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July 14, 2020 - Living and Campus Update
Housing and Dining Virtual Open house with Jenna Finley, Ed.D. Executive Director of Campus Community & Climate, Nancy Matchett, Interim Associate Provost of Undergraduate Studies and Tobias Guzmán, Chief Diversity Officer and Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs.
Whitney Bonner (00:00:00):
Hello everyone. My name is Whitney Bonner, and I am the interim Director of Recruitment for the UNC Office of Admissions. Thank you so much for joining us tonight as we bring you some of our dedicated campus leaders who are going to be able to tell you our plans for the Fall 2020 semester.
Whitney Bonner (00:00:17):
Throughout this time, you will be muted. We do encourage you however to ask questions using the Q&A function that you will see at the bottom of your screen. As you area asking questions, we are going to do the best job that we can to answer those either live or privately via the Q&A function. So please feel free to watch that for an answer if we aren't answering that question live. Go ahead and start asking your questions now. We will do our best to get to each one, and in the event that we do not, we will followup with you after the fact.
Whitney Bonner (00:00:52):
As you know, things are changing pretty quickly with COVID-19. So we do ask that you will also hang with us as we are working through a lot of different planning options for the fall that we do hope that we are able to answer all of those questions this evening.
Whitney Bonner (00:01:07):
With that, I am going to turn it over to our moderator for tonight, Leah Schultz. Leah is a regional admission's counselor for UNC. Welcome, Leah.
Leah Schultz (00:01:19):
Hi. Thank you, Whitney. So I am very excited to be here today to talk to you about our housing and dining on campus, and I'm also pleased to introduce to you three of our UNC leaders and mentors in student affairs, campus community and climate. So with us today we have Dr. Tobias Guzmán, who serves as the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Chief Diversity Officer at UNC. Dr. Guzmán approaches his work with focus on building relationships and fostering a culture of care. These central tenents drive a culture of care philosophy where students and their experiences are a top priority.
Leah Schultz (00:02:04):
Dr. Guzmán works diligently to provide students with the necessary resources they need to progress along their path to success. And lastly on a personal note, Tobias is an alum of UNC, holds a black belt in karate with 30 years of experience and has research interests in equity and social justice impacts on communities and preventing student [inaudible 00:02:24] in colleges and universities.
Leah Schultz (00:02:28):
We also have with us Dr. Jenna Finely, who serves as the Executive Director of Student Affairs responsible for Housing and Residential Education and Dining Services here at UNC. She arrived at UNC in 2002 after working at CU Boulder, University of Wisconsin Stevens Point and Ball State University. She holds an undergraduate degree in social work, a master's degree in student affairs leadership, and a doctorate in education focused on higher education leadership. Dr. Finley's work has focused on developing inclusive communities focused on student success and support and exceptional service. Dr. Finley lives in Greeley, has three children aged 25, 20 and 13 and is an avid runner having completed several ultra marathons in the past few years.
Leah Schultz (00:03:19):
And for those of you that have been with us, I would like to introduce a new panelists today. We have UNC's Interim Associate Provost of Undergraduate Studies. So Dr. Nancy Matchett. Dr. Matchett is also a professor of philosophy at UNC and served as chair of our philosophy department prior to taking on her current role in the provost office. As a UNC faculty member, she taught both online and face to face courses in ethics, personal identity and applied philosophy and all of her research focused on putting philosophy to practice use. Her work in the provost office is centered on improving the under graduate curriculum and strengthening the relationships between students and faculty. Dr. Matchett grew up working on a cattle ranch in western Colorado and attended UNC's summer enrichment program for three consecutive summers during her middle school years.
Leah Schultz (00:04:16):
She has two college aged children, is an avid gardener and rows with the Loveland Rowing Club at least three mornings a week from May to October. On any given weekend, you might also find her on a bike, a horse, or cross country ski. So I'm grateful to have all of these panelists with us here today as well as over 100 [future bears 00:04:42] joining us as well.
Leah Schultz (00:04:44):
Before I kick things off to Tobias I would like to remind you, we will be answering questions live through the video chat as well as typing them in the Q&A box. So if you type in a question, please make sure that look to see if it was answered with a written answer as well. And I also want to invite you to our final open house during the last week in July. So we will have our very final updates for everybody. And then we will also be doing student open forums with future discussions with representatives from each of the colleges of your intended major. So if you're interested in joining these open houses and learning more about what your college and major program is planning on doing you can find these dates on our visits website at unco.edu/visit. So I hope you join us for those as well. And I am going to turn things over to Tobias.
Tobias Guzmán (00:05:53):
Thank you so much, Leah and welcome to everyone on the call. We have about 173 participants, and we're excited that you're with us this evening. We're here to talk to you a lot about on campus life as very specifically our housing and dining program. But we also in student affairs, have the opportunity to work with students in their growth and development that's outside of the classroom experiences. So everything from internships and jobs, to just the development of their personal experiences within their college career.
Tobias Guzmán (00:06:37):
As Leah mentioned, I'm an alum of UNC and also have the opportunity to meet my wife here, and it's not very unusual, but it is something that I think is kind of special to be able to meet your at the institution that you are an undergraduate at. I have a unique experience of being able to understand what it was like here many years ago, as well as what it is here today. But I can tell you that one thing that has remained very consistent, and that is that the ultimate care that we have for students, and the individualized and customized ways in which we work with students. We're not too big and we're not too small as the saying goes as an institution, but we just have a right size that I think is helpful in terms of being able to give students direction and guidance in terms of what they might need to be able to become graduates of UNC.
Tobias Guzmán (00:07:39):
So with that, I think it is important to underscore what Whitney talked about in terms of the changing environment of COVID. And I will say too that anybody in the country that says they've got this one down, I want to talk to them because it is very difficult, it is challenging. As we work with opening up a 12,000 person campus, it is changing by the day. But hopefully we're here to tell you a little bit about what decisions we have made and ease your concerns. That's the goal of these kinds of conversations is to make sure that we ease any anxiety and concerns that you might have before you move in, in August. So with that, I'm going to turn it over to Jenna Finley and she'll then introduce Dr. Matchett.
Jenna Finley (00:08:34):
Hello, everyone, I'm excited to see you today. I know some of you have tuned in before because I hear from families that have heard us multiple times and have listened to our plans as they evolve. I'm excited to say that we are a month away from our official move in process starting as of today, and so we are getting into the final weeks of our planning. As Tobias mentioned, it's been a big challenge. But I am also very excited about some of the things that we are actually doing for students. When you go through a process like this, you have to reimagine every aspect of what you do and make sure that we are still engaging students, supporting them in their success, and helping them build relationship and community in this very unique environment. So I look forward to answering your questions and talking to you about what's to come over the next few weeks and what students can expect this fall. And it is my pleasure to introduce Nancy Matchett.
Nancy Matchett (00:09:47):
Hi, everyone. It's really great to be here. I wish I could see you all in person, but we'll take it this way for now. I'm on the call today to help answer any questions you might have more about our academic preparations. And I know most of the people on this call came because it's focused on housing and dining. So I'll wait and see what questions come up. I do want to let you know that our faculty have been working really hard all summer to reimagine their courses. And even in those cases where our offerings are going to involve much more online delivery than they have in the past, the faculty have done their best to incorporate face to face learning in as many courses as possible. So if you do have questions about that interface, be sure to let me know.
Tobias Guzmán (00:10:32):
Leah, do you have some first questions for us?
Leah Schultz (00:10:40):
I do, yes. I was struggling with my mute button. Those pesky little things. So I will start off with a question for Jenna. So if a student move in time is earlier in the week, the 14th or the 15th, is the student expected to stay on campus until classes begin on the 24th or can they return home [crosstalk 00:11:07]?
Jenna Finley (00:11:09):
They can decide to return home, that is up to them. I think what we want families to think about. We'll have activities for students during that time. We have some graduate assistants that are working on options for that time period right now. However, we know it's not the full campus experience yet either. And so some students may go home, drop the things off and go home and that's okay. We really want you here by that Thursday, the 19th when the extended orientation period starts, when we have a lot of structure to that time in terms of things we'd like you to participate in that will set you up for a successful semester.
Jenna Finley (00:11:53):
And I think we will be talking to students about during those two weeks before classes begin thinking about doing just what we're doing right now limiting the amount of time you're spending in large groups, making sure you're wearing a mask and just being situated to have a good healthy start.
Leah Schultz (00:12:20):
Thank you and a little bit more about move in. So students were given a assigned move in time with the span of 30 minutes. Is that just time for you to settle in your dorm? What does that 30 minutes consist of?
Jenna Finley (00:12:35):
That 30 minutes is basically your car to room time and we know it's not a precise time period. There are some families that can do that faster and some families that might be a little bit slower. We will accommodate that. We are trying to stick as close to that schedule as we can. You do have time to settle into your room and families can stay for a bit and help with that process. We just ask that you don't spend a lot of time in community areas or hallways just to keep... Again, we're trying to maintain social distancing. So we intentionally didn't put roommates or suitemates moving at the same time or in the same few hours of one another. So families would have a little bit more time to help their students settle in. We do ask that you don't spend all day in the students room to make sure that you... just do maybe a little bit faster departure than you may have under normal circumstances. Just keeping in mind that we have a lot of people to get through our buildings and want to do so as safely as possible.
Leah Schultz (00:13:45):
Thank you. My next question is going to be for Nancy. So when will students be receiving their full schedule and know what the classes they're taking, what format they'll be in?
Nancy Matchett (00:13:59):
Hey, that's a time question. We actually just confirmed today that our registrar's office and our scheduling office have made all of the updates to the online course schedule. So we will be sending out information tomorrow or possibly Thursday by the time it reaches everyone. But we're getting that information out to all students that they can log into our Ursa system. And if you've already registered, you should see the same classes that you registered for originally, but you may see some changes to the delivery modalities. I can talk more about the delivery modalities, Leah, if you'd like me too, I don't know if now's a good time or how much detail we want.
Tobias Guzmán (00:14:41):
That'd be great.
Nancy Matchett (00:14:42):
You want me to go ahead?
Leah Schultz (00:14:43):
Yeah, I think that would be good.
Nancy Matchett (00:14:45):
Sure, I'm happy to. And again, all this will be coming out in email form too. And we also have put together a video that helps especially our new students understand kind of how to walk through viewing their schedule and making changes if they need to. So the three main delivery options that we have available are traditional face to face learning, those will be marked as face to face on your course schedule, they will have a room assigned to them and the days of times assigned to them. And there really should not be any changes to the days and times from when you originally registered for the course. We did everything we could to keep days and times the same, especially for courses that we're continuing to meet regularly.
Nancy Matchett (00:15:29):
Those courses will be a little bit different than they would have been in a normal year, because there'll be a much larger classroom so that the students can be spaced at least six feet apart. And we can keep up with all the other public health guidelines. Students and faculty will be wearing masks in the traditional classroom. But we do have a fair number of courses delivered that way. And we prioritized courses that really we felt it would be impossible to fully meet the learning outcomes of those courses without the face to face interaction. So that's the first group of courses.
Nancy Matchett (00:16:04):
The second group of courses are what we call mixed face to face. Some people also call them hybrid mixed face to face is just our official terminology. So that's what you would see on your schedule. And the little code sometimes that's attached is MF, that does not stand for Monday and Friday, it stands for mix face to face. So in mixed face to face classes, you'll want to look to see the days and times that are listed on the schedule. There will be days and times listed and there will be a room and during some of those days and times throughout the semester, you will meet in person with your faculty member in that classroom. But in most of those cases the students will be divided by the instructor into small groups. And so it'll only be a subset of the class who will meet with the instructor during the regular time on any given day, and the other portions of the course will be delivered via online delivery.
Nancy Matchett (00:17:03):
And we've done that again to maximize the opportunities for students and faculty to meet together face to face, while also accommodating social distancing restriction, and quite honestly making sure we can fit everyone into our campus. When we did a campus inventory of our classrooms towards the start of the summer to see how many people we could fit, if they're all six feet apart, we came up with about 30% of our typical classroom capacity. So offering these mixed face to face courses is a way to get as many students as possible together with their faculty. So that's the second group.
Nancy Matchett (00:17:42):
The third group of courses is fully online, so all of the instruction will take place online. But even there, there are sort of three subdivisions. Some courses are synchronous online, they will have days and times listed in the schedule and the course will meet regularly most likely on Zoom during those days and times and so that's sort of the... in some ways, it's the closest thing to what we had to do last spring when we had to move a lot of our courses to remote delivery. But it won't actually be that close because our instructors have had all summer to plan for delivering their courses that way, if that was the modality that they ended up using for their class. And they've quite honestly made that choice because they believe they can offer students with a better experience than they could in a huge classroom with students faced really far apart maybe. So those should be much more robust classes making use of many more interactive activities via zoom rather than just watching lectures.
Nancy Matchett (00:18:43):
The opposite end of the spectrum of fully online courses are those that were developed for fully asynchronous delivery. That's a big word which basically means there's no time that you have to be online, specifically at the same time as your instructor and other students. So you can come and go as it makes sense for your schedule. But it does not mean that the courses are self paced or that you're really all alone in some weird web space as you're doing your learning. So those courses are also very carefully designed by your instructor to facilitate opportunities for you to interact with the instructor, for you to interact with other students, and for you to interact with the course material to make sure you're really understanding it before you have big assessments like large papers and exams.
Nancy Matchett (00:19:32):
So in those cases, there are lots of discussion board activities, quizzes to test your learning, but they're really a self check. They don't automatically contribute to your grade, opportunities for group instruction. And that includes sometimes opportunities if you wish to get together with your classmates synchronously. It's just not required that you'd be online at any specific time. And then the last group of courses that are fully online are just a blend, some kind of blend of synchronous and asynchronous. So they may have one day a week where everyone comes to a Zoom classroom and they have a lecture online where you have the opportunity to ask questions, and then other activities that you do on your own in between those lecture periods, to make sure you're understanding the content to give you a chance to practice and get feedback on your learning. So I hope that gives you enough but not too much information. And if you have additional questions, feel free to let me know.
Leah Schultz (00:20:30):
Thank you so much for explaining that. That was very helpful and will help the students be prepared as they start looking at what their classes are. As a segue also, a lot of students are asking, we've got some out of state, some in state students. If their classes are solely online, or they change their schedule to be fully online are they allowed to not live in the residence halls and live at home and not have a dining contract.
Nancy Matchett (00:21:00):
Okay, Jenna, I think that one falls primarily to you.
Jenna Finley (00:21:03):
Yes. We are a residential campus, so we are maintaining our live on requirement. And that is because the complete college experience is about the in classroom experience as well as what's happening outside the classroom. And we really believe that the success of students, a big part of that is living on and getting that complete experience. So the only exceptions to that are for those that live in some very specific school districts that are close to you and see that they've always been able to live at home and commute. And then there's also a petition for release process, and that petition's available for people who have special circumstances around medical issues, mental health, are married some of the unique things that can happen and we review those with a committee. Anything that is medical related gets reviewed by the Disability Resource Center, using their expertise and then we make a decision about releasing someone from the live on requirements.
Nancy Matchett (00:22:12):
So I just want to jump in with one thing from the academic side. Even if all of your courses were online, our instruct... we're in the process right now of identifying all of our smaller classrooms spaces that with social distancing are really too small to hold regular classes in. So we're not using those spaces for classrooms. We are assigning them to instructors, including instructors who may be teaching fully online so that they have a kind of large space that they can have scheduled times for visits with students for sort of tutorials. We'll have to figure out some kind of sign up process to make sure we have the right number of people in a small room, but even a class that is coded fully online. If you're living on campus, you will have probably additional opportunities to interact with your faculty and we're trying to make that happen. So we can give you as close to a normal college experience or traditional college experience as you were expecting when you first decided to come to UNC.
Leah Schultz (00:23:15):
Thank you. I have a couple of questions about move in. Are masks going to be required during the move in time?
Jenna Finley (00:23:24):
Masks are required on campus, they are required for the move in period. The only time that they do not need to be worn are inside the students room. And I think the only exception to that is a parents are moving in and the other roommate has already arrived and still in the space. Since that's mixing two, think about it as mixing two households in a small space, we don't want to do that. It's a good idea roommates talk to one another and perhaps have the student that's already moved in maybe step out during the move in process. But if that's not possible, everyone should wear a masks even in the room.
Jenna Finley (00:24:05):
In terms of outdoors and other places, there are a couple other exceptions to when a mask needs to be worn. And that's in the dining room when you're seated and eating, that we expect mask be worn when you're entering the dining facility, and when you're in line getting your food, but everyone needs to be able to take their mask off to eat. Outside when people are socially distant from one another is another time where people will not necessarily have to be wearing a mask. And then also in the Campus Recreation Center when doing exercising, that's going to be optional as well. And those decisions are made by consulting our local health department in terms of... as well as the state order and the rules that we have in place for the campus for the fall.
Tobias Guzmán (00:24:57):
Just to underscore a little bit more about what Jenna is talking about with regard to mask wearing. And the classrooms are also going to be where students will be wearing masks, but our faculty and our staff, administrators will also be wearing masks. So it'll be a normal thing that you see on campus. And the research is pretty strong in terms of why wearing masks is important. And kind of hard to debate the effectiveness of masks. So regardless of what someone may have, in terms of an opinion, we believe that wearing masks is very, very important. And so we'll have an educational approach for the first few days, but we really need students, faculty and staff to understand the importance of wearing masks, social distancing, washing hands, sanitizing hands are all very, very important in this.
Leah Schultz (00:26:11):
Yeah, thank you. How many parents, family support people are allowed to help students move in?
Jenna Finley (00:26:19):
Two. And let me clarify that by saying to two that are allowed to go into the building with the student. We know that sometimes there might be a family that comes together with other children or grandparents. If that's the case, they need to be staying socially distant and staying outside. Our goal with limiting the support people is really we were very intentional in terms of planning everything from the route of the entry and exit of buildings to the path in the hallway and how many people could realistically... we can move in without posing any kind of risk of people not being able to maintain distance from one another.
Jenna Finley (00:27:05):
So we really would appreciate your help with maintaining that. We are a campus move in day and graduation are my two favorite days of the year. Move in because it's always at UNC is about family and there's a lot of emotion about dropping your student off on campus. And we recognize that it's a time of celebration. And it's a time of stress and sadness as well as relationships change, as people go into school and live away from home usually for the first time. So we recognize that this is hard, but we really need your help and only having two people other than the students in the building at a time.
Tobias Guzmán (00:27:49):
I'd like to expand as well from families who may want to, and support people that want to come and visit during the first six weeks which we consider very critical time for the development of a student in acclimating to college and university. And we still do encourage you to come visit your student. And the same rules, if you will, will apply in terms of visiting your student in their residence hall. But what I'd like you to focus on is the fact that we have lots of different parks, restaurants, and different things that you can still visit your student at those locations. And still give your student an opportunity to have some of that family or support people time. And it's not a complete isolation of them, unless you as parents want to make that happen.
Tobias Guzmán (00:28:47):
But I don't want to give the impression that we are cold and heartless and don't realize the fact that there's a lot of homesickness that occurs within those first six weeks. Always alert us if there's a concern with your students so that we can make contact with them if we haven't, or secondly, just making sure that there is a check in time with them, with you as their family and their support person. And so not to ever hesitate on that.
Leah Schultz (00:29:28):
Thank you. We also have some questions about what will the dining halls look like this fall?
Jenna Finley (00:29:34):
The dining rooms will for the most part, operate as they always have, with the exception of somewhat what you see in restaurants right now. You won't see buffets or self service, we will serve you food, there will still be plenty of options. And there'll be also some limits on the number of people we can have eating inside the dining room at a time. And so with that we've expanded some of our outdoor seating so students will be able to eat outside as well as inside, or they can choose to take something completely to go. And we have lots of options and ways to do that.
Jenna Finley (00:30:15):
We also recognize it because of we have... it will be anticipated a little bit slower. We're working way through the dining room with a slower, smaller capacity to expand some of our all day options. So we'll have a place on campus where people can pick up multiple meals to go at a time or meals that are frozen to eat later. So that it really enhance our service and give more opportunity that's going to meet the individual students needs.
Jenna Finley (00:30:49):
I think I've seen some question about whether everything was to go and that is not the plan at all. We plan to have ability to sit in the dining room and ability to sit at tables outside and feel some sense of community around having a meal. We know that, that is one of the places that all of us coming together at a table, even if it has to be farther apart than we're used to, is still a piece of ritual and community building, though that we need and feel as important.
Leah Schultz (00:31:30):
Thank you. And then we also have many questions about if the library is going to be open for use and studying this fall.
Nancy Matchett (00:31:41):
Sure, so that sounds like a question for me. We are opening our library starting on August 1st. I'm not sure and I'm sorry, I don't have this answer for you, but it will have a fairly typical hours, I believe. There may be some limits on the hours in the evenings. But the library will be open, they are in the process right now I was just talking with our library Dean today of moving some of the furniture around to make sure we're enforcing social distancing expectations. But you can come, you can gather, you can use the WiFi network in the library, you can check out materials, all of those activities will be available.
Leah Schultz (00:32:21):
And then same as the Recreation Center.
Nancy Matchett (00:32:26):
Sure, so the Rec Center, Tobias and Jenna may have a little more to add, but I know that we are opening our Rec Center. I was on a conversation very recently where we discuss the ways to do that safely. Again we'll have smaller capacities in any group fitness classes and we're making sure our equipment is spaced far apart. Still working out making sure we have good cleaning protocols and all of those kinds of safety measures but we are doing everything we can within public health guidelines to make sure all of our facilities are available for a full campus experience.
Leah Schultz (00:33:03):
Thank you. And then this question is also for you, Nancy. So if a student has a solely online class, will it be indicated on Ursa if it is a synchronous or asynchronous class?
Nancy Matchett (00:33:16):
Yes, that information is available. And it's if the schedule is showing on sort of the first page as fully online, if you click on the additional details part of the schedule, there should be some information in the comments indicating how the course will be delivered. And the other way to say it as if it says online, but days and times aren't listed, then you will be meetings at those dates and times at least some weeks of the semester or some days. Again, it might not be every single one of those days times, that's where you're going to want to look to the comments section to see and if it's telling you something like blended online, or hybrid online, that's going to suggest to you that only some of the meetings will be synchronous and some will be asynchronous.
Nancy Matchett (00:34:03):
One other tip I can give right now, we're not sure when this will start to be available, but our instructors are working as quickly as they can to get detailed information about exactly how their course schedule will go and post it to Canvas, which is our online learning management system. And as soon as instructors are able to make that information available, those Canvas sites will go live for students who are enrolled in the class will see them on their Canvas sites and can see a kind of read only version of the course. So you'll be able to get a good sense of how the course is going to operate.
Nancy Matchett (00:34:39):
The courses won't open for participation until the first day of classes, but you should be able to get a pretty good sense of what your classes are going to look like as we get closer to the start of term.
Leah Schultz (00:34:52):
Thank you. Let's move on to a few health and safety questions. So what would happen if a student were to get COVID?
Jenna Finley (00:35:01):
If a student were to get COVID, they would be asked to move into an isolation room. We have designated single rooms that will have, they have a private bathroom, microwave and refrigerator, those type of amenities. The student will be asked to stay for the duration of what they're instructed to do by either the health department or their physician. Typically, we're seeing, we would see a student be in self quarantine if they've been exposed to the illness or then self isolation and if they have COVID. And we deliver all their meals in that case, we provide some basic health amenities, but we do not provide any medications or Tylenol or those kinds of things.
Jenna Finley (00:35:49):
So while we're on this topic, just want to remind families to know please think about bringing some of those basic health supplies, a thermometer is a good idea. We plan to have some disposable thermometers go out in masks, but those are fairly limited in quantity. So if you can please bring your own wardrobe of fabric masks, a thermometer, a supply of Tylenol, some basic cleaning supplies, those are all good ideas. But yeah, we have rooms designated for isolation of someone who becomes sick.
Jenna Finley (00:36:28):
And then someone from the house center, as well as right now the health department would be contacting and checking on the student's health. And then someone from our case management office would also just check in to see how students are doing. We know that being in isolation, in a single room for a couple of weeks can be a little bit stressful or lonely. So someone will also be checking in just to see how they're doing on an emotional level.
Leah Schultz (00:36:57):
Yeah, and so with that, how is UNC addressing the importance of at risk students? So students who don't have it yet, but are a high risk, how are we addressing that in the residence halls and throughout campus even? Are they allowed to request to not live on campus?
Jenna Finley (00:37:16):
I think I've talked to a lot of families with students who are high risk for one reason or another. And there, I suggest that people look and understand what high risk categories exist and then think about as a family, what's going to be the best decision for you. Some students regardless of risk, they'll want the complete college experience, and are accepting the risk in coming. Some will choose to petition for release and that gets evaluated again by the Disability Resource Center. And then some are choosing to move to a single room so they have that in between where they have a little bit less... They won't have a roommate, they'll have a room to themselves and can manage their health a little bit differently than if they had a roommate.
Jenna Finley (00:38:01):
So those are all things to consider. We did have a building that we have designated as singles, students are assigned with a roommate right now there's space available, they can contact our office and request a single in Western Hall. That's a tier one facility. It does cost $525 a semester for a single room. That building does have community bathrooms, and I think the good thing about that style of bathroom is that that will get cleaned every couple of hours by our custodial staff.
Jenna Finley (00:38:38):
If you are in a suite, you are expected to keep your bathroom clean. And we will be providing some instruction on what does it mean to clean and what does it mean to disinfect, because that's really what's needed is to disinfect high touch surfaces that includes your bathroom, that includes your remote control, your gaming control, or your phone. But we'll provide some support. But think about that too before you come. If you're a parent and your student hasn't been doing a lot of cleaning or disinfecting in their past, that's a skill that they should develop and have some support in before they get here so they understand those pieces once they arrive.
Tobias Guzmán (00:39:22):
And just a small clarification, the $525 is on top of the price of the room, so it's an additional charge. And it looks like too in one of the posts that someone said they had not heard back yet regarding their single room. Make sure you let us know who you are so we can get back in touch with you so that we can let you know about your single room.
Leah Schultz (00:39:56):
Yeah, and are we going to have COVID testing available for students?
Jenna Finley (00:40:01):
We will have COVID testing available to students, it is at our Student Health Center. That testing is free. And it is taking just like everywhere else, we've seen a great range in terms of the time it takes to get results back. This summer, it's been anywhere from a couple of days to about 10 days. So just be aware of that particular piece. But we're seeing the same thing across the country in the state that that length of turnaround time has varied quite a bit.
Leah Schultz (00:40:38):
Yeah, thank you. And is UNC going to be offering any personal protective equipment for students?
Jenna Finley (00:40:47):
We expect students to bring their own fabric masks and we recommend multiple because we know that as a mask becomes soiled or damp during the day, it's a good idea to change it. Some students have I think a higher, more willing to like re-launder those same couple of masks every day. And they really if you've worn it during the day, you needed to be washing it at night. So bringing multiple masks is a good idea.
Jenna Finley (00:41:16):
We do know that there'll be times, I think it's happened to all of us, we've gotten somewhere and realized we left the mask sitting at home. We will have a few locations on campus where people can pick up a temporary mask to use. And in the case of someone in isolation, we'll be providing a couple of surgical masks in that instance, as well as some gloves.
Leah Schultz (00:41:46):
Thank you, want to switch into housing a little bit because we do have multiple questions about some students think that their roommate is either considering leaving or they will leave, what is the likelihood of their room being... have a new student moving into their room.
Jenna Finley (00:42:06):
We will look at our what happens with, how many people we have in half bacon rooms, because some people are also moving into Wellston Hall to get a single. It is possible that we will consolidate some rooms so people will end up with a roommate. At that point in time we will give an option to buy the room out if they prefer to buy it out as a single to keep it a single. If you don't, you can get a roommate at any time if we don't have at the beginning of the year. We often have room moves for a variety of reasons throughout the year. So you would need to be ready to have a roommate at anytime.
Leah Schultz (00:42:51):
Thank you, and a couple students are wondering are they allowed to have overnight guests in their room?
Jenna Finley (00:43:00):
They are not allowed to have overnight guests this year. With COVID we will in student rooms have a no guest policy. We are waiting a bit to decide if it's no guests in the residence hall itself and that decision will be made based on just the transmission rate and how COVID is looking at that point in time.
Jenna Finley (00:43:25):
So our community spaces will have some capacities so we can maintain social distancing. As Tobias mentioned with families, meeting outside, those types of things, what we encourage but we will not be having guests in student rooms. In consultation with our health department and the [inaudible 00:43:47] Department of Higher Education, roommates are considered a household. And so thinking about how small the, I mean, our spaces that we have, we have spacious rooms for residence halls. But they are still intended for the occupancy that they have. So once you add even one person, it becomes nearly impossible to maintain any kind of social distancing.
Leah Schultz (00:44:14):
Thank you. And then in terms of guests, are we allowed to have family and friends join us at athletic events?
Jenna Finley (00:44:25):
I don't think the decisions around athletic events and how they will occur and be ticketed has been determined yet. I think that's something that's still being planned.
Tobias Guzmán (00:44:42):
Yeah. One of the options for students is to attend football games and basketball games, wrestling. We do have all of our athletes in town at this point, and the hope and the goal is to make sure that they are able to have their games. But at this point, there is still some discussion about what that does and what risk having athletics conduct practices and workouts, and ultimately their competitions on campus.
Tobias Guzmán (00:45:30):
And what we have seen across the country is individual schools that universities and institutions colleges making decisions. We have the division that we're part of, Big Sky division is something that those conversations are still occurring. And we're hoping that in the next few weeks, we'll have a final decision on what that's going to look like. So if there are any games, if athletics were to proceed as typical, we probably would have limited seating, limited distancing. So it won't look as it would before with full stands, cheering and all those things that we normally like to see.
Leah Schultz (00:46:28):
Yeah, and then this question I think is for Nancy. So how are we allowing students to use... Why can't I think of the word. Things that are available to them, the tutoring services, career services, the counseling center, how are we allowing students to still access these opportunities and offices?
Nancy Matchett (00:46:53):
Sure. We have all of our standard support students available throughout the fall. They will have both online and face to face appointment times. I think this semester, it's going to be a little more important for students always to have a scheduled appointment if they're coming in person, because we want to make sure we don't have huge crowds of students and that we're moving... we know that we can meet with you at a six foot distance.
Nancy Matchett (00:47:23):
But I know that all of the teams are working on that process. And I also know that at least, all of our academic tutoring services and we have dedicated ones for writing, for math, we also have more open ended ones where you can just get academic support. They will also have drop in times available online so that if you suddenly have a question, you can just go straight to a Zoom room and get that question asked as soon as you're next in line, if it doesn't make sense for you to make an appointment. But face to face, in person appointments will be available too. And, again, we're staffing up all of those units right now and just kind of moving the furniture around, putting up some plexiglass glass barriers and making sure we're ready to go by the time you arrive.
Leah Schultz (00:48:09):
Thank you. And my advice to the students is, even if they're online take as much advantages of these resources and offices that you can because they're really helpful and it will make your college experience a lot better and they will help you through this difficult time right now.
Leah Schultz (00:48:27):
So Jenna, I have a couple questions about students that have not received a move in time email yet.
Jenna Finley (00:48:35):
If you were assigned a space after June 26th, so you will receive your letter about move in tomorrow was when that's expected to come out. If you assigned yourself to a room a month ago and have not received it, please email me directly at email@example.com. It should have gone to your bare mail address. I've had a couple people in the situation I had to kind of help them figure out where it went, but they did have it. We can tell on our system if it's been received and opened, but please let me know. But if you didn't sign up for housing until mid June and we assigned you a space around the 26th or later, then you'll get the movement information tomorrow.
Leah Schultz (00:49:34):
Thank you. Since we're on the topic of movement, I'm going to ask one question and then I'm going to move to a different subject. But there is just some questions about the clarification again about 30 minutes. Are parents and support people allowed to stay in the students room to help them unpack and get their room set up after that 30 minute window of coming from the car into the residence hall?
Jenna Finley (00:50:01):
Yes, they can help their students settle in, we don't encourage staying for hours. And we, you also need to be mindful of their roommates or suitemates. Because again, there's just not enough space to have both roommates are suitemates and family in the space safely. So we really encourage you to... the 30 minute time frame is just getting things physically into the room. I think another common question is, can I go to Target and does that count in my 30 minutes to bring those things in? No, that's a different thing altogether. So yes, you'll be able to go to Target and bring your bags in after that time. So yes, I hope that helps with clarification.
Tobias Guzmán (00:50:54):
I like to think of it as, you know, this is the time that you really get the bulk of your belongings into your room. And then you have the rest of the time to start to figure out the layout of your room and really kind of analyze where things go. And then what are the things you might need or that you possibly forgot about. But just as you pack your car, or your vehicle, you want to unload it. And so that's what that 30 minutes is really used for is unloading. And then, you can really spend the time taking care of the needs of your room.
Leah Schultz (00:51:43):
Thank you. So we do have a couple concerns about the actual amount of confirmed cases that we've had here on campus. Is there, I guess, do we have... what would you like to comment on that?
Tobias Guzmán (00:52:02):
Sure. So, yes, we have had a few cases on campus. This is not a secret and by all means, would we not... we would want to be transparent about that, just as it is across the nation. What we have learned from all of this is that precautions by students need to be taken and need to be taken very seriously. We look at this as a personal responsibility as well as looking out for your fellow neighbor.
Tobias Guzmán (00:52:48):
What we have realized is that not all people take the precaution seriously. And the community spread is something that is very real. It's not just a made up TV news term, it is very, very true and the spread is very effective, if you want to put it in that way. We have also learned that we have changed and confirmed our own operating practices. Standard operating practices is something that we use in making sure that our cleaning practices, our notification practices are all on the top level of being able to manage effectively.
Tobias Guzmán (00:53:46):
Students and their responsibility when they are quarantined or in isolation, have to be taken seriously again. And so what we have learned is when students don't take that seriously, you are putting others in danger and that is not okay. We've got to be very mindful of all the other people that are on campus, our faculty, our staff and your fellow students. So, this is something that is very concerning for us, and again, it may sound as if we're pretty rigid about this, but we're rigid for a very particular reason and that's for everyone's safety and health.
Tobias Guzmán (00:54:33):
We also know that students at this age and development may not fully understand taking this as seriously as we are taking it. And so the behaviors outside of the university, perhaps gathering together, social activities, all those types of things continue to put everyone else in danger unless you are having a social activity with six feet apart and masks, that's probably a better controlled environment than some of the social gatherings that I have seen and heard of which are not okay.
Tobias Guzmán (00:55:25):
So yes, we have had confirmed cases and we are managing those with the best ability and partnership with the city as well as partnership with our health center in making sure that they're dealt with accordingly.
Jenna Finley (00:55:42):
I think a common question I get is, how are you going to enforce the health standards that are necessary to keep the community safe? All of the... from the mask wearing, to social distancing, to the guests policy, to if you're told because you've been exposed to self quarantine or you're told to self isolate because you're sick and abiding by that order from the health department. That does tie to our Student Code of Conduct and policy around health and safety of yourself and others.
Jenna Finley (00:56:20):
So it is something that can go through the university conduct disciplinary system. A lot of things I think we will be in community with one another and remind. You need to have your mask on, you can't enter this building, you can't enter this class, unless you have your mask on. There are other things that are just they pose just a lot more risk and so we do take them seriously. They will go through the conduct process, and the range of sanctions for that are pretty wide ranging in our system.
Jenna Finley (00:56:51):
So it's a good thing to have a family conversation around and thinking, you know, I know students want to have again that college experience, and this is one thing that is going to be different and we asked for them to be different. And thinking about not only their health and the health of their peers, but of all the faculty and a lot of... I have a lot of staff working very, very directly with students, no matter what the circumstances, living in residence halls with them and [inaudible 00:57:20] eating them, and we want to protect their health as well. So these things are very, very important.
Tobias Guzmán (00:57:31):
And truthfully, the goal... sorry, Leah, just one quick addition to that. The goal is to make sure that we are able to offer you what you are here for and that is an academic degree, and to be educated and to be able to get a job. And so for our first year students, you may think, "Oh, that's so far away." And in fact, it may be may sound far away, and it's really not. You are progressing on this journey on a track to be able to get your degree and get a job, which is ultimately what the goal should be. And so we've got to maintain the integrity of that. And everything that Jenna was just talking about, and our enforcement of that is not made to make your life difficult. We've got other things that we would rather do, but this is part of our job now. And that is to make sure that we ensure safety and that you are able to get your degree and get educated here.
Leah Schultz (00:58:45):
Yeah, thank you. Thank you so much, Tobias. I know that we are right at six o'clock. I think our panelists are willing to stay on to answer a few more questions, if that is all right with all of you. But for those of you who haven't, I would still like to remind you to please consider joining our open houses for your specific major. And you can find those dates on the UNC website. That's unco.edu/visit. And we've also put all of the dates in the chat as well. So we just want to make sure that you get registered for that so you can see what your college specifically and your professors are planning on doing and how they are ensuring a successful academic semester for you. So don't forget to tune into that.
Leah Schultz (00:59:33):
Nancy, this next question is for you. We have some questions about students returning after Thanksgiving break. Are we still considering returning from Thanksgiving break?
Nancy Matchett (00:59:47):
I'm happy to take that question. A lot of people have been asking it. The decision we've made on our campus so far is to maintain our traditional academic calendar. So that includes a week of classes and an exam period on campus after the Thanksgiving break.
Nancy Matchett (01:00:04):
So the main reason we're doing that is given our student demographic and typical behaviors on our campus, we know our students do frequently leave in return on the weekends. And it seems that leaving and returning over slightly longer weekend at Thanksgiving is roughly consistent with that pattern. So that's our plan right now. I noticed in the chat someone asking about spring term, our plan is to have a spring term also, with as much face to face traditional college experience as we can. That being said, we are making sure all of our faculty are prepared to pivot if we have to based on the most current health guidance from Weld County and from the state.
Leah Schultz (01:00:47):
Yeah, and we also have some concerns about out of state students who would consider flying home for Thanksgiving break. Do they have the opportunity to just stay home or are we still asking that they return to campus?
Nancy Matchett (01:01:02):
Sure. So ultimately, this is a question that can come up in a regular term and I always like it when I get questions that are normal for my office. So we do recommend if you are enrolled in a face to face class that has activities after the break that you come back after the break if you do go home. I'm assuming that's consistent with the public health guidance at the time and we do understand that some states have 14 day quarantines, and those types of considerations.
Nancy Matchett (01:01:31):
So when it comes to your specific classes, it's important always on any of these kinds of issues to communicate with your faculty members and I know all of our faculty members really they teach at UNC because they try to put students first and we want to make sure we're making it possible for you to learn and are acknowledging your circumstances. So if there are good reasons why you feel it's very difficult for you to return to campus after Thanksgiving, I would reach out to your faculty member as early in the term as possible, let them know. And my guess is you'll be able to work out some kind of reasonable plan.
Nancy Matchett (01:02:06):
Having said that, I do want to say the majority of our classes that are in a very traditional face to face format, it's because we've really made the determination that we're just not sure we can guarantee you the learning we know that you came for with the out in person experience. So in some of those face to face classes, it could be difficult. But if there's a way our faculty members really do try to be flexible so we can support students.
Jenna Finley (01:02:35):
I think the other important thing to know is that the residence halls don't close at Thanksgiving break. So there is the option to just stay continuously. And we also have housing through the winter break as well. And I think this is helpful with families for a couple different reasons. Sometimes it's that the family there's a high risk family member in terms of COVID and it's just not a great idea to have people coming and going from the household. Lawrence Hall and Harrison Hall are automatically open throughout break periods and beyond that if someone lives in a different residence hall, we open up [inaudible 01:03:14] basis and have people move temporarily for that winter break. For Thanksgiving break, they just get to stay in their own space and not have to leave. And we typically have... because we're so close to finals, a lot of students like to take that week to study. We typically have 300 to 400 students that do stay during that time. That's a pretty common thing to happen in any given year.
Jenna Finley (01:03:40):
And I do think that the concept of going home or back and forth between a campus and home throughout a semester is also something to consider carefully as a family. We know how the transmission of COVID works, and the more you go back and forth between different communities, there's some risk with that. So being a little insular even when you're on campus is not a bad idea. It's not a rule per se that we will be enforcing, but it's something just to think about.
Leah Schultz (01:04:13):
And with the students coming and going from campus, will we be considering contact tracing?
Jenna Finley (01:04:21):
If someone has COVID, yes there is contact tracing. Generally the health department does that tracing, but we are also prepared to train people to be able to do that as well. So that is something that we do plan to do.
Nancy Matchett (01:04:42):
Yeah, and the contact tracing makes sense to the classrooms as well. Right now we're having the conversation about when we need to enforce seating charts to make sure we know exactly where students were in relation to other students in a classroom. And or when we just need to know who was present in an entire class period, but our faculty are working on that piece as well.
Leah Schultz (01:05:08):
Thank you. And then we also have a question about if campus were to close due to another outbreak, would we be refunding any tuition, housing and meal contract costs?
Tobias Guzmán (01:05:22):
I think it would depend on the situation. And so when we talk about a stay at home order or something that is determined by the governor of the state of Colorado, then we would probably take action accordingly. So for instance, this past semester, when colleges and universities across the nation made decisions to go remote, classes remotely, many of the on campus housing and dining did not close. And so the services continued on. And so for us, we did not offer a refund of the housing and dining because we did not close those operations.
Tobias Guzmán (01:06:15):
If the state were to say that campuses need to shift to online remote, we would have to make a decision. And most likely that decision would be if it's made by the governor, a housing and dining refund could occur. And as you can probably hear in my language, could occur dependent upon the situation, all of those things, I don't mean to be misleading or speak very political, but I'm trying to make sure that we leave room for all the different things and nuances that occur. So it's a hard question to answer right now, but I also think it's important to help understand the character of this university. And that is to make sure that we're not just here to take your money, and it's too bad that the university had to shift to online. That's not our thinking. So it is all very dependent upon the situation, and it could include refunds.
Nancy Matchett (01:07:26):
So I just wanted to jump in quickly on tuition. Again, all of our faculty are making sure they're prepared to continue their classes, either for a short term for an individual student who may need to be quarantined or be sick for a couple of weeks, or for their entire class if we're forced to go back to fully remote learning by a state order. They have plans to continue to deliver their courses. So we're confident we can get you all the way to the end of the semester and complete your learning for the course. So we don't expect to be having to offer tuition refunds.
Leah Schultz (01:08:03):
Yeah, thank you. And then I guess I just have this one last question. So if a student does contract COVID or if they are too sick to take care of themselves, are then allowed to go home quarantine and get better at home?
Jenna Finley (01:08:22):
There is that option to isolate or self quarantine at home. It's going to be important to let us know what the plans are. I think there's some caution with that, as well. I think when you think about taking an exposure or a confirmed case of COVID from one place where a student is isolated and bringing it to another, to your family or to your community, there is risk with that. The Health Department really prefers someone to go into isolation and stay there. But we also can't prevent someone from going to their home. You can't get on an airplane, the Health Department gives instructions to someone in terms of what the guidelines are for quarantine and self isolation.
Jenna Finley (01:09:11):
In terms of if someone is too sick, we will be asking students to self monitor their symptoms. They get instructions too from us in terms of what they should be doing while they're in isolation, and be letting our health center know if their conditions are worsening, or their own doctor of choice is also an option. And then we take advice accordingly, whether that's to go to get reevaluated or go to the hospital, as well.
Leah Schultz (01:09:49):
Thank you. Thank you so much to all of our panelists who are here today. Really appreciate you spending time with us and answering all of our questions and we're really thankful for all of you future bears as well for you to be here listening to us. I think Tobias has a few closing words he would like to say.
Tobias Guzmán (01:10:10):
Thank you, Leah, and thanks for everyone spending the past hour and 12 minutes with us. And as you think about more questions we ask you to make sure you reach out to us. It's better to try to seek understanding and information than it is to perhaps make up the answer yourself. And also, please give us some grace. As with all campuses, universities, colleges, are dealing with this, as well as many different organizations and businesses. We need grace at this time as things are moving very, very quickly and changing from day to day.
Tobias Guzmán (01:11:01):
We also want to make sure that you know that we are professionals and trying to manage this. There's a lot of logic, and a lot of long meetings and problem solving that is occurring throughout this time. All the way from way back in March. We have been in this kind of mode of triage as well as planning for the future. And I want you to know that the campus experience is something that is very important to us. And it's a big part of your getting to that next level, in your own personal development as students.
Tobias Guzmán (01:11:48):
It will look a little bit different. In fact, in some places, it'll look a lot different, but please trust us that we've been taking the time to try to re-calibrate what that looks like, all with safety and understanding in mind. So thank you so much for being in your homes this evening. And I know that the end slide will have our email addresses so that if you have any direct questions, you can email us directly. Thank you so much.
Nancy Matchett (01:12:24):
Thank you. It was great meeting you.
Leah Schultz (01:12:27):
Thank you all for being here. Again, please join us for our final open house. It will be the last week in July. We will have campus leaders here including president Andy Feinstein, to talk about our final updates for our Fall 2020 plan. And then please again, consider joining us for our academic open houses. Those are going to be the weeks of July 20th and 27th. So we hope to see you there and please reach out if you have any questions, bye.
- Campus Updates and Information - July 30, 2020
- Living on Campus Open House - July 14, 2020
- Living on Campus Open House - June 29, 2020
- Campus Updates and Information - June 23, 2020
- Living on Campus Open House - June 16, 2020
- Campus Updates and Information - June 9, 2020
- Campus Updates and Information - May 21, 2020
- Living on Campus Open House - May 18, 2020
- Campus Updates and Information - May 13, 2020
- Living on Campus Open House - May 11, 2020