice a day with products that contain at least 60% alcohol. 

Can I still be seen by our on-campus clinic?

The on-campus clinic is open on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. An appointment is required.  Appointments can be made at 305-474-6921 or STUprimarycare@baptisthealth.net.

If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms or other minor ailments, Baptist Health is offering free virtual visits with our doctors online available 24/7 who can assess your condition and determine the best course of action.  Download the  Baptist Health Care On Demand telehealth app and use code CARE19.  Learn more at https://go.baptisthealthcareondemand.net/care19/.

 

FAQs - CARES Act

What are the application dates for the Archbishop fund? Is there a deadline?
Fund requests will be reviewed on a first come-first served basis. Funds will remain available until the Archbishop fund has bee completely utilized or until the end of the government program, which is set to expire September 30, 2022.

I have a balance due to the university, will these funds be used for that?
No, the funds were distributed directly to students.

I recently graduated from STU; can I apply for funding?
Any student who graduated or withdrew from STU prior to the award date was not eligible to receive a grant. Additionally, those similarly situated students are unable to apply for Archbishop funds.

My income has dropped due to COVID, can I apply for Federal CARES Act funding?
Income loss or variation is not a criterion under CARES Act funding. However, you may apply for Archbishop funds and if adequate need is determined, you may be eligible to receive funding based on your expenses incurred as a result of COVID-19.

When should I expect to hear back regarding my application submission?
Applications to receive funds from the Archbishop fund will be reviewed as they are submitted. Reviews will occur in a timely manner, and a decision will be reached no later than 3 weeks after your application submission.

My financial aid totals my cost of attendance, will that prevent me from being considered for these funds?
No. These funds are not tied to your cost of attendance.

I am enrolled in STU’s online program, can I apply for these funds?
Students who were enrolled exclusively in an online program on March 13, 2020, the date of National Emergency, are not eligible for these grants.

Can International students apply?
No, based on guidance issued by the federal government.

Can a graduate or law student apply for funds from the Archbishop fund?
Yes, these funds are available to all Title IV eligible students at STU.

FAQs - Faculty and Staff Returning to Campus

What if I feel I am unable to return to campus because of an underlying medical condition?
If you have an underlying condition or are in a situation where you do not feel comfortable or safe in returning to work on campus, you must notify your supervisor and begin the reasonable accommodation process with HR; supporting documentation will be required for approval. If it is determined that your work cannot be completed remotely, HR will provide you with alternative options.

Do I need to get tested prior to returning to campus?
Not at this time. However, employees also can work directly with their health care provider if they feel they need a COVID-19 test. If you are on a University health plan, and have a doctor’s prescription, testing is covered at no cost through in network providers. Additionally, state sponsored drive through testing locations are free of cost.

What are the current symptoms of COVID-19?
People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Symptoms include: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea. This list does not include all possible symptoms. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) will continue to update the symptom list as more is learned about COVID-19. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html
Additionally, a self-checking service from the CDC is found below the symptom list on the link above.

What should I do if I’m feeling sick before arriving on campus for work?
We ask that you take your temperature at home daily before reporting to work. If you have a fever (temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher), you need to stay home, and notify your supervisor. If you have one or more of the other COVID-19 symptoms, please contact your doctor and notify your supervisor and Human Resources.

What should I do if I start feeling sick during the day, while I’m on campus for work?
If you start to feel sick with any of the COVID-19 symptoms while you are on campus for your work shift, please notify your supervisor and Human Resources immediately, while observing proper social distancing and face covering guidelines. You will be advised to go home and contact your health care provider if you are displaying COVID-19 symptoms.

What can I do to assess my health on a regular basis?
All employees should monitor their health daily using the COVID-19 Self-Screening Instruction Sheet, remain home if not feeling well, and report symptoms to your health care providers. If you test positive for COVID-19, you need to alert the Office of Human Resources.

Does my University health insurance coverage cover the cost of COVID-19 testing?
COVID-19 testing is covered at no cost to employees/members who are covered under STU medical plans as long as you have a prescription from your doctor. Additionally, drive through, state sponsored testing sites are free of cost.

What should I do if I test positive for COVID-19?
If you test positive for COVID-19, you must notify the Office of Human Resources by sending an email to Nadine Lewis nlewis-sevilla@stu.edu or Bettina Romanat bromanat@stu.edu and completing the Symptom Self-Report Form. We will respect your privacy to the extent possible. Employees who test positive for COVID-19 must remain at home and self-isolate according to current CDC guidelines.

What are my options regarding Paid Time Off if I test positive for COVID-19?
Please contact the Office of Human Resources to discuss your situation.

What if one of my family members displays symptoms of COVID-19 or tests positive for COVID-19?
Individuals who are confirmed to have been exposed to a COVID-19 positive person must self-isolate. Third party contact does not require self-isolation. If you are unsure, please contact HR.

What if someone I interacted with on campus tests positive for COVID-19?
If an employee tests positive, we will speak with them to determine with whom they came into contact, so we can assess potential exposures.
If an employee has been exposed to, or has come in contact with, an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19, either at work or elsewhere, that employee must self-isolate at home.
The identity of employees and students who test positive will not be disclosed beyond a need-to-know basis; however, contact tracing and the need for exposed individuals to self-isolate may result in revealing their identity to some individuals.

What if someone I interacted with has symptoms of COVID-19, but has not tested positive?
You should self-isolate until the person’s COVID-19 test comes back negative or you have undergone 72 hours without symptoms while taking no fever reducing medication or have had your own COVID-19 test after the interaction and the results were negative.

Do I need to take sick time if I am self-isolating?
If you are able to work remotely and have been approved by your supervisor and HR, you do not need to take sick time if you are self-isolating. If you are unable to work remotely, you will need to take sick time.

If I am in self-isolation is that information kept confidential?
An employee’s self-isolation status is kept confidential, except on a need to know basis (e.g. supervisor).

What personal protective equipment (PPE) will employees be required to wear on campus?
Everyone must wear a face covering in public spaces, including meeting rooms, where they interact with others. STU will provide one cloth face mask to every employee. The STU Bookstore has additional face masks available for purchase.

If I see someone who is not wearing a mask, what should I do?
Please be respectful because the person may have an underlying health condition, but you may kindly remind them they should be wearing a mask. If they don’t have one, please let them know face masks are available for purchase in the bookstore. If they have a mask and refuse to comply, inform their supervisor and HR.

Do I have to social distance while on campus?
Yes, everyone must adhere to at least 6 feet of social distancing or the current best practices when around others.

Will employees be required to submit to daily temperature tests?
Yes, we are asking you to submit to temperature testing before being allowed on campus as part of our health protocols and policies.

What measures are being taken by the University to ensure workplace safety?
STU is engaging in several measures to ensure workplace safety, including but not limited to, contact tracing, new signage and health information displayed around our campus, a detailed Facilities review of all workspaces, and cleaning and disinfecting protocols.

What type of signage is the University displaying related to COVID-19?
We are in the process of creating a variety of signage that comply with CDC guidelines and that will be displayed across our campus with important information and reminders on topics such as: social distancing (min. 6-feet apart) guidelines, the requirement to wear face coverings, personal health monitoring, staying home when feeling sick, one-way traffic designations in certain areas, wiping down surfaces such as door knobs, keyboards, etc., and to frequently wash hands.

What kind of cleaning and disinfectant protocols will the University employ?
Our Facilities team will be engaging in more frequent and robust cleaning protocols, including commonly used areas at least twice daily. In addition, we ask you to augment those efforts by routinely cleaning and disinfecting your workspaces and wiping keyboards, phones, and doorknobs, if applicable, at least once a day. We also will have processes in place to perform enhanced, deep cleanings of a workspace if an employee tests positive for COVID-19. Each office suite and classroom will have bleach solution with paper towels that may be used for supplemental cleaning of surfaces at each employees discretion.

Where will I be able to eat my lunch or take breaks?
Our University cafeteria will be closed until students return. You are welcome to eat in your designated workstations or break rooms while being mindful of social distancing guidelines (staggered lunch breaks may be needed). Microwaves and coffee machines may be used; however, employees are required to properly clean them after each use. Employees ordering food for delivery must arrange for a contact-free delivery.

How will meetings be handled when we return to campus?
While the University recognizes that we are used to in-person meetings, it is vital that other means of communication, such as the phone and Zoom, are used whenever possible.

Do I still have to share an office with my colleague? We won’t be able to socially distance.
Our Facilities team is reviewing all workspaces across campus to determine where physical adjustments may be necessary, such as installation of plastic shields, spacing out workspaces, assessing one-way traffic patterns, and other accommodations. These adjustments will be made in advance of each department’s return to work. If you have questions about your workspace needs, please contact your supervisor.

What if I travel out-of-state? Out-of-country?
STU advises faculty and staff to avoid unnecessary travel domestically and internationally. Employees who travel out of state or internationally for personal reasons, may be asked to inform STU of your travel plans in the event contact tracing is needed to alert you or others about possible exposure. Potential quarantine may be required based upon the location of travel.
Until further guidance is provided, employees will not be permitted to travel for work purposes. Any exception to this policy requires approval from the Compliance Office: mattroche@stu.edu or 305-628-6648.

How do I report bias incidents related to COVID-19?
For employee-related incidents, please contact the Office of Human Resources. Student-related incidents should be reported to Student Affairs: rmcnab@stu.edu.

What is considered a potential exposure to COVID-19?

A potential exposure to COVID-19 can occur through a household contact or having a close contact within 6 feet of an individual with confirmed or suspected COVID-19. This potential exposure begins 48 hours prior to the infected individual has begun to show symptoms.

What is considered a close contact to COVID-19?

A close contact to COVID-19 is considered contact with an individual who has tested positive or who has symptoms of COVID-19. This contact must be within 6 feet for a least 15 consecutive minutes. Any contact within 48 hours prior to the individual showing any symptoms until the individual self-isolated could be considered a close contact.

FAQs - Student Affairs

Will students be returning to campus for the Fall 2020 semester?
Yes, the St. Thomas University campus will be re-open to all STU community members for Fall 2020. Staff, faculty, and administration will be implementing new policies, practices, and procedures in response to the COVID-19 to reduce the risk of transmission.

Will there be in person classes?
Yes, however there will be certain guidelines and protocols implemented, such as:

  • Distance between seats, which has been measured to preserve social distancing.
  • In-person classes will be up to 15 students depending upon the classroom capacity with social distancing.
  • Science/Nursing Labs will be at 50% capacity.
  • Two bottles of bleach solution along with paper towels will be placed in each classroom and students and faculty will be encouraged to wipe down their desk/table/chair upon entering the classroom.
  • The facilities team will clean classrooms following CDC guidelines and cleaning community areas at a higher rate.
  • Each classroom will be setup with IT technology to provide premium ZOOM capability.
  • Classrooms with two doors will indicate entrance and exit.

Will student activities occur on campus?
Yes, all student activities will follow CDC guidelines, including use of PPE and social distancing where possible. As many programs as possible will be held outdoors, and if indoors, will be limited in capacity. Non-STU students will not be allowed to attend campus activities. Students will check in at each event, be provided hand sanitizer, and have their temperature taken. If a student has an elevated temperature, they will be asked to leave and provided the number for Baptist Health to conduct a virtual symptom screening.

*Week of Welcome events will implement social distancing and adhere to county guidelines surrounding group size limits.

Am I able to get out of my housing contract?
No. When the Housing Contract is signed and returned to the University, it establishes a legal, binding, academic year-long (both fall and spring semesters – with the exception of Winter Break and any portions of the academic year remaining at the time this Contract is signed) contract between the student, parent or guardian (if applicable), and St. Thomas University.If extenuating circumstances exist, please contact Richard McNab, Director of Residential Life.

Will athletics be occurring this fall?
Yes, all athletics will be aligned with the University, NAIA, CDC, and local public health guidelines and requirements. The State of Florida Phased Plan to re-opening will be considered in the decisions being made in the STU Athletics Department.

Will I still receive my athletic scholarship if it is determined that athletics are not able to resume?
Yes, all athletes will still receive their scholarships if athletics are not able to resume.

How will move-in work this fall?
Move-in will be in timeframes to reduce the density on campus. These expanded offerings will be for both athlete move in as well as non-athlete move in. The Residential Life team will be working to develop an appointment system that gives families a two-hour block of time to complete their student’s move in. This appointment system will be structured to ensure that no more than a set number of families will be moving in at one time, in any given building. During move-in, the student will be allowed to have two guests with them, any additional people will be restricted from being on campus.
We will not be providing volunteers to assist with move-in and will not be providing use of carts or other moving assistance tools. The elevators in the buildings will be limited to one family at a time. Upon arrival in their respective residence hall room, the student will receive a packet of helpful information surrounding proper hygiene, new rules/regulations, safety precautions, and sanitation suggestions surrounding Covid-19.

Are there any new policies or procedures that I should be aware of?
Yes, there will be new policies and procedures that all students will be made aware of, including the housing addendum for all residential students.

Has STU instituted cleaning and sanitization practices in response to COVID-19?
Yes, the residence halls, community spaces, and other high touch areas within the facilities will be cleaned at least twice daily and in accordance with CDC and ACHA (American College Health Association) guidance. Hand sanitizers will be placed at the entrance of each building and on each floor of every residence hall.

Will campus visits be occurring?
Yes, however, to facilitate campus visits, safety measures are being implemented. Only one family will be allowed in each golf cart at a time. Athletic coaches will handle all campus tours for athletes, while admissions team members will handle all other visits. Any potential visitor or employee that is showing any symptoms of Covid-19 or who does not feel well should not be on campus. All entrants to campus are subject to infrared temperature readings. During all campus visits the following guidelines are to be strictly followed, including but not limited to CDC recommendations.

Will visitation in the residence halls be allowed?
Visitation within the residence halls will be allowed only for other STU students. There will be no outside visitation, and no overnight visitation in the residence halls. Non-residential STU students will sign into the building that they are visiting. Residential students are allowed only one other STU student visiting at a time.

Will dining services be offered on campus?
Yes, Metz Culinary will be following closely the Miami Dade County orders regarding reopening, cleanliness practices, and capacity limits. Metz will also be introducing a new app allowing pre-orders at the Rathskeller, that will help reduce traffic and loitering. All seating in Einstein’s will be removed, as the space is too small for any level of congregating.

If I test positive for COVID-19, do I need to notify STU officials?
Yes, any student testing positive must notify Richard McNab or another member of the Student Affairs team. Those students within driving distance from STU will be expected to return home during their quarantine period. STU will maintain a quarantine facility at the monastery that will have 15 private rooms and bathrooms but will be used only as necessary. If a student is quarantined on campus, the residence life team will bring all meals to the student while taking appropriate precautions.

Will I be able to complete course work remotely if I do not feel safe returning to campus?
All in-person day courses will be hybrid, offering both in person and ZOOM viewing capabilities. Evening classes will be hybrid with students alternating between attending in-person and ZOOM.

Will there be in person classes after Thanksgiving?
All classes will end the in-person component after Thanksgiving break. The remainder of classes/exams will continue virtually. Students will be allowed to remain in the residence halls during Thanksgiving break and will be able to complete their semester remotely while living on campus.

Will I be required to wear a mask?
All students, faculty, and staff will be required to wear masks in any community space on campus.

Will STU provide me with a mask?
Students who do not have a mask will be offered one and if they refuse to wear one, they will be asked to leave and counted absent for the day.

Will there be on-site COVID-19 testing?
Baptist staff will screen students over the phone and refer them to an off-site testing location if their symptoms align with the coronavirus. If Baptist Health practices change and they begin testing on-site, the STU community will be notified.

Will my STU health insurance cover COVID-19 testing?
COVID-19 testing is covered under the STU health insurance, if a doctor has written a prescription for the test. Additionally, state sponsored drive-thru testing locations are free of cost.

Will international students be able to attend the University in-person?
International students have different requirements based on where they are from. Currently, all travel restrictions are being reviewed to formulate a more direct plan. Once a student can return to the United States, a case by case analysis will be conducted to determine whether the student should be required to quarantine for a period of time. This analysis will be based upon the country they are returning from, the impact COVID-19 has had on the respective country, and CDC requirements for travel. If it is determined that a student is required to quarantine, they will be encouraged to quarantine off campus if possible but will be provided a space in the monastery if no other options exist.

Is there a comprehensive return to campus plan?
Yes, STU will release its plan once finalized and once a clearer picture from county and federal guidelines are released. Key tenets of the plan can be found at www.stu.edu/coronavirus/. Currently updated FAQs are available and information surrounding our academic plan, Bobcat Go, are available.

Will there be quarantine requirements for when I return to campus?
STU will maintain a quarantine facility at the monastery that will have 15 private rooms and bathrooms but will be used only as necessary. If a student is quarantined on campus, the residence life team will bring all meals to the student while taking appropriate precautions.

Will counseling sessions be available?
Counseling sessions will remain in a virtual format at this time through telehealth appointments, as has been done during the summer. If an emergency exists or a student needs to see a mental health counselor in person, exceptions will be made to the telehealth requirement.

Will the Baptist Health Clinic be open and accepting appointments?
Any student wishing to access services offered by Baptist Health in the Health Center will need to make an appointment. There will be no walk in’s accepted until further notice. Once an appointment is made, Baptist staff will conduct a pre-screening of the patient via phone prior to their arrival at the clinic. Upon arrival, staff will provide the patient with appropriate PPE and will read their temperature before allowing the patient in the building.

Will the Band be able to utilize the instruments?
Yes, however sharing of any instrument will not be tolerated. All band students will be responsible for properly cleaning and sanitizing their instruments. Social distancing and hydrating with disposable (one time usage only) cups will be implemented.

FAQs - Sun Conference Fall Return to Play

What decision was made by The Sun Conference?

The Sun Conference announced our intent to proceed as scheduled with the 2020 fall season in all conference sponsored sports: Men’s and Women’s Cross Country, Men’s and Women’s Soccer, and Women’s Indoor Volleyball.

Who made the decision?

The decision was made by a vote of the conference’s Council of Presidents during a special meeting held on July 23, 2020.

What factors played a part in the decision? The Conference Return to Play Task Force, consisting of top medical staff and administrators in the conference, has spent the past three months meeting on a weekly (and sometimes more frequent) basis to put plans in place to minimize the risk of COVID-19 on our campuses and in competition. We are confident that the protocols put in place throughout the conference, along with those being implemented on each of our campuses, will provide student-athletes with a safer environment than they would otherwise be afforded. We believe that personal protective equipment, daily screenings, and access to quick testing will allow student-athletes to reduce their risk of exposure relative to what they would experience in society at-large. Our conference did not find assurances that a shift towards spring athletics would create a drastically reduced risk of exposure. In addition, doing so would create an overly crowded athletics schedule that would be unmanageable for many or all NAIA athletic departments and thus would create a sub-par experience for our student-athletes.

Will there be any changes to the conference schedule?

Two institutions, SCAD-Savannah and Johnson & Wales (Fl.), will not be competing in fall sports. SCAD-Savannah opted not to compete due to the logistical challenges of an online-only academic format, while Johnson & Wales announced its North Miami campus will close at the end of the 2020-21 academic year and chose to cancel its athletic seasons.

What is The Sun Conference doing to minimize the risk of COVID-19 spread?

Our conference understands that there is no way to fully eliminate the risk of exposure to COVID-19, just as can be said for any environment in a currently working society. The Sun Conference Return to Play Task Force has instituted stringent measures surrounding daily screening, sport-specific protocols, personal protective equipment, team travel, efficient communication, among others to minimize the risk of exposure as much as possible. These guidelines will soon be available to the public.

In addition, each institution is required by the conference to have a robust action plan for a safe return of their athletes to campus to include details on screening, testing, emergency action plans, fan attendance, cleaning and sanitation, and competition preparation.

Each institution is expected to provide COVI-19 related training for all student-athletes and staff prior to the start of team activities.

What happens if there is an outbreak on campus?

Daily screenings and access to quick testing will allow for cases to be identified early and for infected individuals to be isolated to prevent further spread. Immediate communication to the conference and affected institutions’ staffs will be required in the event of a positive test.

How will NAIA championships factor into the equation?

The Sun Conference is hopeful the NAIA will choose to keep its Fall Championships in place as currently scheduled, in which case no adjustments would be needed.

If the NAIA opts to move fall championships to the spring term, The Sun Conference would affirm its intent to compete in the fall. In that case, we would also consider alternative schedules which could allow for play to extend to the spring term to align more closely with national postseason play. The conference would fully intend to enter any qualifiers into NAIA postseason in this scenario.

Will students be able to “opt out” of the season?

Yes. The Sun Conference would fully respect the decision of any student-athlete to choose not to participate in a season to further minimize risk and would encourage our members to honor any committed athletic aid to the student-athlete in this case.

In addition, we fully support coaches and other staff who may opt not to partake in some or all of a season, particularly those that may be considered at increased risk for severe illness.

Why is The Sun playing when the Sunshine State Conference (and others) moved their fall competitions to spring?

The Sun Conference fully respects all athletic conference and association decisions. Our conference took many factors into account in making this decision and chose to proceed in the manner which fit our member institutions best.

How often are student-athletes being tested?

All students will be required to produce a negative COVID-19 PCR test no more than 7 days prior to his or her first competition. In addition, any individual who does not pass a daily screening, exhibits symptoms at any time, or is found to be exposed to infection, will be required to produce a negative test prior to returning to competition.

Is there a chance you will not be able to finish the season?

There are certainly no guarantees of any outcome in current times. Our conference plans to react quickly to any potential setbacks and continue to keep health and safety at the forefront.

If the season cannot be played or finished, what happens?

There are many potential scenarios for which our conference will have a contingency plan ready to launch. Our schedule allows for a significant amount of flexibility to react if competition becomes infeasible. Some of the numerous options we will be prepared for include a delay to the season, a “pause” in competition, or even an ultimate move of fall sports to the spring. While we are hopeful that these contingency plans will not be needed, we encourage student-athletes and staffs to remain flexible and prepare for all possible scenarios.

What are you doing to protect at-risk coaches and staff?

Protocols for social distancing and PPE have been established, where possible. As stated earlier, we support any individuals that choose not to participate under the current circumstances, and employees will be guided by the specific protocols and policies at their institutions.

Is it responsible to facilitate college athletics in the hotspot of a pandemic?

We believe that athletics is a critical factor in the collegiate experience for our student-athletes. While it is not possible to completely eliminate risk, we believe that the environment that will be provided on each of our member campuses will be much safer in total than what they would find in daily society. In addition to providing a safe setting, our responsibility to our studentathletes is to provide a complete educational experience, of which athletics is a vital part.

Will games cancelled due to COVID-19 be rescheduled?

Our intent is that any games that are cancelled this fall will be rescheduled. We do realize, however, that may not be possible in all cases due to various factors.

Does this decision impact football?

While The Sun Conference does not currently sponsor the sport, our football members do share a division in the Mid-South Conference and it is possible that the Sun Division could opt for a schedule that varies somewhat from the rest of the conference.

FAQs - Housing

What are you doing to reduce the spread of COVID-19 during move-in?

Residential Life is taking multiple steps to make your experience on campus as safe and exciting as possible when you arrive in August. During the move-in process we will be conducting an expedited move-in procedure to reduce the number of people that you come into contact with. Here are specific practices and protocols that will be in place during move-in:

  1. We are adding more move-in dates and times to reduce the volume of students and families on campus at any given time.
  2. We are conducting enhanced disinfection of the many high-touch areas within our facilities — like door handles, light switches, handrails, and tables.
  3. We are cooperating with partners across campus to promote social distancing and current health protocols.
  4. Students will have to schedule an appointment to check-in.
  5. We are limiting the number of people who will be assisting students during move-in, to two helpers.
  6. We are limiting elevators to one family at a time.
  7. We will encourage you to bring your own dolly or cart to assist you with your move-in, as this will speed up the move-in process and we will not be providing volunteer helpers or moving assistance equipment.

Do I need to bring any COVID-related items to campus? 

We encourage all residents to bring with them:

  • 7 Face coverings (washable or re-usable)
  • Hand sanitizer, alcohol-based with at least 70% alcohol
  • Cleaning supplies (i.e., sanitizing wipes)
  • Acetaminophen or ibuprofen
  • Thermometer
  • If applicable and possible, an extra month’s supply of any prescription medication
  • Any resources needed to complete classwork remotely

Will there be any COVID-related items provided?

Yes! The Residential Life office will provide a welcome basket with a mask, small hand sanitizer, and information regarding COVID and living on campus to all students moving in.

What kind of help will be available during move-in?

Due to social distancing guidelines, we will not have volunteers to physically help move your personal belongings.  You can expect to see resident advisors and other Residential Life staff around campus. We will be there to welcome you, answer questions, and support you as you transition to life at STU.

Will there still be opportunities to build community and get involved?

Yes! We are evaluating all residential programming to limit group sizes, while still offering plenty of opportunities to build community and get involved.

Why did Residential Life move to a multi-day sign-up process?

We need to ensure social distancing during the move-in process, so we have created hundreds of time slots during which you can move into your residence hall in groups of 20.  This allows for decreased density in any given hall during the move-in process and aligns with other practices we have instituted to create the safest move-in possible. All students need to sign up for an appointment to move-in so that their files can be prepared prior to their arrival.

What if I have unique circumstances and need accommodations in selecting a move-in time or during the move-in process?

Please send an email to reslife@stu.edu and provide us information about your unique needs and situation.

Do I have a roommate?

Unless you are in a single room, you most likely have a roommate. You will get your roommate’s name and email as soon as you are both assigned.

How do I contact my roommate or suitemate?

You will receive your roommate’s information in your room assignment email/letter in July.

Can I move off-campus mid-year?

No.  Your contract is for a complete academic year (fall and spring). All residents who have signed a housing contract are required to fulfill their responsibilities.

Will lounges, study rooms, and other common areas still be accessible in the fall?

Currently, common areas will remain open for students in the residence halls but will be capped at 10 people.  Residential Life will have health and safety procedure signs posted outside of all common areas. Students are expected to practice social distancing and follow all guidelines posted. Lounges, study rooms, and other common areas may be subject to closure at any point during the semester.

Will students living in the residence halls have to wear a face covering?

Yes. Students will be expected to wear a face covering when traveling anywhere on campus, to and from classes and within the residence halls. You will not be required to wear a face covering in your personal residence hall room.

What if a student living in the residence halls does not feel well and is experiencing symptoms?

Individuals with symptoms or who have had potential, close contact to COVID-19 exposure, are encouraged to contact the Baptist Clinic or their primary care provider to discuss their symptoms and schedule an appointment for testing.  While an individual is waiting for test results, one MUST self-isolate in the designated space provided, not in their residence hall room, or return home.

Will there be designated areas to temporarily isolate students who live on campus if needed?

If a student tests positive for COVID 19, the student will be encouraged to go home for their required quarantine period if possible.  Those within driving distance from STU will be expected to return home during their quarantine period.  However, STU will maintain a quarantine facility separated from the residence halls that will be used only as necessary.   Students should follow the case management program as instructed by Baptist Health Center or their primary care provider.  Housing and Residential Life maintenance staff will deep clean and sanitize the student’s initially assigned room while the student is self-isolating in the temporary room. If the resident has a roommate that was exposed, the roommate may also be temporarily relocated to a separate designated room for the 14-day self-isolation period and may be referred to Baptist Health to determine if a COVID-19 test is necessary.

Will students living on campus be expected to clean their own restrooms?

Yes, unless you live in a residence hall with a community-style restroom. Students with private or suite style restrooms will be responsible for cleaning their own restrooms. You will need to coordinate with your roommate and/or suitemates to ensure that your restroom and common area remain clean and sanitary. Community and public bathrooms throughout the residence halls will be cleaned and sanitized by custodial staff daily.

All residential students need to be diligent in cleaning their individual rooms. Residential life will be conducting additional health and safety checks to ensure that residents are taking proper sanitary precautions in their respective rooms.

Will residential students be provided with cleaning products?

Students with private or suite style restrooms will be responsible for cleaning their own restrooms.  You will need to have your own cleaning products to ensure your restroom is thoroughly cleaned.

What will the overnight guest and visitation policy be?

Overnight guests will not be permitted for Fall 2020 semester.  The residential life team will manage each centralized entrance during the evening hours and will ensure that only residents and their guests are in the building.  All guests will sign in and must leave the halls by curfew.  Visitation Hours will be 10am-12am daily.

Guests will be permitted based on the following restrictions:

  1. Guest must be a currently enrolled STU student
  2. Only 1 guest per resident will be permitted at a time

Where can I get help if I am concerned or anxious about COVID-19?

You can contact our Student Counseling services who will offer some helpful tips for dealing with the disruption and uncertainty that COVID-19 has brought to our lives. She also offers individual counseling sessions to help students manage stress, anxiety, and other mental health related concerns. You can schedule an appointment with:

Maria Garavito-Bedoya | Licensed Mental Health Clinician
Director of Student Health
(O) 305.628.6695
Mgaravito@stu.edu

 

FAQs - International Students

Will I still be able to get a student visa?

As of March 20, 2020, all U.S. embassies and consulates around the world have suspended the routine processing of visas due to Covid-19. Please check the U.S. Department of State visa page for announcements and updates in order to stay informed about the resumption of consular services and visa processing times. You may also check the website of the US embassy or consulate nearest to you for any other updates.

 I am a new STU international student. Will I have the option to take courses online from outside the US if I cannot arrive in time for the start of the Fall 2020 semester?

Yes. Your I-20 will be deferred to the semester start date when you will be able to arrive and begin classes in person. Our ISS Office will arrange to issue a new I-20 accordingly. Your SEVIS number will remain the same. All STU courses will be offered in a hybrid format, where students can participate in-person, virtually, or a combination of both. Further information about our Bobcat GO! visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRZKNDT5gXU

If I have decided that I will not be attending STU in person for the fall semester, do I need to notify STU administration?

Yes, please notify Jerry Debe. He will provide the necessary information to departments that need to know.

What should I do if I want to defer my admissions to a future semester?

If you are an undergraduate student, please contact the Undergraduate Admission Office. We will work with you on how you may be able to defer your admission.

If you are a J.D., LL.M/J.S.D. student, contact Jessica Fonseca-Nader, Assistant Dean of Enrollment and Scholarships at jfonseca-nader@stu.edu or 305-474-2406 and/or Professor Roza Pati, Director of the Intercultural Human Rights Program at rpati@stu.edu or 305-474-2447.

If you are a graduate student, contact Yasdanee Valdes, Associate Director of Admissions at yvaldes@stu.edu or 305-600-3967.

I am an international Student; can I enter the U.S?

International students currently outside the U.S. or who plan to travel outside the U.S. should refer to the latest travel updates by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

What would happen if St. Thomas University unexpectedly needs to change its operating model to online-only mid-semester?

You will be able to remain in the United States to complete your semester academic study if you wish. If you prefer, you may return to your home country and complete your courses virtually and maintain your F-1 visa status.

Will I be required to quarantine upon arrival on campus?
The University instructs all individuals to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) if you have traveled outside the United States. CDC Recommends that travelers who have been in one of the widespread countries should quarantine for 14 days. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html.  STU is expecting quarantine to occur at an off-campus location. Individual requests to quarantine on campus, due to a lack of other options will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Whom should an international student work with if they have more questions?

Jeniffer Servellon Lozano: Sr. International Admissions Counselor
Jservellon@stu.edu or 305-628-6739

Jerry Debe: Assistant Director of International Student Services
jdebe@stu.edu or 305-474-6008

Yasdanee Valdes: Associate Director of Admissions
yvaldes@stu.edu or 305-600-3967.
 
Jessica Fonseca-Nader: Assistant Dean of Enrollment and Scholarships
jfonseca-nader@stu.ed or 305-474-2406
 

Would I need a new I-20 for the fall 2020 semester?

If it is determined that you need a new I-20, you will receive it electronically by email.

If international students with Valid F-1 SEVIS records are inside the U.S. what should they do to maintain status?

Continuing students who are already in the United States may remain in Active status in SEVIS if they make normal progress in a program of study, or are engaged in approved practical training, either as part of a program of study or following completion of a program of study. STU is planning for an on-campus fall semester. So, if you are able to return to campus, you should do so.

Can international students with Valid F-1 SEVIS records take a leave of absence (not enroll in any courses) for the Fall 2020 semester if they are currently outside the U.S. and are unable or unwilling to return?

Yes. International students with active F-1 SEVIS records may take a leave of absence from St. Thomas University if they are not returning to the U.S. and choose not to enroll in St. Thomas University for Fall 2020. Students wishing to take a total leave of absence should contact your Academic Advisor to discuss this option. If you are unable to connect with your Academic Advisor, please contact Jerry Debe.

I have opted out of the STU health insurance, but my insurance from my home country that previously covered me no longer will cover me in the United States. Can I still obtain the STU Health insurance?

Check with your health insurance to ensure that they will still cover you in the U.S. If not, you are still able to enroll in the STU insurance plan and will have coverage in the U.S. The deadline to enroll in the STU insurance plan is September 11th. We highly encourage international students to enroll in the STU insurance plan.

We also encourage you to monitor developments through various local, state, and federal agencies for the most up-to-date information. We have compiled a list of those resources below for your convenience.

 

FAQs - Graduation

What is the purpose of this year’s special December 2020 Commencement Ceremony?
STU is postponing our May 2020 Commencement Ceremony until December 2020. So, this special December commencement ceremony is specifically for would-be May 2020 Commencement Participants.

I am slated to graduate in December, can I participate?
Since we are postponing our May graduation until December, only those who were eligible to participate in May commencement (December 2019 and May 2020) will be allowed to participate in the December 2020. The reason for the December commencement ceremony is our Fernandez Family Center will not able to accommodate all those graduates, and our December graduates. All December 2020 graduates will follow regular protocols and participate in May 2021 Commencement.

Can I get a refund on my cap and gown?
For both our Graduation Online Conferral and the December 2020 graduation you will be asked to use your cap and gown. If you will not be participating in both of these events you can contact Herff Jones, the cap and gown provider, directly. The best way to contact Herff Jones is by emailing our representative Debbie McInerney at hjcollegefl@aol.com

How can I confirm my participation in the December Commencement Ceremony?
You will be receiving an email from the Office of the Registrar to confirm your participation for our December 2020 Commencement over the summer.

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