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RESTART FALL 2020:   See FIT’s plans and guidelines for fall campus operations, teaching, and learning.

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Communications Archive

RESTART FALL 2020 COMMUNICATIONS

For FIT NYC Students and Employees:

Dear FIT Colleagues,

I write to inform you that SUNY canceled all spring 2021 study abroad programs. FIT has duly canceled all exchange and study abroad programs in accordance with SUNY's decision.  All affected academic departments, our partners abroad, as well as undergraduate students who were accepted to abroad programs were informed last week.

International Programs is moving ahead with promotion of summer 2021 programs.

Please let me know if you have questions.

Sincerely,

Deirdre Sato
Dean for International Education

Dear Inspiring FIT Student,

We have officially made it through the first five weeks of the fall semester. I hope that your work is going well, and that you are all healthy and in good spirits.

As you know, FIT has established some necessary health and safety guidelines to help keep members of our campus community safe. Additionally, you received communication recently regarding the mandatory COVID-19 surveillance testing that is being conducted on campus for those of you who are either living in Kaufman Hall, using FIT lab and studio spaces, or who might be graduate students attending classes.

Most recently, SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras instituted a SUNY-wide Uniform Sanctioning in Response to Covid-19 Student Violations that applies to every SUNY campus, including FIT. This SUNY policy establishes minimum sanctions for violations related to COVID-19 safety protocols, including potential suspension from campus housing for at least one year, suspension from classes for at least one year, or dismissal from the college. Because FIT has a small on-campus population this semester, we do not anticipate having to impose these sanctions.

It is important that you read the full SUNY policy so that you are aware of the expectations and consequences of decisions you might make and actions you could take. I note below some key highlights:

Students using campus facilities are expected to participate in mandatory COVID-19 testing on a biweekly basis. Details for this process have been sent to you by Health Services. Failure to comply will result in a denial to access on-campus resources, which includes the ability to work in labs and studios or attend in-person graduate classes currently being held. Additionally, you will not be eligible to continue living in the residence hall. Based on the guidelines outlined in this new policy, students will also face immediate suspension and/or dismissal from the institution.

Students living on campus with positive COVID-19 test results are expected to maintain required isolation until clearance is provided by FIT Health Services in conjunction with the NYC Department of Health. Failure to comply will result in immediate removal, suspension, or dismissal from FIT. Students dismissed from FIT will not be eligible for any refunds of tuition, fees, or on-campus housing.

Students are expected to wear masks in FIT buildings, keep social distance from others (at least six feet), and use #Campus Clear, FIT’s mobile daily symptom tracker. Students who receive follow-up on these items and do not comply may face sanctions that could be as severe as suspension from in-person graduate classes, denial of the use of lab and studio space, loss of on-campus housing, and/or permanent dismissal from FIT. Students are expected to comply with campus, county, and state health orders if they are advised to isolate or medically quarantine. Failure to maintain required or recommended isolation or quarantine will result in sanctions, including expulsion or suspension and/or housing for no less than one year. Any student suspended for a positive intentional violation shall be ineligible for admittance to any other SUNY institution.

The hosting of and/or attendance at large on- or off-campus gatherings (those outlined in the governor’s health order) is prohibited. Hosts may have escalated sanctions but those attending these gatherings will also face sanctions.

I am confident that we can continue to work together to keep our community safe and healthy. Feel free to reach out and meet up with me for a Virtual Coffee Chat. I would love to be able to speak with you and find out how you are doing.

In peace and light,

Shadia

Shadia A. Sachedina, Ed.D.
Assistant Vice President for Student Success and Dean of Students
Division of Enrollment Management and Student Success

As noted in President Joyce F. Brown’s September 22 email communication to the community and in accordance with New York State and SUNY’s Covid-19 containment and response strategy, all SUNY colleges have been directed to implement Covid-19 testing on their campuses.

In the interest of providing a safe work environment during these times, the college administration has entered into an agreement with the UCE for mandatory testing of employees who are scheduled to work on campus on a recurring weekly basis. As such, identified FIT employees will be mandated to participate every two weeks in COVID-19 testing.

FIT has partnered with Quest Diagnostics to administer these tests for employees, beginning the week of October 2, 2020. Testing is by appointment only and consists of a simple self-administered nasal swab under the supervision of FIT Health Services. The test is conducted on an appointment basis during normally scheduled work hours.

If you are an employee who is NOT regularly scheduled to be on campus, you will NOT be tested.

Please contact a Human Resources team member via the HR Solution Center with any questions or concerns.

Dear Student,

As noted in President Joyce F. Brown’s communication to the community and in accordance with New York State and SUNY’s Covid-19 containment and response strategy, all SUNY colleges have been directed to implement Covid-19 testing on their campuses.

As a result, all FIT students who are either residing in Kaufman Hall, attending graduate classes on campus, or using FIT labs and studio spaces are mandated to participate in bi-weekly (twice a month) Covid-19 testing. FIT has partnered with Quest Diagnostics to administer these tests, beginning Friday, September 25.

Testing will take place in the Reeves Great Hall, located on the first floor between Feldman and Pomerantz. The test consists of a simple self-administered nasal swab under the supervision of FIT Health Services. Your test will be conducted on an appointment basis and FIT Health Services will contact you about how to schedule your appointment. Because every student who is on campus must be tested on a bi-weekly basis, you will be given the opportunity to schedule your next appointment immediately following your first Covid test. These tests will be covered by your health insurance and no cost to you.

Students learning remotely and have no plans to be on campus will not be tested.

Again, for those who are using campus facilities (residence halls, graduate classroom space, labs/studios), testing is mandatory. Should you choose not to comply with this SUNY directive, you will be unable to access on-campus FIT resources, which include the ability to work in the labs and studios or attend in-person graduate classes currently being held. Additionally, you will not be eligible to continue living in the residence hall.

We know that you will understand this measure as an important opportunity to help keep the members of our community safe and healthy. Please contact [email protected] with any questions or concerns.


Sincerely,

Catherine O’Rourke
Interim Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Success

Dear FIT Community,
 
As you may have learned through the media, in accordance with the New York State and SUNY Covid-19 containment and response strategy, all SUNY colleges have been directed to implement Covid-19 testing on their campuses. 
 
Based on this SUNY mandate, I write to inform you that FIT will be required to conduct testing of our on-campus student population. While SUNY requires students to participate in testing, at this time employees are strongly encouraged to test as well, although it is voluntary. We are partnering with Quest Diagnostics for supplying and processing these tests beginning Friday, September 25, with no direct cost to the individual.
 
Currently, FIT’s on-campus population is less than 1,000 students and employees—to be clear, if you are working or learning remotely and have no plans to be on campus, you will not be tested. Testing will be conducted in the Great Hall and steps will be in place to ensure that all health and safety guidelines and protocols are met. A simple nasal test will be self-administered under the coordination of FIT Health Services.    
 
The details of this program are being finalized in order to ensure a simple, organized, and convenient process. Additional information regarding testing participation, appointment scheduling, and other necessary logistical details will be sent to you in a follow-up communication during the week of September 21. Information will also be available at https://www.fitnyc.edu/campus-reopening/index.php.
 
I know how challenging this period has been for everyone and very much appreciate the community’s patience and cooperation as we navigate through this unprecedented time.
 
We hope that you will agree that this testing program is another important opportunity to help keep the members of our community safe and healthy.

Dr. Joyce Brown
President
Fashion Institute of Technology

Welcome to the fall semester! The Gladys Marcus Library is here for you!

Library Homepage

Take a look at our website for the latest on our services for students, our services for our Graduate Studies students, and updates for fall.

What Is FIT Library Up To? Follow Us on Social Media!

Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

For relevant news, interesting reads, contests, design inspo, and more.

Textbooks/Course Readings

Looking for access to your textbook? Check our Online Textbooks Guide.

Starting your research? Find ebooks, articles, and more using OneSearch.

Want to rent or buy your textbooks? The bookstore is open online and in person. Visit the bookstore website for more information. They can ship textbooks to you!

Have you read this year’s Common Read, Tell Me Who You Are? Learn more about the authors and their creative process in our reading guide.

Need Help?

Questions on anything FIT related? Ask the Library!

Not sure how to start your research? Visit our research guides.

How do I log in to this database? Watch our step-by-step tutorials.

Need more help? Schedule a one-on-one research appointment.

Can’t wait? Drop in for Virtual Office Hours—no appointment necessary, every weekday from 1 to 2 pm Eastern Time. It is as easy as 1-2-3: (1) Log in to Blackboard; (2) Select the Library Tab, top right; and (3) Click “Access FIT Library Virtual Office Hours.”

We are looking forward to working with all of you!

Access to Computer Commons Labs, CC15 and CC15A, is Now Available Virtually via FIT REMOTE LABS

Dear Students,

IT is pleased to announce that access to the Computer Commons Labs, CC15 and CC15A, is now available virtually from an off-campus remote location via FIT Remote Labs [FRL] powered by LeoStream.


FIT REMOTE LABS (FRL)

Above is the login screen to FIT Remote Labs, a new service that allows access to on-campus computers from a browser on your home or remote computer. All you need is a computer (tablets or mobile devices are not compatible), a reliable Internet connection, a web browser (like Chrome, Edge, Firefox, or Safari), and a secured login (you will login with your FIT account but will also be prompted to use a secure login product called Duo Mobile for cell phone/2-factor authentication).


SOME STUDENTS ARE USING FIT REMOTE LABS FOR THEIR COURSES

If you are scheduled for any courses that are using FIT Remote Labs (FRL) to access on-campus computer classrooms, then you have already received prior email notices detailing how to use FRL at the scheduled date and time of your class.

It is vital that all students using FRL in their courses follow all of the instructions and information previously provided, including FRL Classroom Best Practices.

Please always remember to follow these best practices for the classroom:

FRL is only available to you at the date and time of your class -- This is critical; please do NOT attempt to login to an FRL classroom outside of your designated date, time, and class duration. When you are logged in via FRL, it is as if you are sitting in a seat in that physical classroom. It also means that someone else is sitting in that seat before you, and someone else after you.

Log out of FRL at the end of each class and close your browser tab/window -- As you can see from the issue detailed above, the second most important thing each student using FRL can do for themselves, and for every other student, is to log out of FRL at the end of an FRL class, as well as close the web browser tab or window on your home / remote computer. Each student who forgets to do this is potentially creating time lost for the class that follows you, and you may also lose unsaved work.

Save your project files early enough at the end of each class -- If you are working on a large file that you believe will take a significant number of minutes to process and save, you should allow for enough time to save the file and log out of FRL before the next class begins. If you do not, you do risk the chance that the next class’s instructor will log your workstation out of FRL to make room for another student. If this happens your unsaved file will be lost, with no method for recovery. So please plan accordingly.

Do not shutdown the campus computer, just logout of the FRL computer by closing the browser tab/window -- Since you are logged onto the campus computer, you have the ability to actually shut it down, i.e. turn the power off. If you do this you have just eliminated a workstation for use in the next class. This workstation will be out of service until we discover that you have done it. We will then have to send a technician to turn it back on. Please recognize the difference between these two things, and never shutdown a campus workstation.


HOW DO THESE CLASSROOM BEST PRACTICES APPLY TO THE COMMON LABS?

The Common Labs, CC15 and CC15A, are designed to provide access to academic software on an unscheduled, first-come, first-served basis.

We are applying this same basis—unscheduled and first-come, first-served—to access the common labs virtually via FRL.

As a result, the FRL best practices for common labs will be different than those for FRL classrooms.

 

FRL BEST PRACTICES FOR THE COMMON LABS

Please always remember to follow these best practices for the common labs:

FRL is available on an unscheduled, first come, first served basis -- Unlike FRL in the classroom where students have a priority claim to connect to a classroom workstation at the scheduled date and time of the class, in the common labs you are not guaranteed access at any time. When you log into the labs via FRL, you will see a screen similar to the one below. If you look at the close-up inset box, you will see available workstations to connect to, e.g. Common Lab: CC15 (Mac), or Common Lab: CC15A (PC). 

You simply select your preference, PC or Mac, from the choices available, and click “Connect.”

If you do not see any workstations, click “Refresh List” at the top of the screen -- FRL will scan through the lab to see if there are any workstations that can be released. If a workstation is presented, then click on it and you will be connected to the desktop of the campus computer.

If you have “refreshed” several times and no workstations appear, then the Common Labs are full at this time and you will have to try again later -- There are usually 75 PCs and 55 Macs available between the two labs. We are expanding the hours of operation of the Common Labs to provide more hours of availability, however students who squat on workstations for long stretches of time are unfair to other students.

We expect students to conclude a single lab virtual visit within 3 hours -- We will monitor lab workstation usage and students who are abusing the time limit will be requested to follow best practices. Repeat violations of the time limit could result in revocation of FRL access to the Common Labs as well as notification to the dean of students.

Save your project files early enough before the end of the 3-hour virtual visit -- If you are working on a large file that you believe will take a significant amount of time to process and save, you should allow for enough time to save the file and log out of FRL before you reach the 3 hour limit. If you are squatting on a lab workstation for a long period of time, you do risk the chance that you could be logged off the workstation to make room for another student. If this happens your unsaved file would be lost, with no method for recovery. So please plan accordingly to stay within the 3 hour virtual visit.

Log out of FRL at the end of your virtual visit and close your browser tab/window -- After saving your file(s) at the end of your virtual visit, remember to log out of FRL, as well as close the web browser tab or window on your home / remote computer. Each student who forgets to logout is blocking the workstation from being released to another student. Please do not tie up the labs.

Do not shut down the campus computer, just log out of the FRL computer by closing the browser tab/window -- Since you are logged onto the campus computer, you have the ability to actually shut it down, i.e. turn the power off. If you do this you have just eliminated a workstation for use by another student. This workstation will be out of service until we discover that you have done it. We will then have to send a technician to turn it back on. Please recognize the difference between these two things, and never shutdown a campus workstation.

If every student follows the above best practices, then every student will have the best experience possible using the Common Labs virtually via FRL.


HOW TO INSTALL FIT REMOTE LABS

To access FRL, all you need is a reliable Internet connection, a web browser (like Chrome, Edge, Firefox, or Safari), and a secured login to FRL with Duo Mobile.

Instructions on how to sign in to FIT Remote Labs and enroll in Duo can be found here: https://it.fitnyc.edu/kb/how-to-sign-in-to-and-use-fit-remote-labs/.


HOW TO ACCESS THE COMMON LABS VIA FRL

FRL is located at fitlabs.fitnyc.edu.

Use your FIT account and password to login

Duo is integrated with FRL and you will need your phone in order to receive your authentication code and then securely login

Once you have logged in, connect to a workstation in the Common Lab: CC15 or Common Lab: CC15A

You can select between PC and Mac

If no workstations are presented, then click on “Refresh List”

If no workstations are presented after several “refreshes” then the lab is full and you will have to wait or try another time


HOURS OF OPERATION FOR COMMON LABS

Common labs will be available nearly 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

The labs will close for an hour each morning from 6 am to 7 am to allow for basic maintenance and the release of all workstations for the coming day (by the way, classroom workstations will also be released within this same time window)

The labs will also close overnight from midnight to 8 am on Saturdays for extended maintenance

Do not use the labs during these maintenance windows, or you risk loss of files


ALSO PLEASE NOTE

FRL is a new service and so there may be unexpected issues, but we are committed to tackling all issues as quickly as possible, and to minimize any disruptions to learning. At this point there are two known issues that we are actively working to complete:

Wacom tablet pen sensitivity (line thickness is not always responding to pressure accurately enough)

On Mac workstations there can be some general latency issues (video playback is one known example)


GETTING HELP

TechHelp Is always the first source for campus or remote support. You can submit a ticket at TechHelp.fitnyc.edu, and our team will address the problem as quickly as possible. You can also email [email protected], or call (212) 217-HELP. Fall hours will be 8:30 am to 10 pm, Monday through Friday.


WELCOME AND BEST WISHES

The Division of Information Technology welcomes new and returning students to RESTART FALL 2020 at FIT. We may be remote, but we are together, and we wish everyone a productive and successful fall semester.


Regards,
The Fall RESTART 2020 Team at Information Technology

Dear FIT Students,



With the August 31 start of the fall semester, college buildings, which have been closed since late March, will reopen with restrictions. Guidelines have been developed to ensure access to the campus for those students who will have reserved work time in approved studios or labs. The dining hall will be open during designated times for students to pick up meals/snacks. The Health Services Office will be open for individual appointments in addition to their remote services.
Access guidelines are outlined in this memorandum.

FACE COVERINGS, SOCIAL DISTANCING, DENSITY LIMITATIONS, AND HAND CLEANING

Following the New York State mandate, a face mask is required to be worn at ALL times, except when eating or drinking, when more than 6 feet away from others in an indoor/outdoor space, and when working alone in a studio/ lab. While on campus and in all FIT buildings, all students are required to wear face coverings (masks or face shields) and maintain appropriate social distance—a minimum of 6 feet—from others.

If you arrive at FIT without a face covering, a public safety officer will give you a disposable mask. You will also be reminded that masks must be worn at all times and that, should you return to campus at a later time, you must arrive with your own face covering. Properly worn, a face covering must completely cover both your mouth and nose. If you remove your face covering, please understand that others will ask you to put it back on because the importance of wearing face coverings must be reinforced in order to best keep the community healthy and safe.

In order to ensure compliance with appropriate social distancing and density limitations, more than 7,000 signs are being installed across the campus—in lobbies, elevators, escalators, corridors, and studios/labs. Please read these signs and comply with the directions.

Faculty and staff have been reminded that office hours, group meetings, or one-on-one mentoring sessions with students must be conducted virtually. Meetings with both small and large groups will be held remotely via Google Meet, Webex, or conference call. Students must also use these virtual tools for any academic or extracurricular activities. Students must always maintain appropriate social distance when greeting one another while on campus or in the residence hall.

Both restrooms and studio sinks will be fully stocked with soap and paper towels in order to ensure proper and frequent handwashing. If a restroom needs restocking, there will be a QR (quick response) code that you can scan and send an immediate message to Buildings and Grounds that a space needs attention. Staff will respond within an hour, if not sooner. Moreover, hand sanitizing stations have been installed on every floor of every building.

#CAMPUSCLEAR HEALTH SCREENING

FIT is implementing a daily health check that will be required for all students and employees prior to arrival on campus. The new #CampusClear app will help ensure that we all do our part to prevent the potential spread of infection and keep you and the entire FIT community safe should you plan to be on campus anytime during the fall 2020 semester.

The #CampusClear app, available in the Apple Store and GooglePlay, is a daily symptoms self-screening and “fastpath” tool for allowing access onto campus or alerting Student Success if you are not feeling well and should not come to campus.

Effective August 31, all students and employees are required to complete FIT’s health screening process via the #CampusClear mobile app or the Web App on the Campus Clear website (if a mobile app is not accessible) in order to receive permission to come to campus.

Students planning to visit the FIT dining hall, Health Services Office (by appointment only), or studios and labs (by reservation) must use this app prior to their arrival on campus.

Please follow these instructions to install and use #CampusClear mobile.

If you do not have a smartphone, follow these instructions to use #CampusClear in a web browser. Once you have your results, capture a screenshot of your results and send it to this address: [email protected]. In the SUBJECT line of your email, please use this format: CAMPUSCLEAR STATUS - Date as mm/dd/yyyy, First Name Last Name - YES CLEARED.

You must download the app and complete the health screening each day BEFORE you depart for campus. 

There are two messages—“good to go” and “not cleared for campus access.”

If your reading is “not cleared for campus access" message while at home or in the residence hall, do NOT come to campus. If you require immediate attention contact your nearest health care provider. Students living in Kaufman Hall should alert the Public Safety officer on duty that you are seeking medical care from GoHealth Urgent Care. All students who are not cleared for campus access will receive a follow-up communication from the Health Services or Dean of Students.

If your message is “good to go,” a Public Safety officer will ask to see your self-screening result screen when you arrive on campus. Please present the green “good to go” message on your smartphone in order to access any campus-owned or -rented buildings.

Should you become ill while on campus, please inform a Public Safety officer. You will be connected with the Health Services Office and be advised whether to visit the office or the GoHealth Urgent Care.

Your privacy is important to us and only those who have a valid need will have access to the information you provide when answering the question on the #CampusClear app.

BUILDING ACCESS

Building entries are being specified for specific members of the FIT community in order to reduce density and ensure social distancing while also improving efficiency and safety. In addition, protocols are in place for contractors and other FIT service providers.

Student Access
With the appropriate signal, based on the #CampusClear reading, student access to academic buildings is as follows:



Dubinsky – You will be required to show your #CampusClear green signal to enter the dining hall to pick up meals and, until New York allows dining indoors, all meals must be taken outside. FIT will arrange appropriate seating in the breezeway between Dubinsky and Business and Liberal Arts for dining, weather permitting. Once indoor dining is permitted, tables in the dining hall will be reconfigured and signage will indicate where seating will be allowed to provide for appropriate social distancing.

Feldman – Students who have reservations to use studios or labs will be given access through the Feldman lobby. You will be required to provide the following information to public safety:
• A valid FIT ID (Please see additional information about IDs below.)

• A #CampusClear green light/smiley face signal, valid for the current day

• A confirmation of a reservation to access a studio/lab


All three items are required for entry through Feldman to FIT’s studios or labs.

Students with a confirmed appointment to meet with the Health Services Office must present your email confirmation to Public Safety at the front desk to gain access to Health Services. You will also be required to show your valid FIT ID and the #CampusClear “you are good to go” smiley face.

For access to your locker, you must provide the following information to public safety, who will escort you to your locker.
• A valid FIT ID (Please see additional information about IDs below.)

• A #CampusClear green light/smiley face signal, valid for the current day


Goodman – Graduate students who are taking courses in Goodman may enter through the Goodman lobby and will be required to provide the following information to public safety:
• A valid FIT ID (Please see additional information about IDs below.)

• A #CampusClear green light/smiley face signal, valid for the current day

• In addition, you will be required to swipe your ID card in a card reader which will confirm that you have permission to access graduate classrooms in Goodman


Graduate Classrooms at 236 West 27th Street -- Graduate students who are taking courses on the first or fourth floors of 236 West 27th Street will be required to provide the following information to the public safety officer stationed outside near the building entrances:
• A valid FIT ID (Please see additional information about IDs below.)

• A #CampusClear green light/smiley face signal, valid for the current day

• In addition, you will be required to swipe your ID card to enter the classrooms on both the first and fourth floors.


IDENTIFICATION CARDS AND FALL SEMESTER STICKERS

To ensure that students who are coming to campus will have valid IDs and fall semester stickers, the following protocols are in place:

New Undergraduate and Graduate Students Commuting to Campus

Students who submitted a photo can pick up their ID card at the Feldman Lobby public safety desk upon their first visit to campus. If you did not submit a photo, Public Safety will take photos and generate an ID on a case-by-case basis in the Feldman lobby.

New Undergraduate and Graduate Students Living in Kaufman Hall

Students who submitted a photo will be given an ID upon check-in at Kaufman Hall. For students who did not submit a photo, Public Safety will take photos and generate an ID on a case-by-case basis in Kaufman Hall.

Continuing Undergraduate and Graduate Students

For continuing students living in Kaufman Hall, fall semester stickers will be provided to the Residential Life staff for distribution.

For continuing students who have approval to reserve studios/labs, Public Safety will distribute stickers to those students as they sign in for the first time at the Feldman lobby to access the studio/lab.

For continuing graduate students who are taking classes in Goodman or at 236 West 27th Street, please go to the Public Safety desk in Feldman to receive your fall semester sticker.

For continuing students who do not live in Kaufman Hall or are not approved to reserve studios/labs, stickers will not be distributed for the fall semester, with the exception of students with confirmed appointments for the Health Services Office, who may pick up their fall sticker at the Feldman lobby Public Safety desk prior to accessing Health Services.


We will continue to update you about access protocols throughout the semester as well as add critical information to the Fall 2020 FIT Restart webpage on the FIT website at fitnyc.edu/restart.

Thank you.

Sherry F. Brabham
Treasurer and Vice President for Finance and Administration


At FIT, we care deeply about your health and safety. The new #CampusClear app at FIT will help ensure that we all do our part to prevent the spread of potential infection and keep you and the entire FIT community safe should you plan to be on campus anytime during the fall 2020 semester.


The #CampusClear app, available in the Apple Store and GooglePlay, is a daily symptoms self-screening and “fastpath” tool for allowing access onto campus or alerting Student Success or Human Resources representatives if you are not feeling well and should not come to campus.

Please follow these instructions to install and use #CampusClear mobile. Your privacy is important to us and only those who have a valid need will have access to the information you provide when answering the question on the #CampusClear app. You will be required to download the app and complete the health screening each day BEFORE you depart for campus. You will receive one of the following messages:

GOOD TO GO!


Upon your arrival on campus, Public Safety will ask to see your self-screening result screen. Please present the green “Good To Go!” message on your smartphone in order to access any campus owned or rented buildings. 

NOT CLEARED FOR CAMPUS ACCESS


If you receive the not cleared for campus access, students will be contacted by a member of the Student Success team and employees will be contacted by a member of the Human Resources team. You may be advised to seek medical assistance or be directed to a local COVID-19 testing center. For employees, if you are reporting to campus outside normal business hours (9 am to 5 pm weekdays), please notify your direct supervisor that you are not able to report until you are cleared by an HR team member. 

No smartphone? Don’t worry. Follow these instructions to use #CampusClear in a web browser. Once you have your results, capture a screenshot of your results and send it to this address: [email protected]. In the SUBJECT line of your email, please use this format: CAMPUSCLEAR STATUS - Date as mm/dd/yyyy, First Name Last Name - YES CLEARED.

Please remember, do not come to campus if you are not healthy, feeling well, and have not received a “Good to Go!” from #CampusClear!  

To the FIT community,

With the August 31 start of the fall semester, college buildings, which have been closed since late March, will reopen with restrictions. Guidelines have been developed to ensure access to the campus for students who will reserve work time in approved studios or labs and for employees. Those guidelines are outlined in this memorandum.


FACE COVERINGS, SOCIAL DISTANCING, DENSITY LIMITATIONS, AND HAND CLEANING

Following the New York State mandate, a face mask is required to be worn at ALL times, except when eating or drinking, when more than 6 feet away from others in an indoor/outdoor space, and when working alone in a workspace such as an office, lab, or mechanical space. While on campus and in all FIT buildings, all students and employees are required to wear face coverings (masks or face shields) and maintain appropriate social distance—a minimum of 6 feet—from others.

If you arrive at FIT without a face covering, a Public Safety officer will give you a disposable mask. You will also be reminded that masks must be worn at all times and that, should you return to campus at a later time, you must arrive with your own face covering. Properly worn, a face covering must completely cover both your mouth and nose. If you remove your face covering, please understand that others will ask you to put it back on because the importance of wearing face coverings at all times must be reinforced in order to best keep the community healthy and safe.

In order to ensure compliance with appropriate social distancing and density limitations, more than 7,000 signs are being installed across the campus—in lobbies, elevators, escalators, corridors, and studios/labs. Please read these signs and comply with the directions.

Employees and students are reminded that office hours, group meetings, or one-on-one mentoring sessions with or among students or employees may not be conducted in person while on campus. Instead, critical meetings with both small and large groups should be held remotely via Google Meet, Webex, or conference call. 

In addition, employees and students must maintain appropriate social distance when greeting one another and when conferring on academic or operational matters.

Both restrooms and studio sinks will be fully stocked with soap and paper towels in order to ensure proper and frequent handwashing. If a restroom needs restocking, there will be a QR (quick response) code that you can scan and send an immediate message to Buildings and Grounds that a space needs attention. Staff will respond within an hour, if not sooner. Moreover, hand sanitizing stations have been installed on every floor of every building.


CAMPUSCLEAR HEALTH SCREENING

FIT is implementing a daily health check that will be required for all employees and students prior to arrival on campus. 

Effective August 31, all students and employees are required to complete FIT’s health screening process via the #CampusClear mobile app or website in order to receive permission to come to campus. Completion of the brief survey will yield the current date in green with a smiley face stating, “you are good to go,” or the current date in red with a sad face stating, “not cleared for campus access.”

Upon arrival on campus, you will be required to show Public Safety officers the “you are good to go” smiley face in order to enter FIT-owned or -rented properties.

Information about downloading the #CampusClear app to your smartphone or accessing #CampusClear via the web—as well as details about #CampusClear—is being provided in a separate email.  


BUILDING ACCESS

Building entries are being specified for specific members of the FIT community in order to reduce density and ensure social distancing while also improving efficiency and safety. In addition, protocols are also in place for contractors and other FIT service providers.

Student Access

With the appropriate signal, based on the #CampusClear reading, student access to academic buildings is as follows:

Dubinsky – Students will be required to show their #CampusClear green signal to enter the dining hall to pick up meals. Until New York allows dining indoors, all meals must be taken outside. FIT will arrange appropriate seating in the breezeway between Dubinsky and Business and Liberal Arts for dining. Once indoor dining is permitted, tables in the dining hall will be reconfigured and signage will indicate where seating will be allowed to provide for appropriate social distancing.

Feldman – Students who have reservations to use studios or labs will be given access through the Feldman lobby. They will be required to provide the following information to Public Safety:
• A valid FIT ID (Please see additional information about IDs below.)
• A #CampusClear green light/smiley face signal, valid for the current day
• A confirmation of a reservation to access a studio/lab
All three items are required for entry through Feldman to FIT’s studios or labs.

Goodman – Graduate students who are taking courses in Goodman may enter through the Goodman lobby and will be required to provide the following information to Public Safety:
• A valid FIT ID (Please see additional information about IDs below.)
• A #CampusClear green light/smiley face signal, valid for the current day
• In addition, students will be required to swipe their ID cards in a card reader which will confirm that they have permission to access graduate classrooms in Goodman.

Graduate Classrooms at 236 West 27th Street -- Graduate students who are taking courses on the first or fourth floors of 236 West 27th Street will be required to provide the following information to the Public Safety officer stationed outside near the building entrances:
• A valid FIT ID (Please see additional information about IDs below.)
• A #CampusClear green light/smiley face signal, valid for the current day
• In addition, students will be required to swipe their ID cards to enter the classrooms on both the first and fourth floors.


Employee Access

Dubinsky – Employees who want to enter the dining hall must show a valid FIT ID and a #CampusClear green light/smiley face signal, valid for the current day. Restrictions on indoor dining and options for outdoor dining will be applicable. (See details above.)

Only college Facilities and Health Services employees will be permitted to enter the building beyond the dining hall to report to work in accordance with procedures required by FIT and FIT’s contract partner, UG2.

Pomerantz – Employees will enter the academic buildings through the Pomerantz Center lobby. They will be required to display a #CampusClear green light/smiley face signal, valid for the current day. They will then tap their valid FIT ID card at a lobby turnstile for access; should there be a problem with the ID or the turnstile, Public Safety will be available to resolve the issue. Public Safety will not grant courtesy access through the turnstile until it is confirmed that the individual is a current FIT employee.

Goodman – Museum, library, and graduate school employees may enter through the building lobby and will be required to show a #CampusClear green light/smiley face signal, valid for the current day. In addition, employees will be required to swipe their ID cards in a card reader, which will confirm that they have permission to access offices, classrooms, or other spaces in the building.

236 West 27th Street – Employees with offices or classrooms in 236 West 27th Street may enter through the building lobby and will be required to provide the following information to the Public Safety officer stationed outside near the building entrances:
• A valid FIT ID (Please see additional information about IDs below.
• A #CampusClear green light/smiley face signal, valid for the current day.
• In addition, employees will be required to swipe their ID cards to enter their office or classroom on the appropriate floor.

333 Seventh Avenue – Employees with offices in 333 Seventh Avenue will report first to the 16th floor to show their #CampusClear green light/smiley face signal, valid for the current day, to the Public Safety officer on duty. They may then report to their offices, tapping their IDs to gain entrance on the appropriate floor. Every employee must independently “tap in” to the floor to ensure that accurate information will be available if needed for contact tracing.


IDENTIFICATION CARDS AND FALL SEMESTER STICKERS

To ensure that all students and employees who are coming to campus will have valid IDs and fall semester stickers, the following protocols are in place:

New Students

New students have been asked to submit a personal photograph that can be used to produce their FIT IDs. We have requested that new students do this in recent years, making the ID production process more efficient and allowing Public Safety to preprint IDs. Students are then able to pick up an ID that is waiting for them, rather than waiting in queues for IDs to be produced.

For new students who will be living in the residence halls, Public Safety has delivered their IDs to the Residential Life staff, who will distribute them upon the students’ move-in. If a student did not send in a photo, Public Safety will be set up to take photos and produce IDs at the time of move-in at the residence hall(s).

For new students who are approved to reserve studio/lab spaces during the semester, Public Safety will have their preprinted IDs available in the Feldman lobby. Names will be checked against a list that verifies that they are approved for access to the building and their IDs will be given to them the first time they come to Feldman for reserved studio/lab time. If the student has not submitted a photo for a preprinted ID, Public Safety will take photos and generate an ID on a case-by-case basis in the Feldman lobby.

For new students who do not live in a residence hall or are not approved to reserve studios/labs, IDs will not be produced or distributed for the fall semester.


Continuing Students

For continuing students living in the residence halls, fall semester stickers will be provided to the Residential Life staff for distribution.

For continuing students who have approval to reserve studios/labs, Public Safety will distribute stickers to those students as they sign in at the Feldman lobby to access the studio/lab.

For continuing students who do not live in a residence hall or are not approved to reserve studios/labs, stickers will not be distributed for the fall semester.


Employees

Fall stickers are being distributed through the fall by Public Safety at the respective lobby desk (see above employee access information) to employees who sign in for access to offices/classrooms. If employees do not access campus, they will not receive a fall sticker.


We will continue to update you about access protocols throughout the semester as well as add critical information to the Fall 2020 FIT Restart webpage on the FIT website at fitnyc.edu/restart.

Thank you.

Sherry F. Brabham
Treasurer and Vice President for Finance and Administration

Dear FIT employee:

Should you need to come to campus for any reason, including but not limited to picking up materials, preparing for courses, or for regularly scheduled on-campus work, you are required to complete the health screening questionnaire. This assures FIT that you have self-monitored for symptoms of COVID-19 prior to departing for campus. If you are not coming to campus, you do not have to complete the health questionnaire.

FIT will be releasing a mobile app called #CampusClear in the near future. However, since many of you might be visiting or working on campus prior to its launch, you will be required to complete the process via the COVID-19 SYMPTOM SELF-MONITORING SURVEY.

When you click on the link, you will be taken to a short survey form where you will report how you are feeling. If you are experiencing two or more of the following symptoms: cough, shortness of breath, breathing issues, fever (100.4 or greater), chills, or repeated shaking with chills, extreme level of fatigue, muscle pain/aches, sore throat, headache, new loss of taste or smell, you will NOT be approved to report to work on campus.

IF YOU ARE EXPERIENCING TWO (2) or MORE OF THESE SYMPTOMS, you will be required to contact your health care provider immediately to discuss your symptoms. If you are already on campus, please go directly to GoHealth Urgent Care (located .26 miles from FIT on 225 W. 23rd St., New York, NY 10011, (212) 897-1994). An HR team member will follow up with you prior to your next expected reporting time; DO NOT report to campus until you have spoken with HR and have been cleared by your doctor to return safely to work.

It is imperative that you complete this form prior to coming to campus; it is each of our responsibility to keep our community safe! 

Please also remember that as communicated on August 3, all employees must secure approval from their vice president or dean (or their designee) of their need to come to campus at least 48 hours in advance until campus formally opens on August 31, 2020. Please see the FIT Campus Restart Campus and Facilities webpage and the Employee and Work Guideliness webpage

If you have any questions, please reach out to HR via the HR Solution Center.  

The Division of Information Technology is pleased to announce the distribution of Webex hosting accounts to FIT students, staff, and faculty. Cisco’s Webex is a full-featured video conferencing platform for worldwide on-demand collaboration. It is one of three audio/video collaboration tools supported by FIT: Blackboard/Collaborate, Google Meet, and Cisco Webex. Training information and materials on all three platforms are available here.
 
Just sign in with your FIT email address and password at fitnyc.webex.com to access and customize your new account. If you are already logged into Google Calendar, Webex, like Google Meet, is an available option whenever you create a meeting, as the screenshot below illustrates. You will notice that there are two Webex meeting types. Regular Webex meetings are best for recurring class sessions, group meetings, or one-off discussions. Webex Personal Room meetings are great for scheduling virtual office hours on your calendar. Learn more about customizing your Webex Personal Room with security features and email notifications here. 
 
And we have more great news—Webex is being upgraded early this fall with a series of enhancements for colleges including video breakout rooms/sessions, co-hosting abilities, and a more intuitive user interface with an improved participant grid view. The graphic below shows the participant grid and the breakout sessions.
 
Webex is a great option for any meeting or video conference that requires high-resolution video and sound. Your guests do not need to download any computer software or sign-up for any accounts to participate in your meetings. And popular standard features include secure recording with searchable transcripts and closed captioning.
 
Check out these short YouTube videos to get acquainted with Webex. We hope you have a great experience with Webex this fall. And if you need to request troubleshooting help, open a ticket at techHelp.fitnyc.edu.

Preparing for FIT 2020 Restart

Dear FIT students, 

In anticipation of the fall semester, this is the third in a short series of emails that will address specific information that is relevant and important to you. Here, the many departments and units that comprise the Division of Enrollment Management and Student Success share their efforts to deliver new and enhanced remote services.  


Academic Support and Student Success Services

We are looking forward to welcoming you to an engaging and interactive fall 2020 semester. FIT student support services will be available to provide ongoing support and assistance as you work to not only navigate your online learning but keep yourself mentally and physically safe and sound. 

Below are the various areas that contribute to your success at FIT. We have worked together to provide an array of online services geared specifically to your needs. Our academic support services will provide you with the tools you need to help you successfully adjust to an online learning platform. Additionally, we will be offering other engaging opportunities through online athletic recreational classes, nutritional workshops, meditation and mindfulness, interactive town hall sessions with your Student Government, virtual chats with medical professionals in Health Services, and even group therapy sessions and one-on-one tele-counseling with our Counseling Center!
  

Academic Support Services

Academic Advisement Center


Academic Skills Tutoring Center


Career and Internship Center


Placement Exams

  • Students looking to take their placement exams in math and/or English can now complete their exams remotely with a proctor. Students are responsible for a $30 placement exam fee, and the college will cover the cost of the $25 remote proctor fee. To make an appointment to take your placement exam, please see this webpage for details.
  • For more information, visit: fitnyc.edu/placementtests


The Writing and Speaking Studio


Gladys Marcus Library


Barnes & Noble at FIT Bookstore

  • Current Store Hours: Monday–Friday, 9 am–1 pm (through August 14)
    • Summer Hours: Monday–Thursday, 10 am–4 pm; Friday, 10 am–2 pm
    • Store Hours for the First Week of Classes: Monday–Thursday, 9 am–7 pm; Friday, 10 am–6 pm; Saturday, 10 am–3 pm
  • Textbooks can be ordered online here. Supplies can be ordered online here.
  • Textbook Rentals: If you rented a textbook that you will need to return to the bookstore, simply follow this link to create a free UPS label to send your textbooks back to Barnes & Noble. You'll need to enter your rental number and email address in the provided fields. Then print your label, package your books securely using packing tape, make sure the label is covered entirely by clear packing tape, and drop off at your nearest UPS location (not the U.S. Postal Service).
  • Questions: You can use the Barnes & Noble at FIT Contact Form here
  • For more information, visit: fashion.bncollege.com

 

Student Success Services

Dean of Students

  • Remote Office Hours: Monday–Friday, 9 am–5 pm
  • Phone: (212) 217-3800. All calls will be returned within the same business day, with the exception of calls placed in the evening, which will be returned the next business day
  • Live Chat: Catch us on Google Hangouts at [email protected] during remote office hours
  • Email: [email protected]
  • For more information, visit: fitnyc.edu/deanofstudents


Residential Life  

Housing is available on campus! Inquire via the information below for more details.

  • In-Person Office Hours: Monday–Thursday, 9 am–5 pm
  • Remote Office Hours: Monday–Friday, 9 am–5 pm
  • Phone: (212) 217-3900
  • Residential Life will also be providing remote learning opportunities for students during the fall semester. Check your FIT email for information about future opportunities and follow us on Instagram for more details
  • Questions: Resident students can continue to contact the department via email at [email protected]
  • On-Campus Emergencies: Call FIT Public Safety at (212) 217-7777
  • Off-Campus Emergencies: Call 911
  • For more information, visit: fitnyc.edu/residentiallife

 
Dining Services


Counseling Services  

  • Remote Office Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 9 am–5 pm;
    Tuesday and Thursday, 9 am–7 pm. All remote office hours are by appointment only 
  • Make an Appointment
    • Call Us: (212) 217-4260. All calls will be returned ASAP and at least within the same business day
    • Live Chat: Log into the FIT Health Portal using your FIT credentials. Click “Chat” and then “New Chat.” Live Chat Hours: Monday through Friday, noon–2 pm
  • Emergencies: Please contact (800) NYC-WELL (692-9355) and/or FIT Public Safety at (212) 217-7777 (on campus) or 911 (off campus)
  • For more information, visit: fitnyc.edu/counseling 


Health Services 

  • Office/Phone Hours: Monday–Thursday, 10 am–6 pm; Friday, 10 am–5 pm. To ensure your safety, please DO NOT GO TO THE OFFICE directly. Please CALL (212) 217-4190 first.
  • Telemedicine/Live Chat Hours: Available online here Monday, Wednesday, Friday 9 am–5 pm; Tuesday and Thursday, 9 am–8 pm
  • After-Hours Care: If you need medical attention when FIT Health Services is closed, you may seek medical care from other facilities such as the nearby facilities listed here. Please keep in mind that payment is required for receiving care from any of these facilities. Please contact your insurance company to verify coverage and remember to have your health insurance card with you when seeking care. Urgent care is different from emergency medical services; an urgent condition is not life-threatening, but may cause serious medical problems if not promptly treated.
  • On-Campus Emergencies: Call FIT Public Safety at (212) 217-7777
  • Off-Campus Emergencies: Call 911
  • COVID-19 (Coronavirus): Visit this FIT webpage to see how FIT is handling the coronavirus. For information on coronavirus including how to protect yourself, travel information, and frequently asked questions, visit the CDC.gov coronavirus (COVID-19) site. You can also text COVID to 692692 for real-time updates from NYC Emergency Management
  • Questions: (212)-217-4190 or live chat
  • For more information, visit: fitnyc.edu/healthservices 

 
Recreation Classes and Fitness Hours

  • Group Fitness Classes: Virtual fitness classes are being offered (in lieu of group fitness classes) this semester! Some of your favorite instructors will help you continue striving toward your wellness goals. It's online learning made fun!
  • Open Gym Hours: Suspended for the fall 2020 semester
  • Stanton Fitness Center: Closed for the fall 2020 semester
  • Kaufman Fitness Center: Closed for the fall 2020 semester
  • Athletic Facility Locker Rooms (in the Main Gym, BX-02): Student lockers will be unavailable during the fall 2020 semester
  • Questions? Contact us here:
    • Google Hangouts Chat: [email protected] during Virtual Office Hours, Monday–Friday, 11 am–2 pm, or Tuesday and Thursday, 6–8 pm
    • Email:[email protected]
    • Phone: Reach a live representative Monday–Friday, 9 am–5 pm at (212) 217-4210
  • For more information, visit us on Instagram or at the Athletics and Recreation website at fittgers.com


Educational Opportunity Programs (EOP) and Child Care Assistance Programs 

  • Remote Office Hours: Monday–Thursday, 10 am–5 pm
  • Phone: (212) 217-4170. All calls will be returned by the close of the business day. Messages left after EOP's close of business will be returned the next day. Urgent outreach to counselors should be directed by email.
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Appointments with Program Counselors:
    • Sylvana Firrincieli
    • Anthony Means
    • Line Osias-Cayenne
  • For more information, visit: fitnyc.edu/eop 


FIT-ABLE (Disability Support Services) 

  • Remote Office Hours: Monday–Friday, 9 am–5 pm
  • Phone: (212) 217-4090. All calls will be returned within the same business day, with the exception of calls placed in the evening, which will be returned the next business day.
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Live Chat: Catch us on Google Hangouts at [email protected], Monday–Friday, 10 am–3 pm
  • For more information, visit: fitnyc.edu/fitable 


International Student Services

  • Remote Office Hours: Monday–Friday, 9 am–5 pm
  • Email: [email protected]. Please note that email is our preferred method of connection for inquiries; advisors are available for virtual appointments on request.
  • For ISS information sessions and events, visit:  fitnyc.edu/iss/information-sessions.php
    Follow us on Instagram: @fitnycintl
  • For more information, visit: fitnyc.edu/iss

Student Life  

 We can't wait to connect with you all in the coming weeks!

Catherine O’Rourke
Interim Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Success

Dear FIT students,

In anticipation of the fall semester, this is the second in a short series of emails that will address specific information that is relevant and important to you. The Division of Enrollment Management and Student Success and the departments of Student Life and Athletics and Recreation have worked this summer to deliver new and enhanced services.

Virtual Student Life Events

This fall we are looking forward to welcoming you to a virtual community of engaging and exciting student activities. The departments of Student Life and Athletics and Recreation have put together a variety of fun and engaging programs that are geared to help you connect and bring you together with your peers. This is a great way to extend your activities beyond the classroom.

Get ready for a series of programs brought to you by your Student Activities Board. The Club Fair, set to take place in early fall, will help you get connected to FIT clubs and organizations (there are so many to choose from!). We have plans for your involvement with engaging Leadership Certification opportunities, getting connected with your Student Government (elections will be taking place this fall!), and other innovative and special interest programming. You can expect to be swept up with the free online wellness and fitness classes put on by FIT’s Athletics and Recreation department throughout the semester to keep you feeling your best.

You will be able to find more details on FITLink as events are posted, as well in your “This Week @ FIT” newsletter.

Here’s a sample of some events that are coming up at the beginning of the semester:

  • Voter Education Sessions
  • FIT Club Fair
  • What Are Your Strengths Workshop
  • Latin Heritage Month Events
  • Meditation and Relaxation Classes
  • Fun with Cardio Dance Classes

See you online!

Catherine O’Rourke
Interim VP for Enrollment Management and Student Success

 

Dear FIT Employee:

As a follow up to the Welcome Back letter from HR this week, we are sending updated information regarding the process of self-monitoring for symptoms of COVID-19.

As you read in the Return to Campus Guide, you are required to review your general health prior to each time you report to campus to work. FIT will be releasing a mobile app in the near future. However, since many of you are returning soon, you will be required to complete the process via the COVID-19 SYMPTOM SELF-MONITORING SURVEY.

When you click on the link, you will be taken to a short survey form where you will report how you are feeling. If you are not experiencing two or more of the following symptoms: Cough, Shortness of Breath, Breathing Issues, Fever (100.4 or greater), Chills or repeated shaking with chills, Extreme Level of Fatigue, Muscle Pain/Aches, Sore Throat, Headache, New Loss of Taste or Smell, you will be approved to report to work on campus.

If you ARE EXPERIENCING TWO (2) or MORE OF THESE SYMPTOMS, you will be required to submit the form and contact your health care provider immediately to discuss your symptoms. If you are already on campus, please go directly to GoHealth Urgent Care (located .26 miles from FIT on 225 W. 23rd St., New York, NY 10011, (212) 897-1994). An HR team member will follow up with you; DO NOT report to campus until you have spoken with HR and have been cleared by your doctor to return safely to work.

It is imperative that you complete this form each day prior to coming to campus; it is each of our responsibility to keep our community safe!

If you have any questions, please reach out to HR via the HR Solution Center.

Preparing for FIT 2020 Restart

To FIT students,

In anticipation of the fall semester, this is the first in a short series of emails that will address specific information that is relevant and important to you. 

As you know, remaining remote for the fall 2020 semester was a very difficult decision and, as a result, faculty, staff, and administrators have been working throughout the summer to best prepare for remote classes. We have listened to the concerns of students and also applied what we learned from the spring semester experience. 

To that end, the Division of Information Technology has partnered with the divisions of Academic Affairs and Enrollment Management and Student Success to deliver new and enhanced services. Our goal is to improve the experience of remote teaching and learning at FIT and to help deliver instruction in the best way possible during this unpredictable time. 

In addition, we will continue to ensure that the health and safety of the community is a top priority and will be sending out guidance on access to campus resources and facilities in the coming days.


Teaching and Learning Technology Resources and Services  

Introducing FIT Remote Labs

FIT Remote Labs is a new service that creates virtual classrooms, allowing faculty and students to access select classrooms and labs from a browser on your home or remote computers at the scheduled date and time of your class. 

Since not all courses require this remote access, each faculty member will determine the best classroom experience and learning outcome for their students and whether the use of FIT Remote Labs is required. For example, software suites such as Adobe Creative Cloud and Microsoft Office 365 are available without FIT Remote Labs access.

Students who are scheduled into a course that will utilize FIT Remote Labs will receive further communications, including setup and login procedures, and access to training materials prior to the start of the semester. There is a short video on the website introducing FIT Remote Labs as well as an FAQ for more detail on how to access FIT Remote labs from your home or remote computer. 

Blackboard/Collaborate, Google Meet, and Cisco Webex 

Collaborate is available to all students within our learning management system, Blackboard. Google Meet and Cisco Webex meeting options are both fully integrated directly into Google Calendar within your FIT account. And, this month we are rolling out access to an individual Webex account for all students, faculty, and staff. In addition, Webex’s new version, due in September, will include an enhanced grid view of participants as well as breakout sessions to accommodate grouped class activities. 

Training materials, documentation, and workshop offerings have also been enhanced in time for the fall semester. In partnership with the Office of Online Learning, a new page for these tools will be posted soon on the website where there will be a one-stop location for students to find the videos, training materials, and FAQs needed for all three collaboration tools.

These tools will help provide a successful remote experience where you can listen or present, share screens to demonstrate or review, watch data update in real time, and have effective discussions or Q/A sessions.

Reserving Studio/Lab Space on Campus with LibCal

Starting this fall, students will be able to reserve available open studio and lab spaces in advance of a trip to campus. Using LibCal, our new reservation service, we will be able to provide access to the specialized and unique facilities and equipment both faculty and students may need to enhance instruction and work on projects and assignments.

Students within commuting distance will be able to use LibCal to check availability and book spaces that will be managed to assure health and safety. Access to most studios and labs are currently scheduled Monday to Friday, 8 am to midnight, and Saturday and Sunday, 8 am to 8 pm. Login access and student instructions for LIbCal will be provided before the start of classes and reservation slots will be opened in periodic blocks.

Other public facilities, wherever possible, will be configured with socially distanced seating to provide students space to use between two on-campus studio/lab reservations. These seating areas are currently being configured and will have access to internet connections via FITAir. Seats will be provided on a first come, first served basis and these areas will be monitored to assure they are being used according to health and safety guidelines.

Access to Adobe Creative Cloud 2020 and Microsoft Office 365

Two key software suites, Adobe Creative Cloud and Microsoft Office 365, are available without FIT Remote Labs. For Adobe Creative Cloud, FIT has a license for all students who are enrolled in programs that require access. Click here for more Adobe information. For Microsoft Office 365, FIT has a full site license for all students, faculty, and staff. Click here for more Microsoft information. With each of these licenses, faculty and students may download the programs directly to their home or remote computer. 

Specialty On-Campus Printing Services to Support Remote Instruction

PrintFX and FabLab, which provide 2D and 3D printing services, will reopen for on-campus services, within a socially distanced operational framework. Daily curbside pickup of 2D and 3D prints and fabrications will be available to support students who visit campus. Service hours and pickup locations will be posted on the FIT 2020 Restart webpage. If you cannot come to campus, at-home delivery of prints and fabrications will also be available (standard shipping charges will apply).

PrintFX and FabLab will continue the online digital service desk that was launched in the spring to answer questions related to creating and printing/fabricating 2D or 3D work, including assistance with correct file types for 3D printers, DPI for Illustrator files, and formatting for laser cutting. All services will be provided via email support, live on-demand video chat support, and virtual appointment-based consultations and workshops. Whether you are near or far, these online consultations are available to all students.

Library Services

For the fall semester, the Gladys Marcus Library will continue to provide online research and instruction support. Visit the library website for a full list of services and current hours, or drop into library virtual office hours to chat with a librarian (Monday–Thursday, 1–2 pm).

Other Core IT Services 

Training for students, faculty, and staff will be available throughout the fall term. More details and links to key training materials will be posted soon, with online workshops beginning the week of August 24.

Core IT services that will reopen on campus include academic computing services for open studios and labs, a TechHelp desk that includes support for graduate school classrooms and staff offices, audio/visual support and equipment for faculty who are on campus, and desktop equipment services for faculty and staff. Pay for Print services will be available at designated locations on campus.

TechHelp Is the First Source for Campus or Remote Support

Reporting a problem to the IT Division is easy. You can submit a ticket at TechHelp.fitnyc.edu, and our team will address the problem as quickly as possible. You can also email at [email protected], or call (212) 217-HELP.  Fall hours will be 8 am to 10 pm, Monday through Friday, with additional weekend hours available during the start of the semester in order to best support remote study and work.

Welcome to New Students

IT will participate in FIT’s Virtual Orientation and we encourage new students to attend our IT session. In addition to answering any questions, we will provide information about the basics that new students need to know, such as how to configure and manage your FIT username and password to stay cybersafe, learning about available Google Suite features, as well as how to access the MyFIT self-service portal and all the other IT tools, services, discounts, and benefits that are available to every FIT student while the college is in session.

The members of the Division of Information Technology welcome you back, even remotely, and want everyone to have a productive and successful fall semester. We are here to support your efforts.


Laurence Baach
Acting Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer

Dear FIT community,

Now that the plan to continue to operate remotely for the fall 2020 semester has been confirmed, there is an immediate need to revise the campus access procedures to ensure the health and safety of the community.

We recognize that for the next three weeks employees will need increased access to offices and classrooms in order to collect teaching materials and to create recordings of demonstrations and lectures, among other tasks. After reviewing the list of individuals who have been on campus over the last month, we have already noted an increase in visits, which is certain to grow even further before the start of the semester. Please note that a Return to Work Campus Guide, which includes new campus access procedures, will be provided on August 20.

For now, to ensure that social distancing and density guidelines as well as other safety protocols are maintained, the following process will be in place while campus facilities remain closed:

  • FIT continues to operate under the extended building closure guidelines distributed on April 20, 2020. This means that all of the college’s buildings on West 27th Street remain closed. While the buildings at 333 Seventh Avenue and 236 West 27th Street are open, FIT’s spaces in those buildings are closed and are subject to the same access guidelines that are in place for the main academic buildings. Residence halls are open to Residential Life staff and student residents with appropriate permissions and identification.
  • All employees must secure approval of their need to come to campus at least 48 hours in advance. You will receive information from your vice president about the designee responsible for managing those requests. A list of approved employees will be sent to Public Safety the day before the scheduled visit. A list of those employees whose jobs require that they be on campus on a regular basis will also be developed.
  • The Public Safety desk in the Feldman Lobby remains the official campus access point and employees must check in there with FIT IDs. The employee lists will be located there and will be used to clear anyone seeking entrance. All visitors to FIT also must be pre-approved and will need an official photo ID.
  • Employees and visitors are required to wear a mask at all times while on campus. If individuals do not have a mask, they will be given a disposable one by Public Safety upon checking in at the Feldman desk.
  • Employees and visitors must identify their destination on campus and state how long they will be in a particular location in order for each space to be cleaned and sanitized after having been occupied.
  • Employees and visitors must observe all safety protocols while on campus, maintaining appropriate social distance from others and refraining from group meetings/gatherings, handshakes, or other common greetings.

Please remember that the buildings have been officially closed since late March and, as a result, classrooms and offices were last cleaned in early April. Although all spaces will be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized prior to August 31, they have been locked and unoccupied over the last four months and have not been cleaned during that time.

With regard to heating and cooling the buildings, ventilation systems have run every day, system filters have been changed regularly, and preventive maintenance has been ongoing. However, because there have been no occupants, the buildings are currently warmer than usual because thermostats have been set at higher temperatures in order to conserve energy.

Further, to inform the FIT community and visitors of appropriate social distancing, density, health and safety, and wayfinding guidelines, signage will be installed throughout the campus by the end of August. At the present time, please walk on the right-hand side of hallways and do not congregate in any common areas while in campus buildings.

We will continue to update you about health and safety protocols throughout the remainder of the summer as well as add critical information to the Restart Fall 2020 webpage on the FIT website.

Please contact the Department of Public Safety at (212) 217-4999 if you have any questions or concerns.

Thank you.

Sherry Brabham
Treasurer and Vice President for Finance and Administration

Dear Students,

I am writing to share information with you regarding FIT’s Student Emergency Fund.

Please carefully review the attached fact sheet with detailed information on the eligibility criteria and process for requesting for a grant. You may access and submit the FIT Student Emergency Fund application here using your FIT email account. You may not submit the application using any other email account. 

In addition to the Student Emergency Fund, FIT has received a Matching Grant from the State University of New York (SUNY). There are very specific guidelines and criteria for securing the grant. You may access the application here, which includes detailed information on eligibility requirements. The application review process will be the same as the Student Emergency Fund noted in the attached fact sheet. 

Unlike the FIT Student Emergency Fund criteria requiring a valid Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and or a valid NYS Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) application, international and DACA degree-seeking registered students may be considered for the SUNY grant. Please note that given the financial limitations of the SUNY fund, only the most critical cases will be offered a grant. 

The SGA has generously contributed to the FIT Student Emergency Fund and has also designated additional support that will be distributed through the Interim SGA. More information will be sent to you shortly from the SGA. 

If you have any questions regarding the Student Emergency Fund or the SUNY Matching Grant, please contact the Financial Aid Services team at [email protected].

Warm regards,


Catherine O’Rourke
Interim Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Success

Dear FIT employees,

I have heard from many of you as we plan and prepare for the opening of the fall semester. I want to acknowledge and respond to your recent concerns for those scheduled to teach in-person classes during the fall 2020 semester.

After seeking agreement as to the list of classes that would best be offered in person —specifically for our art and design students—we released the list to our community. In the past week since we sent the list to the FIT community, we have heard from faculty, staff, students and parents.

Overwhelmingly, we have heard health and safety concerns from our faculty and some students in regard to commuting and having an on campus presence. This has led to the majority of those faculty declining the assignment to teach the classes that are scheduled for in-person instruction.

We cannot schedule classes without the assurance of providing qualified instruction and therefore we cannot delay making the following decision: we will have to revert to all remote or online instruction for the fall semester—including all of the classes that are on the list we sent to you last week. I regret that this is the news I have to deliver, not only to our students but to the faculty who had expressed a desire to provide in person instruction for their fall classes.

Everything we have done to date and continue to do has been with the health and safety of our FIT community at the forefront of our decision-making process. In addition, we are making every effort to be responsive to the needs—even demands—of our students for in person instruction and to their specific and articulated rejection of the effectiveness of remote instruction, particularly in the programs in the School of Art and Design.

This expressed sentiment is not because the faculty have not done a good job but rather it is in spite of the best efforts of every member of this community trying to teach creative subject matter in this environment. We have been fielding issues, concerns and complaints of a very strong nature about remote instruction for the past 4 months. We distributed the results of specific, by department, responses to the SUNY satisfaction survey by FIT students. There is particular dissatisfaction among students in specific departments. This is not because faculty and staff are not doing the absolute best they can possibly do under the circumstances, but rather it has to do with the nature of the subject matter which, at its core can be difficult to translate with no in-person tactile experience. Many of the students have expressed intentions to defer their continued attendance at FIT until such time that we return to classroom instruction. We have been working diligently to identify solutions that will help to maintain our enrollment and ensure that your classes can be offered in the fall.

I am sending a communication to the students informing them that we must revert to a fully remote instructional environment. We will offer them advisement, open labs and studios, and any other supports that may help to convey our recognition of their concerns and our attention to the health and safety concerns of the faculty, staff, and others. We will keep a close eye on our enrollment for the fall and the impact it will have on our academic programming.

I would also like to address a sentiment expressed by a number of faculty members about their efforts during the pandemic. Over the past 4 months during the time that the campus was forced to move to a remote environment due to the pandemic, I have acknowledged on a number of occasions the efforts of our faculty to make that happen as seamlessly as possible. I have called out the great concern you demonstrated for the learning outcomes that your students could expect to achieve. I have expressed my gratitude and awe with regard to your dedication and tireless commitment to ensuring the classes would work successfully to the greatest extent possible.

I have attempted to convey both public and private recognition to ensure you know your efforts are appreciated and I will continue to sing the praises of this dedicated faculty and staff.  I hope that I am reaching you as well as the broader audiences that need to understand the “miracles” we are delivering here on Seventh avenue.

I know that you will have further questions and concerns and we stand ready to answer and assist as best we can.

Dr. Joyce F. Brown
President
Fashion Institute of Technology

We write to provide an update on tuition and fees for the fall 2020 semester in light of the recently approved plan for FIT to offer a limited number of sections on campus, while offering most courses via remote instruction:  

Residence Hall Fees and Meal Plans: FIT is carefully reviewing the revised schedule for the residence halls for the fall semester and will adjust fees accordingly. That information will be provided to all residence hall students within the next few days. Some of the factors that are under consideration include:

  • early move-in and meal delivery to accommodate required quarantine periods for students from states identified as requiring quarantine by New York; 
  • November 24 move-out that aligns with the end of on-campus instruction; 
  • extended housing for students with extenuating circumstances who may need to live in the residence halls through the winter; 
  • carry-over of residency through the winter and into the spring for students who will want to live on-campus for the full year; and
  • other issues that may arise.

Student Activity Fee: The FIT Student Government Association (SGA) will continue to operate remotely during the fall semester, providing advocacy and information to students, supporting clubs, and holding virtual meetings and events. Even with a full range of activities, the SGA has agreed to waive the student activity fee for the fall semester, understanding that some students may not choose to participate in events at the level they would have were they on campus. The Department of Student Life will contact clubs, organizations, and other student groups usually funded by this fee with information about this decision and its impact on fall semester programming. 

Athletics Fee: FIT will waive the fee for the fall semester.

Health Services Fee: This fee will be charged for the fall semester since FIT Health Services will continue to operate both on campus and remotely, without interruption, offering a wide range of services to all students, including online appointments, education, and support. Please check the Health Services website for more information about services that are available. 

Technology Fee: This fee will be charged for the fall semester, as remote instruction and the challenges of social distancing for on-campus courses have actually increased the investment—and therefore, the cost—of technology. To provide some context, the technology fee provides 7 percent of the college’s financial support for technology services and is, as with all educational institutions, among the most critical and expensive funding areas. FIT’s Office of Information Technology will be providing further information about new software and other upgrades.

Online Course Per Credit Fee: This fee will be charged to students who have enrolled in online courses. It will not be charged to students who enrolled in an on-campus course that will be offered remotely as a result of the pandemic.

Other Fees: Other fees that are specific to courses such as the lab fee or patternmaking fee, will be waived. In addition, the locker fee will be waived, although students with classes on campus may sign up to use a locker for the fall.  

Health Insurance: Health Insurance will be required for all students and can be used wherever a student is located. Students who are covered through a family member's insurance plan or are international students studying online/remotely in their home countries can elect to have this fee waived by submitting documentation of alternate coverage. Please visit the Health Services website to submit an online waiver by the September 15, 2020 deadline. 

Tuition: The authority to waive, refund or discount tuition rests only with the SUNY Board of Trustees, not with campuses.

Therefore, tuition will be charged at board-approved rates. FIT has reviewed the tuition and fee schedule carefully with a particular concern that the rates are fair and reasonable in the current environment. In doing this, we have considered the following:

  • FIT’s tuition is equivalent to the tuition of other SUNY colleges. In fact, its lower division tuition (AAS programs) is comparable to other SUNY community colleges and its upper division (bachelor’s-level) tuition is comparable to other SUNY state-operated colleges. 
  • FIT’s tuition rates are the lowest of all of the highly rated colleges of art and design in the country. 
  • FIT’s operating costs—similar to the operating costs of most colleges and universities—are largely invested in paying salaries of faculty and staff, all of whom are working diligently through the summer to prepare for on-campus, online, and remote classes. In addition, faculty and staff will be fully available to provide instruction and support to students through the fall semester and beyond.
  • FIT has significantly upgraded its technology to provide innovative solutions via remote instruction. It has enhanced training for faculty and has upgraded classroom technology infrastructure to allow for appropriate social distancing on campus.
  • FIT’s commitment to offer the highest-level instructional and support services to all students requires that revenue to the college is maintained.
  • FIT has eliminated or reduced fees wherever services will be reduced in the fall. In addition, FIT applauds the SGA for taking the bold step of waiving the student activity fee for the fall. 

Students will see the reductions in fees as noted in this email on their fall semester bills by July 31, 2020, prior to the bill due date of August 3, 2020.

We know how difficult this situation is for our students and their families and hope that these fee reductions offer some relief. Students who may need assistance should contact the Financial Aid Services Office at [email protected].  

As plans for the fall semester have evolved based on the current state of the pandemic and our priority that we keep students and employees healthy and safe, this is the best set of decisions we can make at this time. We thank you for your patience.

Warm regards, 

Catherine O’Rourke
Interim Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Success

Dear Students:

We know that you are anxious to learn more about the class schedule for the fall 2020 semester and further information on the protocols for returning to classes, whether in person on the FIT campus or remotely.  

As stated in the July 8 email, Update on Fall 2020, we are sharing, attached, a listing of the courses that are being offered this semester that will be taught in an in-person format. You will be able to compare the classes you are registered for against this list and determine which ones require you to attend a class in person. Things to note:

  • If you are unable to come to campus, you will be able to attend the class in a remote format.
  • If you do not see a course on this list, it will not be offered in person, it will be offered remotely.
  • You will be able to access a full, searchable database of all remote, in-person and online fall 2020 classes on Banner when you log into your FIT account. 
  • Reminder - the plan for fall remains subject to the continuously evolving pandemic environment, including the fact that New York City is not yet in phase 4 of the opening plan. FIT will adhere to the mandates of New York State and the State University of New York (SUNY) as they are issued, including the possibility of a fully remote format.

To assist with next steps and guidance for making fall semester decisions based on your own individual needs, we have also updated the FIT website with resources, contact information, and FAQs which should answer many of the issues and concerns you may have as you plan so please visit starting tomorrow for new information.

For Students Who Are Registered for In-Person Classes

To ensure proper social distancing for in-person classes, some courses will assign students to either a schedule A or schedule B for the duration of the semester. Students in schedule A and B formats will have a rotating schedule for in-person and remote class times so that only half of the students registered for the course will be in person during an on campus class time. The other half of the students registered for the course will join remotely and the professor will live-stream during the class time.

In some cases, due to the space and enrollment in a course, students may be able to attend all sessions in person in the assigned classroom or, in order to meet social distancing  requirements, from an additional designated room/space on campus where the instruction is live streamed.

As we approach the start of the semester, the Registrar's Office will share more details regarding your own personal schedule.  

A schedule for student access to open labs and studios is also being developed, according to social distancing guidelines, and will be posted in the coming weeks. In-person classes for all programs will end on November 24, before the Thanksgiving break, and remaining classes in those programs will be held remotely. The FIT campus, inclusive of all open and operational facilities, will close as of November 25th, 2020. 

For Students Who Are Registered for Remote Classes Only

The protocol for students who are registered only for remote classes will follow the same model used in the spring 2020 semester.  Please note that the Divisions of Academic Affairs and Information Technology have collaborated during the last several months to provide remote access solutions for those classes that need specialized software technology in order to enhance access and support for fall semester instruction.

International Students

The July 14 decision by the Trump Administration to rescind a policy that would have removed visas from international students now permits those students the flexibility of studying online or in-person, as required by their programs. 

Residential Hall Guidance

If you are taking in-person classes and will be living in the FIT residence halls, you will be assigned to either an apartment-style or traditional room with a private bedroom, again to ensure socially distanced living.

Students who have paid a fall semester housing deposit for an FIT residence hall, including those on the housing wait list, will be accommodated if they are taking in-person classes. Room assignments will be based on strict social distancing guidelines where you will have your own bedroom. Students living in the residence halls who have extenuating circumstances preventing their departure on November 24 must contact the Residential Life Office to request an accommodation. 

Additionally, if you have extenuating circumstances and are registered for remote-only classes and have paid a fall semester housing deposit for an FIT residence hall, including those on the housing wait list - housing assignments will be considered on a case-by-case basis for a certain number of students.  This will be first come first serve until our social distancing threshold is reached. You will be contacted via your FIT email address by the Residence Life Office to request housing based on your extenuating circumstances. Numerous details remain to be finalized and the information provided here offers a framework for the fall semester. Additional information will be provided by your deans, chairs and professors over the next several weeks. Questions can also be submitted by clicking on the Student Concerns or Questions Regarding Fall 2020.

Thank you and please reach out to the resources provided with questions or concerns and we will make sure you get the answers you need to finalize your plans for the fall 2020 semester.

Dear FIT Community,

We know that you are anxious to learn more about the class schedule for the fall 2020 semester and further information on the protocols for returning to classes, whether in person, on the FIT campus or remotely. This message is intended to give information to classroom faculty and staff and additional questions can be submitted to the Office of Academic Affairs email [email protected].  All other employees should direct questions on fall reopening to their supervisors.

As stated in the July 8th email, Update on Fall 2020, we are sharing, a listing of the courses (.pdf) that are being offered this semester that will be taught in an in-person format. Thanks goes to the Registrar and team for the great work in creating this list and to the deans, chairs, and faculty who have worked with us to certify the classes we will offer in person. We know there will be many more questions on specific programs and classes - please work with your department chairs on details for your fall teaching schedule.

Faculty will be able to compare the classes they are scheduled to teach against the attached list and determine which of their courses require them to provide instruction in person. Things to note:

·        Separately, HR will send an email to all employees providing a link where employees will be able to submit issues, questions and concerns. 

·        If you do not see a course on this list, it will not be offered in person, it will be offered remotely.

·        You will be able to see a full, searchable list of fall 2020 course offerings both remote and in-person by clicking this link.

·        To ensure proper social distancing for in-person classes, some courses will assign students to either a schedule A or schedule B for the duration of the semester. Students in schedule A and B formats will have a rotating schedule for in-person and remote class times so that only half of the students registered for the course will be in person during an on campus class time. The other half of the students registered for the course will join remotely and the professor will live-stream during the class time. Follow up information will be provided to faculty on the live-stream process.

·        In some cases, due to the space and enrollment in a course, students may be able to attend all sessions in person in the assigned classroom or, in order to meet social distancing requirements, from an additional designated room/space on campus where the instruction is live streamed. 

·        Reminder - the plan for fall remains subject to the continuously evolving pandemic environment, including the fact that New York City is not yet in phase 4 of the opening plan. FIT will adhere to the mandates of New York State and the State University of New York (SUNY) as they are issued, including the possibility of a fully remote format.

To assist with next steps and guidance for making fall semester decisions based on your own individual needs, we have also updated the FIT website with resources, contact information, and FAQs which should answer many of the issues and concerns you may have as you plan, so please visit starting tomorrow for new information.

The health and safety of our community is our highest priority and we will continue to monitor the pandemic situation and keep you informed of any changes that affect our reopening plans for the fall 2020 semester.

Dr. Joyce Brown
President
Fashion Institute of Technology

 Dear FIT Community,

I write to update you on our overview plan for reopening in fall 2020, which has just been approved by the State University of New York. It is a plan that prioritizes the health and safety of the entire FIT community. It is, however, a plan that is tentative at best, subject to the unpredictable nature of Covid-19 and directives from SUNY and the State of New York, our governing bodies.  

You will hear me repeat this throughout the summer and indeed until classes resume. I realize that this is frustrating and even tiresome to hear, especially after so many months of isolation and sacrifice. But this is our reality—a reality which you have endured since last semester with grace and resilience. I know it has been difficult and I am grateful for your patience and perseverance. The plan itself, whose details will be reviewed and refined by deans, chairs, and college-wide advisory groups, provides the parameters of the college’s academic and work environment for the fall 2020 semester. Although it addresses a wide range of concerns, it is, inevitably, a compromise that reflects the limitations imposed on us by Covid-19 and FIT’s own complexities.  

As you will see, we have adopted a hybrid and remote approach to the curriculum – hybrid, in this case, is a mix of socially distanced and reduced density in-person classes and remote classes in a program. Specifically, we will be offering in-person instruction for those students who require access to special facilities and equipment in order to do their work. For students who take courses that are lecture style and can use online software solutions, instruction will remain remote. What follows are highlights from the plan:

The academic calendar remains the same. All classes will begin on August 31 and end on December 23, as originally scheduled. Classes scheduled remotely from the beginning of the semester will end by December 23rd. However, in-person classes will be held on campus for the first 12 weeks of instruction, until November 24, with the remaining three weeks to be held remotely through December 23. By adjusting the in-person class schedule, students will be able to travel home for Thanksgiving, completing final academic work from home, without the need to return to campus.

Health and safety priorities underlie everything from space planning, which has determined how many people may occupy a classroom, lab, restroom, office, and elevator, to cleaning and disinfecting protocols. Masks are mandatory for anyone entering FIT facilities, and social distancing will be reinforced by reducing density on campus and through alternative scheduling.
 
Instruction will be both remote and hybrid—remote for lecture-style classes and those classes that have remote/online software solutions as well as a hybrid of in-person (socially distanced and reduced density) /remote for studio courses that require access to special facilities and equipment.  Students will also be provided access to studios and labs during open hours. This means that some students will remain completely remote in the fall semester and others will be taking both in-person and remote classes. A webpage listing all fall semester courses, identifying whether they are in-person or remote, is being developed and will be accessible on July 15.

In order to reduce density on campus and maintain social distancing guidelines, staff roles and responsibilities are being reviewed in order to determine those that can continue to be performed remotely and those that must be carried out on campus. The goal is to continue remote work wherever possible and, therefore, most staff will remain remote or have staggered schedules for reduced in-person density.  

FIT’s facilities will be used exclusively by the college and for academic purposes only. Public spaces, such as the Haft Theater, the Reeves Great Hall, and the Katie Murphy Amphitheatre, will not be available for use by external organizations or for internal meetings or events and will be repurposed to meet possible academic needs. All FIT events and activities—planned by faculty, staff, and students—will be held virtually.

Residence hall assignments will be available exclusively for those students taking both in-person/remote classes. Room assignments will be made according to social distancing requirements. In general, this means that if a student has a fully remote schedule, on-campus housing will not be available. Students with extenuating circumstances will be evaluated on an individual basis.  

It has been a challenge to develop this plan—many decisions had potential solutions that would satisfy some needs but not others. Ultimately, however, these decisions are being made with a focus on the health, safety and productivity of the entire FIT community. It is my hope and belief that by observing the protocols of this plan, we acknowledge our responsibility to one another and ensure—to the degree possible—the best environment for teaching and learning with safe and healthy spaces for our community.

Attached is the SUNY-approved plan and all corresponding documents.  There are also links to other relevant documents within the plan and all of this will be available on the FIT website this week. We know that you will have many specific questions regarding the fall semester. Additional details for faculty, staff, and students are being prepared and will be available on Wednesday, July 15. In the meantime, please send any questions to THIS LINK FOR EMPLOYEES and THIS LINK FOR STUDENTS.

Thank you and we will continue to update you throughout the summer on details of the plan and any changes that circumstances bring.

Dr. Joyce F. Brown
President
Fashion Institute of Technology

Dear FIT employees,

I write to provide you with an update on our covid-19 contingency planning for the return to work and the fall semester.  As you know, FIT is governed by the guidelines of the State University of New York and the State of New York, and at his recent news conference, Governor Cuomo announced that his office was issuing guidance to colleges and universities that are developing plans for fall re-openings. Those plans, which must be submitted to the state for approval, must include details on reopening, monitoring, containment, and shutdown. We have submitted our plan and await approval from SUNY, which we will share as soon as it is given to FIT.

As you also know, New York City has entered the second phase of a general statewide four-phase plan for reopening. Educational institutions are part of the fourth phase of these plans, so the date we will be permitted to return to campus —and in what form — has not been decided as yet.

In March, I appointed a steering committee from FIT’s Emergency Preparedness and Response Group to help manage our response to the pandemic and then to develop scenarios and plans to restart the campus. That steering committee and many other individuals have been working diligently to prepare a plan that will best serve the college community while also prioritizing your health and safety during this ongoing and unpredictable pandemic.

We continue to develop the plan and timetable and additional members of the FIT community are being invited to join these efforts. Sub-committees are now being established to serve as subject-area experts to further shape, refine, and review operational plans. These are challenging tasks but we continue to be dedicated to providing a safe environment in which to work.

Foremost in our planning has been the maintenance of a clean and sanitary campus environment, establishing guidelines and parameters to best ensure that social distancing protocols can be met, preparing various scenarios for limited in-person as well as remote work and learning. We are also looking carefully at the various student populations in different programs and assessing those needs, from those who commute to those who are from abroad, to those who need access to labs and studios, to those who require support services 

We are working very hard to ensure that we can resume activities and start the fall semester in a safe and coordinated manner. These are unprecedented times that require all of us to make decisions and adjustments that we could never have anticipated just a little more than three months ago. I thank you for your patience and support as we work through the details of a plan for fall. Everyone wants to be back on campus and I anxiously await that day. I look forward to sharing firm plans with you as soon as we receive authorization from the state, city and SUNY.

Please take care and have a safe and healthy summer. 

Dr. Joyce F. Brown
President
Fashion Institute of Technology

SPRING 2020 COVID-19 COMMUNICATIONS

For FIT NYC Students and Employees:

Dear FIT Students,

I want to thank everyone who participated yesterday in our virtual graduation week finale—being able to engage with everyone and hear the positive and uplifting comments from friends, family and the whole FIT community was one of the highlights of these very challenging few months. The Class of 2020 and all FIT students deserve accolades for your accomplishments and as the semester comes to a close, I will say again how proud I am to be part of this extraordinary community—your dedication to your academic work and your strength in the face of adversity are an inspiration.

I know you are anxious to receive news regarding classes in the Fall 2020 semester and we are anxious to deliver it. However, since we are a member college of the State University of New York (SUNY) we are governed by the rules promulgated by the State and by SUNY. We have not received a final determination as to the format of our classes in September. However, we have been working and planning and trying to imagine every possibility for conducting classes in the Fall. Those possibilities include in-person classes, online classes, and/or a combination of both. We are looking at all of it but recognize we cannot act on any of it before New York State allows New York City to open, and not before our campus plans for opening in the Fall are approved by the State and by SUNY.

Over the past week we have been hearing news from the Governor’s office that must inform our planning efforts and one main announcement is that New York Pause has been extended to May 28, 2020. New York State’s overall reopening plan is regional, multi-phased and initially based on seven health metrics that must be met before a region can begin to reopen. Currently, there are seven upstate regions that have been cleared to begin reopening following social distancing and other guidelines for phase one industries and certain recreational activities.

The New York City region where FIT is located has only met four of the seven health metrics and, therefore, all industries remain closed until all metrics are achieved and the region is cleared by the state. In fact, in recent days, the Governor announced that the state will not be making any decisions or issuing any guidance about schools and colleges reopening until mid-June. Based on that guidance we will be required to submit our plans for reopening. As of now our expectation is that the state will review all plans on a state-wide basis in July.

Consequently, FIT’s announcement in April regarding the closure of all of our campus facilities, will remain in place for now, and college operations and instruction will continue remotely. No decisions can be made about reopening until we receive clearance from the New York State, New York City and SUNY officials. 

When we do get clearance to reopen we will develop a communications plan that will include consultation with representatives of all of the constituent groups in our community (faculty, staff, students, and administrators) so that everyone will be aware of detailed plans and how they will affect your physical re-entry to the college. In advance of that clearance we are developing contingency scenarios so that, hopefully, we will have anticipated every eventuality, and will be prepared to discuss and present plans for any possibility that may occur.

The health and safety of our community—faculty, staff, and students—is the main focus of all our planning. Cleaning, PPE, and social distancing protocols factor prominently into every aspect of the scenarios we are developing and we will continue to be guided by best practices as promulgated by the center for disease control.

We will communicate with you regularly throughout the summer, especially when there is more news that affects SUNY and FIT specifically. And because we know the pandemic has created new financial burdens for you and your families, we will keep advocating for support on a federal, state and local level and, of course, building our student emergency fund with our donors. This fund has been established to support our students with financial hardship especially during the pandemic.

We are also waiting on approval for the distribution of the federal CARES Act funds to our eligible students. The CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund-IHE/Student Aid provides funding to institutions to provide emergency financial aid grants to students whose lives have been disrupted by the pandemic, many of whom are facing financial challenges. As soon as we receive that approval, detailed information will be sent from FIT’s Financial Aid Services to the students who are eligible to receive a CARES Act grant.

And so, to close this most unconventional school year, I can only say, we made it—by working together, by persevering through the difficult, the unknown, and the unforeseen. I hope it has made us stronger and ready to face a new year at FIT.  Please stay healthy and safe. I am looking forward to the day when we can all be together on our campus. 

Dr. Joyce F. Brown
President
Fashion Institute of Technology

Dear Graduate Student,

We write to confirm the fees that FIT will refund for the spring 2020 semester, and those charges that will not be refunded.  The fees that will be refunded, listed below, will be credited to your account by the end of May.  

Payments that will be refunded:  

  • Housing fee – 50% of the housing fee that you have paid will be refunded if you were able to move out of your room by March 31.  For students who were unable to move out and still are either living in the residence halls or have belongings in your rooms, your refund will be prorated to the date that you vacate your room.
  • Meal Plan fee – 50% of your spring semester meal plan fees will be refunded if you were able to move out of your room by March 31, with the exception of your purchased declining dollars. The balance of your declining dollars’ account will be fully refunded.  For students who are living in the residence halls and continuing meal plan coverage, there will be no refund.
  • Student Activity fee – 50% of your student activity fee will be refunded.  This refund has been approved by the Student Government Association even though the SGA continues to provide significant services and produce remote activities and virtual events for all students until the end of the semester.  
  • Athletics fee – 50% of your spring semester athletics fee will be refunded.  This refund is provided even though the Athletics department continues to pay salaries of employees and offer virtual fitness classes and other activities throughout the spring semester. 
  • Locker fee – 50% of any locker fee assessed and paid through the Office of the Bursar for the spring semester will be refunded.
  • Lab fee – 50% of any lab fee assessed and paid through the Office of the Bursar for the spring semester will be refunded.

       Payments that will not be refunded:  

  • Tuition – In compliance with the State University of New York (SUNY) guidelines, FIT will not issue tuition refunds. Tuition is a primary funding source for FIT instruction/academic, and student support, as well as technology and administrative activities.  All of these are being supported at full operational levels throughout the spring semester, and all faculty and staff are continuing to work albeit remotely.  FIT has made significant investments to ensure that all spring courses will be available and redesigned for a virtual environment, so that you will receive, upon completion of your coursework, the full academic credit for which you registered this spring.  
  • Technology fee – FIT’s technology fee is one source of funding for the full range of technology services offered by the college, including the data center and appropriate hardware and communications software, educational software licenses for highly sophisticated design and analysis, and professional staffing and support for educational and administrative networks and systems. Revenue from the technology fee funds about 7% of FIT’s annual investment in technology.  The requirement to move to remote teaching, learning, and working has actually increased technology costs at the college.
  • Health Services fee – FIT’s Health Services department has been a critical and very active service in our response to COVID-19.  In addition, Health Services personnel continue to operate full time providing tele-medicine services to FIT students.  
  • Health Insurance – Students who have purchased a health insurance policy through FIT continue to have full access to the benefits of this policy through the end of summer 2020, wherever you are located.  If you no longer have coverage through your parent(s) health insurance plan, you may join the college’s plan available through Aetna. Please visit the Health Services site for more information.  International students covered under FIT’s domestic health insurance plan who have returned to their home countries may be eligible to receive a refund prorated as of April 15, 2020. A copy of your airline ticket along with a request for a refund can be emailed to dean_of_s[email protected].

FIT staff is currently working to calculate the refunds that will be issued as described above and will make them available to your accounts as soon as possible, but by no later than the end of May.      

  • If your student account has an outstanding balance, these refunds will reduce that balance and, until the refunds are applied, you will not be required to make further payments to settle your account.  You will, however, be responsible to pay any outstanding balance after the refund has been applied by July 1, 2020. 
  • If your account is paid in full, you will receive a cash refund.  If you have not done so already, please sign up for an electronic fund transfer of your refund directly to your personal bank account. Follow this link for instructions on setting up your E-Refund account: fitnyc.edu/bursar/e-refunds.php. Please note that if you do not have electronic fund transfer, your physical check may be delayed due to New York State on PAUSE requirements for employees to work from home.  

Please know that FIT understands that it has been a challenging time for each one of you and thanks you for your determination to continue your academic career in spite of all the hardships. 

Best,

Catherine

Catherine O’Rourke
Interim Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Success

Dear FIT Student,

As the COVID-19 crisis continues to unfold, FIT is taking steps to ensure that the college will be as prepared as possible to operate in the coming months regardless of the pandemic’s uncertain course. Our goal is to be able to offer you the education you need in an environment that is safe for you and the entire community.  

As you know, in just two short weeks, we navigated to a fully remote platform and did so thanks to a coordinated community effort and a major commitment of our teaching faculty. We were not alone in this endeavor; almost every institution of higher learning in the country went remote, each with its own share of successes and challenges. 

The time has now come to focus on the future and I write to inform you that FIT’s two summer sessions will be offered exclusively online. As it happens, the majority of our 180 sections scheduled for Summer I (beginning May 26) and Summer II (beginning June 30) are already online. With just a handful of exceptions, those remaining courses that are face-to-face can be converted to being delivered remotely. Several new liberal arts sections will be added to the online roster. The Office of Academic Affairs is overseeing this transition to ensure that it will be as seamless as possible and will be working with each school to manage its specific issues for the summer sessions. 

At the same time, we are developing contingency plans to remain remote for the fall 2020 semester in the event COVID-19 remains a public health emergency. By preparing for that possibility now, we will have sufficient time to plan and consider options in as thoughtful, far-reaching and strategic way as possible. Clearly, the best scenario would be to return to campus for in-person classes for the fall 2020 semester and certainly we are planning for that possibility as well.

We will continue to seek advice from SUNY as well as from public health and other official state and city agencies regarding our status going forward. I hope there will be a decision in a relatively short time, but as you know there are many complex factors to be considered. I am sure you share my hope that we return to campus in a safe, virus-free environment. But if we must continue to operate remotely for the fall, we will apply the lessons we are learning now in order to strategize for the most successful semester possible. 

We know just how challenging this time has been for all of you and appreciate your patience, your dedication, and your perseverance in pursuing your education. 

Dr. Joyce F. Brown
President
Fashion Institute of Technology

Dear Student,

We write to confirm the fees that FIT will refund for the spring 2020 semester, and those charges that will not be refunded.  The fees that will be refunded, listed below, will be credited to your account by the end of May.  

Payments that will be refunded:  

  • Housing fee – 50% of the housing fee that you have paid will be refunded if you were able to move out of your room by March 31.  For students who were unable to move out and still are either living in the residence halls or have belongings in your rooms, your refund will be prorated to the date that you vacate your room.
  • Meal Plan fee – 50% of your spring semester meal plan fees will be refunded if you were able to move out of your room by March 31, with the exception of your purchased declining dollars.  The balance of your declining dollars’ account will be fully refunded.  For students who are living in the residence halls and continuing meal plan coverage, there will be no refund.
  • Student Activity fee – 50% of your student activity fee will be refunded.  This refund has been approved by the Student Government Association even though the SGA continues to provide significant services and produce remote activities and virtual events for all students until the end of the semester.  
  • Athletics fee – 50% of your spring semester athletics fee will be refunded.  This refund is provided even though the Athletics department continues to pay salaries of employees and offer virtual fitness classes and other activities throughout the spring semester. 
  • Locker fee – 50% of any locker fee assessed and paid through the Office of the Bursar for the spring semester will be refunded.
  • Lab fee – 50% of any lab fee assessed and paid through the Office of the Bursar for the spring semester will be refunded.
  • Patternmaking fee – 50% of any patternmaking fees assessed and paid through the Office of the Bursar for the spring semester will be refunded.

Payments that will not be refunded:  

  • Tuition – In compliance with the State University of New York (SUNY) guidelines, FIT will not issue tuition refunds. Tuition is a primary funding source for FIT instruction/academic, and student support, as well as technology and administrative activities.  All of these are being supported at full operational levels throughout the spring semester, and all faculty and staff are continuing to work albeit remotely.  FIT has made significant investments to ensure that all spring courses will be available and redesigned for a virtual environment, so that you will receive, upon completion of your coursework, the full academic credit for which you registered this spring.  
  • Technology fee – FIT’s technology fee is one source of funding for the full range of technology services offered by the college, including the data center and appropriate hardware and communications software, educational software licenses for highly sophisticated design and analysis, and professional staffing and support for educational and administrative networks and systems. Revenue from the technology fee funds about 7% of FIT’s annual investment in technology.  The requirement to move to remote teaching, learning, and working has actually increased technology costs at the college.
  • Health Services fee – FIT’s Health Services department has been a critical and very active service in our response to COVID-19.  In addition, Health Services personnel continue to operate full time providing tele-medicine services to FIT students.  
  • Health Insurance – Students who have purchased a health insurance policy through FIT continue to have full access to the benefits of this policy through the end of summer 2020, wherever you are located.  If you no longer have coverage through your parent(s) health insurance plan, you may join the college’s plan available through Aetna. Please visit the Health Services site for more information.  International students covered under FIT’s domestic health insurance plan who have returned to their home countries may be eligible to receive a refund prorated as of April 15, 2020. A copy of your airline ticket along with a request for a refund can be emailed to dean_of_s[email protected].

FIT staff is currently working to calculate the refunds that will be issued as described above and will make them available to your accounts as soon as possible, but by no later than the end of May.        

  • If your student account has an outstanding balance, these refunds will reduce that balance and, until the refunds are applied, you will not be required to make further payments to settle your account.  You will, however, be responsible to pay any outstanding balance after the refund has been applied by July 1, 2020. 
  • If your account is paid in full, you will receive a cash refund.  If you have not done so already, please sign up for an electronic fund transfer of your refund directly to your personal bank account. Follow this link for instructions on setting up your E-Refund account: fitnyc.edu/bursar/e-refunds.php.  Please note that if you do not have electronic fund transfer, your physical check may be delayed due to New York State on PAUSE requirements for employees to work from home.  

Please know that FIT understands that it has been a challenging time for each one of you and thanks you for your determination to continue your academic career in spite of all the hardships. 

Best,

Catherine

Catherine O’Rourke
Interim Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Success

To the FIT community,
 
I write to update information about new building hours, which went into effect on Wednesday, April 8. Consistent with Governor Andrew Cuomo's direction to extend the "New York State on Pauseexecutive order to May 15, 2020, FIT will also extend its building closure policies. FIT building hours are provided below:
 
Effective Wednesday, April 8, 2020, through Friday, May 15, 2020, FIT's building hours are:
 
Academic Buildings: Closed
This includes Dubinsky, Business and Liberal Arts, Feldman, Pomerantz, and Goodman.
 
All classrooms, studios, and laboratories will remain closed.
 
The FIT Dining Hall will be open 10 am to 1 pm for students to pick up boxed meals
 
236 West 27th Street: Closed
 
333 Seventh Avenue: Closed  
 
Please note: Faculty, staff, and students who must retrieve items from lockers or offices are required to enter through the Feldman lobby, where they will show valid FIT ID, sign in, and be escorted by Public Safety to their destination and back to the exit. For questions, please call Public Safety at (212) 217-4999.
 
Student residence halls, including Alumni, Coed, and Kaufman, will be open to residents only with appropriate identification. Nagler Hall is closed.
 
Please check the FIT COVID-19 website, fitnyc.edu/coronavirus, for updates to this information.
 
During this period of restricted building access, FIT has reduced certain essential services to ensure employees who provide these services are able to increase social distancing and reduce their personal risks of travel and assembly. To that end, from April 8 through May 15, FIT will suspend all mail and receiving services and will not generate paper checks for payroll or vendor payments. Exceptions to this moratorium on these specific essential services will be considered for urgent equipment deliveries, mail service, or payments, with the approval of the Vice President for Finance and Administration.
 
FIT’s Department of Public Safety will operate at modified staffing levels while continuing to fully secure the campus, including the academic buildings, the residence halls, and the property. The Facilities Department, including engineering, cleaning services, and maintenance, will also operate with modified staffing levels.
 
Thank you for your attention to these new operating guidelines established to ensure the safety of our employees and our campus.
 
Sherry F. Brabham
Treasurer and Vice President for Finance and Administration

Dear FIT employees:
 
As state and federal responses to the COVID-19 pandemic continue to evolve, we write to update you regarding changes affecting leave eligibility. In accordance with new applicable federal law, guidance, and regulations, the following information outlines time and attendance policies that remain in effect as well as those that have changed (italicized below) since our March 25, 2020​,​ Human Resources communication to the community.
 
Time and Attendance During COVID-19
 
The following practices were effective March 25, 2020​,​ and remain unchanged:
 
If your work can be done remotely and you continue to perform your required duties, there will be no change in pay or in your employment status. You will receive your regular paycheck.
 
You will continue to be paid regular wages if you are unable to work for reasons directly related to the virus or to your job role, as explained here:
  • Your own illness as a result of contracting the virus or having been quarantined pursuant to federal, state, or local government order or advice of a health​ ​care provider, or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis;
  • Care for an immediate household member or dependent as a result of contracting the virus or who has been quarantined pursuant to federal, state, or local government order or advice of a health care provider which prevents your working remotely;
  • Inability to perform job duties remotely due to the demands/responsibilities of the job (your supervisor will review alternate work opportunities with you).
If any of the three circumstances above apply to you, please click here and an HR representative will follow up with you directly.
NEW Child Care Leave Provisions under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)​,​ ​effective April 1, 2020​,​ for ​non-​essential ​personnel
If you are unable to work or require a reduced schedule because of abona fide need to care for a child (under 18 years of age, or older if they are disabled and require your care) whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19, you may be entitled to partially paid sick leave and partially paid FMLA leave under the FFCRA. If you have a need for leave under this provision, please click here and an HR representative will contact you directly.
 
Time Reporting
 
All full-time and part-time non-teaching employees and full-time faculty
If you are unable to work for any of the reasons stated above, please enter your leave time under the OP8- COVID-19 code on your monthly leave report. This is for recordkeeping only; your leave banks will not be charged.

All part-time faculty
If you are unable to work for any of the reasons stated above, please notify your department of these hours so that the time can be properly recorded in FARS to be delivered to the payroll office for entry as COVID-19. This is for recordkeeping only; your leave banks will not be charged. 
 
All ​employees
If you elect not to perform your assigned duties during the pandemic, you will be required to use your regular leave banks and report your time accordingly (sick, personal, or vacation) for the following reasons: 
  • You previously scheduled an approved leave or vacation that you intend to still use (and you will not be available to perform work duties during this time)
  • You are ill (unrelated to COVID-19) and are unable to perform your work
Please work directly with your supervisor regarding all questions concerning your work during the pandemic. You may also contact HR to discuss your individual situation by clicking here, entering the requested information, and an HR representative will follow up with you directly. 
 
Be well, 
 
Dr. Cynthia M. Glass
Vice President for Human Resource Management and Labor Relations

To all part-time hourly non-bargaining employees including non-work-study student workers, temporary and seasonal employees, models, tutors, monitors, peer note-takers, and those who supervise all of these positions​:​
 
We continue to receive guidance on employer requirements for continuation of pay during the coronavirus pandemic. This communication is intended to provide you with information regarding changes in pay practices that specifically affect you as an employee who works in one of the positions listed above.
 
As you know, your pay for your regularly scheduled hours has continued since March 16, 2020. As of today, the continuation of pay has been extended for all scheduled hours through May 15, 2020. In order to be paid, you must continue to submit a timesheet.Please click here to review the March 17 communication from FIT’s Payroll Department for additional information on timesheet submissions and other payroll practices. We will continue to monitor SUNY guidelines and other related legislation and will update this page as needed.
 
Also, emerging federal and state laws contain provisions for paid leave for qualifying COVID-19 related reasons, such as an imposed/required quarantine or isolation period for an employee or an employee’s qualified dependent or a bona fide need to care for a child (under 18 years of age, or older if they are disabled and require your care) whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable. 
 
Please note that all employees, regardless of full-time, part-time, temporary, seasonal, or student worker status, should report instances of their own required quarantine or required quarantine of a dependent or the need for child care leave to HR. Please click here and an HR representative will follow up with you directly
 
We appreciate your patience as these regulations continue to change.
 
Be well,
 
​Dr. ​Cynthia​ M. Glass
Vice President for Human Resource Management and Labor Relations​

Dear FIT Community,

As the COVID-19 crisis continues to unfold, FIT is taking steps to ensure that the college will be as prepared as possible to operate in the coming months regardless of the pandemic’s uncertain course. Our goal is to be able to offer our students the education they need and want in an environment that is as safe as possible for them and the entire community.

As you know, in just two short weeks, we navigated to a fully remote platform and did so thanks to a Herculean effort by all—but most especially by our classroom faculty. We were not alone in this endeavor; almost every institution of higher learning in the country went remote, each with its own share of successes and challenges. 

The time has now come to focus on the future and I write to inform you that FIT’s two summer sessions will be offered exclusively online. At the same time, we are developing contingency plans to remain remote for the Fall 2020 semester in the event COVID-19 remains a public health emergency. By preparing for that possibility now, we will have sufficient time to plan and consider options in as thoughtful, far-reaching, and strategic a way as possible. Clearly, the best scenario would be to return to campus for in-person classes for the Fall 2020 semester and therefore we are planning for that possibility as well.

As it happens, the majority of our 180 sections scheduled for Summer I (beginning May 26) and Summer II (beginning June 30) are already online. With just a handful of exceptions, those remaining courses that are face-to-face can be converted to being delivered remotely. Several new liberal arts sections will be added to the online roster.

Our other summer offerings will be offered remotely as well, including our Precollege Summer program with its more than 150 courses. We are exploring how FIT can support our youngest precollege audience with new coursework as well. Many of the courses and programs offered by the Center for Professional Studies are already online but we have identified 55 of the most popular Professional Studies and Enterprise Studies programs that will be moved to a remote delivery and offered twice over the summer. New webinars have been created in the area of workforce for the future and thus far they are proving successful in sharing with the public our targeted noncredit certificate programs. We continue to focus on the area of 3-D design education and plan to expand the successful Browzwear certificate program. The Office of Academic Affairs is overseeing this transition to ensure that it will be as seamless as possible and will be working with each school to manage its specific issues for the summer sessions.

Our traditional two-day Admitted Students event—held at the end of April—has been converted to a virtual event and students will be receiving invitations this week for that event. Further, the administrative side of the house will continue to operate remotely until we are given alternative direction from New York State.

On that note, we will continue to seek advice from SUNY as well as from public health and other official state and city agencies regarding our status going forward. I hope there will be a decision in a relatively short time, but as you know there are many complex factors to be considered which could delay a final determination. I am sure you share my most fervent hope that we return to campus in a safe, virus-free environment. But if indeed we must continue to operate remotely for the fall, we will apply the lessons we are learning now in order to strategize for the most successful Fall 2020 semester possible. I know I can count on you for our best collective effort and commitment to our students’ success.   

Dr. Joyce F. Brown
President
Fashion Institute of Technology

Good news! The Student Success team is now Google Hangouts / Chat accessible! Beginning today, April 13, you are invited to "walk in" and chat with staff members from the Counseling Center*, Health Services*, FIT-ABLE Disability Support Services, Student Life, Athletics & Recreation, Residential Life, and the Dean of Students Office.

Simply log into your FIT email account during our Hangouts hours of service and send us a message to let us know what's on your mind, ask a pressing question or two, and let us know how we can help support you best through this difficult time. (Please note that we are not able to accept chats from non-FIT affiliated Gmail accounts due to privacy restrictions.)

Dean of Students Office: Monday–Friday, 9 am–5 pm ([email protected])

Counseling Services: Mon, Wed, Fri, 9 am–5 pm; Tues, Thu, 9 am–7 pm (*via Live Chat not Hangouts: use your FIT username and password > click Chat > New Chat)

Health Services*: Mon, Wed, 10 am–5 pm; Tue, Thu, 10 am–7:30 pm; Friday, 10 am–4 pm (*via Live Chat, not Hangouts: use your FIT username and password > click Chat > New Chat)

FIT-ABLE Disability Support Services: Monday–Friday, 10 am–3 pm ([email protected])

Student Life: Monday–Friday, 10 am–3 pm ([email protected])

Athletics & Recreation: Monday–Friday, 11 am–2 pm ([email protected])

Residential Life: Monday–Friday, 11 am–3 pm ([email protected])

We look forward to connecting with you soon!

Dear FIT Community,

Welcome back! I hope this past week brought you some measure of peace and that you return refreshed and ready for the final weeks of this difficult semester.

As you know, the course of the pandemic remains a mystery and we do not know what the next weeks and months will bring. Nonetheless, in typical FIT spirit, our institutional life continues, and I am pleased to share some FIT news that I hope will bring you some pleasure and pride:   

FIT alumni are leading a nationwide volunteer project to produce and deliver hospital-grade masks for frontline workers in the COVID-19 battle. To date, over 4000 masks have been made  by FIT alumni, students and friends. The project, called Sew4Lives USA, was founded by FIT alumni in New York State and now operates as a network out of more than 20 states. 

A team of FIT Textile Development and Marketing alumni called Werewool, led by Professor Theanne Schiros, is one of five winners of the Global Change Award given by the H&M Foundation, adding to FIT’s growing prominence in the fields of science and design as well as women in science. The team, which won in the Future Fibers category, was among almost 5,900 entries from 175 countries and will receive a grant of 250,000 Euros to develop further its revolutionary, biodegradable  fibers, made from protein rich organisms such as oysters and jellyfish.

And perhaps most heartening: In both our AAS and bachelor's programs, we are seeing an encouraging increase in the number of students who have accepted our offer of admission for 2020, compared to this time last year. These are students who are prepared to make a commitment not only to FIT but to themselves and their future. Their faith in the recovery of our state, our college, and our world is inspiring and gives us hope. 

Indeed, even in the midst of these dreadful few months, we should never forget the gift of creativity that so characterizes this community—and all we have to contribute. Our everyday life, even now, is one dedicated to education—to learning to both make and to market things of practical use for the world and things of beauty as well.

So I welcome you back with the hope that you remain healthy and that you find these last weeks of Academic Year 2019-20 productive and successful.

Dr. Joyce F. Brown
President

To the FIT community,

I write to provide information about new building hours, which will go into effect on Wednesday, April 8. These new hours are established by the college to limit further the potential for the spread of COVID-19 in FIT facilities. In addition, the new building hours will help FIT secure its buildings and property during a time of a significantly reduced occupancy. The new hours are provided below:
 
Effective Wednesday, April 8, 2020, through Thursday, April 30, 2020, FIT's building hours will be:
 
Academic Buildings: Closed
This includes Dubinsky, Business and Liberal Arts, Feldman, Pomerantz, and Goodman.
 
All classrooms, studios, and laboratories will remain closed.
 
The FIT Dining Hall will be open 10 am to 1 pm for students to pick up boxed meals
 
236 West 27th Street: Closed
 
333 Seventh Avenue: Closed  
 
Please note: Faculty, staff, and students who must retrieve items from lockers or offices are required to enter through the Feldman lobby, where they will show valid FIT ID, sign in, and be escorted by Public Safety to their destination and back to the exit. For questions, please call Public Safety at (212) 217-4999.
 
Student residence Halls, including Alumni, Coed, and Kaufman, will be open to residents only with appropriate identification. Nagler Hall will be closed.
 
Please check the FIT COVID-19 websitefitnyc.edu/coronavirus, for updates to this information.
 
During this period of restricted building access, FIT will also reduce certain essential services to ensure employees who provide these services are able to increase social distancing and reduce their personal risks of travel and assembly. To that end, from April 8 through 26, FIT will suspend all mail and receiving services and will not generate paper checks for payroll or vendor payments. Exceptions to this moratorium on these specific essential services will be considered for urgent equipment deliveries, mail service, or payments, with the approval of the Vice President for Finance and Administration.
 
FIT’s Department of Public Safety will operate at modified staffing levels while continuing to fully secure the campus, including the academic buildings, the residence halls, and the property. The Facilities Department, including engineering, cleaning services, and maintenance, will continue to operate, as required.
 
Thank you for your attention to these new operating guidelines established to ensure the safety of our employees and our campus.
 
Sherry Brabham
Treasurer and Vice President for Finance and Administration

Dear FIT Community,

I write to wish you a restful spring break and to thank you for the efforts you have made during these difficult weeks. 

I am so touched by the way all of you—students, faculty and staff—have pulled together as a community to maintain the heartbeat of FIT. Although extraordinary efforts have been required, you have brought creativity, stamina, resolve, patience—and especially good will—and I am so gratified and so very proud of our community. 

I hope that wherever you are during this coming week, you will find time to refresh and reflect. Please stay safe and be well.

Dr. Joyce F. Brown
President
Fashion Institute of Technology

To the FIT faculty and classroom assistants,

First, we hope that you have been able to transition comfortably to this new way of teaching and working. We realize just how difficult this change has been for all of us and appreciate how much it has tested your patience and resolve.

As you know, FIT moved fully to online classes for students and remote work for all employees (other than essential personnel, who are required to work on campus) on Monday, March 23, following a week when no classes were in session. From that point on, any students or employees who were still in the process of moving to remote status or were still living in residence halls represented a very small percentage of the FIT population. 

As of today, Friday, April 3, it is three full weeks since classes met in person and two full weeks since the college transitioned to a fully online operating environment. Because FIT has now reached or gone beyond the 14-day quarantine period, we are no longer sending notifications of quarantine for faculty, students, or staff who have tested positive or were exposed to someone who tested positive within the classroom or on campus. In addition, ongoing updates of new cases will not be issued unless we become aware of someone with a confirmed case who had been on campus within two weeks of their diagnosis, notifications will be sent to employees and/or students who may have come in contact with the infected person. 

If students report an absence to their instructor indicating that they tested positive for COVID-19, you should refer them to Shadia Sachedina, the dean of students ([email protected]). She will check in on the student and also discuss the possibility of an extended absence. In addition, students will be encouraged to consult with the Office of Health Services, whose staff are providing tele-health services via a LIVE CHAT feature through MyFIT. 

Please note that FIT is guided by both the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and takes seriously its legal obligations to protect student and employee privacy rights, inclusive of divulging illness. 

Consequently, students are not required to report any illness and when they do so it is voluntary on their part—and only if they are seeking assistance and/or support as it pertains to their academic progress at FIT. 

Should a student not attend their online class, you should adhere to your syllabus guidelines that outline attendance policies and address the situation as you would if the class were taking place in person. If you are concerned about a student's well-being as described in guidance noted by the FIT Care Team, a Care report should be completed and the Care Team will follow up.

We continue to hope you remain well and appreciate your understanding of these guidelines.

Thank you.


Dr. Giacomo Oliva
Vice President for Academic Affairs

Cynthia Glass
Vice President for Human Resources and Labor Relations 

To FIT administrators, non- classroom faculty members, and staff:

First, we hope that you have been able to transition comfortably to this new way of working. We realize just how difficult this change has been for all of us and appreciate how much it has tested your patience and resolve. 

As you know, FIT moved fully to online classes for students and remote work for all employees (other than essential personnel, who are required to work on campus) on Monday, March 23, following a week when no classes were in session. From that point on, any students or employees who were still in the process of moving to remote status or were still living in residence halls represented a very small percentage of the FIT population.  

As of today, Friday, April 3, it is three full weeks since classes met in person and two full weeks since the college transitioned to a fully online operating environment. Because FIT has now reached or gone beyond the 14-day quarantine period, we are no longer sending notifications of quarantine for faculty, students, or staff who have tested positive or were exposed to someone who tested positive on campusIn addition, ongoing updates of new cases will not be issued unless we become aware of someone with a confirmed case who had been on campus within two weeks of their diagnosis, notifications will be sent to employees and/or students who may have come in contact with the infected person.  

 

Please also note that FIT is guided by both the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act  (FERPA) and takes seriously its legal obligations to protect student and employee privacy rights, inclusive of divulging illness.  

Consequently, students are not required to report any illness and when they do so it is voluntary on their part—and only if they are seeking assistance and/or support as it pertains to their academic progress at FIT.  

If you are concerned about a student's well-being as described in guidance noted by the FIT Care Team, a Care reportshould be completed and the Care Team will follow up. 

We continue to hope you remain well and find this information helpful

Thank you. 

Cynthia Glass 

Vice President for Human Resources and Labor Relations  

To our FIT students,

First, we hope that you have been able to transition comfortably to this new way of learning. 
 
We realize just how difficult this change has been for all of us and appreciate how much it has tested your patience and resolve.
 
As you know, FIT moved fully to online classes for students and remote work for all employees (other than essential personnel, who are required to work on campus) on Monday, March 23, following a week when no classes were in session. From that point on, any students or employees who were still in the process of moving to remote status or were still living in residence halls represented a very small percentage of the FIT population. 
 
As of today, Friday, April 3, it is three full weeks since classes met in person and two full weeks since the college transitioned to a fully online operating environment. Because FIT has now reached or gone beyond the 14-day quarantine period, we are no longer sending notifications of quarantine for faculty, students, or staff who have tested positive or were exposed to someone who tested positive within a classroom or on campus. In addition, ongoing updates of new cases will not be issued. Should we become aware of someone with a confirmed case who had been on campus within two weeks of their diagnosis, notifications will be sent to employees and/or students who may have come in contact with the infected person. 
 
If you learn that you have tested positive for COVID-19, you should contact Shadia Sachedina, the dean of students ([email protected]). She will reach out to you and also discuss the possibility of an extended absence. In addition, we will want you to be sure that you may consult with the Office of Health Services, whose staff are providing tele-health services via a LIVE CHAT feature through MyFIT. 
 
Please note that FIT is guided by both the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and takes seriously its legal obligations to protect your privacy rights, inclusive of divulging illness. Consequently, you are not required to report an illness when you are absent from class and, when you do so, it is voluntary on your part—and only if you are seeking assistance and/or support as it pertains to your academic progress at FIT. Should you not attend your online class, you should adhere to your syllabus guidelines that outline attendance policies. 
 
We continue to hope you remain well and find this information helpful. 
 
Thank you.
 
Dr. Giacomo Oliva
Vice President for Academic Affairs
 
Catherine O’Rourke
Interim Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Success

What happened?
We write to remind you to remain vigilant against cyber scams related to the coronavirus (COVID-19). Information security authorities have seen a rise in phishing attempts where the bad guys are spoofing government agencies taking advantage of the COVID-19 narrative. Examples of these scams include:

  • Phishing emails, texts, and phone calls with the subject “COVID-19 relief" posing to provide information related to the recently announced government relief and stimulus  package. Official information will never be sent via these messaging platforms.
  • Phishing emails soliciting donations to fraudulent charities or bogus causes under the guise of the pandemic. 
  • Fake COVID-19 information pretending to be from authorities like the World Health Organization (WHO).
  • Attackers who hijack email accounts and then use the address book to ask the victim’s contacts for help.

Exercise caution in handling any email with a COVID-19-related subject line, attachment, or hyperlink, and be wary of social media pleas, texts, or calls related to COVID-19. 
 
How does it impact the FIT community?
We have had no reports of these phishing emails going to any one at FIT, but it’s only a matter of time. If you think you have received a phish, mark the email as a phish in Gmail. Read more about how to report a phish here.
 
What can you do to protect yourself?
  • Make sure you have up-to-date anti-virus software installed on your home computer. If you do not have software installed, IT recommends the free version of Sophos available at home.sophos.com/en-us.aspx.
  • Always keep your personal life and work life separate. This is especially important if you are using VPN. Never conduct personal business inside the VPN session.  
  • Stay vigilant against phishing attempts. Phishing is on the rise as we enter this new remote work environment and cybercriminals are taking advantage of the COVID-19 narrative to gain the trust of users. 
  • Use a trusted Wi-Fi. Don’t log on via a free public Wi-Fi or your neighbor’s open Wi-Fi.
  • There is a popular post trending on social media platforms right now of people excited to share pictures of their home office set-ups. We urge you to be careful when posting pictures like this online where sensitive information can be inadvertently exposed.
  • Beware of free screen sharing and teleconferencing software that is being offered publicly on the web. Always consider the security and privacy of these tools if you must use freeware for some reason.
  • If you haven't already done so, take your Cybersafe Training for spring 2020. This online training is available now and can be taken from home. Please log in at training.knowbe4.com/auth/ saml/794c18510dc5e
 
About Cybersafe
The Division of Information Technology is dedicated to informing the community of the latest cybersecurity threats. Visit fitnyc.edu/cybersafe and stay tuned for emails from [email protected] for the latest from the Cybersafe campaign at FIT. 
 
Be aware—and be cybersafe!
 
Questions? Comments? Open a ticket at TechHelp.fitnyc.edu or call (212) 217-HELP (4357).

Tutoring is available during spring break! Whether you are preparing for an exam, working on a paper, or just keeping up with all your online work, the Academic Skills Tutoring Center and the Writing and Speaking Studio are here for you over the break.

To see our availability and make an online appointment, please visit fit.mywconline.com.

Tutoring is a great way to stay connected with the FIT community during this time when we're all learning and working remotely. We encourage you to take advantage of our services even if all you want to do is discuss some ideas with a writing or speaking consultant or do some planning for what's coming up later in the semester with a tutor. We are here for you!

Thank you,

Brian Fallon (Writing and Speaking Studio) &
Debby Levine (Academic Skills Tutoring Center)

Dear colleagues,

As a result of the unique situation created by the coronavirus pandemic and in response to undergraduate student inquiries requesting a Pass/Fail option for the spring 2020 semester, we are pleased to inform you that President Brown has approved an “Adjustment to Grading Policy.” This one-time adjustment to the college policy will permit undergraduate students to select up to nine hours of coursework for which a grade of “S” for Satisfactory can be assigned in lieu of a normal letter grade.

This option was developed collaboratively by the Divisions of Academic Affairs and Enrollment Management and Student Success and was reviewed and recommended unanimously by the Faculty Senate Executive Committee. This effort has the support of the President’s Cabinet and the deans of all three undergraduate schools as well.

With the exception of thesis and capstone courses, all courses for which undergraduate students are earning passing grades during the 2020 spring term are eligible for consideration. At the end of the semester**, students will have a two-week period during which to review their grades and apply for the “S” designation for the courses of their choice within the nine-hour credit limit. Applications will be reviewed by the Director of Records and Registration and the Director of Financial Aid in order to ensure that the assignment of an “S” grade will not have a negative impact on the student’s financial aid status. Grades of “S” are not calculated in the GPA but credit is received and recorded on the academic transcript. The attached document articulates the details of the Adjustment to Grading Policy, and a copy of the policy can also be found here: http://www.fitnyc.edu/registrar/grades/covid-19-grading-policy.php.

Given the unprecedented events that are occurring as a result of the coronavirus, and the stress and uncertainty that have affected students as a result, it is our hope that this special option will provide students with the flexibility they need as they strive to complete their spring semester courses without negatively impacting their overall GPA.

We want to thank you in advance for encouraging your students to take advantage of this opportunity, as well as for all that you are doing to guide them toward successful completion of their semester.

Cordially,

Giacomo M Oliva
Vice President for Academic Affairs

Catherine O’Rourke
Interim Vice President for
Enrollment Management and Student Success

**Two-week review periods for:
New York City: June 26-July 10, 2020
Milan: June 23- July 7, 2020
Florence: May 26-June 10, 2020
FIT at SUNY Korea: June 23-July 7, 2020

Good news! The Dean of Students is now Google Hangouts accessible! Beginning Monday, April 6, you are invited to chat with staff members Monday through Friday, between the hours of 11 am and 2 pm.

Simply log into your FIT email account during our Hangouts hours of service and send us a message to let us know what's on your mind, ask a pressing question or two, and let us know how we can help support you best through this difficult time. (Please note that we are not able to accept chats from non-FIT affiliated Gmail accounts due to privacy restrictions.)

As always, you are welcome to email us at [email protected] with your questions, suggestions, or concerns as well.

We look forward to connecting with you soon!

The FIT/UCE EAP will hold a virtual Elder Care Support Group on Monday, April 13, from 1 to 2 pm. Those who are interested in attending, RSVP to [email protected]. Once we receive your RSVP, we will send you a link and instructions on how to join this virtual meeting.

The Employee Assistance Program continues to offer individual appointments by phone or virtually, which can be requested by calling the EAP office at (212) 217-5600 or by sending me an email at the above address. All calls are confidential and are returned within 24 to 48 hours.
 
Robin Zarel, LCSW
EAP Coordinator
FIT/UCE Employee Assistance Program

The FIT/UCE EAP is offering virtual groups for employees to connect, to discuss concerns they may be having, and to offer support to each other during these challenging times.

If you are interested in attending, please let me know which time/day would work best for you and a link will be sent that is easy to use. Each group will be limited to 10 participants so that people can get the most out of the experience. We can add more groups if people are interested​.​
 
Individual sessions can also be scheduled virtually or by phone by calling the EAP office at (212) 217-5600 or by sending me an email at [email protected]
 
Upcoming Virtual Groups:
  • Wednesday, April 1, noon–1 pm
  • Thursday, April 2​, ​1–2 pm

We look forward to "seeing" you in this new way of meeting!

 
Robin Zarel, LCSW
EAP Coordinator
FIT/UCE Employee Assistance Program

Dear FIT Community,

Below you will find a message sent to students regarding our May 2020 commencement. As you will see, we made the difficult decision to postpone commencement, but will keep you informed as we explore other options for another time.Thank you and stay well.


Dear Students,

After considerable deliberation, I write to you today to share the unfortunate news that the May 2020 commencement undergraduate and graduate ceremonies, and all of their related events, will be postponed. I am very sad to add this disappointing news to the burdens of this semester, but given the unpredictable course of the coronavirus, I believe it is the only responsible way to proceed.

As you can imagine, producing such an event—under the best of circumstances—is a significant undertaking that takes months to plan. But more important is our determination to ensure your health and safety and that of your guests in light of the ongoing crisis.

This may seem like a predictable and perhaps obvious decision. But it was not. To all of us in the college community, commencement is the single most important event of the year.  For you, our graduating students, it is the moment when faculty, friends and family gather to honor your achievements—the milestone moment when you transition from students to successful alumni, poised to fulfilling your career goals. Indeed, it is a moment of great joy for everyone.

So I am very sorry that you, the members of the Class of 2020, who will have endured so much unprecedented upheaval as you complete your degree, cannot enjoy the May commencement ceremony you so richly deserve at its originally scheduled time.

As soon as we are able, we will turn our attention to planning a commencement event later in the year, and perhaps a virtual experience in the near future. We will work on this with the Student Government Association to ensure students have a voice in the production. As plans take shape, I will be back in touch so that everyone can plan accordingly.

Take good care of yourselves.

Dr. Joyce F. Brown
President
Fashion Institute of Technology

To the FIT community,

Last night we learned that one of the members of our community, Adjunct Assistant Professor Dominic Carbone, passed away on Monday from the coronavirus. Professor Carbone, a member of the Social Sciences department, had been with the college since 1999.

We are deeply saddened by this news, which brings into focus the stark reality that our community is not immune from the ravages of this deadly virus. I want to reassure you that we have taken every precaution that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the NYS and NYC Departments of Health, and all governmental agencies have advised. We have followed their protocols.

All FIT face-to-face classes were suspended starting the week of March 16, 2020. According to the CDC, a quarantine period of 14 days is recommended after exposure. Further, they say that in most cases, if symptoms are going to appear, they do so by approximately 11 days. Professor Carbone was last scheduled to be on the FIT campus on March 11, 2020, and that was 14 days ago today. As a precaution, notifications have gone to any students who were in Professor Carbone's classes. We have not heard that any students or colleagues have exhibited symptoms, but certainly if anyone has concerns, please contact a health care provider, and follow their advice.

Professor Carbone was a valued member of our community. I know you join me in extending our heartfelt condolences to the Carbone family.

Dr. Joyce F. Brown
President

To the FIT community, 

No doubt about it but the coronavirus, with constant updates, sometimes shifting information and recommendations, and social distancing, is stressful for all. So how can we remain safe and emotionally healthy amidst all that is going on in the world? Although it is not easy and sometimes harder to do or practice what we know to be true, it is not impossible!

Here are some tips and guidelines:
  • Get your information from reliable sources (i.e., CDC, WHO).
  • Limit media coverage. Don't watch news reports all day which can just increase your anxiety.
  • Although we need to socially distance, we don't need to socially disconnect. Call or virtually chat (i.e., Facetime, What's App, Zoom) with friends, family, or a neighbor.
  • For those living alone and feeling more isolated, you might try to connect to this link: https://www.healthline.com/ health-news/quarantine-chat- app-may-help-relieve- loneliness-during-covid-19- outbreak 
  • Explore virtual volunteer opportunities. Helping others can make us feel good and give us a sense of empowerment.
  • Practice good self-care, including good diet and exercise. Try YouTube for exercise videos since gyms are closed.
  • Try daily meditation and breathwork. One I particularly like is the 4, 6, 8 method. Take a breath in to the count of 4. Hold to the count of 6. Let out to the count of 8. Do this 10 times every day. It will slow your system down and feels good too! Pair it with an image of something happy and safe—a person, place, thing, piece of music, anything that has ONLY POSITIVE associations to it. In your relaxed state, your mind can wander, and you don't want it to be triggered to any negative associations.
  • Always remember that your FIT/UCE EAP is still here for you. Phone or virtual sessions can be scheduled as needed. Please call (212) 217-5600 and leave a confidential voice message. Your call will be returned within 24-48 hours.

Information About Governmental Resources
Information on Handling Stress
Some Fun Virtual Activities for Your Spirits
Bob and I wish you and loved ones health, safety, and peace of mind during these most stressful and difficult times.

Robin Zarel, LCSW
EAP Coordinator
FIT/UCE Employee Assistance Program

To FIT Students,

Welcome back to classes! 
 
As you know, as of today, all classes have moved online. Online classes take place at your in-person class's regularly scheduled time, based on Eastern Daylight Time.
 
Free and Available Products: Some products you may not know are already free, available to you remotely, and are self-service.   
  • Office 365 — free access to MS Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for every registered student.
  • Adobe Creative Cloud — free access to Adobe Creative Cloud for all eligible students. Eligibility is defined at the link page.
  • Bootcamp — installation instructions ONLY for students with Mac computers who need to use Windows-based software for their class.

Getting Help
  • If you are using Blackboard, help is available at the Open SUNY Help Desk at online.suny.edu/help or (844) 673-6786.
  • If you cannot log into Blackboard, help is available at techhelp.fitnyc.edu or (212) 217-4357.

A new toolkit page designed to collect all information to help you with remote study can be bookmarked and is now available at it.fitnyc.edu/2020/03/23/fit- student-it-toolkit.
 
Again, welcome back. We missed you!
 
Laurence Baach
Acting Vice President for Information Technology and CIO

To the FIT community,

Effective Sunday, March 22, 2020, at 8 pm, FIT's building hours will be:

Academic Buildings: Dubinsky*; Business and Liberal Arts; Feldman; Pomerantz; Goodman
Monday–Saturday, 10 am–6 pm

*The FIT Dining Hall will be open Sunday–Saturday, 10:30 am–6 pm

Please note: Faculty, staff, and students seeking access to lockers or offices need to enter the academic buildings through the Feldman Lobby. All classrooms, studios, and laboratories will remain closed.

Student residence halls will remain open through March 31, 2020. Access is for residents only. After March 31, 2020, access is allowed for residents only with appropriate FIT identification cards.

236 West 27th Street is closed to all visitors. Card access with FIT ID is allowed for employees with offices in the building at the building entrance or by calling Public Safety at (212)-217-4999.

333 Seventh Avenue is closed to all visitors. Card access with a dedicated building access card is allowed for essential personnel or by calling Public Safety at (212)-217-4999. 

 Visit fitnyc.edu/coronavirus for updates to this information.

Thank you.

Sherry F. Brabham
Treasurer and Vice President for Finance and Administration

This is an end-of-week information summary regarding campus operations and schedules: 

ACADEMIC AFFAIRS 
 
Classes resume on Monday, March 23. Classes will be held remotely ONLY. NO in-person classes will be held on campus.
 
All study abroad programs for summer 2020 have been cancelled. 
 
Spring break, scheduled from April 6 through 12, will be held as planned.
 
A decision regarding 2020 commencement exercises has not yet been made. The community will be notified as soon as possible.

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
 
The Division of Information Technology reminds faculty that VPN access is not necessary to teach online. All that is required is internet access so that you can access Blackboard through your browser. 
 
TechHelp is offering extended hours. Place a ticket here: techhelp.fitnyc.edu.  

  • Saturday and Sunday, March 21 and 22, 8 am–9 pm
  • Monday–Friday, March 23–​27​, 8 am–10 pm

IT is also offering the following training sessions next week:

FIT’s chief information security officer underscores that scammers are already leveraging the COVID-19 pandemic to steal your money, your personal information, or both. Protect yourself and do your research before clicking on links purporting to provide information on the virus; donating to a charity online or through social media; contributing to a crowdfunding campaign; or giving up your personal information in order to receive money or other benefits.  
 
VIsit fitnyc.edu/coronavirus for official information and updates on COVID-19’s impact on the FIT community.

To the FIT Community,

The last few weeks have seemed like an eternity. We stood still and the ground shifted beneath our feet. We were buffeted by challenges we had never faced or even imagined. Overnight, it seems, our world pivoted putting our health at serious risk and with it, the academic progress of our students. We knew we had to preserve the academic core of our enterprise while responding to forces that were pulling it apart. Things changed so quickly that almost as soon as we announced a decision we had to respond to a different set of circumstances and change direction. And through it all this community pulled together, focused on preserving the essence of FIT.

In response to mandates from the Governor and from SUNY to cease in-person instruction, and to limit opportunities for groups of people to congregate, we were forced to cancel many cherished student events and experiences, bring home our students who were studying abroad, and evacuate our dormitories. It has been a devastating and tumultuous experience for our students.

I am so grateful to everyone who worked 24/7 to get our college up and ready to transition to an on-line environment. Our faculty and staff worked ceaselessly this past week to transform our instructional delivery to be fully on-line, and to ensure that all faculty and students are equipped to re-start their curricula lives together—albeit remotely—and that staff and administrators are similarly positioned to conduct FIT business from their homes or other remote locations. That was a massive undertaking and I am awed by your dedication and commitment to your work.

I am thankful for our student affairs personnel for providing the emotional support so critical in helping students adjust to the new normal in all of our lives.

I am so appreciative to our staff—truly the infrastructure of our community. They keep our offices and departments running, and they stayed the course during the chaos of the last few weeks. I must thank our facilities/ maintenance staff and our security team for their vigilance and professionalism during this extraordinarily difficult time. Our student life, health services, and residential life staff deserve special recognition for guiding all of our students and keeping them from spiraling into despair—as they saw what they had to assume was the ending of their dreams.

To our students I offer special recognition for your resilience—and encouragement for you to never give up on your dreams and plans and aspirations. I have watched as your lives have been turned upside down at the very moment you were living your dream. I so regret that reflections on your campus experience will be forever marred by the memory of a health pandemic, and yet I am so grateful that you survived, and will take your indomitable spirit and make this world a better place. I offer my thanks to your families for trusting us enough to leave you in our care—none of us expected such a test of our ability.

All of our efforts have been focused on creating an instructional environment that will allow you to complete your coursework and maintain academic progress toward your degree. Your professors are prepared and may have already reached out to ensure that you know how to access your classes. For those of you who may have some issues connecting on-line, please be sure to let your professor know so that we can explore some accommodations.

The coming weeks undoubtedly will hold many more challenges. I hope disappointments will not outweigh discoveries as we all embark on this new journey. Always remember that our strength lies in our community. If we hold each other up we will not only excel, we will change the world. 

Stay safe and stay healthy,

Dr. Joyce F. Brown
President
Fashion Institute of Technology

Dear SUNY Students, 

When you chose SUNY as the place to pursue your college and career ambitions, you became part of the SUNY family. We made a commitment to you to support you along the way and that commitment remains—especially now during these challenging times. While on campus, you’ve made friends, developed traditions and enjoyed expanding your vision of what the world is and your unique role in it. I’ve heard from many of you regarding the anxiety and uncertainty you feel about your future, so I would like to offer a few thoughts and give you my personal support because that is what family does for one another. 

Your safety and well-being are our number one priority. That is why we decided to cancel or postpone all study abroad programs, extended spring break, and encouraged those of you who can stay at home or with friends to not come back to your campuses until further notice. We took this action to blunt the spread of the COVID-19 by reducing the density of exposure. 

As part of our commitment to your academic pursuits, we worked over the past year to upgrade our online learning platform which is now accessible to provide you the tools to complete your coursework remotely. While the learning environment is different, you will have the network and backing of all of SUNY at your fingertips to help you finish the semester. And for seniors—don’t worry. If necessary, we will reschedule your commencement to make sure you walk across the stage and we proudly celebrate your accomplishments. It is also important to mention that you will receive credits or refunds for the services that you do not use this semester, such as room, board and activity fees. 

As a result, campus life has been turned upside down. I know what that is like. When I was at university, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease, a cancer of the lymph system. It was also a major disruption that took six months of my life to overcome. What got me through it was the strong support of my family and my college network of friends, colleagues, and faculty. That same network will help support you through the COVID-19 crisis. 

Your SUNY family is here for you. The SUNY system and each campus president, the faculty and staff are committed to supporting you and to delivering a great education. I will continue to communicate with you weekly, and with your presidents daily. I encourage you to reach out for support. While everything may seem different, take comfort in the things that remain the same—studying, completing projects and connecting with each other virtually. Together we will get through this and come out even stronger. I promise you. 

Take care of yourselves, your family, your friends, your SUNY. 

Sincerely yours, 

Kristina M. Johnson, PhD
Chancellor 
The State University of New York 

To the FIT community, 
 
As of 7:30 pm today, March 19, the Gladys Marcus Library is moving online. Please visit the library’s website at fitnyc.edu/library for a full list of resources and services available to support your online learning.

Dear Inspiring FIT Student:

President Brown has asked us to assure you that FIT student support services will be available to provide ongoing support and assistance as you work to not only navigate your online learning but keep yourself mentally and physically safe and sound. Noted below are the various areas that contribute to your success at FIT. We have worked together to provide a vast array of online services geared specifically to your needs.. Our academic support services will provide you with the tools and resources needed to help you successfully adjust to an online learning platform. Additionally, we will be offering other engaging opportunities through online athletic recreational classes, nutritional workshops, meditation and mindfulness, interactive town hall sessions with your Student Government, virtual chats with medical professionals in Health Services, and even group therapy sessions and one-on-one tele-counseling with our Counseling Center!


ACADEMIC SUPPORT SERVICES

  Academic Advisement Center


  Academic Skills Tutoring Center


  Career and Internship Center

 Placement Tests

  • Students looking to take their placement exams in Math and/or English can now complete their exams remotely with a proctor. Students are responsible for a $30 placement exam fee, and the College will cover the cost of the $25 remote proctor fee. To make an appointment to take your placement exam, please see this webpage for details
  • For more information, visit: fitnyc.edu/placementtests

FIT Writing & Speaking Studio


FIT Gladys Marcus Library


Barnes & Noble at FIT Bookstore



STUDENT SUCCESS   

Residential Life

  • Remote Office Hours: Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm
  • Phone: 212-217-3900. All calls will be returned within the same business day, with the exception of calls placed in the evening, which will be returned the next business day
  • Many students have inquired about partial refunds of housing fees. In regard to this, SUNY is developing a policy statement and we will communicate the details and guidelines as soon as they are available
  • Residential Life will be providing remote learning opportunities for students during the remainder of the spring semester. Check your FIT email for information about future opportunities and follow us on Instagram for more details
  • Mail Room: The Mail Room on campus will be open on Tuesdays from 9am to 5pm
  • Questions: Resident students can continue to contact the department via email at [email protected]
  • On-campus Emergencies: Call FIT Public Safety at 212-217-7777
  • Off-campus Emergencies: Call 911
  • For more information, visit: fitnyc.edu/residentiallife
     

FIT Dining Services


Counseling Center

  • Remote Office Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 9am - 5pm,
    Tuesday, Thursday: 9am - 7pm. All remote office hours are by appointment only and will be conducted online
  • Make an Appointment: Call 212-217-4260. All calls will be returned within the same business day, with the exception of calls placed in the evening, which will be returned the next business day
  • Emergencies: Please contact 1-800-NYC-WELL and/or FIT Public Safety at 212-217-7777
  • For more information, visit: fitnyc.edu/counseling
     

Health Services

  • Remote Office Hours: Noted on the FIT Health Services website
  • Live Chat: Available online here Monday & Wednesday, 10am - 5pm, Tuesday & Thursday, 10am - 7:30pm, Friday 10am - 4pm
  • After Hours Care: If you need medical attention when FIT Health Services is closed, you may seek medical care from other facilities such as the nearby facilities listed here. Please keep in mind that payment is required for receiving care from any of these facilities. Please contact your insurance company to verify coverage; and remember to have your health insurance card with you when seeking care. Urgent care is different than emergency medical services. An urgent condition is not life threatening, but may cause serious medical problems if not promptly treated
  • On-campus Emergencies: Call FIT Public Safety at 212-217-7777
  • Off-campus Emergencies: Call 911
  • COVID-19 (Coronavirus): Visit this FIT webpage to see how FIT is handling the Coronavirus. For information on Coronavirus including how to protect yourself, travel information, and frequently asked questions, visit the CDC.gov Coronavirus (COVID-19) site. You can also text COVID to 692692 for real-time updates from NYC Emergency Management
  • Questions: 212-217-4190. All calls will be returned within the same business day, with the exception of calls placed in the evening, which will be returned the next business day
  • For more information, visit: fitnyc.edu/healthservices 

Recreation Classes & Fitness Centers 

  • Group Fitness Classes / Open Gym Hours: No longer in person but, be on the lookout for virtual fitness classes that you can do from home while completing your courses remotely. Some of your favorite instructors will help you continue striving towards your wellness goals. It's online learning... made FUN! Check out our website as we work to build a virtual library of online classes in the coming weeks
  • Stanton Fitness Center: Closed until further notice
  • Kaufman Fitness Center: Closed until further notice
  • Athletic Facility Locker Rooms (in the Main Gym, BX-02): Will close on Wednesday, April 1st, until further notice. All locks must be removed and lockers emptied no later than Tuesday, March 31st. Any remaining locks will be clipped and contents held in room BX-25 until Monday, August 31st.
    As a reminder, gym lockers are available for daily use only. Gym lockers are intended for use by those accessing the fitness center, participating in an activity class, or are on an FIT Athletics team
  • Questions: 212-217-4213. All calls will be returned within the same business day, with the exception of calls placed in the evening, which will be returned the next business day
  • For more information, visit: fittgers.com

Educational Opportunity Programs & Child Care Assistance Programs

  • Remote Office Hours: Monday through Thursday, 10am to 5pm
  • Phone: 212-217-4170. All calls will be returned by the close of the business day. Messages left after EOP's close of business will be returned the next day. Urgent outreach to counselors should be directed by email
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Appointments with Program Counselors:
      • Sylvana Firrincieli
      • Anthony Means
      • Line Osias-Cayenne
  • For more information, visit: fitnyc.edu/eop 

 FIT-ABLE (Disability Support Services)

  • Remote Office Hours: Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm
  • Phone: 212-217-4090. All calls will be returned within the same business day, with the exception of calls placed in the evening, which will be returned the next business day
  • Email: [email protected]
  • For more information, visit: fitnyc.edu/fitable 


International Student Services

  • Remote Office Hours: Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm
  • Phone: 212-217-3700. Please note that email is our preferred method of connection for inquiries, and we are also Google Hangout capable!
  • Email: [email protected]
  • For more information, visit: fitnyc.edu/iss

 Student Life

We are thinking of all of you during these challenging times. Please take good care of yourselves and feel free to reach out to us with any questions and/or concerns. May you be safe, may you be healthy, and may you all feel the joy of being alive even under these difficult circumstances.

Best wishes,

The FIT Student Services Support Team

Dear FIT Community,

Please be assured that any person who was in primary contact with the student that was diagnosed with coronavirus at FIT received a separate and specific notification email within minutes of the email to the community that you received earlier today.

To reiterate, those who are known to have been in close contact with the individual here on campus have been notified, in accordance with standard public health protocol. If you have not been notified, then you have not been identified to be at risk because of exposure to this individual.  

Dear FIT Community,

I am writing to inform you that we learned earlier today that a member of the FIT community—a student—has tested positive for the coronavirus. We are in the process of contacting those who had direct exposure to the student.  This means a person who was likely to have been in the same enclosed area for a prolonged period of time and, as a result, are now required to self-quarantine for 14 days and we can answer any questions they may have. 

The last time the student was on campus was Thursday, March 12 and, therefore, there has been no further exposure beyond that date.

Please be assured that if we do not contact you, you have not had direct exposure and therefore do not need to quarantine.  

We are in contact with the NYC Department of Health and will follow their guidelines and protocols for sanitizing our facilities.

Our thoughts are with this member of our community and we wish for a speedy recovery.

Please continue to visit the FIT website for the latest information and resources, and we will continue to update the community as we receive new information. 

If you have any questions, please use the following contacts:

Students - call health services at (212) 217-4190 or log in to FIT Health Portal at fit.studenthealthportal.com

Employees - email [email protected]

To the FIT Community: 

Due to the current situation, please see below protocol for payroll activities until further notice: 

  1. Submission of timesheets:
  • Online timesheets are to be submitted as usual
  • Paper timesheets can be emailed to [email protected]                            
  1. Changes in direct deposits, tax withholdings and other related payroll forms:
  • These forms can be emailed to [email protected] for processing as long as they are sent from a FIT email address.  Due to the circumstances, we will be processing the direct deposits within one pay cycle. Employees will need to provide a voided check or a confirmation form from the bank institution.  
  1.  Checks Pickup
  • Since the office will be closed until further notice, all checks will be mailed to the HR address on file
  • Physical checks for pay date 03/16/2020 will be mailed to the HR address on file by 2pm today

Please make sure your address and contact information are correct. 

Please note, pay dates and deadlines will not change.  For any questions or concerns please contact us at [email protected]  

If there are any changes to this protocol we will advise you immediately.  

Stay safe and healthy.

Thank you,

Bayard King
Associate VP of Finance 

On March 13, 2020 you received a communication that included HR WORKPLACE GUIDELINES FOR DEALING WITH COVID-19. At that time, the campus was in full operation and preparing for remote delivery of instruction and services. We stated that if you chose not to come to campus, you were able to utilize your paid leave banks.

However, in just 3 days, much has changed. On Sunday, March 15, 2020, President Brown announced that only essential staff (defined as anyone whose job function is essential to the effective operation of the college, who must be physically present to perform their job, or others who are involved in the COVID-19 emergency response) must report to work on campus. This drastic measure was implemented to reduce the density of the population on campus and adhere to recommended practices related to social distancing. 

What has not changed is the college's commitment to you, its employees. FIT will continue all regular pay and benefits for all FIT full and part-time employees, regardless of CCE or tenure status, and regardless of whether your duties can or cannot be performed remotely. You do not need to charge leave banks if you are unable to work due to the coronavirus. Your commitment to continuing your work remotely, or participating in other opportunities to contribute during this time, is greatly appreciated.
 
Cynthia Glass, Vice President Human Resources  
Roberta Elins, President UCE of FIT

To the FIT community,

In an effort to follow the guidelines set by the college and the government to keep all of us as safe and healthy as possible, the FIT/UCE EAP we will be operating remotely. We will let you know when onsite services will begin again.

We certainly recognize how stressful these times can be, and will continue to do our best to help you manage whatever issues arise, and find you the appropriate resources. We will be checking voicemail continuously, returning calls, and setting up phone sessions or virtual sessions as needed.

Our phone number is (212) 217-5600. All calls will be returned within 24-48 hours and we uphold the strictest levels of confidentiality. Our program is also open to your family members.

We will be sending periodic emails on tips about managing stress, finding things to do while "hunkering down," ways to keep connected while practicing "social distancing," and additional resources to assist you during these unprecedented times.

Stay safe, healthy, and remember, as always, your EAP is still here for you!

Wishing you and yours, health and peace of mind,

Robin and Bob

Robin Zarel, LCSW
EAP Coordinator
FIT/UCE Employee Assistance Program

Bob Silverstein, LCSW
Counselor
FIT/UCE Employee Assistance Program

To faculty and staff,

As the college transitions to complete online instruction and remote work, the following web-based, essential collegewide services are always available for any FIT user with an FIT account:

  • Google Suite—including Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Hangouts, and Drive, which provides access to Google Docs and Sheets as well as storage folders
  • MyFIT portal at myfit.fitnyc.edu—including all linked applications within MyFIT (although Banner 9, Banner Workflow, and Financial Enterprise are restricted to users of those systems with remote access)
  • Banner Self-Service—via MyFIT Portal
  • listservs—access to and use of email distribution lists
  • LinkedIn Learning 
  • FIT Library databases at fitnyc.edu/library/databases/index.php 
  • college online phone directory at directory.fitnyc.edu
  • FIT Mobile app

Training
Please also attend one of the online training sessions this week on “IT Preparedness for Remote Work: Web Access, File Management, and Collaboration.” The training provides guidance and lessons on how to use the MyFIT portal, Google Mail and Google Drive, collaboration and screen sharing via Google Hangouts, and the FIT mobile app. Registration is not required. Just go to it.fitnyc.edu/courses/it-preparedness-for-remote-work/, find a time that works for you, and then click on the link at that time. 

Specialized business applications and equipment
If you are a business application user of specific systems that require additional access, your divisional vice president has submitted your name to IT and you will be receiving a separate email with instructions.

IT is also working with divisional vice presidents in regard to possible staff needs for equipment for remote locations. These needs are being assessed. If you have a concern or need, please contact your divisional vice president.

Campus phones and voicemail
To access your FIT voice mailbox from off campus, dial (212) 217-8888. When prompted, press # then enter your mailbox number. This is your FIT-issued desk-phone number (7-xxxx). Enter your password, then press #. 

As a reminder, to leave an extended absence greeting, access your mailbox using the instructions above. Then from the main menu, choose option 4 (user preferences). Choose option 3 (greetings). Choose option 2 (extended absence greeting). Record a message and then press #. Your new message will be the extended absence message. HR has requested this message: 

You have reached the voicemail of XXX in the YYY office at FIT. Please note that I may be away from my desk or working remotely at this time. I will be checking for messages regularly and will get back to you as soon as I can. Please leave a message. If you are calling for updated information about how FIT is responding to the coronavirus situation, please go to the college’s website at fitnyc.edu. Thank you.  

TechHelp
To place a ticket for help, or for a list of our help desk hours and services, please visit the homepage of the ticketing system: techhelp.fitnyc.edu.  

IT Toolkit: Working Remotely
Finally, IT will also post later today at fitnyc.edu/coronavirus an IT Toolkit for working remotely where all the information you need to help you at your remote location will be centralized.

Laurence Baach
Acting Vice President for Information Technology and CIO

To the FIT Community,

As we have continued to monitor the coronavirus conditions throughout the weekend and following additional announcements from the governor, I have made the difficult decision to suspend all in-person instruction for the remainder of the semester, including access to labs and studios.

The college will remain open throughout the spring semester. However, we are preparing administrative personnel to work remotely wherever possible, rather than coming to campus, until further notice. Essential personnel will be notified and will report as required.

After a great deal of dialogue and deliberation about the implications for the academic progress of our students, at the end of the day we recognized that the situation is progressing so rapidly that we must act now to safeguard the health and well-being of our students, faculty and staff—and our entire FIT family. Further, our goal is to continue to do our part in reducing the density of the population here on campus as well as on public transportation. These actions will encourage social distancing—all in an effort to minimize transmission of the illness.

The next steps toward completion of this new phase of institutional operations will take place from Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 20:

1. As of Monday, March 16, FIT will begin moving employees to remote working environments in all administrative offices. Divisional vice presidents will communicate with their employees in order to assess preparedness for remote assignment and to identify their unit’s effective date for working from home.

2. Students should move out of residence halls as soon as possible but no later than March 31. Residential Life staff will send information about next steps and will assist those students with extenuating circumstances or significant hardships that prevent them from moving their belongings or moving out by this deadline. Many students, who have already moved out, have inquired about partial refunds of housing fees. In regard to this, SUNY is developing a policy statement and we will communicate the details and guidelines as soon as they are available.

3. Working with the department chairs and deans, faculty in all academic units should finalize plans, to include guidelines and instructions to students, for beginning remote instruction on Monday, March 23. Similarly, all academic support units, including the Gladys Marcus Library, the Writing and Speaking Studio, the Advising Center, and Internship Studies, should use the coming week to finalize plans for the continuation of their services online. Faculty should also take advantage of the workshops and tutorials being made available by IT and the Office of Online Learning to provide skills and instructional strategies for teaching in a remote environment. Further instructions and resources for all Academic Affairs personnel will be made available on the Academic Affairs website throughout the coming week.

4. Open labs and studios will close as of Thursday, March 19. 
The Museum at FIT will remain closed.
The Gladys Marcus Library will close at the end of the day on Friday, March 20, but will continue to provide support for students and faculty online. Further information regarding Library services will be posted on the library’s website.
Dining hall and bookstore hours will continue on the published schedule. However, we will revisit this as campus residents and activities decrease.

5. All on-campus FIT-sponsored events will be suspended for the remainder of the spring semester. A decision regarding commencement will be made in the coming weeks. In addition, all facility rentals will be suspended during this period.

6. All on-campus recruitment activity will continue to be suspended until further notice.

I hope the decision to take these measures will help our community to stay healthy and to be part of the solution to end this health crisis. Hopefully, by mid-April we will see some movement toward normalcy. We have tried to remain informed, thoughtful, and sensitive to the needs of all members of our FIT family. I share the ongoing stress and anxiety that have engulfed all of us over the past few weeks. I trust that you know that your health and safety remain foremost in my mind. I wish for health and strength for you and your families. I look forward to our successful delivery of on-line instruction and a strong future.

 

Dear FIT Community,

In the last few days you have been hearing from me, or members of my team, with information about measures we are taking to deal with the coronavirus threat—a threat that every community throughout the country now faces. Its fiercely rapid pace and its insidious impact on our daily lives have only added to the anxiety that so many now feel. Indeed, the change in our lives has been difficult and abrupt. I have heard you and know and understand your deep concern not only for your own health, but for that of your classmates and colleagues—as well as for friends and family, near and far.   

As your president, I have two primary priorities—each of equal weight and worth. One is to protect the health and safety of the 10,000 members of this community: students, faculty, staff, and administrators. The other is to assure that FIT students make academic progress toward their degrees in a timely way; it is our promise to them, one that they have every reason to expect us to fulfill. The arrangements we are making to move to a mostly online format for our students and to work remotely or with staggered schedules for our staff will help us uphold these priorities. As well, we have posted on our website a message from SUNY Chancellor Johnson that spells out similar steps that have been taken throughout the system.

This is, for FIT—and most institutions—an unprecedented moment. But it is one that I know we can navigate together. I recall the strength and resilience this community demonstrated during the 9/11 crisis and although today’ s circumstances are notably different, I appreciate your dedication to the college and your commitment to our students.

 At this difficult time, I want to take a moment to update you on our ongoing efforts to combat the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The health and safety of our State University of New York Community is paramount. Therefore, in close coordination with the Governor and his team, the Department of Health and the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, we are taking action to reduce the density of exposure on our campuses in order to blunt transmission of this virus. 

As you know, SUNY will be moving as many academic programs as possible to distance learning via our online platform, videoconferencing, teleconferencing, email and even traditional mail. We believe that these remote instruction modalities are necessary at this time to reduce the spread of COVID-19. 

Our SUNY COVID-19 Task Force has been working around the clock with campus leaders and our state government partners to prepare for and respond to the growing pandemic. While the large majority of our campuses have not reported confirmed cases of the virus, we are acting out of an abundance of caution to both protect our SUNY community and the community at large. 

We canceled all study abroad programs for the rest of the semester and last week transported our students back to the United States from China, South Korea, Japan, Italy and Iran – all countries where COVID-19 is prevalent. Once the students returned, we arranged for several precautionary quarantine scenarios. Some students voluntarily quarantined at home, while others are undergoing a 14-day precautionary quarantine in specially prepared dorms. 

We are now working to bring back all students who are studying abroad, regardless of the country in which they are located – a move I believe is prudent and in keeping with our main goal of limiting COVID-19 exposure to our students, faculty and staff. 

Fortunately, we have been working for the last year to upgrade and modernize our online SUNY learning platform. Working with the Governor’s office, we directed each of our campuses to develop comprehensive plans for distance learning with the goal of continuing academic instruction, uninterrupted, in the safest manner possible. 

Next week is spring break for most of SUNY’s university centers, comprehensive, technical and community colleges. The Governor’s guidance allows for campuses to extend their spring break by a week, in order to fully prepare for the transition to distance learning and remote instruction. Some campuses are ready to launch and therefore will not require a full week. By March 19, we will have our plans in place and be able to transition as many courses as possible online. Please consult with your individual campus regarding this revised academic schedule. 

Campuses will make their distance learning curriculum available to all students. We recognize, as does the Governor, that some students will need to remain on campus for special circumstances, such as housing needs, employment responsibilities, and to fulfill coursework that requires hands-on instruction or laboratory work. We will make sure their learning environment is safe. 

Therefore, many campus dormitories, dining halls and other facilities will remain open for the duration of the semester, until further notice. We will offer students the choice to return to campus. However, if they either choose not to return or are unable to do so, we will do whatever it takes to ensure they can fulfill and complete their academic requirements remotely. We are working quickly to resolve the financial impact remote instruction and distance learning will have on a student’s account. 

In a system with 1.2 million students we understand that one size will not fit all. We will work to find solutions – on a case-by-case basis, if necessary – to ensure that every student can continue their education and complete their coursework to the extent possible. 

This global public health crisis has resulted in dozens of new confirmed COVID-19 cases across the state daily. We have thus far confirmed cases of students with COVID19 at three campuses and have followed all local and state guidance to protect these campus communities. 

I understand this situation is causing tremendous anxiety among students and their families, as well as our faculty and staff. Do know that the COVID-19 is a fragile but virulent virus. However, public health experts have repeatedly stressed that the best way to protect yourself against this virus is to wash your hands thoroughly and frequently, avoid touching your face, disinfect surfaces that may be contaminated and stay home if you are feeling sick. 

In order to maintain our calm and to reduce anxiety that has arisen as a result of this outbreak, we will continue to keep our lines of communication open and to provide accurate information in a responsible manner. I am committed to keeping you as up to date as possible. I am confident that by working together we can overcome this ever-changing crisis and emerge stronger with important lessons learned that we can apply to strengthen our system in the future. 

I thank you for your cooperation and willingness to follow the advice provided by public health experts who are working to keep COVID-19 from spreading. Rest assured that SUNY and our campus leaders will continue to monitor this situation, keep you apprised of changes and developments as they occur and answer any questions and concerns you may have. 

Kristina M. Johnson, PhD 
Chancellor
State University of New York

Dear FIT Staff,

FIT is committed to not only reducing the risk of infection from the transmission of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in our community but also to reducing the anxiety many are experiencing during this difficult time. If you choose not to report to campus because you are in a high-risk category (according to the CDC) or other reasons related to the virus, you can use paid sick and/or personal time. Below are guidelines and additional measures that will be put in place specific to staff. Please remember this is a rapidly changing situation and not all questions have answers just yet; please continue to refer to the FIT website for information as they become available.


ESSENTIAL PERSONNEL

The senior administration has begun identifying essential personnel, those whose duties must be performed in order to continue operations of the campus. As you know, courses will be delivered online to the extent practical but many services provided by employees on behalf of the residence halls, maintenance, security, and labs and studio, for example, will still need to be performed. Some of our jobs will continue as usual and for those of us, there may be opportunities to adjust schedules so that we encounter fewer people while commuting to campus and also reduce density here at FIT. Each area will review the start and end times of staff that must report and consider reasonable accommodations.


REMOTE WORK

There are some staff positions that lend themselves to being performed off-campus. We have already begun the process of identifying potential positions and will be communicating with you if there is an opportunity, and you desire to work remotely. Please see the attached resource that describes the considerations and expectations for remote work.


Finally, if you have any questions, concerns, or information related to future travel that you may have planned, please click here, complete the web-based form, and an HR representative will contact you directly.

Thank you for your commitment and service to FIT. We are all in this together and are here to support the entire FIT community.

Dr. Cynthia M. Glass and the entire HR Team


Additional Resources:

IT/UCE Employee Assistance Program: (212) 217-5600

Centers for Disease Control: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html

Dear FIT Community- 

Today you received an email from me that detailed proactive measures we are taking at FIT to  provide the best possible protection to all members of our community during this uncertain time.  Soon after, the Governor held a press conference and made announcements about next steps for SUNY and CUNY operations.

This has caused some confusion, mainly because of how the message was reported in different media outlets and therefore, I want to clarify exactly what the announcement was and what it means for FIT.

First, we are not closing the campus now or at any time for the rest of the semester and this includes the dorms and residence halls and all student services.  In fact, the last communication to students says we are keeping student services open and available. (see below) 

Secondly, next week, beginning on March 16th, we are suspending classes to finalize a plan with our faculty and staff to transition to a more online platform going forward in the semester.  This is in line with the announcement by the NYS Governor’s office today that SUNY and CUNY will develop and implement plans to maximize distance learning and reduce in-person classes, beginning March 19th, for the remainder of the spring semester. Regardless, the campus will not close during that time or at any time during the semester.

Finally, we will continue to keep you apprised of any developments for the campus as we move forward with next steps.  Thank you.

Excerpt from earlier email:

COLLEGE OPERATIONS

  • Beginning March 16th, all classes will be suspended for a week to allow faculty to prepare for potential online class instruction and for staff and administration to prepare contingency plans for working remotely or implementing alternative scheduling in the event the campus is required to close or there is a determination to reduce the population density of the campus.  This will be a regular work week for all faculty, staff and administration. 
  • Training and preparation for faculty to transition to online platforms and remote offerings for classes will be scheduled during the March 16thweek and ongoing in the coming weeks – we will let you know the details for this in the next few days.
  • At the same time, our building and grounds staff will implement an additional campus-wide cleaning and sanitizing initiative that will take place throughout the next week. 
  • Students may remain on campus if they choose between March 16 -20.  All student services will remain open with a regular schedule including residence halls, dining services, library, health services, computer labs, and studios.

To the FIT Community,

In an effort to provide you the most current and comprehensive information along with context for our decision-making, I write to provide an update about how we are responding to the quickly changing coronavirus situation. 

First, I want to thank you for your patience and understanding during this difficult time. The swift pace of the virus has caused considerable concern on campus---understandably---and you have raised many good questions about how to proceed. I hope that this memo will clarify the situation and the new action the college is now taking. We continue to be guided by advisories and directives from the relevant federal and local agencies and remain in direct communication with the city’s Department of Health – at this point there have still not been any reported cases in the FIT community.

Please note that we are in daily communication with the leadership of the SUNY System and receiving guidance and instruction from the Governor’s office. Specifically with regard to the question of institutional closures, current guidelines permit SUNY and CUNY schools to close for extended periods of time only when a case of the virus has been confirmed. There is an ongoing discussion with SUNY about campuses moving to working remotely and conducting online instruction. As soon as there is clearance from the state and the system to move forward, we will send out further information and next steps.

As we wait for guidance from SUNY and the state on these issues, here is the list of proactive measures we will take beginning on Monday, March 16th.

COLLEGE OPERATIONS:

Beginning March 16th, all classes will be suspended for a week to allow faculty to prepare for potential online class instruction and for staff and administration to prepare contingency plans for working remotely or implementing alternative scheduling in the event the campus is required to close or there is a determination to reduce the population density of the campus. This will be a regular work week for all faculty, staff and administration. 

Training and preparation for faculty to transition to online platforms and remote offerings for classes will be scheduled during the March 16th week and ongoing in the coming weeks – we will let you know the details for this in the next few days.

At the same time, our building and grounds staff will implement an additional campus-wide cleaning and sanitizing initiative that will take place throughout the next week.

Students may remain on campus if they choose between March 16 -20. All student services will remain open with a regular schedule including residence halls, dining services, library, health services, computer labs, and studios.

TRAVEL:

Beginning March 16th, all official FIT sponsored travel, both international and domestic will be suspended for the rest of the spring 2020 semester for students, faculty and staff, both internationally and domestically. This includes all countries and all states beyond the tri-state area (New York, New Jersey, Connecticut).

Similarly, between March 16th and the end of the spring 2020 semester, all personal travel---both international and domestic (tri-state area exempted)--- must be registered by students, faculty and staff with a web-based tool (see below) before the trip begins. At the time of return, guidance regarding potential quarantine will be provided.

Planning for summer 2020 sessions abroad was set to occur now; however, because we do not know what the situation will be in the coming months, these programs will also be suspended.

As stated, all travel in the tri-state area may continue as scheduled.

MEETINGS, CONFERENCES AND LARGE-AUDIENCE MEETINGS

Beginning March 16th, all FIT-sponsored large-scale events will be canceled for March and April. Decisions on May and June large-scale events will be made as further coronavirus developments are known. Large-scale events include, but are not limited to:

Student, faculty or staff events with over 50 people

Any large-scale event scheduled for the Great Hall, the Haft Theater and the Katie Murphy Amphitheatre, the Dining Hall and Dubinsky 8th Floor. For instance, the Sustainability Conference, scheduled for April 14th, and the FIT Gala, scheduled for April 30th will be postponed until fall 2020.

All prospective student information sessions and tours

COMMUNICATION

Email will be the primary mode of alerting you to FIT-relevant information and information and messages will be sent regularly.

Please check the website regularly for ongoing and updated information.

In the event of an emergency, FIT will use all of its communications platforms including but not limited to FIT Alert and all social media tools. Because we know this is an uncertain period for everyone, the college has developed a web-based tool for students and employees to report concerns, ask questions, register travel and receive direct follow-up from Student Success and/or Human Resources staff.

Students please click here to report any issues or concerns as well as to register personal travel outside the NY tri-state area in the next two (2) months (including spring break). You must let us know if you have returned from a Level 2 or Level 3 country within the last 14 days. You can also use this link to raise academic concerns related to the Coronavirus. A Student Success representative will reach out to you to discuss your questions and/or concerns as soon as possible.

Employees please click here to report any issues or concerns as well as to register personal travel outside the NY tri-state area in the next two (2) months (including spring break). You must let us know if you have returned from a Level 2 or Level 3 country within the last 14 days. You can also use this link to raise employment concerns related to the Coronavirus. An HR representative will reach out to you to discuss your questions and/or concerns related to work attendance, exposure, quarantine, payroll, benefits, etc. as soon as possible.

Finally, I know that these measures disrupt the routines of campus life and can be very unsettling---but under the circumstances, they are necessary. I thank you for your understanding and cooperation and we will continue to send regular updates as we receive further information.

-- 
Dr. Joyce F. Brown
President
Fashion Institute of Technology

 

 

Staying Healthy: Managing Your Anxiety about the Coronavirus

These days it seems that we are constantly overloaded by bad news, most recently about the Coronavirus. Even if you are someone who does not normally worry about health issues, the constant news and talk amongst friends and colleagues is enough to raise anyone’s anxiety!

Live your lives. Good nutrition, exercise, meditation are healthy behaviors to practice always, not only during these troubled times. Don’t let fear cause you to treat people in an uncivil, hurtful and prejudicial manner.

To provide additional assistance in helping people manage their stress and anxiety, the FIT/UCE EAP is offering two Stress Management workshops this Wednesday, March 11, 2020 at 9-10 am and from 1-2 pm. They both will be held in Seminar Room 9, Lower Level of the Great Hall.

Please RSVP if you would like to attend to robin_zarel @fitnyc.edu.

I will attend the seminar at 9 am ­­­_____

I will attend the seminar at 1 pm ­_____

For additional information on coping tips please see attachment and always feel free to call us at #75600

To the FIT community,

As you may know, Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency in New York State on March 7. In doing so, New York joined California, Washington, Florida, and Maryland, all of which have declared a state of emergency in recent days.

To ensure that our community has the most accurate information about what this means and how it affects us, we have listed the facts below about the state of emergency: 

- A state of emergency is called mainly to free up funding and other resources for emergency management in both the state as a whole and in localities. Further, the emergency is declared early enough to try to prepare in case a situation worsens. This helps ease the processes involved in hiring contractors, using state funds, purchasing supplies. and hiring workers to aid in their response to, in this case, the coronavirus. 

- For New York, the official status of emergency will allow qualified professionals, other than doctors and nurses, permission to perform coronavirus testing on people who may have been exposed to the illness. It can also expedite processes related to procuring testing supplies, leasing lab space, and allowing emergency services personnel to transport patients to quarantine locations that are not hospitals, among other things.

- As Governor Cuomo said in a news conference on Saturday, New York’s state of emergency declaration also increases enforcement against price gouging from businesses during this time.

- New York's state of emergency will remain in effect until April 6, according to the governor, and at this time will not restrict people’s movement outside of travel precautions already in place and will not automatically close any government offices or public facilities, including schools.

The state of emergency does not change the FIT policies for attendance if you are not quarantined. If you choose not to come to work, you will have to charge your time accordingly. If you are a faculty member with classes to teach, you must follow college policy and protocols for reporting absence(s) and managing courses.

Please contact Human Resources if you have further questions or circumstances that will cause you to be absent. Read the Executive Order that details the state of emergency called by the governor here.

Thank you for your continued cooperation.


Dr. Cynthia M. Glass
Vice President for Human Resource Management and Labor Relations

Dear Students,

In an effort to keep you up to date with the most current information about coronavirus and how FIT is responding to the outbreak, we have revised the college’s information page at fitnyc.edu/coronavirus and urge you to visit it for new details.
 
Additionally, there has been a development in the study abroad area that we want to make you aware of so that our whole campus community understands the plan that has been put in place by New York State.
 
On Wednesday, March 4, 2020, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that the SUNY and CUNY study abroad programs in China, Italy, Japan, Iran, and South Korea have been suspended, effective immediately, in response to concerns over coronavirus. All five countries have either been issued a Level 2 or Level 3 travel health notice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The decision was made based on recommendations from the New York State Department of Health (DOH). 
 
SUNY and CUNY are making arrangements to bring back all students and nonessential faculty and staff currently studying or working in those countries and to begin a 14-day quarantine at designated locations still being identified. FIT will not be one of those locations.
 
In addition, and out of an abundance of caution, all SUNY and CUNY schools have now cancelled campus-sponsored travel outside of the United States to impacted countries for the spring semester—a measure we took last week—and will review upcoming summer programs for study abroad as the outbreak unfolds. SUNY and CUNY will continue to review CDC guidance and work closely with DOH to make additional determinations on continuing or cancelling upcoming travel at all other campus sponsored international locations.   
 
At this point there are still no identified cases of coronavirus in the FIT community and we are continuing to monitor the situation closely to ensure the safety of our population. The college will remain fully operational and continue to follow the recommendations from the State of New York and the New York State Department of Health.
 
We are strongly encouraging that everyone take the following everyday actions recommended by the CDC to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze by using the crook of your arm or with a tissue and then throwing it in the trash.
 
In addition, although the advice on wearing masks from the CDC is that is it most effective for preventing the spread of viruses when worn by a person who is ill or by health care providers, if you feel more comfortable wearing a mask while on campus, you have every right to do so and do not need any permission. Please contact the Dean of Students Office with any concerns you have on this specific issue at (212) 217-3800 or at [email protected].
 
Students who have health questions or concerns, should contact FIT Health Services at (212) 217-4190.
 
Sherry F. Brabham
Treasurer and Vice President for Finance and Administration
 
Dr. Cynthia M. Glass
Vice President for Human Resource Management and Labor Relations
 
Catherine O’Rourke
Interim Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Success

To FIT employees, 

As you know, information about the coronavirus outbreak is changing on a regular basis, and we are writing with new details that affect the FIT community. First, we provide here updated information with regard to travel; second, we offer information regarding questions of quarantine; third, we use this opportunity to remind the community of the health-related information that is being distributed by state and federal health agencies; and fourth, we want to remind you to remain calm even though it is challenging to do so as we continue to receive new information on a continuous basis.  


Precautionary measures and FIT operating schedule 

Many of you are aware of a student petition that is being circulated asking for support to close the FIT campus. We are currently receiving information, developing plans, and making decisions based on facts available to us through SUNY System Administration and city and state agencies, and there is every expectation that the campus will continue to operate on a regular schedule.  

Precautionary measures and travel 

Following the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), FIT is suspending all nonessential travel by FIT employees or students to any of the Level-2 or Level-3 countries (Japan, Iran, China, South Korea, Italy). This curtailment includes class-, conference-, presentation-, and research-related travel. Any other proposed course-related travel is subject to review and approval by the vice president for Academic Affairs.


Moreover, SUNY System Administration has notified all campuses that study abroad programs in China, Italy, Japan, and South Korea are being curtailed, effective immediately, and this was announced earlier today by Governor Andrew Cuomo. Chartered flights are being arranged by SUNY in order to transport students, faculty, and on-site administrators to John F. Kennedy International Airport from these locations in the coming days. SUNY System Administration is in direct communication with these individuals regarding travel directions, and FIT’s Office of International Programs has also been communicating with students and faculty in our study abroad programs in those countries. SUNY System Administration and the New York State Department of Health are identifying quarantine procedures and further information is forthcoming.

Precautionary measures and quarantine

If you have recently returned from any Level-3 countries, you will be required to self-quarantine for a 14-day period upon your return. Contact Human Resource Management at (212) 217-3650 and do not return to work. 

As you may know, there are currently no travel restrictions for domestic travel or countries that are not at Level 3. However, if you have recently returned from any Level-2 country—and possibly those others that are experiencing a new outbreak—you may be required to self-quarantine for a 14-day period upon your return. Contact Human Resource Management at (212) 217-3650 and do not return to work. 

Please contact Human Resource Management immediately at (212) 217-3650 to receive guidance on informing your supervisor and instructions on working from home during that period. 

There will be no change to job status, payroll status, or time bank for employees who fall in this category of quarantine. 

Precautionary measures and health-related information (from the New York State Department of Health)

Signs and symptoms including fever, cough, and shortness of breath may appear 2-14 days after exposure if: 

  • You have contact with someone with confirmed coronavirus.

  • You traveled to countries that are considered Level 2 or 3 (at this time the countries are Japan, Iran, South Korea, Italy, China) in the last 14 days.

      ** In some cases there may be no known source of exposure identified.

If you suspect that you may be infected with coronavirus, follow the steps below to help prevent the disease from spreading to people in your home and community: 

1. Stay home, except to get medical care.

2. Stay away from other people in your home, if possible.

3. Call ahead before visiting your doctor (to decrease the risk to others in the office).

4. Wear a facemask when you are around other people.

5. Cover your cough and sneezes with a tissue or your elbow, and then wash your hands thoroughly.

6. Avoid sharing personal household items.

7. Clean your hands often.

8. Clean all “high-touch” surfaces (keyboards, phones, tablets, etc.) every day with household wipes or sprays. Click here for a list of cleaning solutions that kill the coronavirus

9. Monitor your symptoms.

a. Seek prompt medical attention if your illness is worsening (i.e., difficulty breathing)

10. Home isolation will continue until the risk to others is thought to be low. (The decision to discontinue home isolation precautions should be made in consultation with health care providers and the state and local health departments.)

The CDC recommends everyday prevention, including: 

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water when hands are visibly dirty.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. 

  • Avoid parties or other social gatherings.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

The health and safety of the FIT community are our highest priority and we appreciate your cooperation in reviewing these guidelines and following related news as it is presented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the New York State Department of Health.


Thank you.

Sherry F. Brabham

Treasurer and Vice President for Finance and Administration

Dr. Cynthia M. Glass

Vice President for Human Resource Management and Labor Relations

Catherine O'Rourke

Interim Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Success

To the FIT community,

We write to update you on the evolving coronavirus conditions and how we are responding here, on our New York campus, as well as on campuses abroad. This includes FIT’s degree-based programs in Italy and South Korea, ZSTU collaborations as well as faculty and student travel to international locations.

FIT continues to be guided by advisories and other information distributed by the New York State and City health agencies, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as by SUNY System Administration. In particular, FIT Health Services personnel are in direct communication with the NYC Department of Health. 

To date, there are no coronavirus cases at FIT or anywhere in New York State.

As you may know through news reports, the CDC has now issued warning Level-3 notices—to avoid nonessential travel—for China, Italy, South Korea, and Iran. At this time, CDC protocol requires anyone entering the U.S. from China since February 3 to stay home for a period of two weeks following their last day in China. 

Currently, FIT’s Office of International Programs is in close contact with administrators overseeing the college’s programs in South Korea as well as in Italy, including both Florence and Milan. Appropriate plans are in place for each of those locations, including contingencies that will allow U.S. students to return to New York, should they so choose. 

Please note that students who elect to return from programs in Italy or South Korea—or any Level-3 country—will not be permitted to return to the classroom until after a 14-day quarantine period. We will work closely with students to assure that they quarantine at home, unless it is impossible.

While there have been no disruptions here on campus due to this health concern, the following steps are being taken:

• President Brown has authorized Cabinet members to develop unit contingency plans should there be any interruption in routine business;

• President Brown and Cabinet members will continue to hold various meetings, including with the Environmental Health and Safety Committee, to identify issues and concerns that may not have been addressed to date;

• FIT Academic Affairs personnel will consult with deans, chairpersons, and faculty in order to offer online instruction where possible, and to identify other appropriate modes of instruction for students not physically on campus for an extended period of time;

• FIT Health Services is introducing student “front-door” check-in at Room A402 in order to isolate routine health issues from possible coronavirus queries and reduce unneeded exposure to treatment rooms;

• FIT Health Services continues to enforce travel notification requirements for students who register for appointments;

• Hand-sanitizer dispensers are being filled on a regular basis and new dispensers have been installed across campus. 

Members of the Emergency Preparedness and Response Group are meeting every morning to address new and ongoing issues. Further, the college continues to coordinate efforts among its numerous units, including Health Services, International Programs, International Student Services, Buildings and Grounds, and others, in order to respond in a comprehensive way. 

We will continue to keep the community apprised as this situation changes and new information becomes available.

Sincerely,


Sherry F. Brabham
Treasurer and Vice President for Finance and Administration

Dr. Cynthia M. Glass
Vice President for Human Resource Management and Labor Relations

Catherine O’Rourke
Interim Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Success

To the FIT community,

We write to provide updated information about the changing conditions related to the coronavirus.

FIT has been monitoring closely the advisories and other information being distributed by the various health agencies as well as by SUNY System Administration. Members of the President’s Cabinet are meeting every morning to address ongoing issues and new developments while the college’s Emergency Preparedness and Response Group will be meeting to discuss longer-term plans for alternative operations. Further, the college is coordinating efforts among its numerous units, including Health Services, International Programs, International Students, Buildings and Grounds, and others, in order to respond in a comprehensive way as possible. Any actions being taken are in line with the guidance provided by governmental health authorities, including those in countries where FIT has programs.

To date, there are no coronavirus cases at FIT or in New York City.

As you may have read in news reports, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to China. In addition, the CDC now states that anyone entering the U.S. from China since February 3 should stay home for a period of two weeks following their last day in China.

Currently, FIT’s Office of International Programs is in close contact with those administrators overseeing the college’s programs in South Korea as well as in Italy, including both Florence and Milan. Appropriate plans are in place for each of those locations, including contingencies that will allow U.S. students to return to New York, should they so choose.

Here on campus, spring classes continue and there have been no disruptions due to this health concern. FIT Health Services continues to enforce travel notification requirements for students who register for appointments and is maintaining other relevant protocols established earlier in the semester. Employees are advised to seek medical attention from their doctors or urgent care providers if they have symptoms.

In addition, in an effort to enhance and expedite cleaning and maintenance efforts, a new QR code system is being installed in restrooms across campus to allow for quick response to a service situation notification if a space needs supplies or maintenance.

For ongoing updates, go to fitnyc.edu/health-services/coronavirus.

We will continue to keep the community apprised as this situation changes and new information becomes available.

Sincerely,
Sherry F. Brabham
Treasurer and Vice President for Finance and Administration

Dr. Cynthia M. Glass
Vice President for Human Resource Management and Labor Relations

Catherine O’Rourke
Interim Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Success

To the FIT community,

We write to provide a reminder of important information regarding the public health situation related to the coronavirus.

Members of the college’s Emergency Planning and Response Group representing the relevant areas of the college are working closely together to respond to this evolving situation. Further, FIT’s Health Services team is continually monitoring updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the New York State Department of Health, the World Health Organization, and the State University of New York System Administration. We will notify the community as any new information becomes available that may affect students and employees.

The health-related protocols that FIT has put in place are based on guidelines from federal, state, and New York City health agencies.

To date, there are no identified cases of the coronavirus at FIT or in New York City or New York State.

FOR STUDENTS

Students who have symptoms such as a fever, cough, or shortness of breath must visit FIT Health Services or, if it is after normal Health Services hours, a hospital emergency room.

Students who require an academic accommodation should contact the Enrollment Management and Student Success Office, Room B221, (212) 217-3800.

As with any extended absence, students who must miss classes due to coronavirus must work with their faculty on a plan to complete or make up work in accordance with class attendance policies that are articulated in the course syllabus.

The FIT Counseling Center offers services to all registered, degree-seeking FIT students for assistance with a variety of personal and academic concerns. The center may be contacted in Room A212B, (212) 217-4260.

Students who have questions or concerns, should contact FIT Health Services at (212) 217-4190.

FOR EMPLOYEES

Employees who have symptoms such as a fever, cough, or shortness of breath should see their doctor.

Faculty and staff should refer students to FIT Health Services should they have any questions or concerns related to coronavirus.

The FIT Employee Assistance Program, a jointly sponsored labor/management program that is a free service designed to assist employees who may be experiencing personal concerns, is available. EAP may be contacted at (212) 217-5600.

All international travel, including trips that are associated with specific courses, must be reviewed and approved by the Office of Academic Affairs. Faculty should allow ample time for planning as well as for submitting for review the routine required authorization forms available in departmental offices. For further clarification, contact the Office of Academic Affairs at (212) 217-4040.

Employees who have questions or concerns should contact FIT Human Resources at (212) 217-3655.

The health and well-being of the community are our highest priorities and we understand the concern and worry that an unpredictable situation such as this may cause. Plans have been put in place in compliance with government health authorities in order to reduce the risk of exposure to the extent possible.

We will keep you apprised of new and relevant information and will continue to update the college’s coronavirus information webpage.

Sincerely,

Sherry F. Brabham 
Treasurer and Vice President for Finance and Administration

Dr. Cynthia M. Glass 
Vice President for Human Resource Management and Labor Relations

Catherine O’Rourke 
Interim Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Success

To the FIT community,

We are writing to highlight information especially pertinent to our students and the entire FIT community regarding the coronavirus. To date, there have been no cases in New York State and only five cases in the U.S. According to the current information from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the risk of exposure is very low. FIT has plans in place to ensure the health and well-being of our community and to reduce the individual risk of exposure to the extent possible.

FIT’s Health Services department is fully prepared to conduct student screening for the coronavirus and provide a referral to an emergency room if necessary. Employees are advised to seek medical attention from their doctors or urgent care providers if they have symptoms. More detailed information for the FIT community can be found at fitnyc.edu/health-services/coronavirus.

Spring semester classes and activities will continue to take place as scheduled. Because this is the season for the flu and other viruses, we ask all members of the FIT community who have an illness, specifically with fever—regardless of their travels—to refrain from coming to campus where you could infect others. It is recommended that a person should have a normal temperature for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medications) before resuming a regular work or class schedule.

Thank you for your attention to these important health concerns. We will continue to keep you updated and recommend that you check the website regularly for the most up-to-date information.

Sincerely,

Sherry F. Brabham 
Treasurer and Vice President for Finance and Administration

Dr. Cynthia M. Glass 
Vice President for Human Resource Management and Labor Relations

Catherine O’Rourke 
Interim Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Success

To the FIT community,

As you know, there has been an increase in information, news coverage, and reported incidents of outbreaks of the coronavirus, first identified in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China.

To ensure the health and safety of our community, FIT routinely receives health advisories from the New York State and New York City departments of health and follows their directives. Moreover, FIT Health Services monitors media and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on a regular basis. Currently, the college is in communication with the CDC and the New York State Department of Health to receive the most up-to-date information on the coronavirus outbreak in China as well as in other Asian countries, the U.S., and around the world.

At this time, the CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to Hubei Province, including Wuhan.

FIT Health Services will continue to monitor CDC updates and recommendations. Further, FIT's Health Services, International Programs, International Students, Public Safety, and Buildings and Grounds departments are coordinating efforts. In addition:

  • Health Services is asking all students and employees to report travel outside of the U.S. when they check in for treatment;
  • An isolation room is available in FIT Health Services for suspected cases;
  • Personal protective equipment (eye goggles, gowns, masks, and gloves) is available to all staff;
  • Informational signage has been posted in the residence halls and around campus;
  • The NYC Department of Health will be contacted for suspected cases, and those cases will be transferred to an emergency room with a respiratory isolation room;
  • UG2 personnel (FIT’s Buildings and Grounds contractor) have met with the FIT Health Services team and will use the company’s established protocols for cleaning areas that may be exposed to infectious agents;
  • Isolation rooms have been designated in each residence hall. Meals will be delivered should a student be isolated.

If you traveled to or from the Hubei Province, including Wuhan, and are concerned about your health or feel sick with fever, cough, or having difficulty breathing, you should:

  • Stay home. Except for seeking medical care, avoid contact with others;
  • Do not use public transportation and do not travel while sick;
  • Seek medical care right away. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms;
  • Do not travel while sick;
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing;
  • Wash hands often and with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

For more information on the CDC’s monitoring and recommendations, visit the CDC's coronavirus website.

Some brief information from the CDC webpages: Human coronaviruses are common throughout the world. Seven different coronaviruses, that scientists know of, can infect people and make them sick. Generally human coronaviruses cause mild to moderate illness in people worldwide, however, there are cases that can become more severe. A novel (new) coronavirus is causing the outbreak first identified in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. Cases have been exported to the following locations: China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Australia, Cambodia, Canada, France, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore, Thailand, The Republic of Korea, United States, and Vietnam. Health authorities have reported that patients have experienced fever, cough, difficulty breathing, and pneumonia.

If you have any questions or concerns in general, please do not hesitate to contact FIT Health Services at (212) 217-4190.

Please note that a website on this subject will also be maintained by Wednesday, January 29.

We will keep you apprised of any relevant developments.

Thank you.

Dr. Cynthia M. Glass 
Vice President for Human Resource Management and Labor Relations

 For All FIT Study Abroad Students:

We are writing to all students who have elected to remain at their study abroad host or who are still making arrangements to return to make sure you are aware of Secretary of State Michael Pompeo’s recent message to Americans remaining abroad. In his Tuesday briefing, Mr. Pompeo said, "Americans who wish to return home from abroad should do so immediately and make arrangements to accomplish that...We do not know how long the commercial flights in your countries may continue to operate." He said this as airlines have already slashed international service. "We can't guarantee the U.S. government's ability to arrange charter flights indefinitely where commercial options no longer exist."

His remarks and recommendations can be seen here: https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/news/2020/03/31/coronavirus-crisis-mike-pompeo-says-americans-should-come-home-now/5096191002/ Please carefully assess the situation in your host country and make plans accordingly. As SUNY is doing for all students who have returned, should you decide to return now, SUNY will assist in completing the semester. 

Dear returned FIT study abroad students,

We hope this letter finds you well. With the health and safety of our community in mind, FIT continues to follow the evolving situation caused by the coronavirus.

Please make sure to regularly consult the FIT Coronavirus (COVID-19) website for College updates and messages: http://www.fitnyc.edu/emergency/coronavirus/index.php

Some of you have almost completed your quarantine period (generally returnees from Italy), and others are just beginning (generally returnees from other Spring 2020 programs). We know how challenging this is on top of the disappointment of cutting your study abroad program short. 

I write to inform you that your UHC Study Abroad Insurance policy will be cancelled as of March 31, 2020. Your FIT student account will be refunded for the pro-rated cost of the insurance due to the SUNY recall from your program. You should have domestic health insurance, which applies when you are in the US after your quarantine period (if applicable), so you should use your US-based policy for any medical concerns occuring April 1 or after.

Our office is working remotely, but we are here if you need us or have questions. The best way to reach us is at [email protected] 

Thank you,

Brian Walters
Office of International Programs

Dear students,

I am very sorry to inform you that SUNY has determined that it is necessary to immediately cancel all remaining campus-administered study abroad programs for the 2020 spring semester in response to the ongoing spread of the novel coronavirus outbreak. This means that SUNY is instructing all program participants in all countries to return to New York or to their home in the US immediately. 

Since you are returning from France, Spain, and Australia, countries defined by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as Level 1, you will not be subject to a precautionary quarantine.

If you elect to stay overseas in your host program, you must sign a release ( for the form, contact [email protected]).  In addition, you should understand that you will have minimal assistance from SUNY in resolving issues you may have. You will be required to address any issues or problems with the administration of your host university.  

Ensuring student safety and success is a priority for FIT and SUNY.  Campuses and SUNY System Administration are actively working on course/credit recovery options for all students.  In the face of the disruption the spreading virus is causing, many schools are changing how they teach and are now offering distance learning as a substitute for face to face courses.  We will be in touch with your host institution to advocate for alternative ways for you to complete the semester.  If you are able to finish the semester remotely, FIT will process your grades and credits as usual.

SUNY is also working with Federal and State officials to understand their policy flexibilities to accommodate students with financial aid due to these exceptional circumstances. United Health Care will continue your travel health insurance coverage through the original program dates.

You should immediately contact your airline to rebook your return tickets home.  Most international carriers have suspended change fees for rebooking of tickets. Please let assistant dean for international education Helen Gaudette [email protected] know your flight or other plans as soon as you make them.

All students should go to the URL below to provide information regarding their return.  If you need assistance, please submit your request through this URL.

https://www2.sysadm.suny.edu/ studyabroadStudent/index.cfm

Again, we are sorry if this announcement comes as a shock and a disruption of your plans for completing the semester abroad.  For many of you, this was the experience of a lifetime. 

Kindly share this email with your family.

If you have immediate questions, please email [email protected] edu.

Thank you,

Dr. Deirdre Sato

Dean for International Education, FIT

For FIT Study Abroad Students Returned from Italy:

Dear Student Returning from Italy,

Your professors at your institutions in Italy have prepared/ are preparing coursework for you. Each of you has a different situation and unique delivery method which may be mixed, but below is a general overview:

FIT in Milan

FIT in Milan FD professors are currently working with the FD department chair in New York to enable returning students to join classes currently being held in New York. Some FIT in Milan professors are ready to work with students over these two weeks without machinery. Please read your email and your professors will be in touch by Wednesday (March11) at latest, but possibly as soon as tomorrow (March 10). They will work out the time for class with you, given the time difference.

FIT in Florence

FBM and FD 4th semester students who attended FIT in Florence will complete the semester all online. FD 2nd semester students will have a combination of in person and online classes. Once back at FIT, all in person studio courses will begin. Florence professors of online courses will be in touch with you directly for start dates which will vary from this week through next. Please make sure to check Blackboard for each course update along with your emails for updates from the FIT in Florence office.

Lorenzo de Medici

LdM will be offering courses online. They are in communication with FIT on how best to deliver “practical” studio-based courses to our students. FIT Fine Arts has a proposed plan and we are in discussion with LdM and the FIT departments regarding other courses they have identified. Details will be forthcoming from LdM very soon. 

American University of Rome

AUR is giving their students the option of going all digital, getting partial credit for their studies to date or completely withdrawing. Please see their communication coming out shortly and replying by Sunday, March 15.

Florence University of the Arts

FUA is offering a “Remote Program Completion” (RPC) mode for all courses. It started today. Courses are taught on the MyFUA platform by a variety of delivery modes including video conferencing and group chats, lesson slides and tutorials. RPC is available only for students who have completed the “Remote Program Completion” form and submitted it to the Admissions Office for approval. Please check MyFUA for more details. 

As always, thank you for your patience, diligence for your coursework, and enthusiasm for what you do.

If International Programs can be of assistance, please let Helen Gaudette [email protected] or me know.

Message to Students Returning Home from Italy Study Abroad Programs

As you know, SUNY has determined that it is necessary to cancel the study abroad programs in Italy, Japan, and South Korea due to health and safety concerns related to the Coronavirus outbreak. This means that SUNY is instructing all program participants in the impacted countries to return to New York immediately.

The State of New York and SUNY have determined that the safest and most efficient manner to get students home as soon as possible is to charter flights at no cost to you, back to New York.

Self‐Isolation Required at Home or at a Designated Campus Location

Upon your return to New York, the New York State Department of Health (DOH) will require self‐isolation for a period of 14‐days either at home or in a separate SUNY residence life facility, which will be provided to you when you return and may be different from your home campus. Strict screening and
monitoring protocols will be conducted by SUNY, State and/or local health officials whether you self‐isolate at home or in a SUNY facility.


While SUNY is instructing that you return to New York immediately, if you choose to remain in your current location, your program will not continue and will be at your own risk and without SUNY involvement.

Please note, if you choose to stay, you must make separate arrangements for your stay at the host country, and if the Coronavirus outbreak remains prevalent you will still be subject to DOH or a local county Department of Health self‐isolation upon your return.

Below is confirmed information already sent to you regarding the confirmed flight from Italy to New
York.

Students in Italy

A chartered Delta Airlines flight is being arranged from Internazionale di Roma–Fiumicino "Leonardo da Vinci International Airport” (FCO) to fly directly into John F. Kennedy International Airport. The Delta flight 8875 will depart this Saturday, March 7, at 2 pm local Rome time, arriving that same day at 5:50 pm Eastern Standard Time. 

Please arrive at their airport with all of your luggage two hours ahead of the scheduled departure time. 

Delta will be emailing you a copy of your itinerary shortly, which you will need to either print out or have available on your mobile device before you arrive at the airport.  Once you arrive at the airport, you will look for a Delta Red-Coat employee at the entrance to the Delta check-in counter area and show them your itinerary. They will escort you into the lobby and ticket-counter where you will check your bags and complete your ticketing process.

Please note that all passengers on outbound flights to the U.S. are required to be screened at the airport. Individuals whose temperature is higher than 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit will not be permitted to board.  

SUNY is working now to provide information regarding isolation/quarantine measures that every student will need to undergo upon returning to New York.

To FIT in Italy Students:  

The administrators and staff at FIT in New York City are closely monitoring the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on the campuses in Italy. We understand that the decision to suspend face-to-face classes for a week is disruptive to your normal academic schedule, but know that you understand it is a necessary precaution determined by your host institution (decision made by Polimoda in Florence; decision made by the government in Milan). We encourage you to go about your routine as best as you can, remain calm, stay in touch with the resident staff on your campus, and continue to do your academic work in accordance with instructions from your faculty.

As the local situation continues to evolve, we advise you to consult with your family in order to decide whether staying in Italy or returning to the U.S. is the best decision for you. Please know that it is possible to make arrangements on an individual basis for those students who wish to return to the United States. In such cases, FBM and FD students will be able to finish the 2020 spring semester on the New York City campus.

Helen Gaudette, assistant dean for International Education, is the college's contact for communications about the coronavirus and our campuses in Italy: please contact by email.

We encourage an open dialogue on this topic. Should you plan to return to New York to finish the semester, please contact Dean Gaudette as soon as possible so she can facilitate arrangements for New York.

We here at FIT in New York are thinking about you and keeping your wellbeing and academic goals our priority, as we move forward in this evolving environment.

For FIT Study Abroad Students Returned from SUNY Korea: 

To FIT at SUNY Korea Students:

Message to Students Returning Home from Study Abroad Programs

As you know, SUNY has determined that it is necessary to cancel the study abroad programs in Italy, Japan, and South Korea due to health and safety concerns related to the Coronavirus outbreak. This means that SUNY is instructing all program participants in the impacted countries to return to New York immediately.

The State of New York and SUNY have determined that the safest and most efficient manner to get students home as soon as possible is to charter flights at no cost to you, back to New York.

Self‐Isolation Required at Home or at a Designated Campus Location

Upon your return to New York, the New York State Department of Health (DOH) will require self‐isolation for a period of 14‐days either at home or in a separate SUNY residence life facility, which will be provided to you when you return and may be different from your homecampus. Strict screening and monitoring protocols will be conducted by SUNY, State and/or local health officials whether you self‐isolate at home or in a SUNY facility.

While SUNY is instructing that you return to New York immediately, if you choose to remain in your current location, your program will not continue and will be at your own risk and without SUNY involvement.

Please note, if you choose to stay, you must make separate arrangements for your stay at
the host country, and if the Coronavirus outbreak remains prevalent you will still be subject to DOH or a local county Department of Health self‐isolation upon your return.

Below is confirmed information already sent to you regarding the confirmed flight from South Korea, which is currently scheduled for Monday, March 9.

Students in South Korea

A chartered Delta Flight has been arranged to fly from Incheon International Airport (INC) directly to John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). DELTA Flight 8874 will depart Monday, March 9 at 6:30 pm local Incheon time and arrive the same day (because of the time zone difference) at 6:25 pm Eastern Standard Time. Once you arrive at the airport, you will look for a Delta Red‐Coat employee at the entrance to the Delta check‐in counter area and show them your itinerary. They will escort you into the lobby and ticket‐counter where you will check your bags and complete your ticketing process.

Please arrive at their airport with all of your luggage two hours ahead of the scheduled departure time.

You will check‐in via the standard Delta ticket counter. Please note that all passengers on outbound flights to the U.S. may be required to be screened at the airport. Individuals whose temperature is higher than 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit will not be permitted to board.

Arriving in New York – Students Can Choose Home or Designated Campus Location

Upon arrival from any of the three countries to New York, students will have a choice to either self‐isolate at home or at a SUNY designated campus, both requiring strict DOH monitoring protocols that will be provided to each student before they board the plane to New York. Students will need to notify SUNY of their preference by filling out and signing the attached acknowledgement.

Students Choosing Home Isolation

For students choosing self‐isolation at their home, students will need to provide SUNY and your host campus with details on arranging parent or guardian pick up at JFK airport. SUNY will make arrangements and cover cost for travel, if a student is unable to secure transportation from airport to their home location.

Students Choosing Designated Dormitory Isolation

Students who elect to stay at a SUNY designated dormitory will be provided with transportation to the dormitory. Tentative locations include Western NY Central NY and the Long Island region SUNY will work with your local campuses to make arrangements to provide housing at a region as close to your home campus as feasible. These dormitories will be solely dedicated to study abroad students and will not include students currently on campus.

On arriving at the dormitories, SUNY and the hosting campus will make all arrangements for food and other resources needed and medical monitoring. SUNY will ensure that no student will be academically penalized for returning back before completing the study abroad program. Additionally, we will work with each student to reimburse all costs associated with leaving their study program early.

 

To FIT at SUNY Korea Students:

The administrators and staff at FIT in New York City are closely monitoring the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on the SUNY Korea campus. We understand that the decision to suspend face-to-face classes for two weeks is disruptive to your normal academic schedule, but know that you understand it is a necessary precaution determined by SUNY Korea in accordance with the Korean government. We encourage you to go about your routine as best as you can, remain calm, stay in touch with the resident staff on your campus, and continue to do your academic work in accordance with instructions from your faculty.

As the local situation continues to evolve, we advise you to consult with your family in order to decide whether staying in South Korea or returning to the U.S. is the best decision for you. Please know that it is possible for arrangements to be made for those students who wish to return to the United States. In such cases, the following would apply:

1) FBM students will be able to take their courses online, but from the United States, as organized by SUNY Korea FBM and liberal arts instructors, and only for the time during which the campus is closed. Should the campus return to regular face-to-face instruction at some point during the semester, students will have the option of returning to SUNY Korea or taking a leave of absence from the program for the semester.

2) FD students will be able to take their liberal arts courses online, for the period during which the SUNY Korea campus is closed. Should the campus return to regular face-to-face instruction at some point during the semester, students will have the option of returning to SUNY Korea or taking a leave of absence from the program for the semester. The studio courses are not available online and, as a result, may compromise financial aid eligibility and on-time degree completion. In this regard, students would take a leave of absence from the program for the remainder of the semester which, unfortunately, would delay degree completion by one full year.

Helen Gaudette, assistant dean for International Education, is the college's contact for communications about the coronavirus and our campuses in Italy: please contact by email.


We encourage an open dialogue on this topic. Should you plan to return to New York to finish the semester, please contact Dean Gaudette as soon as possible so she can facilitate arrangements for New York.


We here at FIT in New York are thinking about you and keeping your wellbeing and academic goals our priority, as we move forward in this evolving environment.

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