Dear Salve Regina community,
My thoughts and prayers are with you all as we witness the unfolding of this global crisis. As you know, the landscape is changing daily. Given these uncertainties, and out of interest for the safety of our community, the University will be extending plans for remote learning for all students until the end of the spring semester. Faculty will be reaching out by March 25 regarding their courses.
This announcement was probably anticipated, but that doesn’t diminish its emotional impact. As you read this, many concerns and questions are most likely forming in your minds. I wanted to make you aware of this decision prior to the end of the extended break to address a few key questions that I know are of deep concern to our students and families. Full answers may not be available at this time, but more details will be provided in the coming days.
Commencement and Senior Week
Based on the information we are receiving from the Rhode Island Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Salve Regina has no choice but to postpone Commencement and cancel Senior Week activities. The University has cancelled all events with more than 10 people through the end of the semester and the Commencement Ball has recently been cancelled by the host hotel.
I speak for the entire community when I tell you that our hearts go out to the Class of 2020 and those who expected to proudly celebrate with them in May. We will honor your accomplishments during the months ahead, and you will have a Commencement. As details for the new date become available we will share them with you so that you and your families have time to prepare for this delayed, but nonetheless momentous and joyful occasion.
This decision has altered the University’s previously communicated message regarding prorated refunds or credit for room and board. Because students will not be returning to campus for the remaining days of the spring semester, we have begun an analysis of billable student charges for this period. Students and their families will receive more information soon regarding the distribution of prorated refunds. I want to thank you for your understanding and flexibility as the process and protocols are determined.
Retrieving Personal Items
Students will be able to retrieve their personal belongings by appointment beginning March 25. Please do not attempt to pick up your belongings over the weekend as staff is extremely limited at this time.
The Office of Residence Life will be communicating how to schedule your pick-up date separately early next week. Students will also have the choice of keeping belongings on campus through the semester. The options provided for the retrieval of personal belongings were developed to comply with public health guidelines and Salve Regina’s pandemic protocols.
As we move to a more remote learning environment, Salve Regina faculty and staff have been hard at work to ensure that you will feel as connected as possible to your university community through your coursework and your co-curricular experiences. We will be announcing many virtual programs and activities as we transition to the new environment on March 30.
Be assured that you will be receiving regular communication throughout the semester and information will be added to the website when it becomes available.
Although these changes are challenging and stressful, let us never forget that we are one community - one Salve. I am so encouraged by the many acts of kindness and generosity I have witnessed during this crisis. As always, we will lead with mercy and never lose sight of what is truly important.
Our heartfelt prayers are with our neighbors who are suffering from this global pandemic. Please be safe and healthy, Salve Regina.
God bless you all,
Kelli J. Armstrong, Ph.D.