Photo of the Red Hawk statue.
News Students Can Use

COVID-19 Update: Message from President Cole

University Adds New Measures to Protect Health and Safety of Campus Community.

Posted in: Academic, Announcements, Events, Facilities, Featured News, Safety, Wellness

March 21, 2020

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

This afternoon, Governor Phil Murphy issued Executive Order 107, which puts in place additional measures designed to slow the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.

Montclair State University fully supports Governor Murphy’s efforts. As you know, our goal is to do everything we can to assure that our students have the opportunity to finish the spring term and enable the students scheduled to graduate in May to do so. Our plan for accomplishing that goal must be consistent with the Governor’s guidelines and must, in every way possible, assure the health and safety of our students and our employees.

Here are the University’s operating protocols. While much of this information has already been shared with you, some details are new, so please review it carefully:

All Instruction Will Be Delivered Remotely.

The entire instructional program for the spring semester will be delivered 100% online or through other virtual methods. No student shall be required to come to campus for instructional purposes.

A wide range of advising and support services will be available to students by telephone, email, and other modes of electronic communication. Students, faculty and staff should use these communication methods to the greatest extent possible. People should avoid coming to campus unless it is absolutely necessary.

The Executive Order permits students and employees to come to campus, but it is the University’s policy that they not do so unless there is no other way they can perform their duties or participate in teaching and learning; for example, if a student has no other way to access the internet, she or he could come to campus for WiFi access.

Only Essential Employees Will Be Required to Work on Campus.

Over the past two weeks, we have moved progressively to an environment in which almost all of the University’s employees are now working remotely or are on various types of leave. The small number of employees whose physical presence is essential are working on campus only when and as needed.

No Gatherings. No Visitors.

No gatherings of any size will be permitted on campus. Meetings must be held by phone or video conferencing, or if those modes are not available, participants must remain at a safe six-foot distance from each other. The University will not be hosting public events nor providing any services to members of the general public.

Most Public Spaces Will Be Closed.

The majority of buildings will be locked and access will be restricted only to employees who need to enter for essential purposes.

Students who need Wi-Fi access will be allowed to use the second floor cafeteria and third floor lounge in the Student Center. These spaces will be supervised. As a health precaution, students must observe a safe social distance of six feet, and eating will not be permitted.

University Hall will be open for the next few days to allow students to pick up loaner laptops.

In keeping with Governor Murphy’s executive order closing public gathering spaces, the Student Recreation Center, Panzer Athletic Center, Sprague Library and Kasser Theater are closed.

The only campus dining options will be Sam’s Place, which will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. every day to serve resident students with “Fix Your Plate and Go” service, and The Student Center Convenience Store, which will provide “grab and go” service Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

[Addendum: Monday, March 23,2020. Sam’s Place Open 7 Days A Week. Breakfast/Lunch: 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Dinner: 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.]

Social Distancing and Appropriate Protective Actions Are Required.

All persons on the campus are required to follow the established guidelines to prevent spreading the virus. Adherence to the guidelines is not optional; it is mandatory. Stay at least six feet away from other people. Do not, under any circumstances, come to campus if you are sick; the only exception would be students who need to be seen at the Health Center.  Please call ahead for an appointment. Use the hand sanitizers that are available, and wipe down any surfaces or equipment that you touch.

Help Is Available for You.

Students, faculty and staff can count on the University for support as they transition to online learning and working remotely. We have published extensive, detailed information for you on the coronavirus website, which includes answers to questions about Technology, Academics, Human Resources matters, and much more.

Here are some specific reminders:

  • Students: if you do not have a computer or other device that can access the internet, we have laptops available for you to borrow. If you are having trouble with accessing the internet, or have other technology questions, contact the IT Service Desk at or 973-655-7971 or by online Chat. Your professors are the best help for any problems you may encounter in your courses. They want you to be successful, and they will help you.
  • Faculty: your department chair is your first resource. If he or she can’t answer your questions, contact your Dean’s Office.
  • Staff: bring your questions or concerns to your supervisor. If she or he is unable to help, go to your vice president or dean.

This Is a Team Effort.

New Jersey, and indeed the entire world, is facing an extraordinary public health crisis. We must all act together to slow the spread of the virus. People in every part of the University are working very hard to protect the health and safety of the University community while preserving our students’ opportunity to complete their term. I thank all of them for their efforts, and I appreciate your cooperation.


Susan A. Cole