Important Coronavirus Information

Please check this page for regular updates regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, including recent messages to the campus community.

Summary: 

  • Click here for a message regarding Fall 2020 plans
  • All scheduled university and alumni events are canceled until further notice.
  • All summer courses will be fully online.
  • Summer camps and clinics hosted by intercollegiate athletic programs are canceled.
  • All clinicals and practicum are suspended for nursing and nuclear medicine students.
  • The library will close its physical location but will continue to provide online and remote services.
  • The Student Recreation and Fitness Center, Island Sports Center, RMU Downtown, and the RMU 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing Laboratory are closed.

Student Emergency Fund

As RMU responds to the constant changes as a result of COVID-19, many of RMU's students are facing a different set of challenges. From traveling home, food insecurity, technology needs, and unexpected medical bills - these and other issues may prevent a student from completing their degree. These difficulties are not only in the immediate future - there will be long-term needs to be met as a result of this global crisis. Your gift to the Student Emergency Fund will allow RMU to help students as they move toward their degree.

#RMUtogether

Let’s share our Colonial Pride and get through this together. Post your message of support with #RMUtogether and see them all at rmu.edu/RMUtogether. Share your own story. Recognize an alum making an important contribution. Give words of encouragement to this year’s graduating class, or a favorite professor, or a shoutout to a student-athlete.

Colonial Kids Activities

Check out this page for coloring activities, word searches, and more!

CARES Act

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by Congress and signed into law to provide economic relief from the Covid-19 pandemic. One section of the CARES Act established the Higher Education Emergency Relief fund, which provides money for colleges and universities -- including RMU -- to distribute directly to students as emergency financial aid and to  and sent money to schools to use for emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the pandemic.

Recent Updates

Plans for Fall 2020

Dear students, faculty and staff:

We have just completed an unprecedented semester in the history of Robert Morris University and, indeed, a spring that was unprecedented in the history of our nation. I wish to commend our students for the grit and resilience they demonstrated in completing their coursework under the most difficult of circumstances, and I offer my special congratulations to the Class of 2020 for their singular achievement. 

I also would like to thank the faculty for transitioning so quickly and effectively to remote instruction, and to the staff who continued to support our students, both on campus and off, providing many of the services to which they had been accustomed. Much remains unknown about the course of the Covid-19 pandemic and what if any additional restrictions on in-person activity may be in place throughout the summer months and into the fall. We must remain flexible to allow for multiple scenarios, and we are preparing for every conceivable contingency.  

Nonetheless, we plan on opening as scheduled on August 28 to provide a modified yet vibrant living and learning environment. To do so, we will utilize physical distancing measures, health and wellness monitoring, and other requirements to ensure the health and well-being of the entire campus community. We will consistently follow guidelines, policies, and requirements set forth by the Allegheny County Health Department, the Pennsylvania Department of Health, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Our plan is contingent on Allegheny County moving into the “Green Phase” under Gov. Tom Wolf’s process for reopening Pennsylvania. 

As a reminder, RMU is offering a complete schedule of fully online courses this summer, with many of the same tuition discounts that are available every summer. You can learn more at rmu.edu/summer. Nonessential employees who have been working remotely should continue to do so until notified otherwise.

In the weeks to come, we will provide additional details regarding our plans to resume in-person instruction and re-open our residential campus in accordance with the guidelines described above. Future communications will include the information you need to prepare for the fall semester, and we will continue to post all updates, including this one, at rmu.edu/coronavirus.

Our top priority will always remain the same: to provide a high-quality academic experience to our students, while ensuring the health and well-being of all members of the RMU community, and everyone with whom we interact.

Thank you, and stay safe.

Regards,

Chris Howard

May 7: Update to COVID-19 Policies & Procedures

Recently, Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine ordered that employers and employees take certain actions and institute certain procedures to provide a safe workplace for essential employees and other individuals permitted on-site. We would like to make you aware of the procedures required by Dr. Levine’s order and how RMU has instituted them, many of which were in place prior to the order. As a reminder, all non-essential employees should continue to work from home until further notice.

CLEANING AND DISINFECTING

  • In addition to our pre-existing cleaning protocols, we have implemented additional protocols to clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces routinely in accordance with U.S. Centers for Disease Controls and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. 

PHYSICAL DISTANCING

  • When practical, we will look to stagger work start and stop times to prevent gatherings of large groups entering or leaving RMU. 
  • We will provide a sufficient amount of space for employee breaks, keeping in mind the 6 feet of distance required between employees. It is important that employees do not sit face-to-face / across from one another during breaks. We will also stagger breaks as necessary to avoid large groups.
  • We will require employees to maintain 6 feet of physical distance in common areas, and limit the number of employees at any one time in those areas to maintain that physical distance.

HAND WASHING

  • Access to facilities with soap and water, hand sanitizers, and disinfectant products are provided.

VISITORS

  • Non-essential visitors are currently prohibited from entering RMU.

ACCESSING CAMPUS

  • As a reminder, to help facilitate requests to visit campus in Moon Township, the RMU Island Sports Center on Neville Island, and the Heinz 57 Center in downtown Pittsburgh during this time, we have created a Google Form for non-essential staff and faculty to fill out in advance when they need to retrieve something or perform a task on campus. The form can be found here. 
  • If you cannot access your workspace using your Freedom Card during your approved trip to campus, please contact RMU PD at 412-397-2424 and a police officer will assist you.  

MASK WEARING

  • All employees are required to wear masks while on campus. We have provided detailed instructions for mask use below.
  • Masks are being provided to all essential employees and any non-essential employee that needs to access campus. If you are an essential employee and have not received a mask, please visit Colonial Central located in the Facilities Service Center to pick one up. Colonial Central is open Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. 
  • If you are a non-essential employee and have an approved visit to campus, please remember to wear your mask.  If you do not have your own face mask, you will need to make arrangements to pick one up from Colonial Central once your visit has been approved. Colonial Central is located in the Facilities Service Center at 300 Grant Drive (just past the Giant Eagle plaza) and is open Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Please be sure to call Colonial Central 412-397-4343 before your arrival. 

Putting on a Mask

  • Before putting on a mask, clean hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water. 
  • Cover your mouth and nose with the face covering. Make sure there are no gaps between your face and the cloth face covering.
  • Avoid touching the mask while using it, if you do wash your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub. Be aware that if you touch your face or adjust your face covering after you have touched other objects, you can easily spread germs to your face. 
  • Replace the mask with a new one as soon as it is damp and do not re-use single-use masks.

Removing a Mask

  • To remove the mask, remove it from behind, do not touch the front of the mask.
  • Individuals should be careful not to touch their eyes, nose, and mouth when removing their cloth face covering and wash hands immediately after removing. 
  • Remove it from behind the ears and try not to touch the front of the cloth face covering or your face.  Once you remove the cloth face covering, you should discard it immediately or put it in the laundry and wash your hands right away. 
  • Clean hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.

Mask Fitting

  • Masks should fit snugly around the mouth and nose, but still be comfortable.
  • Masks should be secured with ties or ear loops.
  • Mask should allow for breathing without restriction.
  • If the mask has a metal wire it should be fitted snugly to the bridge of the nose.
  • Disposable masks are recommended for single use only and should be disposed of after each use.

Caring for a Cloth Face Covering

  • Cloth masks should be routinely washed depending on the frequency of use. 
  • A washing machine should suffice in properly washing a cloth face covering. 
  • Masks should be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape.

ADDITIONAL PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES YOU SHOULD CONTINUE TO TAKE

  • Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with others, and avoid contact altogether with those who are sick.
  • Be vigilant about practicing personal hygiene (don’t refill cups, don’t share utensils).
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your elbow when coughing or sneezing.

ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS

  • We will comply with the Order’s additional requirements if we discover that RMU has been exposed to a person who is a probable or confirmed case of COVID-19. 

As always, please refer to the RMU Website for additional information regarding coronavirus. We appreciate your patience and cooperation as we continue to learn and improve our procedures as appropriate.  

April 17: Update Regarding Protection from COVID-19/New Mask Mandate

The continued patience and dedication of all members of the Robert Morris community has been evident over the past several weeks as we have navigated the ongoing changes made necessary by our preventive actions to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. There will be many questions about the process and we will continue to communicate regularly via email and updates will be posted on the RMU Covid-19 website. We also know that you will have specific questions and concerns about how this ongoing situation will impact you, as well as operations of the university. If you have questions your supervisor and Human Resources are the most immediate sources of information. 

As previously communicated, only those staff members who provide essential services for the health, safety, and well-being of our faculty, staff, and students should continue to work on campus. If you are sick or believe you may have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for coronavirus, please do not come to campus. You should self-quarantine at your home and contact your supervisor immediately to inform them of your situation.

We would like to remind everyone of precautions you should be taking to protect yourself during this pandemic that were previously shared, as well as a new order from the Pennsylvania Department of Health requiring all employees to wear a mask in the workplace. If you are an essential employee and are expected to come to campus for work, a mask will be distributed to you by your supervisor. If you are not an essential employee and have to come to campus for any reason, you must first obtain approval from Human Resources by emailing Chief Human Resources Officer, Lisa Hernandez, at hernandezl@rmu.edu. On your request, please cc Director, Human Resources, Kristen Guy, (guy@rmu.edu) and RMU Police (publicsafety@rmu.edu.)  If your request to visit campus is approved, you must wear a face mask at all times during your visit in accordance with Governor Wolf’s recent instructions. You may wear a face mask of your own, whether purchased or homemade, which can be constructed from materials as simple as a bandana. You can find guidance on constructing your own face masks here.

If you are unable to purchase or make your own face mask, you will need to make arrangements to pick one up from Colonial Central once your visit has been approved.  Colonial Central is located in the Facilities Service Center at 300 Grant Drive (just past the Giant Eagle plaza) and is open Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Please be sure to call Colonial Central 412-397-4343 before your arrival. 

SOCIAL DISTANCING is vital to slowing the COVID-19 outbreak. Maintain a social distance of 6 feet whenever feasible. Do not gather in break rooms or other areas while on campus. Do not gather in groups and stay out of crowded places. 

WEARING A MASK is important but is not a substitute for social distancing, frequent handwashing, avoiding touching your face, or limiting our contact with others.  

WASHING YOUR HANDS is one of the most important steps you can take to stay healthy. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Pennsylvania Department of Health recommend hand washing often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially:

  • After you have been in a public place and touched an item or surface that may be frequently touched by other people, such as door handles, tables, gas pumps, shopping carts, or electronic cashier registers/screens, etc.
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Before preparing or eating food.

 

If soap and water are not readily available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. 

ADDITIONAL PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES:

Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.

Avoid close contact and contact with those who are sick.

Be vigilant about practicing personal hygiene (don’t refill cups, don’t share utensils).

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your elbow when coughing or sneezing.

Clean and disinfect high-touch areas routinely in accordance with guidelines issued by the CDC. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, cellphones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks. 

 

April 10: Bookstore Operations and COVID-19 Updates

Bookstore Operations

The health and well-being of our customers and employees are incredibly important to us.  As such, we have closed the campus store temporarily until further notice.  Store reopen dates will be based on national, state, and local guidelines, as well as the campus policies of RMU administration. The RMU bookstore is still accepting orders online at Robert-morris.bncollege.com.  Below is useful information about bookstore operations and how to proceed during this temporary closure.

Rental Check In

Spring textbook rentals are due back to the bookstore on May 2nd, 2020. Students can retrieve a free shipping label to ship any rented textbooks back to the bookstore. Emails from the bookstore with instructions on how to ship rentals back went to all students with open rentals on 3/24.  Additional reminders will be send as the deadline approaches. The bookstore website has also been updated to feature the rental return process prominently on the home page, which can also be accessed here: https://robert-morris.bncollege.com/shop/robert-morris/page/rental-book….  If any customer is unable to return their rentals by the due date due to circumstances beyond their control, please reach out to the bookstore for further assistance via email at bookstoremgr@rmu.edu.

Textbook Buyback

Textbook buyback is an in person process.  The RMU bookstore is exploring options and will update the campus when an alternative process becomes available. We appreciate your patience during this time.

Course Materials

Robert-morris.bncollege.com is live for summer class orders now and we will continue to accept orders online for ship-to-home delivery. PLEASE ENJOY FREE GROUND SHIPPING ON ALL ORDERS.  You may experience longer shipping times than usual based on local delivery conditions.

If students still need materials for Spring 2020 classes, we are pleased to announce we have joined with VitalSource to provide free access to digital textbooks through the remainder of the term. To get started, students should visit the bookstore website or click on the Free eBook Access link here.

Commencement regalia:

The bookstore will be contacting students directly via email to assist with regalia.  Please feel free to reach out to the bookstore directly with any immediate concerns you may have. You can reach us via email at bookstoremgr@rmu.edu.

Thank you and we will keep you informed of any updates as circumstances change. Stay safe and healthy!

March 25: Important Information Regarding Spring 2020 Requirements

Dear Students:

Robert Morris University is making the following accommodations to assist students in meeting their educational and graduation goals in recognition of disruption caused to the academic semester by the transition to online and distance instructional methods due to the COVID-19: 

Course Withdrawals -- Robert Morris University will extend the deadline for course withdrawals for spring semester 2020 for both second 8 week and 15 week classes to the last day of class,  Monday, April 27, 2020. Most students may opt to withdraw from courses via Sentry through April 27th.  Please note that:

  • International students will continue to need permission to withdraw from a course from the Center for Global Engagement. 
  • Division I student athletes will continue to need permission from Athletics. 
  • Veteran students will continue to need permission from the Center for Veterans and Military Families.
  • Permissions will not require a hard copy form but will be processed via email requests and approvals.
  • Course withdrawals have the same impact as a grade of No Credit.  There is no impact on the student GPA. At this point in this semester, a withdrawal would not impact a student’s financial aid package. However some academic requirements for state and federal aid would still apply. You can review these policies at https://www.rmu.edu/admissions/financial-aid/policies.
  • Similarly to a No Credit grade, a W grade awards no credit for a course. A course may need to be repeated and the W graded course cannot satisfy a prerequisite requirement. 

Student Engagement Transcript -- Completion of the Student Engagement Transcript will be waived for May 2020 graduates.

Renaissance Awards – In order to allow for students who would have completed the award requirements this semester, if it were not  for the disruption, the following actions will be taken:

  • Credit for the Global Experience category will be awarded to any student who made arrangements to study abroad this semester or this summer. 
  • Credit for the Undergraduate Research category will be awarded to any student who started a research project or thesis this semester, regardless of whether or not they were able to finish. 
  • Credit for the Professional Experience category will be given to anyone who began an internship, practicum, or clinical experience regardless of whether or not they were able to complete. Note that in some instances full credit may be given for internships if a majority of hours were completed and course objectives met. 
  • Credit for the Leadership, Service, and Arts, Culture and Creativity categories may be granted through appeal directly to Donna Anderson, Senior Director, Engaged Learning and Community Involvement, at andersond@rmu.edu.

Incomplete Grades – The RMU policy on Incomplete Grades will apply to students who are unable to complete course requirements due to factors outside their control (such as closure of a laboratory).  We will work with students to complete work as soon as it is possible. Students who feel they may need more time to complete coursework due to the transition to online or distance learning should discuss their concerns with instructors. The final decisions on any Incomplete grade awarded will be made by the instructor. 

Questions about these changes should be directed to your academic dean or the Office of the Provost at academicaffairs@rmu.edu

Sincerely,

Mary Ann Rafoth, Ph.D.

Provost

March 20: Important Updates for Resident Students

Dear Resident Students,

We are writing to share several important updates and reminders regarding hours for certain campus services and operations.  

RESIDENT STUDENT MAIL ROOM
EFFECTIVE THE WEEK OF MARCH 23rd

The Resident Student Mail Room, located in the Nicholson Center, will be open only on Wednesdays from 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM until further notice.

HOUSING SHUTTLE
The housing shuttle service between Yorktown Hall and the Gazebo will end on Monday, March 23 at 5:50 PM.  Yorktown Hall will be closing for the remainder of the semester.  

UPMC MYHEALTH @ SCHOOL CENTER
Students who wish to contact the MyHealth@School center should do so by phone at 412-397-6220.  The Health Center will have staff available Monday - Friday, 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM, and will provide additional health-care instructions and referrals to you by telephone.

DINING SERVICES
FOOD SERVICE WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR CARRY-OUT ONLY

RoMo's Cafe
Monday-Friday: 9:30 AM - 7:00 PM
Saturday/Sunday: 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM

Yorktown Cafe (thru Monday, March 23)
Friday, March 20 and Monday, March 23: 9:30 AM - 7:00 PM
Saturday, March 21 and Sunday, March 22: 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Yorktown Cafe will close at 7:00 PM on Monday, March 23 for the remainder of the Spring semester.

COLONIAL CUPBOARD STUDENT FOOD PANTRY
RMU's Food Pantry, the Colonial Cupboard, located in the Office of Student Life, will be open only on Wednesdays from 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM. 

COUNSELING CENTER
The Counseling Center is available to support students.  During business hours, therapists are seeing students via teletherapy - which means you can talk to someone from the comfort of your apartment or room.  To schedule an appointment, email counseling@rmu.edu or call 412-397-5900.  If you are in crisis during non-business hours, contact the University Police at 412-397-2424 or the Office of Residence Life on-call staff member at 412-397-5242 to talk with a therapist.

UNIVERSITY POLICE DEPARTMENT
The University Police Department, located in Barry Center, is available for emergencies 24/7, 412-397-2424.

March 20: Mail Room Update

In response to further updates to the urgent COVID-19 situation, the RMU Mail Room has made changes to operating days while preserving the essential mail services. 

Please note the following changes:

Faculty & Staff Mail 

Hours - Faculty and Staff mail and packages can be picked up on Wednesdays from 9:00AM - 9:45AM and 3:00PM - 5:00PM. Mail and Packages will not be available for pickup on other days.   

Contact- The Mail Room Phone number is 412-397-6345 and the email is mailroom@rmu.edu

Deliveries of mail and packages to offices will be suspended for the remainder of the semester. Mail and Packages can be picked up at 300 Grant Drive.

Pickups should be completed by a designated person from each department. The designated person's contact information should be shared with the Mail Room for communication and coordination of large packages. 

Print Jobs - For the time being as we continue to monitor COVID-19 we will not be able to complete any specialty print jobs at this time. 

We will continue to review the services offered and provide updates when needed.  

Thank you,

Print and Mail Services

March 18: Resident Student Information

Dear Resident Students,

We are writing to share important resident student move-out information and revised hours of operation for several essential campus services and resources.  The revised hours will be effective tomorrow, Thursday, March 19, 2020. 

RESIDENCE HALL MOVE OUT & RELOCATION PROCESS

Students who will be moving out, or have moved out already, should complete the following form. We ask that all students who are able to do so, complete the check-out process and vacate your room by Sunday, March 22.

Resident Student Move-Out Information - March 2020

Below is some important information to help with the Move-Out Process:

  • Return your room key in the Residence Life Key Drop Box outside the Residence Life Office in Washington Hall. Put your name, room, building, and date of move-out on the key envelope.
  • Mailroom keys can be returned to the Resident Student Mailroom located in the Nicholson Center. 
  • The Residence Life Office will be open Monday - Friday; 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM; Saturday & Sunday, 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM (March 21-22, 28-29 Only). If you need assistance or have a question after hours, please contact the Residence Life Office on-call number, 412-397-5242. 

Relocation: Students who wish to remain in the residence halls should complete this form.  Additional information will be provided by the Office of Residence Life.

Resident Student Request to Remain in University Housing - March 2020

Information Regarding Credits and Refunds

Housing:

RMU will issue a credit to those students who live in university-owned housing based upon the following schedule:

  • Departure through Sunday, March 22, pro-rated credit of 37%
  • Departure Monday, March 23 through Sunday March 29, pro-rated credit of 31%
  • Departure after Sunday, March 29th, no credit

In addition to the application of the pro-rated credit, specific situations with respect to institutional aid will be considered in the credit calculation.  Returning students will receive a credit that will be applied to Fall 2020, unless the student has a current unpaid balance. Students who are graduating this semester will receive a refund based on the formula above, which would also be applied to any unpaid balance.

Meal Plans: 

Returning students will receive credit based upon their declining balance at the time they check out of the residence halls. The credit will be applied to Fall 2020, unless the student has a current unpaid balance. Students who are graduating will receive a refund of the declining balance on their meal plan, which would also be applied to any unpaid balance.

 

The Office of Residence Life
(412) 397-5252
reslife@rmu.edu

March 16: Urgent Coronavirus Update

Dear students, faculty, and staff:

The situation with the global Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is changing rapidly, as local, state, and the federal governments have taken an escalating series of actions to stem the spread of the illness. The president of the United States has declared a national emergency, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf ordered all K-12 schools to close -- and is encouraging colleges and universities to do the same -- while many local governments are prohibiting large gatherings.

Therefore, I am writing today to provide you with an urgent update regarding Robert Morris University’s plans for continued operations throughout the remainder of the spring semester. I ask that you read the following message carefully, as it includes important information for all members of the campus community.

I want to thank all of you for the patience and cooperation that you have demonstrated during our transition to online and other alternative methods of instruction, which began today. The last few days have been difficult, often filled with frustration, confusion, and disappointment. I am grateful for the support that you have given one another.

While we had intended to be ready to return to normal operations as early as April 6, it is clear this is no longer advisable, given the collective action required to keep our communities safe from the Coronavirus. The health and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff is our highest priority.

Therefore, my leadership team and I have decided that we will continue with online and other forms of alternative instruction throughout the remainder of the spring semester, including finals week. In the days to come you will be receiving additional information regarding final exams, commencement, and the completion of all other academic requirements. I know you have many questions and concerns, and I am sorry that I cannot provide every answer at this time. We are still working through many details and I appreciate your continued patience.

In addition, we will establish a process for students living on campus to move out of their residence halls in an orderly fashion, taking the time they need to do so with care. Please note that students who cannot safely return home, for any reason, will be able to remain in campus housing. We will continue to provide essential services, including meals as well as medical care at the UPMC MyHealth@School center. We will do so in a manner that minimizes any health risks. Please be advised that we will likely designate specific residence halls where all students who remain on campus will be required to live.

At the bottom of this message you will find further information regarding the procedures for moving out as well as instructions for those who need to stay. You will also find details regarding room and board credits and refunds, which will vary by student, including fees also paid by commuter students. All of this information will be posted at rmu.edu/coronavirus.

Until further notice, only those staff members who provide essential services for the health, safety, and well-being of our faculty, staff, and students should continue to work on campus. Faculty are already working remotely, and unless instructed otherwise by their supervisors, all other staff should begin working remotely until further notice. Guidelines for working remotely can be found at rmu.edu/coronavirus, and I urge all employees to discuss their work arrangements with their supervisor as soon as possible if they have not already done so. Employees may also contact Chief Human Resources Officer Lisa Hernandez (hernandezl@rmu.edu) or Director, Human Resources Kristen Guy (guy@rmu.edu) for additional information and resources on remote working.

Other closings and cancelations include:

  • All RMU events are canceled until further notice; as noted above, the university will provide further information regarding commencement activities.
  • The RMU Library will close its physical location on campus but will continue to provide online and other remote services.
  • The RMU Student Recreation and Fitness Center will close at noon today through the end of the semester.
  • Effective 2 p.m.today, the RMU Island Sports Center will close to the public, in accordance with Allegheny County’s request that all nonessential businesses close for at least two weeks.
  • RMU Downtown and the RMU 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing Laboratory at the Energy Innovation Center are closed until further notice.
  • All events at the UPMC Events Center have been canceled at least through April 12, including Sesame Street Live. Please refer to the event center’s website, upmceventscenter.com, for updates as information becomes available.

I realize that while none of this is unexpected, given what has happened in the U.S. and abroad over the past several days, it is deeply disappointing. This is not how any of us envisioned the spring would unfold, and it is certainly not what we wanted. Our highest priority now is to keep all of you safe, and to provide our students with the highest quality academic experience, regardless of how it is delivered.

Thank you again for your help, and please see below for further information regarding campus housing, dining, and credits/refunds.

Regards,

Dr. Christopher B. Howard
President

INFORMATION REGARDING CAMPUS HOUSING, INCLUDING CHECK-OUT

Students who will be moving out, or have moved out already, should complete the following form. We ask that all students who are able to complete the check-out process by Sunday, March 22.

Resident Student Move-Out Information - March 2020

Students who wish to remain in the residence halls should complete this form:

Resident Student Request to Remain in University Housing - March 2020

INFORMATION REGARDING CREDITS AND REFUNDS

Housing:

RMU will issue a credit to those students who live in university-owned housing based upon the following schedule:

  • Departure today through Sunday, March 22, pro-rated credit of 37%
  • Departure Monday, March 23 through Sunday March 29, pro-rated credit of 31%
  • Departure after Sunday, March 29th, no credit

In addition to the application of the pro-rated credit, specific situations with respect to institutional aid will be considered in the credit calculation.

Returning students will receive a credit that will be applied to Fall 2020, unless the student has a current unpaid balance. Students who are graduating this semester will receive a refund based on the formula above, which would also be applied to any unpaid balance.

Meal Plans:

Returning students will receive credit based upon their declining balance at the time they check out of the residence halls. The credit will be applied to Fall 2020, unless the student has a current unpaid balance. Students who are graduating will receive a refund of the declining balance on their meal plan, which would also be applied to any unpaid balance.

Other Fees:

RMU will also provide credits and/or refunds, in accordance with the policies described above, for parking and student recreation fees. This also applies to commuter and resident students.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to move out of my residence hall?

We will establish a process for students living on campus to move out of their residence halls in an orderly fashion, taking the time they need to do so with care. Please note that students who cannot safely return home, for any reason, will be able to remain in campus housing. We will continue to provide essential services, including meals as well as medical care at the UPMC MyHealth@School center. We will do so in a manner that minimizes any health risks. Please be advised that we will likely designate specific residence halls where all students who remain on campus will be required to live.

Students who will be moving out, or have moved out already, should complete the following form. We ask that all students who are able to complete the check-out process by Sunday, March 22.

Resident Student Move-Out Information - March 2020

Students who wish to remain in the residence halls should complete this form:

Resident Student Request to Remain in University Housing - March 2020

How will we take our final exams?

We will continue with online and other forms of alternative instruction throughout the remainder of the spring semester, including finals week. In the days to come you will be receiving additional information regarding final exams, commencement, and the completion of all other academic requirements.

As an RMU staff member, how do I know if I am supposed to report to campus or if I can work remotely?

Until further notice, only those staff members who provide essential services for the health, safety, and well-being of our faculty, staff, and students should continue to work on campus. Faculty are already working remotely, and unless instructed otherwise by their supervisors, all other staff should begin working remotely until further notice. Guidelines for working remotely can be found at rmu.edu/coronavirus, and I urge all employees to discuss their work arrangements with their supervisor as soon as possible if they have not already done so. Employees may also contact Chief Human Resources Officer Lisa Hernandez (hernandezl@rmu.edu) or Director, Human Resources Kristen Guy (guy@rmu.edu) for additional information and resources on remote working.

Why do I have to pay full tuition when online classes cost less?

Although we are moving to online instruction, or other course delivery methods, we will continue to provide a high-quality academic experience. While some online courses at the university do cost less than on-ground courses, they also come with less financial aid. Students will continue to receive the same financial aid as they would under normal circumstances.

Will campus tours for high school students and other prospective students continue?

In person campus tours are canceled.

I moved out already. How can I return to remove any remaining belongings from my room?

Please call the Office of Residence Life at 412-397-5252 to arrange a time to return to campus to clean out your room.

I moved out already. Am I entitled to the 37% credit?

Yes, students who moved out at any point prior to March 22 will receive a 37% credit, unless they are a graduating senior, in which case they will receive a refund. If a student has an unpaid balance, the refund or credit will first be applied to that balance.

I am not living on campus next year. How will I be compensated for my unused meal plan or housing money?

You will be able to apply these credits to other charges.

As an RMU employee, how can I get my paycheck direct deposited?

In light of the current situation regarding COVID-19, we are requesting that all current employees receive salary payments by direct deposit. Please see the Direct Deposit Change Form for your use. Please complete the form and send it by secure email at ricea@rmu.edu from your RMU email. Please see these instructions for sending the email securely. If you choose to continue to receive paper paychecks, we have full expectation of preparing and mailing the paychecks as scheduled, but we cannot guarantee there will not be delays outside of our control, either through the US Postal Service or office availability of your selected bank.

If I am an employee who is feeling heightened stress or anxiety about COVID-19, where can I turn?

We encourage you to make use of the university's Employee Assistance Program by calling 1-844-833-0527 or going to  www.lifesolutionsforyou.com, using company code RMU.

When will I receive a credit or refund for Spring 2020 housing and meal plan costs?

Credits will begin posting by the end of April. This credit can be used toward current or future charges. Refunds will be issued to graduating students at the end of May after graduation has been confirmed and dorm damage credits are posted to the account.

I am transferring, can I get my credit refunded?

If you are not planning to return for the fall 2020 semester, credits can be used in Summer 2020 towards an RMU course that may be able to be transferred to another institution. The credit will not expire, so you will be able to use it at any point in the future should you choose to take a course at RMU. 

Will the Spring 2020 credit impact my RMU Grant?

Yes. The cost of room and board is factored into the RMU Grant amount. When those charges are reduced, a re-calculation of the grant will take place, so that the overall percentage of financial need is in line with the actual charges. 

I have a commuter meal plan - will I receive a credit for the unused portion?

Yes.  You will receive the balance of  your dining dollars in the form of a credit.  

Will I qualify for funding under the federal CARES Act?

The CARES Act does provide for college students to receive federal funds to compensate for emergency expenses incurred as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. We are working with federal and state officials to develop a process for receiving and distributing those funds to eligible students in accordance with the law. 

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