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Duluth's St. Scholastica moves all classes online, cancels commencement

Several colleges and universities in Minnesota have gone online only.

College of St. Scholastica’s graduates file into Amsoil Arena for the college’s spring commencement Sunday afternoon. Steve Kuchera / skuchera@duluthnews.com
College of St. Scholastica’s graduates file into Amsoil Arena for the college’s spring commencement in2019. (News Tribune file.)
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The College of St. Scholastica in Duluth has moved all classes online for the remainder of the semester and canceled its May commencement ceremony.

Amid the spreading coronavirus pandemic, the decisions were made to ensure the safety of the campus and broader communities, according to an email CSS President Barbara McDonald sent to the campus community Thursday.

"Our semester has been upended in so many ways. Certainly, our world has not faced a challenge as complex as what is before us in many decades," McDonald wrote.

Students with belongings still in residential halls can pick up their items from March 20-30, during which they will follow guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the emails read.

Students with extenuating circumstances, who have received approval, will stay in the residence halls.

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CSS is also working to address housing, meal plans and dining dollars for students who are living off campus for the rest of the semester — decisions made on an individual basis.

All employees will begin working remotely starting Monday, unless their jobs require them to be on campus, the email reads.

The college is exploring alternative options to honor graduates, including a rescheduled date or virtual experience, as its commencement events scheduled for May 10 are canceled.

It initially moved all classes online temporarily, which it has extended for the rest of the semester. In-person events are also canceled, some of which will be held virtually.

"With the uncertainty of COVID-19’s spread, we want to be proactive and make this decision early to reduce anxiety and uncertainties for our students, faculty and staff," McDonald wrote.

All domestic trips for CSS employees have also been canceled. Employees are also encouraged to cancel personal trips to virus hotspots, the email reads.

The college will continue running its student food pantry. Donations can be arranged by contacting securitycheckin@css.edu .

The Minnesota State system and University of Minnesota system have also canceled in-person classes, opting to hold them online.

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