Coronavirus Impacts SAC Students Abroad

“With a growing number of novel coronavirus cases in northern Italy, we have made the difficult decision to suspend our study-abroad program in Orvieto for this semester, cancel a planned class trip to Rome that was scheduled to depart on Friday, and strongly recommend the return of our three students who are studying this semester in Florence.” – President Favazza

Just after 10 a.m. today (February 27, 2020), Saint Anselm College President, Joseph Favazza, issued a stark warning to the campus community regarding the spreading threat of the Coronavirus. In an email to students, staff, and faculty, President Favazza said that due to the growing number of Coronavirus cases in northern Italy the decision had been made “to suspend our study-abroad program in Orvieto for this semester, cancel a planned class trip to Rome that was scheduled to depart on Friday, and strongly recommend the return of our three students who are studying this semester in Florence.”

Favazza said that the decision was not an easy one, but explained that “nothing is more important than the health and well-being of our students and faculty.” He also included that the decision had been made in cooperation between his office and multiple other offices across campus, including Health Services, Study Abroad, Finance, Academic Affairs, and Student Affairs. 

To any individual wondering: “how will students complete their classes and receive credit for their work?” the Dean’s Office is in the midst of developing a plan to ensure that students affected by this decision will still be able to complete their courses and receive credit. President Favazza stated that students currently studying in Orvieto will return to campus on March 16, and students studying in Florence will be able to complete their coursework online. 

As was highlighted in the email, Saint Anselm College has international programs throughout the world, but other than the three specifically mentioned locations in Orvieto, Florence, and Rome, no other trips would be impeded. He also mentioned the New Hampshire Department of Public Health is not concerned that students returning from these programs may have been exposed to the virus, and thus they will not go through any isolation procedures. This decision was entirely preventative and made with the well-being of students in mind.

We will continue to provide updates to this article as they become available.

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