Message to Students from Mary Finger

September 2, 2020

Dear Students,

With two weeks of classes complete, I continue to be impressed by the care and cooperation our students have shown in complying with the protective policies and procedures that have been put in place to protect the entire Seton Hill community during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Your tremendous efforts allow us to continue to offer face-to-face classes this fall at Seton Hill. The faculty and staff have been impressed by your willingness to follow the rules put in place for everyone’s safety. Thank you for all your efforts. 

Of course, with some 3,000 people on our campus, it is important to continue to offer reminders about how we keep all of our community safe – including practices on campus and off.

Thank you for continuing to take the steps necessary to protect ourselves and each other during this pandemic, including: 

  1. Wearing a face mask both on campus and off. Face masks are required indoors throughout campus and throughout Pennsylvania. You may only remove your mask if you are in your own residence hall room, without any guests present, or when eating or drinking in designated areas as long as you maintain at least six feet of physical distance from others. When you are outdoors, you may remove your mask if you can consistently maintain six feet of physical distance from others, but you must have your mask with you and put it on when you near others. When in doubt, always wear a mask. 
  2. Physically distancing from others. Even when you are wearing a mask, you should attempt to physically distance from those with whom you do not live. Furniture in classrooms and other common spaces throughout campus has been reconfigured to allow for physical distance. Please do not move the furniture. 
  3. Washing your hands. Regular hand washing is a critical component in the battle against COVID-19 and other viruses, including influenza. Remember to spend at least 20 seconds scrubbing all surfaces of your hands with soap and water. When hand washing isn’t an option, using a hand sanitizer with at least a 60 percent alcohol content is also acceptable. 

Labor Day Weekend

Labor Day Weekend Campus Events

We look forward to your presence on campus throughout the upcoming Labor Day Weekend.  Seton Hill’s Student Affairs and Mission and Identity staff, along with students from the Seton Hill Programming Board  (SHPB) and the Black Student Union (BSU), have planned events throughout the holiday weekend.

The BACK-TO-SHU BASH will include events throughout the weekend, including a movie on the lawn, axe throwing, a corn hole tournament, a cookout and a band. Please register through SHINE for these special activities.  

The Office of Mission and Identity will hold Mass in Saint Joseph Chapel on Sunday, September 6 at 7 p.m. followed by a social on the Lowe Quad. 

Travel to Hotspots

Beyond these three important personal efforts each of us can take, we must also be mindful of traveling – especially to COVID-19 hotspots – during the fall semester. 

As you know, we have adjusted the academic calendar to eliminate the traditional fall break in October and end face-to-face classes before Thanksgiving. By doing so, Seton Hill has limited the potential of students, faculty and staff to travel – particularly to hotspots designated by the Pennsylvania Department of Health.  

If you make a choice to travel to hotspots in the coming days especially over the Labor Day holiday, whether for family gatherings or other events, please know that anyone traveling to a hotspot must quarantine for 14 days upon their return to Pennsylvania and the Seton Hill University campus. Seton Hill will not allow students to return to face-to-face classes or engage in campus activities for 14 days after their travel to any international location or a domestic hotspot. Students returning from travel to an international location or a domestic hotspot will be required to either quarantine at home or in an assigned space on campus. At this time, Pennsylvania has listed 19 states on its travel advisory. The list is updated every Friday and can be found here

Given all that Seton Hill faculty are doing to accommodate students with medical conditions or who have to quarantine because of exposure (or potential exposure) to COVID-19, faculty cannot be expected to accommodate students who decide to travel to a hotspot. Travel to hotspots at this time could impede a student’s academic progress, as faculty will impose their normal attendance procedures, outlined in their Academic Engagement and Class Attendance Policy (included in each course syllabus) for students absent from class due to quarantine for hotspot travel reasons. 

Social Interaction at Off-Campus Celebrations

Even if you are not traveling to a hotspot, please continue to be mindful of following the health and safety protocols and the Social Contract when gathering with family and friends for cookouts, birthday parties and other celebrations this weekend and throughout the semester. Physical distancing, mask wearing, and limiting exposure to groups – even with our family and friends - are ways that we mitigate risk and keep all of us safe. Please also remember that the Social Contract prohibits Seton Hill students from organizing and/or attending off-campus student gatherings of more than 10 people.

COVID-19 Daily Dashboard

I shared with you last week that Seton Hill will be publishing a COVID-19 Dashboard to provide updates on potential cases of COVID-19 on campus and in the community as well as important information of interest to everyone at Seton Hill. 

In the interest of providing more timely updates, we are now publishing the COVID-19 Dashboard daily. It can be found on MySHU under Documents and Forms > COVID-19. A link to the Daily Dashboard is also available at the bottom of MySHU under Online Services. 

COVID-19 Concern Reporting Form 

Throughout the course of the semester, Seton Hill students, faculty and staff may witness behaviors by other campus community members that may not align with our health and safety protocols and put others at risk. In an effort to provide a way for community members to alert the university to such behaviors, Seton Hill has launched the COVID-19 Concern Reporting Form, which allows confidential reporting of incidents they have witnessed in person, saw on social media, or heard about in other ways. The form allows users to share information as well as images – including photographs or screenshots of social media posts – about behaviors on campus or off.

The COVID-19 Concern Reporting Form can be found at, a website that offers community members with information on the ways we can stay safe this fall and stay on campus for in-person learning. You can click here for direct access to the form.

Lowe-to-Go Food Truck

In an effort to offer more dining options, Seton Hill Dining Services has acquired a food truck – Lowe-to-Go – that will offer quick pick up options for campus community members. Lowe-to-Go will rotate between the Seton Hill Arts Center and Lowe Drive on the main campus. Look for more information from Dining Services in the coming weeks as we launch this new option. 

Thank you for continuing to adhere to all of the protective policies and procedures as good campus community members. 

All of us – faculty, staff, and students - are working together to ensure the health and safety of our university community and to enable Seton Hill to continue to operate in our traditional in-person manner this fall. Thank you for taking seriously your important role in this critical endeavor.

Warm regards,

Dr. Finger