Fordham has suspended all face-to-face instruction through the end of the spring semester, the Office of the President announced in an email at approximately 8:30 p.m. on March 13.
“We are making this decision in the interest of health and safety of all members of the Fordham community as the coronavirus pandemic sweeps through the United States,” wrote Rev. Joseph M. McShane, S.J.
The university confirmed that there are still no confirmed cases of the coronavirus within the Fordham community. However, with a 20% increase per day in the number of cases in the state of New York, it is expected that the virus could spread rapidly on a fully occupied campus.
McShane encouraged residential students to vacate university housing “as quickly as they can,” and students are required to move out by March 20. The Office of Residential Life plans to organize appointments for students to return to campus to collect their belongings between March 30 and May 17, according to another email sent at 9:30 p.m. from Jeffrey Gray, senior vice president for student affairs.
McShane’s email also announced the complete closure of the Westchester campus to all personnel, effective beginning Saturday, March 14, and the cancellation of all Fordham Athletics, club sport and intercollegiate athletic events previously allowed to run with limited attendees.
All university events are suspended through May 11.
McShane expressed that the university will restore all campus operations to normal once health authorities believe it is safe. He said he hopes to provide communication on April 8 at the latest as to whether events, including Commencement and Jubilee, will occur.
One senior, Finley Peay, Fordham College at Lincoln Center ’20, said that she and her friends were devastated by the news. “There was so much I know the class of 2020 was excited about that is now canceled or up in the air. However, I’m still holding out hope that we all get to walk across the stage at graduation,” she said.
Fordham made the initial decision to suspend all face-to-face classes on March 9, with the hope of resuming normal instruction the week of March 29. The decision to extend this decision to the end of the semester comes two days after Fordham canceled all study abroad in Europe. Fordham’s London Centre will end classes March 20, and students there have been mandated to vacate their residences by March 23.
“This is not the way I had hoped we would finish the semester, and I will very much miss seeing all of you out and about on campus, but the global pandemic in which we are now embroiled has forced our hand,” McShane wrote.