Claflin University Suspends All On-Ground Classes; Transitions to Online Learning for Duration of Semester

Mar 20, 2020

Friday, March 20, 2020

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster has declared a State of Emergency, which included closing state supported colleges and universities and public schools throughout the state. 

The University’s steadfast commitment to providing a safe, supportive and healthy campus environment cannot be overstated. Claflin University will align its decision with Governor McMaster and suspend all on-ground classes effective immediately and beginning March 23, through the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester, all classes will be held online or through other virtual instruction platforms.

Claflin will not be closed, as University operations will continue. Administrators and staff will manage their departments and programs virtually. Enhancing the safety of students, faculty, alumni, staff and the campus community are our top priorities. The hours of operation will be posted on the University’s website ( and social media.

During the past two weeks, we all have received information about COVID-19 from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local, state agencies that has altered our workplace dynamics and personal priorities. When we shared information with you in our first message on March 4, we weren’t fully aware of the effects of COVID-19 and how it would impact our nation and the world.

Our Emergency Preparedness Team continues to communicate with public health professionals throughout South Carolina and the region. They have held meetings, almost daily, to analyze data which has assisted the University with making decisions and developing strategies to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus in the campus community.

As information develops, Claflin University’s Office of Communication and Marketing will keep the University informed. Updates will be sent by email, posted on social media, and sent through the emergency text messaging service (

You may also visit the University’s COVID-19 Resource Page ( for up-to-date information.

Your assistance, cooperation, and unwavering support are greatly appreciated. Together, we will go boldly, and with the “Claflin Confidence,” to face the challenges that lie ahead.

Lastly, please find below additional information that will guide you as we navigate through this ever-evolving pandemic.



Dr. Dwaun J. Warmack


Room and Board Fees
With this major change in the academic structure we know that many are wondering about refunding fees. No decisions have been made regarding refunds for housing and dining fees. Those decisions have been deferred until further notice from the Federal Government to allow Claflin and other universities to deal with immediate challenges in mitigating the spread of coronavirus.

Spring Graduation
After much thought and discussion, Claflin University has decided to postpone May Commencement and reschedule for December 2020. With so many unknowns about this virus, we want to ensure our graduates can celebrate this milestone with their families and loved ones. This decision was not made lightly, as we continue to keep the health and safety of the Claflin family at the forefront.

Those who were on track for degree completion for May 2020 will receive their degree by mail from Claflin University. Please pay close attention to emails that are sent from the Registrar’s Office that contain important dates as it relates to graduation.

Claflin On-line Learning
Faculty members have been attending meetings on March 16-20 to reinforce tactics for online delivery in the classroom. Students will receive instructions through Moodle from their individual professors. Converting to an online learning environment will provide academic continuity and will allow for students to remain on track to finish the academic semester without any interruptions.

Claflin’s Office of Online Education has created training sessions to acclimate students to an online learning environment. Please see emails concerning online education from Mr. Syed Hasnain.

Students are also encouraged to contact their dean if they are experiencing challenges converting to an online learning environment.

School of Business
Dr. Nicholas Hill –

School of Education
Dr. Anthony Pittman –

School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Dr. Isaiah McGee –

School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
Dr. Derrick Swinton –

Center for Professional and Continuing Studies
Mr. Mark Roberts –

Academic Advising
Academic advising will still be available for the duration of the semester through Insight Advising. Please see email from Dr. Mary Williams concerning how to use the system to request an advising appointment.

Residence Halls
Our primary concern is to reduce the spread of the virus while continuing to serve our campus community to the best of our abilities. In accordance with the guidelines from the White House’s Coronavirus Taskforce, we are strongly encouraging students to transition home for the remainder of the semester. Students who were not able to leave Claflin’s campus and are in the residence halls during this time are required to meet with their residential life coordinator or residential life manager. This is mandatory as we continue to provide a safe living and learning environment in the residence halls.

Students who need to retrieve items from the residence hall should contact their residence life manager or coordinator. They will be available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., however, you must call or email to schedule time to come to the residence hall. You may also send a direct message through GroupMe to the manager or coordinator. Students may also elect to keep their belongs in the residence hall until later for no additional charge. If you have any further questions, please contact your residence life manager or coordinator.

Dining Services
For those students who were unable to return home, the Dining Hall is providing take-out meals during the following hours:

  • Brunch: 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
  • Dinner: 4:30-6:30 p.m.

Jazzman’s Café, Pizza Hut will be closed for the rest of the semester.

The 1869 Club will operate Monday-Friday from 12-2 p.m. with take-out options.

Library Services
Access to the H.V. Manning Library resources is available 24/7 via A Library Instruction Guide will be sent to the Claflin University campus community featuring instructions on how to access the Library’s services remotely, utilize the Kanopy video streaming database service, and how to access and utilize e-books and other resources. The “Chat with a Librarian” service is available 24/7 for patrons to chat with a librarian in real time and receive reference or library help. 

Health Services
Several South Carolina health systems are offering tele-health options to the public. These options are available to anyone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms in South Carolina. In order to access the free consult, use the promo code COVID19.

Counseling Services
The Counseling/ADA Center is providing customized tele-counseling/ADA services. Services include individual counseling, crisis counseling, referrals and wellness checks to address anxiety and depression and coping skills as we deal with the unknown associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. You may call (803) 535-5285 on Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Student Activities
Although all activities for the duration of the spring semester have been canceled, the Office of Student Activities has created a virtual office with various activities planned. Many of the activities will award prizes. Stay tuned for more information from the Office of Student Activities.

University-sponsored Events
All Claflin University sponsored events for the rest of the semester have been postponed as recommended by Executive Order from the Governor of South Carolina. This includes Women’s History Month Luncheon (March 26), Men of Color Symposium (March 27), CALA-Bash (March 30-April 5), and Evening of Elegance (April 24).

The 2020 Claflin University International Alumni Association Convention in Charlotte (April 16-19) has been cancelled. More information will be shared from the Claflin University International Alumni Association.

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