Dear members of the Saint Martin's community,

Your health is our priority, and we are closely monitoring the rapidly evolving information regarding the COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak. As of March 23, following the "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" proclamation, we have transitioned to only essential functions on-campus and other services to continue remotely. On June 1, we will begin opening some of our services, starting with critical student-facing ones first: Admissions, Student Financial Services, Registrar and Public Safety. Hours may be limited. As each new office comes back, work areas will be assessed for safety modifications and staff will be trained on safety protocols.

We continue to work on our plans for the fall. Right now, it is our intention to return to face-to-face instruction for fall semester. We will continue to look to the guidelines set by our regional public health organizations and governments. We are also creating contingency plans and will spend the summer developing innovative learning experiences for students in case we cannot all return to campus.  

We will continue to keep you informed of any changes. We will share information both via email and the web. In the meantime, please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and your families.

Supporting our Saints

Saints Emergency Fund

"Many of our students need assistance right now with emergency needs from the COVID-19 crisis. I invite anyone able to contribute to join me in making a gift to the Saints Emergency Fund." - Dean of Students Melanie Richardson

Many are asking how they can help Saint Martin's students through the COVID-19 pandemic. In that spirit, we've created the Saints Emergency Fund to meet the urgent needs of our students over the coming weeks and months as this crisis unfolds. Gifts of any amount add to the collective impact of what we can accomplish together.

Support the Saints Emergency Fund

Resources for a remote campus community

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  • Connect with the Saints community online
  • Get Moodle and online learning tips
  • Find answers to frequently asked questions

Learn more about learning remotely >>

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  • Find tips for teaching in the virtual classroom
  • Discover resources for communication and collaboration
  • Get answers to frequently ask questions

Learn more about teaching remotely >>

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  • Find out what it means to be an essential employee
  • Connect with coworkers
  • Access resources for your remote office space 

Learn more about working remotely >>

Campus support services

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We are working to create ways to continue serving you during this unprecedented time. Find information about current office hours and assistance we are providing across campus.

View available support services >>

Take care of yourself

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If you are feeling anxious and stressed, you are not alone. It is important to look after your mind, body, heart and spirit. Find tips to help you take care of yourself and your loved ones during this challenging time.

View self-care tips >>
View CWC COVID-19 crisis resources >>

General Coronavirus information

  • How do I notify Saint Martin's of a positive test, possible exposure to COVID-19, or someone associated with campus that may be symptomatic?

    If you need to report a positive test, exposure to COVID-19, or someone associated with campus that may be symptomatic, please follow the following emergency notification process:

    1. Faculty and staff: Please contact Cynthia Johnson, associate vice president of human resources, at 360-688-2290 or cjohnson@stmartin.edu. Students: Please contact Melanie Richardson, dean of students, at 360-438-4367 or mrichardson@stmartin.edu.
    2. Contact your primary care provider by phone and self-isolate until you receive further guidance from your clinic. If you do not have a primary care physician, please call Kaiser Permanente Consulting Nurse Service at 1-800-297-6877 or the Thurston County Public Health Department at 360-867-2500 (during business hours) or 1-800-986-9050 (after business hours). 
    3. Notify Will Stakelin, director of public safety, at 360-438-4354 or wstakelin@stmartin.edu. Jamie Nixon, Saint Martin's medical director, will assess if outreach is appropriate.

    Department of Health response:

    The county health department will notify our medical director of any cases associated with campus or on campus investigations. President Heynderickx will be contacted if the medical director is unavailable. 

    • Positive tests are notifiable to DOH.
    • DOH will notify Saint Martin's if a person is identified as being associated with campus during their infection.
    • DOH will determine next steps and inform Saint Martin's of the investigative process and requirements.
    • Critical cases will be hospitalized; all others will be quarantined at home.

    * Everyone is encouraged to maintain a daily calendar of activities, locations and contacts. This will be helpful in the event that you begin to present symptoms. 

  • How is the University responding to the evolving situation?

    As a Catholic Benedictine university, Saint Martin's is an inclusive and global community, and times like this call for an extra measure of understanding and awareness. The risk for the Coronavirus is not connected to race, ethnicity or nationality. Sharing accurate information, and new information as it emerges, can prevent misinformation from spreading.

    We have established a campus response team, which includes representatives from Public Safety, Health Center, Facilities, Residence Life, Academics, International Programs, Athletics, Abbey, Bon Appetit, Event Services, Finance, ITS, HR and Communications. The team meets frequently and regularly to share information, update planning, and coordinate resources in response to the virus.

  • What are the symptoms for the COVID-19 Coronavirus?

    Human coronaviruses most commonly spread from an infected person to others through the air by coughing and sneezing; close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands; and touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands. Symptoms of COVID-19 Coronavirus include:

    • Fever
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath

    If you are exhibiting the above symptoms, contact your regular doctor first. Do not go to the emergency room. Emergency rooms need to be able to serve those with the most critical needs.

    For additional information or if you do not have a regular doctor, you can: 

    The Office of International Programs and Development has also sent out additional helpful information to international students in case they do not have a local health provider.

  • How can you protect yourself from the virus?

    There are steps you can take to reduce your risk of getting and spreading any viral respiratory infections: 

    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer;
    • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash immediately;
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth;
    • Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick or has a fever and cough;
    • Do not share drink containers, utensils or other personal use items;
    • If you have a fever, cough and/or shortness of breath, seek medical care. If you are sick, stay home and do not go to work or school.

Community messages and updates

  • Message sent to students May 26, 2020 from the President

    Dear Saint Martin’s students and families,

    I hope that you are staying safe and well. These have been challenging times and so much remains uncertain. While the school year has ended, we have not stopped thinking about all of you and planning for the coming school year, 2020-21.

    Through surveys, we have heard from our students that they want to be back on campus for Fall Semester. As a small Catholic, Benedictine university, we know the best educational experience we can provide is by being in community. With the guidance we have received from the Governor’s Office and the CDC, we are re-opening campus over the summer and will return to face-to-face instruction, all while providing our community with a “Safety First” philosophy. 

    How do we plan and prepare to do this?

    Our guiding principles. As these are unprecedented times, the steps we take are measured against these guiding principles:

    • We will look to our Benedictine values of listening, moderation, respect for persons, stewardship, hospitality and community.
    • We will follow and keep up-to-date on health and safety guidelines as well as protocols set by regional government and health organizations.

    Planning and preparedness. To help us return to campus safely, we have developed an initial framework for decision-making and communications.

    First, our Emergency Management Team (EMT) has resumed weekly meetings to gather and share information related to COVID-19 and re-opening. Representatives include, but are not limited to, Academics, Public Safety, Health Center, Counseling and Wellness, Residence Life, and Communications.

    Second, site assessments are underway to see if offices need rearrangement; more defined spaces for visitors; or additional directional or entry-exit signage.

    Also, personal protective equipment (PPE), Plexiglas screens for frontline workspaces, hand sanitizer stations, disposable masks, non-touch thermometers, and physical distancing signage are now part of the campus norm.

    Health and safety protocols. For the safety and well-being of our campus community, we must adhere to strict health and safety protocols, including physical distancing; potential de-densification of residence halls, dining areas, academic buildings, and other campus spaces; frequent cleaning; and the wearing of face masks. Over the summer you will hear more about changes and new protocols for residential living and dining services.

    Staff, faculty, and students are asked to do a self-assessment (e.g., check their temperature) before coming to work or class. We are also logging visitors to campus and will conduct contact tracing if a case is reported among our community.

    Lastly, we are prepared for the potential need to isolate or quarantine residential students who test positive or may have been exposed to COVID-19. Additionally, we must be prepared for the possibility of a new outbreak during the semester. Unfortunately, we cannot rule out the need to potentially return to virtual instruction or make further modifications to the academic calendar.

    As we re-open campus, we understand that there may be shifts to protocol if changes to government phases or health regulations occur. Our intent is to mitigate the risk to all of our community with everyone’s help.

    All-Student Zoom, Wednesday, June 3 at 3 p.m. If you have further questions, I invite you to join me and other members of Saint Martin’s community for an All-Student Zoom on Wednesday, June 3 at 3 p.m. Pacific Time. We will discuss in greater detail plans for residence halls, modifications for classrooms and labs, and special financial assistance available to students.

    Each new day is a new challenge. I have asked that every member of the Saints family be flexible and willing to adopt changes to our routines that will make our campus as safe as it can be. All of us must accept some inconveniences and follow whatever practices are necessary to protect the health of every member of our community. We are committed to providing you with a safe learning and working environment. 

    Again, thank you for patience and resiliency as we continue to navigate this new normal together. Your educational dreams are important and we will be here for you.

    Sincerely,

    Roy F. Heynderickx, Ph.D.
    President

  • Message sent to all faculty, staff and abbey May 21, 2020 from the President

    Dear Saint Martin’s faculty, staff, and abbey members,

    I hope that you and your families are safe and well. While the school year has ended, we have not stopped thinking about all of you and planning for the coming school year, 2020-21.

    Through surveys as well as messages shared with staff and faculty, we have heard from our students that they want to be back on campus for Fall Semester. We believe that with the guidance we have received from the Governor’s Office and the CDC that we can re-open campus and return to face-to-face instruction, while providing our community with a “Safety First” philosophy. 

    How do we plan and prepare to do this?

    Our guiding principles. As these are unprecedented times, whatever steps we take, we want to ensure they are measured against these guiding principles:

    • We will look to our Benedictine values of listening, moderation, respect for persons, stewardship, hospitality and community.
    • We will follow and keep up-to-date on health and safety guidelines as well as protocols set by regional government and health organizations.

    EMT and subgroups. To help us plan our safe return to campus, we have developed an initial framework for decision-making and communications.

    First, our campus response team that we established in the spring, the Emergency Management Team (EMT), will resume weekly meetings to gather and share information. The EMT has been expanded to include representatives from Public Safety, Health Center, Residence Life, Academics, International Programs, Human Resources, Abbey, Bon Appetit, Facilities, Event Services, Finance, Integrated Technology Services, Student Affairs, Admissions and Communications.

    As in the spring, Will Stakelin, director of Public Safety, and Genevieve Chan, vice president of marketing and communications, will co-lead the EMT meetings. Will’s primary role is to oversee risk and safety assessments; Genevieve’s primary role is to oversee communications and information sharing. The EMT will provide overall guidance for the University, though individual departments and offices may need to develop additional protocols specific to their areas.

    To assist the EMT, we are assigning subgroups to assess needs in the following five areas:

    • Employees (i.e., faculty and staff)
    • Academics (e.g., courses, labs, library, internships)
    • Full-time on-campus experience (e.g., residence life, dining services, international students)
    • Outside of classroom experience (e.g., student activities, recreation center, event services)
    • Unique group needs (e.g., athletics, music, band, theatre)

    These subgroups will both serve to bring recommendations to the EMT and help attend to the various steps necessary to keep the campus healthy and safe for everyone who resides and works at Saint Martin’s.

    Timeline for reopening. We are planning for a gradual re-opening of campus following the stages outlined below, understanding that there may be shifts to the timeline if changes to government phases or health regulations occur.

    • June (Stage I): On June 1, we will begin opening some of our services, starting with critical student-facing ones first: Admissions, Student Financial Services, Registrar and Public Safety. Staffing will be minimal at first and hours may be restricted. We will compile hours on a “re-opening web page” that will be live by June 1. As each new office comes back, work areas will be assessed for safety modifications and staff will be trained on safety protocols.
    • Early July (Stage II): The goal is to have all offices back to some extent and campus functions restored by July. Hours will be extended and staffing may still be staggered, and we will continue to accommodate work from home requests for those with vulnerability. We will evaluate and update safety protocols as needed.
    • Early to Mid-August (Stage III): We will be fully operational, in preparation for the arrival of our first student groups. Student leaders start returning to campus and will also be trained on updated safety protocol.
    • Late August (Stage IV): Students and faculty return to campus, unless unable to due to international travel or personal vulnerability.

    Health and safety protocol and preparedness. For the safety and well-being of our campus community, we will adhere to strict health and safety protocols, including physical distancing; de-densification of residence halls, academic buildings, and other campus spaces; frequent cleaning; and the wearing of face masks. We will also ask individuals to do a self-assessment (e.g., check their temperature) before coming to campus, log visitors to campus, and conduct contact tracing if a case is reported among our community.

    With the first offices set to open in June, we have already begun site assessments to see if workspaces need rearrangement; defined spaces for visitors; or additional directional or entry-exit signage. We have also begun bulk purchasing of personal protective equipment (PPE); Plexiglas screens for frontline workspaces; hand sanitizers; disposable masks; non-touch thermometers; and physical distancing signage. As more offices return, all orders for equipment or PPE should be coordinated with the EMT.

    The EMT is also developing the following:

    • Training presentations
    • Checklists for employees and managers
    • Self-assessment forms for returning to work

    Lastly, we will work with the various subgroups to prepare for the potential need to isolate or quarantine residential students who test positive or may have been exposed to COVID-19. Additionally, we must be prepared for the possibility of a new outbreak of COVID-19 during the semester. Unfortunately, we cannot rule out the need to potentially return to virtual instruction or make further modifications to the academic calendar. We will evaluate and modify the above safety precautions as needed for each new stage of the return.

    Our intent is to mitigate the risk to all of our community with everyone’s help. In our planning and preparation, we will:

    • Do everything we can to provide you with a safe learning, teaching and working environment.
    • Monitor developments and alter plans should a serious outbreak occur.
    • Send regular communications throughout the summer and into the fall to keep you informed of our planning and to instruct you on key steps to be taken as you return to campus.

    Each new day is a new challenge. I ask that every member of the Saints family be flexible and willing to adopt changes to our routines that will make our campus as safe as it can be. We will need to ask everyone to accept some inconveniences and follow whatever practices are necessary to protect the health of every member of our community.

    Kathleen and I are keeping you all in our thoughts and prayers. Again, thank you for patience and resiliency as we continue to navigate this new normal together.

    Sincerely,

    Roy F. Heynderickx, Ph.D.
    President

  • Message sent to all campus May 9, 2020 from the President

    Dear Saint Martin's students, faculty, staff and abbey members,

    I cannot believe that the last week of the semester, and of the year, is here. While the trees and flowers are all in full bloom, campus is not the same without all of you. I wish you good luck on all your final projects and exams. 

    Supporting our Saints, current and new. Like many colleges across the country, our faculty, staff and administration continue to work from home, while still working together to make sure our university stays strong. We have applied to receive funding from the CARES Act and will pursue other grants and initiatives so that we can help our students achieve their educational dreams. In addition, our donors and sponsors have recently stepped up to help students and families, and we will be announcing soon a special grant program for those who have experienced financial hardships during this crisis. We look forward to welcoming our students, faculty and staff back to campus mid-summer based on our Governor’s phased plan. We are also getting ready to welcome our new class of Saints, including our first cohort for our Ph.D. in Leadership Studies program.

    Planning for fall semester. We continue to work on our plans for the fall. The health and safety of our Saints community remains our top priority, and we will look to the guidelines set by our regional public health organizations and governments. Right now, it is our intention to return to face-to-face instruction for fall semester. However, we are also creating contingency plans and will spend the summer developing innovative learning experiences for students in case we cannot all return to campus.  

    Staying connected over summer. Over the summer, we will also hold regular university updates via Zoom so that we can keep you all informed of any changes or news. We will share information about the scheduling of these updates both via email and the web. 

    A special note to our amazing graduating Class of 2020. We are so proud of you and feel so lucky to have been a part of your journey. You have helped shape who we are during your time here. We are putting together something special for you and your families to honor you this Saturday, May 9. Watch your emails and check our Commencement website as well as our social media channels on Saturday. We will also be updating the Commencement website in the next few weeks with more information about regalia, diplomas and the ceremony in the fall. We do hope all of you can come back on September 5 so we can celebrate all that you have achieved in Marcus Pavilion.

    Lastly, I want to thank all of you for your persistence, patience and resiliency, especially during these last couple of months. While this pandemic forced us to be physically separate, our sense of community and our Benedictine values were a constant source of strength during this time. So much remains unknown right now, but please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers. Please stay connected with Saint Martin’s over the summer via email and social media. I look forward to welcoming you all back to campus soon.

    As we close out 2019-2020, the first half of our 125th anniversary, I leave you with this video that sums up what makes Saint Martin's so special. 

    Thank you and God bless,

    Roy F. Heynderickx, Ph.D.
    President

  • Message sent to parents, families and alumni April 6, 2020 from the President

    Parents, Families, and Alumni of Saint Martin’s University,

    I write today to give you an update for how Saint Martin’s is navigating the COVID-19 crisis. In this unprecedented time, Kathleen and I are praying that you are safe and healthy.

    Like all colleges in the west—and virtually all across the nation—we made the decision to have students return home and have moved to online education. We did not arrive at this decision easily. Our Benedictine value of Community requires that we provide for all those within our community. And so at first, we were hopeful that we could maintain a larger group of resident students on campus.

    As new developments took place, including stay-at-home orders from the state of Washington, we realized how difficult that would be. We needed to allow our students to be with their families, our faculty and staff to remain home (working remotely when possible) and were concerned for our monastic community, making certain we provide them a safe environment.  We now have 35 resident students on campus that have valid reasons to remain, and we are providing the services and care they need. We began the semester with 600 students in residence halls.

    Our faculty worked hard prior to spring break to make the move to online education. Our students were communicated with over spring break and provided technology when needed. I take great pride in our faculty, staff and students that helped make this new modality work. While it is not perfect, it will allow our students to complete spring semester.

    Our faculty and staff are committed to helping our students as they adjust to this new learning environment. We have extended deadlines for students to opt for pass/no pass in place of a letter grade, and students will also be allowed to withdraw from a class later in the semester than usual. I realize that students can get frustrated with these abrupt changes and we are aware that many came to Saint Martin’s to receive face-to-face instruction. Yet, we continue to endeavor to provide a personalized experience to each and every student. I am pleased to hear daily from students, faculty, and staff amazing stories of their connecting and resilience.

    We have opted to move our May commencement to fall. This year’s commencement will be held, in person, on September 5. This is the Saturday of Labor Day weekend. The beauty of an early fall commencement will be having both new and continuing students to participate or observe the celebration and honor bestowed on our graduates. I look forward to welcoming all graduates and family members back to campus in September.

    We continue to seek out emergency funds to assist our students with unforeseen costs. Our annual social media giving day, 3.21 Give, focused on emergency funding and I am pleased to share with you that we raised more this year than in the past two years. Thank you to many of you for participating in this day of giving. It was an incredible showing of our Benedictine values. 

    Our students have many needs during this crisis and we will continue to seek funding, both from supporters and from the government. We know many students’ families are experiencing hardships due to COVD-19. In response, we are establishing a special COVID-19 grant to help students both this semester and for next year. Part of the federal government’s CARES ACT will help partially support this effort.

    There is much more to share with you and I encourage you to visit www.stmartin.edu to learn more. 

    It is Easter Week here on campus and the quietest I have ever seen. I pray that each of you have the opportunity to reflect on the significance of this religious Holy Week and that you find your own special way to stay connected with family. Kathleen and I have found ways to connect virtually with our immediate family and while we miss seeing our children and grandchildren in person, it is wonderful what technology can do today to help provide some comfort.

    I leave with you a prayer from Abbot Neal Roth, O.S.B., written this week:

    Loving God, in this Easter season we do not much feel like singing alleluias. The pandemic has virtually touched all your beautiful world. Yet the devastation emotionally, physically and financially does not compare with the enormous gift of your Son’s humble sacrificial death on the cross. We can sing alleluia for the hope of the Resurrection. We can sing alleluia for the wonders of creation. We can sing alleluia for our baptismal call. We can sing alleluia for family and friends, for values and healing, and for the promise of eternal life. Strengthen us and change us and guide us so we can all sing alleluias in our hearts now and forever.

    Alleluia, Alleluia. Christ is risen, He is truly risen. Alleluia!

    Stay safe and stay connected,

    Roy F. Heynderickx, Ph.D.
    President

  • Message sent to all campus March 27, 2020 from the President

    Dear Saint Martin's community,

    First, I want to thank all of you -- students, faculty, staff and abbey members -- again for working together and supporting one another these past few weeks. With each new challenge, and there have been many, we have leaned into our Benedictine values: we've worked to listen to one another, to respect one another, to strive for moderation, and to not be afraid to change decisions if needed due to the evolving situation. I hope you see, as I do, that this is a community that truly cares for one other.

    Earlier, we shared that we were looking at different options for Commencement. The current health crisis made it clear that we would not be able to hold the ceremony in May. I promised our graduating seniors and master's students that we would not settle for a virtual ceremony, but instead look for a later date to celebrate. We now have that date:

    Saturday, September 5, 2020

    We hope this date, which falls on Labor Day Weekend, will allow us to all come back together to celebrate our graduates' well-earned achievements.

    We are still working on the details, including when to hold related events such as Baccalaureate Mass and the Master's Hooding Ceremony. Please hold your questions until we can work out these details. We will update the Commencement website and have assigned Ann Adams, Associate Dean of Students, to answer questions and be a point of contact. We will provide more information in the coming weeks.

    In the meantime, stay strong, Saints! We miss seeing all of you. Be safe and stay healthy. We will get through this together and see one another soon.

    Roy F. Heynderickx, Ph.D.
    President

  • Message sent to all campus March 24, 2020 from the Provost and the Dean of Students

    UPDATE Taking a pause on classes for March 25, 26, and 27

    Sent on behalf of Dr. Kathleen Boyle, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs and Melanie Richardson, Dean of Students:

     

    Dear Saint Martin’s community,

    Yesterday, we announced, in response to Governor Inslee’s “Stay at Home, Stay Healthy” proclamation, that we are asking all students who are currently living on campus and are able to move out of campus to do so by Friday, March 27. As Saint Martin’s begins to shift to only essential functions on-campus, and other services to continue remotely, we feel it is in the best interest of our students’ health and safety that they continue their studies from home.

    We understand this is yet another disruption in an already tumultuous time.

    After much consideration, and hearing concerns from the community about our students’ well-being at this time, we have decided to put a PAUSE on all undergraduate and graduate classes for the next three days: March 25, 26 and 27. We will resume all classes on Monday, March 30. This "pause" also applies to ALL classes that are online, including classes that were already online before we moved to distance learning.

    We hope that by canceling classes for the next few days, this will give our residential students the additional time they need to make arrangements to secure their belongings and travel safely back home. We also genuinely hope this “pause” will give all of us – students, faculty and staff – who have worked so hard to make the transition to online, a chance to breathe.

    (Note: While we will be canceling classes for those three days, all meetings and business operations will continue as scheduled. Also, classes will not be canceled for the Microsoft Software and Systems Academy (MSSA) programs. Questions regarding MSSA should be directed to Dean David Olwell.)

    Please know that we are listening and thinking of all of you. And we thank you all again for your patience during these challenging times.

    Sincerely,

    Kathleen Boyle, Ph.D.
    Provost and Vice President, Academic Affairs

    Melanie Richardson
    Dean of Students

  • Message sent to students and families March 23, 2020 from the President

    Dear Saint Martin’s students and families, 

    In response to the COVID-19 Coronavirus health emergency, Saint Martin’s University made the difficult but necessary decision to move all classes to online instruction for the remainder of the spring semester. Since that time, our entire community – faculty and staff – have worked tirelessly to support the transition to safeguard the health and well-being of our Saints family. This work continues, and I’m grateful for those shouldering this unplanned and unprecedented burden.

    You, our students, have also been amazing, stepping up and making the transition to online, sharing concerns and solutions for yourselves and your fellow students, helping us navigate together with kindness and grace this new uncharted territory. Because of this, we have been able to respond quickly as one Saints community to this ever-evolving situation.

    And this has been an ever-evolving situation.

    As of this afternoon, Monday, March 23, Washington State Governor Inslee has ordered all Washington residents to stay home until further notice to limit the spread of COVID-19. 

    Additionally, at this time, we are also fielding requests from our local hospitals, including Providence St. Peter's Hospital, to see if Saint Martin’s University can be a site for temporary hospital beds. We are also working with the City of Lacey to designate our campus as a possible distribution center for the Thurston Food Bank. As a Catholic, Benedictine university, we are listening to these needs and want to support these efforts.

    With this new state mandate and these urgent requests from the greater community – along with the possibility of more federal mandates around sheltering in place to slow down the spread of COVID-19 and the possibility of further travel restrictions – Saint Martin’s is now recommending that all students who are currently living on campus and are able to move out of campus housing to do so by Friday, March 27. 

    To help accommodate you at this time of urgency, we are offering the following options:

    Option A – Move out of housing for the remainder of the semester and receive a credit on your 2020-21 housing contract
    This option is for those students who have the opportunity to leave campus and return home. If you select this option it is for the remainder of the semester. You do not receive a refund, but you must officially check out between Tuesday, March 24 and Friday, March 27. Credit amounts are awarded based upon current housing assignments as of March 2020:

    • Spangler, Burton, Parsons, Baran with a meal plan - $1,500
    • Spangler, Burton, Parsons, Baran without a meal plan - $1,000

    Option B – Move out of housing for the remainder of the semester and receive a refund check for the amount that you have paid already towards spring 2019-20.
    This option is for those of you who have the opportunity to leave campus and return home and would like a refund on you current 2019-20 housing contract. If you select this option it will be for the remainder of the semester. If you officially check out between Tuesday, March 24 and Friday, March 27, you will be provided the options below:

    • Spangler, Burton, Parsons, Baran with a meal plan - $1,000
    • Spangler, Burton, Parsons, Baran without a meal plan - $700

    Option C – Apply to remain on campus for the remainder of the spring semester
    International students or housing-insecure students may apply to remain in the residence halls, and these requests will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Send requests to Melanie Richardson, dean of students, at mrichardson@stmartin.edu.  Please note that there will significantly reduced services and additional closures to campus as more staff move to work from home due to the “shelter in place” order. 

    We will continue to keep you informed of any changes. In the meantime, please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and your families. 
     
    Roy F. Heynderickx, Ph.D.
    President

  • Message sent to graduating seniors and graduate students March 20, 2020 from the President

    Dear Class of 2020,
     
    To both our seniors and our graduate students who are completing their degree program, it is truly impossible to express how very sorry we feel; that your final semester has been disrupted in such a profound way. Presentations, concerts, trips, athletic events, and fun times with friends have been postponed or canceled. 
     
    For many of you and your families, we remember when you first arrived on campus. My wife, Kathleen, and I welcomed you to Saint Martin’s and we spoke of the time when you would graduate. You are all in our hearts, know that it aches for you. I wish I could give you the answers we all desperately want. 
     
    There is one promise I will make – you will have a commencement. We are discussing possible dates for later this summer. I promise to share our decision with you by next Friday, March 27.
     
    While the date may be later, there will be a day that we will proudly, and with great joy, hand each one of you your well-earned diploma. Hold onto that during these difficult days. 
     
    Sincerely,
    Roy F. Heynderickx, Ph.D.
    President

  • Message sent to all campus March 15, 2020 from the President

    Dear Saint Martin’s students (and all of the Saint Martin’s community),

    Welcome back to spring semester, whether it be virtually or in-person.

    First off: Everyone take a deep breath. We will get through this!

    This is new territory for everyone—even me. Over the next few weeks, let's remember the Benedictine Rule to "listen with the ear of your heart". Let’s show patience, kindness and grace with one other.  

    While we are where we are because of an unprecedented pandemic, today is about how we as a community continue to fulfill our mission and help you, our students, achieve success in your educational journey. I know we can do this and I ask each of you to make that same commitment.

    Following are some campus changes and resources to help you navigate the next few weeks:

    • We will be moving to card access to campus buildings—staff, faculty and any students staying/coming on campus for work or projects will need to bring their IDs for card access starting this weekend.
    • Out of an abundance of caution, and to comply with recent state directives, all large on-campus events for the next few weeks will be cancelled. Guidelines for smaller gatherings on campus are forthcoming.
    • We’ll be expanding our website, www.stmartin.edu/coronavirus, to include resources for our community as we transition into all online classes while still maintaining an open campus. This includes areas for students ("keep learning"), faculty ("keep teaching") and staff ("keep working").
    • We will set up regular communications with the community at least on a weekly basis.
    • Let us know if you have any questions: How can we help you, and how can we help each other? Remember, none of us have been through this before. We value your questions/thoughts/suggestions.

    Let’s all stay safe and healthy, practice social distancing (maintaining approximately 6 feet or 2 meters from others when possible), and remember that good hygiene habits can help protect not only yourself but others.

    Together, we CAN do this!

    Roy F. Heynderickx, Ph.D.
    President

  • Message sent to international students March 13, 2020 from the Associate Dean

    Dear International Students,

    You should have received an email from President Heynderickx regarding an update about online classes for spring 2020.  Per his (March 13) message, spring 2020 classes will be taught online until the end of the spring 2020 semester. Based on this new information you have some options.

    • OPTION 1:           You may remain on campus and live in the residence halls until the end of the spring 2020 semester. You would continue to take your classes online for the rest of the spring semester.
    • OPTION 2:           You may return back to your home country and continue your online classes from your home location.

    Student SEVIS Records, Travel, etc.:

    • Student SEVIS Records: Due to the overwhelming amount of schools that are moving to online classes in response to the COVID-19 situation, SEVP has determined that students who depart the United States to engage in online classes will NOT be terminated in SEVIS. These students may remain in Active status during a school closure whether or not they depart the country while engaging in online courses. I would ask that you please contact the Office of International Programs and Development (OIPD) as soon as you determine what option you choose. You do not need to decide today, but can wait and inform us next week.
    • Travel: There are many limitations and factors to consider with travel and possible return to the U.S. With several travel restrictions to the U.S. currently, State Department officials not available at some of our embassy’s/consulates abroad, and flight carriers adjusting operations, it is difficult to say exactly what a student will encounter attempting to depart/expecting to return right now. You need to be aware many limitations are involved at the present time and you will need to be flexible, as well as probably expect delays, if you plan to travel. You can text me at 484-929-0715 if you have any questions over the weekend. Remember you need to have a travel signature before departing the U.S.

    Regards,
    Roger Douglas, Ed.D.
    Associate Dean
    Office of International Programs and Development

  • Message sent to all faculty and instructors March 13, 2020 from the Provost

    Dear Faculty and Instructors,

    Good afternoon. I want to start by thanking you for your resilience, creativity, and care for students and your colleagues as we navigate this unique and uncertain time. Much remains unknown and unpredictable; we are doing our best to adjust and keep you informed.

    Following the Governor’s press conference today, we have determined that it is necessary for the college to move to a plan of social distancing to the greatest extent possible, while also seeking to preserve student financial aid and strategically balance the many government and accreditation regulations that govern our work. We will teach online from Monday, 16 March to the end of the semester.

    • I ask all of you to welcome students through Moodle and start off with some reflecting on being a part of our Benedictine community which is about hospitality, listening to each other, and taking care of community. Note that as a teaching university, we will do our best to optimize a new modality of providing instruction but everyone will need to work together to make this happen. Please note that both faculty and students will be patient with each other as we work through this.
    • The university administration needs to know what you and your students need as you strive to make this adjustment. I know that in our community meeting on Thursday that Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Genevieve Chan, offered to be a point person for student/faculty hardware and connectivity needs as we move online. However, I’d like to request that we move this to four “point people” instead of one and ask that you contact the dean of your school/college schools. Thus when students have access issues due to equity, disability, etc., route those through the faculty to their respective deans. They will carefully track needs and responses and keep me informed of these on a daily basis.
    • We will be moving to card access to buildings – staff, faculty, and any students staying/coming on campus for work or projects will need to bring their IDs for card access starting this weekend.
    • We will continue to add resources (teaching and learning) to the document that Dr. Irina Gendelman’s has created.
    • Again, the purpose of moving online is for social distancing. Faculty cannot/must not hold class at another location. This not only potentially endangers them, this would be contradictory to what the students have been told.
    • I am sure you are anxious about moving online, many of your students are or might be also. I am going to send a note out to students this weekend with some resources for moving on-line; you might think about doing some proactive sharing with them also.
    • Consider adding to your syllabus some helpful things from what Irina has sent out, or for example:
    • Your office hours can be held virtually – you do not need to physically come into campus. However, as long as the campus is open you can hold them from your office, if preferred.
    • Students may access science, engineering, and computer labs to complete projects (e.g. senior design) even though the lab sessions will be virtual as long as we are not mandated to close campus. However, they should not be “forced” to come in but instead provided virtual opportunities or theoretical opportunities to show their skills/discuss what they would do. I encourage you to be flexible and creative in finding solutions that achieve the needed social distancing.
    • Students may access labs across campus. However, as the Governor noted in his press conference, they should be mindful of keeping appropriate social distancing and someone should be available to monitor them as needed. We have asked Philip Cheek, our Facilities Manager, to lock classrooms but leave labs and some social areas (e.g. Monk’s Bean area) for those staying on campus might need/want spaces where they can still gather with appropriate social distancing measures.

    Registration and Advising:

    • Our registrar, Ms. Cindy Juarez is putting together a plan for registration and I hope to have it approved by cabinet on Monday. She will then put it out in a message and up on her website.
    • You will also receive information from our Dean of the O’Grady Library and Learning Resources, Amy Stewart-Mailhiot, regarding library hours, support, and the Center for Student success plans for advising, tutoring, and writing support.
    • I also know that Dr. Aaron Coby, Associate Dean of CAS, recently sent other materials out to support registration and advising. Please look closely at these when you have an opportunity. Close and thoughtful advising is going to be crucial to student retention and ensuring that students return in the fall.
    • Our usual cycle of committee meetings will still be held if/when there is business to be done. This can be determined by the meeting chair/membership. We should still meet if the campus is open and provide a way for those who need to be at home to call in or virtually join via Zoom.

    Other items of note:

    • According to the Faculty Handbook, letters of agreement for teaching are due to you on March 15th. I am sorry but between my EA, Stephanie Borders, having a death in her family and what has been occurring with the COVID-19 adjustments, we have not been able to attend to the details needed with these to be ready by Monday. I am notifying you now that we will get these done as soon as possible, but it will likely be the end of next week instead of the beginning. I appreciate your understanding and patience.
    • Those of you who are budget managers will also soon hear from our Vice President of Finance and Operations (our CFO), Ms. Sarah Saavedra, that we are freezing budgets immediately except for expenditures dedicated to on-line learning efforts and expenditures needed for minimum operation costs. All expenditures will need to be reported to your dean who will get permission for those expenditures from Ms. Saavedra.
    • All non-essential travel should be canceled. If a you have a business/development trip planned and need reimbursement for your flight ticket – the airlines will likely provide a credit to be used later in your name. If you would like to be reimbursed, we need to track these credits so that that ticket can be used for faculty development next year (the finance team will be working on a way for the college/school EAs to provide needed information to her team).
    • As you will continue to note, we are canceling several upcoming gatherings including:
      • 3/17 Study Abroad Fair
      • 3/19 STEM Workshops Graduation – Boys & Girls Club
      • 3/28 Benedictine Scholars Day (moving this to an online format)
      • 3/29 Phi Kappa Phi – Spring Initiation
      • 4/28 Scholars Day
    • We have not made a decision to date regarding: Baccalaureate Mass/Graduation in May or the Associate of Benedictine Colleges and Universities (ABCU) Conference in June. We will keep monitoring the situation and let you know soon. We are reviewing all of our options and know that this is particularly difficult for our senior students.

    I cannot express my gratitude strongly enough to all of you. I have been so touched by everyone pulling together and working with me to provide the best teaching environment for our students. I am particularly appreciative of the leadership of our Faculty President, Dr. Irina Gendelman! I am so proud to be a member of this community and to support all of you. We are known for providing outstanding teaching – I believe that you will be committed to doing this in the best ways possible through a new modality that most of us did not anticipate using for every class when we came to Saint Martin’s. I appreciate you.

    Sincerely,
    Kate Boyle, Ph.D.
    Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs

  • Message sent to all faculty and instructors March 13, 2020 from the Faculty President

    Dear folks,

    It is really amazing to see communities come together and help one another in uncertain times. Rebeca Solnit wrote that a time of crisis reveals “an extraordinary window into social desire and possibility” of closeness. I am heartened to see us as faculty, support one another around a common purpose. Thank you for all of the resources that you are sending to be shared. I am resending the link to the google doc again because some of you asked for it. 

    Please note that this is a living document, I am adding to it as you send me ideas and materials, so check back once in a while. The one major addition since last time is that there are links to more specific course resources, like science labs. Below is a most current table of contents, to give you a quick overview of what you will find to help you go online.

    Link to the Google Doc

    Contents:

    Pedagogy in Times of Disruption

    • Current Policies and Recommendations
    • SMU Faculty Mentors List
    • Synchronous vs. Asynchronous?
    • Identifying Key Tools and Functions within Moodle
    • What is Zoom?

    Shifting Your Classes Online

    • Option 1: Run Your Class Live With Zoom
    • Option 2: Pre-Record Your Lectures
    • Option 3: Skip the Video (keeping it simple might be the best option)
    • Office Hours

    Other Use Cases

    • Student Presentations
      • Pedagogical Recommendations
      • Student-Facing Language to Help Students Understand Options for Final Presentations 
    • Using Moodle for Announcements, Sharing Material, Collecting Assignments, and Grading
    • Written Discussions
    • Chat
    • Individual Students Using Zoom to Attend In-Person Classes (Small, Discussion-Based)
    • Live-Streaming In-Person Lectures
    • Scheduling Tools for Student Tutorials/Conferences
    • Peer Review
    • Meetings with Teaching Teams

    Resources for Specific Types of Classes

    • Teaching Science Labs
    • Academic Continuity:  Labs
    • Labs & Studios
    • Anatomy and Physiology
    • Teaching Language
    • Teaching Ecology
    • Teaching Geoscience
    • Seminars & Discussions 
    • Teaching media & video production

    Resources to Learn More

    • General Tips for Teaching Online:
    • Resources for Online Writing Instruction
    • How to be an online learner
    • Additional SMU Resources

    Tech Tutorial: Getting Started with Zoom

    Irina Gendelman, Ph.D.
    Faculty President
    Program Director and Professor of Communication Studies
    Department of Society and Social Justice

  • Message sent to all campus March 13, 2020 from the President

    Dear Saint Martin’s community,

    First, I want to express my deepest gratitude for your understanding, patience and cooperation as we all navigate through these unprecedented times.

    As you may have heard, Governor Inslee has announced that he is asking all colleges across the state to move to online or distance learning starting next week in an effort to further mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus.

    This does not change the plan that we shared with you yesterday, which is in accordance to guidance and directives from public health and elected officials. However, with the Governor’s most recent directive, we have decided that rather than wait to evaluate the situation we will teach out the remainder of spring semester online.

    Starting Monday, March 16 and through the end of the semester, May 7, Saint Martin’s University will do the following:

    • Move to teaching all classes online
    • Keep residence halls open – anyone who was returning from Spring Break is welcome to do so or anyone who stayed during Spring Break can remain
    • Keep O’Grady Library, St. Gertrude’s Café, Charneski Rec Center, TUB, DEC, Veterans Center open, with the recommendation that we all maintain appropriate social distancing
    • Keep lab spaces available and accessible to students and faculty, while again maintaining appropriate social distancing

    While there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our campus community at the time of this writing, we are committed to supporting all public health efforts – regional, state, national and global – to slow the spread of the virus and promote social distancing.

    Although we had hoped to return to face-to-face teaching this semester, we believe this is in the best interest of our students’ and community’s health and safety. Our definition of community and strong faculty-student engagement will be challenged, but also hopefully strengthened by this experience.

    We will be sharing more information soon as we determine other ways we can mitigate the spread of the virus on campus. This includes assessing and limiting campus events and access to campus from outside groups, reviewing university-related travel for faculty or staff, and supporting remote working for staff age 60 or older or staff with compromised immune systems who are at higher risk. We will also be reviewing different options for us to celebrate Commencement. Please check this website regularly for updates.

    In the meantime, if you have any questions, we have set up the following points of contact:

    As I mentioned in my message yesterday, this is uncharted territory for all of us. As a Catholic, Benedictine university, let us work together and continually look to our values of community, listening and respect for others in the face of this global pandemic. 

    Sincerely,
    Roy F. Heynderickx, Ph.D
    President

  • Message sent to international students March 12, 2020 from the Associate Dean

    Dear International Students,

    We hope you have been enjoying the spring break whether it was traveling, reading a good book, gathering with friends, or just remaining on the SMU campus.

    As you may have already learned, Saint Martin’s University will begin teaching spring 2020 classes online starting Monday, March 16th.

    If you are an F-1 or J-1 status international student, please do not be concerned about classes now being offered online. The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), a part of the United States Department of Homeland Security, is focused on ensuring that nonimmigrant students (that is you) are able to continue to make normal progress in a full course of study as required by federal regulations. SEVP intends to be flexible with temporary adaptations.

    As with many other universities, Saint Martin’s decision to offer online classes is a temporary adaptation that is accepted by SEVP and you will remain in compliance. Although our hope is to return to face-to-face teaching, we understand that the current situation is ever-changing. We will re-evaluate whether to extend online classes around late March or early April.

    It is VERY important that you do not return back to your home country at this time. Even though courses are being offered online, it is temporary decision and classes could resume face-to-face in the future. If you were to return back home there is a high probability U.S. Immigration would not allow you to return to the United States to resume face-to-face classes later in the spring semester. Of course, we cannot keep you from departing the United States, but we want you to be fully aware of the consequences if you intend to do so.

    During this time of online classes, the university offices will remain open and staff will be working normal hours, providing services, etc. Students can remain living on campus and food service at the café will continue unless other steps need to be taken at which time we will inform you. I want to reassure you the university and particularly the Office of International Programs and Development (OIPD) are here to answer any questions you may have about the steps we have taken to lessen the spread of COVID-19.  Your continued health and safety are very important to all.

    As always, if you have any questions please feel free to contact the Office of International Programs and Development. We will do our best to keep you informed of decisions and any steps you need to take to make sure you are following U.S. immigration policy, but also remain safe. 

    Regards,
    Roger Douglas, Ed.D.
    Associate Dean
    Office of International Programs and Development

  • Message sent to all campus March 12, 2020 from the President

    Dear Saint Martin’s community,

    After reviewing new information on how the state, the counties, regional colleges and the Archdiocese of Seattle are responding to the COVID-19 Corona outbreak, and after listening to the concerns of many members of our community – including students and families, staff and faculty, board and abbey leadership – we have decided to change the decision shared out yesterday and will move to teaching all classes online starting Monday, March 16. 

    We are moving to online classes as we feel this is in the best interest of our students’ and community’s health and safety. This has been a difficult decision as we know many choose Saint Martin’s because they value learning face-to-face in the classroom and our strong faculty-student engagement.

    Although our hope is to return to face-to-face teaching, we understand that the current situation is ever-changing. We will re-evaluate whether to extend online classes around late March or early April.

    While classes will be online, we will keep campus open. Students who have been here for Spring Break or who wish to return to campus can do so.

    We will be sharing more information soon. We will continue to examine other ways we can mitigate the spread of the virus on campus, including enhancing campus cleaning, assessing and limiting campus events and access to campus from outside groups, reviewing university-related travel for faculty or staff, and supporting remote working for staff age 60 or older or staff with compromised immune systems who are at higher risk.

    In the meantime, if you have any questions, we have set up the following points of contact:

    This is uncharted territory for all of us. We are asking our entire Saint Martin's family to work together over the next few weeks. As a Catholic Benedictine university, let us continually look to our values of community, listening and respect for others in the face of this current challenge. 

    Sincerely,
    Roy F. Heynderickx, Ph.D
    President

  • Message sent to all campus March 11, 2020 from the President

    Dear Saint Martin’s community:

    This morning, Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee held a live press conference where he gave an update on the COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak in our state and shared new directives and recommendations for three counties: specifically, King, Snohomish and Pierce Counties. In the last week, we have seen the colleges in those counties, public and private, having to make the difficult decision to suspend face-to-face classes and move to on-line instruction.

    This outbreak is continuing to affect more and more of our state. This afternoon, the Thurston County Public Health and Social Services announced the first confirmed case of COVID-19 Coronavirus in Thurston County. They are working to identify and contact everyone who may have come into contact with the confirmed case, and that the investigation is ongoing. We will share any updates on impacts to students, faculty and staff as we learn more on our webpage.

    Although this first case raises considerable concern in our community, currently, there have been no recommendations from health authorities to suspend classes. With that guidance in mind, Saint Martin’s University will keep campus open and resume classes for Spring Semester this coming Monday, March 16.

    Please know that we do not make this decision lightly. We are monitoring the situation daily, and our decision may change.

    In the meantime, we are in direct communication with Thurston County Public Health and following updates from both Washington State DOH and the CDC. I am also talking with the presidents at The Evergreen State College and SPSCC, as our three campuses and the county continue to assess the constantly evolving situation.

    With the risk to our students, faculty, staff and abbey community increasing, we are taking key steps to mitigate the spread of the illness. We are also still moving forward with our emergency preparedness plans.

    • Our campus response team will continue to convene after we come back from Spring Break. The team has been meeting frequently and regularly during break to share information, update planning, and coordinate resources in response to the virus.
    • We will be looking at upcoming events being held on campus in the next few weeks. We will work with our clubs and organizations to evaluate larger events that they are hosting, and limiting any on-campus meetings to smaller groups.
    • Benedictine Scholars Day on March 28 will be changed to an online format only. For more information about this, contact admissions@stmartin.edu.
    • Faculty and staff are preparing contingency plans should we need to move to teaching or working remotely.
    • We are researching and implementing online tools to help with various student support services, including advising and tutoring as well as counseling, in the event we need to move to a closed campus or online classes.

    This is one of the most challenging times for our community, state and country. Our students’ and community’s health remains our priority. We recognize the Coronavirus situation may cause great concern and anxiety for members of our community. We encourage anyone who might need support to reach out to university resources, including the Office of Campus Ministry, the Counseling and Wellness Center, and the Employee Assistance Program (EAP).

    In the event that our campus may be closed due to the spread of the virus, we will send out notifications immediately to our community. Again, we would look to Thurston County Public Health, Washington State DOH or the CDC for guidelines on whether to close campus and/or whether or to what extent we would need to restrict access to campus. Please note: The Office of Housing and Residence Life is already drafting plans on how to accommodate residential students during a potential closure. We will not displace any students who are from out of area or out of country who cannot return home.

    Our responsibility is to help mitigate the spread of the virus while maintaining our educational mission. We have posted information regarding symptoms for COVID-19 as well links to resource pages on our website. Below are three important reminders:

    • If you are exhibiting symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath, contact your regular doctor first. DO NOT go to the emergency room or the Student Health Center. Emergency rooms need to be able to serve those with the most critical needs. For additional info:
      • Contact the Thurston County Health department at 360-867-2500 (during business hours) or 1-800-986-9050 (after business hours)
      • The Washington State DOH has also established a call center to address questions from the public; call 1-800-525-0127 and press #. 
      • Kaiser Permanente also has a 24-hour consulting nurse service at 1-800-297-6877
      • Do not go to the Saint Martin's Student Health Center; instead, call first at 360-412-6160. 
    • Students and employees who are sick should stay home and not go to work or school. Social distancing is key to preventing the spread of the virus. If you have specific questions, including questions about missing classes or work, or other questions regarding campus resources, we have set up the following points of contact:
    • As a Catholic, Benedictine university, Saint Martin's is an inclusive and global community. Times like this call for an extra measure of understanding and awareness. Remember the risk for the Coronavirus is not connected to race, ethnicity or nationality. Sharing accurate information, and new information as it emerges, can prevent misinformation from spreading.

    Again, we will continue to evaluate the situation on a daily basis and update you as needed. Please be aware that we are working in a rapidly changing environment, and we may need to amend our policies on short notice.

    Sincerely,
    Roy F. Heynderickx, Ph.D.
    President

  • Message sent to all campus March 6, 2020 from the President

    Dear Saint Martin’s community:

    As of this morning, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) reported 79 confirmed cases of COVID-19 Coronavirus in our state, including 11 deaths (1 in Snohomish County and 10 in King County). According to our Thurston County Health Department, there are no confirmed cases in Thurston County and the risk to the general public here remains low. 

    How is the University responding to the evolving situation? Our campus response team, which includes representatives from Public Safety, Health Center, Facilities, Residence Life, Academics, International Programs, Abbey, Bon Appetit, Event Services, Finance, ITS, HR and Communications, continues to meet frequently and regularly to share information, update planning, and coordinate resources in response to the virus. We are working with offices and departments across campus to increase cleaning protocols and install additional hand sanitizer stations. Thermometers have been ordered for our residential students. We have ordered additional supplies for Facilities and Health Center. Staff and faculty are creating contingency plans for working or teaching remotely. We have also chosen to cancel the Saint Martin’s Ambassadors Abroad programs in South Korea, Japan, Vietnam and China, as well as the summer study abroad trips to Italy and Spain. The campus response team will continue to meet during Spring Break and will update our webpage: www.stmartin.edu/coronavirus, with any new information for our community.

    When would we decide to close campus? While the risk to the general public in our area remains low, we continue to monitor reports and stay in close contact with government officials, educational partners abroad and colleagues at other institutions in Washington State. We will look to Thurston County Public Health, Washington State DOH or the CDC for guidelines on whether to close campus and/or whether or to what extent we would need to restrict access to campus. 

    What would happen if we decide to close campus? In the event that our campus may be closed due to the spread of the virus, we have asked faculty and instructors to draft plans on how to keep classes going remotely. They started to share plans this week and we will continue to share plans with students over the next few weeks. The Office of Housing and Residence Life is also drafting plans on how to accommodate residential students during a potential closure. We will not displace any students who are from out of area or out of country who cannot return home. Again, we would to Thurston County Public HealthWashington State DOH or the CDC for guidelines on whether to close campus and/or whether or to what extent we would need to restrict access to campus. 

    The priority remains community mitigation: what can our community do to slow the spread of the virus? Below are some key things to remember:

    What are the Coronavirus symptoms? Human coronaviruses most commonly spread through the air by coughing and sneezing; close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands; and touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands. Remember, symptoms of Coronavirus include:

    • Fever
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath 

    If you are exhibiting the above symptoms, contact your regular doctor first. DO NOT go to the emergency room or the Health Center. Emergency rooms need to be able to serve those with the most critical needs. For additional info, contact the Thurston County Health department at 360-867-2500 (during business hours) or 1-800-986-9050 (after business hours). The Washington State DOH has also established a call center to address questions from the public; call 1-800-525-0127 and press #. Do not go to the Saint Martin's Student Health Center; instead, call first at 360-412-6160. The Office of International Programs and Development has also sent out additional helpful information to international students in case they do not have a local health provider.

    How can you protect yourself from the virus? There are steps you can take to reduce your risk of getting and spreading any viral respiratory infections: 

    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer;
    • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash immediately;
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth;
    • Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick or has a fever and cough (e.g., no handshaking);
    • Do not share drink containers, utensils or other personal use items;
    • If you have a fever, cough and/or shortness of breath, seek medical care. 
    • Per Governor Inslee’s recommendation: Students and employees who are sick should stay home and not go to school or work. Social distancing is key to mitigating the spread of the virus.

    Are you traveling for Spring Break? Our Spring Break is next week, March 9-13. The outbreak of the virus may have potential impacts for anyone who may be planning to travel during the next few weeks. Below are some resources that may be helpful for any students, staff or faculty who plan to travel:

    If you are a student who needs to stay on campus during any part Spring Break, please fill out the Spring Break Housing Form or contact Housing and Residence Life at housing@stmartin.edu.

    Do you have additional questions? If you have specific questions, including questions about missing classes or work, or other questions regarding campus resources, we have set up the following points of contact:

    Again, thank you for taking the above precautions and keeping yourself informed. We will continue to update you if the situation changes during and after next week.

    We hope you all have an enjoyable, safe and healthy Spring Break.

    Sincerely,
    Roy F. Heynderickx, Ph.D.
    President

  • Message sent to all faculty and instructors March 6, 2020 from the Faculty President

    Dear folks,

    As we prepare for the possibility of closure and teaching online, I have created a Google doc with a list of faculty who volunteered to be technology mentors for those of you who need help. 

    If you are willing to be added to the mentor list, you can add your name (you have to be logged in with gmail) to the list or send the information to me and I can add you. You don't have to be an expert, just willing to help out if someone has questions.

    If you need help, please take a look at this list, there are many of us who are willing to help, so reach out. Bookmark this link in your browser or save this email for easy access.

    This document will be circulated internally, among all Saint Martin's faculty.

    Also note, at the bottom, I started a list of links with online tutorial resources, feel free to add to those as well. 

    Have a good break and be well!
    Irina Gendelman, Ph.D.
    Faculty President

  • Message sent to all campus March 3, 2020 from the President

    Dear Saint Martin’s community:

    As of this morning, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) reported 23 confirmed cases of COVID-19 Coronavirus in our state, including 6 deaths (1 in Snohomish County and 5 in King County). According to our Thurston County Health Department, there are no confirmed cases in Thurston County and the risk to the general public is low. 

    We will continue to monitor reports and stay in close contact with government officials, educational partners abroad and colleagues at other institutions. The priority is community mitigation: what can communities do to slow the spread of the virus?

    Here at Saint Martin's, we have established a campus response team with representatives from Public Safety, Health Center, Facilities, Residence Life, Academics, International Programs, Abbey, Bon Appetit, Event Services, Finance, ITS, HR and Communications. The team meets daily to share information, update planning, and coordinate resources in response to the virus.  We have also set up the following webpage with information for our community:

    www.stmartin.edu/coronavirus

    Attached are fact sheets for your reference from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Washington State Department of Health (DOH). Below are some key things to remember:

    What are the Coronavirus symptoms? Human coronaviruses most commonly spread through the air by coughing and sneezing; close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands; and touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands. Remember, symptoms of Coronavirus include:

    • Fever
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath 

    If you are exhibiting the above symptoms, contact your regular doctor first. Do not go to the emergency room. Emergency rooms need to be able to serve those with the most critical needs. For additional info, contact the Thurston County Health department at 360-867-2500 (during business hours) or 1-800-986-9050 (after business hours). The Washington State DOH has also established a call center to address questions from the public; call 1-800-525-0127 and press #. You can also call the Saint Martin's Student Health Center at 360-412-6160.

    How can you protect yourself from the virus? There are steps you can take to reduce your risk of getting and spreading any viral respiratory infections: 

    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer;
    • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash immediately;
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth;
    • Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick or has a fever and cough (e.g., no handshaking);
    • Do not share drink containers, utensils or other personal use items;
    • If you have a fever, cough and/or shortness of breath, seek medical care. If you are sick, stay home and do not go to work or school.

    Are you traveling for Spring Break? Our Spring Break is next week, March 9-13. The outbreak of the virus may have potential impacts for anyone who may be planning to travel domestically and internationally during the next few weeks. The CDC has issued new travel advisories regarding the Coronavirus. Below are some resources that may be helpful for any students, staff or faculty who plan to travel:

    If you are a student who needs to stay on campus during Spring Break, please fill out the Spring Break Housing Form or contact Housing and Residence Life at housing@stmartin.edu.

    What are our plans in case we need to close campus? In preparation in the event that our campus may be closed due to the spread of the virus, we have asked faculty and instructors to draft plans on how to keep classes going. Faculty and instructors are sharing these plans with students during classes this week. We will continue to share plans over the next few weeks. 

    Lastly, I want to reiterate that Saint Martin's University is an inclusive and global community. With the continuously evolving Coronavirus situation and general concern increasing, times like this call for an extra measure of understanding and awareness. Also, the risk for the Coronavirus is not connected to race, ethnicity or nationality. Sharing accurate information, and new information as it emerges, can prevent misinformation from spreading. 

    Do you have additional questions? If you have specific questions, including questions about missing classes or work, or other questions regarding campus resources, we have set up the following points of contact:

    Again, thank you for taking the above precautions and keeping yourself informed. As the first half of spring semester comes to a close, we hope you all have an enjoyable, safe and healthy Spring Break.

    Sincerely,
    Roy F. Heynderickx, Ph.D.
    President

  • Message sent to all campus February 28, 2020 from the President

    Dear Saint Martin's community:

    According to our Thurston County Health Department, the risk to the general public is low and we have no evidence that the virus is spreading in our state. Nonetheless, we will continue to monitor reports and stay in close contact with government officials, educational partners abroad and colleagues at other institutions. Below are resource pages for our county and state:

    What are the symptoms? Human coronaviruses most commonly spread from an infected person to others through the air by coughing and sneezing; close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands; and touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands. Symptoms of Coronavirus may include:

    • Runny nose
    • Headache
    • Cough
    • Sore throat
    • Fever
    • A general feeling of being unwell

    If you are exhibiting the above symptoms, call the Thurston County Health department at 360-867-2500 (during business hours) or 1-800-986-9050 (after business hours).

    How can you protect yourself from the virus? There are steps you can take to reduce your risk of getting and spreading any viral respiratory infections: 

    • Frequently clean hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer;
    • Cough or sneeze into a flexed elbow or tissue. Throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands;
    • Do not share drink containers, utensils or other personal use items;
    • Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick or has a fever and cough;
    • Do not travel if you are sick. Stay home and do not go to work or school. If you have a fever, cough and/or difficulty breathing, seek medical care.

    Are you traveling for Spring Break? Our Spring Break is March 9-13. The outbreak of the virus may have potential impacts for anyone who may be planning to travel domestically and internationally during the next few weeks. Coronavirus is now confirmed in more than 40 countries and territories around the world, with the bulk of these cases concentrated in China. There are a number of countries where the spread of the virus has increased significantly during the past week, including South Korea, Japan, Italy, Iran, Singapore and Hong Kong. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have issued new travel advisories regarding the Coronavirus. Below are some resources that may be helpful for any students, staff or faculty who plan to travel:

    If you are a student and need to stay on campus during Spring Break, please fill out the Spring Break Housing Form or contact Housing and Residence Life at housing@stmartin.edu.

    What are our plans in case we need to close campus? As a response to the potential spread of the Coronavirus in the U.S., the director of the Centers for Disease Control has encouraged all schools to be prepared to move face-to-face teaching online in case campuses need to be closed. We have asked faculty and instructors to draft plans on how to keep classes going during a potential closure. Faculty and instructors will be sharing these plans with students during classes held next week, March 2-6, the last week before Spring Break.

    Lastly, Saint Martin's an inclusive and global university, and times like this call for an extra measure of understanding and awareness. Also, the risk for the Coronavirus is not connected to race, ethnicity or nationality. Sharing accurate information, and new information as it emerges, can prevent misinformation from spreading. We will be building web page to keep our community up-to-date about the outbreak and on what Saint Martin's is doing in response. We will share out that web link next week.

    Thank you for taking the above precautions and keeping yourself informed. As the first half of spring semester comes to a close, we hope you all have an enjoyable, safe and healthy Spring Break.

    Sincerely,
    Roy F. Heynderickx, Ph.D.
    President