Good Morning, students!
I know there are many questions about what the Coronavirus university reaction means for RIT Newman.
First of all, I want to say loud and clear that we are STILL here! We are here to serve you in every way possible to continue the love and community we all need at Newman, whether in person or virtually. Here are some things we want you to take action on and keep in mind...
- RIT UPDATES: Stay updated about university updates by going to THIS RIT SITE - On this page, they will keep us informed with guidelines, recommendations, cancellations, and more.
- SOCIAL MEDIA: Follow RIT Newman on FACEBOOK and INSTAGRAM, where frequent updates will be published. We will also use email, but not as frequently as social media.
- CAMPUS GROUPS: Students, follow us on CAMPUS GROUPS. Many students and alumni are still not getting emails because of RIT Firewalling. We will do updates on Campus Groups (but again, not as often as Instagram and Facebook).
- DIOCESAN UPDATES: The Diocese of Rochester has published guidelines and things to keep in mind when attending (or not attending) mass. You can see this document HERE. In short, if you're sick, at risk, have a compromised immune system, or are having anxiety about getting or spreading the virus, stay home. Some parishes are streaming services, including UR (and potentially us). There are other options, and we are here to help you!
- HOW TO REACT: Breathe. Pray. Stay calm. You will see and meet people on every end of the spectrum. Some are in panic mode, some aren't taking this seriously. Breathe. Pray. Be cautious. It is very serious, but panic and hysteria will not be productive for you OR your health.
- LITURGY: As of right now, we will be holding 10am mass tomorrow. It will be a modified setup to follow guidelines of physical distancing. We will not drink from the cup. We will not shake for the sign of peace, but rather sign in ASL. We will pray the Our Father in unity, but without holding hands. Please take these seriously so we can do everything in our power to prevent germ-sharing. We will work hard to sanitize all surfaces before and after mass. Of course, the plan to hold mass can change at any time. Please actively check social media in case of cancellation.
- SO WHAT NOW?: The big questions are what this reaction means for Newman events. As of right now, plan on no in person social events at least through mid-April (potentially longer once we get official word from RIT). This does NOT mean Newman stops momentum in any way! We are working SO hard to implement exciting new ways to reach your hearts. We will be rolling out various virtual ministry programs, and look forward to this opportunity. Yes, we are being challenged in new and tough ways, but we are resilient and faithful people. God is holding us in His hands and we will not let the faith or energy drop at RIT Newman!
- BOTTOM LINE: Our biggest priority always was and will remain to be pastoral care. We are here for you. We will have options for online communities, one on one counseling via Bluejeans and Zoom, virtual small groups, and MORE! Our biggest priority is to continue to support you in every way possible in your college and faith journeys. We will continue to have an on campus presence as long as we are allowed on campus! We are also here virtually and will publish all options available.
- MORE TO COME: If you don't feel like you've received answers to your questions, please know that there is more to come. I just wanted to get some initial updates and answers out to assure you know how to stay updated.
God Bless you all. I know there is an overall feeling of uncertainty, but I know we will get through this with God, community, love, and faith.
Student Leadership Mentor
And your team of student workers, student leaders, and priests