COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

These are unprecedented times and we want you to know that Villanova is dedicated to providing important and timely updates on the coronavirus (COVID-19) as it relates to our campus community.

Since the situation is fluid and rapidly evolving, we continue to work diligently to keep our faculty, staff, students and their families informed through emails, this webpage and social media. The following FAQs were compiled to help answer questions from different areas at the University, and they will be reviewed and updated based on any new information.  


VILLANOVA & COVID-19

March 23, 2020

Dear Members of the Villanova Community,

Although I have several updates and announcements to share with you, I want to start by saying that you and your families and friends have continually been in my thoughts and prayers. My hope is that you are taking care of yourselves, physically, mentally and spiritually.

No one has been left untouched by COVID-19, and it is important—maybe more than ever—that we are here for one another. This past week has had an impact on us all, and I am grateful for everyone’s care, concern and flexibility. We have successfully moved classes online and are continuing to provide a Villanova education. While the transition wasn’t without its challenges, it highlights how Villanovans step up in times of trial. I continue to be inspired by the kindness of our community; grateful for the devotion of our faculty and staff and the perseverance of our students; and awed by the selfless efforts of everyone to keep Villanova moving forward.

The situation surrounding the COVID-19 virus in our country has continued to escalate, and, as promised, we have closely monitored the advice of experts. I was hopeful that some of the difficult decisions shared below would not be necessary, but, like all of you, I have watched the additional precautionary measures being taken by government, business, institutions and individuals to safeguard our country and communities. Given recent developments, it became clear that we cannot return to our normal routine as quickly as we all had hoped. Therefore, I feel it is best for our community that we take the following actions:

CLASSES and RESEARCH

  • Classes will remain online for the rest of the spring semester. Given the most recent updates from health experts, it is no longer advisable or safe for students to return to campus as I had hoped. The Bursar’s Office will be providing information regarding prorated refunds and credits for dining and housing. If you left any belongings in your residence halls, we will continue to safely store your items. The Office of Student Life will reach out soon with details regarding retrieval.
  • Faculty items related to teaching and research will be addressed in a separate communication from the Provost. In that communication, Provost Maggitti will address numerous questions and open issues specific to faculty.   

EVENTS and COMMENCEMENT

  • All events on campus are canceled for the spring semester. This does not include small internal meetings, during which social distancing guidelines should be followed. However, this cancelation does include Reunion 2020, which will likely be combined with Homecoming Weekend in October. The Office of University Advancement will be in contact soon to provide additional information.
  • I know this is particularly difficult for our graduating seniors and their families to hear, but Commencement cannot take place as originally planned. I promise you that on May 15, 2020, the day of your scheduled Commencement, I will confer your degrees via a live-streamed event. When it is safe to gather, we will honor you in person at Villanova. We are currently exploring dates and will share details with you as soon as the plans are finalized.  

FACULTY and STAFF

  • All employees, including graduate assistants, who can work remotely should continue to do so; employees who cannot work remotely should continue to check with their supervisor. Our full-time and part-time faculty and staff will receive their normal compensation and benefits for the foreseeable future. While we cannot predict the length of the current crisis or its economic ramifications, there may come a time when we need to reassess, but it is our hope—and plan—to weather this crisis together as a community.
  • The Office of Human Resources will send another communication soon with additional information for student, contract, temporary and casual employees.
  • For the time being, I am implementing a temporary hiring freeze. All verbal offers that have been extended will be honored. Beyond this, if you have urgent personnel needs, please contact your Dean or Vice President.

STUDENTS ON CAMPUS

  • This weekend, the Governor of Pennsylvania ordered the closure of all non-life-sustaining businesses. Let me assure you that the small number of students who remain on campus will be supported for as long as they are with us.  

Amid this unpleasant news, there are some bright spots. I have heard from numerous faculty members stating that “you can teach an old dog new tricks,” as many have embraced online instruction. The Career Center staff is available to assist students and alumni with their employment needs. This is true for all of the support offices on campus, whether it’s Learning Support Services, the Student Health Center, Student Life, Campus Ministry or the Counseling Center—our staff is available and ready to help. I also appreciate the staff members from Dining Services, Facilities Management, the Student Health Center, Public Safety and others who have continued to report to the campus to serve the vital needs of our remaining students. And, thank you for the countless notes from people sending prayers for our community. Please know how grateful I am to everyone for making the best out of a very stressful situation.

I am truly sorry that it has come to this point. Never could I have imagined the far-reaching and lasting impact COVID-19 would have. If anything, this whole situation is a good reminder for all of us. Going forward, let’s not take for granted the simple joy of an uneventful day or daily routines. Let us hope that we will soon be able to resume our normal activities. And let us come back stronger and more determined to live out our Augustinian values of VERITAS, UNITAS, CARITAS in everything we do. Throughout our history, Villanova has pulled through many difficult times, and we will do the same again. 

Let’s continue to be there for one another. Everyone is experiencing this—the anxiety, the uncertainty, the stress. Let’s make sure we are checking in on one another, helping those most vulnerable find resources—both physical and mental—and let us remember we are not alone. We are in this together, and together we will get through it. As Augustine reminds us:

Let’s not allow past things to hold us back from hearing about what lies ahead; let’s not allow our involvement in present events to prevent us from thinking about the future. Let us look forward to the things that are to come. Don’t let the sweetness or bitterness of the past hide the word of God from you. Don’t let your past or present prevent you from looking to the future. (Commentary on Psalm 66, 10)


Finally, a good friend shared a song with me by Forest Blakk and I want to share it with you.

Put Your Hands Up

If you need me or anyone at Villanova, please put your hand up, we will be there! And please continue to visit our website for updates regarding Villanova operations impacted by the coronavirus.

May God protect you and your families,

Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA
President

On March 19, the University was notified that one of its students tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19). This individual had not been on campus since Sunday, March 15, and is resting comfortably at home with mild symptoms. Since then, we have received notification that other students also at their homes have tested positive and are resting comfortably with mild symptoms. Due to privacy laws, there is no further information we can provide other than we are continuing to take proactive measures to support the small number of Villanovans still on campus and protect the health and well-being of our campus community.

As per protocols from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Pennsylvania Department of Health, close contacts of these students have been notified and advised to self-quarantine at home for 14 days and monitor for any symptoms, including fever higher than 100.4, cough and shortness of breath. Individuals who experience these symptoms have been advised to contact their primary care provider to be assessed for further evaluation as needed. Students still residing on campus should call the Student Health Center at 610-519-4070.

The University has been in close contact with the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Delaware County Department of Intercommunity Health, in addition to closely following  the most up-to-date guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Villanova’s emergency preparedness team has been meeting regularly since the end of January, carefully monitoring the spread of COVID-19 in the U.S. and abroad and making the necessary preparations to protect the health and well-being of our campus community.

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ACADEMICS

For Course Grading Options, please read the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Grading FAQs for Spring 2020.

Our Instructional Technology team is ready to assist faculty and students. They can be contacted at support@villanova.edu or 610-519-7777.

Students with externships and internships should consult with the program director.

Students with lab or clinical requirements should contact their professors directly to discuss their completion.

We have asked faculty teaching 8:30 a.m. classes to offer students other options, such as viewing a recording of the class later in the day and writing a commentary about the lecture and discussion that happened in class.

All tutoring services will remain open in the form of live online tutoring beginning Monday, March 16. Appointments can still be booked in the usual way using villanova.mywconline.com.

The transition to online classes and working from home is going to be an adjustment. Here are some resources for students from LSS to help during this period.

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COMMENCEMENT

On May 15, 2020, the day of Villanova’s scheduled Commencement, University President, the Rev. Peter Donohue will confer degrees via a live-streamed event. When it is safe to gather, we will honor our graduates in person at Villanova. We are currently exploring dates and will share details as soon as the plans are finalized.

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HOUSING & DINING

The small number of students who remain will be supported for as long as they are on campus. Dougherty Hall is the only open dining facility. Those using Dougherty Hall can obtain their meals there but will not be able to eat inside the facility. Please visit the Dining Services website for updates and hours of operation. All libraries, student activity spaces, gyms and fitness facilities will be closed until further notice.

If you left any belongings in your residence halls, we will continue to safely store your items. Due to the recent restrictions put in place by the Governor and CDC, students will not be able to return to campus to gather their belongings in the residence halls until at least Wednesday, April 15. This date could change due to the evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic. We will communicate in early April to provide more information about the process for coming back to campus to gather your items. For additional information, please read the March 23 Message from the Vice President for Student Life.

Yes. Working with Residence Life and Dining Services, room and meal charges for the spring semester have been prorated.

Returning Students:
The credit will remain on your student account to be applied to future charges (i.e., summer session or fall semester). The credit will apply to future charges whether you reside on- or off-campus in a future semester. Please note that if you still had a balance due for the spring semester, the credit was applied against the balance due. We will prepare a V-Bill within the next week which will show the proration and the new student account balance.

Graduating Seniors:
We will proceed with refunding the credit balance created by the room and meal proration. Prior to us being able to complete a refund, you will need to sign up for direct deposit (directions are below). If you have signed up for direct deposit before April 1, you should expect to receive your direct deposit by the end of the week of April 6.

Signing Up for Direct Deposit:

  • The link for direct deposit sign up is accessed by going to MyNova and type in “Bursar Dashboard” in the search bar.
  • This will open the links for the direct deposit sign up as well as the link for you to see your account balance.
  • Please note that once you sign up for direct deposit, the Bursar’s Office will initiate the refund.
  • You do not need to request the refund; you just need to sign up for direct deposit.

For any additional questions, please email the Bursar’s Office at bursar@villanova.edu.

STUDENTS
Beginning on Monday, March 30, Mail Services will be forwarding or returning to sender any mail and packages for all students except for those with prior approval to remain on campus. Please do not ship anything to campus and cancel or change the shipping address on all subscription services.

Students remaining on campus can pick up their mail and packages in the Chapter Hall Mail room. Mail and packages will be placed in the lockers that can be accessed using your Wildcard after you receive an email from villanovalockers@villanova.edu

FACULTY AND STAFF
Beginning on Monday, March 30, the Kennedy mail room is open from 9:00 a.m. to 12 p.m. for any essential mail and packages. We ask that departments that are picking up and have prior approval to call x94492 before coming in. Please practice social distancing when interacting with our staff. Faculty and staff are asked to not ship anything to campus until normal operations continue.

Please contact mailservices@villanova.edu with any questions.

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ADMISSIONS

Please visit Undergraduate Admissions FAQs for more information.

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HEALTH

The University is taking proactive measures to protect the health and well-being of the small group of students on campus and those essential personnel reporting to work:

  • The University is encouraging those still on campus to adhere to the social distancing directive (i.e. Dining Services has arranged for students still on campus to “grab and go” for their meals).
  • Facilities continues to disinfect all areas of campus still in operation, including residence halls where students are still living and the one dining hall that remains open.

There are a number of action steps you can take to protect yourself. These include:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
  • Do not share any food, drinks, cups, utensils, etc.
  • If you are sick, stay home and do not have contact with others.

Any student, faculty or staff member who becomes ill should be in contact as soon as possible with their primary care provider. For the small number of students remaining on campus, please call the Student Health Center at 610-519-4070.

It is natural to feel added stress and anxiety during this time. Students are adjusting to many new things: online courses, living at home or with friends/family on a full-time basis again, separation from your peer group and activities at school, and limitations on your movement and socialization in traditional ways.  

To manage these new circumstances, it’s important to care for yourself and to look after others. Below is a summary of general tips and resources for coping with COVID-19 stress and anxiety:

  • Social distancing does not mean social disengagement. Talk to a friend or family member each day on the phone, FaceTime, or Google Duo. It’s important to have personal and human contact every day. This practice helps you and those you care about most.
  • Develop daily routines in order to feel a sense of normalcy. Include in your schedule time to wake up, time for classes, study sessions, scheduled meals, exercise, fresh air and relaxation, connecting with family and friends and bedtime.
  • This period of disruption can also be a time to try some new self-care measures. Check the Office of Health Promotion website for more tips on: meditation, prayer, journaling, yoga, intentional eating and getting enough sleep.

If you have questions not answered by the website, please contact:

And for general questions, please email info@villanova.edu.