This webpage will serve as a continuation of the university’s Pandemic Response Team’s effort to keep the entire Fontbonne community apprised of the situation regarding the coronavirus outbreak and our university’s response.
University Update, 5/20/20
Dear Fontbonne Students, Faculty and Staff:
Thank you for your continued efforts as you adjust to the challenges brought forth by the Covid-19 crisis. As we continue to move forward in managing this new normal, I want to communicate our plans for the remainder of the summer and the options under consideration for the fall semester. In making these decisions, we are committed to doing our best to protect the health and well-being of our individual community members and the Fontbonne community as a whole. We have and will continue to rely on everyone’s collaboration and dedication to enhance the safety of our campus community. We know there will be challenges ahead and we will adjust accordingly, as the circumstances dictate.
As most of you know, this week marks the beginning of a phased reopening of St. Louis City and County businesses and a relaxing of the stay-at-home order. Fortunately, Fontbonne can operate on a more gradual timeline since we have already moved summer classes online through June 26 and have successfully transitioned most employees to work at home for the time being. The Fontbonne Planning and Coordination Team (“PACT”) is relying heavily on guidance provided by the St. Louis County and St. Louis County Department of Public Health, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, and the American College Health Association to develop a phased strategy for safely reopening offices and spaces on campus over the next few months. University response teams are examining different facets of university operations that must now be adjusted to meet the needs of the current situation. We will implement a gradual approach for bringing employees back to the campus and ultimately decide when onsite instruction for students can resume. Our campus will look and function differently for a while and I appreciate your patience and participation in these efforts. The following decisions and timeline are now in effect:
As you are aware, summer classes are occurring online through to June 26. In regards to the second half of summer:
The residence halls and food service are closed for the remainder of the summer. There are a few exceptions to this policy but only for a very limited number of students with extraordinary circumstances. We continue to accept housing contracts from both returning and new students for the fall semester, although housing occupancy may be limited this year due to social distancing requirements. Students should contact the Director of Residence Life, AJ Friedhoff, at email@example.com if you have any questions. A letter from Residential Life will be coming out this week regarding housing contracts for the fall semester.
Employees working on campus
Fontbonne University’s existing work-from-home guidance expires next week on May 25, but we see no reason to rush to bring all employees back to campus at this time. We are sensitive to employees with health needs or individual characteristics that may make them more susceptible to the Covid-19 virus. We are trying to develop a plan to allow those who desire to stay at home to have the ability to work at home or to have other appropriate accommodations available. Obviously, these requests will be considered on a case-by-case manner so that individual circumstances can be weighed. The health and safety of our employees and our students is critical to us.
Such reopening of offices and classes will vary by activity and space, so individual plans will need to be developed. Short, approved visits to campus by employees will still be allowed and everyone who comes to campus will need to continue to fill out the “presence on campus form” available through a link provided by your supervisor. The following schedule, which mirrors the summer academic calendar, outlines steps through July 31. Employees should not be on campus except as explained in the below schedule and per the instructions/authorization of their direct supervisor. A decision on work schedules beyond July 31 will be communicated at a later date.
May 26 – June 26
June 29 – July 31
Health and Safety Guidelines While on Campus
In accordance with the St. Louis County requirements for the reopening of office spaces and our own university guidelines designed to protect our campus community, everyone on campus must adhere to the following items:
Athletics, Campus Activities, Events, and Rentals
In general, all campus activities, events and rentals have been suspended throughout the summer until August 1, 2020. Exceptions have been rarely made and only on a case-by-case analysis. As the decision on fall classes is made, further guidance on these items will also be defined. The summer Griffin 101’s have been shifted to a remote format and will not occur physically on campus. No decision has been made regarding NCAA athletic competition or participation for the fall academic semester. Any announcement about fall athletics will be communicated as soon as possible. Conversations are occurring within the SLIAC Athletic Conference regarding alternative plans, if needed, for all sports to be able to compete in the 2020-21 academic year.
Commencement for the Class of 2020
Based on a survey of the graduating seniors of the Class of 2020, there was a strong preference to hold a live commencement event at a future date, when deemed safe. Considering the uncertainty of the summer months and based on the preferences indicated in the survey, we have decided to tentatively reschedule commencement for December 14, 2020. Chaifetz Arena, the site of our commencement activities, has tentatively agreed to this date and we are awaiting final confirmation. We will announce this confirmation as soon as it is received.
We know that there are many questions about the rest of summer and fall. We are doing our best to develop a plan that provides the best educational environment while prioritizing the safety of all Fontbonne University students, staff and faculty. We will continue to communicate on further developments or decisions on the status of classes or campus operations. Please continue to watch for further communications via email or the FBU Covid-19 Website. Please continue to pray and support each other during this difficult time. Stay safe and stay healthy.
Updated information regarding CARES Act Funds and other aid, 5/30/20
If you have not already done so, please complete the request for the CARES Act Emergency Aid found here.
To apply for possible additional emergency funds, whether or not you are eligible for the CARES Act funds, please complete the application here.
The Fontbonne Emergency Fund team will follow-up with you about your application within 72 hours of receipt.
Various organizations in the St. Louis region are also providing additional support resources that might be of assistance to you. They can be found here (please note – this website works best with a Google browser).
Information regarding CARES Act Funds, 5/14/20
Federal Aid Opportunities for Students in Need
Through the Federal CARES Act, Fontbonne has received emergency grant funding to assist students who have incurred expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19.
Students are eligible for CARES Act funds if they have filed a 2019-20 FAFSA and have incurred expenses related to the disruption of campus operations as a result of the COVID-19. Federal guidelines prohibit the University from distributing CARES Act funds to international, undocumented or DACA students, or those who were already enrolled exclusively in online instruction. Please contact the Financial Aid Office (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have questions about your eligibility or need assistance filing a FAFSA.
Students who do not meet the eligibility criteria for CARES Act funds and are in need of financial assistance are still encouraged to fill out the request form because there may be alternative funding sources available.
Students who either did not incur additional expenses or do not need financial assistance should indicate they decline CARES Act assistance so the University can reallocate those funds to assist other students in need.
Complete the CARES Act Request Form here.
These funds will be distributed on a first come, first served basis while the funds are available therefore we encourage you to respond as soon as you are able. The University will disburse funds directly to the bank account on record for direct deposit. If you need to set up your account for direct deposit or update the bank account on file, please contact the Business Office (email@example.com) for assistance. Students not enrolled in direct deposit will receive a check mailed to the address listed on file. Please note that mailed checks may delay how quickly a student receives their funds.
It is important your address and contact information is current to avoid delays in processing fund distribution and to assist us in contacting you if needed. To update your contact information, log into GriffinNet with your username and password, select Edit Address on the top left, and update your local address to let us know where you are currently residing.
Fontbonne faculty, staff and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet always hold our students and their families in our hearts. Our focus on Serving the Dear Neighbor is heightened now while so many in our community are hurting as they cope with the uncertainty of this pandemic situation. Please know we continue to hold you in prayer for your safety and well-being. We look forward to your return to campus-we miss seeing you!
Disclaimer: At this time, federal guidance requires that this grant aid be reported on your 2020 1098-T form but the funds are not considered taxable income to you.
Symptoms of the coronavirus illness include fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Based on current information, symptoms can appear anywhere from 2 to 14 days after initial exposure to the disease and can be transmitted from inhaling or touching infected droplets – usually through a cough or sneeze – from an infected person. It is important to stay more than 6 feet away from a person who is sick. The risk of catching the coronavirus from someone with no symptoms appears to be low; people are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic, or the sickest. While the virus can be serious, most people who contract this illness will experience mild-to-moderate flu-like symptoms and fully recover.
Some on campus may be more vulnerable and at great risk of serious illness. Regardless, we would ask all employees to do all they can to educate and prevent the spread of the virus and to support those who are feeling especially anxious due to the current situation. Please encourage students with anxiety/concern because of the coronavirus to contact Counseling and Wellness or the Campus Nurse by contacting the Student Affairs Office at (314) 889-1411 and asking for either office. For faculty/staff, Fontbonne’s Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) is available….please contact Linda Pipitone in Human Resources at (314) 889-1493.
Everyone should stay informed about the elements of the coronavirus, how it is spread, and how to best prevent spreading of the virus. Recommended websites are listed below:
While each day brings news of more countries and cities where cases are being detected, including St. Louis County, there are actions each of us can take to prevent its spread. We hope you follow the following guidelines from the Centers for Disease control and Prevention (CDC) in order to prevent the spread of this virus:
The environmental services department on campus has ramped up their normal cleaning and disinfecting protocols to help reduce the spread of germs and to disinfect areas on a regular basis. We are making hand sanitizer and disinfected wipes readily available. Employees should, when possible, add to the efforts of the environmental services staff by using the provided wipes (coming soon!) to repeatedly wipe down counters and service areas of their office space. Please contact Fred Reed, Director of Environmental Services, at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (314) 719-3659 if you need added materials or have any questions on the cleaning routine provided in your office area.