Campus Update — May 15

  • Local and Global Update: As of noon on Friday, May 15, the South Dakota Department of Health (SD-DOH) has confirmed 3,887 positive cases of COVID-19 and 44 deaths. There are 1,269 active cases in the state, including 80 current hospitalizations. As of Thursday, May 14, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported 1,384,930 positive cases of the novel coronavirus and 83,947 deaths. Twenty-eight states have reported more than 10,000 cases, which does not include South Dakota.
    • The city has a Sioux Falls COVID-19 Dashboard that provides information and resources about the coronavirus testing, case data and the response in Lincoln and Minnehaha Counties. Other updates about City of Sioux Falls services and operations are available at siouxfalls.org/covid19.
  • Scenario Planning Task Force: Augustana University continues to plan and prepare for students to be back on campus this fall. The university has a Scenario Planning Task Force developing a set of viable options that reflect a commitment to face-to-face experiences in safe and effective classroom and co-curricular environments. Look for important updates regarding plans for fall semester soon.
  • Choir Tour in Norway and January 2021 Study Abroad: Augustana made the difficult decision this week to postpone the choir tour to Norway scheduled for January 2021. The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff are of the utmost importance. Factors in the decision included uncertainty in the travel landscape, current health risks, the size of the choir group and preventing negative financial implications for our students.
    • AU is proceeding with planning for all other study abroad courses for January 2021 at this time. We will continue to evaluate each of these programs throughout the summer. If a location is deemed unsafe or borders are not freely open, we will cancel or postpone J-term 2021 courses on a case-by-case basis ahead of the September 15 deadline, and we will communicate any such decisions with students as soon as possible. 
  • CARES Act Student Emergency Aid: Executive Vice President and CFO Shannan Nelson sent a message to students on Monday, May 4, regarding CARES Act funding. The funding covers student expenses related to the disruption of normal institutional operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Students must submit an Augustana CARES Act Emergency Aid Application within the student portal (login required). The application link will be in your “Checklist” if you are eligible to apply. Augustana will begin reviewing applications on Friday, May 15, through Monday, June 1. Funds will be allocated as applications are received and/or until all available resources have been exhausted.
    • Eligibility Criteria:
      • Must be enrolled in the Spring 2020 semester
      • Must be a degree-seeking student (undergraduate or graduate)
      • Must be eligible to receive Title IV aid and have submitted a 2019-2020 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Please note: If you did not file the FAFSA for the 2019-20 academic year, you must do so by Friday, May 15, to be eligible.
      • Must have incurred additional expenses for food, housing, technology, healthcare, childcare or moving based on the disruptive impact of COVID-19.
      • Must not be enrolled in a program that was already fully online at the start of the Spring 2020 semester (i.e., students enrolled in the Master of Education or Master of Special Education programs are not eligible)
    • For additional information and answers to Frequently Asked Questions, please visit augie.edu/cares. Please contact the Financial Aid or Business Offices if you have questions.
  • Class of 2020: Celebrating graduation is important to AU and we know nothing compares to the real thing. While we are unable to hold the commencement ceremony in May, we will still be celebrating the Class of 2020.
    • We have assembled boxes for undergraduate students (including their cap, tassel, diploma cover and cords) who would have participated in commencement. The boxes will be distributed to graduates at a drive-thru celebration on Monday, May 18, from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., in the Elmen Center parking lot. We need help from the administrators, faculty and staff to simulate “The Gauntlet” and to make this event special as students drive through to pick up their boxes.
      • Any parent or student who is interested in an Augustana branded editable file to either print for themselves or to have printed by an outside source for yard signs, please email commencement@augie.edu.
    • On Friday, May 22, at 3 p.m., the 2020 Nursing Pinning Ceremony will be held virtually.
    • On Saturday, May 23, Augustana will publish a video recognition of our 2020 graduates with a message from President Stephanie Herseth Sandlin. This will include a scrolling list of the names of our graduates.
    • During Viking Days on October 9-10, we will celebrate our 2020 graduates with a live in-person commencement ceremony. Commencement Updates.

Health and Well-Being: The COVID-19 pandemic is putting new and unforeseen pressures on all of us. As the pandemic drags on, this new normal is taxing our inner resources. We find ourselves juggling family, work, health and financial pressures like never before. Augustana Assistant Professor of Nursing Ranae Aukerman shares some insight in growing your resilience — the process of adapting well in the face of adversity. Watch Video.