For a better experience, click the Compatibility Mode icon above to turn off Compatibility Mode, which is only for viewing older websites.

Campus & Community

March 23: Drexel’s Campus is Closed. Now What?

March 23, 2020

A 2014 aerial shot of Drexel's University City Campus. Photo credit: Kelly & Massa Photography.
A 2014 aerial shot of Drexel's University City Campus. Photo credit: Kelly & Massa Photography.

Please visit the ‘Drexel’s Response to Coronavirus’ website for the latest information on campus preparations and responses regarding COVID-19.

When the influenza pandemic hit Philadelphia in 1918, the 27-year-old then-Drexel Institute of Art, Science and Industry closed on “a prolonged vacation on account of influenza,” according to the 1919 Lexerd yearbook, and the Fall 1918 term did not start until late October.

As you know and are currently living through, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit Philadelphia in 2020, the 128-year old Drexel University closed its campus at the end of winter term, though for how long remains to be seen. Thanks to modern technology, the University has not had to close but rather has transitioned to remote learning and working. All faculty and professional staff aside from critical personnel have been working remotely since March 16, and students took online final exams last week and — yes, after a special “prolonged vacation” now that spring break has been extended by a week — will continue online learning for the whole of spring term. 

“Even as we are being buffeted by the daily challenges of this pandemic, we should take heart from what we are doing as a University to safeguard our community and to fulfill Drexel’s mission of teaching, research and service,” President John Fry said in a March 20 message to the Drexel community.

On March 20, Drexel University officially, really, truly closed its University City Campus, Center City Campus and Queen Lane Campus to the public. That had already been in the works, but the timetable to conduct a campus move-out for students in residential halls had to be moved up to comply with Gov. Tom Wolf’s March 19 afternoon order to shutdown most businesses and schools in Pennsylvania. There is still emergency campus housing for those students unable to return to their homes, and students with pre-existing travel arrangements for this past weekend, or for early this week, have also been allowed to stay on campus until that time. All in all, about three to five percent of students who would have spent the spring term living in Drexel housing will remain on campus.

Starting on March 16, faculty and professional staff began working remotely, with March 20 being the last time they could visit campus to bring back anything they would need to continue working from home. Only those deemed critical personnel — like Drexel police officers and dispatchers, and designated facilities personnel — will continue to work on campus at this time in order to maintain critical operations.

Refer to Drexel’s Response to Coronavirus for the latest information regarding what is and is not happening on campus now. For students, that means the “Campus Living” tab on the Information for Students page. For faculty and staff, that means the “Drexel Facilities and Operation” tab on the Information for Faculty & Staff page.

Here are some takeaways from “Resources for Campus Closure and Remote Work” that faculty, staff and students would do well to remember:

For all Dragons:

  • You can still access Drexel-owned buildings via your DragonCard, if need be.
  • For packages shipped to campus, contact the supplier to cancel or hold the order. Shipping and Receiving will continue to hold packages, but be aware that storage is limited and strained. If a received package is needed, contact Shipping and Receiving at 215.895.2817 to schedule a pickup at the receiving window on the first floor of the General Services Building Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. Delivery service is not an option at this time.
  • All campus shuttle service (Dragon a.k.a Center City, Powelton/Spring Garden and Queen Lane routes) is suspended.
  • The DragonCard Office is closed. If you need a DragonCard, visit the Drexel University Police Station at 3219 Arch St.
  • The Parking Office is closed. For inquiries related to parking, email parking@drexel.edu.

For employees:

  • Consider Direct Deposit if you are currently receiving a paper check.
  • The Facilities Call Center will still remotely process and manage calls /emails to facilities@drexel.edu, and work orders submitted via WebTMA. Use the call center at 215.895.1700 for urgent issues.
  • Make sure you follow the purchasing and expense management guidelines.
  • The status of departmental mail service is being worked on. An update will be provided soon.