Dear Seattle University Students,
We write to you during a very challenging time in our world’s history. The current situation with the coronavirus is unprecedented in our lifetimes and calls us all to care for ourselves and each other as we navigate these uncharted waters. While there are many questions and issues that need to be addressed, we want to communicate in this letter our strong commitment to you that our decisions will be guided by our Jesuit values which call for putting the well-being of our students first.
As we transition into a completely virtual quarter, Seattle University faculty and staff are committed to providing you a high-quality, deeply engaging and fully Jesuit education. They are equally committed to recognizing that our students are, in new ways, coming to their education from different contexts and with different challenges. We are supporting our faculty to deliver high-quality instruction and asking them to be flexible in accommodating your needs as a student. We are providing them tools and resources from our Center for Digital Learning and Innovation, Learning Assistance Programs, Disability Services and other offices to help them be successful doing this.
The university has heard from many of you that students need greater flexibility at this time. In response, the university is extending the spring quarter deadline for withdrawing from a course until June 8. Also, for both winter and spring quarters, students will have in some cases the opportunity to convert traditional letter grades to “credit/fail” (CR/F) and the university will provide a transcript notification indicating these special circumstances. More information regarding these changes is available on the University Registrar’s website.
The university has put in place new information and resources to guide and support you. These resources are collected together in the new Student Support Center in order to provide you one place where you can get your questions answered and be connected to the departments and services that can help with the problems and challenges you face. There are also multiple communications channels for you to connect with Student Support Center staff, including email, phone, Zoom and chat bot.
We recognize this is a stressful and challenging time for many students. If you are experiencing emotional or psychological challenges, we encourage you to contact our Campus Ministry and Counseling and Psychological Services through the support center. To continue to provide the holistic education and sense of community integral to Jesuit education, we are offering a range of online programs and activities complementing your academic studies. The virtual community Redhawks United provides a hub connecting you to other students, clubs and organizations, and activities such as online yoga classes, podcasts on stress reduction, and virtual museum visits. We encourage you to participate.
We recognize that for many, this pandemic is both a public health and an economic crisis. For those students who are experiencing economic hardship at this time, Seattle University has created an emergency student support fund. This fund is intended to support the funding of both educational and living expenses. Students in financial need are encouraged to email Student Financial Services. Because many of our students lack the technology needed to access our education, the Lemieux Library and Information Technology Services are loaning Chromebooks and mobile hotspots.
Seattle University supports your success in this challenging time. We encourage you to take advantage of the resources listed above. We are asking our faculty to identify students who are not engaging in their courses and academic advisors will reach out to those students to see if they can assist. We will also send you short surveys asking you to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your experience in this new environment. We encourage you to respond and commit to making the best use we can of your responses.
The road ahead will not always be easy, and we may see greater trials before we see resolutions. But we will get through this current situation together. The decisions we make today, the ways we treat each other, and the lessons we learn will pave the pathway to a new future for Seattle University and our world. We believe that our Redhawk community is ready to respond to the challenges and opportunities this present moment brings. We are here for you. Please let us know if there is anything you need.
Shane P. Martin
Vice President for Student Development