College of Law

Updates

5:45 p.m., March 20, 2020, Important Message from Dean Bent

Dear College of Law Students, Faculty and Staff,

As we are all returning from spring break and focusing on the health of our communities, it is imperative to review the following guidance before returning to campus:

All travelers arriving from a country, state or region with widespread ongoing transmission of COVID-19 or arriving from cruise travel are required to contact Public Safety at 727-343-1262 before returning to campus and should self-quarantine for 14 days after their return from travel.

To protect the health of others, these travelers should not go to work, or school, or otherwise leave their home for any reason (other than seeking health care) for 14 days.

We ask all members of the Stetson University College of Law community to complete the Spring Break Travel Form at your earliest convenience so we can track travelers who may have needs upon return.

Take these steps to monitor your health and practice social distancing:

  • Take your temperature with a thermometer two times a day and monitor for fever. Also watch for cough or trouble breathing.
  • Stay home and avoid contact with others. Do not go to work or school for this 14-day period. Discuss your work situation with your employer before returning to work.
  • Do not take public transportation, taxis, or ride-shares during the time you are practicing social distancing.
  • Avoid crowded places (such as shopping centers and movie theaters) and limit your activities in public.
  • Keep your distance from others (about 6 feet or 2 meters).

Stetson will continue to enforce CDC recommendations on health monitoring and social distancing based on travel locations. Recommendations can be accessed online for International Destinations and Cruise Ship Travel. For domestic travel, recommendations will be enforced based on the states and territories reporting widespread transmission. The status of domestic transmission can be accessed on the CDC website.

If you are feeling sick, please follow the CDC’s instructions to protect yourself and other people in your home and in the community

All members of the Stetson community (DeLand, Celebration, Gulfport, and Tampa) who feel they may have come into direct contact with the virus causing COVID-19 or are experiencing flu-like symptoms (fever over 100.3, cough, shortness of breath), should alert Stetson Health Service for assistance. During business hours, alerts can be submitted to Stetson Health Service in three ways:

After business hours, please contact Gulfport Public Safety at 727-343-1262.

Please remember the Food Pantry in the Student Lounge is still open and stocked. Dining will be posting hours for a limited meal service shortly. For students that are in a “stay in place” situation, we can mail your books to you at your current location. If you live on campus and find yourself needing help with meals or with accessing local health resources, please contact Student Affairs at studentaffairs@law.stetson.edu or 727-562-7808.

Jason R. Bent,
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Professor of Law

7:30 p.m., March 12, 2020, Important Message from President Libby

Stetson University and Stetson University College of Law have been working diligently to keep the personalized class experience we value in place, while planning and preparing for the potential disruption to our typical modes of education. We recognize that the classroom experience and interaction with faculty and close-knit groups of students are core to the transformative education we as an institution, as educators and as students truly value. Given the rapid changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, even within the last 24 hours, I believe that our responsibility to students, their families, and our amazing staff and faculty requires that we put in place a different approach to learning for the remainder of the semester.

With that in mind, we are taking the following proactive measures on all of our campuses:

  • Saturday, March 14 will be the last day for face-to-face classes for undergraduate and graduate students.
  • In DeLand and Celebration, classes are canceled on Monday and Tuesday, March 16-17 to allow faculty and students to pause and prepare for the transition to online classes.
  • In DeLand and Celebration, our normal class schedule will resume via remote instruction Wednesday, March 18.
  • Following spring break at the College of Law, all classes will resume on Monday, March 23, via remote instruction.
  • All classes will continue in an online format through the end of the spring semester on all Stetson campuses.
  • Stetson Athletics announced today the ASUN conference is suspending athletics competition through April 5, and will make a decision regarding any further competition this semester on Friday, March 13.
  • The university has not made a final decision on the handling of commencement and will continue to review and assess the situation, but will strive to provide a decision and announcement by March 31.

College of Law students should consider taking their academic materials, laptops and books with them as they leave for spring break.

In DeLand, on-campus housing remains open to students currently living in the residence halls. Students will have the option of continuing to stay, and the university will continue to assess any health risks to the community in line with the current coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak. Students will need to decide by Friday, March 20, whether they will remain in the residence halls throughout the remainder of the term and should indicate their plans on the Housing form. Students who decide to leave should vacate their residence hall by Monday, March 23. Students remaining on campus may be moved to single or suite-style rooms and will be offered some assistance with moving.

Additionally, the library will remain open and services such as dining, counseling, health service and tutoring on campus will continue; however, the hours those services operate may become more limited depending on the volume of students who choose to stay. The Office of Residential Living and Learning will be in touch with students with more information about these changes.

College of Law Campus Housing also remains open to students. Follow up instructions will be sent by the Assistant Director of Residential Life.

The university is providing a suite of collaboration tools, including Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Teams, Microsoft OneDrive and Blackboard. You should become familiar with these tools if you haven’t already done so. Provost Painter and the deans will be directly in touch with faculty directly regarding planning, training and logistics.

All campuses will remain open until further notice, and we will be in touch with more details about campus operations in the coming days. Staff and faculty will continue to meet their administrative and educational responsibilities moving forward and will continue to report to work as normal until further notice. We urge staff and faculty to consult the HR guidelines published earlier this week. Vice presidents will be in touch with staff in their areas to clarify obligations and plans.

Other details about this decision will be found in the FAQ section that we are putting in place on the Coronavirus Communications site. Check back often as new information may be added daily.

In summary, please know that Stetson University remains committed to our students’ success and to the health and well-bring of everyone in our community. Our promise to provide students with an excellent education has not wavered. We will continue to learn and work together even with a different kind of learning delivery. We remain committed to the Stetson educational experience and face-to-face, hands-on education we are known for. We look forward to being able to return to our in-class learning environment during the upcoming summer and fall terms.

Wendy B. Libby, Ph.D., President 

8:45 a.m., March 12, 2020, Message from President Libby and Dean Alexandre, Restrictions on Travel, Events and Visitors

Dear Students, Parents, Faculty and Staff,

The university administration, College of Law, and Emergency Management Team, are continuing to meet to address the issues related to the outbreak of coronavirus COVID-19. As we are all aware it is a rapidly changing, and challenging, situation. The decisions the university faces are not easy, as we seek to balance the safety and welfare of our students and Stetson community against our educational mission and community partnerships. After considering multiple issues and possibilities, we are making the following announcements. All of them are effective immediately.

  • All non-essential Stetson-sponsored domestic and international travel are cancelled through the end of Spring term. The university cabinet, which includes vice presidents, the athletics director, deans and the President are responsible for defining essential and non-essential travel for their areas and questions should be directed to them.
  • Stetson University and Stetson University College of Law are postponing, rescheduling and cancelling events hosted on all campuses that are primarily attended by external visitors (conferences, advisory boards, open houses). This is effective through March 31, 2020. Event organizers may choose to adjust the audience to be primarily internal to the university, move it online or postpone the event to a later date.
  • The Athletics Department is restricting home game attendance to Stetson students, faculty and staff with a current Stetson ID, immediate families of Stetson athlete-scholars and officials.
  • The University and College of Law are requiring all visitors to postpone their planned campus visit if they have been in any of the international areas impacted by COVID-19 in the past 14 days, have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days or are exhibiting flu- or cold-like symptoms.
  • Screening documents must be completed prior to arrival by prospective students planning shadow visits or overnight visits, and invited guests and speakers planning on being in the classroom or at an event. External faculty or staff candidates selected for on-campus interviews will also be asked to fill out screening forms. A link to the document will be provided. If visitors are found to be at high-risk, they will not be allowed on our campuses. Invited guests, speakers, and performers prohibited from coming to campus may be able to present their content in a streaming, video conference or online format.

We will continue to keep the community informed as decisions are being made that impact us all, students, parents, faculty and staff. I personally ask all members of our community to treat each other with kindness and respect. We are in this together and we will come through it together.

Wendy B. Libby, Ph.D., President
Michèle Alexandre, Dean, Stetson University College of Law

1:15 p.m. Update from President Libby 

UPDATE: The two non-Stetson University people who traveled with Stetson students and faculty member to London and Paris have tested negative for COVID-19.

12:30 p.m., March 11, 2020, Message From President Libby

The international outbreak of COVID-19 has created some uncertainty for all of us, and I want to ensure that members of the Stetson community are informed on the decisions and direction of the university. Every morning brings a new headline or update. Just yesterday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency in response to the coronavirus, and the university continues to receive ongoing guidance from national, state, and local health officials.

The university has been informed that two non-Stetson University people who traveled with Stetson students and a faculty member during a Stetson trip to London and Paris over spring break are currently being tested for COVID-19, and one has been hospitalized. At this time, the illness has NOT been confirmed. We informed all members of the trip this morning of the situation, and we are keeping the community informed as well. Students have been advised to self-monitor and contact Health Services if they develop any flu- or cold-like symptoms.

We will keep the community informed as we learn more about the situation.

TRAVEL

As has been previously indicated (see Health Measures and International Travel update), the university has suspended all university-sponsored travel to Level 4 or Level 3 countries as defined by the U.S. Department of State Travel Advisories through the spring term 2020.

The university is looking at the possibility of suspending all or some university-sponsored domestic travel to events or conferences, but at this point, we continue to operate as normally as possible. We encourage all of our community members to take necessary precautions. There are no recommendations from federal or state health officials that Stetson make any changes to domestic travel, class schedules, or events at this time.

VISITORS, GUESTS AND CANDIDATES

Stetson University is asking all potential visitors including prospective students and families, visiting scholars, community members and guests, athletes and athletic teams, and guest speakers to postpone their planned campus visit if they have been in an impacted area in the past 14 days, have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days, or are experiencing flu- or cold-like symptoms. 

Additionally, prospective students planning shadow visits or overnight visits, invited guests and speakers planning on being in the classroom or at an event, and any persons selected for on-campus faculty or staff interviews will be required to fill out a screening document prior to their arrival on campus. High-risk individuals will not be allowed to come to campus at this time.

NEXT

The university administration has been discussing issues associated with the COVID-19 outbreak since January, the Emergency Management Team (EMT) has been meeting, sometimes daily, since mid-February and contingency planning is actively underway through a variety of small action teams coordinated by the EMT.

Provost Painter has asked all faculty to speak with their students about the potential for continuing their Stetson education in a distance-learning or online environment, and he has informed students of the planning and efforts underway should that become necessary.

Finally, this is a question that is being asked, so I wanted to repost it to help guide your actions:

What do I do if I’m concerned about my health or someone else’s in the community?

All members of the Stetson community (DeLand, Celebration, Gulfport, and Tampa) who feel they may have come into direct contact with the virus causing COVID-19 or are experiencing flu-like symptoms (fever over 100.3, cough, shortness of breath), should alert Stetson Health Service (crinehar@stetson.edu, 386-822-8150) for assistance. If you are concerned about someone else’s exposure, please also report it -- don’t just tell them to do so. After business hours, please contact Public Safety (386-822-7300). 

To reiterate, the above instruction and contact information applies to all members of the Stetson community on all campuses: DeLand, Celebration, Gulfport, and Tampa.

Thank you all for your commitment to the safety and welfare of our students and the Stetson community. I truly appreciate the incredible efforts across our campuses as we face this quickly changing situation together.

Wendy B. Libby, Ph.D., President

10 p.m., March 6, 2020, From President Libby and Dean Alexandre

Dear Stetson Community,

Although there is still much unknown about the eventual impact of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) on our nation and the world, work is underway at Stetson University to help graduate and undergraduate students, families, parents, faculty and staff make appropriate decisions about their education and health.

Health Measures:

The university’s Health Service office is connected to the Florida AdventHealth system and is able to access support and resources. It is following guidance provided by the Florida Department of Health (DOH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Health Service office and Emergency Management Team have an infectious disease protocol that is ready to be activated if it becomes necessary. For now, we have been implementing the preventive guidelines we have outlined in the plan. As has been reiterated by the Department of Health and the CDC, the most effective precaution is to practice good hygiene through hand washing and covering your mouth with the crook of your arm when you cough or sneeze. Obviously, given the spread of COVID-19, anyone exhibiting flu- or cold-like symptoms (e.g., cough, fever, shortness of breath) should stay home from class and/or work, avoid others for the duration of the symptoms and contact your health provider for guidance. We have implemented additional preventive measures in areas such as Dining, the Hollis Center and Residence Halls.

Stetson Health Service (SHS) has received the AdventHealth coronavirus protocol, along with clear direction from the Florida DOH regarding screening and testing for the coronavirus. ALL patients coming into the clinic will be asked to answer a two-question screening tool. If the responses warrant testing, our provider will be in contact with the state health department, who will make the determination for testing and follow-up. Testing consists of a throat and nasal swab. While test results are pending, and depending on symptomatic/asymptomatic presentation, the individual will be in isolation/quarantine, preferably at home. The university has a comprehensive plan to address infectious diseases on campus and is ready to implement it to maintain individual and community comfort, safety and health.

The Stetson Health Clinic is open to students, faculty and staff, and can be reached by calling 386-822-8150 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to noon and 1-4:30 p.m.

Health care options for those who need it when Stetson Health Service is closed include:

  • AdventHealth Hospital DeLand, 386-943-4650
  • Centra Care Urgent Care, 2293 S. Woodland Blvd., 386-279-7010
  • MedExpress Urgent Care, 1328 N. Woodland Blvd. 386-738-0574

Communication and Updates:

As information becomes known to the university, it is being shared as soon as possible through updates on Stetson Today, or here on the Coronavirus Communication website for the DeLand campus, and through emails from Dean Michèle Alexandre to the College of Law community.

International Travel:

The university’s W.O.R.L.D. (World Outreach, Research, Learning and Development): The David and Leighan Rinker Center for International Learning manages the university’s study abroad and exchange programs. We have no students, faculty or staff on university-sponsored travel in “hot zone” or “Level 4” areas or countries. We do have students, faculty and staff abroad on university-sponsored work, but they are all in lower-level risk areas.

Stetson’s decisions on travel are informed by the United States Department of State Travel Advisory levels of risk, as well as from other reputable health information sources (CDC, State of Florida). We have decided the following for Stetson-sponsored international travel for Spring 2020:

  1. Stetson does not support any university-sponsored travel to a U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory Level 4 region or country. Students, staff and faculty are required to return to the U.S. at any point when Level 4 is declared.
  2. Students, staff and faculty currently on Stetson-sponsored travel to U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory Level 3 regions or countries are urged, but not required, to leave the affected area immediately.
  3. Any student, staff, or faculty returning from a U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory Level 3 or 4 region or country must contact Stetson’s Health Service Coordinator, Cathy Rinehart, RN, at crinehar@stetson.edu to complete the return-to-campus process. This is applicable regardless of whether the country’s designation occurs before departure or during the trip. Please be aware you may be subject to self-quarantine restrictions prior to your return.
  4. Stetson is postponing or canceling all university-sponsored student, staff and faculty travel to U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory Level 3 regions or countries (where the travel advisory level is the result of COVID-19) through the end of the spring term, 2020. Such travel includes but is not restricted to all non-academic programs (i.e. athletic trips), non-credit programs (i.e. academic competitions, student organization trips) and credit-bearing academic programs that have not yet commenced.

If you have questions about current or upcoming international travel associated with Stetson, please contact world@stetson.edu or 386-822-8165 (DeLand), or Jessica Richman Dworkin at jdworkin@law.stetson.edu, 727-562-7857 (College of Law).

Campus Life and Domestic Travel:

At this point, the university continues to operate as normal, and we encourage all of our community members to take necessary precautions. There are no recommendations from federal or state health officials that Stetson make any changes to class schedules, events or domestic travel at this time.

Expectations of Professionalism and Compassion:

There have been an increasing number of national news reports regarding stereotyping, harassment and bullying directed at persons perceived to be of Chinese American or, more generally, Asian descent, including students. Additionally, students, staff and faculty who are ill for any reason (such as cold, flu, allergies) may face discriminatory behavior from others who joke, or even truly assume, that a sneeze or cough is evidence of having COVID-19. Similarly, students, staff and faculty who are known to have recently traveled to areas that have been prominent in the news for their cases of COVID-19 (Italy, Hillsborough County) may face similar behavior. These reports are troubling and this type of behavior is clearly out of alignment with university values and expectations of how we act in our community. Please make every effort to avoid such assumptions and inappropriate behavior.

In closing, there is a lot of information about the virus and actions being implemented at local, state and national levels. We encourage you to read our Coronavirus Communication website, which will be updated as needed, and FAQs, and please check the CDC and Florida Department of Health (DOH) websites for the latest information. This situation will continue to evolve and we will work together to take appropriate actions that support and protect our community. 

Sincerely

Wendy B. Libby, PhD, President

Michèle Alexandre, Dean and Professor of Law, College of Law

9:30 a.m., March 4, 2020

Dear Students, Staff and Faculty-

We are currently reviewing our upcoming international travel programs.

While we monitor the situation, if you have questions about international travel, please send them directly to Dean Bent, Dean Wilson or Jessica Dworkin.

At this time, we have not made any changes to the programs. We will continue to update you as information becomes available.

Thank you.

The Office of the Dean, Stetson University College of Law

6 a.m, March 2, 2020

Dear Law School Community,

9:30 a.m., March 4, Dear Students, Staff and Faculty- We are currently reviewing our upcoming international travel programs. While we monitor the situation, if you have questions about international travel, please send them directly to Dean Bent, Dean Wilson or Jessica Dworkin. At this time, we have not made any changes to the programs. We will continue to update you as information becomes available. Thank you. The Office of the Dean Stetson University College of Law 1401 61st Street South

We wanted to follow up on our recent email concerning the coronavirus (COVID-19), as it relates to travel planning for domestic travel and Stetson team competitions.

At this time, the College of Law has not canceled or postponed any programs or events involving travel. If you have any concerns or questions, please feel free to contact Professor Flowers, Professor Adams, Professor Bowman, Dean Bent, or Dean Alexandre.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not currently have a COVID-19 travel health notice for the Continental United States.

For Stetson sponsored travel out of the United States, we are coordinating international travel with our counterparts in DeLand and taking steps to cancel or postpone programs, in the event conditions change.

We will continue to closely monitor and follow CDC recommendations and you will be promptly notified of any decisions to cancel or postpone Stetson planned travel and events.

As a reminder, the CDC recommends that everyone avoid contact with sick people and clean their hands often by washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60%–95% alcohol.

Michèle Alexandre, Dean and Professor of Law, College of Law