Spectar addresses campus closure


Maya French

Blue Slide Park in Pittsburgh was blocked March 30. In addition to schools, public gathering places and non-essential businesses in the state were ordered to be closed until further notice.

Callie Burgan, News Editor

What began as a leisurely spring break away from campus turned into an unexpected school closure for Pitt-Johnstown students due to an outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the United States.

After an extended break period, online classes began March 23 and are to last until the end of the spring academic semester, according to President Jem Spectar.

Replacing in-person instruction with online and alternative learning options was an action taken at all five Pitt campuses.

Spectar said Pitt-Johnstown is taking measures to protect the health of the community and its neighbors, including work to ensure that students, faculty and staff members avoid large gatherings.

“Unfortunately, as a result, we have decided to postpone all of this spring’s commencement ceremonies and activities,” Spectar said.

“New dates for in-person ceremonies will be scheduled and announced once circumstances allow and with enough notice for graduates and their families to return to campus for the celebration.

“These are unusually trying times for our campus, community and beyond.

“Students, faculty and staff are dealing with challenges as they transition to remote educational delivery and work.

“It is a stressful time for our campus and our world. The campus is a sad and lonely place; graduation has been postponed; clubs, activities, all the fun stuff halted.

“At the same time, I am encouraged by the determination and dedication of faculty and staff to go the extra mile, beyond the call of duty to serve our students.

“In addition, I am inspired by our students who are doing their very best to complete the term in most unusual circumstances.

“We are all going to get through this together as a campus and community.

“I urge everyone to continue to heed the advice regarding social and physical distancing and other precautionary measures to safeguard individual and community health.

“I miss you all and look forward to when we can enjoy our up-close-and-personal campus again. Until then, stay safe and healthy,” Spectar said.