Answers to your questions - Saint Mary's University of Minnesota Skip to Main Content

First-year Students! Deposit here!

Go Back

Answers to your questions

by Carissa Andrews

July 30, 2020

Undergrad Student Information

Why is there a fee for students who want to use the Alverna Center to quarantine before coming to campus?
The $500 fee for quarantining covers 14 days worth of meals for early arrival students, prior to the meal plan beginning. The university will not profit off of this fee and will actually lose money.

Will students be assigned a move-in date and time? When will that information be sent?
Yes; the move-in plan will be released before the end of July. If the assigned time absolutely does not work, contact

Will students from out of state be moving in first?
Yes. Traveling distance is being taken into account when creating the move-in schedule. If your scheduled date and time absolutely does not work for you, contact

Why are athletes being prioritized when it comes to testing?
We are not prioritizing athletes. Student-athletes will not be competing this fall, and because of this, they will not be permitted to move in early. Testing of athletes is mandated per NCAA and MIAC rules. Tests are also available to all students at the Wellness Center. All students are being asked to quarantine at home, and when that is not possible use Alverna, and student-athletes will also need to follow these rules.

Since the school is relying on students to quarantine at home for two weeks before school starts, what is the punishment for not quarantining and what is the school’s method of confirming students actually quarantined?
We hope students take into account their safety as well as others. This is why we formulated the pledge and are pushing out educational information and ethical obligations. We can only get through this pandemic with everyone’s cooperation. That said, we cannot mandate, but only strongly encourage.

What are the expectations for students who cannot afford to take 14 days off from work to quarantine before coming to campus? This is a reality for so many students, especially with the rising cost of tuition.
We recognize this hardship, but this decision was made to keep the larger Saint Mary’s community safe. The question becomes, how can you remain as safe as possible in your job? Is your employer requiring you to wear a mask and social distance? Some schools have increased fees because of the added expenses they are facing as a result of COVID-19. Saint Mary’s opted not to do this in order to keep costs as affordable as possible for our students.

Will the cafeteria be all you can eat as in years past?
In the main dining room, students will be able to go back for seconds if they wish. However, they will be asked to take a new disposable container with each return.

Will clubs still be meeting during the school year?
Yes. We are encouraging virtual meetings whenever possible and to follow social distancing guidelines and wear masks when meeting in person. Club sports and contact intramurals are suspended until January 2021 following the lead of the MIAC and its decision regarding fall sports. Affected club sport leaders have been contacted, and club sports will be able to meet in the fall to prepare for their future seasons and have structured practice. Intramurals will continue with competitions that adhere to social distancing guidelines, e.g., video gaming and Frisbee golf.

Will Zumba Club be allowed to use the dance studio in Gostomski Fieldhouse for weekly classes?
At this time, the dance studio will continue to be used for activities like Zumba with safety guidelines in place. Face masks may be temporarily removed during physical activities, athletic practices, athletic events, or classes that require exercise, provided social distancing is always maintained. We are also working to determine the occupancy rate of the dance studio.

What will the fall semester look like? Will we stay on campus until Thanksgiving break and finish the semester at home? Also, what will be done for second semester?
Yes, the goal is to keep students on campus as much as possible until Thanksgiving break, when they may finish up their semester finals. At this time, we can’t predict what spring will look like, but we will remain in communication with students.

When is the ice going in the arena?
We understand the importance of having ice for practice and conditioning. At the moment, the plan is to put the ice in Oct. 15. However, that date could fluctuate as we work with the ice rink manager and others to identify the plan for social distancing of this space. Outside rentals have been canceled until January 2021. The MIAC did not make a decision on winter sports, so we are moving forward with plans for competition and an exciting hockey season.

Will water fountains, specifically the bottle-filling ones, still be available for student use?
Yes, the bottle filler will be working but we are asking everyone to use clean containers and not to drink directly from the fountain. (Signs will also indicate this information on each water fountain.)

It was stated the “Department of Fine/Performing Arts is moving forward with all offerings as planned.” Does that mean everyone in choir will have to wear a mask? What about band, where wearing a mask is not possible? What is the plan to keep band members safe?
All ensembles will take place this fall with certain adjustments. Singers in choir will use a mask. Instrumental members will also use a mask but with slight adjustments. For example, some instruments will use an air flap (flutes), while others will keep a mask on their chin while playing and bring it up when not playing. All musicians for all groups will observe social distancing with large groups rehearsing in small numbers. However, keep in mind things are changing daily and Saint Mary’s is following the guidance of the Minnesota Department of Health with regard to music instruction.

I have an off-campus job that requires me to travel to La Crosse every Tuesday. Would I need to fill out the travel notification form every week?
Please fill out the travel notification form once and share your work schedule with us once. We’ll then have this information, so you won’t need to fill it out multiple times.

What will the guidelines for students who live or work off campus be when they come to campus for athletics, academics and on campus social situations in the residence halls?
Room 14 in the Toner Student Center will be designated space for commuter students to study, lounge, and eat. Commuter students will also be able to access other areas including the Gostomski Fieldhouse, library, and food service if they have a meal plan. Commuter students are expected to quarantine if family members or roommates become ill with COVID-19. If this happens, students should contact Student Success at for details on how they can safely continue their studies during this time period.

What is the probability school will end up being online in the fall?
Unfortunately, we cannot predict this probability. We continue to take directive from local, state, and national guidelines. We recognize how valuable in-person education is, and we’re making every effort to continue it as long as possible. We’ve also rearranged the schedule so the danger of outside contamination during break doesn’t happen. Should we need to move online, our faculty are prepared and engaging in added training to make it the best experience possible.

Have an additional question or concern? Fill out the form and let us know.