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CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19): Classes and employee work moved to online and remote environments through remainder of semester.   Read more details at fitnyc.edu/coronavirus

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Communications

For FIT NYC Students and Employees:

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 (212217-5600. 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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