Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates →

Please click here for the latest information regarding Benedictine University's response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

Benedictine University will be a "virtual campus." What does that mean?

Our goal by going to a “virtual campus” is to encourage anyone who can study at home or work from home to do so. From Monday, March 16-Sunday, May 31, non-essential faculty and staff have been asked to work from home. Virtual instruction for students at all levels and on all campuses will take place starting Monday, March 23 (following the University's Spring Break, March 16-20). Virtual learning will continue to the end of the spring undergraduate semester (May 8, 2020) and the end of the spring graduate quarter (May 31, 2020). At this time we do not anticipate the need for additional class time for the current term.

Our goal is to ensure day-to-day operations continue to run as smoothly as possible while doing what we can to mitigate the likelihood of the virus being spread among our community. Should you need to contact any on-campus resources, please do so via email or over the phone. The campus will continue to be monitored by Benedictine University Police 24/7. They will be able to give access to campus buildings as needed.

Knowing that this is a very fluid situation, when will the University communicate updates about returning to face-to-face instruction?

President Gregory announced on March 18 that the Virtual Campus period will be extended through May 31, 2020. Should another extension be needed, a message will be sent via the University’s Ben Alert system as well as standard Benedictine University email.

What should faculty and staff do if they need access to a building on campus?

Our goal by going to a “virtual campus” is to encourage anyone who can study at home or work from home to do so. However, we understand that is not a possibility for everyone and that faculty and staff may need access to their offices during the Virtual Campus period. Those who need assistance should check-in with University Police to have the necessary buildings and rooms unlocked. The Benedictine University Police Station is located on the first floor of the parking garage. The non-emergency police number is 630-829-6122.

How will my student worker position be affected by the move to a Virtual Campus?

Here at Benedictine, we are a community. During difficult times, we come together to support one another in any way possible. We understand that we have many student workers who will be unable to come to campus to work and/or are unable to work from home. This can negatively impact those who rely on their student worker paychecks to get by financially, and that is not something the University wants for any of our community members.

During this time, student workers will be allowed to work virtually as they are able on any projects assigned by their supervisor. Even if there is no work for them to do virtually, Benedictine will continue to pay them for their normally scheduled work shifts. Students should ensure they are using their student worker email address and not their student email to complete any virtual work. They will continue to complete their timesheet for their regularly scheduled hours and submit it electronically to their supervisor for approval by the posted bi-weekly deadline.

How will university travel be affected?

All university-sponsored air travel will be suspended immediately until further notice. If you have any questions, please contact your supervisor. We urge those of you who are travelling for personal reasons to exercise extreme caution and check the health department websites for the states where you are headed for the most up-to-date information about COVID-19 in those locations.

If I need to leave my car on campus, where is the best place to park it for the duration of the Virtual Campus period?

Anyone who needs to leave their car on campus for an extended period of time is encouraged to park on the first floor of the parking garage near the police station.

Academic Resources

How will the Virtual Campus period affect the rest of the spring term?

Virtual learning will continue to the end of the spring undergraduate semester (May 8, 2020) and the end of the spring graduate quarter (May 31, 2020). At this time, we do not anticipate the need for additional class time for the current term.

How will I find out more information about each of my courses during the Virtual Campus period?

As all face-to-face and blended format classes are moving to a virtual environment the week of March 23, students should go to their D2L class page and/or check their BenU or D2L email to read communication from their instructors regarding each class moving forward. Faculty has been asked to communicate important information to students via these platforms. If you have any questions, please contact your instructor.

I am not sure if I should remain in my class for this term. When is the last day to withdraw?

The normal withdrawal deadline has been extended to the Sunday before the final week of the class [excluding finals week] to ensure students have as much time as possible to adapt to the new instructional format and to the ever changing situation within our country. This is Sunday, April 26, for 15 week long semester classes and Sunday, May 24, for 10 week long quarter classes. This change allows students additional time to decide whether or not to withdraw. Students withdraw online through MyBenU.

I am worried about the impact virtual campus changes might have on my GPA. What other options are available for me to continue in the course?

To fully support students’ academic goals and provide flexibility for students who are adapting to unexpected changes to their course formats, students can choose to take courses Pass/Fail for credit for the Spring 2020 term. A form to request Pass/Fail grading will be available on the Registrar’s Office website soon. Students must submit the form by Friday, April 17.

This policy applies to both graduate and undergraduate students. For undergraduate students, the P grade equates to a D grade or better. A, B, C, and D grades will convert to a P grade in courses that a student has elected Pass/Fail grading. A P grade will not count in a student’s GPA calculation. F grades will be reflected on a student’s record as normal. The F grade will be calculated into a student’s GPA. For graduate students, the P grade equates to a C grade or better. A, B, and C grades will convert to a P grade in courses that a student has elected Pass/Fail grading. A P grade will not count in a student’s GPA calculation. D and F grades will be reflected on a student’s record as normal. The D and F grades will be calculated into a student’s GPA.

A P grade is considered passing and meets degree requirements for all courses earning a P grade in Spring 2020 term only.

  • There are exclusions that students cannot elect for Pass/Fail grading that include but are not limited to:
    • students repeating a course
    • courses that have already assigned grades or completed all coursework for Spring 2020 term before Monday, March 23.
    • visiting students who are taking classes under the Aurora University/Benedictine University/North Central College consortium agreement.
  • There are unique circumstances and courses that students should be cautious in electing for Pass/Fail grading that include but are not limited to:
    • students on Satisfactory Academic Progress
    • students on academic probation
    • students trying to boost GPA for graduation purposes students trying to boost GPA for honors or dean’s list purposes
    • student planning to attend medical or other health professional schools
    • undergraduate students taking courses that a student intends to apply towards a graduate program
    • students planning to transfer their Benedictine University coursework to another institution to fulfill specific requirements.

     

Will I be able to use the same textbooks for my courses?

Students are able to utilize their same textbooks for virtual learning. If you have rented your textbooks, you can return them at the end of the term as usual. An email with instructions will be sent to you during finals week. We continue to work with Barnes & Noble to make this process as seamless as possible and will update you as more information is available.

Why is Fall 2020 registration being pushed back a week?

Registration for Fall 2020 has been pushed back to the week of April 6, 2020, starting a week later than originally planned. Given the significant adaptations being made by students, faculty and advisors as we start the Virtual Campus period, this ensures everyone has additional time for advisement for Fall 2020 course selection. If students need additional time to make their fall class selections, they can always register at any point after their initial registration date.

What on-campus resources will be available for students who cannot complete their virtual learning at home?

Our goal by going to a “virtual campus” is to encourage anyone who can study at home or work from home to do so. However, we understand that is not a possibility for everyone. The first floor of the Krasa Student Center will be available for students who do not have the resources needed to complete their virtual learning at home. The space will be available Monday-Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. starting Monday, March 23 until the end of the Virtual Campus period. We ask anyone who uses this space to practice social distancing as outlined by the CDC. Those who are disruptive will be asked to leave. Students should check-in with University Police to gain access. The Benedictine University Police Station is located on the first floor of the parking garage. The non-emergency police number is 630-829-6122. The availability of this space will be evaluated on a week-to-week basis as recommendations from local, state and national health agencies continue to evolve.

What library services will be available during the Virtual Campus period?

The University Library is closed to walk-in service, but Library personnel are still available to provide service and support during this time. Librarians are virtually present during regular operating hours. You can contact them for support through email, chat or voice mail. Library resources are accessible electronically through the library website at ben.edu/library. For those who currently have books from our library or any I-Share library, please hold them until conditions change. Overdue fines and late fees will be waived. More detailed information about what services the Library offers are also posted online.

What tutoring services will be available during the Virtual Campus period?

The University is making every effort to ensure day-to-day operations continue to run as smoothly as possible throughout the Virtual Campus period and that includes offering the same tutoring and career services that are regularly available to students – only virtually. Learning specialists will be available during their regular hours for math, science and writing as well as career advisors. Peer tutors will be available during modified hours based on their virtual availability. Please check the Academic and Career Enrichment Center website for details starting Monday, March 23.

How are pre-clinicals, student teaching and internships being affected?

Since K-12 institutions are closed for in-person instruction, our pre-clinical and student teaching students should follow the leads of their school districts and cooperating teachers. Many school districts are moving to e-learning for the next several weeks, with decisions about the rest of the school year to be made at a later date. Students should stay as involved as possible in helping their cooperating teachers deliver course material to their students.

Any students interning at off-site locations should work with their internship sites to develop an individual plan for the rest of the semester, whether that include in-person or virtual internship work. We intend to help each internship site deliver a great internship experience to our students as long as it is safe to do so. Faculty and staff internship coordinators will be in touch with those partner sites in order to stay informed about their current status. Students should contact their Benedictine internship coordinator if their sponsor site notifies them that their internship needs to be suspended, any persons test positive for COVID-19 at their internship sites and/or if they feel unsafe or uneasy about continuing to go to their internship given the current state of the outbreak.

Campus Events & Activities

Will events still be held on campus?

Any large-scale on-campus events or events that are open to the public are cancelled for the Virtual Campus period of Monday, March 23-Sunday, May 31. Unfortunately, this includes cancelling our May 2020 commencement ceremonies for both Lisle and Mesa. We are looking for other opportunities to celebrate our graduating class later this summer and will communicate more information about those as soon as it is appropriate to do so.

What is the status of intercollegiate athletics for the remainder of the spring semester?

Taken from the NACC Response to COVID-19 posted on Friday, March 13, 2020:

With the health and safety of our student-athletes in mind, as well as the welfare of our campus communities as a whole, the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference (NACC) Council of Chief Executive Officers has unanimously come to the difficult decision to cancel all remaining athletic competition for the 2019-2020 academic year.

Institutions with teams that have returned from spring break trips will cancel athletic competition immediately. Institutions with teams currently on spring break trips will cancel athletic competitions upon the completion of those respective trips.

The cancellation includes all NACC spring regular-season competitions, championships, and awards in the sports of baseball, men's and women's golf, men's and women's lacrosse, softball, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's outdoor track and field and men's volleyball.

The decision comes following the NCAA Board of Governors' decision to cancel the remaining winter and spring NCAA Championships and encouraging conferences and institutions to make decisions and take action in the best interest of their student-athletes and communities.

The conference commissioner will work with the Division III Commissioners Association and the NCAA to discuss impacts on eligibility for student-athletes.

How will this affect 2020 Commencement ceremonies?

Unfortunately, all campus events and programming will be suspended during the extended Virtual Campus period in accordance with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). This includes postponing our May 2020 commencement ceremonies for both Lisle and Mesa.

We are planning to reschedule the 2020 Lisle Commencement Ceremony for Sunday, October 18 (Homecoming Weekend). Details will be shared as they become available. A date for the 2020 Mesa Commencement Ceremony will be announced soon.

University Housing

When can I check out of the residence halls?

The residence halls will officially close for the semester at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 22. While this extended deadline gives students and families extra time to make necessary travel arrangements, we ask that residential students make plans to move home for the semester as soon as possible. Check out will run from 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. daily through March 22.

Wednesday, March 18 | 1:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, March 19 | 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Friday, March 20 | 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 21 | 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, March 22 | 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Those who are not able to return to campus to check out during these times should contact Mark McHorney, Chief Engagement Officer, to schedule a separate check out time.

What dining options will be available on campus?

No on-campus dining options, including Benny's, Coal Ben and Starbucks, will be available during check out through the rest of the spring semester.

Will any student be permitted to remain in the residence halls?

Students who need to request an emergency exception to reside on campus should contact Mark McHorney, Chief Engagement Officer

Will there be reimbursements issued for room and board?

All residential students will receive a refund for the final seven (7) weeks of the spring 2020 semester, which represents the weeks of March 22-May 9. Refunds will be applied in the following order:

  • All residential students who have a current balance on their account will receive a credit applied to this balance, for the unused portion of room and board, for the final seven (7) weeks of the semester.
  • All residential students who have a zero (0) balance on their account and are current freshmen, sophomores or juniors will receive a credit, for the unused portion of room and board, for the final seven (7) weeks of the semester, applied toward the fall 2020 semester or spring 2021 semester.
  • All residential students who have a zero (0) balance on their account and plan to continue in a Benedictine University graduate program can have their credit, for the unused portion of room and board, for the final seven (7) weeks of the spring 2020 semester, applied toward the fall 2020, winter 2021 or spring 2021 quarter tuition.
  • All residential students who have a zero (0) balance on their account and will be graduating in spring 2020 or summer 2020 will receive a refund, for the unused portion of room and board, for the final seven (7) weeks of the semester, according to the refund preference they selected with BankMobile.

These credits or refunds will be applied no later than May 15, 2020. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Benedictine University’s Business Office via email at sar@ben.edu.

Public Health

Have there been any confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Benedictine University?

There are currently no known cases of COVID-19 within the Benedictine community.

What is the coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in people and many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people such as with MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV, and now with this new virus (named SARS-CoV-2). For additional information visit the CDC website.

What should I do to stay healthy?

  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap before rinsing, or for 20 seconds with hand sanitizer if a sink is not available.
  • Keep up healthy habits like getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, getting physical activity and eating well. A healthy immune system is better at fighting off any illness.
  • Get your flu shot if you have not done so (flu shots are covered by insurance, and if you do not have insurance, the $25 fee is a lot less than healthcare costs if you need treatment for the flu).

What should I do if I feel ill?

  • If you are sick, please stay home, rest and drink plenty of fluids, and do not return to class or work until you are 24 hours symptom-free.
  • Please cover your cough and sneezes with your elbow or a tissue, and then wash your hands as soon as you are able.
  • If you are sick for more than five days, it’s time to call your doctor to see what is advised (do not walk-in to your doctor’s office without advance warning to protect other patients and healthcare providers).
  • If you are seriously ill and short of breath, go to the urgent care or the hospital and wear a mask as soon as you arrive. Let them know if you have been traveling and what your symptoms are to help them respond appropriately.