Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) updates

The Officers of Holy Cross College have met regularly and consulted with public health officials, research scientists, contagious disease specialists and our tri-campus partners the University of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s College in light of the continuing specter of the COVID-19 virus. Though we are learning much more about the virus, its mutations, etc., we must still be ever vigilant in order to ensure the safety of all members of the College community. The wellbeing of all members of our community is our highest priority.

Over the past few weeks, we have kept only essential staff in the building while adhering to social distancing, spent the entire second semester in distance learning, rescheduled our Baccalaureate Mass and Graduation ceremonies until Labor Day Weekend, and have been working on campus to make sure everything is being properly cleaned and sanitized.

“The grit of the Holy Cross College community, the courage of so many during these uncertain times of the pandemic, and the confidence of families and students have made this difficult second half of the 2019-2020 school year a success. We are forging ahead with a plan of action that will keep our family safe, secure, and together once again this fall,” said Rev. David T. Tyson, C.S.C.

In accordance with widely agreed upon research in the medical community, the College will implement robust testing, contact tracing, isolation, and quarantine protocols to minimize risk.

A particular concern and challenge for colleges happens when students leave campus for breaks, are exposed to infection, and return possibly spreading the contagion to others. To minimize this occurrence, we have decided to begin classes during the week of August 10, continue through the semester without a fall break, and conclude the semester before Thanksgiving. More details about the schedule for the fall semester will be forthcoming from the Registrar’s Office.

We must also be prepared for the possibility of an unexpected, severe new outbreak of COVID-19. If this occurs, we may need to return to distance learning. The Officers of the College will continue to meet regularly and consult with our tri-campus partners to review the COVID-19 situation as it unfolds and coordinate our protocols in the upcoming weeks.

The tabs below provide college updates and useful information about COVID-19.

AnnouncementCOVID-19 InformationSymptomsStop the SpreadStudentsParents/GuardiansCounselingCommencementCARES Act

May 18, 2020

Dear Holy Cross College Community:

This morning I had a conference call with Father Jenkins at Notre Dame to discuss plans for beginning the Fall Semester. It goes without saying that our two institutions have many important curricular and programmatic collaborations and interfaces. Therefore, the discussion centered around a plan that might accommodate the University’s needs as well as those of Holy Cross College during the challenges we face. Both institutions have consulted with public health officials, research scientists, and contagious disease specialists in light of the continuing specter of the COVID-19 virus. Though we are learning much more about the virus, its mutations, etc., we must still be ever vigilant in order to ensure the safety of all members of the College community.

As the College Officers examined options to facilitate the return of the students, faculty and staff to campus, we were increasingly confronted with the many complexities presented by the present situation. There is widespread agreement in the medical and research communities that the COVID-19 virus is a formidable killer of many who have been infected with the virus. For us to safely open for the fall semester we must be prepared to prevent the spread of the virus by identifying those returning students who are infected with the virus. To that end, we will need to implement a comprehensive testing protocol, a capacity to isolate those who present positive test results as well as provide a quarantine for students who have been in close contact with them. Though it is an ominous challenge, we believe that we can meet it with the cooperation and collaboration of all of us in the Holy Cross community. We will continue a comprehensive testing program, contact tracing, and quarantining throughout the semester to aggressively isolate those with the virus and quarantine others who have been in contact with them. We will also employ other safety initiatives as recommended by health professionals and contagious disease experts. In addition, we will be developing protocols for all faculty and staff. Further information concerning all of these protocols will be disseminated in the weeks ahead. We also plan to disseminate a handbook of these protocols which will be made available to all members of the College Community. A particular challenge to colleges and universities is presented when students travel over breaks and are exposed to the virus, returning to campus posing the possibility of spreading the contagion.

Therefore, after my conversation with Father Jenkins and with the deliberation of the Officers of the College, as well as consultation with the College’s Board of Trustees, the following alteration to the Fall semester schedule of Holy Cross College will be as follows:

  1. CLASSES WILL BEGIN THE WEEK OF AUGUST 10, 2020.
  2. THE SEMESTER WILL PROCEED WITH NO FALL BREAK.
  3. THE SEMESTER WILL CONCLUDE IMMEDIATELY PRIOR TO THANKSGIVING.

Presently, all classes are scheduled to be conducted in a synchronous environment with students and professors present to one another. However, if in the event that a new outbreak should occur, we need to be prepared to adapt to these circumstances. This may require us to return to a remote, or asynchronous, environment for classes should it be necessary to keep students home at the outset of the semester or for them to return home late in the semester.

Our Holy Cross College Community is a close knit one. We pride ourselves on a certain level of “grit” marked by hard work, diligence, and perseverance. We are also a community that has a strong sense of the common good. We live that strong sense marked by a profound Hope rooted in a vibrant Faith in a loving God.

In the weeks ahead, you will receive communications concerning the details of the protocols facilitating our movement forward. As was the case during the previous semester, Dr. Justin Watson, Provost of the College, will have oversight of all protocols involving all faculty and academic functions of the College. Dr. Michael Griffin, Senior Vice President and Mr. Andrew Polaniecki, Dean of Students will have oversight over all student and student life protocols. Mrs. Monica Markovich will have oversight over all staff protocols and campus facilities.

Let us all join together in the Tri-Campus Community of Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross, confronted with these present challenges and hardships, to create a community of Hope, that facilitates the life of the mind, the heart, and the spirit.

Devotedly in Holy Cross,
Father David Tyson, C.S.C.


March 19, 2020

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

It is with a certain sadness that I must write you concerning an update on the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. As you know, mitigation of the spread of the disease has not taken place at this point in time. Deaths in the United States have increased as well as new cases of the virus. I have followed all of these events very closely since my most recent communication to our community. After consultation with the University of Notre Dame and St. Mary’s College, I met with the officers of the College to discuss the course we must take. Given the present scenarios and projections of the CDC and other agencies monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic, we have determined that the present distance learning classes will continue until the end of the spring semester. Like you, I was hoping and praying that the College Community would be able to reassemble for the last part of the semester. Unfortunately, we simply cannot do so if we are to exercise proper vigilance and prudent judgment at this time. As was the case in my March 11th message, students will soon be receiving further important information regarding the course of the semester from Dean Polaniecki. The Provost will be in communication with the faculty of the College, and Vice President Markovich will do likewise with the staff. Classes are scheduled to end on May 1st. Final Examinations are schedule from May 4th through May 8th. I again ask your continued good will and patience during these days and in this somewhat unprecedented situation for Holy Cross College, our country, and, indeed, the world.

I would like to say a word to the graduating seniors! I know that many of you are worried about the prospect of graduation being cancelled. I, too, share that worry. For what it is worth, I want you to know that I intend to do everything in my power to see that graduation takes place. However, circumstances regarding contagion, mitigation of disease, spread, and progress of “smoothing the incident curve” will undoubtably prevail. This senior class has had a special place for me in that you were freshmen late in your first year when I arrived as interim president. It was a dark moment for the College, and the specter of closure was in the air. Your grit, your courage, and the confidence of your parents gave me and a new administration a sense of determination that created a new vision that returned us to our roots. God’s Providence has blessed this place these past few years, a place steeped in its Holy Cross Foundation. Today, on the Feast of St. Joseph, we celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the Brothers of St. Joseph who later joined auxiliary priests in Le Mans to form the Congregation of Holy Cross, a community of brothers and priests. Join with me in praying for the Brothers of Holy Cross, especially the College’s founder, Brother John Driscoll, CSC, as well as all those who followed him in service to the mission of the College for the past fifty-four years. Meanwhile, trust we will celebrate your graduation!!!!

God Bless each of you. I will be in touch.

Father David



March 11, 2020

Dear Holy Cross Community,

In my recent communication with the College, I informed you that we would be in touch with members of the Community as the Coronavirus (COVID-19) problem evolved.

The Officers of the College have been meeting regulary to review the situation. We have also had consultations with medical experts, hospitals, and government agencies such as the CDC. We have also been in communication with the higher education community at the federal, state, and local levels as the situation has unfolded.

It is clear that the spread of the COVID-19 virus has increased and presently shows no abatement. In an attempt to maintain a safe environment, Holy Cross College will cease campus operations effective immediately through April 13th. This includes the suspension of all face to face instruction. ALL CLASSES WILL RESUME BY DISTANCE LEARNING ON MONDAY, MARCH 16th.

Students will receive a detailed set of instructions and protocols from Dean Polaniecki. The members of the faculty will receive similar instructions and protocols from Provost Watson, and staff, likewise, will receive instructions and protocols from Vice President Monica Markovich. Please read these instructions carefully.

While I find it sad that our Community will not be together during these weeks, these actions are clearly necessary for our health and the common good. As news and events transpire, I will do my best to keep the Community informed.

In Holy Cross,

(Rev.) David T. Tyson, C.S.C.

During the 1849 cholera epidemic in LeMans, France, Holy Cross founder, Father Moreau wrote to the family of Holy Cross:

“Prayer is like a health zone which we must set up around our homes and schools. Moreover, it can heal souls. It is this spirit of prayer which gives me confidence that the plague will spare Holy Cross, which is so visibly under the protection of Divine Providence. Put your confidence in prayer, therefore, but at the same time, do not neglect the precautions recommended by doctors and other officials.”

COVID-19 is a serious virus affecting many around the country and it is important that we all take steps to keep ourselves and those around us healthy and safe.

How COVID-19 spreads
According to the CDC, the virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person. This can happen between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

The CDC notes that people are thought to be most contagious when they are the sickest. Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

CDC data indicates how easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious (spread easily) like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily. Another factor is whether the spread is sustained, spreading continually without stopping. The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community spread. Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.

Watch for symptoms
Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death. The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure based on what has been seen previously as the incubation period of MERS-CoV viruses: Fever, cough, and shortness of breath. It is recommended to call a doctor if you develop symptoms and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or have recently traveled from an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19.

Health advice
There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. It cannot be emphasized enough that good self-care habits are vitally important, including:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer with at least 70 percent alcohol
  • Cover your cough
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Don’t share food or drinks
  • If you get sick, stay home and rest

To keep informed on the latest developments regarding COVID-19, visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html



Dear Students,

Congratulations on finishing the Spring semester of 2020! It was not the semester that any of us expected or could have predicted, but hard work and perseverance characterized much of your effort. In a special way I offer my most earnest words of congratulations to our graduates. I realize that some of the specifics of this email do not pertain to our new alumni, but of course we look forward to having you back to campus for your Commencement in early September.

As I am sure you have all seen, Father Tyson has notified the college community of some important changes to the upcoming semester. Of particular importance are the changes to the academic calendar.

  1. Classes will begin the week of August 10, 2020.
  2. The semester will proceed with no Fall Break.
  3. The semester will conclude immediately prior to Thanksgiving.

In the area of student life, we are developing best practices to ensure the safety of the college community. The new procedures and protocols will incorporate testing, contact tracing, and supportive isolation measures. At the same time, I want you to know that Holy Cross will continue to offer a vibrant college life that allows for the education of the mind and heart. Our residence halls will foster community and fellowship and the programming efforts of students activities, campus ministry, and others will continue. This commitment to the full educational experience comes from our very mission. For over 175 years, the Congregation of Holy Cross has formed the hearts and minds of students here in Notre Dame, Indiana. Education is not only about course material, but an experience of intellectual, social, and spiritual growth. Although it will be a challenge to make this happen in the current circumstances, we believe that by being smart, safe, and united in a common effort, we can meet the moment.

Over the course of the summer we will continue to provide updates on these important procedures and protocols and also share information regarding Welcome Weekend, move-in dates, and other adjustments to campus life. We are a community of Scholars, Leaders, Citizens, and Disciples and I am confident that our careful planning along with your cooperation will lead to a year of learning and excellence. I thank you for your ongoing patience and flexibility during these times of transition. Know of my continued prayers for each of you during these summer months, and I look forward to seeing you on campus in August. Go Saints!

Spes Unica
Dean Polaniecki


Dear Holy Cross Students,

Earlier this week Father Tyson announced that although it would not be possible to host a graduation on campus in May, there would however be a grand “Welcome Home” celebration on Labor Day weekend in early September. I am sure all the seniors are pleased to know that they will have their moment to walk across the stage. For the rest us, this will be a moment for celebration and great joy to celebrate our college community.

As you continue to settle into new routines and work through this transition, I know there are many questions and concerns that you all have regarding campus and residential housing. I know many of you are particularly anxious of knowing when you will be able to return to campus. I would like to share with you these updates.

  1. Currently, the campus, including all residential buildings, remains closed. The process of coming to campus to retrieve items from dorm rooms will involve the completion of a retrieval of belongings form. Please know that given the stay at home orders currently in place (please observe them!) and other restrictions already in place through April, it will likely be well into May before anyone can return. But as soon as we are confident in knowing a time frame for when it is safe to travel and return to campus, the retrieval of belongings form will be made available. This form will facilitate the creation of appointments to come to campus and will ensure efficiency and proper protocols. For example, it will allow us to follow health guidelines in terms of controlling how many people are in a residential building at any given time.
  2. For the limited number of students who will not able to return to campus to retrieve belongings, which may possibly include international students, residence life and housing will work with you to create a plan. The retrieval of belongings form will provide you the opportunity to request an alternate plan. These special circumstances will be reviewed case-by-case by residence life and housing.
  3. Even as we pass through this difficult time, we know that we will get through this and be together as a campus community again. To that end, I am happy to share that room picks will take place on-line in the first week of May. An email sharing many of the details of room picks will be sent to all students by the end of this week.
  4. I also am happy to share that the leadership of the College met today and approved the room & board refund policy. Communication regarding the details of this process will come from the Office of Student Accounts in the coming weeks.

I know I have expressed it before, but once again I want to offer a word of gratitude and thanks to all of you for your patience and understanding. Additionally, I would like to offer a word of encouragement to double-down on your efforts to rigorously engage the distance learning that you have all undertaken. You are missed while you are away from campus, but knowing the education of your minds and hearts is still taking place gives me great hope for the future of our college community. I encourage you to remain faithful and committed in your educational effort. Please do not hesitate to reach out for support and know of my continued prayers for each of you. Hang in there.

Spes Unica
Polaniecki


Dear Students,

I am sure you have all seen today’s update from Father Tyson notifying the college community that the remainder of the semester will be distance learning. Like Father, I too am saddened by this reality as this was not the outcome that I or any of you desired. However, I too would also like to invoke St. Joseph at this time. He is my own Saintly Patron and most certainly watches over our college and over all of you. I am confident that he will intercede for each of us as we move forward with the learning to take place. There is still much to be determined and many questions to answer, but in this letter I will share what I know and what has been determined at this time.

  1. The college campus, including all residential buildings, are and will remain closed until further notice. South Bend and all of St. Joseph County, and other places throughout the region and country, have put in place travel bans. It is good that many of you are with family and so we ask that you remain there.
  2. At the appropriate time, in accordance with public health guidance, information will be shared as to when and how a move-out process will take place. In the coming weeks, information will also be shared regarding housing and room-picks for the 20-21 academic year.
  3. I am grateful for the excellent cooperation in making sure that all protocols were followed in closing the residence halls. Please make me aware of any assistance needed as some still transition to a permanent residence.
  4. I know that among the many challenges being faced is concern over what will happen with this semester’s room and board expenses. The college administration is working on details, but I am able to share that the college will prorate room and board to adjust to the changes in your living situations.

I once again thank you for your patience and flexibility. Heeding the invitation by Pope Francis for a worldwide praying of the Rosary this afternoon, my family gathered with our rosaries and prayed with hopeful hearts that we all do the best we can to meet the current challenges and realities. I prayed that all of you would use this time to open your hearts and minds to the distance learning that will take place during this semester. We will get through this together as Saints of Holy Cross.

Spes Unica
Dean Polaniecki


Dear Students,

As you have already learned in a message shared by Father Tyson, Holy Cross College has made the decision to transition to distance learning immediately following Spring Break. Distance learning will begin this coming Monday, March 16th. Please read carefully the following protocols that have been put in place.

  1. All students in campus housing, including University Edge, are expected to return home as soon as possible. Off-campus students are strongly encouraged to return home as well. Students who are already at home should remain at home, and those with travel plans to return to South Bend should change them. Residence halls will close at noon ET on Tuesday, March 17. The Office of Residence Life is available to work with students who may have extreme difficulty in meeting these college expectations. If you are in this situation, email me (apolaniecki@hcc-nd.edu).
  2. All student extracurricular activities — including but not limited to — travel, events, programs, performances, intramurals, meetings, etc., both on and off campus, are cancelled through Monday, April 13th. Decisions related to varsity athletics will be communicated by Athletics to impacted student-athletes. While support services will not be available to students on campus, our commitment to student success, health, and well-being continues, as all college staff and officials can be reached at any time by email and phone.

    Students who have traveled to any country rated as a CDC Level 3 travel advisory (currently China, South Korea, Iran, and Italy) are required to self-quarantine and self-monitor their temperature for 14 days. In addition, those who have been in contact with someone with the virus or are exhibiting any signs or indications of illness are required to self-quarantine and will not be allowed on campus.

  3. Faculty will provide guidance to you about all of your individual courses. The college stands ready to help you continue in your classes. Faculty will be making accommodations for those unable to retrieve course materials from campus. Any students who are still local or on campus should only take what they need from their rooms at this point, including passports, identification, keys, course materials, and laptops.
  4. Because there is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19, the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus by minimizing crowds, practicing social distancing (keep distance of six feet), and avoiding close contact with people who are sick.

If you have a fever, cough, or shortness of breath, please contact your health care provider. If this is not possible, you may contact our partners at St. Joseph Health System by calling 574.335.1110. In order to keep all of our communities safe we appreciate that students with personal, relevant health information, concerns, or health status updates contact Mr. Tom DeHorn (tdehorn@hcc-nd.edu).

Thank you students for your patience, understanding, and flexibility during this time. Please feel free to share this letter with your family and loved ones.

Please know of my prayers and the prayers of all of us here at the college during this time. I hope that we are all back together as a college community soon.

Spes Unica
Dean Polaniecki


March 19, 2020

Dear Holy Cross parents and guardians,

I communicated the following information earlier this evening to the entire college community, including our students.

It is with a certain sadness that I must write you concerning an update on the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. As you know, mitigation of the spread of the disease has not taken place at this point in time. Deaths in the United States have increased as well as new cases of the virus. I have followed all of these events very closely since my most recent communication to our community. After consultation with the University of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s College, I met with the officers of the College to discuss the course we must take. Given the present scenarios and projections of the CDC and other agencies monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic, we have determined that the present distance learning classes will continue until the end of the spring semester.

Like you, I was hoping and praying that the College Community would be able to reassemble for the last part of the semester. Unfortunately, we simply cannot do so if we are to exercise proper vigilance and prudent judgment at this time. As was the case in my March 11th message, students will soon be receiving further important information regarding the course of the semester from Dean Polaniecki. The Provost will be in communication with the faculty of the College, and Vice President Markovich will do likewise with the staff. Classes are scheduled to end on May 1st. Final Examinations are schedule from May 4th through May 8th. I again ask your continued good will and patience during these days and in this somewhat unprecedented situation for Holy Cross College, our country, and, indeed, the world.

I would like to say a word to the graduating seniors and their parents! I know that many of you are worried about the prospect of graduation being cancelled. I, too, share that worry. For what it is worth, I want you to know that I intend to do everything in my power to see that graduation takes place. However, circumstances regarding contagion, mitigation of disease, spread, and progress of “smoothing the incident curve” will undoubtably prevail. This senior class has had a special place for me in that you were freshmen late in your first year when I arrived as interim president. It was a dark moment for the College, and the specter of closure was in the air. Your grit, your courage, and the confidence of your parents gave me and a new administration a sense of determination that created a new vision that returned us to our roots.

God’s Providence has blessed this place these past few years, a place steeped in its Holy Cross Foundation. Today, on the Feast of St. Joseph, we celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the Brothers of St. Joseph who later joined auxiliary priests in Le Mans to form the Congregation of Holy Cross, a community of brothers and priests. Join with me in praying for the Brothers of Holy Cross, especially the College’s founder, Brother John Driscoll, CSC, as well as all those who followed him in service to the mission of the College for the past fifty-four years. Meanwhile, trust we will celebrate your graduation!!!!

God Bless each of you. I will be in touch.

(Rev.) David T. Tyson, C.S.C



March 11, 2020

Dear Holy Cross parents and guardians,

As you may already be aware, this afternoon I informed the college community of an important message regarding the evolving situation of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Officers of the College have been meeting regularly to review the situation. We have also had consultations with medical experts, hospitals, and government agencies such as the CDC. We have also been in communication with the higher education community at the federal, state, and local levels as the situation has unfolded. While we have no known cases at Holy Cross, Saint Mary’s or Notre Dame, we wish to do our part in this public health crisis.

it is clear that the spread of the COVID-19 virus has increased and presently shows no abatement. In an attempt to maintain a safe environment, Holy Cross College will cease campus operations effective immediately through April 13th. This includes the suspension of all face to face instruction. ALL CLASSES WILL RESUME BY DISTANCE LEARNING ON MONDAY, MARCH 16th. Students have already received a detailed set of instructions and protocols from Andrew Polaniecki, Dean of Students. You can read his letter, as well as all materials related to the College response, on the other tabs of this page.

I want to assure you that the College will remain vigilant and stay in communication as this situation unfolds. I have asked the Senior Vice President, Dr. Michael Griffin, to assist me in responding directly to your concerns and questions.

Please be assured of my continued prayers.

In Holy Cross,

(Rev.) David T. Tyson, C.S.C.

During the 1849 cholera epidemic in LeMans, France, Holy Cross founder, Father Moreau wrote to the family of Holy Cross:

“Prayer is like a health zone which we must set up around our homes and schools. Moreover, it can heal souls. It is this spirit of prayer which gives me confidence that the plague will spare Holy Cross, which is so visibly under the protection of Divine Providence. Put your confidence in prayer, therefore, but at the same time, do not neglect the precautions recommended by doctors and other officials.”

College students around America are forced for the next few months to finish the academic year differently than ever before. I sure didn’t see this coming, and I bet you didn’t either. So how can we best care for our physical and mental health during this pandemic? I’ll list some tips below for us to try and stay on track for the end of the academic year.

Physical health tips:

  1. Keep a routine and a schedule. Wake up and go to bed on time. Attend your online classes; don’t skip out. You are not on Christmas break. Stay engaged with your professors and classmates and stay focused on the work you need to complete. Keep a strict calendar and follow it. Add all your classes onto your calendar and plan for study time.
  2. Don’t procrastinate. Keep your deadlines and turn in your work on time. Professors still expect you to get your work and readings completed.
  3. Turn off the T.V. Set goals for limiting social media, You Tube, and other apps, and stick to them so that you can focus on your classes. It’s easy to get obsessed and sucked into the media and latest happenings about the virus. Focus on what you can control and what you have responsibility over: schoolwork, time with family, and other meaningful activities.
  4. Exercise! Try to find ways to get your workouts in. Usually, 3-4 x per week of aerobic exercise is good for your wellness if approved by your doctor. YouTube has some excellent online workout videos.
  5. Rest. Get 7-8 hours of sleep. Good rest is important to keep your immune system strong and capable of fighting off disease.
  6. Eat well. I can’t stress enough how important it is to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
  7. Vitamins are important in keeping your immune system strong. Be sure to take enough Vitamin B-6, C, D, and E.

Mental Health tips:

  1. Tune into how you are feeling. Take time throughout the day to breathe deeply. Notice if you’re feeling anxious, worried, overwhelmed, or sad. What thoughts underlie your feelings? What positive steps can you take to address your feelings?
  2. Stay connected to your support systems. Call or video-chat your friends and family members to stay in touch with them. Talk about your feelings and what you are experiencing.
  3. Of course, taking care of your health adds to your mental health. So, be sure to eat well and get enough exercise.
  4. Stay optimistic. Keep hope in your future. Write down a list of things you are thankful for.
  5. Set goals and stick to your plan. This includes setting goals for the day, week, and months and years ahead. Consider beginning the day by identifying goals for schoolwork, exercise, social engagement, and other meaningful activities (prayer, hobbies, extracurriculars). Now might be a good time to revisit setting your academic and career goals. Talk with experts in the field and be sure you want to dedicate yourself to that field of study and work.
  6. Take time for yourself. Read a good book or watch a good movie.
  7. Have positive family time. Play a game together and enjoy meals together.
  8. Tap into the Source: if you’re a person of faith, take time for prayer. HCC Campus Ministry has a list of recommended resources during this time.

Students,

Monday March 16th, the counseling sessions at Holy Cross College will no longer be in person. However, we want to assure you that should you have interest or the need to speak with either Beth Hlabse or myself, we will be available during our usual hours. To set up a phone or video conference meeting during our time away from campus, please email appointment requests directly to the counselor. If you are new to making a counseling appointment, please email counseling@hcc-nd.edu, and we will arrange a time to talk with you.

Here is a reference link with tips for social distancing, quarantine, and isolation during an infectious disease outbreak: https://store.samhsa.gov/system/files/sma14-4894.pdf

Please stay healthy during this strange and challenging time. We look forward to serving you in the midst of this transition. Thank you and please let me know if you have questions.

Tom

Thomas DeHorn, L.M.H.C., L.C.A.C.
Director of Counseling and Health

Dear Holy Cross College Seniors, Faculty, Staff and Student Body,

These days are anxious ones as we do our best to negotiate the uncertainty we encounter in most aspects of our lives. Our national health care crisis with the spread of COVID-19 is still of great concern as there is a surge in new cases and fatalities that will continue for at least a couple of weeks. In addition, all constituents of the College have had to adjust to a virtual learning environment. To do so is a difficult task not only for the learner but in a particular way for the teachers. I am grateful to the faculty for “jumping in” to change pedagogical styles as well as modalities with such very short notice. Your usual commitment and dedication to the primacy of the teaching function is evident as always. Perhaps most of all, all of us, especially students, left for break never expecting that our Community would be separated for a such long period of time.

Along with the officers of the College, I have monitored the spread of COVID-19 and the aggressive efforts to establish mitigation protocols that would stem the rapid spread of the virus. As well, we have monitored the analyses of data by outstanding basic and clinical researchers in contagious disease, public health, and public policy with respect to the pandemic. It is apparent, however, that the present situation still contains many factors that prevent any conclusions that are definitive about mitigation and “lowering” the curve. I have consulted frequently in these last days with the leadership team and have kept the chair of the Board of Trustees apprised of our conversation. Today, I again consulted with the officers of the College and we, necessarily, had to conclude that the May Commencement will need to be postponed. Late this afternoon, I conducted a meeting with about 6-7 seniors regarding the cancellation of Commencement and an alternative plan. The plan was welcomed enthusiastically by the group and later gained the consensus of the officers of the College.

It would be my great desire that our College community gather early in the fall semester for a an official “Welcome Home Celebration” that would involve a festival of sorts. As the center of this College celebration will be the Commencement of the Class of 2020. It would be a first in that all of the student body will be present along with the faculty, staff and administration. It would be a great symbol for our newest students to see the culmination of hard work and growth in the academic ritual of commencement. Therefore, the Commencement Activities for the Class of 2020 will be held on September 4-6 which is Labor Day Weekend, a non-football weekend. There will be a Baccalaureate Mass on September 4th where we will gather to pray in thanksgiving with and for the graduates. The Commencement ceremony will be held on Saturday, September 5th at 2PM.

Know of my prayers. Please don’t slack off on health precautions. #HoCroStrong!

In Holy Cross,

Father David

The CARES Act (Section 18004(a)(1)) provides emergency financial aid grants to students whose lives have been disrupted due to coronavirus and are now facing financial challenges.

On April 16th, 2020 Holy Cross College signed and returned the Certification and Agreement to the Department of Education, and commits to using no less than 50% of the funds received through the CARES Act to provide these emergency financial aid grants to eligible Holy Cross College students.

On April 25th, 2020, Holy Cross College received $234,796 from the Department of Education in emergency financial aid grants.

ELIGIBILITY

In order to be eligible for these funds, students must be eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965.
For the Spring 2020 semester, 274 Holy Cross College students were deemed eligible for Emergency CARES funds based on information provided in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

DISTRIBUTION

In directing assistance to those eligible for federal funds, the CARES Act identifies the criteria as “expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus (including eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care).”

Holy Cross College developed the following fourfold process and formula to distribute the funds:

  1. On May 5th, all eligible students were notified of their eligibility for a $300 grant. They were also given the chance to decline the award and ask that it be redistributed to students in greater need. A total of 268 students accepted these grants totaling $80,400.
  2. Students were also invited to apply for additional funds by sharing (confidentially) how they have been impacted by the disruption of campus operations due to the pandemic. Requests were capped at $6,000 to ensure that funds could be distributed to as many students as possible. These requests total $67,720.
  3. The College also wanted to ensure that funds went to students who were known to be in economically fragile situations. The College directed a portion of funds to students identified as most at risk by using a combination of formulas that took into account both the student’s EFC (expected family contribution) as well as the gap between the EFC and the cost to attend Holy Cross College. Students were granted either the greater of their additional funding request or the formula amount for students in economically fragile situations. For example, if a student requested an additional $300, but the formula indicated they should receive $500 additional, the student received $500. If the student requested $800 additional and gave good reason, and the formula indicated they should receive $500, the student received $800. In addition, based on informal and formal conversations and emails with the Dean of Students regarding challenges due to the disruption of campus operations before the formal request process was developed, some students were awarded additional aid. These disbursements total $74,580.
  4. Since the regulations ask colleges to consider “each student’s particular socioeconomic circumstances in the staging and administration of these grants,” we will reserve the remaining funds to apply case by case to those students who have entered into a different social-economic situation because of the disruption created by the pandemic.

As of May 22, 2020, the College has disbursed $222,700 to 268 eligible students.

As of July 6th, 2020, the College has disbursed $225,700 to 268 eligible students.

As of August 6th, 2020, the College has disbursed $226,700 to 268 eligible students.

HCC CARES FUND

In addition to the disbursal of federal funds, we have established a fund through generous donations to assist those students who are ineligible to receive federal assistance. On May 5, these students were sent a letter inviting them to share financial hardships due to the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Based on these responses, we have awarded $18,780 to 27 Holy Cross College students.