University Communication to Students
Distributed: December 10, 2020
We close the semester at a time that is arguably the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, a reality hard to comprehend. Each of us is facing unprecedented challenges and none more so than our healthcare workers, for whom we all carry a great deal of gratitude this holiday season.
New This Week:
Complete Course Registration
If you have not completed course registration, please do so soon. We will begin evaluating Spring courses that are under enrolled to close them out. If you are having difficulties, please reach out to your advisor, the Student HUB (412-578-6389), or Student Affairs (412-578-6293 or email@example.com) and we will be happy to assist.
Textbook Rental Returns
The bookstore will be open Friday, December 11th until 6 p.m. for textbook rental check-in. Do not leave your textbooks outside of the store. Print a UPS label if you need to mail your books to us.
Self-Screening and Quarantine Prior to Return
All students are asked to self-screen using the self-screening web-based application prior to coming to campus. Once on campus, you should be prepared to show the GREEN risk screen to confirm compliance. Please visit the “Screening Schedule” box on our website for complete instructions. All students are asked to create an account and complete a daily self-screen through the web-based application Mediterranean Wellness for campus climate monitoring purposes.
If you have traveled or been in residence at a different location during the semester break we will again ask all students to self-quarantine prior to returning to campus in January. More information will be provided in upcoming communications.
Testing Strategy Updates
In response to CDC, State, and Allegheny County Health Department recommendations, the university is updating Re-entry and Resiliency Plan protocols to include testing. All residential and student athletes will be expected to complete a testing series when they return in January. This initiative will complement the November surveillance testing and residential student testing after Thanksgiving Break. Through these efforts we hope to continue the positive outcomes your efforts have been demonstrating and keep the campus safe.
Caring for your physical and mental health has never been more important.
Counseling and Health Services remain available as we move into the toughest part of the semester. The hours are:
Health Services – Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Counseling Services – Monday, Thursday, Friday 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.; Tuesday, Wednesday 9:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.; Sunday 12:00-4:00 p.m.
To schedule an appointment, students can email firstname.lastname@example.org with their full name and contact information to request a phone call to schedule or can call 412-578-6474 (leave a message if no one is available to take their call).
Medical and mental health emergencies should be directed to Campus Police at 412-578-6007 if on-campus, 911 if off-campus, or Resolve Crisis Services (Allegheny County) 1-888-796-8226.
Spring 21 Semester Will Begin Remotely
In order to support Governor Wolf’s telework mandate and Pennsylvania’s new measures to mitigate the surge within the surge, the first three weeks of the 2021 Spring semester (January 11 – January 29) will be offered fully online – with the exception of essential clinicals, labs, and practicums. We will resume our published schedule on Monday, February 1. Students should directly contact their instructor if they have any questions. We continue to monitor the CDC, state, and county guidelines and will keep you informed of any changes.
Allegheny County Health Department Executive Director Dr. Debra Bogen reported November to be the worst month since the pandemic began. Cases have continued to rise and Dr. Bogen reports concerns about hospital beds reaching capacity soon. Therefore, all are asked to stay-at-home unless impossible and to act for the common good: wear masks, social distance, wash hands regularly, and clean public spaces before and after use
Disabilities Services Registration
As registration for the spring semester proceeds, continuing DSO students with current accommodations should request accommodations for their new semester courses. Students can log in to the Accommodate system and complete a Semester Request. Continuing students do NOT have to complete another Confidential Request for Accommodations form.
It is my hope Finals Week finishes well for you and that the semester break affords you some much earned personal renewal. Congratulations to those graduating this December. For everyone else, we look forward to having you back in January to begin the Spring semester.
Stay safe and be well,
Timothy P. Phillips, Ph.D.
Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students