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Coronavirus update: FIU launches virtual events page; Housing, meal plan refunds being processed

Coronavirus update: FIU launches virtual events page; Housing, meal plan refunds being processed

Update No. 25

April 3, 2020 at 7:00pm


  • Assistance for students, faculty and staff
  • Spring semester grading options
  • How you can help

Dear members of the university community,

We have now completed three weeks of learning and working from home. For most of us, this has been a big adjustment that has come at a time of significant upheaval in other areas of our lives.

As a whole, the transition to remote has worked well, but most of us could use a break from the long hours in front of the computer, children out of school, financial pressures and the bad news on TV.

Experts are urging us to take time for self-care and mind our mental health. This becomes critical for us as we enter the final stretch of the semester and face another month of remote work and learning. The university community is coming together – as it typically does, especially during a crisis – to support each other. Below please find ideas and resources you can access to help you through the next few weeks.

Virtual events

To help you de-stress and stay connected to the university community, please visit the virtual events page, where you will find everything from study break stretches to virtual museum tours and 305 Cafecito chats. 

Student mental and physical health

Counseling and Psychological Services is operating remotely and have staff ready to assist by appointment or during afterhours crisis situations. Please visit the CAPS website or call 305-348-2277.

The Student Health Clinics are seeing patients by appointment only. All patients should call ahead and speak with a provider prior to entering the premises. The COVID-19 test is available and is being administered according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. Again, for the safety and welfare of all, please call ahead.

Contact FIU Student Health Services at 305-348-2401. Telemedicine appointments are available.

Faculty and staff health

FIU Health is seeing patients in person and remotely by appointment only. All patients must call ahead. Faculty, staff and other members of the community may contact FIU Health at 305-348-3627(DOCS). The COVID-19 test is available and is being administered according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. Again, for the safety and welfare of all, please call ahead.

Assistance for students

To request emergency assistance, complete the aid request form and a representative will contact you to discuss your needs. Assistance offered through this process may also be in the form of referrals or non-financial assistance. Assistance is subject to availability of funds and student eligibility. 

Housing and meal plan refunds

Prorated refunds are being processed for students who moved out of on-campus housing before the end of the semester, as well as for students who stopped using their meal plan after remote learning started. Detailed information on how the refunds will be determined is available at ShopFIU. Refunds should be reflected in students’ accounts by April 20.

For questions regarding housing refunds, please email For questions regarding meal plans refunds, please e-mail and type “Meal Plan Refund” in the subject line.

Spring semester grading options

If you have questions about the grading options available for spring semester grades, please consult these frequently asked questions.

Assistance for faculty and staff

The University Hardship Fund provides emergency financial assistance to faculty and staff who have exhausted other avenues for obtaining assistance. The fund is not a loan, rather it is a program available to assist eligible faculty and staff (full-time benefits-earning faculty or staff who have worked at FIU for at least 12 months). The fund is sponsored by the Tender Loving Care (TLC) Brigade and grants are coordinated through the Office of Employee Assistance, which is also available to assist. Please call 305-348-2469 to make an appointment.

Loans and refinancing help

The University Credit Union (UCU) is offering two relief programs. Learn more about UCU’s $5,000 Pandemic Relief Loan. Learn more about the UCU Auto Refinance Offer.

Current UCU members can complete the loan process electronically with DocuSign. Once complete, the funds will be deposited directly into your account.

If you are not currently a member of UCU, you can still apply online for the Pandemic Relief Loan and, once approved, a UCU representative will contact you to complete the process.

The community

Many members of the university community may be impacted by layoffs and other changes involving small businesses of all types including hospitality. Please be aware of these two opportunities for assistance:

The Florida Small Business Development Center at FIU, hosted by the College of Business, is working to support local small businesses. Consultants are available to offer confidential, no-cost advising to business owners impacted by COVID-19. Florida SBDC at FIU has also set up a special email list for businesses that would like to receive regular updates. To join, send email to [] The SBCD has two good webinars on disaster loans and business information and resources.

FIU’s Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management is helping to put money into the hands of cooks, servers, dishwashers and other people at South Florida’s favorite restaurants and bars through a new partnership with the South Beach Wine & Food Festival®. TheSOBEWFF® & FIU Chaplin School Hospitality Industry Relief Fund will provide immediate financial support to the employees of independently owned and operated restaurants and bars impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties.

Consider wearing a mask

Experts are now suggesting that everyone – even if you have no symptoms of respiratory illness – considers wearing a mask in public. In this video, FIU’s Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine Professor Dr. Aileen Marty discusses the benefits of wearing home-made masks to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

How you can help

If you are in a position to support others, please know that many members of our university community can use your help to get through this crisis. We have activated FIUStrong to help take care of our own. To donate, please visit the FIUStrong page.

Your feedback is important

We’ve created a short, five-question survey designed to help us learn more about where you’re getting FIU-related information and whether you have the information you need to continue to learn and work remotely. Please take a moment to answer this survey so that we can provide the content you’re looking for in the weeks ahead.  

For updated information on how FIU is responding to the coronavirus pandemic, please visit the dedicated website at

Please have a healthy and restful weekend, Panthers!