COVID-19 COMMUNICATIONS

March 23, 2020

Dear students and families,

We hope you are staying healthy and adjusting to the challenges posed by the ongoing COVID-19 situation. As our seniors and soon-to-be graduates near the end of their academic study at Mercyhurst, our thoughts begin to turn to spring commencement.

In normal times, we would mark this much-anticipated occasion with a host of celebrations on our Erie and North East campuses. Unfortunately, these are not normal times. Given the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, and the limitations it presents for travel and large gatherings, we will not be able to celebrate graduation with the ceremonies and events originally planned for early May.

We realize the disappointment this announcement entails for the Mercyhurst community, especially for our seniors and soon-to-be graduates. To the Class of 2020: please know that your achievements at Mercyhurst will not go unrecognized, and we appreciate your sacrifices and understanding as we work through this crisis together. You have all contributed greatly to the fabric of our community during your years at Mercyhurst, and you deserve the chance to be celebrated accordingly. Degrees will still be granted on time, as will the announcement of graduation award winners and other honorees.

Although we are still exploring possible dates and locations, please know that a graduation celebration will occur, and graduates and their families will be invited to attend. In addition, we will find creative ways for graduates and families unable to attend to participate fully in the celebrations wherever they may be.

Thank you for your understanding on this difficult matter. You have all demonstrated great strength and resilience in an uncertain time, and we look forward to honoring you as Mercyhurst graduates soon. On behalf of Mercyhurst, we wish you and your family safety and well-being in the weeks ahead.

Sincerely,

Leanne M. Roberts, Ph.D.
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs


March 23, 2020

Dear Residential Student:

Due to rapidly changing developments in the COVID-19 global situation, Mercyhurst University has currently transitioned to remote campus operation. Our campuses are currently closed to all persons, with exception of a limited number of essential employees per an order from Governor Wolf's office. Per a directive from the Erie County Department of Health, residential students who were on campus as of Wednesday, March 18th were instructed to quarantine in-place through Saturday, March 21st. As a result of this order, students who had indicated that they were intending on returning for their belongings were instructed to wait until further notice.

We understand that many students would like to return to gather their belongings. Please know that there is no urgency to come and get your belongings at this time. We will safeguard your items in your current residential space until conditions regarding COVID-19 are more stable. In order to best be able to assist our students, but also ensure the safety of our campus community (and respect Social Distancing), we are asking that all students complete the following form:

1. Click the: Housing and Meal Plan Portal,

2. Check-out and Belonging Status (required) form found under Housing Forms.

Regardless as to whether you have already gathered your belongings, we ask that you complete this form so that we can best communicate with you moving forward. If you can, please complete this form by Monday, March 30th.

We will use the above form to best assist our students in claiming their belongings. Please be aware, that at the time of this communication, an order to shelter-in-place has not been ordered for Erie County or the Mercyhurst University community. Should such an order be put in place, all prior arrangements and approvals to return to campus will be placed on hold until the shelter-in-place order has been lifted.

We understand that this is an extremely stressful and anxiety provoking time. We thank you for your patience. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you should have any questions. We do hope that you and your family are keeping safe.

Sincerely,

Residence Life


March 23, 2020

Dear Students,

I’m writing first to tell you that our thoughts are with you and your families and to reassure you that we are working every day to build ways to keep our Mercyhurst family supported and connected during the time we can’t be together on our beloved campuses. No one has prior experience with what we’re currently navigating; however I assure you that we are ready to walk this path, together with you, to finish out the spring 2020 semester. 

I am inspired by the ways our faculty and support staff have come together to keep teaching and providing services despite the world events and the geographic and social distances that are now part of our daily lives. I want you to know that we are aware that all our students are facing unique challenges as they adjust to different kinds of home, school, and work situations. Some students may not have access to technology or internet service that will support some of the online work; others may need to provide support to their families as they cope with changes in work and home life routines. Your instructors stand ready to meet you where you are in this unexpected journey. If you are experiencing any difficulties with your courses, communicate that to them. In addition to your faculty, Mercyhurst has an entire team, the backbone of our student support services, that is ready to assist and support you.

It is essential that we work as a team to stay connected. Whether it is within a course or in regard to scheduling or a support service, we are asking that you reach out to usand expect that you will be hearing from members of the Mercyhurst team on a regular basis.

In addition to the communication coming from your faculty members, all academic support and services information is available to you through the Mercyhurst HUB.  Your academic counselors, library, writing center, and tutoring center personnel are now only a video office visit, an email, or a phone call away.  In addition, if you are having challenges specifically with connectivity to support online access to courses, we have designed a system and put a team in place to assist. Simply submit this connectivity form. If you cannot access the form, please email one of your faculty members and/or Associate Provost Andrea Barnett (abarnett@mercyhurst.edu). 

As part of the Mercyhurst family, know that the Sisters of Mercy are with us as we face this challenge together. Their courage and resilience gave life to our university, and their abiding faith in the transformative power of compassion stands as a beacon that will see us through to the other side of this challenge.  In the meantime, know that your faculty, administrators, staff, and fellow Lakers and Saints stand with you in love and hope. All of us, our families, loved ones and our Mercyhurst community will come through, stronger than ever.  

With deepest regards,

Dr. Roberts

Leanne M. Roberts, Ph.D.
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs