FAQs for Students

Situation Updates and Health/Wellbeing

How does Minnesota’s Stay at Home Order affect students living on campus?
Minnesota’s Stay at Home Order is designed to slow the spread of coronavirus in the state. Between Friday, March 27, at 11:59 p.m. and Friday, April 10, Minnesotans are asked to stay at home unless absolutely necessary. Students on campus should stay in their living spaces and continue to participate in online learning. Students can leave their residences for health and safety activities, outdoor activities, and necessary supplies and services, while practicing social distancing.
Will campus buildings be open?
Campus buildings are closed. Faculty and staff can access offices via key card as usual, but time on campus should be limited as much as possible.
Can I return to campus to retrieve my belongings I left there?
Please note: Due to clear directives in place from the State of Minnesota’s Stay at Home Executive Order and to slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep the most vulnerable in our communities safe, we will not allow students back on the College of Saint Benedict campus until further notice, except for those few who have been approved to stay on campus. We recognize that several students left belongings on campus. Items left on campus have not been moved and will remain secured.
Do students remain on campus?
At CSB we continue to partner with and meet students’ needs and providing housing and ongoing support for approximately 25 students who are unable to return home or who have serious extenuating circumstances. In order to comply with recommendations from the CDC and Minnesota Department of Health, and best meet students’ needs, all remaining CSB students will move into Luetmer apartments, where they will have single bedrooms, individual bathrooms and access to a kitchen.

At SJU we continue to partner with and meet students’ needs and providing housing and ongoing support for approximately 20 students who are unable to return home or who have serious extenuating circumstances. In order to comply with recommendations from the CDC and Minnesota Department of Health, and best meet students’ needs, all remaining SJU students will move into Placid and Maur apartments, where they will have single bedrooms, individual bathrooms and access to a kitchen.
Will students return to campus later this semester?
As indicated in the March 20 email from the Presidents, CSB/SJU will begin to hold classes online on Monday, March 23, and online instruction will extend to the end of the semester. In-person instruction and all campus activities and events are cancelled for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester.

Recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Minnesota Department of Health and the State of Emergency declaration by Governor Walz suggested, or required, foregoing group gatherings of more than 50 people for at least the next eight weeks. Additionally, they recommend social distancing of six feet or more in groups of all sizes.
What happens if I or someone near me gets sick while on campus?
Individuals who experience symptoms or know they have been potentially exposed to the COVID-19 virus should self-quarantine and call a clinic for immediate guidance and possible testing.

The CSB Health Center is open for in-person and virtual appointments for CSB students. Please call ahead to schedule at 320-363-5605, or log into the Health Services Patient Portal to complete a virtual appointment.

SJU students should utilize the CentraCare Clinics in Albany and St. Joseph. Call 320-200-3200 to connect with nurses who can offer advice, provide care options and schedule appointments.
Will there be food service on the campuses?
Yes. CSB Dining Services in Gorecki Dining Center is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner for CSB students approved to stay on campus and for essential employees working on campus. Unfortunately for health reasons, this does not include CSB and SJU students living off campus. The Refectory at SJU is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner for SJU students and employees working on campus.
How are our Benedictine communities with us at this time?
We are all in this together. While socially distant, we are united in our drive to suspend this virus and protect humanity. And what a time it is to be Benedictine!

We are reminded of several our Benedictine values: stability, humility, and community. Stability – as we look to the banner of the Abbey Church and the dome of the Sacred Heart Chapel, structures built to stand the test of time and to remind us of God’s enduring presence. Humility – as we are all stripped of what we know to be familiar, which allows us to focus on a new way of living in the world. And Community – as we realize that which is most important to us in this life: one another.

Finally – Prayer. Across traditions we know that prayer connects us most powerfully to God, our Creator and Sustainer and to one another. God hears your questions, sees your tears, holds you in all of these emotions, and walks with us through these unknowns. As in the Rule of Saint Benedict, “We believe that the Divine presence is everywhere” (19.1). God is present and so are we.

We are with you in the days and weeks ahead, with an aim to offer stability, community, and prayer. Please check our websites at SJUfaith and CSB Campus Ministry for updated resources and opportunities.
What counseling services are available to me this semester?
We recognize that COVID-19 has changed many things in all our lives right now. We are all together in this experience. Understanding that we cannot offer the same in-person contact as we would like, we have shifted our mode of support. CSB/SJU Counseling staff are offering a variety of online direct resources, found here.
Where should I go for the most current updates?
Updates will be made on this website twice a day – once in the morning and once in the afternoon. We also launched a new daily email and mobile app “Morning Bulletin,” which will include the most current information to share with the community.
I’m graduating this spring, what should I do?
Seniors in their last semester must continue to work toward graduation in a normal manner, meeting the requirements to receive a degree. Commencement plans will be discussed ongoing, as we closely monitor the outbreak of COVID-19.
Are campus events cancelled due to COVID-19?
All campus events are cancelled through the rest of the semester.


Academics and Online Learning

What are plans for commencement?
We immediately recognize the CDC and Minnesota Department of Health guidance of eight weeks of “social distancing” will affect commencement. 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 and will communicate them as soon as possible.
How will classes work remotely?
Classes will not be cancelled, but will be held online. You will need internet access to participate in online courses. Courses will vary in the tools and technology they use. Please watch for information from faculty about your respective courses and expectations.

Need wireless internet? Both Spectrum and Comcast are offering free high-speed internet services to students. Students can contact those companies to set up an account at their home address. Students may need to create a new account under their name.

Companies such as Verizon and Sprint for hotspot availability and cost. Most hotspots are on backorder due to the high demand, but some vendors may have stock in stories.
Is there any flexibility to grading options given the COVID-19 pandemic and its disruption?
We have examined policies at other institutions, followed the national conversation on this fast-developing issue and in consideration of the petition of the student senates at CSB and SJU, have made the following changes to our S/U grading policy for the spring semester of 2020 only. Please consult with your academic advisor and/or professor before making this decision.
How do I communicate with my professor?
There are multiple ways to communicate with professors: email, Canvas, or The Hive. Professors will connect with you, so be sure to check email, Canvas, or other means your faculty member suggests on a regular basis.
Are library resources and research help available?
The Libraries will be minimally staffed for pick up and drop off of materials. The front lobbies of Clemens and Alcuin Libraries will be open for pick up or drop off of materials from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Libraries’ website has updates on expanded e-resources and services. Liaison librarians will be available via chat reference, email, and Zoom. More information on getting help and accessing library resources remotely is available here.
Is Writing Center help available during this period?
The CSB/SJU Writing Center will provide online tutoring from March 23-April 13.

Appointments can be reserved starting next week via the WCOnline scheduler. Peer writing tutor schedules will mirror regular hours and will be available for selection in the next few days. If you sign up for an appointment, tutors will be in touch with a link to conduct the tutoring session through video and/or phone using Zoom, as well as with detailed instructions on what to expect and how to prepare for the appointment.

Please contact [email protected] or Writing Center Director Kyhl Lyndgaard at [email protected] with questions.
What if I’m a student who had access to accessibility services?
The Student Accessibility Services office has been in touch with faculty and staff and accommodations that have been approved and communicated to faculty through ClockWork for students will continue to be honored. Contact your professor or Student Accessibility Services at The Hive.
When is the last day to withdraw from a full-term course Spring 2020 semester?
Due to classes being held online through the end of the semester, Wednesday, April 15, is the last day to withdraw from a full-term course in spring 2020 without receiving a failing grade. For CD Mod classes: the permanent drop date has been extended to April 2 and the withdrawal date has been extended to April 22. If there are extenuating circumstances, please schedule an appointment with an Academic Advisor in Academic Advising by calling 320-363-5687. Please use our online forms to withdraw. Please make sure that you are properly registered for all courses you attended or are attending this semester. Make sure that you are registered for the proper section of each class and that the credit amount for your classes is correct. It is important that you are registered correctly to insure that you receive proper credit for the courses you attended. Failure to properly withdraw from a course you are no longer attending may result in a failing grade.


Spring 2020 Finals and Commencement

What happens to finals?
Finals will be held online. You can expect regular updates from campus. Your CSB/SJU email account, and the COVID-19 website, will be the official means of communication regarding updates.
How will my lab or studio be taught?
Faculty are finding alternatives to support this work while we are online. Please contact your faculty member directly.
How will exams or quizzes work?
Each faculty member will provide students with information about exams and quizzes.
Will I still get credit for my course or internship that has an Experiential Learning (EL) designation?
Contact your site supervisor and faculty moderator for the possibility of alternative assignments to complete the course.
I’m a senior who needs to complete my Fine Arts Experience (FAE) requirement. How do I complete that for graduation?
If you are graduating in May 2020 and have not completed your FAE requirements, these will be waived. This does not apply to students graduating after May 2020.
How does this impact my Undergraduate Research?
While you are away from campus, the Undergraduate Research staff is here to support you and is making accommodations to our necessary spring programming, such as the 20th Anniversary of Celebrating Scholarship & Creativity (CSC) Day and All-College Thesis Defenses. We’ve compiled important information and resources below to help put you at ease during these next few weeks; we encourage students to visit the Undergraduate Research, CSC Day, and CSB/SJU COVID-19 websites.

Quick Online Student Support & Advisement: Please know that we are available Monday through Friday to provide you support and advisement via email or a one-to-one video conference session using Zoom. Please contact us individually to request information or an appointment.

Production and Presentations Grants: Grants are still being accepted at this time, and will continue to be reviewed within 5-7 business days; you can access the grant applications here. For current awardees, grant reimbursements will now only be accepted electronically. Please complete the check request form and submit digital receipts to Lindsey Gutsch. Awardees that are currently facing conference cancellations due to COVID-19 should contact us for guidance on negotiating refunds and ensuring you are properly reimbursed.

Celebrating Scholarship & Creativity Day Goes Virtual: Undergraduate Research is excited to announce Virtual CSC Day 2020. News of the cancellation of all remaining events for the spring semester was a disappointment for all of us who take joy in the tradition of Celebrating Scholarship & Creativity Day. Although we are away from campus, Undergraduate Research deeply believes that it is still necessary for us to recognize the important work that has been done this year, and we are honoring that commitment to our students, faculty, and staff in several ways. Learn more here.

Spring Workshops & Talks: Our workshops scheduled for March 17 and April 6 are now cancelled. Please check back for future professional development opportunities.

All-College Thesis Defenses: Every spring, the All-College Thesis Defenses of our seniors are highly anticipated. We have extended our deadline for defenses to April 30 to allow additional time for our thesis writers time to reschedule their defenses upon our return to campus. Our writers will also have the option to conduct a virtual defense using Zoom; we will publicize these defenses as they get scheduled.



Will I receive a refund for room and board, and when will I receive it?
Room and board costs will be prorated for the time classes are held online for all students leaving campus. Additional information on calculating and processing refunds will be forthcoming.
If I am staying in the local community, can I keep my student employment job?
All students should check with their supervisor to see if they are able to continue their student employment or alternative option.
Will I receive a tuition refund?
Classes will continue online, with minimal interruption, and students will have the opportunity to earn full credit for the semester. Tuition refunds will not be offered.


Residential Life and Housing

Is there new information for moving out?
All students remaining on campus will receive additional information by email regarding on-campus housing (access, vacating rooms, storage, etc.).
What if I have nowhere to go off campus?
All students remaining on campus will receive an email with additional information about next steps and available resources.
Will room and board costs be refunded?
Room and board costs will be prorated for the time classes are held online for all students leaving campus. Additional information on refunds will be forthcoming.
What are the community expectations for CSB/SJU student residents?
New policies and expectations have been developed to protect community members, just as new directives and policies have been developed nationwide, in order to “flatten the curve,” or slow the rate of infection, exposure, and impact of the virus. As this situation continues to develop, the CSB/SJU administration reserves the right to modify these expectations. All students who have received approval to remain on campus during must agree and adhere to the following guidelines.

Community Expectations for CSB/SJU Residents
What if I’m a student and living off campus?
Students living off campus need to be careful about their living situation. You have the responsibility to practice social distancing in order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Please know that young people are carriers of the virus, and we expect you to change your behaviors to help our community prevent the spread to those who are more vulnerable. This means avoiding gatherings, hand washing, regular cleaning, constant self-monitoring and self-isolation when necessary.
What if I want to go home but cannot afford to do so?
The wider CSB/SJU community has come together to create a Student Emergency Fund so financial assistance may be available for students who do not have funds to return home. Students seeking financial assistance should indicate this on the COVID19-Campus Closure Response Form. You will be asked to provide additional information so that we can determine how to assist you.
What dining options will be available if I remain on campus?
Students who stay on campus will be able to use their meal plan or Bennie Bucks and will have access to meals each day. The meal plan and dining operations will likely be different than typical operations. Details are forthcoming and will be shared directly with students who remain on campus.
Can I store my belongings until I’m able to get them home and who should I contact when I’m ready to move them home?
Storage space is limited but we will assist students as best we can. If you have a hardship getting your belongings home right away, please contact CSB Residential Life & Housing (320-363-5580 or [email protected]) or SJU Residential Life & Housing (320-363-3512 or [email protected]) for assistance.


Study Abroad

What does this mean for study abroad programs in Europe in Spring 2020?
After very careful evaluation, the Provost’s office made the decision to suspend all Spring 2020 study abroad programs.

March 16: Australia Announcement

March 15: Guatemala Announcement

March 15: South Africa Announcement

March 12: London Announcement

March 12: Cork and Dublin, Ireland Announcement

March 11: Spain Announcement

Please contact the Center for Global Education team at [email protected] with further questions.
What does this mean for May and Summer 2020 international programs?
CSB/SJU canceled all international May and Summer programs as of March 11 as the U.S. Department of State released a Global Level 3 Health Advisory and the U.S Center for Disease Control released an Alert Level 2 Global Outbreak Notice due to the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Please contact the Center for Global Education team at [email protected] with further questions.
What does this mean for study abroad programs in Fall 2020?
We continue to monitor Fall 2020 study abroad program locations closely, taking guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. State Department, Overseas Security Advisory Council, World Health Organization and local public health authorities. It is our hope that the current health advisory levels will decrease and that the Fall 2020 study abroad programs will continue as planned. At this time, we have not canceled any of the Fall 2020 study abroad programs. This is an evolving global situation, and as such, until further notice, we advise students not to purchase international air tickets for your program at this time. We will keep you updated of any changes.

Students, with CSB/SJU Fall registration around the corner, we know that the status of your Fall program is important to you. We understand the stress this might be causing you as you plan for your Fall semester. We are working on a plan to address your registration concerns, and we will be sending you an update later this month.

The Saturday, March 28, pre-departure orientation has been postponed. Stay tuned for more information about online orientations at a future date.

Please e-mail the Center for Global Education team at [email protected] with questions.


Fall 2020 Registration and Housing

Will we still have course registration for fall semester?
Yes. Please check your email and Banner for information. You will need to contact your faculty advisor to get your PIN and answer any of your advising questions.
How will the room selection process work if we are not on campus?
Because room selection for fall 2020 is an online process, residential life anticipates conducting selection in April 2020, as planned. Exact dates and times may change, so please keep an eye out for official email notifications from CSB and SJU Residential Life & Housing. Our room selection website will be updated with more information as it becomes available:  https://www.csbsju.edu/csb-residential-life/current-student-information/room-selection.