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COVID-19 Apr. 29 Student Update

SAU Students, 

We want to say thank you for all the ways that you continue to navigate and grow through this unique season. We are so proud of you and your persistence! Please read the following carefully, as we have several important announcements regarding Governor Whitmer’s renewed Executive Order, our status for Fall 2020, as well as an update on our travel programs.


The governor signed a new Executive Order last Friday, which will be effective through Friday, May 15 at 11:59 pm. General travel remains restricted, social distancing of 6 feet is still required, and residents must still stay at home and not gather in groups of any size outside of personal households. The minor adjustments pertinent to our residential campus include:

  • As of April 27, individuals are required to wear a face-covering that completely covers their nose and mouth when inside any enclosed public space (this would include trips to the Dining Commons for collecting meals). Note: Businesses may decline service to those who violate this directive.
  • Acceptable outdoor recreation now includes using boats with a motor and golf, provided proper social distancing is maintained.

Since Michigan remains an area with elevated levels of COVID-19, we continue to ask our community to honor the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” guidelines intended to keep individuals–including those most vulnerable to complications–healthy and safe during this outbreak.


We wanted to remind you that two academic policies were implemented related to your courses this Spring. One is the credit/no credit option, outlined in an email sent from Dr. Green on Wednesday, April 22. The second is that the “Last Day to Withdraw from Classes” date has been extended to Tuesday, May 12. Either option might have unintended consequences for you, so please connect with your advisor(s) and consider these options very carefully.


We continue to wait for the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Executive Order to be lifted in order to implement our plan for students to retrieve their belongings from the residence halls. Our goal at this point would be to begin May 16, but that date is dependent on the extent to which intra- and interstate travel is allowed at that time. Residential students will receive a separate email to outline the self-checkout process we will implement once it is permitted.


We intend to safely resume in-person instruction and residential life for the Fall 2020 semester. Our plans will take into account the status of COVID-19 cases as well as guidance from federal, state, and local government and public health officials. We do anticipate that adjustments will need to be made to our normal operations, as the health and wellbeing of our students, faculty, staff and guests lead our decision-making. We are considering how best to adapt our instructional and campus activities to protect our campus community while also continuing to foster the distinct community learning experience for which Spring Arbor University is known. We will keep you apprised of our specific plans in the coming weeks.


We recognize that summer employment, especially camp-type activities, may be limited or non-existent this summer. With that in mind, you may appreciate the chance to make continued progress toward meeting your degree requirements. SAU has expanded our Summer 2020 course offerings. Most are meeting online; however, some will meet via Zoom. In addition, we have reduced the summer tuition rate that traditional campus students will be charged to $384 per hour. The registration deadline for the summer is soon, so please act quickly! Contact the Office of Registration and Records ( if you have any difficulty registering for these courses.


Decisions have been made regarding educational travel for the Fall and J-Term sessions. All study abroad programs have been canceled for both Fall 2020 and January 2021. This includes Cross Cultural Studies trips, international CCCU Best Semester programs, internships abroad, student teaching abroad, and semesters abroad. We regret the inconvenience and disappointment this causes, but there will be accommodations made for those unable to travel before they graduate. The Office of Cross Cultural Studies will contact students who signed up for these programs soon via email to discuss possible alternatives. No decisions have been made regarding Spring 2021 trips at this time. However, because of the high level of global uncertainty related to extended trips abroad, students are encouraged to have a back-up plan in place to fulfill the requirement for cross-cultural competence and/or immersive foreign language instruction.

Thank you, again, for your patience as we walk through these decisions. Know that we are praying for you as the end of the semester approaches. Please reach out to if you have any questions related to the contents of this message.

Christ’s peace,



We continue to ask everyone in our community to follow the CDC recommendations regarding preventive actions:

  • 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.
  • When in public, wear a face mask that covers your nose and mouth.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.