Category Archives: Top Stories

Phase II Plan Update

Due to the surge in COVID-19 cases, the university is adjusting its original plans for Phase II. Instead of gradually increasing the number of employees on campus, the adjusted Phase II which begins on July 7 — will focus on preparing areas that have not yet had the opportunity to visit campus to assess their needs for the fall.

Individuals who were originally scheduled to return to campus as part of Phase II are no longer required to do so unless they are instructed to do so by their supervisor. Supervisors should communicate directly with employees when they will need to come to campus. Supervisors should work to create a rotating schedule to ensure social distancing can be maintained. 

Phase II employees coming to campus should email police@ollusa.edu by noon the day before visiting campus. Police will send an email with a screening survey and directions for visiting the screening station upon arrival to campus.

During Phase II, the university is asking all department chairs and supervisors who have not already done so to conduct an on-campus assessment to identify necessary work-area modifications needed as a result of the pandemic, as well as the needs for COVID-related supplies.

Requests for supplies and work-area modifications must be submitted to vice presidents or chiefs of divisions by Friday, July 10. Some supplies are taking longer to be delivered, so it is important to get requests in now.

The university has already placed an order for face coverings, sanitizer and cleaning solution. It is not necessary to add these to requests for individual areas. In addition, a large number of face shields for use by faculty who will be teaching face-to-face classes have been ordered.

Phase I volunteers may continue to come to campus on their regular schedule. They should continue to stop at the screening station before proceeding to their offices/work areas.

Three OLLU professors taking part in first San Antonio Compassionate Institute

OLLU professors Dr. Jacob Friesenhahn, Dr. Brittany Chozinski and Dr. Tony Bobadilla will represent the university as they join educators from across the city in the San Antonio Compassionate Institute 2020.

Compassionate San Antonio is hosting the San Antonio Compassionate Institute 2020, an online curriculum where community educators and leaders will receive compassion training to take back to their educational institutes and communities. The online institute runs through July 16.

Statement by OLLU faculty

In response to worldwide calls to dismantle institutionalized racism led by the Black Lives Matter Movement and recent sharing of sexual assaults and harassment at our campus, we, the faculty of Our Lady of the Lake University who serve you as professors, teachers, advisors, and mentors, stand with you against all harmful forces including sexual assault and harassment, racism, sexism, colorism, prejudice, xenophobia, heterosexism, colonialism, ableism, ageism, cisgenderism, classism, religious oppression, and violence.

Our Lady of the Lake University is our space, a learning community where we celebrate community and service with trust and integrity. In the classroom and in all campus spaces, you have our commitment to be present, to listen, and to engage with you guided by the mission and values of the founding order of the Congregation of the Sisters of Divine Providence.

With absolute clarity, we condemn all forms of race- or sex and gender-based violence, be that violence perpetuated against others secondary to race, ethnicity or nationality, peaceful protesters, or survivors of sexual assault.

Our values center on the dignity of the human person and human rights. We call for justice and pray for healing for those who suffer on a daily basis from the detrimental effects of oppression, criminalization and policing, social and economic marginality, and unequal access to resources.

And we the OLLU faculty vow at this time to come together during the 2020-2021 academic year, in collaboration with active student organizations who share our values, to create an actionable plan whereby specific measures are implemented in the name of universal and university solidarity so as to properly address societal and campus disparities such as race, class and economic division, as well as oncampus sexual predation.

We reaffirm our commitment to each one of you and to your families as we walk with those who are suffering, and we walk with you in the classroom and beyond with words and actions to make OLLU a safe space for ALL. We also confirm our commitment to the implementation of concrete policies, training, and educational programs to ensure that the university is a safe and inclusive place where all students can learn and thrive.

We promise to continue working and raising our voices with intention and purpose; thereby holding ourselves accountable, in order to sustain your trust. And we invite the OLLU student population to enter this discussion looking forward to proposed and then implemented changes that support all peoples of all sexes, genders, races, and ethnicities. In no uncertain terms, OLLU faculty stands hand-inhand with OLLU students and the populace at large, and we are accountable to you and to each other.

May Providence be with you in peace, in strength, in gentleness, in love, in courage, and in action.

Read statement in Spanish online here: https://www.ollusa.edu/news/2020/faculty-statement-racism-sexual-misconduct.html

Statement from Criminology and Criminal Justice Program

The Criminology and Criminal Justice Program firmly believes in the transformative power of education and research to find solutions and best practices for all aspects of the criminal justice system. As professors and researchers, they are called to challenge racism within the Criminal Justice System, and they will engage in critical conversations, advocate for change, and speak against discrimination and prejudice. They vow to redouble their efforts in addressing systemic issues that destructively impact lives in criminal justice systems, higher education, and beyond. Their goal is to support individuals with collective actions within the OLLU community and offer meaningful ways of healing.

Videos of encouragement for the OLLU community

Twenty-four OLLU professors and staff members got together via Skype to create a video dancing and lip-syncing to “Sunday Best” by Surfaces and “Count on Me” by Bruno Mars. Inspired by a conversation with two colleagues, OLLU events manager Elizabeth “Liz” Longoria directed and produced the video.

View video here, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JLAVqnf-38.

Sacred Heart Chapel bells ring for Easter Sunday
Sister Christina and Sister Melissa from the Congregation of Divine Providence rang the bells of Sacred Heart Chapel for the neighborhood for Easter Sunday. The video can be viewed on Facebook here, https://www.facebook.com/CDPSister/videos/156351849051328/.

Join the United Way Thank-A-Thon for health care workers and first responders

United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County has launched a Thank-A-Thon to share appreciation for San Antonio’s frontline service providers and essential workers.

Through the program, participants can create their own virtual greeting card, video or photo for those groups sacrificing to keep the community strong, including health care professionals, first responders, teachers and education leaders, grocery and food service workers, researchers, scientists, small business employees and childcare staff members. Learn more about the Thank-A-Thon and how to participate at https://www.unitedwaysatx.org/thanksanantonio/.

Reminders for the OLLU community

The following are reminders for the OLLU community regarding self-reporting and visiting campus:

Self-Reporting – Students, faculty or staff experiencing symptoms of the coronavirus (COVID-19) or who have people in their household experiencing symptoms should not come to campus. Anyone experiencing symptoms is asked to self-report by calling the OLLU Reporting Line at 210-431-3949 or by using this online form: Voluntary Health Self-Reporting.

Visiting Campus – Visits to campus should be limited to only when necessary. To visit the San Antonio and Rio Grande Valley campuses, employees must email police@ollusa.edu and copy their supervisor by 5p.m. the day before your intended visit. To visit the Houston campus, email houston@ollusa.edu to schedule a time to visit the campus.

Title IX information and forums for the OLLU community

As OLLU transitions to providing all classes and other academic programs online, the Title IX Office would like to remind the community that maintaining an academic program free from discrimination on the basis of sex, including sexual misconduct, remains a high priority. Members of the community should be aware of the following three important points:

  • The Title IX Office remains open and functioning by remote at this time. Investigations and hearings will be conducted remotely, and remedies provided, to assure that any sexual harassment, sexual violence, intimate partner violence, stalking, retaliation, or other sexually discriminatory behaviors are addressed promptly.
  • Title IX Policy and Grievance Procedures prohibiting sexual misconduct apply to behaviors that occur in person between members of the university community, but also apply to online and virtual misconduct. Any behavior that is prohibited by policy is also likely prohibited in cyber-forms, including cyber-harassment, cyber-bullying that is sex-based, and cyber-stalking. Members of the community are expected to maintain a tone of civility and respect in online classes just as they would if they were in class physically. Special Note for video meetings or classes: Be conscious of what can be seen in the background of a video image. Personal items and images that are not appropriate for sharing should be removed from view. In addition, please remember that appropriate attire is required for all video meetings and classes.
  • Faculty and staff members who are mandated reporters are reminded that reporting of alleged sexual misconduct is expected when they become aware of incidents or allegations involving members of the campus community, regardless of how they learn of the potential misconduct, whether in person, in writing, or online.

To view the full Title IX Policy and Grievance Procedures, or to submit a Title IX incident report, visit www.ollusa.edu/titleix.  

The Title IX Office, along with Student Affairs and OLLUCares, will host two community forums on April 2 at 12:30 p.m. and April 7 at 5:30 p.m. to provide information on rights and responsibilities under Title IX, and answer questions about mandatory reporting and confidentiality. 

Community Forum Session Sign Up Information 

Both forums will be conducted virtually using WebEx. Members of the OLLU community can join using a computer or a mobile device (for mobile devices, it is recommended to install the WebEx app from the Google Play or Apple iTunes store). NOTE: Due to the revised guidance from the CDC, Title IX is unable to offer an in-person option for these sessions.

For more information or to ask questions, contact OLLU Title IX Coordinator, Nicole Monsibais, at nlmonsibais@ollusa.edu.

Free emotional support help line available

OPTUM, the pharmacy benefit company managing OLLU’s prescription drug mail orders, is currently assisting anyone who needs access to emotional support resources during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Optum Emotional Support Help Line is available 24 hours a day to anyone in need, even if they are not enrolled in OLLU’s benefit plan, free of charge.

The help line is staffed by professionally trained mental health experts.

To contact the help line, call 866-342-6892.

United Way, San Antonio Area Foundation and COSA offering emergency childcare assistance

United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County, the San Antonio Area Foundation and the City of San Antonio’s Department of Human Services have joined together to provide childcare relief to those workers needing to work in essential open businesses and needing assistance with paying for childcare during the COVID-19 situation.

Through the COVID-19 Emergency Childcare Assistance program, three weeks of emergency childcare assistance will be provided for licensed and registered or licensed/registered home care to applicants who qualify.

Applicants with children ages six weeks through 12 years should call the United Way 2-1-1 Help Line, to inquire about meeting the criteria. To apply, applicants should meet the following:

  • Children six weeks through 12 years old of working parents needing to physically go into work
  • Valid current pay stub and verification of Bexar County residency; various forms of income verification will be allowable

Reimbursement will be issued directly to the childcare center, following Workforce Solutions Childcare Center reimbursement rates.

For more information and to apply, visit https://ecs.page.link/e88H2 and click on the Emergency Childcare Assistance button on the homepage.

For additional City of San Antonio – Municipal Government Emergency Childcare Assistance options, call the United Way 2-1-1 Help Line.

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