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COVID-19 Update: Classes Continue Online; Building Closures begin 3/23

Read the latest on SVA's response to the coronavirus and find the resources you need.

Information From SVA About the Coronavirus
March 27, 2020

On Friday, March 20, Governor Cuomo ordered all nonessential employees in New York State to cease reporting to workplaces. All SVA buildings, except residence halls, were closed on Monday, March 23, at 5:00pm, to everyone but essential employees in security, facilities, office services and Residence Life. All other employees are to continue working remotely until further notice.

Undergraduate and graduate classes are online through the rest of the spring semester.

SVA Continuing Education classes are suspended until further notice, with the exception of online CE courses, which will proceed uninterrupted.

Read on for past SVA updates and more information about protecting your health and well-being.

SVA is closely monitoring the outbreak of novel coronavirus (COVID-19). A special task force comprising the College’s Emergency Management Committee and other key administrative departments is rapidly responding to the situation and is committed to providing the latest information about what SVA is doing to protect the community and plan for the future. SVA leadership is in contact with health authorities at the New York State Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene for guidance. 

About the Coronavirus

March 19, 2020 Update

Dear SVA Students:

I hope this note finds you and your families safe and healthy, and settling into your online classes. I know studying the visual arts online is a bit counterintuitive, and certainly not what you expected when you returned to SVA from spring break. But we are not alone in our efforts to adapt to rapidly changing circumstances. All 40 of the private, accredited, freestanding colleges of art and design in the United States are in the same exact position as we are—and it is true for the hundreds of colleges and universities across the country who made the difficult decision to close their campuses and move classes online.  

As I have shared in my previous letters to you, we as a community are going through this together. Since we began this strange odyssey, I have seen the very best from all of you—our students, members of the faculty and the entire administration. This gives me great confidence that despite the many challenges we face, we will persevere; we will get through this global crisis; and we will be stronger and better for having lived through the experience.   

In the meantime, the public health crisis here in New York intensifies almost daily, and it will likely continue to do so for the next couple of months. The advisories from the CDC, federal, state, and local authorities are growing increasingly more restrictive. Like all New Yorkers, we must do our part to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus. This means we must further reduce the physical proximity of our students, faculty, and staff to one another—and to places like buses, trains and the subway. 

To that end, I am writing to advise you that all SVA academic facilities will close effective 5:00 PM, Monday, March 23. You will have the next five days to visit your departmental space and retrieve anything you want or need from lockers, storage areas, and studios and labs. Please, before you make the trip to campus, confirm with your department that someone will be onsite to allow you access to your belongings. 

If you have large pieces of your art, such as paintings, you may then leave them behind, and your department will help make arrangements to send you your work. Please make sure your name is clearly written on whatever you leave behind. When the campus does reopen, you will also have an opportunity to retrieve your work.  We will not throw out student work without first attempting to notify you through your sva.edu email account.

Please note that campus residence halls remain open at this time, but if you are able to return home you are strongly encouraged to do so.

Again, I wish you all the very best as we work, collectively, to finish out the spring semester under these difficult circumstances.


Christopher J. Cyphers, Ph.D.


More Information about COVID-19

Archived COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update(s)