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COVID-19 Resources

Message from University administration to students

 

Previous updates and messages to the University community and links to CDC tips for cold and flu prevention and Ohio Department of Health, CDC and World Health Organization information on the coronavirus can be found here.

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March 15, 2020

To the Flyer Student Community,

We hope that you, your family, and loved ones are well and that you all remain healthy.

Upon the guidance of public health officials, we made important, urgent decisions on Tuesday that turned all of our lives upside down. Today, we take a few moments to share thoughts with you about “where we are” at this moment and what the future might bring. No big news or decisions in this letter, just a chance for us to communicate in a more relaxed manner away from the heart of the crisis.

First, let us state unequivocally that it pained all of us on the administrative team to ask students to leave campus in the middle of the semester. You are why we, the faculty and the staff, are here at UD and why we take such joy in our vocations.

As we have all come to realize, this is a true public health emergency that has required colleges and universities, not just UD, to take extraordinary measures. After Tuesday’s afternoon briefings with Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and state and county public health officials, we knew we had to move quickly for the health of our campus community and for the broader public good.  As you no doubt have read or heard over the past few days, aggressive interventions that support social distancing are the only way to “flatten” the infection curve because the coronavirus can be spread very readily by people who don’t yet display any symptoms.

We hope and pray that this public health emergency will recede, allowing us to begin in-person classes again, but at this point we do not know what next week will bring, much less three weeks from now.  Public health experts will need to evaluate how the pandemic curve is affected by the steps institutions, organizations, and individuals are taking.  We are checking in with them regularly and, ultimately, they will inform us about next steps.

We are especially empathetic toward seniors, understanding how important this last semester is for all of you. No one wants to end the semester with an empty campus, and many of us would join you and your fellow classmates in tears if that happened.  We plan to hold off on any significant decisions as long as we can and allow public health officials to guide us about a date when students can return to campus.  If it needs to be pushed back, please rest assured that we will strategize as best as possible to minimize the additional lost time and do whatever we can to preserve as much of the semester as possible. If the worst case becomes a reality and commencement cannot occur in May as planned, we will try to find a future date to gather the seniors back on campus for a graduation celebration.  It would be disingenuous if we told you we have all the answers, though, as these are unparalleled times in our nation’s history. What we can promise is that we will be thoughtful as we prioritize health and safety and as we work to be true to the values and identity of the University of Dayton.

We close with a special note of gratitude to you as well as the faculty and staff.  Your agility and willingness to sacrifice for the good of the UD community and the broader common good are highly commendable. We have heard very few complaints over these past few days as people have recognized the unprecedented nature of this crisis and simply found ways to “pitch in” to keep our community safe and enable us to continue fulfilling our mission. We will continue to post all updates on our website.

As we confront this public health crisis and the challenges it presents, we are confident that the University and its people can navigate through these times with faith, hope, and the kind of tenacity our Marianist founders showed when they built our beloved university.  Let us pray for those affected by the pandemic as well as our UD community — and that we can come back together in April.  We urge you to stay healthy and offer blessings to each of you and your families. 

Best wishes,
President Spina, Provost Benson, Vice President for Student Development Fischer, and the entire UD administrative team