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Dear Santa Clara University Parents and Families,

What a glorious and historic Welcome Weekend it was for Santa Clara University, after 18 months of mostly remote education and work. It was a joy to see so many of you, as more than 3,000 students moved into our residence halls beginning Wednesday; took their Class of 2024, Class of 2025 and transfer student pictures; and eagerly began their in-person Santa Clara adventure. I enjoyed meeting many families from across the country and the globe. I loved hearing your stories and the hopes you have for your Santa Clara journey. You were so helpful to each other, positive, and patient.

We hope you enjoyed touring our brand-new Sobrato Campus for Discovery and Innovation, meeting fellow Broncos at lunches and special group receptions, and watching the men’s soccer team win their fifth and sixth games out of seven matches this season.

I would like to share some updates with you as our fall term gets underway.

Vaccinations
We are grateful and pleased that 97% of our faculty and staff, and 98% of students have complied with our vaccine mandate. The remainder have received approved exemptions or are working through extraordinary circumstances in order to comply with the mandate.

Testing
Thank you to our residential students who followed our protocols and received the first of their three COVID-19 entry tests. This testing will give us our best chance of ensuring that any student who is unknowingly positive does not contribute to an outbreak. Those who test positive will be given thorough instructions on how to isolate until they are safe to rejoin their communities.

 Our testing provider is experiencing extraordinary demand, so results are taking about 36 hours. Students received an email on how to stay safe during our entry testing period.

A reminder that all off-campus students are expected to also take part in entry testing in order to safely take in-person classes this fall. More information on entry testing is on PreparedSCU. Testing results are shared weekly on our COVID-19 Dashboard.

Online Courses
We have heard from some families who were surprised by the ongoing need for a small number (about 10%) of online courses as the pandemic and the highly transmissible Delta variant continues. With this summer’s increase in new daily COVID-19 cases in our county (250-300 per day recently, compared with 40 per day in June), faculty with underlying medical conditions associated with high risk for severe COVID-19 were given the opportunity to teach their fall 2021 courses online. Care was taken to ensure a small number (only 50) first-year courses were being taught online, and that very few high-touch, lab or performance courses were online.

Students who had an inordinate number of online classes were given the chance to drop or add courses via eCampus, and our Drahmann Center and Provost’s Office worked successfully with many students to reduce their online course load. We also were able to add several more in-person sections this week for some impacted, first-year required courses. All students can drop and add courses through Friday, September 24.

As always, our institutional priorities during the pandemic have been two-fold: (1) protect the health and safety of our faculty, staff and students, and (2) offer a rigorous, transformational education in the long tradition of Jesuit education. We will continue to monitor health conditions with a goal of continuing to safely reopen our campus to pre-pandemic levels.

Co-curricular activities
As the quarter progresses, students will have more and more outlets for making connections and building relationships outside the classroom. A growing number of co-curricular and student life activities will be taking place in person. Our Malley Fitness Center, Sullivan Aquatic Center (pool) and fitness classes are now available for student wellness and fitness use. The Student Involvement Fair going on through Thursday of this week is a great way to learn more, and students should watch social media (Center for Student Involvement and other various Instagram accounts) or their student emails for up-to-the-minute updates as our reopening continues.

Students also are encouraged to connect with classmates academically via Camino, to form study groups, share work, and solicit peer feedback.

Thank you again for entrusting Santa Clara University with the education and care of your precious children. It is a responsibility we take seriously and is our driving core mission here every day. Please know that our many talented faculty and staff stand ready to accompany your students on their Santa Clara journey.

I wish you and your students all of the best this year.

Lisa Kloppenberg
Acting President

 

 

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