FAQ

COVID-19 Information, Health & Safety

The Coronavirus Health Advisory page is updated regularly to keep the Suffolk community well-informed.

As a result of the recent rise in COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts and heightened concerns about the transmissibility of the Delta variant, the University has adjusted its face-covering protocols in accordance with the City of Boston’s new mandate requiring that facemasks be worn in all indoor spaces accessible to the general public.

The University requires that face coverings be worn in all indoor locations on campus with the exception of:

  • Employee work spaces that are not generally open to the public, including private offices, cubicles, and open-floor-plan work spaces
  • Conference rooms when distance can be maintained
  • Dining halls when individuals are actively eating or drinking
  • Residence hall rooms and residence hall lounges; masks are required in residence hall lobbies, elevators, and all other lounges on campus
  • Study rooms and enclosed Library spaces occupied by a single student

All unvaccinated individuals who have received a medical or religious exemption from the University’s vaccination requirement and unvaccinated visitors must continue to wear a mask at all times and in all locations on campus except when alone in an office or in their own residence room.

Fully vaccinated individuals who prefer to wear a mask in spaces exempted from the University’s mask requirement should feel very comfortable doing so. Masks should be worn by employees and students entering someone else’s immediate workspace, unless the employee or student is fully vaccinated and the occupant of the workspace invites the person entering their workspace to remove their mask and that person chooses to do so.

The face covering protocols also apply to campus visitors.

We understand that you will have some questions about the application of this policy, and we will provide more guidance as questions arise. For now, if you are a student, you can direct questions to Student Affairs.

If you are a faculty or staff member, you can direct questions to Human Resources.

Suffolk’s service provider, ABM Industries, cleans campus buildings on a regular schedule consistent with reducing the presence of COVID-19. There are hand sanitizer stations throughout campus and wipe/hand sanitizer stations in all shared spaces.

The Counseling, Health & Wellness Center is open and operational. All medical and counseling services are provided using HIPAA-secure telemedicine and remote access technology. Students can schedule private appointments with providers. The Interfaith Center, Suffolk Cares, the dean of students for SBS & CAS, the dean of students for Law, as well as advising and other student academic services are all in full operation. 

For additional mental health support and other resources see COVID-19 Resources tab.

Navigating Campus

Classroom & Teaching Protocols

Anyone entering a campus building that does not have a mask will be given a disposable mask at the Security desk. If the student refuses to wear a face covering or maintain social distance, the faculty member should ask the student to leave the classroom and report the student to Student Affairs Office or the Law School Dean of Students.

The Student Affairs Office will respond to reports of College/Business School students who do not comply with required face coverings. First violations will result in an educational conversation with the student to determine why a face covering was not worn, make sure the student has access to appropriate PPE and warn the student that future reports will result in disciplinary action. College/Business School faculty may alert Student Affairs to noncomplying students by submitting an incident report.

The Law School Dean of Students Office will respond to concerns about law students.

Further noncompliance will be considered a violation of the relevant code of conduct.

Students will receive notice of campus protocols before they arrive. Additionally, they must affirm during e-Checkin that they will fully comply with our requirements, including wearing face coverings in class and on campus..

Face coverings will be required in highly trafficked, public areas of campus, including all classrooms. We understand that it may be difficult to effectively communicate to a large classroom of students while wearing a mask, so all classrooms will be equipped with microphones to help faculty with voice projection. Most classrooms are already equipped, and media services is working to complete the installation in the remaining rooms. Media services would be happy to help faculty members who would like to set up the microphone and practice in their classrooms. Email [email protected] and let them know what classroom(s) and available days/times.

This topic is included in the CTSE's extensive educational development opportunities for faculty members teaching in the HyFlex environment.

Yes, faculty members are expected to record student attendance in all of their classes, regardless of the modality. They should implement and enforce the attendance policy included in their syllabi. Please note that the Department of Education expects student participation in online classes beyond simply logging in when attendance is certified.

For more information, view How to take attendance in Zoom and How to take and pull attendance reports in Blackboard.

Faculty Training & Resources

The University IT Service Desk will be available 24/7 and responsible for addressing any technical problems.

The CTSE Continuity of Learning website is an excellent resource for distance teaching information. Please look for CTSE Continuity of Learning Support Updates sent by email. Faculty members may also find the Sawyer Library Continuity of Learning LibGuide useful. Many department chairs meet regularly and are also great resources.

Contact information for Technical Support Services is available here, or you can email the Service Desk. You may also want to visit the CTSE Continuity of Learning page. Your department chair and/or program director may be able to provide additional information.

The Coronavirus Advisory webpage is an excellent first step. Another useful resource is the Suffolk University community. In addition, your dean’s office can answer questions on grading and course evaluation policies.

If your course is internship-based and/or service learning–based, and students can no longer report to their sites, please consult your chair and dean’s office to determine the best options.

In Blackboard, there will be an online course for students called How to Be Successful in an Online Learning Environment. This course will be required for all new first-year students this fall and will appear in the one-credit First-Year Experience course section. For other undergraduate and graduate students, it will be available as an optional freestanding course in Blackboard. Faculty members teaching upper-level and graduate courses should encourage their students to take it. Course topics include online classroom ‘netiquette’ and participation, Zoom fatigue, staying focused and engaged, time management, library research and resources, academic support services, and Zoom/Blackboard demos.

Appointments, Meetings & Events

Meetings may be held in-person, in conference rooms or via Zoom. Faculty and staff may ask students and others to wear a mask when meeting.

Support Services

The Counseling, Health, and Wellness Center is open and operational. All medical and counseling services are being provided both in-person and by using HIPAA-secure telemedicine and remote access technology.

Students can schedule private appointments with providers. The Interfaith Center, Suffolk Cares, the dean of students for SBS & CAS, the dean of students for Law, as well as advising and other student academic services are all in full operation.

New Directions Behavioral Health provides support for faculty and staff. For more information visit their website, enter “Suffolk University” for company code or call them at 1-800-624-5544.

For additional mental health support and other resources see COVID-19 Resources tab.

No. You still have your full benefits coverage.