Conference cancellation

Dear Friends of the North American Society for Early Phenomenology and the Max Scheler Society of North America,

The executives of both societies have been closely monitoring both governmental and institutional responses to the COVID-19 virus. The continued health and well-being of our members and conference participants is our paramount concern. It is important to take this pandemic seriously, but also avoid unnecessary panic. Given the developments of the last 24 hours and after thoughtful deliberation, we have determined that the upcoming conference at St. John’s University will be cancelled.

St. John’s University has already closed its campuses for March and may decide to close for April as well. There are no known cases of COVID-19 at this time on any of the St. John’s University campuses or locations. However, given the declaration of a state of emergency in New York state and the lockdown of New Rochelle, New York City may well begin to shut down more fully in the weeks ahead. As many of you know, President Trump has effectively banned travel from Europe to the US. While this is only in place for 30 days, we cannot be confident that the ban will be lifted before our conference. This means that many of our attendees may not be able to travel to New York in April.

Concerning domestic travel, while there are no such bans in place, many universities in North America have suspended funding for conference travel. This again means that many of our planned attendees will not be able to come to New York. While we considered postponing the conference to a later date, there will certainly be other factors by then that will necessitate significant changes to the program. Therefore, we thought it best to cancel and try again next year.
For those of you who have already arranged travel and accommodations, we sincerely hope that these arrangements can be undone, or put to some other good use.

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