Classes to go online for the rest of the semester due to COVID-19

Rose Wagner and Daniel Schwalm

Loyola has cancelled classes for the rest of the week and is planning to move all courses online for the rest of the semester starting Monday, March 16 to prevent the spread of COVID-19, according to an email from President Tania Tetlow.

The university said they reached the decision to go online after consulting with state and city officials about the spread of the virus. Classes are cancelled for Thursday and Friday “to give faculty time to finalize their preparations, and to give students time to pack and move out if they plan to leave,” according to the email.

Campus and student housing will remain open but all university events and in-person classes are cancelled. Staff are encouraged to work from home along with faculty who will lead online instruction.

“We will continue to keep campus housing open because we recognize that it will prove difficult for some of you to get home. But we encourage those who can to head home and work from there,” Tetlow said in the email.  “I cannot tell you how proud I am of our community for remaining calm, quickly solving problems and being there for each other. We are living through history here, and reacting in a way we’ll be proud of later.  However it is that you pray, please do. Pray for those who are sick around the world. Pray for all of us to get through the impacts of the disruption, particularly the most vulnerable among us. And pray for the health care workers and all of those who bravely care for us.”

Tetlow noted in the email that a faculty member and two undergraduate students had lunch at a journalism conference last week with someone who has since been diagnosed with COVID-19. The students live off campus and are currently self-isolating according to Tetlow.

Senior Vice President Sarah Kelly said in a follow-up email that students are encouraged but not required to go home.

Kelly said that while the Monroe Library and the University Sports Complex will remain open, many campus services will reduce hours and change operating procedures in the coming week.

“For example, beginning, Monday, March 16th, the Orleans Room will be the only on-campus dining option and will change to a grab-and-go format,” Kelly said.

Kelly also said that some students who stay on campus will likely have to move to different dorms.

“We anticipate the need to move students who are staying on campus to different rooms, perhaps even different residence halls, so that we can ensure the safety and comfort of our residential students in light of the possibility of a smaller staff presence,” Kelly said.

Associate Director of Residential Life Chris Rice said that room selection for on-campus housing next year will be delayed. Room selection had been scheduled to start Thursday, March 12. Rice said that a new room selection date and timeline will be announced in the next week.

Residential Life has assembled a list of frequently asked questions about the coronavirus as it relates to resident students.