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COVID-19/Coronavirus Information for the Mount Community

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Messages to the Community

Messages to the Community

Published on 03/24/20

Dear Graduating Students:

We are pleased to announce that the in-person 2020 Commencement ceremony scheduled for May 11 has been postponed and rescheduled to Sunday, Aug. 16, at the Shrine Auditorium (of course barring any further Centers for Disease Control or Los Angeles County restrictions). The graduate ceremony will be held at 9:30 a.m. and the undergraduate ceremony will be at 2:30 p.m. While we know that this date might not work for everyone, we hope that you will be able to return so that we can celebrate with you and your families.

As in past years, the ceremony will also be available via livestream, for those unable to attend in person.

Students who are eligible for the Aug. 16 ceremony are those who graduated in Summer 2019, Fall 2019 and Spring 2020. All students who have been cleared through the Registrar’s Office to graduate by May 8, 2020, will be eligible to participate. 

For those that have purchased their academic regalia, and who might not be able to attend the new ceremony date, please know that Follett, the company that operates the bookstore, has agreed to refund any purchases of commencement garb until Aug. 15. Regalia must be in new condition. Due to the current “Safer at Home” restrictions, any returns should be mailed to the Chalon bookstore. Once the restrictions have been lifted, academic regalia may be returned in person. Please contact the Chalon Campus bookstore at 310.954.4322 to make arrangements.

For those who have ordered announcements or other commencement related materials through Jostens, the company has issued the following information:

In this time of uncertainty, and with the potential of commencements being postponed; Jostens is offering a downloadable template (attached) that can be accessed by visiting Jostens.com/collegeannounce. This template will allow consumers to edit and update their commencement date, time and place information, so they can print at home and include with their announcements.

For all announcement orders that have shipped and commencement is postponed, please visit the above link, so they can download and include updated date, time and place information with their announcements. With any announcement order that have yet to ship and for all new orders received, consumers will receive an insert within their announcement package that directs them to above link. Please note, announcements are considered custom product, and are non-refundable.

We hope to celebrate with you in person on August 16.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Best wishes,
Debbie Ream
Chair, Commencement Committee


Published on 03/20/20

Dear Faculty and Staff, 

This evening, the Los Angeles County announced its new “Safer at Home Order in an effort to control the spread of COVID-19. The Order requires individuals to stay at home when not participating in essential activities.  While schools and universities are exempt from the “Safer at Home Order,” we at Mount Saint Mary’s will do all we can to help slow down this virus and keep our community safe.  To this end, while most employees are already working remotely, it is now necessary that all employees except for essential staff work from home beginning tomorrow, Friday, March 20

Faculty and staff who need to return to campus tomorrow to gather materials needed for remote work may do so, but we ask that you maintain social distancing. 

Essential staff will be determined by each department’s Vice President. If you are not designated as an essential employee but are unable to perform your work from home, please contact your Vice President to see how we might accommodate your situation.    

Please know that we will continue to accommodate about 30 students who need housing on campus. We appreciate the essential staff who are assisting in caring for these students.

I am so grateful to each of you for your understanding, compassion and flexibility during this health emergency.  Once again, this community has come together in crisis.  Your commitment and care of others are deeply moving and so clearly reflect the charism of our founders. 

Let me close with a gentle prayer one of our Sisters of St. Joseph shared with me for our community today on the feast of St. Joseph. 

May the example of Joseph, who found his world turned upside down and allowed his dreams to carry him into an as yet unimagined future, be for you all a source of courage and encouragement. 

Please stay safe and know you and your families are in my prayers.

With warmest regards,
Ann


Published on 03/19/20

Dear Graduating Class,

As COVID-19 affects every aspect of our lives, we have made the difficult decision to postpone our 2020 Commencement ceremony. While I know this is disappointing, please know we are committed to celebrating the achievements of our graduates as soon as it is safe to do so.

We are working diligently to confirm a date and location that will take place in either late August or early September, and will share that information when we can.  We also will follow up by early next week regarding cap and gown rental returns.  Please keep an eye out for an email from our Commencement Committee with these details.

We look forward to our rescheduled ceremony so that we can appropriately honor our graduates and your ability to overcome so many challenges – including this one.

In the meantime, stay safe, stay focused on your studies and know that the entire Mount community is here to support you.

With warmest regards,
Ann McElaney-Johnson


Published on 03/18/20

Dear Mount Community:

The Libraries will close in-person operations starting tomorrow, but will remain open virtually. In addition, the 24-hour spaces in both libraries will remain open. 

We have created a webpage that outlines library support specifically during this time. It includes a list ofebooks used in Spring 2020 MSMU courses, links to forms that you can use to request materials, and more. 

All fines incurred for overdue items will be waived during this time, including for items from LINK+ and ILL. If you have a book checked out, you may keep it until you return. You might still receive emails stating that your book is overdue, but please know that we will extend the due dates and waive any fines that accrue.  

LINK+ requesting is not available until further notice. The service was stopped for all institutions today because over 70% of the libraries in the system are closed. If you need materials, please contact us by email or by visiting our website and we will help you locate a digital copy or a digital substitution, if possible.

All research consultations will be provided online. To make an appointment, visit https://msmu.libcal.com/appointments/Zoom.

Librarians will be available via Zoom/email/phone to do the following:

  • Help students access electronic resources
  • Help faculty select course materials from our electronic collections
  • Provide instruction, research consultations, and workshops
  • Create custom learning objects (tutorials, research guides)
  • Collaborate with faculty on information literacy assignments and assessment
  • Respond to requests for articles, ebooks, streaming films, and databases
  • Assist students and faculty with requesting books through LINK+
  • Answer questions about collections and course materials

Our librarians and library staff are standing by and ready to help you virtually! If you have any questions, please visit our website or email library@msmu.edu. Stay safe and healthy.

All the best,
Danielle Salomon
Director of Libraries


Published on 03/16/20

Dear Mount Community,

Since we announced the move to online instruction last week, national and local response to COVID-19 has evolved rapidly. I remain grateful for your patience and flexibility as we navigate this unprecedented time. While this is a very stressful time for everyone, it is our responsibility to help slow the spread of the virus. Fewer people on campus protects both those who remain on campus and those who can work and learn remotely. To that end, in consultation with public health officials, we are instituting the followings actions, effective immediately:

  • All classes, labs, clinicals and final exams will be offered online through the end of the spring 2020 semester.
  • All campus events will be canceled or moved online through the remainder of the semester.
  • All nonessential University travel is also canceled through the remainder of the semester. Exceptions must be requested and approved by the President’s Office.
  • As the University remains open, departments will increase flexibility with work schedules in order to promote social distancing.

We are evaluating how we will celebrate commencement for this year’s graduating class. We fully understand what an important occasion this is for our students and their families. We are committed to honoring our students’ success in the most meaningful way possible, given the current situation. 

Across our history, the Mount Saint Mary’s community has met every challenge we have faced with courage, compassion and grace. This will be no exception.

I ask that you join me in praying for our Mount community and our Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet.

With my warmest regards and thanks,
Ann McElaney-Johnson


Published on 03/13/20

With the two-week closure announced today by the Los Angeles Unified School District, other school districts and many childcare providers, we understand you may need some time to arrange for alternate childcare, so please work with your supervisors and Human Resources to see if some of your work can be done remotely, or if you can adjust your work schedule during this time. We are encouraging supervisors to be as flexible as possible during this challenging time.

Please note that we are looking at all of our HR policies to help support our community during this public health crisis. Look for more information to come in the next several days.

Warmly,
Debra Martin
Vice President for Administration & Finance



Dear Mount Students,

Before many of you begin classes remotely next week, I wanted to take the opportunity to answer a few questions around student employment and housing credit. As you know, we have moved classes online (with the exception of all nursing skill courses and all clinical courses) and have canceled, postponed or modified large events. We are doing this in the interest of the health and safety of our community by minimizing large gatherings on campus and implementing social distancing to minimize the potential spread of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

Student Employment Policy

Despite classes being online, the University remains open for campus operations and employment. This differs from the fall semester, when the Chalon Campus was closed to all operations and some students were unable to report to their office of employment.

We recognize the important role that financial support, including work study, has for our students. While we have moved classes online, both campuses remain open, and students are able to work as scheduled.

If you are unable to or feel uncomfortable coming to campus to work, please contact your supervisor to see if there is a project or tasks you can do remotely. Supervisors may evaluate positions to determine if there is work that can be done offsite, if requested.

In the event you request to work remotely and your supervisor is unable to accommodate you OR your off-campus employment site has advised you not to come in, please contact Kim Terrill, Director of Career and Professional Development at 213.477.2662 to explore alternative options for completing your employment hours.

Housing Credit Policy

Though classes have moved online, residence halls remain open and students may continue to live on campus if they so choose. If you are a student who lives in the residence halls but plan to return to your personal residence during this time of remote instruction, you will receive a housing credit. A prorated credit of your room and board fee for this time will be applied to your Fall 2020 semester housing bill. If you are a graduating student, the credit will be applied to your final bill. 

I want to reiterate that we still do not have any suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 within our community. At this time, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health still believes the risk is low. 

We thank you for your understanding and cooperation at this time. Please continue to follow the health precautions issued by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We will be in touch with additional information as this situation evolves.

Sincerely,
L. McMurdock, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs
Mount Saint Mary’s Los Angeles



Dear Mount Community,

In order to minimize the potential for spread of the COVID-19/Coronavirus, and in the interested of the health and safety of our community, the goal of the University is to minimize large gatherings (defined as 250 or more, based on current recommendations from the State of California), on the campuses. As a result, we have moved classes online (with the exception of all nursing skill courses and all clinical courses (on and off campus), and canceled, postponed or modified large events.

At this time, this applies to events and activities between March 14-April 3, 2020.

Student Events:

Student events/student programming, on or off campus

  • In accordance with state recommendations, events with 250 or more have been canceled, postponed or modified.
  • Events under 250 are evaluated on a case by case basis by the Vice President for Students Affairs.
  • Students should go to Engage for the current status of these events.

University Sponsored Events (on or off campus)

  • For those events that are continuing, the university is following all recommendations from the CDC and the Los Angeles Department of Public Health with respect to limiting the numbers of people in spaces, and observing recommended social distance policies.
  • Events under 250 are evaluated on a case by case basis by the area vice president.
  • In accordance with state recommendations, with 250 or more have been canceled, postponed or modified.
  • Events that have been canceled or postponed include:
    • David Russell Concert, March 14
    • The Report on the Status of Women and Girls in California, March 26
    • Doheny Mansion tours, March 28
    • Lecture, Sr. Helen Prejean, April 1
    • Laurel Awards, April 2
    • Meeting the Healthcare Needs of Veterans, April 3
  • Events that are continuing as planned:
    • Financial Aid Days
    • University Program Information Sessions
    • Placement Exam Sessions 
  • External Events on Campus (rentals, filming)
    • Events over 250 people have been canceled, postponed or modified
    • A previously scheduled film production at the Doheny Campus will proceed
  • Chalon Campus Mass: Regular Sunday night Mass only
    • Doheny Mass has been canceled. Chalon Mass will continue for MSMU community - Students, faculty, staff, CSJs
    • University is following protocols as outlined by Los Angeles Archdiocese
    • The Los Angeles Archdiocese has announced that it was lifting from its parishioners the obligation of attending Sunday Mass for the next three weeks
    • Easter Mass is still scheduled at this time
  • Commencement, May 11, 2020
    • Still scheduled at this time
    • Check the Commencement web page for updates

If you do not see your event listed, please be sure to contact the department faculty/staff member coordinating the event. 

Sincerely,
Stephanie Cubba, DPA
Vice President of Institutional Advancement


Published on 03/11/20

Dear Mount community,

The safety and wellbeing of our community is our most important priority. While we are thankful that there have been no suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) on either of our campuses, we remain diligent about assessing our response and proactively determining the best options for our community. I want to thank you for your patience and understanding as this situation continues to evolve.

In consultation with public health officials, university leadership has made the following decisions in an effort to limit the exposure risk to COVID-19 and protect our students, staff and faculty: 

  • Between Saturday, March 14 and Friday, April 3, classes will move to an online format. Departments and individual professors will be in touch with instructions for their courses moving forward. During this time, we will reevaluate our options and determine a plan for the rest of the semester.
  • The University will remain open and all operations will continue – including dining services, Student Affairs and Student Health Services.
  • Residence halls will remain open, but students are encouraged to return to their personal residences, if possible, during this time of online instruction.
  • If there are circumstances that limit a student’s ability to study from home including access to Wi-Fi, they are invited to work on campus as libraries and facilities will be open.
  • We are reassessing all public events from now until April 3 to determine whether they will be postponed, cancelled or moved online.
  • As I previously informed you, three spring travel trips – including our MBA trip to China, a psychology course trip to Japan, and our student scholarship trip to France – have all been postponed. We required that a Mount student studying in Italy return to the United States and are continuing to monitor the situation in other countries where our students are studying this term.

According to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, the risk to the general public is considered low. Still, we have determined that these are the most prudent actions at this time. I want to reassure you that our Student Health Services staff is working closely with the Los Angeles Department of Public Health to ensure our community is taking the appropriate safety precautions. We will continue to monitor this situation as it changes and will provide you information on any new developments.

I understand that the uncertainty of this situation and the virus itself has caused anxiety. But I continue to be inspired by the resilience and perseverance our students, faculty and staff show in the face of challenges. I want to thank you for cooperation during this time. I also ask that you join me in praying for those around the world who have been affected by this disease.

Warm regards,
Dr. Ann McElaney-Johnson


 

Dear Mount Students,
 
Student Health Services is committed to the health and safety of our entire campus community.  Beginning today, Student Health Services will no longer be accepting WALK-IN visits.  All visits must be scheduled with an appointment for any need, including illness, injury, routine exam, vaccines or request for over the counter medication.   When you phone to make your appointment you will be given an opportunity to explain your request and your appointment will be scheduled.  A sign will be posted on the front entrance of each health center office reminding you to call before entering.  Our professional staff is here to help you and guide you by offering needed medical testing or treatment.  Please don't forget to always practice respiratory etiquette and good hand-washing.  If you are home and sick, stay home and call us, we are here to help you.
 
Chalon Student Health Services   310-954-4110
Doheny Student Health Services  213-277-2685

Take care,
Student Health Services


Published on 03/10/20

Dear Mount Students,

As President McElaney-Johnson noted in her email on Tuesday, we want to keep you informed about the measures that Mount Saint Mary’s is taking to protect its students, staff and faculty. To that end, a COVID-19/Coronavirus Emergency Preparedness and Response team has been formed, with representatives from all areas across the University participating. We are establishing a community updates page on our website, for students, parents, alums, and visitors to our campuses. On that page you will be able to access current plans and updates on the status of the campuses as well as resources related to COVID-19 from local and federal experts.

We've already taken several precautions to protect our community, including:

  • Cleaning crews are using stronger cleaning solutions, and are wiping down high-touch public areas (public restrooms, cafeterias, conference rooms);
  • Shuttles are being wiped down before each use, and drivers have antiseptic wipes available to riders;
  • Additional hand sanitizers have been staged in the public areas of both campuses; and
  • Prevention education campaign continues for hand washing and respiratory hygiene.

The health of our entire community is a priority and we are developing plans to be prepared for any possible escalation of the disease in the Los Angeles area. We continue to monitor the situation carefully and will keep you informed about any additional measures that Mount Saint Mary’s University is taking to protect its students, staff, and faculty.

If you have any questions or thoughts, please feel free to share with myself or any members of the team.

Linda McMurdock, PhD
Vice President, Student Affairs
Chair, COVID-19/Coronavirus Emergency Response Team



Dear Mount Parents,

It is my pleasure to join the Mount Saint Mary’s community as the new Vice President for Student Affairs! Over the past two months, it has been such a pleasure to meet your students at the Chalon and Doheny campuses. I arrived from Virginia having previously lived in Los Angeles. It is nice to return to a warm winter. 

Given the new COVID-19/Coronavirus, you may be wondering how we are addressing preparedness on our campuses. As President McElaney-Johnson noted in her email on March 3, we want to keep you informed about the measures that Mount Saint Mary’s is taking to protect its students, staff and faculty. To that end, a COVID-19/Coronavirus Emergency Preparedness and Response team has been formed, with representatives from all areas across the University participating. We have established a community updates page on our website for students, parents, alums, and visitors to our campuses. On that page, you will be able to access current plans and updates on the status of the campus as well as resources related to COVID-19 from local and federal experts.  

The health of our entire community is a priority and we are developing plans to be prepared for any possible escalation of the disease in the Los Angeles area. We continue to monitor the situation carefully and will keep you informed about any additional measures that Mount Saint Mary’s University is taking to protect its students, staff, and faculty.

I look forward to meeting you at our parent and family events throughout the year.

Linda McMurdock, PhD
Vice President, Student Affairs


Published on 03/03/20

As concerns about the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) grow across the country, please know that we are continuing to monitor the situation carefully and will keep you informed about the measures that Mount Saint Mary’s University is taking to protect its students, staff, and faculty. At this time there are no known cases of the disease within the Mount community and the immediate risk to the general public in Los Angeles County remains low. Although there is no increased risk at this time, we take seriously any threat to the health and safety of our students and the community. To that end, we have taken the following precautionary measures: 

  • Receive guidance on a weekly basis from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) for the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (LADHS) through weekly teleconferences for college and university Student Health Center personnel. Student Health Services is prepared for an emergency response should that be warranted. The Office of Student Housing is prepared to follow the guidelines set by the LADHS should social isolation be needed.
  • In accordance with prevention education and awareness guidance from the LADHS, the Student Health Center has provided weekly COVID-19 preventive education email communications to the MSMU community and biweekly prevention education information postings to myMSMU. There are also posted COVID-19 prevention education fliers and hand sanitizer stations in high traffic areas on our campuses.
  • After careful consideration and out of an abundance of caution, we have decided to postpone three spring travel trips: our MBA trip to China, a psychology course trip to Japan, and our student scholarship trip to France. We will continue to monitor the State Department’s advisories on travel abroad and are working closely with all of our students who are currently studying outside of the country. At this time, we are requiring that a Mount student studying in Italy return to the United States and will continue to monitor the situation in other countries where our students are studying this term. 

If your student is experiencing symptoms including fever, coughing, or difficulty breathing, please contact or have them contact Student Health Services (Chalon: 310.954.4110; Doheny: 213.477.2685).

Student Health Services recommends that any student who is not feeling well stay home. Residential students should contact Residence Life staff if they need assistance. Students should contact their professors and their campus Deans if they will be missing any classes due to illness.

We have advised all members of the Mount Community to practice the following protocols as recommended by the CDC:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue. If you do not have a tissue, use your sleeve and not your hands.
  • Get a flu shot if you have not done so this season.

If your student is planning on traveling outside of the country during spring break, please check the State Department website for travel advisories from the CDC and U.S. Department of State.

For more information, please visit the following websites:

Center for Disease Control
Los Angeles County Department of Health

Our highest priority is the health and safety of our students. We will continue to monitor this situation and will update you with additional information.