1. How is the University responding to the outbreak of coronavirus in New York City?
Effective March 9, all face-to-face classes have been suspended for the semester. Beginning March 11, classes resumed online and will continue as such for the remainder of the semester. Deans have been providing guidance to students from their school/college. Each instructor has communicated with their students how their specific class will proceed in an online environment.
In addition, all students residing in on-campus housing were required to move out no later than Friday, March 20 while the University made very limited exceptions in cases of international students and students with dire personal circumstances.
Due to Governor's Cuomo's executive order closing all businesses and non-profit institutions as of 8 p.m. Sunday, March 22, 2020, faculty, staff, and students are prohibited from entering Fordham property after 8 p.m. Sunday, March 22, with the exception of a small number of essential staff in Public Safety, Facilities, Residential Life, and IT. Most personnel are working remotely until further notice.
2. Are plans being made to reopen the University and resume face-to-face instruction for the Fall semester?
Fordham will be fully in session throughout the academic year 2020-2021. To the greatest extent that the public health situation permits, we seek to teach our students in person and on campus. In alignment with this principle, Governor Cuomo is issuing directives on restarting New York State, and Fordham University will observe all state and federal regulations.
However, if on-campus operations are disrupted by the pandemic, our fundamental commitment is to continue providing an outstanding, transformative Jesuit education without interruption and without any sacrifice of quality. With that in mind, Fordham has engaged in a process of planning for the continuity and resilience of Fordham’s academic programs. Learn more about Planning for Fall 2020.
3. Are University events cancelled?
All University events are canceled through May 11. This includes outside organizers renting space at Fordham, and Fordham events at off-campus venues in New York City.
The Atlantic 10 Conference cancelled all spring athletic competition (non-conference and conference), and all 2020 A10 spring championships, due to health and safety concerns.
Mass from the University Church has been suspended according to the most recent directives of the Archdiocese of New York suspending all public Mass. We hope to resume Sunday Mass livestreamed on our website and broadcast via Fordham’s WFUV 90.7 beginning on Sunday, March 31, at 11 a.m. The Mass will be previously recorded or livestreamed, but will be available to viewers at that time.
4. Will the University hold commencement or other end-of-semester events?
While we will not be holding an in-person Commencement as planned on May 16, we are committed to holding an in-person University Commencement and diploma ceremonies for the Class of 2020 when public health authorities have determined it is safe to do so. An announcement will be made to the University community when a new date has been determined.
Fordham will hold videocast proceedings--the Baccalaureate Mass on Friday, May 15, and University Commencement on May 16, when the degrees for the graduates will be officially conferred. Additionally, each school and college will have a digital program, featuring slides of each graduate, along with a message from the dean. See fordham.edu/commencement for more information.
We are postponing plans for the 2020 Jubilee and Block Party at Lincoln Center celebrations. We are sorry we won't have the opportunity to celebrate our reunion classes this June. However, we will be working on plans to reschedule these events.
5. How is the University addressing potential bias concerns given the emergence of COVID-19 within specific geographical areas of the world?
Any person, regardless of race, ethnicity, or national origin can contract the COVID-19 virus. Fordham University is deeply concerned for the health and well-being of all, and as a community we are committed to fostering an inclusive and caring environment, even as many of us are worried and stressed by the spread of the coronavirus. To prevent stigma, bias, or xenophobia against individuals or groups, it is absolutely critical that we equip ourselves with current and accurate information – facts. Commit to speaking up if you hear, see or read misinformation, or witness or experience bias or harassment. Learn how to report a bias incident.
With this in mind, when we are communicating with colleagues about coronavirus, its symptoms, and the proper workplace precautions, we should be aware that national origin discrimination and/or harassment is inappropriate and has no place at Fordham.
6. How is the University helping students for whom the suspension of in-person activities on campus causes undue financial hardship?
The University has established the Student Emergency Fund and is seeking donations to help students facing financial challenges brought on by the spread of the coronavirus in New York City such as campus closures and the transition to distance learning. 100% of contributions to this fund will aid these students as they confront travel expenses, sudden loss of housing, medical emergencies or mental health crises, temporary loss of income, short-term food needs, and much more.