University Updates on the Coronavirus/COVID-19 Pandemic

University Updates on the Coronavirus/COVID-19 Pandemic

The university administration is heavily monitoring the coronavirus (also known as COVID-19) pandemic and its impact on and the situation in our community. We commit to communicating with our entire learning community as frequently as possible about any new developments.

This page is offered as a resource to students, staff, faculty, and our surrounding community, and will be used for continuing updates on the situation.

LAST UPDATE: July 9th, 2020. 

FXUA’s CURRENT STATUS: The university is operating under extreme caution at this time. The current Emergency Level 2 (following our Emergency Preparedness Plan), indicating that a major emergency is ongoing that affects portions of campus, and could impact mission-critical functions or life safety. The university is, wherever possible, requiring minimal risk or lower risk activities at this time. No large gatherings or officially sanctioned university events can occur at this time where more than the allowable number of individuals by the Commonwealth of Virginia are to take place. This status is updated regularly as conditions change.

UNIVERSITY INFORMATION

We are aware of a recent decision by the US Customs and Immigration Enforcement/SEVP guidance on modifications to the Fall 2020 semester for international students regarding “fully online instruction.” We can assure our students that we will make every effort to meet the requirements to allow international students to remain in status, including a hybrid model of courses. We are actively monitoring and advocating for our international students, who are very valued members of our diverse learning community. More information on COVID-19 and international students in the United States is available here: https://www.fxua.edu/covid-19-and-international-students-in-the-united-states/.

The university continued to monitor the situation around COVID-19. As Virginia enters new phases in its reopening, the university provides an update on its status here: LINK   Under review by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.

Due to the current situation surrounding COVID-19, all FXUA courses will shift to an online, synchronous method starting Monday, March 30th, 2020. Classes will be held online during their regularly scheduled day and time.

On March 23rd, the Governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam, issued a state of emergency because of the COVID-19 pandemic. (For more information on Virginia response, please visit their page here:https://www.virginia.gov/coronavirus-updates/). In the order, beginning March 24th at 11:59pm, no gatherings can take place of more than 10 individuals. This Executive Order, 53 (https://www.governor.virginia.gov/media/governorvirginiagov/governor-of-virginia/pdf/Frequently-Asked-Questions-Regarding-EO-53.pdf), applied until April 23rd at 11:59pm.

FXUA has been monitoring the national COVID-19 situation and out of an abundance of caution FXUA has decided to close the campus starting Monday, March 16 and will reopen on Monday, March 30, 2020. These measures were made to ensure the safety of our entire campus community. The university is continuing to monitor the situation and will be communicating with all students, staff, and faculty regularly about next steps. No classes will take place during the closure period (i.e., until the university re-opens).

Most of the university’s staff and faculty are available via email only, as the campus closure includes everyone within our learning community. Therefore, please be patient when needing a response from individuals.

Following the University President’s message, we encourage you to deploy preventative measures in the face of this virus.

We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your understanding.

The following is a message from the University President:

Since the beginning of the year, FXUA has been monitoring the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and actively providing updates based on guidance from public health experts.

Our primary goals are to ensure the safety and health of students, faculty and staff; maintain university operations and standards; and take part in the national effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. As such, leadership has decided to implement a two-week Spring Break beginning Monday, March 16, 2020 to Friday March 27, 2020. The university will re-open Monday, March 30, 2020. In conjunction with this, please note the following:

  • Essential personnel may be required to come in during this time. Your supervisor will notify you if you are in this category.
  • University travel and events will be suspended.

The Global Bistro will be closed.

To be clear, FXUA is not aware of any cases or immediate issues at this time.

Leadership will continue to meet daily to evaluate the circumstances and keep you updated as new information becomes available.

As our learning community and learning communities around the world go through this difficult time, let’s remain vigilant, understanding, and supportive.

PREVENTATIVE PERSONAL MEASURES

Good hygiene and common sense practices will help us to keep our entire community safe. The following are some suggestions for all of us to help keep safe and healthy:

  1. Wash your hands frequently (http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/content/uploads/sites/13/2020/03/Hand-Washing-VDH.pdf).
  2. If you are not able to wash your hands, use a hand sanitizer.
  3. Clean common spaces regularly.
  4. Maintain space between others (even in class!). Maintain at least six (6) feet between you and others.
  5. If you wish to wear a mask for preventative measures, we encourage you to let your classmates and teachers know that you are not sick, but are being cautious.
  6. If you are sick, please stay home. Be sure to communicate with your teachers /supervisor as soon as you feel sick. (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/steps-when-sick.html)
  7. Consider alternate forms of greetings (instead of a handshake or kiss on the cheek). Although many of our cultures have customs like shaking hands or kissing each other on the cheek, please do not engage in these practices for now. We respect everyone’s customs and practices as we are a multi-cultural learning community, so please understand that this is not to discriminate against anyone. This is just precautionary.
  8. Do not attend events that have large crowds.

 Keeping our community safe starts with each of us!

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Some useful information:

Student Questions and Answers: COVID – 19

There is a distinction between the domestic and international student populations. Domestic students can utilized the guidance provided in the attachment. International students on an F-1 visa should not be working, unless on CPT or OPT, as financial statements indicating financial sponsorship while in the United States are provided at the time of admission. Work authorization is reserved for F1 students doing the following:
1. On campus work
2. Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
3. Optional Practical Training (OPT/STEM OPT)
F1 students are not allowed to work outside of the above criteria.

For further explanations on what to do if you have lost your job or furloughed, please see below (question…)

There is a distinction between the domestic and international student populations. Domestic students can utilized the guidance provided in the attachment. International students on an F-1 visa should not be working, unless on CPT or OPT, as financial statements indicating financial sponsorship while in the United States are provided at the time of admission.

There is a distinction between the domestic and international student populations. Domestic students can utilized the guidance provided in the attachment. International students on an F-1 visa should not be working, unless on CPT or OPT, as financial statements indicating financial sponsorship while in the United States are provided at the time of admission.

FXUA does not provide university-sourced counseling services at this time. FXUA recommends students to reach out to resources available on https://www.fxua.edu/student-life/resources/health-clinics/

There are many health services and clinics in our area. Some of these clinics can be found here: https://www.fxua.edu/student-life/resources/health-clinics/

There are many health services and clinics in our area. Some of these clinics can be found here: https://www.fxua.edu/student-life/resources/health-clinics/

FXUA does not require its students to have insurance, but health insurance is strongly recommended since healthcare can be expense. Here are some resources/information on health insurance: https://www.fxua.edu/student-life/resources/health-insurance/

The Third Installment Payment Due date was March 21st, 2020. Please, refer to: https://www.fxua.edu/admissions-aid/financial-aid/tuition-payment-plan/. The payment deadline for SPR2020 semester was extended untill March 31st, 2020. The Student Accounts Department will put a Financial Hold on students’ accounts with unpaid balances.

FXUA has shifted its courses to an online format for the remainder of Spring 2020. Any decisions about the modality of future terms will be announced as conditions change over time. We intend to continue offering courses in a manner that ensures continuity of instruction, while also ensuring the safety of our learning community.

FXUA is committed to ensuring that continuity of instruction is assured. If students need to stop their enrollment, they must complete a withdrawal form (for those who may need to be out of school for a period longer than six months) or a leave of absence (for a period of less than six months).

FXUA is offering Summer I and Summer II courses as regularly planned. Summer I registration opens on 04/20/2020. Students should contact their advisor on or after this date to register for classes.

Students are permitted to complete their internship hours if their workplace remains open (either physically or virtually). Please contact your course instructor and advisor to work with them on any other tips or suggestions. Students are still expected to submit their course hours and coursework as defined by the course syllabus

After completing the Institutional Withdrawal form, your SEVIS will be terminated. You will be asked to leave the country 15 days after your SEVIS is terminated: https://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/sevis-help-hub/student-records/completions-and-terminations/terminate-a-student

USCIS is still processing OPT applications within the parameters given. Students can apply for OPT 90 days before graduation and up to 60 days after graduation. Students applying for STEM OPT can apply for an extension up to 30 days prior to the expiration date on their EAD. If application for an extension is received after the EAD has expired the student will lose their extension.

USCIS and SEVP has not provided any extension for the 90-day unemployment grace period. If you are unable to start working by the day 90s of unemployment, it is advised that you depart the USA or enroll in another program.

The FXUA diplomas for the Spring 2020 graduates will be shipped in June regardless of where the graduate is in the world. There will be no additional charge to have the FXUA diploma sent as the graduation fee has taking this expense into account. Until the diploma is received, verification of the degree can be located on the transcript in approximately mid-May.

Student’s graduating in the spring of 2020 will have a FXUA diploma. If a student graduated in December of 2019, it will display VIU.

Graduates do not need to attend the commencement ceremony to be conferred the degree. The FXUA diplomas for the Spring 2020 graduates will be shipped in June regardless of where the graduate is in the world. There will be no additional charge to have the FXUA diploma sent as the graduation fee has taking this expense into account. Until the diploma is received, verification of the degree can be located on the transcript in approximately mid-May. Spring graduate will have a conferral date of April 30, 2020.

As large gatherings are not permitted during this outbreak, FXUA has cancelled the Spring Commencement ceremony indefinitely and when safely appropriate, will work to identify a new date in the future.

The graduation fee of $150.00 is intended to cover the expenses of the diploma, diploma case, and transcript. No portion of the graduation fee is utilized for the commencement ceremony.

At this time, due to the COVID – 19 pandemic, FXUA will not be rescheduling a physical commencement ceremony.

At this time, FXUA does not intend to host a live virtual commencement ceremony in place of a physical one. Regrettably, it will not be possible to host a virtual ceremony as our faculty and staff are currently abiding by the stay at home orders for everybody’s protection. However, the faculty and staff are working remotely to create a few memorable moment keepsakes for the graduates. It will be important for you to keep your address updated with the university so that your diploma and keepsakes arrive at the correct destination.

FXUA is requesting that students do not purchase academic regalia (cap & gown) at this time.