University Daily Update - March 19

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Rockhurst University Daily Update 
March 19 

Rockhurst University Companions, 

If you have been a member of our Rockhurst community for any length of time, you know that we are all about building community, helping each other to be the best we can be and staying attuned to looking out for everyone’s well-being. Because of this, it is difficult to keep issuing requests to keep yourselves apart and to stay away from campus if possible. In today’s message, you will see some of these reminders and we ask that you read and follow them. If you read to the end of the message, you will find inspirational content to help you through these stressful times.  


  • If you are on campus, please remember that CDC guidance regarding social distancing must be followed. Please do not gather in any campus location in groups of more than 10. Please allow six feet of space between yourself and others. 
  • When purchasing food from the Student Choice area in the Rock Room, please use it as a take-out facility rather than eating in the Rock Room. Normally we encourage people to come together over meals but in this unusual time, we are encouraging you to dine together virtually instead. Some departments and groups of friends are having lunch or happy hour together over a Zoom conference call, Facebook live group, FaceTime or using other remote technology. 
  • Remember to stay home if you are not feeling well. Anyone who has traveled by air internationally; traveled to a country with CDC level designation of three or higher; has a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 or who has been exposed to someone in this category should self-quarantine for 14 days and will not be allowed on campus. Please know that we are requiring this because of the evidence that shows those countries that have taken stricter measures are seeing a drop off of new cases.  
  • Faculty members are asked to make sure you have contacted all of your students and have clearly communicated expectations for the rest of the semester. If you would like help with instructional continuity resources, please consult this resource page
  • Students, please be patient with your faculty members, knowing that they had to revamp their coursework for remote delivery very quickly. 

Good and Welfare  

  • Grandma’s Pantry will remain open indefinitely to serve companions in need of food. Gloves are available at the entrance, which we ask all guests to use when in the space. 
  • If you are showing symptoms of COVID-19 or have been diagnosed, please let us know if you are lacking a support system to help you. This also goes for students who have returned home and live out of town. You can contact Cindy Schmersal, vice president of mission and ministry,

Faculty and Staff 

  • At this time, the University has no plans for any furloughs (i.e., temporary unpaid leaves) of its full-time faculty and full- and part-time staff.  


  • We have some compiled helpful information to share while you are adjusting to having all of your classes remotely. Success coach Ashley Halter has written a posting about how to be a successful student during a pandemic. Julia Vargas, director of the Center for Service Learning, has written a posting about service in the time of COVID-19
  • Housing move-out has been organized in a way to help us observe social distancing norms. Please review our move-out plan before tomorrow. 
  • We have heard there is confusion for some about graduating. It may help you to know: 
  • All students who meet the requirements for graduation will have their degreed conferred in May 2020 regardless of whether we have a May ceremony. 
  • We will make a decision about holding the May 2020 (our 100th) ceremony by April 3 and communicate that to you. 
  • Your diploma will be mailed to your permanent address in early summer. 


Workout Facilities 

  • We have a clarification of yesterday’s message about the Massman workout facility. It will be open for student, faculty and staff use from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, effective immediately.   

Help Desk 

  • Remember to be wary of clicking on links about COVID-19, especially those that you see on social media or are sent to you in email. Some of these are phishing scams used to steal your information. 
  • If you are working at home, be mindful of how many devices are connected  


Mission Moment 

“A Prayer for Our Times” 

By Cindy Schmersal, vice president for Mission and Ministry 


Ever-faithful Companion,  

Help us to always find You, God, in all things, 

especially in this time of uncertainty, 

as we navigate disruptions to the familiar and heightened anxieties. 

Make us attentive  

to the kernels of hope,  

in-breaks of joy, 

and invitations to stillness that subtly saturate our lives. 

In these gifts and in all glimpses of grace, 

may we find sustenance.  


Remind us often of our call to community. 

And, in responding to the need for social distancing, 

awaken us to the summons to foster creative community. 

Inspire us to reach beyond the boundaries of isolation. 

In so doing, help us to link heart and hand 

with You in caring for the vulnerable 

and in laboring for a more compassionate and humane world 

at this time and at all times. 


Matthew D. Quick, Ph.D. Randy Hopkins 

Vice President & Dean of Students Chief of Security 

Crisis Management Co-Chair Crisis Management Co-Chair