Information For Students

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Latest Update: April 20, 2020

COVID-19 Academic Update: Planning for Summer and Fall Instruction

To protect the health and wellbeing of our students, faculty, and staff during the coronavirus pandemic, Saint Mary’s will extend the virtual delivery of academic courses into the summer term. The College plans to welcome students back to campus and conduct in-person courses this fall following best public health practices for containing the coronavirus pandemic. Because our classes are small and we do not have large lecture-type courses, we may be more likely than other universities to hold in-person classes. Read More.

Update:  April 3, 2020

President’s Emergency Fund

Saint Mary’s has launched the President’s Emergency Fund to assist SMC community members in need. Enrolled SMC students who, as a byproduct of protective measures against COVID-19, are challenged financially, have limited access to resources to support distance learning, and are facing other hardships, are eligible to apply for emergency assistance. Learn more about the fund here or submit an application for assistance by clicking here.

Update: April 3, 2020

A Safe and Healthy Spring Break

In her message to students at the beginning of SMC's Spring Break, Dean of Students Evette Castillo Clark encouraged students to take great care. "Be aware of travel restrictions.  Counties and states across the U.S. have imposed orders restricting travel and public gatherings.  Visit this CDC link for travel alerts and advisories.  Additionally, on March 31, the U.S. State Department issued a “Level 4: Do Not Travel” advisory, warning U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19.  Do not risk your health or that of your family members - do not host or attend parties.  Ways to prevent COVID-19 and take care of your health can be found here.Read more.


Update: April 2, 2020

2020 Commencement Postponement

As we continue to shelter in place in California, we hope that you and your family are well. Given the ongoing health crisis, and the likelihood that large gatherings will continue to be prohibited for the foreseeable future, we have decided to postpone the Spring 2020 Commencement exercises scheduled for May 23 and May 24. We know how significant these events are for our graduates and their families, as they are for the faculty and staff who look forward to this celebration every year. We are very sorry to have to make this change. Read More

Update: April 2, 2020

Campus Access

On March 31, 2020, Contra Costa Health Services extended the previous stay-at-home order through May 3, 2020, in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and preserve critical hospital capacity across the region. The new order adds clarifying language around activities at essential businesses, including institutions of higher education such as Saint Mary's College. The order requires that essential businesses must scale down operations to essential components only. In light of the stricter guidelines in this latest shelter-in-place order, we have new guidance for faculty, students and staff about who can be on campus and the reasons for their presence on campus.

  • Faculty may come to campus if they need equipment, software, or a specialized space that is not available at their homes in order for them to effectively provide remote instruction to students.

  • Students who live locally in the Bay Area may come to campus if they need to access WiFi, computers with webcams, or other technology needed to participate in remote learning.  If you are outside of the Bay Area (or no matter your location), and you are experiencing connectivity or technology limitations, please let us know the details here so that we can offer assistance. 

  • Students with meal plans or flex dollars may come to the campus to retrieve grab-and-go items from Oliver Hall (check Sodexo’s website for hours) or to retrieve food from the Gael Pantry in the Mission and Ministry Center (check the MMC website for hours).

  • Residential students who live locally in the Bay Area who have left the campus may return to the campus if they need to retrieve their belongings from their residence halls. Contra Costa Public Health guidance recommends against out-of-town or out-of-state students returning to claim items. This is an unnecessary travel risk when there is community transmission of COVID-19. Please contact the Office of Residential Experience to make arrangements to retrieve your belongings:; 925-631-4236.

  • Staff should only return to campus to perform essential responsibilities for the institution.

  • Saint Mary’s faculty, employees and students should continue to comply with the latest orders from the Governor of California and Contra Costa County regarding “Social Distancing” requirements.


Update:  March 30, 2020

These are changes to the parking permit program based on our current circumstances with faculty and staff sheltering in place, students doing remote learning mostly from their homes and in consultation with the Parking Advisory Group:

  • As of March 16, Saint Mary’s will discontinue the parking permit payroll deduction for employees;  

  • Those students, employees, and per course adjunct faculty who paid for parking permits in full for the year or the Spring semester will be refunded for the remainder of the valid period of their permit (approximately 4.5 months) by completing the refund form;

  • Those who purchased daily scratchers can continue to use these next year as they have no expiration date.  If you would prefer a refund, however, you can also complete the refund form described below and return the scratchers to the Public Safety Office by mail. 

  • Because of the discontinuation of revenue from the program and generation of refunds, we will be modifying the Lyft program, which represents our biggest expense (approximately $20,000 monthly) though we have already seen a reduction in use.  We are going to look into maintaining an activation for those students who remain on campus without vehicles if the budget allows.

To request a refund for the parking permit, please complete the form found at this link or on the Public Safety and Transportation page here under Parking Permits.

For those who are paying by payroll deduction, you need take no action.  The deduction will be discontinued as of the March 16 - March 29 payroll. 


Update:  March 27, 2020
SMC Student in On-Campus Housing

During the period of the “shelter in place” order for the State of California, students in residences who have traveled to their personal home need not return to campus for the purpose of moving your belongings from your residence hall room.  

  • The Office of Residential Experience and Campus Housing will work with you individually to either pack and mail your belongings home or store them here on campus.  Please contact the Office of Residential Experience at; (925) 631-4236, or the Office of Campus Housing:; (925) 631-4241 as soon as possible.

  • You may still come to campus to retrieve your belongings.  If you do, we do need you to continue to practice the social distancing and hand-washing guidance to protect your health and that of your household.

  • The Office of Residential Experience and Campus Housing will work with you to find an acceptable solution. Read More.

Update: March 20, 2020

Saint Mary’s College is working hard to adapt to changing circumstances in response to the impacts of COVID-19. Every day brings new information. On March 19, California Governor Gavin Newsom ordered California residents to ‘stay at home’ until further notice. Saint Mary's is in compliance with this order. We will continue to follow the guidance from health officials and monitor the Governor's orders for the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and the greater community.

As a valued member of our community, we want to let you know that Saint Mary’s College, Department of Public Safety (DPS), will be increasing security and limiting access to the campus beginning Friday, March 20. Only SMC students, faculty, employees, and employees of third-party vendors or contractors (e.g., Sodexo, Bay Alarm, Able Custodial, ride-sharing companies, delivery drivers, etc.) will be allowed access to Saint Mary’s campus.

The Department of Public Safety will provide access to Saint Mary’s students under the following circumstances:  

  • students currently residing in a residence hall
  •  students who need access to further their remote learning or to perform essential functions related to remote learning
  •  students in need of access to their vehicles that are left on campus or are moving out of the residence halls

For faculty members who have students that should have access to classrooms, offices, and labs for certain activities deemed necessary, please inform DPS of those specific circumstances.

Saint Mary’s faculty, employees and students should continue to comply with the orders from the Governor of California and Contra Costa County regarding “Social Distancing” requirements.

Update: March 18, 2020


Update: March 17, 2020

  • The SMC Library building will be closing to provide for increased social distancing and staff and user safety in response to the Bay Area Shelter in Place order. The building will be closed beginning Wednesday, March 18 until further notice. Saint Mary’s College Library will continue to provide online services and resources. For students seeking a quiet place to study, the classrooms on the first floor of Dante, Dryden and Cassin will still be available

    Please see the Library COVID-19 Action Plan webpage for the latest updates on the SMC Library:

  • Renewals, returns, and fines
  • Link+/ILLiad interlibrary loan services
  • Research help
  • Online resources

Please contact us with any questions.

Update:  March 16, 2020  

  • To contain the spread of COVID-19, Contra Costa Health Services issued a public health order today directing individuals living in the county to shelter at their place of residence, beginning at midnight. The order is meant to ensure that people self-isolate in their places of residence and comply with social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19.  

The order clarifies that Saint Mary’s is an ​essential ​business; and, as such, is strongly encouraged to remain open for purposes of facilitating distance learning and performing essential functions, provided that social distancing of six-feet per person is maintained to the greatest extent possible. The College will continue to serve SMC students through remote instruction. 

We strongly encourage all students to return home at this time given the Public Health Department order. If you cannot return home, please inform Residential Experience through this form. Students will continue to participate in their classes through remote instruction. 

Read President Donahue's message about the campus response to the March 16 CCHS shelter in place order.

Update:  March 12, 2020

Health & Wellness Center News

  • The Health and Wellness Center (H&WC) is now requiring that students call (925) 631-4254 for any needs. When you call, they will assess your symptoms and determine the best treatment plan. They are making this change to decrease the transmission of respiratory illnesses in our community. The front door will remain locked, but business hours will remain the same.  You can call the H&WC during normal hours; after hours you will be connected to a nurse advice line. If you have scheduled an appointment, you can enter through the front door for your scheduled appointment time. It is strongly recommended that you stay in your room or go to your permanent residence if you have any cold and flu symptoms.


Dining Services:

  • Grab 'n Go options are available at Oliver Hall (Breakfast and Lunch) and Cafe Louis (Dinner).  Updated information regarding dining can be found on the Sodexo website. During this time, there will be no self-serve offerings and only disposable, compostable service ware will be used. Please do not bring your reusable water bottles into the dining facilities in order to reduce cross-contamination. We hope this supports social distancing and will encourage people to grab food and go outside of dining halls, to your room, or home, or eat indoors, but apart from others.

Gael Pantry:

  • Gael Pantry is moved to the Mission and Ministry Center Lounge with modified hours of 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. More options will be provided in the Gael Pantry, and there will be a personal shopper there to assist with food handling. Gael Pantry is open to all students who present an SMC Student ID.

Student Workers:

  • Since offices are still open, with some modified hours, please remember to check in with your supervisors to discuss work modifications (including working virtually), providing business continuity; or in the case that you don't feel well or are displaying symptoms such as coughing and/or sneezing, please do not come to work - self-isolation is encouraged.  Federal work-study students may still continue to earn federal work-study wages during this time. If your hours are reduced or discontinued due to the circumstances, contact Financial Aid.

Stop the Spread of Germs:       

  • The Center for Disease Control recommends the following tips to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases:

    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick;

    • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash;

    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth;

    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces;

    • Stay home if you are sick except to get medical care;

    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

Mitigate Risk - Practice Social Distancing:

  • Social distancing is a practice recommended by public health officials to stop or slow down the spread of contagious diseases. It requires the creation of physical space between individuals who may spread certain infectious diseases. The CDC recommends a space of 6 feet.  The key is to minimize the number of gatherings to achieve space between individuals when events or activities cannot be modified, postponed, or canceled. 

Helpful Resources During This Time 

Public Health Resources