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July 30, 2020 - Virtual Family Open House with Dan Maxey, Chief of Staff; Mark Anderson, Provost; Jenna Finley, Ed.D. Executive Director of Campus Community & Climate and Tobias Guzmán, Chief Diversity Officer and Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs.
Bryson Kelly (00:00:00):
Hello, everyone, my name is Bryson Kelly and I serve as the assistant director of recruitment for the UNC office of admissions. Today, we are so excited to connect you with three dedicated campus leaders who will share with you UNC's approach to the fall 2020 semester. As you know, things continue to change quickly as a result of COVID-19 and we will do everything we can to answer your questions. During the program, all mics will be muted and you'll have the opportunity to ask questions during the Q&A using the Q&A button at the bottom of your screen. You can begin asking questions now and we will attempt to have all questions answered either in the Q&A function live via our panelists or through a follow up email once the program concludes. With that, I'd like to introduce you to your moderator for the next hour. Dan Maxi UNC's chief of staff.
Dan Maxey (00:00:46):
Thank you Bryson. I'm glad to be here again today to introduce three UNC leaders and colleagues of mine and to moderate the question and answer portion of the town hall. First, Dr. Mark Anderson is UNC's provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. He is our chief academic officer and oversees everything from our academic programs to enrollment management to advising. Dr. Tobias Guzman is UNC's associate vice president of student affairs and chief diversity officer, Tobias is an alumnus of UNC and oversees housing and dining, UNC's resource and cultural centers and campus recreation. Finally, Dr. Jenna Finley serves as the executive director of student affairs and is responsible for housing and residential education and dining services at UNC. I'm grateful to have these three with us today and also to have all of you here. We have well over 100 current and future various joining us today.
I'll let our panelists kick things off by telling you a little bit more about our plans to reopen beginning with Provost Anderson and then we'll take your questions. If you'd like to begin entering questions now into the Q&A function located at the bottom of your screen, please feel free to do so. We'll address as many of those questions as we can during our time this afternoon. If there are questions that we don't get to, I anticipate that our admissions team will be following up with you shortly. So with that, I'll turn it over to Provost Anderson.
Mark Anderson (00:02:10):
Thank you so much, Dan. I would also like to welcome everybody to our open forum today. Many of you have probably attended some of these before because I see some Q&A's showing up even before the introduction. Our intention today is really to answer any questions you have about the campus, the academics, the students life, social life, athletics, whatever. Really give you an opportunity to get those questions answered. We've been working really hard since the end of the spring semester to develop a fall academic and social schedule that will provide a robust and really fulfilling on campus experience for our students. We published the final schedule that listed off the teaching modalities of all of our courses. We offer roughly 2500 sections of courses, this sections are going to be taught fully face to face, some will be taught in an hybrid modality where some of the meeting will be face to face, some of the meeting will be virtual and other courses will be fully online. I suggest too that you go to Ursa, the portal and look at your schedule and in the schedule it will talk about the modality of the instruction.
If you have questions about your schedule, we encourage you to reach out to your academic advisor to get those questions answered. If you have questions about specific courses, we suggest you reach out to the faculty member who's teaching those courses. You have to recognize that some of the faculty are taking the last week of July, the first week of August for their final vacation to get prepared for the fall semester. So, if you don't hear immediately from your faculty when you reach out to them, just bear with them, they'll be back in touch with you momentarily. Also, some of your courses will have content in the Canvas course management system already. If you're unfamiliar with Canvas as a new student, I suggest you reach out to an advisor to get some more information about that. If you're a returning student, you know all about Canvas, but there will be some of the information that you might want to get about courses. But I would like to turn it back to Dan so we can have as much time as possible to answer questions.
Dan Maxey (00:04:36):
Great. Thank you, Provost Anderson. Dr. Guzman and Dr. Finley, do you have any comments you want to make here at the beginning before we turn it over to questions?
Tobias Guzmán (00:04:48):
Thanks, Dan. Hello, everyone. I'm excited to really see so many people that are interested in these open house presentations. UNC has worked really hard to provide an open opportunity to ask questions. This is a time where there's a lot of uncertainty as well as just a lot of things moving in our world and in our planning processes. So, we're here to spend some time with you. Student affairs is really not as... Folks don't really know what student affairs does. And what we truly do is we take care of the students outside of the classroom. There's a lot of intersection, the student goes to the classroom and learns content that contributes to their desired degree, but we're also the folks that help teach the life skills of a student that is going to also help complement whatever degree that they're going to get. Whether that's the skills of learning conflict resolution, it may be the art of negotiating certain aspects of conversations and maybe learning how to manage roommates and various conflicts.
It's about engagement and getting involved. There's a lot of research that talks about students who do get involved and who are connected to their university in ways more than just the academic classroom, are more likely to graduate, feel supported and feel a sense of connection. So, that's our expertise in student affairs in what we do. Jenna can talk with you a little bit more directly about housing and dining and the processes that we will be following in the next semester.
Jenna Finley (00:06:50):
Hello, everyone. We are excited that we're just a couple of weeks away from starting our movie in process. Resident assistants are moving back this weekend and they start their training next Wednesday. And so we are preparing for the fall and excited for what this year is going to look like even though there's a lot of changes, obviously. And I want to spend a few moments talking about those just so I think, maybe answer a few of the common questions that you may have. You should have been assigned a move in day and time, we are doing that gradually. It is based on building capacity and hall space, every building is a little bit different in terms of how we can safely manage a move in process. We ask that you stick to that assigned day and time if possible. And if you can't, you should have received your neighborhood coordinators email address and you can change that move in day and time that way. But we really ask you to be thoughtful and stick with the time assigned if you can.
We do anticipate some changes this year... There are some changes this year that will be in place. You can expect that you will need to wear a mask at all times on campus with the exceptions of being in your own residence hall room, the obvious things like in the shower, brushing your teeth, when you're in the dining room, eating a meal. So, you will need to have a mask on when you're in line during your meal, but when you're sitting down and eating similar what you might be experiencing at a restaurant right now, you can take the mask off to eat. We expect you to maintain social distancing, we are making some changes to some of our community spaces in terms of capacity. I think one of the more important things to really have an understanding is that coming back to campus and having classes in person and having some social and learning opportunities outside of the classroom, doing that takes a high level of personal commitment from all of us to do what keeps us safe.
And that is why mask wearing is a part of state order in Colorado, but even beyond that, thinking about social distancing and keeping groups of people smaller, under 10 are things that will be important to us in terms of is preventing as much illness as we can. I think another piece that is common to know is, "Will my parents be able to help me move in and will they be able to stay and will I be able to have guests in the residence halls?" Similar to most institutions across the country, we will not have a guest policy, meaning we will not permit guests in student rooms this year. It is limited to those students who are living in the residence halls. So parents can help students move in, stay briefly, but then we will need you to leave so we can maintain appropriate capacity in student rooms. So, that's just a little bit and there's lots of things to be excited about. I think we'll have some time for Q&A around what activities and things you can expect to get to know your fellow Bears. But thank you.
Dan Maxey (00:10:23):
Great, thank you to all of our panelists for giving us a little bit of an introduction to some of the issues that we'll discuss this afternoon. The questions are coming in quickly here, so we'll get started on answering those. Mark, I'll throw the first one to you. Do students need to be tested for coronavirus before their move in dates?
Mark Anderson (00:10:45):
No, we're not requiring a COVID-19 test in order to move in to the campus. The World Health Organization, the Center for Disease Control, as well as the Colorado Department of Public Health in the environment, actually recommend that you not use a COVID-19 test as an entry into any environment. And the reason for that is that the COVID-19 test is kind of a point in time test. And so you might test negative, but that really doesn't say will happen in the future. And what it does say is at that moment in time, you're depending upon the type of test but your system hasn't developed enough antibody response to show up in the test. So, it's not really an effective measure of where you are at that moment in time. So no, we're not requiring that. We are asking people to be mindful of their symptoms, and if they start to develop symptoms to self-quarantine and let somebody know, so we can take the appropriate action.
Dan Maxey (00:11:57):
Great, thank you. And just to follow up on that on the item of testing, we do have testing available through our Student Health Center. So, if students and actually faculty and staff as well do develop symptoms or think that they may be infected, we do have the capacity to test both for the virus and for antibodies on campus, just to share that information. We're going to actually answer another sort of COVID-19 specific question here before we move on to [inaudible 00:12:29]. I know in these forums we have a lot of questions about how things are going in Weld County and Greeley and we have a question here to that effect and if Weld county and Greeley are prepared for an influx of students from around the state in the country. I would say that we have seen some modest increases in cases here locally as much of Colorado has and many other states have as well. We do maintain very close relationships with our local hospitals. In fact, we're just four doors down from UCHealth Greeley Hospital.
And in this last several weeks, last few months, our hospitals have not been overwhelmed and maintained capacity to treat cases as they emerge. I will also say that I can't remember exactly when it was about a week or two ago, our governor put a mask mandate in place here, statewide. My observation locally has been that mask adherence has been fairly high when I've gone out to places like the grocery store. And so I think that folks here in Colorado are ready and doing quite a bit to do what they can to limit the spread of the disease. And so hopefully that answers some of your questions there. Moving on to some of our residence hall questions, we have a question about what whether the requirement for first year students live on campus is going to be waived, either for students who have concerns about COVID or who may be taking all online courses. So, I'll turn that one over to Tobias and Jenna.
Jenna Finley (00:14:18):
The [inaudible 00:14:19] requirement is still in place. However, if you have all online classes you can petition for a release. It is important to know that this release is only for the fall semester, you will be expected to live at home with family, it's not a release to live off campus and that you will be expected to rejoin us in the spring. So keeping all that in mind, the petition for release is on the housing website under www.unco.edu/housing and then under forms. In terms of other reasons that we may grant petitions for release medical as another example. And medical is included of mental health, physical health, high risk to COVID.
So, if you have a pre-existing condition that makes you more at risk for COVID complications, we really suggest that you talk this over with your medical provider, talk it over as a family about what is best for you. I think in talking with families this summer, some students that are high risk, really want the full campus experience and so we talk with them about how to be as safe as possible and others just are truly not comfortable. And so again, the process for that is to fill out a petition for release.
Dan Maxey (00:15:50):
Great, thank you very much for that. We're getting some questions about... Don't mute yourself just yet. We have a whole bunch of questions here about what movement is going to be like? And so I wonder if you can tell us a little bit about... You covered a little bit of this earlier, but how flexible are move in dates if a student's residence hall room assignment has changed, does the room assignment change with that? And there're some concern about that 30 minute window. And so if you can tell us a little bit about what that 30 minute window entails and what we expect students and their families to accomplish in that 30 minutes versus what they can take care of after that window, I'd appreciate it.
Jenna Finley (00:16:34):
Sure. I think that 30 minute window has caused a lot of people a lot of stress as they imagine it. Really, that 30 minute is the time to unload your car and get things up into your room. It doesn't include things like the initial check in, getting your paperwork or actually unpacking your belongings. We have found that that is enough time, particularly given the bins and things that we provide that help get a lot of large items into the building at once. So, you can anticipate that we will have some of those available to you to help make the move in process easier. We'll also provide some sanitation materials so you can wipe those down. I know that sharing any item at this point can be concerning. And you're also welcome to bring your own dollies that's pretty common for families to do.
In terms of the move in time and is that flexible and date. We ask that you stick to that date and time if at all possible. If you really absolutely can't do that time we will work with you and make a change. As you can imagine, moving 22, 2300 students into the residence halls is quite a task. And especially when we have to do it in this way gradually and safe. And so managing that schedule to make it as workable for our staff as possible, we have to you use that time. And if it absolutely does not work, and we have some cases where we have siblings and things like that, that are moving in and need to move in at the same time for their family, we will work with you on those pieces. If you need to change, you should email your neighborhood coordinator, that email address was in the initial email that gave you your move in data and time. It was just below that information. And I feel like Dan, I left out part of an answer.
Dan Maxey (00:18:30):
Yeah, there was another element. We had a question about whether if an individual's room assignment has changed, if they're moving time has changed along with that.
Jenna Finley (00:18:42):
We are taking that as a very individualized process. So, we are trying to keep the day and time the same if assignments have changed. In some cases that can't work. We have to go back and then look at how busy that period of time and that particular building is. And we also can't have two roommates or suite mates moving in at the same time. But none of that is happening, we've been able to keep date and time generally the same. So, you'll hear from the staff if we need you to change your move in time. Another group that is changing, you'll receive notification of an earlier move in time, is if you've signed up for the lead on camp. You'll be receiving early next week new move in day and time so you can be sure to be on campus for the start at that camp.
Dan Maxey (00:19:40):
Great. Thank you. We'll just go to another housing and dining question since we have you on deck here. There are a lot of questions about sort of cleaning protocols in the residence halls and actually in the dining halls also here and folks want to know what practices we'll be employing to clean those spaces, especially some of the shared spaces in residence halls, like shared bathrooms and kitchens, those sorts of common areas. Will there be cleaning protocols in place? Will disinfectant cleaner be left that individuals living in the residence halls can use to clean up after themselves? And to what extent might we expect that some folks have their own cleaning supplies available either for their use of those spaces or for their own rooms?
Jenna Finley (00:20:35):
Community spaces are cleaned multiple times a day in the residence halls and particular community bathrooms are disinfected every couple of hours. So, I think that what we still recommend and we'll have some signage to remind students so be mindful of things about like where do you place your toothbrush, where do you put on a counter just to be certain and there'll be some social distancing in spaces like bathrooms. We do recommend that you bring your own cleaning supplies. And I think having wipes and wiping down something before and after you use it is not a bad practice to have particularly in spaces like bathrooms or laundry rooms. We do recommend that students bring their own cleaner, there's a list of EPA approved cleaners on our website where I do caution families are using... I know sometimes cleaners are a bit hard to come by or specific cleaners. We recommend you staying away from bleach based products just because of the damage they can cause to carpet and other soft surfaces in particular in the students room.
I've been asked I think frequently whether we clean suite bathrooms or student rooms in any way. And we do not. I think that we will be providing a little extra education to students on what we think they should do daily in their rooms in terms of cleaning, thinking about cleaning high touch areas and items like remote controls, wiping their own bathroom down before and after they use it or spraying with cleaner. The actual disinfectant process for most cleaners is fairly simple in terms of just spraying and letting it sit and in a lot of cases you don't have to even wipe it down. But we'll be reminding students of this. If you don't have a lot of practice with that kind of thing, I think just be mindful but that is something to keep in mind that is different this year. You really shouldn't go multiple days without cleaning high touch areas.
Tobias Guzmán (00:22:54):
One thing to add Dan, is we're really depending on students to take self-responsibility, really understand what it means to live in a community in a shared community. As we're going through this pandemic, I think we're learning a lot about what we value as a society. And so hopefully, we're using this time to express our care for each other as well as ourselves. And when you're living in a community, whether it's eating in the dining room or being in your residence hall room or your classroom, the library, cleaning up after yourselves and watching out for your fellow neighbor is going to be really important and part of what we want to impart on students as they go through UNC.
Dan Maxey (00:23:53):
Great, thank you both. The next question is for Mark. I know Mark, that you mentioned earlier that students will be hearing from their professors and can reach out if they have questions but to be understanding that this is the time when a lot of folks are on vacations. What's the reasonable timeline to expect that most students will hear from their professors regarding how each class will be delivered and sort of how the hybrid or online modalities might work for a specific class. Will that happen by a certain time or is it just sort of happening as we go along before the semester starts?
Mark Anderson (00:24:35):
I think it's happening as we go along. I think some faculty are a little bit more proactive in reaching out to their students before the beginning of the semester. I've seen questions about textbooks and some other things. Some faculty will be much more proactive in telling students well in advance of the semester, others will wait until the first week of the semester to let you know. But I would say that starting the week of the 17th, which is one week before classes start, if you have not heard from a professor for any particular class, I think you should reach out and ask the specific questions you have, particularly with respect to hybrid instruction. Hybrid instruction is one where part of the class is face to face, part of the class is online. And there's a lot of different ways of enacting that for specific classes.
Some faculty will be using a cohort or they split the class effectively in two and this half of the class shows up on Monday, this half the class shows up on Wednesday. And so I would very explicitly reach out to your faculty and ask those questions. And I think the week of the 17th is when you can reasonably expect that faculty will either have reached out to you or will be reaching out. But if you haven't heard from them, I think it's entirely reasonable to email or call and ask the questions that you have.
Dan Maxey (00:26:05):
Great. A little bit of a follow up question that if a student's looking at their course schedule, how can they differentiate between whether a class is being offered face to face, online or in a hybrid format?
Mark Anderson (00:26:22):
That is a super question, Dan. And I'm going to tell you what I think is the answer. But I'm going to demur a little bit because I don't know because I can't look at a student's schedule and see exactly what it is. But one of the keys is the coding on the class. Traditional face to face class is going to be coded with TR, a mixed face to face class is going to have a code of MF and if you'll bear with me for just one moment, I will get the other codes here momentarily. And fully online or distance classes, I think are coded with a DS. But I think we'll have to post that on to the coronavirus information site because I don't want to mislead anybody, but I believe those are the correct codes.
Dan Maxey (00:27:42):
Great, thank you. Another housing question that we have here, I'm just sort of scrolling around here. If we end up in a situation like we did in the spring where everybody will go into courses in a virtual format online and students move out of residence halls, do we anticipate that there will be any protocol in place to reimburse students for housing fees?
Jenna Finley (00:28:14):
I can tell you or to talk to you about what happened in the spring and that if those circumstances play out the same, that the same thing would happen. So, what we did even with online courses being online is we stayed open as a campus. So, housing and dining were both open. For students that chose to leave, we issued a credit and that credit could be applied to tuition room or board the following three semesters. So, that's how we handled that situation, that's how I anticipate that we would handle that situation in the future. It's unlikely that we would completely close all housing and dining for a few reasons. A lot of times students, there might be at risk family members and they don't want to go home to those individuals. Some students just need to maintain their housing so they can work and or use all the resources that are still on campus. So, that's what I anticipate happening at this point in time.
Dan Maxey (00:29:21):
Great. Thank you. A similar question for Mark. If we see any shift like I discussed a moment ago, related to housing, will there be any changes in the way that tuition and fees are assessed to students?
Mark Anderson (00:29:41):
So, if the community house situation changes and we have to pivot like we did in the spring to an all virtual environment, we are prepared to do that, but very much like the spring our faculty are prepared to meet the learning objectives of the courses and the instruction will continue just in a different format. And so we do not anticipate that there would be any change to the tuition or fees, because we're still meeting the objectives of the courses.
Dan Maxey (00:30:19):
Great, thank you. Little bit of a question. Again, this one's for you Mark, about spaces like libraries and common areas, study spaces and classroom buildings and those sorts of things. Will those spaces, study rooms, common areas, classroom buildings, library facilities be opened in the fall?
Mark Anderson (00:30:44):
They will be open, but very much like the rest of the campus, they'll be a little bit different. We're going to have six feet of separation, we're going to have signage all over the place that reminds people to maintain that six feet of separation. Computer labs will be open, but the computers will be spaced out by a little bit. In the community space, we're asking folks to wear masks in compliance with the governor's executive order. And so those places will be open, there will be group study space. But another thing that is currently one of the standards is to have smaller groups, so limited to 10 or fewer students in a group study space, but those will be open in a different way than they might have been in the past maintaining the standards for public health and safety.
Dan Maxey (00:31:45):
Great. Thank you, Mark. Tobias, I'll put this next question to you. What types of in person activities will be available for students to meet others and build community? The particular parent asking the question here indicates their son has a single room and they're a little bit worried that he won't be able to eat with others and he's going to be stuck in his residence also. What can you tell us about, what opportunities students are going to have to meet and mix with one another and to make friends and build community while they're here in the fall?
Tobias Guzmán (00:32:17):
That's a really good question. It's one of the things that we really put a lot of emphasis on very specifically during the first six weeks. The studies show that in those first six weeks, it's very crucial that students create friendships and relationships. So, a couple of ways that we do that is that we really do a lot of activities during those first six weeks and there's a lot of engagement opportunities, specifically from the hall staff, the residence hall staff, the RA's, who are really peers of our students because they are students themselves, particularly upper division students. Some may be sophomores, but they're understanding that a student is going through a process maybe homesick. So at this time, everything from what we would typically have is going to be changed a bit just due to making sure that we have all of our safety protocols in place. But the activities of getting smaller groups together, learning about each other, going to the campus recreation center, giving students opportunities to sign up for clubs, sports or maybe other activities that are happening.
There's a lot of Bible study groups, there's just chess club, there's all kinds of clubs that you could possibly think of. And if you go online to take a look at all the different clubs and organizations that we have, we have quite a few. The point in all that is to say that we are going to guide the student. A lot of times after the first two weeks, they'll figure it out or friends will help them figure those things to be involved with, but really, you kind of even the nudging at the very beginning. If you're living in a single, you will get a knock on your door to go eat lunch or to go get dinner. And that's typically by the hall staff. So, there's a lot of those kinds of things that happen so that you're becoming socially integrated into the campus.
Dan Maxey (00:34:46):
Great. Thank you, Tobias. I'll put the next question to you and Jenna, we have questions about dining plans and whether those meal plans will be available if the students moving in before the traditional start of the semester. I know that we're beginning to move students in about a week earlier than we normally do. So, what dining options are available to students if they're moving in earlier, what sort of plan might they need to purchase and what other options are available to a student that might not want to use the dining halls during that period of time?
Jenna Finley (00:35:26):
The meal plans official start date is dinner on Thursday, August 20th. If you're moving in prior to that, you have a few different options. You can purchase an individual meal, just go in and pay per meal that you would like or you can pay $25 per day and have three meals. And that's the least expensive option. There's a form on the dining website for that. There are a few other options. I think, one is to know that Bear pantry, our food pantry is available and so there's food through that food pantry. And there are community kitchens in all of our residence halls, so you can choose to prepare your own meals or bring groceries with you. And there's lots of different retail dining in and around the campus area. The hours of operation for our on campus options will be posted, we're not fully operational with everything up and running in about Thursday, but we do have somethings that will be open.
So, there're definitely some things that you can do. I saw another question related to that in terms of, if you have an early move in do you have to stay on campus or can you leave and come back? You can leave and come back for multiple reasons. I think that's something to think about. I think in terms of CDC guidelines in transmission of illness, I think something that's been a consistent recommendation is to travel as little as possible because you're going in and out of different communities. The way that we're staying on campus or going home, we certainly will welcome you staying and there will be activities during that time planned by our residence hall neighborhood staff, but we certainly understand if you want to go home during that time period. We ask that you do arrive on campus by the 20th, so you can participate in our extended orientation activities.
Dan Maxey (00:37:38):
Great. Thanks very much. We had a question here too about whether our community kitchens are stocked with sort of cooking utensils and different things like that. So for a student who wants to go at their own those few days and cook in the kitchen, do they have access either in the kitchen or equipment they can check out from the residence hall to use there?
Jenna Finley (00:38:05):
Honestly, that's a good question that I don't remember the answer to. We typically would have kitchen supplies that are checked out at the front desks. During COVID, we have decided to minimize the items that we are checking out. So, we really do recommend you bring your own... There's a basic list. You'd have your own plate, fork, spoon, knife, cup and maybe a saucepan cookie sheet is a great thing. I think we'll probably find some way to still have some shared items, but we think we've got to work that through. So, I anticipate the answer is yes if we... But try to bring your own is also I think a good plan.
Dan Maxey (00:38:50):
Great. We have a lot of very specific questions about specific residence hall buildings and whether what type of flooring they have, whether they have air conditioning, what size? Mattresses are on the bed sorts of questions. Where can a student go to find answers to all of those types of questions that they might have about specifics of their room? And if they can't find an answer is there somebody they can reach out to get one?
Jenna Finley (00:39:22):
In some of our buildings, the question about dimensions is much easier to answer than others. For example, a Harrison room is a very standard size. Because of the uniqueness of our facilities, when you think about central campus or even north or south hall, it becomes a little bit more difficult to give you specific dimensions and that's why they're often a little bit difficult to find because it does vary by room. What I can tell you is that all our mattresses are twin sized, we do have a process you can email firstname.lastname@example.org, if you're over six foot, two inches, you can request an extra long mattress. A common question is the linens that we sell as a fundraiser for one of our student organizations that are extra long. They do fit our twin mattresses, they come with special straps to make that happen. Our flooring is very different from hall to hall. That shouldn't be on our website in most cases. Generally what I will say Harrison, Turner, Lawrence and some of our central campus buildings are hard surface and for the most part rest of the [inaudible 00:40:42] surface.
A lot of this detail is on our website or in the move in guide that you should have been emailed. And that moving guide if you can't find it is also on our website. I'm expecting an update on our website next week in terms of a transition of how it looks. So, If you've been on it before and then happened to go in in the next week or so, I'm anticipating a change in look, but the content should be there. But housing... www.unco.edu/housing and I'm always happy to answer a question directly. And you can do Jenna.email@example.com.
Dan Maxey (00:41:23):
Great. Thank you, Jenna. So, I'm trying to scroll through some of our questions here. I know that we have Marty Somero, director of Financial Aid on the line here also. We have a question about if a student or parent has questions regarding accepting various awards and loans they've been given, who should they reach out to with those questions and what's the best way to get through to somebody who can provide some answers?
Marty Somero (00:41:55):
Hey, thanks, Dan. Good question and becoming very more timely as we get closer and closer to school. In the old days in the normal environments, I would say come to campus and come visit us at Bear Central where you can meet somebody face to face. Obviously, these are a little bit different times. However, Bear Central will be open come Monday, we will start from eight to five hours and if a family has the opportunity to come on campus, we would gladly sit down with them with safety measures in place. If that's not realistic for the family to do at this point in time, they can certainly call our office which is a number we can get posted out there, they can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. There's also the ability to schedule a virtual appointment with a financial aid counselor to which may be the most realistic thing in the current environment. But again, we will be open on Monday from eight to five at Bear Central in the campus comments. But multiple ways to get a hold of those in person or virtual is always the best if possible.
Dan Maxey (00:43:05):
Great, thank you very much Marty. I appreciate you stepping in with that answer. Tobias, tell us a little bit about dining halls this fall and how the dining halls are going to operate and what sort of options will be available, are there any options that are normally available that might not be available this fall?
Tobias Guzmán (00:43:30):
Well, the dining rooms will look very similar to what restaurants are looking like today. More opportunities for outside eating and obviously there's a shelf life to that, once it starts to rain and snow, we will curtail that. But in terms of being able to have the opportunity to go into the dining room and sit. It is a favorite pastime of students because there's... And all you can eat buffet style. And that's not going to be the case this year as we change that process, but we're still going to maintain quality of our food as well as options for you to choose from. We truly believe in options for our students. We have a registered dietician who does go through all of our meals and making sure that there's healthy options for students, as well as all the different dietary needs that students may have. So most of the time, there will be pickup options that you can utilize and then limited options of eating within the dining rooms.
So, we also have our retail operations that are in our campus proper, that you'll be able to use your dining dollars at Einsteins or Subway or Munchy Mart, which has a variety of items. So like I said, it's going to be just a little bit different, but it's something that we're all going to have to get used to in terms of picking up our food. We'll also have some cold food options, hot food options, as well as frozen food options that you can take back to your room for heat up later. So, all those things will still be available.
Dan Maxey (00:45:38):
We also had a question about campus recreation and intramural sports. So, I wonder if you might give us a little bit of information about what those will look like in the fall too.
Tobias Guzmán (00:45:46):
Sure. Back to that involvement and how important that is, we do want to make sure that students have that opportunity. Again, the theme of tonight's conversation is that there's going to be some changes. But at the same time, we want to make sure that there's those options for students to be able to get involved, whether it's the club, football team or adaptive basketball team or the disc golf that's available. There's all kinds of different things. The campus recreation center has, let's say maybe three to four different operations within the campus recreation. So, it's not just about lifting weights and working out on treadmills and stair climbers, it's group fitness classes and clubs sports, competitive sports, all those things will still be available. But one thing to note is all of the social distancing, physical distancing, wearing masks are all going to be in place. And we believe that you can still have those experiences while honoring the physical distancing and wearing a mask. So, we expect it to be... So lots of fun, enjoyment and lots of learning that happens within each of those operations as well.
Dan Maxey (00:47:10):
Great, thank you. I'll take the next question. We have a question about masks and what sorts of masks are acceptable. You can find our mask policy on UNC's return to campus website. We do allow cloth face coverings, disposable surgical masks or N95 respirators. I know that sometimes we have questions about whether clear plastic face shields are allowed and those are not allowed under our local health ordinances. And so cloth face covering if you have one, if want to buy a disposable mask, those are certainly an option as well. Let me see what else we have here.
Tobias Guzmán (00:47:54):
In connection, can I add a little thing on the masks? Our Bear pantry will also have masks in case a student forgets their mask. It's also an option where someone might drop it and not realize. So, Bear pantry which is located at the university center will have masks and also various other areas of campus will have a supply just in case a student needs one, as well as our faculty and staff. I know I've walked outside the door of my home and drove halfway down to where I was planning to be and forgot my mask and had to turn back. So, we recognize those types of things. The first couple of weeks of school and classes will definitely be a learning process, but we're definitely going to be instituting that for safety.
Dan Maxey (00:48:48):
Great. Thank you very much. This question I suppose is for any of you but perhaps for Tobias or Janet. Sounds like some institutions... I hadn't heard this yet, are telling students who are living in the residence halls to have a go bag ready in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak. And is that something that's necessary? Will students need to be ready to sort of up and move quickly in any particular sort of COVID related event?
Jenna Finley (00:49:20):
I have not heard that one yet. So, in terms of... And I'm in tune with a lot of campuses across the country and certainly our housing sectors in the state. What I think again, we would not expect an urgent evacuation of any kind. So, no. I don't think a go bag is necessary. We are prepared if there is an outbreak on campus and I think it's important to know that if you are needing to be quarantined, which quarantine is if you are not diagnosed but potentially exposed to COVID, waiting test results, we have single rooms designated as both quarantine and an isolation spaces if you are actually sick. And so you will be asked to relocate to an isolation room. And this is because its it own room with its own bathroom and it's in a place we can deliver your meals for you.
We have expectations of students in quarantine or isolation. There are very limited circumstances that they can leave that space, mainly for medical attention, picking up prescriptions. And if they have an animal as an ESA or a pet from our pet-friendly to take care of that pet. And that's about it. And we do expect because of the severe consequences of spreading illness, particularly if you're in isolation that students really adhere to that guidance. So, we were prepared for if we have an outbreak on campus and if people are sick, that is how we anticipate handling it. Yeah, we don't anticipate the need for a go bag.
Dan Maxey (00:51:00):
Great. Thank you. I've lived in places where earthquakes are pretty common. So, I'm pretty familiar with their idea of having to have a go bag ready. Tobias, I think you're going to jump in here too.
Tobias Guzmán (00:51:09):
Yeah, I think if folks recall, in the spring in March, there were some institutions that really pushed students out of the residence halls. And I want to tell you that that is not our method in our practice, we really follow an ethic of care for our students. And so pushing students out quickly, because of COVID is not one reason. Obviously earthquake, fire tornado, those kinds of things are a little bit different. But that's not the situation that we're talking about. So, don't let anybody sell you any go bags.
Dan Maxey (00:51:57):
Mark, I'll put a couple questions to you hear. We've had a number of students who have sort of jumped into the Q&A at various points with questions about changing their majors and who they should reach out to, how they find their advisor. And we also had a question about how students will know what sort of books they need to buy for the fall. I wonder if you can feel those questions.
Mark Anderson (00:52:20):
Again. So, changing the major I think you need to talk to your advisor. If you don't know who your advisor is, I think there's two mechanisms for getting that information. Every College has a group of counseling center and advising center, and so you can reach out to the advising center. And the best way to find that is through the website, look going to the college and searching for advisors or just reaching out to the chair of the department and they can point you to an advisor. Changing a major is a relatively simple thing to do, but it does require some internal paperwork to make sure that we are monitoring your progress. So, we want to make sure that it's done appropriately. With respect to books, again, I think if you have access to the Canvas shell for your courses, the supplementary material that's required for that course, which oftentimes is a book or multiple books, oftentimes it's access to online resources.
So, the first place I would look would be the Canvas shell for your classes, if it's not in the Canvas shell then again, I think the best thing to do is to reach out to the faculty member teaching the course and ask. Another resource is the bookstore. The bookstore, which sells the books or is a resource to purchase books, also has a list of courses, course sections and the required material. It's very important that as you're trying to get the materials that you not only know the course, but also the course sections. So many courses have multiple sections. And depending upon the course they might not have common books. So, be sure that you align the materials with the section of the course that you're in. The easiest way to do that is through the Canvas shell for the course.
Dan Maxey (00:54:44):
Great. Thank you, Mark. We've had some questions about athletics and I know that's really sort of probably going to be a fluid situation right now, but we do plan on having fall athletics. It's not clear quite yet what attendance at the games it's going to look like but again I think that's an area where we've seen some changes coming down, either from athletic conferences or from the NCAA over the last several weeks. Tobias, I wonder if you can answer this next question. I'm just keeping an eye on time, I see that we're just a couple minutes away from the end of the town hall here. If a student ends up being isolated or requires care as a result of a COVID infection, do you know a little bit about sort of how that isolation will work for a student? What sort of care we can provide to a student in the residence hall? And I don't know how much you can speak to sort of the student health side of it. But how students medical insurance works with receiving any treatment that they might get through the Student Health Center?
Tobias Guzmán (00:55:56):
Sure. And Jenna, please feel free to chime in on this as well. So, we are prepared to have isolation rooms available, we have anywhere from 40 to 60 different rooms that are available on campus. We'll want to make sure that typically a student is living in a double room that the other roommate, the other side of the room is also taken care of. We're going to need to monitor this pretty well just so that others are not an infected. We'll make sure that meals are delivered so that the student does not have to come out and go to the particular dining room that they're assigned to. The health center is a place that you should become familiar with, especially if you're starting to feel those symptoms or perhaps you were exposed and found out that you were exposed. As Dan mentioned, our health center is a testing site that you can use.
Your health insurance is either waived at the beginning of this year because you have personal health insurance or you can purchase the health insurance through our health insurance plan through UNC. We also have other options such as Sunrise Community Health, which is a little bit less expensive and they usually go by a sliding scale. So again, if there's some interest in that and you want to know more, please contact us individually. Jenna, other things.
Jenna Finley (00:57:54):
If a student is sick and in isolation, there will be a case manager contacts them to check on how they're doing. I think it's important to note that residence hall staff are not medical care providers, so we don't provide direct care. In that way, there will be someone that contacts the student to check in on them. What we know is that our health department really helps us manage these cases as well and really directs us in each individual case what to do and who needs to isolate or quarantine based on the circumstances and the contact tracing. We're fortunate to have a county that has the capacity to do the contact tracing, but we also [inaudible 00:58:40] just to be sure we're prepared have contact tracers trained on campus. We're also recommending that you bring some things that are on the typical move in [inaudible 00:58:53]... Students don't [inaudible 00:58:55]. Bring a thermometer and bring some basic medications, Tylenol, cold medications and those types of items just to be prepared.
Our health center is a great resource and there's also depending on your insurance other options in the community. We are very fortunate that our health center is going to have access to rapid testing, which gives a very quick initial result and indicates that the student needs further testing, which I think is great for us as a campus. Testing I think it is important now is not free to students. So, I think that's something to keep in mind, it's good to familiarize yourself with your health insurance policy and where it might be best if you do have symptoms where you should get tested, whether it's with us or somewhere else. And just be aware of that ahead of time. As a reminder, you are required to have health insurance. And if you haven't submitted... If you are on a parent plan, it's really important that you submit that insurance waiver at this point in time, if you haven't already done so. It's something that sometimes students miss and then get automatically billed for. So, be thinking about that. If you haven't done it yet, go ahead and do that insurance waiver.
Tobias Guzmán (01:00:29):
I think one last thing on that is really making sure that students are making good choices and being very mindful that the goal of coming to a college and university is ultimately to get your degree. There's a lot of times for you to socialize and I know that there's going to be that desire to do that, but I think this is really important to talk about in terms of making sure that you are taking care of yourself, so that you don't disrupt your college desires, getting your degree. And so, part of that is just making healthy choices. As I said before, wearing your mask, it's going to be part of the culture, it will be what we do. Our faculty and our staff administrators will be wearing masks. The temptation to get together, perhaps go to off campus gatherings or whatever are really discouraged and in support of you so that you can continue your college aspirations.
Jenna Finley (01:01:53):
I think with that one thing I don't remember covering in this conversation is that all of these pieces are enforceable through the student code of conduct in terms of what our expectations of you are. And for this to be a successful semester, it really is going to take a commitment from everyone. I think students... Having some conversations before you arrive for parents that are in the line, I think it's typical in the fall for our first year student, for example. The first time they get sick and away from home, it inevitably happens and it's always a little bit of anxiety for the student because it's their first time sometimes managing an illness on their own. So, be talking about that and thinking about I think all of us every time we have seasonal allergies every time we get the first cough or sneeze, are a little anxious about that these days. And it's not that we want... You don't necessarily have to stay home every time. If you know you have allergies you should be wearing a mask and staying distant from one another. You don't necessarily have to stay home for that.
But we do expect you to monitor your symptoms, you should check your temperature every day just like our staff are expected to do before they come to work in the morning. And stay home if you have a fever, stay home if you have a cough. So, keeping that in mind. And I think one thing we want to impress upon students is COVID in most cases for this age group doesn't have all the implications that it can for other parts of our population. For our faculty and staff and all the people that I have living in the residence halls with students or serving their meals, it can be a very significant illness and it's a little bit scary to work right now. So, keeping in mind that we're all responsible for one another in this and that we are coming together in community and that's a very significant responsible. So, I think that's one of the most important messages that we can give one another as we start the year.
Dan Maxey (01:04:08):
Great, thank you both. I appreciate that. And Tobias said we will all have our masks. So, I've got my masks, at least one of my masks on hand all the time, although I've done the same thing that Tobias has done and gotten partway someplace and realized that I didn't have it and needed to come home to get one. But I think that once we're all back together on campus, having one of these on hand at all times will be something that we get used to pretty quickly. Mark, before I turn it over to you to say a few final words for us, we did happen to get the question that we get every time about what our plans are after Thanksgiving and if we anticipate that UNC will make a decision to go fully online after the Thanksgiving break.
Mark Anderson (01:04:54):
Sure, that's a great question. And the short answer is we are maintaining the academic calendar that we published several years ago starting on Monday, August 24th, fall break right before Thanksgiving and then coming back to campus following thanksgiving to finish out the semester, complete our finals and then celebrate our students and their success through our commencement exercises. As Dr. Finley and Dr. Guzmán referred to, we are continuously monitoring the public health situation. And our primary concern is the health and safety of our community. Faculty, staff and students. And although we plan on having a complete semester on a regular schedule, we also are in constant communication with the Department of Public Health, the Governor's Office and we will follow the guidance of those entities and making decisions.
So, the question about a go bag that was made a couple of minutes ago, we don't anticipate we're going to need to go back because we are following what's going on and we'll make decisions continuously and we will continuously update our community about what's happening in Colorado in Greeley and on the campus community as well. So, we anticipate a full robust semester, but we also recognize that the coronavirus is a fluid situation and we need to be prepared to adapt and so the plan for the moment is to have a full semester returning after Thanksgiving. Yes.
Dan Maxey (01:06:46):
Great. Thank you, Mark. Any closing words from any of our panelists?
Mark Anderson (01:06:52):
I would just like to take the opportunity to thank everybody for coming today. We are just over three weeks from the start of the fall semester. We anticipate it will be a great fall semester. We anticipate that you're going to have a great academic experience, a great student life experience and really just a great experience here at UNC to get the full collegiate activities. We encourage you to reach out to your advisors, your faculty, but also to reach out to any of us if you have any additional questions. We look forward to having you here on campus and I would encourage each and every one of you to reach out to me, when you get to campus, I'd like to meet you in person and hear your story and hear why you've decided to join the Bear family. So, thanks for being with us today, we look forward to seeing you on campus in a couple of weeks.
Dan Maxey (01:07:55):
Great, thank you, Mark. And I just want to point out that Chelsea and Rosa have posted a number of links to various resources that have come up during this conversation in the chat, including our return to campus guide, the move in guide, information about the Student Health Center and student health insurance programs. So, if you didn't happen to see those and you had a question about any of those areas or how to find your advisor, there's a lot of good information there. We received a lot of questions today and as it's often the case, I couldn't get around to every question. If we didn't happen to answer your questions, I know that some of our admissions staff have been working quickly in the background here to try to answer some of those questions directly, but you can also reach out to your admissions counselor if you have further questions.
I'd like to echo our panelists in thanking everyone who joined us today, we appreciate that you took some time out of your evening here to hear a little bit about our plans and to find answers to your questions. We look forward to seeing you all in the fall and with that, go Bears.
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