Cover photo of the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception taken by Sean Newhouse
University of Dayton President Eric Spina sent an email to students on Sunday in his first email communication since last week’s announcement that in-person classes were suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.
While there wasn’t a significant announcement, there are still takeaways from the email.
- Spina didn’t enjoy sending students home
He writes “…let us state unequivocally that it pained all of us on the administrative team to ask students to leave campus in the middle of the semester. You are why we, the faculty and the staff, are here at UD and why we take such joy in our vocations.”
2. He reiterated that UD’s “extraordinary measures” were for the public good
Spina writes that UD’s actions promote social distancing, which officials say could decrease the infection rate.
3. No word on when, or if, in-person classes will resume
“We hope and pray that this public health emergency will recede, allowing us to begin in-person classes again….” he writes. But he notes that the pandemic’s future is uncertain and that public health experts will guide the university’s decisions. Many other Ohio colleges and universities have canceled in-person classes for the remainder of the semester.
4. University officials will try to schedule a future date for a “graduation celebration” if commencement is canceled.
Spina writes that officials will try to find a future date for a “graduation celebration” for seniors if May commencement is canceled. He adds, “No one wants to end the semester with an empty campus, and many of us would join you and your fellow classmates in tears if that happened.”
5. Apparently, there have been “very few complaints”
While “very few” is an unspecific term, some of the comments on UD’s Facebook post announcing the closure of housing for most students suggest otherwise.
6. No mention of last Tuesday night’s “Coronafest”
After the announcement about in-person classes and housing, students gathered in large crowds on Lowes. Police intervened after students blocked the street. The incident garnered national, and even international, attention.
There was nothing in the email about it, however, UD Police Chief Kidd sent an email addressing it last Wednesday.
UD Police Chief Savalas Kidd sent an email to members of campus confirming pepper balls were deployed in the crowd that amassed on Lowes Tuesday night. He called them “standard police tool[s] for crowd management….” pic.twitter.com/bdqMsJr1oo
— Flyer News (@FlyerNews) March 11, 2020
Officials will post updates about UD’s response to the coronavirus here.