For those who have opted to return to campus this fall, the University does not look the same as it did when classes were last in session. COVID-19 has led St. John’s to make monumental changes to the entirety of campus. St. John’s has implemented multiple measures to attempt to accommodate social distancing protocols due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including changes to dining services on campus and to a majority of the campus’ in-person buildings and services.
Montgoris Dining Hall, the D’Angelo Center (DAC) Food Court, the Law School Café and Sidebar and Marillac Terrace remain open for carry-out only, while the Red Storm Diner will not reopen for the fall semester. Open dining locations include Montgoris All-You-Can-Eat, Market Montgoris, Market Marillac, Dunkin’ Donuts, Burger King, Subway, Freshens, the Law School Café, Sidebar, Einstein Bros. Bagels, Taco Bell, Starbucks and a new dining option in the D’Angelo Center, Paper Lantern.
All dining options on campus will remain take-out only until indoor dining is allowed in New York City, and single-serving condiments have replaced the bottles of dressings and condiments typically scattered across self-serve counters. In lieu of indoor seating, tents are located outside of the Residence Village and next to Montgoris Dining Hall for outdoor dining. The use of the Boost mobile ordering app has also expanded this semester to avoid lines, with Boost now integrated with StormCards for convenience, according to the dining services website.
St. John’s is taking multiple preemptive measures to encourage social distancing. To bypass interactions with cashiers, a self check-in station has been implemented in Montgoris Dining Hall. Plexiglas is in place at several cashier stations across campus, and some locations have even implemented mobile and cashless ordering systems.
Many buildings and in-person services have transitioned to an entirely online format for the fall semester. The third and fourth floor library of St. Augustine Hall will not be open for use. The first floor quiet-study area will remain open with limited capacity.
DAC remains open, but the building is now closed on Sundays, but open until 11 p.m. on weekdays and 5 p.m. on Saturdays.
The Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) is also closing all of its offices and centers. For the Queens campus, this includes the Inclusivity Resource Center (IRC) located in Sun Yat Sen Hall and DAC 124, the department’s main office. Instead, online office hours are available Monday through Friday, and OMA plans for “virtual engagement opportunities,” according to their Instagram.
Operating with modified hours and restrictions including a face covering and social distancing rules, the Queens Campus Bookstore will be open. The textbook area will not be open; students instead will provide a textbook list printed online and a Campus Bookstore employee will pick out the books for the student. Online orders and subsequent pickups will also be available, in which students can pick up their books at the back door of the Campus Bookstore.
St. Thomas More Church will still hold Sunday Mass and Daily Mass Monday through Friday. Requirements to attend Mass include wearing a mask and social distancing with designated seating. Hand sanitizer will be available when entering the church and ushers will direct flow for Communion. Private Prayer will be available Monday through Friday from 2-4:30 p.m.. Weddings, Baptisms and Funerals will not be held during this time.
Carnesecca Arena will not see much action this fall, as all sports have been canceled by the Big East Conference. The Fitness Center, Taffner Hall and the basketball court in the Residence Village are also closed. Campus Recreation will continue to offer virtual fitness and recreational activities to the SJU community via their Instagram.
The Center for Counseling and Consultation (CCC) is also operating entirely online, offering mental health appointments virtually. A St. John’s counselor can be spoken with by phone and the CCC encourages students to register for Therapy Assistance Online (TAO), which provides “guided therapy for stress, anxiety, depression and other concerns,” according to the CCC website.
Other services that will be offered entirely online are University Career Services, appointments with the University Freshman Center and the Sexual Violence Outreach, Awareness, and Response (SOAR) Office Team.
The University shuttle bus service will no longer be provided to students, which includes service to and from the Staten Island Campus to the Staten Island Ferry. Instead, the University has provided a list of transportation options to the Queens campus on the St. John’s website, including the Q46 bus, which can be used to travel between the DePaul Townhouses and Gate 4, and the Kew Gardens subway station along with the Q30 and Q31 buses, which both run to/from Jamaica Station, to travel between Gate 1 and the Henley Road Complex. The Department of Public Safety is still “available to provide escorts for students living in University managed properties when they are feeling concerned about traveling independently,” according to the University website.
The foreseeable future is predominately virtual for St. John’s, with much of the typical college experience now taking place behind a computer screen. In-person classes have been reduced, dining is take-out and in person gatherings have nearly been eliminated on campus. For more information, go to the St. Johns Reopens Website.
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