Siena Heights News

FAQs About SHU and Coronavirus



Will classes continue this semester?
Yes. All your classes are being transitioned into a remote/distance learning mode. All previous online classes will continue as usual.

How long will classes be remote?
The shift to remote/distance learning coursework is effective on March 16 and will continue until the end of the winter semester on May 1, 2020.

I’m supposed to graduate. Will that still happen?
Students who complete their work will graduate on schedule.

Will I get a partial refund for tuition and fees?
No. There will be no financial credit provided for tuition and fees since faculty instruction and services continue on a remote basis.

Will we still have Commencement?
Commencement ceremonies scheduled for May 2-3 on the Adrian campus have been postponed at this time. All other commencement related events have been cancelled or postponed as well. These include: Honors Convocation, Torch Night, Pinning Ceremony, Kente Ceremony, and Baccalaureate Mass. More information will be forthcoming on any rescheduling of 2020 commencement exercises. The bookstore will process refunds on regalia if needed.

I'm supposed to complete my student teaching, clinical rotations, internship, senior recital, research project etc. What do I do?
Many programs have unique requirements like this. You will hear from faculty in your department regarding how students will be able to satisfy these expectations.

How will my class be taught online?
We are aware that moving some classes to an online format will be challenging, and we recognize those challenges. Please be patient with your faculty as they transfer their curriculum into an online format. Each instructor will communicate their expectations directly with you via email and/or through your Canvas site. Due to the great variety of kinds of classes there will be some variation in the ways that instructors approach remote/distance learning. Some faculty may choose to hold classes through a video link during the normally scheduled time and day for your class. Others may choose to upload recorded content/digital presentations and or assign readings or projects via email or Canvas that you can review outside the originally scheduled class times. Your instructors are designing their distance learning models to ensure that you meet the intended learning outcomes for their courses.

I am a commuter student. Can’t I just come to class still?
No. The instructors will be moving instruction to a remote/distance learning format and will not be able to deliver the curriculum in both an on-ground and online format.

I’ve never taken an online course and I’m worried about it.
We understand that you might be apprehensive about taking an online class. Your instructors are working diligently to make this transition as smooth as possible. Please be patient as there will be hurdles during this time.

How can I access specialized software or get Information Technology assistance?
If you are experiencing any difficulties with access to Canvas or if you need assistance with computer and/or technology resources, please visit Computers can be found in the Ledwidge Hall lobby area and on the third floor of Dominican Hall.

I do not have a personal computer or laptop. How will I be able to take classes online?
Computers can be found in the Ledwidge Hall lobby area and on the third floor of Dominican Hall. If that is not an option, please email or call the IT helpdesk at or (517) 264-7655 to let us know your situation.

Are labs open?
If you are engaged in individual research, please contact your faculty supervisor to discuss options.

What if I need to get library resources from off campus?
Students who have reference questions can email Melissa Sissen at Inter-library loans and sharing of materials are at a standstill. Students should utilize what they can find in SHU databases and online search resources such as Google Scholar for their research and papers.

Is the bookstore open?
No, the bookstore is currently closed along with campus.

How do I return my textbook rentals to the bookstore?
Use the prepaid return shipping label available on the bookstore's website. Visit the "rental returns" page to start your textbook rental return. Fill in the order number and email address that the rental is under. You can print it as often as you like, but you can only use it once. If you are returning multiple books, please put them in one box and use one shipping label. Please email the bookstore with any questions at

Are Career Services available?
SHU Career Services will be maintaining all student appointments previously scheduled, as well as future appointments scheduled by phone. Those who would like to schedule an appointment, please click here. Make sure to include your number when scheduling an appointment.

Are advising services available? 
As of Monday morning, March 16, faculty and advisors will only be on campus in a limited capacity as they have been asked to work remotely. Your individual academic advisor will reach out to you soon with additional information. Advising will continue in a virtual format and may be conducted over email, phone, or by video. The last day to withdraw from Winter 2020, 16-week classes, is March 27, 2020. If you have questions or concerns contact the Director of Advising, Ashley Wisniewski, at

Are Writing Center services available?
Yes. The SHU Writing Center will offer online writing support for the rest of the semester. Visit the Writing Center website to learn more about the new online procedures and to schedule an appointment with a peer writing consultant. The Writing Center will do its best to continue supporting students, and asks for patience and understanding while adapting to this new situation.

Center will do its best to continue supporting students, and asks for patience and understanding while adapting to this new situation.

Residential Life:

Are residence halls open?
No. In support of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s “stay home, stay safe” announcement Siena Heights will be closing University housing on the Adrian campus at midnight Monday, March 23, 2020. Exterior doors will remain locked and secured. If you are still on campus you will need to go home – take your belongings if you are able. More information is available here.

Will I get a partial refund for room and board?
Students who hold a room and board contract and have not remained on campus will receive a prorated housing and meal plan credit to your student account for the time period of Monday, March 24, 2020 through May 1, 2020.

Students who remain on campus during this time and continue to live in University housing will not be eligible for the credit. 

The prorated room and board credit will be applied to any outstanding 2019-20 balances following the room and board proration.

Any remaining room and board credit will be distributed to eligible students as a monetary refund through the student’s BankMobile refund preference to be honored on or before June 30, 2020.

Are meals available to students remaining on campus?
No. Grab-and-go dining will end after dinner on March 23.

Are Counseling and Health Services available on campus?
No, campus is closed. However, counseling is available to students remotely or referrals can be given for your home area by contacting the university counselor, Sandy Morley, at

Is the Office of Accessibility available? 
No, campus is closed. However, the Office of Accessibility has created a resource page for accommodations in a distance-learning environment at Appointments can still be made at, but will be held remotely (phone or Zoom). For any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to Cody Mathis at

Student Life:

Are athletic events cancelled?
Yes. As of March 13, all winter and spring sports have been cancelled per the WHAC. No practices or games will be conducted. All athletics will resume no sooner than August 1, 2020. Spencer Athletic Complex and the Fieldhouse are closed. Coaches do not have any expectation that students stay on campus.

Is the University canceling or postponing any on-campus events currently?
Yes. Siena Heights University is cancelling the following on-campus events:

  • 3/17/20 – Women’s History Month Film Screening - Iron Jawed Angels
  • 3/18/20 - Adrian Campus Grad Fair
  • 3/18/20 - Pizza & Politics
  • 3/19/20 - Legacy Series Lecture
  • 3/19/20 - Celebration of Adolescent Literature
  • 3/19/20 - Literacy Series Lecture - Tony Gawano and Pat Irwin
  • 3/20/20 - Sisterhood of Saints Lock-In with Adrian Dominican Sisters
  • 3/20/20 – High School Band Day
  • 3/20/20 - Robotics Completion
  • 3/20/20 - Hispanic Latino Event
  • 3/22 & 3/29/20 - Volleyball Fundraiser
  • 3/24/20 - Love Simon Screening
  • 3/25/20 - Issa Lecture with John Foley
  • 3/25/20 - Jackson Campus Grad Fair
  • 3/25/20 - St. Catherine Day of Giving - Postponed to 4/29/20
  • 3/27/20 - Sibs & Kids Weekend
  • 4/1/20 - Animal Magic
  • 4/2/20 - Southfield Campus Grad Fair
  • 4/3/20 - Dinner Theater - Rescheduled for 04/25/20
  • 4/2-4/20 - Theatre Production of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder - Postponed to 4/23-25/20
  • 4/3/20 - Great Lakes Philosophy Conference
  • 4/8/20 - Lansing Campus Grad Fair
  • 5/2-3/20 - Commencement Ceremonies Have Been Postponed - TBA 
  • Siena Scholarship Spectacular Golf Outing and Dinner/Auction
  • Theater Rehearsals
  • Environmental Series Lectures (Wednesdays)
  • Deb Ray Private Lessons
  • Student Government Meetings
  • Senior Art Gallery Receptions
  • Spring Phonathon


Should employees report to work?

In compliance with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Executive Order No. 2020-21, Siena Heights will only permit those employees who, “are necessary to sustain or protect life or to conduct minimum basic operations” to perform work on campus effective immediately. Only the following offices/personnel will be permitted on campus to perform limited essential functions using modified work schedules and ensuring social distancing while on campus (maintain 6-foot distance between staff at all times): 

  1. Public Safety Staff:  As Determined by the Chief Public Safety Officer.
  2. Maintenance/Custodial: Modified schedule as developed and communicated by the Associate VP of Facilities.
  3. Residence Life Staff: Modified schedule/on-call as developed and communicated by Director of Residence Life.
  4. IT Staff: Modified/on-call schedule as developed and communicated by the CIO.
  5. HR Staff: Remote Work, besides once per week for payroll processing.
  6. Mail Services Staff: Reduced to once per week (TBD).

All other University employees will continue to work remotely with guidance from their direct supervisors. We appreciate the flexibility and work ethic of our Siena community during this unprecedented time.

What if I need to visit campus to pick up files or materials?
Employees who need to return to the Adrian campus to pick up necessary files, materials, etc. should first do the following:

  • Contact your ECA member to get their approval to come on campus.
  • Contact Public Safety at 517-264-7799 to make sure you have access to the necessary building.

What if I need to pick up my campus snail mail?
The University Mailroom has suspended all departmental deliveries until further notice. The Mailroom will be open for department scheduled pickups and mail dropoffs on Wednesdays. Those who do not know your scheduled pick-up/drop-off time, please contact Robin Rumler at 264-7209 or to schedule.

How do I access voice mail? 
Voice mail is accessible from off-campus by dialing (517) 264-7575. You will need to know your extension and voicemail password. Those who do not remember your voicemail password please contact IT and they can help reset it.

Are employees allowed to continue business travel?
No. All business travel, incoming and outgoing, has been canceled unless approved.

Health and Wellness Guidelines:

What is Covid-19?
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a new coronavirus that was first detected in Wuhan, China, late last year. It is not the same as the coronaviruses that cause the common cold, or the viruses that cause seasonal influenza.

What are the symptoms of Covid-19?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness and a dry cough. Confirmed cases have ranged from mild infections to severe illnesses requiring hospitalization. The WHO notes that about 80% of those who are infected recover without requiring specialized treatment.

How does Covid-19 spread?
Experts are still learning about COVID-19, but the virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes being within approximately 6 feet of someone with the illness for a prolonged period of time or having direct contact with infectious secretions (such as being coughed on) are the most common ways the infection is spread. It is possible the virus can be spread from contact with infected surfaces, but CDC says this is not the main way the virus spreads.

What can I do to protect myself?
The CDC recommends people take the same preventative actions they would for any respiratory disease.

Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. 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. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe. There is currently no vaccine to protect against COVID-19, though researchers are working to develop one.

Will wearing a facemask protect me?
The CDC and WHO do not recommend healthy people wear a face mask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19. However, if you are sick from any respiratory illness, wearing a mask may help keep you from spreading your illness to others.

What should I do if I feel sick?
We are currently in cold and flu season, and influenza is still high in the United States. Keep in mind the prevalence of those illnesses is currently much higher than COVID-19. However, if you develop a fever and symptoms such as cough or difficulty breathing, and have been in regular, close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or if you have recently traveled to an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19, the CDC advises you call ahead to your healthcare professional. You can also contact Sr. Sharon Spanbauer, OP, in the Health Services Office by phone at (517) 264-7190.

What is the University doing in response to Covid-19?
The health and safety of our campus community is our top priority. While there are no cases of COVID-19 at or associated with Siena Heights University, the University has decided to take proactive measures, including suspending all face-to-face on-campus instruction and continuing with remote format through the rest of the winter semester that ends May 1, 2020. Siena Heights University continues to monitor the situation and is working closely with the Michigan Governor’s Office, Michigan Department of Health and the Lenawee County Health Department, as well as following the guidance of the CDC and WHO. A University task force is meeting regularly to review the latest developments and has created plans for dealing with a variety of potential scenarios.

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