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November 11 Message from the Office of the President

Mercy College seal

 

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff, 

Since the start of the fall term, we have worked together to take the necessary steps to ensure the health and safety of our community.  These efforts have kept the COVID-19 infection rate low within the Mercy community. However, infection rates in our region have climbed steadily over the past two months and models currently project a continued increase around the country through the end of the year.  

In order to mitigate the risk and spread of COVID-19, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced last week that all State University of New York (SUNY) colleges and universities will shift to remote learning from Thanksgiving through the end of the fall term.  On Friday, November 6, 2020, the Governor requested that private colleges and universities similarly reevaluate their plans for the period after Thanksgiving. Out of an abundance of caution, Mercy has decided to proactively implement the following modifications to the fall 2020 reopening plan

  • Some in-person and blended courses will move fully online after Thanksgiving.
  • Residential students will be encouraged to remain at home for the remainder of the term after Thanksgiving break if they do not have obligations or other needs to be on campus.
  • Some on-campus services and activities will be suspended or moved completely online.
  • Many staff will continue to report to campus to provide services to students, faculty and staff, as well as to maintain core College functions. 

Classes

Effective November 30, 2020, courses will continue in the following manner through the end of the fall

2020 term (and through at least January 20, 2021 for the winter 2020 quarter):

Course Type

Post-Thanksgiving Plan

In-person (red)

Some courses will continue in-person while others will move to remote learning*

Blended (blue)

Move to remote learning (with limited exceptions as approved by the School Dean)*

Online (green)

Continue remote learning

*Students in these course types will be advised by their faculty members of any changes. 

Post-Thanksgiving On‐Campus Activities

Mercy plans to continue to operate the services necessary to support students living or taking classes on‐campus, as well as students taking classes remotely who need on‐campus services.  Effective Monday, November 30, 2020 through the end of the fall term, the following services will be permitted on‐campus  

  • The Library will be available for studying, Wi‐Fi, loaner laptops at all campuses.
  • Use of laboratory and studio facilities will be available based on available scheduling. 
  • Hudson View Café and Starbucks on the Dobbs Ferry Campus will continue to operate with modified hours. 
  • Food service at the Manhattan Campus will remain open with modified hours. 
  • Hudson Hall Fitness Center and Victory Gym will operate at further reduced occupancy and with modified hours. To make a reservation click here.
  • Mav Market Food Pantry will be available by appointment, click here.
  • Student Support Offices including PACT, Financial Aid, Student Accounts and Tutoring will continue to be available in-person or virtually, click here.
  • IT Helpdesk will be available at helpdesk@mercy.edu or (914) 674-7526.
  • Student Health Office will remain open.  Appointments required.  To schedule an appointment, please call (914) 674-7255, email HealthOffice@mercy.edu or log onto the student health portal here.  
  • Inter‐campus transportation will continue to operate and will be evaluated for the duration of the fall term based on usage.  Please note that transportation will be suspended during the Thanksgiving break from Thursday, November 26, 2020 through Sunday, November 29, 2020. 

Effective Monday, November 30, 2020 through the end of the fall term, the following services and activities will be moved completely online:

  • Student Life activities will be online only. To explore opportunities and sign up, click here.
  • Career and Professional Development will remain available by appointment, click here.
  • Student Counseling Center will be available online only. To schedule an appointment or for general inquiries, please call (914) 888-5150 or email counselingcenter@mercy.edu.
  • Bookstore is available for pick‐up or online only with modified hours. 

Effective Monday, November 30, 2020 through the end of the fall term, the following services and activities will be suspended:

  • Food service at the Bronx Campus Cafe and at Victory Café at the Dobb Ferry Campus will be suspended.
  • Meetings and events of more than 15 people are suspended (except with approval by the President or Provost).
  • The Speech and Hearing Clinic hours are suspended. 

Residential Life

The College’s residential programs in Dobbs Ferry and Manhattan will continue to operate, but students are encouraged to depart at Thanksgiving and complete the term remotely. Exceptions will be made for students who will be taking in‐person classes, international students and students for whom such a departure would be a hardship. 

For students who will not be returning to campus after Thanksgiving, their housing and meal plans will be prorated from November 29, 2020 through the end of the term; the value may be credited toward housing and meal plans for spring 2021.  (Seniors graduating this fall will receive a credit toward their fall balance). Residential students will be invited to join a town hall scheduled for Thursday, November 12, 2020. Please contact the Office of Residential Life at residentiallife@mercy.edu with any questions. 

Testing and Quarantine

Before and after the Thanksgiving break, the College will continue its program of weekly surveillance testing of randomly selected students, faculty and staff who are regularly on campus.  In addition, the College will test all residential students prior to their departure for and return from the Thanksgiving and winter breaks. Residential students who are approved to return to campus after Thanksgiving will be required to comply with the New York State travel restrictions, including relevant quarantine rules.  

Staffing

Mercy’s on‐campus offices will continue to be staffed in a manner that ensures the College is able to deliver the in‐person services required for those students, faculty and staff who come to campus, as well as to maintain core College functions. Staff reporting to campus should continue to adhere to the protocols outlined in the Fall 2020 Reopening Plan and Return to Work Guide.

Thank you again for all of your hard work and commitment over the last several months in helping to keep our community safe. We look forward to welcoming everyone back to campus in January after the holiday break.   

Sincerely, 

Tim Hall
President