Frequently Asked Questions

Updated May 20, 2020

We know there are a lot of questions about SPU’s new Spring Quarter and the impact of the coronavirus. Here are the questions we hear the most.

Academics

We need to give faculty time to create a new way to deliver all of their course material and provide a high-quality learning experience. Also, courses will be recreated so that material you would have received on campus will also be covered through remote learning.

Most classes will meet at the same day and time as scheduled. Your professor will let you know of any changes, so be sure the check the class syllabi on April 3.

Faculty will post the class syllabi by Friday, April 3. You might find there is work to do before the quarter begins. For some, you might be able to get a head start on reading or research. For others, there will be less that you can do before you begin, but be sure to check the Canvas site for your class.

We are developing an online tutorial that will prepare you for remote learning, and this will be ready the week of April 6. All students will need to complete this tutorial before classes begin. 

We’ve decided to move Commencement online and hold a virtual ceremony. Please visit our Virtual Commencement Celebration page to learn more about the celebration plans, as well as important next steps needed from each graduate.

We are learning about the many ways to best deliver this content, and are in the process of determining what works best for us. We will keep you posted.

Yes, the university remains open, and you can still access most resources on campus. Most staff members are working remotely, so contact them by phone or email before coming to campus. Offices will be observing appropriate social distancing protocols, and a regular and thorough cleaning process.

We understand some students and families have concerns about measures that may need to be taken by SPU in the event of widespread local, regional, or national transmission of COVID-19. SPU has extensive and thorough emergency procedures, and is committed to doing everything possible to ensure the health and safety of our community.

In the event that a quarantine involving students becomes necessary, we are preparing for a multifaceted response that would include providing food service and/or moving students off campus or to sequestered areas of the residence halls. In the event many cases are diagnosed, those who could safely leave the campus would be encouraged to do so, thereby increasing our capacity to assist others who are unable to travel. SPU officials will coordinate all responses to COVID-19 with county and state health agencies.  

We are doing everything possible to ensure seniors will graduate on time. Please work with your faculty advisor and your SAS counselor to ensure all graduation requirements are met.

We realize graduate students and programs have unique needs. Graduate student communication will be managed by deans, or their designates, to address the particular features of each program and professional accreditation requirements.

You will still be able to contact your academic advisor (faculty or SAS counselor) to finalize your fall schedule. Because registration occurs online, there should be no disruptions in the process.

As long as the organization is still able to accommodate you, you can plan on participating in this experience. If the site is unable to accommodate you, then you will need to work with your faculty advisor to determine next steps.

No decisions have been made on fall study abroad programs, whether Global Seminars (faculty-led programs) or partner programs. The Study Abroad Office will be in contact with you in the future. If you have any study abroad program questions, check out the Study Abroad FAQ page, or contact Annie Gray, study abroad program manager, at graya4@spu.edu or 206-281-2924.

Please keep in contact with International Student Services at iss@spu.edu or 206-281-2550. You can also contact the Office of Global Engagement at global@spu.edu or 206-281-2366.

Because the university remains open, you will be able to receive assistance from any office. Check out the Student Online Campus Resources webpage.

You will continue working with the Disability Support Services office by contacting them at dss@spu.edu or 206-281-2272.

Students may be eligible to receive a refurbished Dell XPS laptop by contacting the Center for Learning at cfl@spu.edu or 206-281-2475 and completing an application. Priority for no-cost computers will be given to those with financial need as indicated on the FAFSA form.

Mostly, the same as it does now. You will be able to contact your faculty advisor and your SAS counselor to arrange meetings via Zoom.

Visit the Center for Learning webpage for the latest information about accessing resources, or contact cfl@spu.edu or 206-281-2475.

The library is closed, but online support for teaching and research continues. Information about Spring Quarter hours will be posted soon. Visit the library website for the latest information.

Financial Aid and Student Accounts

Although the SAP policy remains unchanged, students who have been negatively impact by the coronavirus may petition to have the attempted credits excluded from the SAP calculation. Examples of allowable circumstances include, but are not limited to, illness of the student or family member, need to become a caregiver or first responder, economic hardship, added work hours, loss of childcare, inability to continue with classes via distance education, inability to access wi-fi due to closed facilities.

SPU’s implementation of and information on the federal emergency grant can be found on the COVID Federal Emergency Grant FAQ page.

SFS will be limited to in-person appointments on a case-by-case basis for the remainder of Spring Quarter. 

SFS is available by phone at 206-281-2061, and by email at sfs-info@spu.edu, 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday; and 9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. on Thursday. Please note that many members of SFS are working from home, so replies to phone messages will likely be made by email. If you have questions, contact Student Financial Services. 

There are no changes on the availability of financial aid or the amount of aid you are eligible to receive even if you are not living on campus during Spring Quarter. You must maintain full-time enrollment status (12+ credits for undergraduates; 6+ credits for graduate students) or maintain the enrollment for which your financial aid has been awarded. Please contact SFS if you have any questions.

Yes, there is no change in the tuition rate. If your or your family has experienced loss of income as a result of COVID-19 or other situations, please contact SFS to see if additional help is possible.

All Spring Quarter course-specific fees for undergraduate and graduate students (Student Activity, Technology, Lab, Course, Instruction, and Parking) have been suspended for Spring Quarter 2020. Fees associated with International Student Services will remain in place.

Yes, the refund dates have changed. Please review the updated academic calendar for Spring Quarter 2020.

SPU is moving the first Spring Quarter due date to April 15; statements are scheduled to be sent April 6. Please note that this is after the first week of the quarter.

Students who are eligible for a financial aid refund or a credit balance check will begin to receive them March 30. It is highly recommended to enroll in direct deposit; paper checks are mailed only, and not available to be picked up.

No, this is already scheduled within the payment plan agreement; the payment will occur as scheduled on April 10.

Students who do not enroll at SPU or any other college or university and borrowed student loans will use their grace period at the end of summer and may begin repayment in the fall. Additionally, SPU scholarships require continuous, full-time enrollment at SPU; failure to attend Spring Quarter at SPU may result in a loss of eligibility.

Please contact Donna McLynne, Assistant Director of Student Financial Services Programs at dmclynne@spu.edu.

Until further notice, in-person appointments are discouraged. Please contact SFS to schedule a meeting through Microsoft Teams or over the phone.

You will not be charged SPU room or board fees if you are not living in campus housing.

Please see the Federal Student Aid borrower questions website for more information.

Current student offers are scheduled to be sent by the end of Spring Quarter.

Email sfs-info@spu.edu from your SPU email account to request your loan reduction or cancellation.

SPU campus remains open with a reduced in-person staff and faculty presence. Many students will not be living on campus or coming to campus. Therefore there may be less work to be done. Please contact your supervisor if you have questions about your on campus job.

Housing and Meal Plans

Yes. Spring Quarter housing officially starts on Saturday, April 11, at 1 p.m. and runs through Friday, June 12, at 4 p.m. Rates can be found here. Housing is also available between the end of spring break and the start of Spring Quarter (March 30–April 10). Housing for this period will be charged at $30 a night. Meals are required for students in the residence halls and optional for students in CHA at a rate of $20 a day.

Due to required changes in food service, SPU will offer one meal plan for residence hall students during Spring Quarter — a Block 125 (125 meal swipes) with $100 in Dining Dollars. The plan will be offered at a reduced rate of $1,350. CHA residents can continue to use their Block 25 or 50 plan or purchase one through Banner, if needed.

You’ll need to complete the Withdrawal from Housing form in the Housing Portal and check out by Sunday, April 5, at 5 p.m.

As usual, there is limited summer storage available. Email reslife@spu.edu for more details.

Contact reslife@spu.edu to make arrangements. The deadline to remove your items from campus is June 1, 2020.

To help students and families who cannot come to campus, SPU has contracted with Dorm Room Movers, a company which will pack up rooms/belongings and store or ship those items without the student being present. They do this by coordinating their visit with SPU, gaining access to your space through the Office of Safety and Security, and conducting a live video chat between you and the movers while they pack and remove your belongings. There is a $39.99 minimum fee to schedule a move, and pricing for packing, storage, and shipping is priced per item. Find out more information at Dorm Room Movers.

The Office of Safety and Security is undertaking new protocols when responding to on-campus medical situations. These include asking additional questions and wearing protective gear.

For residents of on-campus housing and apartments, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends regular cleaning and disinfecting of frequently touched surfaces (e.g., door knobs, tables, keyboards, light switches). Use an EPA-registered disinfectant or a 10% bleach/water solution to clean surfaces. 

Visiting/Campus Events

Undergraduate and Graduate Admissions is postponing all campus visits. We are offering new virtual ways of experiencing SPU, connecting with our community, and getting your college questions answered — no matter where you are. If you are an undergraduate student, check out our "Virtual Visits."

For graduate students, contact Graduate Admissions or schedule an appointment.

To reduce risks to our students and staff on campus, we are asking all visitors to reschedule their visits if they have any symptoms of illness such as fever or cough.

There are limited Conference Services guests contracted between now and April 3. Conference Services is in contact with those groups to reschedule or cancel those bookings.

SPU spring sports — outdoor track & field and rowing — have been canceled by the Great Northwest Athletic Conference and the NCAA. Learn more on the SPU Falcons website.

About COVID-19

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some cause respiratory illness (fever, cough, shortness of breath) in people and others circulate mostly among animals. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can evolve and infect people and then spread between people. Previous coronavirus outbreaks have included severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) believes the risk to the American public of becoming infected with this novel coronavirus is low at this time.

No, influenza is a different type of virus though symptoms and transmission are similar to 2019-nCoV. Both can cause lower respiratory symptoms and fever and become very serious. Influenza is currently widespread and is best prevented by vaccine. If you have not yet received your flu shot, call 206-281-2231 to schedule an appointment.

Close contact includes scenarios like living with or caring for a person with confirmed COVID-19, being within six feet of a person with confirmed COVID-19 for about 10 minutes, or if someone with COVID-19 coughed on you, kissed you, shared utensils with you, or you had direct contact with their bodily secretions.

Not everyone who is sick will need to be tested for COVID-19. Currently, the capacity for testing in Washington state is inadequate for the number of people who want to be tested. Therefore, only people at highest risk for serious illness are likely to be tested currently. Health officials are working on testing availability and this may increase access to testing soon.

Currently only healthcare providers can order testing in consultation with the county or state health departments. When to order these tests is determined by symptoms and risk factors. If you think you need to be tested, call Health Services and we can talk about your specific situation. Walk in testing is not currently available but this may change soon.

It’s a term used in infection control describing a practice of limiting potential exposure to diseases that are spread by droplet and contact with respiratory secretions. It includes limiting travel, avoiding large groups, and maintaining more than six feet of space between people.

What does this look like on a college campus? It’s not simple. We continue to emphasize personal care behaviors such as frequent handwashing and hand sanitizer use; covering our mouths and noses when we sneeze or cough; no sharing of utensils, food, or beverage containers; and staying home when we feel sick.

Call Health Services if you have concerns or questions at 206-281-2231 or call your primary care provider’s office. You should also stay home if you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 or any other infectious viral disease until you have talked to a health care provider. We are asking that any student, employee, volunteer or contractor who is at all concerned that they may have or have been exposed to COVID-19 to call Health Services to talk confidentially about your concerns before coming to campus.

  • Monitor your symptoms closely.
  • Rest.
  • Drink lots of fluids (water, herbal tea, & broth are best).
  • Take your temperature if you believe you have a fever.
  • Stay home from school and work until at least 72 hours after your fever ends. If you live in the dorms, stay in your room except as necessary and limit your contact with neighbors. Hall staff will help.
  • If you must go out of the house or be around others, be sure to cover your coughs and sneezes and wear a mask and avoid close contact with others.
  • Wash your hands frequently and be especially careful around infants and small children as well as people who have compromised immune systems and/or are over the age of 65.
  • Call Health Services or your primary care provider for any concerns or worsening symptoms or if you have a chronic health issue that may increase your risk for complications (asthma, immunosuppression, pregnancy, etc.).
  • If you have a medical emergency, call the Office of Safety and Security if you are on campus (x2911) or call 911 or go to an emergency room if you are off campus.
  • Do not go to the emergency room unless you are experiencing severe symptoms. It’s better to call a health care professional first.

Call Health Services at 206-281-2231 to confidentially report exposures and discuss your specific circumstances. Know that you generally need to be in close contact with someone with COVID-19 to get infected.

  • Call Health Services at 206-281-2231.
  • The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough, and shortness of breath. These can be symptoms of other respiratory illnesses as well as COVID-19.
  • Stay home. See “What do I do if I feel sick?”

According to the Washington State Department of Health, people with preexisting health conditions are at higher risk to develop complications from a COVID-19 infection. Your health is the top priority, so public health officials may recommend that you stay home if there are more widespread community infections. The Department of Health has created guidelines to help you plan and prepare in the event of needing to limit time in public or if you become sick. Your health care team (primary care provider and specialists) can also help you assess your current medications and conditions to help you think about actions that can minimize risk to you and your household.  Please call Health Services at 206-281-2231 to talk about your specific situation if you have questions.

The CDC has a guide on how to prevent and mitigate the spread of viruses, including COVID-19. These steps include many of those listed above for personal health, as well as others relevant for broader community efforts. 

  • Wash hands often with soap and water. Use hand sanitizer that contains 60% alcohol if water is not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home while you are sick and avoid close contact with others.
  • Cover your mouth/nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing.

You should wear a mask if you have a respiratory issue (such as a cough or difficulty breathing) and are in public, especially in a clinic or hospital. Some students may choose to wear a mask in public as their personal preference even if they are not sick. These are available in local stores, pharmacies, and online.

You do not need to wear a mask if you are not sick.

King County has a list of anti-stigma resources here

It is normal to worry about things that are so alarming and in the news so much, especially when it seems we have little control over them. Remember that, in general, risk for contracting this disease is still low and the above measures to prevent the spread of infection are very effective. If you need to talk about this with a campus counselor or health care provider, contact the Student Counseling Center at 206-281-2657 or Health Services at 206-281-2231.

Alexander Hall

New dates for Spring Quarter

Pre-class assignments will be posted for students no later than April 3. Remote learning begins Monday, April 13.