LMU Releases Fall 2020 Plans

Monday, July 20, 2020

LMU Releases Fall 2020 Plans 

By Christina Martinez

On July 14, LMU announced its decision to plan for a fall semester with virtual instruction and to significantly reduce the presence of students on campus.

In the school-wide announcement, Provost Thomas Poon cited L.A. County’s surge of COVID-19 cases, updated health and safety protocols, and the recent local and state restrictions as the reason for the university’s decision.

“I am confident that we can provide our signature Catholic, Jesuit, and Marymount education while substantially reducing in-person instruction and lowering on-campus housing density,” Poon wrote on the decision. “The well-being of our students, faculty and staff is our top priority.”

The former LMU Coronavirus site has been rebranded into LMU’s reopening website, which will be “the hub for everything about LMU’s fall 2020 reopening.” It contains the aforementioned announcement and other resources pertaining to the upcoming semester.

Here is a round-up of this week’s main announcements from Provost Poon’s letter, the reopening website, and related documents and communications:


Most, if not all undergraduate courses will be instructed remotely. Exceptions will be made for some studio and performance courses, seminars, labs, research, and certain independent studies courses.

According to an email from the Office of the Registrar, changes to course information and schedules were completed at the end of the day on July 17.

On July 20, class registration will reopen in PROWL for students who have time conflicts due to the Registrar’s scheduling changes. Registration will reopen to all other students on July 21.

LMU assures that students will have remote access to resources from William H. Hannon Library, the Academic Resource Center, Student Affairs, and Career and Professional Development.

Financial aid

Provost Poon acknowledged the pandemic’s financial burden for many students and their families, and announced that LMU will be “taking new and unprecedented steps to respond to [these] requests and lower [the] overall cost of attendance.”

LMU has approved $6 million in “LMU Covid Tuition Relief Grants” which will be applied to all full-time students’ accounts as $1,000 grants.

This year 85% of undergraduates are receiving financial aid as grants or scholarships. Overall $90.6 million is going to undergraduate students, which is a 20% increase in aid from the 2019-20 school year.

Fees will be adjusted for housing, meal plans, recreation, and parking for students who will have limited or no access to these features. 

On July 16 it was announced that late fees for the July 20 tuition payment deadline would be waived and that campus recreation fees would be waived for students who do not receive on-campus housing.


The announcement’s housing information was posted on the Student Housing website and sent in a follow-up email to students with on-campus housing contracts. The plans announced on June 26 have been readjusted to limit on-campus housing to only 30% of its normal capacity.

Traditional residence halls such as Del Rey North, Del Rey South, Desmond, Doheny, Rosecrans, Whelan and the newly-added Palm North will be closed.

Most suite-style halls, on-campus apartments and university-owned housing will be available, but only one student will be assigned to each bedroom. McKay Hall will be closed and used for COVID-19 isolation and quarantine.

Housing priority will be given to students who are unable to study off-campus or are housing insecure, require accommodations for disabilities and international students currently in the U.S. who do not have off-campus housing. Students who meet the priority criteria must submit a supplemental application on the MyLMU Housing Portal.

Housing assignments will be sent out by July 31. Students who acknowledged the new license agreement by July 6 but do not meet the priority criteria and do not receive an assignment will be placed on a waiting list until it is possible to increase housing capacity.

Student life

In his announcement Provost Poon introduced the motto Excellent Infection Behavior Control (EIBC) which asks LMU students to hold others accountable for their health behavior and to adapt to the pandemic’s new ways of learning and working.

In a document detailing LMU’s COVID-19 policies and practices, all returning students must complete EIBC training online before the start of the semester. Incoming students will learn this training in their ORNT 1000 or ORNT 2000 orientation courses.

On-campus events or meetings for any reason are not allowed and will not be approved. A policy for off-campus gatherings for student organizations and clubs is in the works but has not been finalized nor added to the policy document.

All meetings, regardless of size and whether students are on-campus, must be conducted virtually. Furthermore, any meetings and events that were previously scheduled with Event Services will be canceled by the beginning of the semester.

Students who fail to comply with LMU’s policies and procedures will be reported to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Responsibility (OSCCR).

Campus operations

On-campus operations will be limited. All health restrictions previously announced by LMU will be enforced, such as the face mask and social distancing policies and the use of Lion Health Check for students, faculty, and staff with campus access.

According to LMU’s COVID-19 reopening document the “overall campus workforce” will be decreased to 30% of its usual size. This comes after LMU furloughed 230 staff members due to revenue shortfalls at the end of May.

Occupancy limits will be decreased for all rooms, elevators, and service counters to account for social distancing. Traffic flow in all buildings and rooms on campus have been modified by designating one-way paths and labeling doors as entrances or exits only.

Yellow and black signage will be placed across campus to remind visitors to social distance and to respect the new traffic flow rules.

LMU has announced it will continue to update students in the upcoming weeks through email correspondence and the reopening website. 

Three virtual town hall sessions have been announced so that LMU community members can ask questions about the upcoming semester, but students and parents are only invited to one, and the rest are for faculty and staff. The session for students and parents will be held on July 29 at 12 P.M. local time.

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