The College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University will begin online classes March 23 as planned, but they are now extending online instruction to the end of the spring 2020 semester.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, on-campus classes were suspended March 13. The schools planned to resume regular operations April 14, according to a letter sent to the campus community March 22 and signed by CSB President Mary Dana Hinton and SJU Interim President Eugene McAllister.
But in light of the state of emergency declaration by Gov. Tim Walz and guidance from both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Minnesota Department of Health, all in-person instruction and campus activities and events were canceled for the remainder of the semester.
“This was a difficult decision, as we had hoped to bring our community back together in person after April 14,” the letter said. “However, it has become clear that, despite our plans and hopes, returning after April 14 is no longer possible.
“At the forefront of our decision-making is our commitment to the wellbeing of our students, faculty, staff and families,” the letter said.
Information regarding on-campus housing (access, vacating rooms, storage, etc.) will be sent in an email to students.
“We recognize CDC and Minnesota Department of Health guidance of eight weeks of ‘social distancing’ will affect commencement,” the letter said. “We understand how special and important commencement ceremonies are to our Bennie and Johnnie community. We are working intently to find opportunities for all of us to gather to celebrate commencement.
“We are grateful for every member of the CSB/SJU community,” the letter added, “and we are confident that we will emerge from this crisis as a stronger community.”