FIU Announces Virtual Commencement and Other Coronavirus Updates

Joshua Ceballos/Investigative Editor

Instead of walking across the stage in cap and gown, FIU’s spring graduates will be attending commencement from their laptops, according to a new University email.

In the latest coronavirus update, the University confirmed that it will hold a virtual commencement ceremony for students finishing their studies this semester, and that those who already bought commencement tickets will be refunded. Details on both these developments are still pending.

The email also stated that spring graduates have the option to walk and take a photo with University President Mark B. Rosenberg in the summer or fall commencement ceremonies.

The email also carried a number of updates and security warnings for students during the remote learning period. It seems the University is still reacting to an influx of student concerns and has yet to come to final decisions on several. Most notably: refunds.

“We have received many questions about possible reimbursements. Please know that we are working through a number of issues and will continue to communicate with you as information becomes available,” the email stated.

Housing residents who have been asked to go home have asked for refunds on their housing payments for the remainder of spring. The University has yet to mention any concrete plans in regard to this.

The email also pointed out that the clinics on campus have tested a total of five patients for coronavirus. Two test results were negative, and the three remaining tests are pending.

One FIU employee tested positive for coronavirus after traveling, but the University said that person hasn’t been back to campus.

The University has not yet confirmed reports of a student who allegedly tested positive for the virus off-campus, according to the email.

The University also warned about rising cybersecurity threats during remote learning, reminding students that FIU will never ask for usernames, passwords or sensitive information over email.

The student health clinics on campus are seeing patients by appointment, and patients should call ahead to book before walking in. The phone number for health services is 305-348-2401. Faculty and staff can call 305-348-3627.

Counseling and Psychological Services is available remotely for those seeking mental health assistance. They can schedule an appointment by calling 305-348-2277.

The food pantries on both campuses are still open, providing those in need with pre-made bags containing food and non-perishable items while supplies last, according to the email.

Hours are as follows:

Modesto Maidique Campus Pantry
Graham Center Main Office (GC 1210)

Monday through Friday, noon – 5 p.m.

305-348-6995 or 305-348-3204

Biscayne Bay Campus Pantry
Wolfe University CenterPanther Square- Information desk

Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

305-919-5360

The Panther Protection: FIU Paying it Forward fund is available for students who find themselves in emergency financial situations as a result of the virus.

PantherNOW will continue to update as more information becomes available.

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