Dear UMPI Students,
First off, welcome back, whether you are attending classes from a distance (near or far) or on campus here in Presque Isle or through the Houlton Center! And if you are on campus, just a friendly reminder of what to expect in the classroom, residence halls, and public spaces (CIL, Gentile Hall, Campus Center, etc) as you return. A friendly reminder: if attending classes “in person,” please check your Maine Street Student Center schedule *before* going to classes on Monday and Tuesday to ensure you know the right location and the right entrance and exit doors for the building!
A reminder, and a welcome notification for those new to campus this spring, about campus accessiblity within this covid-19 environment, what to expect when attending live classes, and face coverings. Please do not hesitate to reach out to myself, any of our student life staff members, or our Associate Dean of Students, Sarah Coyer (firstname.lastname@example.org), should you have any questions about any of these policies (see below). We maintain a regularly updated set of FAQs at https://www.umpi.edu/return/faq/ . Emails and phone numbers of offices such as Advising, Student Support Services, Library and IT Services, the Registrar’s Office, and Student Financial Services can all be found on the UMPI Portal Landing page at https://mycampus.maine.edu/group/umpi/home. In addition, you can reach our campus operator at 207-768-9400 and email us at email@example.com with any questions whatsoever.
This is the Way
Remember always to follow our “All Owls In Pledge,” which includes the wearing of face coverings in public spaces, checking for COVID-19 symptoms daily, maintaining 6-foot social distancing and following the building entrance/exit and directional traffic signage, and holding each other (and ourselves!) accountable throughout this in a kind and helpful manner. You can find the specifics at https://www.umpi.edu/return/pledge/.
All course syllabi will include links to more detailed information on campus protocols for in-person classrooms, which can also be accessed at https://www.umpi.edu/return/current-students/covid-19-statement/ .
Although we started a week later than usual, we will be ending on the scheduled dates– classes concluding on Friday, April 30; Final assessments for your classes ending on May 7, and Commencement on May 8 (more information on the venue of Commencement within the next few days). The last day to add OR drop a class is February 8, which gives you two full weeks to make changes to your schedule if you should need to do so. Also, Monday, Feb 15 is President’s day, with no classes or assignments due; Wednesday, March 24 is also a day without classes/assignments; and no classes will be held on Wednesday, April 14. If you so choose, any (or all) of your courses may be taken as Pass/Fail, and you can make these decisions throughout the semester– please be sure to speak with your faculty and professional advisor about this option. You can find our official academic calendar at https://www.umpi.edu/files/academics/academic-calendar/2020-2021_academic-year-calendar.pdf .
We will be testing all residential students, out of state students, and athletes prior to the start of the year, similar to our process this fall. This includes out of state students who live off campus. If you have any questions about this, please be sure to contact Sarah Coyer (firstname.lastname@example.org). We have one big change this semester: all faculty, staff, and students who physically come to campus for work, activities, and/or class will be required to test weekly throughout the spring 2021 semester. As previously noted by Sarah Coyer, there are specific and separate testing schedules for those in Presque Isle and Houlton.
Attached you will find a campus map that identifies the various entry and exit points for our buildings. Please know that some of our buildings will remain locked to minimize walk-in traffic. Specifically, Preble Hall, South Hall and Normal Hall will be locked. Please work with offices and individuals in those buildings through email, Zoom or phone. If an in-person meeting is required, please set-up an appointment ahead of time. Additionally, the CIL will have card access activated, meaning the main doors will be locked and students, faculty and staff can use their current UMPI ID to access the facility.
What to expect when attending classes
As classes begin on Monday, there are few items to keep in mind:
- Students should check their schedule. Rooms have changed as we’ve made accommodations for the various class sizes. It is also important to check your Maine.edu account for emails from professors for specific guidance about their classes.
- Please arrive at your class on-time. To limit group gathering in the halls of Folsom and Pullen we ask that everyone comes to the class as close to the start time as possible, while not being late. This will allow the prior class to finish and people to exit. If you do need to wait outside a class, please continue to social distance. We have placed signage on the floor to help with the appropriate distances.
- You will notice that the rooms have been set up to promote social distancing. Please, under no circumstances, change the layouts of these rooms.
- Upon entering the classrooms, you will see sanitizing wipe dispensers. We ask that each person, as they enter the room, take one or two wipes, and then proceed to where you intend to sit and immediately wipe down the space, disposing of the wipe in the trash receptacle in the room.
As classes begin, we may still have some students who are required to quarantine as they await their test results. Faculty are aware of this. It is important that these students remain in quarantine and not attend classes until cleared to do so.
- Face coverings are required at all times at UMPI, including the Houlton Higher Education Center, both indoors and outside and if traveling on university business in a vehicle with others or engaged in official university business or activities away from campus.
- The face coverings are to be of the type recommended by public health officials. These are generally made of multiple layers of cloth, which cover the nose, mouth and chin and are secured either with ear loops or with ties behind the head.
- The University asks everyone to aim for not mere technical compliance with the face covering requirement but rather to meet the spirit and intention of the face covering requirement when wearing your own face covering. There are a very limited number of exceptions to this policy that are clearly outlined on the student section of the UMS website: https://www.maine.edu/together/community-guidance/students/
Last semester, we all made a tremendous effort to keep each other and our communities safe– that minimized the impact of the pandemic on our campus as much as possible. I know we will do the same this spring in ensuring our mutual safety and care at all times. My thanks to everyone and best wishes!