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Updates on Remote Learning and Student Services

March 20, 2020

To: Holy Cross Students

Dear Holy Cross Students,

We wanted to update you on all the preparations the faculty and staff are making to ensure the transition to remote learning next week proceeds as smoothly as possible. As a start, we have gathered information about various student support offices and resources in one place to make it easy to find what you need. We have highlighted some resources for you below as well. 

PREPARING FOR CLASSES NEXT WEEK

Please know that faculty are working hard to transfer their courses to distance learning formats. We strongly encourage you to continue to check your Holy Cross email account several times each day. Additionally, the Class Deans have prepared some strategies for distance learning to help you get ready for classes next week and beyond. 

Dean Michele Murray will host a virtual Dean’s Forum at 4 p.m. on Thursday, March 26. She will be joined by Kelly Saintelus, Director of Academic Services and Learning Resources, and several of your peers for an interactive discussion of tips and tools for achieving success in our new academic environment.

ACADEMIC RESOURCES

We have already moved many of our academic and learning resources online. Some updates:

IT ISSUES AND RESOURCES

  • Please send your technology questions to helpdesk-request@holycross.edu
  • If you do not have a laptop, please email Mariel Aleman (maleman@holycross.edu) to discuss further. A limited number of chromebook laptops will be made available on a temporary loan basis for students with financial constraints.
  • If you do not have access to broadband internet at home, please check to see if you are eligible and able to get access for free for 60 days through Charter/Spectrum, or Comcast. A very limited number of wifi hotspots will be made available on a loan basis for students with financial constraints - please contact Mariel Aleman for this as well.
  • Please be on the lookout for information from the Help Desk regarding training sessions for students on systems, such as Google Meet, Zoom, and accessing software.


SUPPORT FOR STUDENTS

We recognize that this is a stressful time for many of our students. Here are some resources that might be helpful for you:

  • Counseling Center: In response to COVID-19 and the rapidly changing guidelines regarding management of it, the Counseling Center has adjusted its available services.
  • An on-call crisis counselor is available by telephone to any currently enrolled student 24/7 by calling 855-418-7282.
  • The Counseling Center will offer consultation throughout the semester to assist students and families in navigating how to access proximal therapeutic supports. In order to access consultation through the Counseling Center, please call 508-793-3363.
  • The Chaplains office is planning some online retreats, group conversation opportunities, and online individual spiritual direction and pastoral care. More info to come shortly.
  • Campus Recreation will share updates on virtual intramurals (eSports) and live- streamed Zumba and Yoga classes in the near future. 
  • The Office of Multicultural Education (OME) staff are available for online appointments (see the OME section here).


HEALTH SERVICES

Starting March 23, Health Services will be open in a limited capacity to support students who have been cleared to stay on campus. Our hours will be reduced to Mon to Fri from 9 am to 12 pm & 1 pm to 4 pm, to allow for daily disinfecting of exam rooms. Please note:

  • No online appointments or walk in appointments, you must call first- 508-793-2276
  • Off-campus students may call for consultation if a Primary Care or in-person medical facility is not available to you
  • If the office is closed, students should call the on call physician for any non-emergency medical questions (508-334-8830) and DPS for medical emergencies (508-793-2222)
  • Please note: We are requesting students who have departed campus to inform us if you test positive for COVID-19. Please email Kelsey DeVoe, Director of Health Services, at krdevoe@holycross.edu immediately. 


PUBLIC SAFETY

The Department of Public Safety remains open on a 24-hour basis. Please call DPS if you need assistance at any time. 

  • Emergencies: 508-793-2222
  • Non-emergency: 508-793-2224
  • Off-campus: 911


STUDENTS IN THE LOCAL AREA

Please note that students who are in the local area, including those in private housing off-campus, are not permitted to be on campus for any reason. We are focused on the safety and well being of all our students, faculty, staff and Jesuits who reside on campus. Reducing the number of individuals physically coming to the campus is our key strategy to protect the safety of all. 


POLICY QUESTIONS UNDER CONSIDERATION

We are aware that there are a number of policy and practice questions that will need to be addressed in the near future as we transition to distance learning. We are discussing and will be announcing the College’s approach to partial reimbursement of certain fees and housing expenses by March 31st. Additionally, many members of our campus community have questions about a host of academic policies & processes, and we are discussing these topics within the College’s governance structures. We will provide updates as soon as possible. 

We want to conclude by acknowledging that these are extraordinary and challenging times. We encourage you to practice self care, to be patient with yourself and generous with others, and to be open to these new ways of learning and interacting. We are confident that together we will overcome the challenges ahead and continue to support one another as a community. 


Best to you,

Margaret Freije, Provost and Dean of the College
Michele Murray, VP for Student Affairs and Dean of Students