Message to the Campus Community: Spring Semester 2021

October 19, 2020 BK LI

Our fall semester is going very well, and despite the challenges of the pandemic, St. Joseph’s College remains strong and vibrant. I know that when we are past the current obstacles that confront us, we will have gained much — not only new insights to assist us in dealing with future problems, but also the confidence to know that we can overcome even the most difficult situations.

It is, important, however, that we are prepared for the coming months with the pandemic showing little sign of easing, as evidenced by the numerous spikes and outbreaks we are seeing across the country. Sadly, students, faculty and staff at many colleges and universities have suffered significantly, despite their best intentions. Some have experienced major outbreaks on their respective campuses, and even had to close or greatly modify their operations due to the virus. That said, St. Joseph’s College has implemented numerous health and safety measures to help protect us during this time, which have been quite successful to date. One of those steps was our decision to offer a variety of modalities for teaching and learning this semester that include a mix of remote, hybrid and on-ground options to our students and faculty. Due to the ongoing persistence of this virus, we have decided to take a similar course for the coming spring semester. We do this not only to protect the health of our community, but also because we wish to ensure that our academic endeavors remain uninterrupted by the chaos which could be brought on by attempting to reinstate fully on-ground instruction prematurely.

Our continued efforts to protect the health and safety of our community, which follows the model of many other colleges and universities across the nation, will also include modifying the schedule of our spring semester, as seen below:

Classes will now begin on January 28, 2021:

  • We are extending our winter break by one week and starting our spring semester one week later than originally planned;
  • The first day of GMS courses will move from January 20 to January 27;
  • In addition, Spring Break, which was scheduled for the week of March 15 through March 19, will be cancelled this year; instead, classes will be held during that week.

This important step is being taken to mitigate the potential threat that traveling presents during this dangerous time, and also lower the risks for infection at both our Brooklyn and Long Island campuses. Please note that the College will still observe Easter Recess (Thursday, April 1 and Friday, April 2.) All other holidays previously scheduled for the spring semester will be observed as originally planned.

The continued good health of our entire SJC family is of the utmost importance and concern to us. The SJC community has shown great resolve and care for one another by carefully observing our implemented health and safety protocols these past few months, which is a testament to our ability to live the College mission of “to be, not to seem.” All of you have been true to our mission and traditions as a school founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph, and it's for this reason, along with laying the groundwork for a safe campus environment in the coming months, that I am quite confident our spring 2021 semester will be just as successful as our 2020 summer and fall terms. God bless all of you, and I wish you the very best in your work this semester!