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COVID-19 Update March 18

Dear members of the Saint Louis University community, 

Last night, I shared my hope for us to move toward remote working wherever possible. I am grateful to all who have shared that you are already working remotely and following all guidance on how to protect yourself and others during this global pandemic. 

Today, I want to offer additional information about how we will handle in-person meetings until further notice. I know this may inconvenience some. I ask you to remember that our Jesuit mission calls those who are able to put the greater good over our own preferences to do so in order to help those who do not have a choice. As I said yesterday – and as I will continue to say – each of us must do our part to help flatten the curve

Guidance for in-person gatherings 

Academic update 

Many of you have shared questions related to academic changes in response to COVID-19. The deans and our academic staff have been collaborating on the changes I’m sharing with you today.

Asynchronous v. synchronous instruction

Course withdrawal deadline extension, grading policies 

Student academic support 

Financial hardship resources  

Students: We recognize that the current public health crisis may bring unexpected financial hardships to students and their families. We want students who have changing financial circumstances to be aware that there are resources and options that may be available to help those in need of financial assistance, from emergency loans and grants to appealing financial aid eligibility. We encourage students facing financial hardships to contact the Office of Student Financial Services at

Employees: Just as this is a challenging time for students, we also recognize this is a challenging time financially for our employees. We are committed to compensating those employees who cannot continue to work on campus, but also cannot perform their regular duties from home, as we have outlined on our Human Resources Information page. Additionally, we must acknowledge that every individual’s circumstances may differ. I would like to remind you of SLU’s “Helping Our Own” program, which was established to offer that assistance. This program provides a one-time monetary gift to any full-time or part-time permanent SLU employee experiencing a valid financial crisis. Please visit the program’s website for more information.  

Student reminder: Storage options for move out 

We know that the circumstances are changing rapidly.  Some parts of the country have moved toward shelter-in-place policies. The Housing & Residence Life team would like to remind you that there are storage options available if you cannot come to pick up your belongings before the March 22 deadline. Many local vendors are providing free or reduced-price storage units for students. The Housing team will handle these requests on a case-by-case basis. Email with additional questions. 

Closing Simon Recreation Center 

Out of an abundance of caution, the Simon Recreation Center has closed until further notice. We know this is inconvenient to many who use the facilities regularly, including those students who will remain on campus during the remainder of the term. The Simon Rec. Center team will evaluate new public health guidance as it becomes available, and determine when is an appropriate time to reopen the facility. 

Thank you for your continued support and prayers. Tonight, I ask you to join me in praying for health care workers at SLUCare, and those across the region, nation and world. They are on the front lines to stem this pandemic. The burden on them is great. May they find the continued strength to carry through this difficult time. 

Please continue to check the SLU’s COVID-19 website for more information and the latest updates. You can also send questions to  


Fred P. Pestello, Ph.D.

Previous Updates to the SLU Community