Fall 2020 Semester: A Message from the Dean


Our first priority as a School is the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff. The Coronavirus has challenged the world to adapt to life as never before. SLU, like the rest of the University, made a successful transition to Distance Learning this past spring. Our faculty adeptly shifted to new modes of instruction; our support staff proactively engaged our students to mitigate the challenges of the pandemic; and our Information Technology team provided support and assistance.

Given the rapidly changing nature of COVID, it is difficult to predict what will happen in the coming months. For the summer, classes at SLU are being taught remotely. We expect that SLU and CUNY will begin the fall 2020 semester remotely and will transition back to in-person classes as soon as the experts tell us it is safe to do so. The Governor, the Chancellor of the University, and the healthcare professionals who advise them are considering all options and taking every precaution before announcing the resumption of in-person classes.

In the meantime, we can assure all of our students and potential students that SLU is committed to providing the highest quality in education. In whatever mode is available to them, our faculty of renowned scholars and practitioners are ready to welcome students in the fall 2020 with engaging and relevant coursework regardless of the means of delivery.

To further assist our new and continuing students, SLU will be unveiling a new student portal in August where students can conveniently access resources.

COVID 19 Related Policies

Continuity for Students

CUNY has a number of updates and resources for students: CUNY Continuity for Students

Credit/No Credit Policy

CUNY has also implemented the Credit/No Credit Flexible Grading Policy, which was designed to help students continue their academic progress despite the difficulties they have faced in recent months. The Credit/No Credit policy provides students with the option of receiving a letter grade or a grade of Credit/No Credit. The decision of whether to choose a letter grade or Credit/No Credit for a course is a decision the student must make.

Click here to read the policy

Click here for FAQ

Flexible Grading Policy – Key Information

Click here for flexible grading policy: Faculty Information

Flexible Grading Policy: Student Information 

Distance Learning

In moving to online instruction, we have focused on technologies that are the most effective and the most equitable. SLU’s faculty and staff have been working tirelessly to ensure that the educational objectives of courses and goals of programs can be met through various methods of delivery. Until further notice, courses will be conducted using remote tools including telephone conferencing, email, Blackboard, ZOOM, and a range of other technologies designed for remote learning. Faculty have reached out to all their students to inform them about the mode of distance learning that will be utilized. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your course(s), please reach out to your instructor or call the SLU main desk at (646) 313-8300.

Remote access is available as follows: Monday-Friday 8am-8pm. Saturday 8am-4pm

Call: 646-313-8440
Email: ITHelpDesk@slu.cuny.edu
Website: SLU Academic Resources Technology

SLU’s technical support teams are making every effort to serve the needs of our students, faculty and staff. Here’s what you need to know.

  • Loaner Laptop: Students who do not have a computer at home can request to borrow one through SLU’s Laptop Loaner Program. Please visit HERE if you need to borrow a laptop.
  • Internet Access: Students who do not have access to the internet should contact their broadband provider and ask if they are now providing free internet to students who need it to complete their coursework during the COVID-19 crisis. A number of vendors have announced that they are doing so. Any student who still cannot access the internet should contact the SLU IT Helpdesk.
  • Virtual Desktop: Students looking to access CUNY desktop programs can do so HERE.
  • Blackboard: Students who need assistance can access training videos on SLU’s website, e-mail Krafins.Valcin@cuny.edu, or call the SLU main desk.
  • Zoom: Students who have questions or need assistance can e-mail Melanie.Martinez@slu.cuny.edu or contact the SLU main desk.
  • Dropbox for Students: All CUNY students have access to Dropbox to store files. Visit HERE for more information.
  • Additional resources for the use of Blackboard, Zoom and Office 365 have also been made available on SLU’s website.

Remote access is available Monday through Thursday from 10am-6pm. For remote access to the Writing Center see below.

Call: 646-313-8321
Email: studentservices@slu.cuny.edu

Student Advisement will be available via telephone, email or videoconference technology (i.e., Zoom, Webex, or Skype). Advisors will also be proactive in engaging with their students and will be following up routinely with their advisees to mitigate any challenges students are experiencing with the move to distance learning.

Writing Center: New software, WCOnline, makes it easy for students to connect with our Writing Center staff. Three remote modes are available: by telephone, online chat, or asynchronous e-tutoring:

  • Phone appointments can be conducted through a traditional phone call or using an audio connection provided by WCOnline. Appointments are available Monday through Wednesday from 3-7pm, Thursday from 12-7pm, Friday from 1-5pm, and Saturday from 10am-4pm. Other times are available by appointment.
  • Online chat appointments allow students to discuss a writing assignment with a consultant in real time. WCOnline allows students to share a screen with the consultant, so that they can view and make changes to a document together.
  • Written feedback or “e-tutoring” provides students with the option of uploading a paper to WCOnline, after which they will receive feedback within two business days.To learn more or to schedule an appointment, click here: SLU Writing Center.

The Office of Admissions is also operating remotely. Certificate students who are interested in applying to one of SLU’s degree programs for the Fall 2020 semester, or have any admissions-related questions, can contact Admissions at admissions@slu.cuny.edu

Our informational sessions will now be hosted virtually starting March 28th until further notice. If you are interested in applying to one of our degree programs, we encourage you to join us for a Personal Statement workshop, which will also be conducted remotely. You can access the schedule here.

Students who have questions about tuition, bills, or payments should reach out remotely to SLU’s Bursar. Tuition and fees can be paid online with credit/debit or eCheck. Need help from the Bursar? Watch this tutorial! Or contact the Bursar’s Office by anyone of the following methods:

Remote Service Line (call/text): 929-322-0927
Campus Line: 646-313-8420
Website: https://slu.cuny.edu/current-students/bursar/
Email: Bursar@slu.cuny.edu

Twitter: Students can also follow the Bursar @cunyslu_bursar for updates on accessing their CUNYfirst accounts, paying their bills, and more.

Stay up-to-date with the CUNY Academic Calendar: https://www.cuny.edu/academics/academic-calendars/

SLU’s financial aid services continue to be offered in collaboration with the CUNY Graduate Center, but on a remote basis only. To ask a question or obtain information from the Graduate School’s Office of Fellowship and Financial Aid, send an email to financialaid@gc.cuny.edu.

Students with federal loans should know that the Department of Education recently announced that all borrowers with federally held student loans will automatically have their interest rates set to 0% for a period of at least 60 days. In addition, each of these borrowers will have the option to suspend their payments for at least two months to allow them greater flexibility during the national emergency. This will allow borrowers to temporarily stop their payments without worrying about accruing interest. For more information on changes to the federal loan program, click here.

Students who need a transcript of their course work, are preparing to register for the Fall semester, or have any question for SLU’s Registrar can call 646-313-8415 or email a request to registrar@slu.cuny.edu. Information is also available on the Registrar’s page on SLU’s website.

SLU has hired a new mental health and wellness counselor to assist students by remote access during this difficult time. Students can request an appointment by calling SLU’s main number (646-313-8321​) or emailing counseling@slu.cuny.edu.

CUNY Updates

Visit CUNY.edu/coronavirus for the latest messages and resources from CUNY.
Instructional Recess and Distance Education
Read: Chancellor’s message
Watch: Chancellor’s video
CUNY Email Hotline
Email the hotline for questions and concerns regarding CUNY’s readiness and response plan.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

For a more comprehensive list of resources, including those within each borough/county, please click here for the NYC United Against Coronavirus Resource document.

We are working remotely and are available via e-mail, phone, and various advanced technologies to support you on your academic journey. You can reach a live SLU operator who will assist you or direct your call during regular business hours by calling (646) 313-8300.

Please visit our Distance Learning Page for more information on how to reach any of our staff or faculty and if you have questions about accessing SLU services such as counseling & wellness, emergency grants, laptop loans,  IT services, etc.

The Federal Communications Commission has announced the Keep Americans Connected Initiative stating that providers will waive late fees, not cut off service for lack of payment, and open hot-spots.

Comcast – Comcast is offering its Internet Essentials service free to qualifying new customers through June 30.  Xfinity is also offering students no upfront fee or installation costs and a $150 Visa prepaid card for new customers through June 15.  Xfinity Hotspots (see map) are also available to anyone who needs them for free including non-Xfinity subscribers.

Charter/Spectrum – Spectrum is offering free access to internet and WiFi for Pre-K to 12, college student, and teacher households who currently don’t have internet or WiFi service.  Installation and pre-payment fees waived. To enroll, call 1-855-243-8892.

AT&T – AT&T COVID-19 response.  AT&T will offer open hot-spots, unlimited data to existing customers, and $10/month plans to low-income families through the Access from AT&T program.

Verizon – Verizon is adding 15GB of high speed data for existing wireless consumer and small business customers, and two months waived internet and voice charges for existing Lifeline customers. There are also new affordable internet options for low-income households.  To enroll, visit Lifeline Application website.

Sprint – Sprint COVID-19 response. Sprint is providing unlimited data to existing customers and  providing 20GB of free mobile hotspot data to customers with hotspot-capable devices.

T-Mobile– T-Mobile COVID-19 response. T-Mobile is offering unlimited data to existing customers for the next 60 days (excluding roaming), plus for eligible plans an additional 20GB of smartphone mobile hotspot data.  T-Mobile also launched a new $15 per month plan “T-Mobile Connect” for unlimited talk and text plus 2GB high-speed smartphone data. (with $25 option for 5GB data).

Medical Needs: Call 311 with any medical questions.

Click here to find out whether you can qualify for Medicaid or other free and low cost health insurance.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Up-to-date information on COVID-19.

  • World Health Organization: Up-to-date information on COVID-19.
  • NYC Health COVID-19 website: Factsheets, NYC case data updates, prevention tips, and more City website links.
  • New York State COVID-19 website: Up-to-date information on COVID-19, policy updates that pertain to New York State residents, and information about the NY State on PAUSE order.
  • ACCESS HRA: Apply for Medicaid.
  • Department for the Aging website: Counseling on Medicare MSP, LIS, and other Medicare low-income programs.
  • Unemployment Benefits and Health Insurance: PDF FAQ page, updated 3/19/20.
  • Urgent Care Visits for Uninsured/Can’t Afford To Pay: Kamin Health will help New Yorkers who need an urgent care visit but cannot afford to pay/are uninsured by waiving fees. Email yosef@kaminhealth.com to request assistance with waiving fees. They provide services in office or over the phone/video.

Mutual aid organizations facilitate exchange of resources and services for mutual benefit. Browse through the rest of our document’s categories for more mutual aid groups and opportunities. 

Government Supports 

  • NYC’s Department of Small Business Services: NYC will provide relief for small businesses across the City seeing a reduction in revenue because of COVID-19. Businesses with fewer than 100 employees who have seen sales decreases of 25% or more will be eligible for zero interest loans of up to $75,000 to help mitigate losses in profit. The City is also offering small businesses with fewer than 5 employees a grant to cover 40% of payroll costs for two months to help retain employees.
  • Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce: Find Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce’s Initial Economic Impact Report (issued 3/19/20), financial support resources for businesses, and more.
  • US Small Business Administration Disaster Loan Assistance: Federal disaster loans for businesses, private nonprofits, homeowners, and renters.
  • IRS Coronavirus Tax Relief: The IRS has established a special section focused on steps to help taxpayers, businesses, and others affected by COVID-19.
  • C-19 Help Squad: Building a team to help people, families and businesses who have been affected by COVID-19.
  • Couriers and delivery – Corona Couriers: A collective of cyclists willing to courier supplies to people in need for free, using low contact methods. Email coronacourier@protonmail.com.
  • NYC Mutual Aid Network
  • Service2Service: give or request support to service/gig/freelance workers via Google Form

  • ACCESS HRA: Apply for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP/food stamps) and cash assistance.
  • Foodbank NYC: Search the map to find a soup kitchen, food pantry, senior center, or SNAP enrollment site near you. The map lists providers who have switched to “grab and go” meals and pantry bags to minimize the risk of exposure.
  • NYC Soup Kitchens and Food Pantries by Borough (Google Doc)
  • Free Meals for All NYC Children: Three free meals are available Monday through Friday (from 7:30 AM to 1:30 PM) for all NYC children at more than 400 sites across the NYC. Use the website lookup tool to find a location.
  • Free Baby Formula – WIC members can have baby formula delivered FREE to all New York City boroughs. Dial 718-405-9111.
  • NYC Department for the Aging – Home-delivered meals are available for seniors ages 60 years and older who may have disabilities, access, or functional needs.
  • HungerFree NYC: The “Neighborhood Guides to Food and Assistance” cover all neighborhoods in NYC by zip code and are available in multiple languages.
  • Meals on Wheels: In response to the coronavirus crisis, this program is giving home-delivered meals to the elderly. The meals are nutritious and shelf stable.
  • Home-delivered meals program – NYC is establishing a home-delivered meals program for people who do not have other means of accessing food. The application for food delivery assistance is here. To deliver the meals, the NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission will be hiring licensed TLC drivers. The application to become a driver in the programs is here.
  • Unemployment Insurance: If you are filing a new Unemployment Insurance claim, the day you should apply is based on the first letter of your last name: A-F file on Monday; G-N file on Tuesday; O-Z file on Wednesday; and if you missed your day, file on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday. Any claim you file will be backdated to the date you became unemployed. If you are eligible, you will be paid for all benefits due. Visit the NYS Department of Labor website for more information.
  • Renters: On 3/20/20, Governor Cuomo announced a 90-day moratorium on evictions for residential and commercial tenants. This means there will be no evictions in New York State until at least 6/20/20. Read more here.
    • Report attempted evictions – Anyone with knowledge of City marshals attempting to execute on warrants of eviction can report this activity by calling DOI’s Bureau of City Marshals at (212) 825-5953.
    • Tenants Rights Hotline by Met Council – 212-979-0611 (ingles y espanol). For more info.
    • Support for eviction prevention: Bronx Works, Catholic Charities (helps regardless of denomination), Coalition for the Homeless
  • Homeowners: On 3/20/20, Governor Cuomo announced a 90-day suspension on mortgage payments (based on financial hardship) and foreclosures. Read more here.
    • Department of Finance offers several programs to assist homeowners who are having challenges paying their property taxes, including exemption programs as well as a new Property Tax and Interest Deferral (PT AID) program. More info

As of Friday March 13, New York utilities have volunteered to suspend utility shut-offs for power, heat and water for all customers.

  • Free WiFi at home: Comcast – offering Essentials internet service designed for low-income families free for 60 days for new qualifying customers. Visit https://www.internetessentials.com/ for more information. Call 1-855-8-INTERNET for set up. Spectrum – households with K-12 students can get free Spectrum Wifi for 60 days (including free installation for new customers). Call 1-844-488-8395 for set up.
  • Wifi via smartphone: Metro PCS, T-Mobile, Sprint, AT&T and Comcast are all lifting their unlimited data caps for cell phone subscribers for at least 60 days. Contact your cellphone provider for more information. MetroPCS will allow you to add a free 10GB of mobile hotspot per month by adding an add on service available in the MyMetro app, MyAccount or by calling Care at 611.
  • COVID-19 Emotional Support Hotline: New Yorkers can call the COVID-19 Emotional Support Hotline at 1-844- 863-9314 for mental health counseling.
  • At-Home Mental Health Resource List Google Document: Resources for managing stress and anxiety, accessing teletherapy, and other forms of support.
  • Mental Health for Front Line Workers/COVID Workers
  • NYC Well: Service provided by NYC for free, confidential mental health support and substance abuse services. They have a confidential 24/7 helpline (available by text, phone, or online chat) staffed by trained mental health counselors, where they can provide brief counseling and referrals to care in over 200 languages. Call 1-888-NYC- WELL (1-888-692-9355); for Spanish, press 3.
  • Childcare Timebank: Set up by a central BK childcare coop for COVID-19 childcare.
  • Regional Enrichment Centers: As of 3/23, Regional Enrichment Centers are open across every borough, with at least two sites in every school district. If you’re an essential worker in need of childcare, enroll at the link.
  • NYC Schools’ Coronavirus Update Page: Up-to-date coronavirus information relevant to NYC schools.
  • Activities for Students During School Closures: NYC DOE’s supplementary learning resources for students.
  • Invisible Hands: Safe free delivery service for the most at-risk members facing COVID-19.
  • Free Meals for All NYC Children: Three free meals are available Monday through Friday (from 7:30 AM to 1:30 PM) for all NYC children at more than 400 sites across the NYC. Use the website lookup tool to find a location.
  • Free Baby Formula – WIC members can have baby formula delivered FREE to all New York City boroughs. Dial 718-405-9111.
  • NYC Department for the Aging – Home-delivered meals are available for seniors ages 60 years and older who may have disabilities, access, or functional needs.
  • NYC Public Library Digital Resource: Help your child continue to learn while schools are closed during the COVID- 19 crisis. Discover the Library’s wide range of digital resources including e-books, databases, digital collections, and more.