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8.24.20

Dear Fall 2020 Students:

For our new and incoming students, welcome to the University of Michigan-Flint!  For our continuing students, welcome back!

We are so happy you’ve chosen UM-Flint to begin – or continue – your college journey.  We recognize that these are not ordinary times in which we find ourselves. As you embark upon your higher education journey, please know that UM-Flint has taken extraordinary measures to keep you safe, support your health and well-being, and preserve and enhance the quality of your educational experience.            

What follows is an outline of the public-health informed guidelines and protocols that have been developed to ensure the safety of all members of our campus community – students, staff, faculty and others.  It is our expectation that all students read, understand, and follow these guidelines during opening and throughout the fall semester; and to observe changing public health conditions and guidelines as communicated by the university.  Doing so will increase the likelihood that we stay safe and are able to maintain continuous operations for a successful conclusion to the fall semester. 

Social Distancing 
All U-M Flint students are encouraged to observe a period of enhanced social distance at home before arriving in Flint or on campus. It is an important part of our strategy to minimize risk and keep COVID-19 out of our community. 

During this period, you need to monitor your health, reduce your contact with others and follow guidance consistent with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including:

  • Taking your temperature two times a day and monitor for fever.
  • Watching for cough, trouble breathing or additional COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Staying home and avoiding contact with others outside of your home. 
  • Avoiding public transportation, taxis or ride-shares.
  • Maintaining a physical distance from others (about 6 feet).
  • Wearing a face covering when in public settings or while interacting with others outside of the home.
  • Seeking medical attention if you develop a fever, other symptoms and/or test positive for COVID-19. Do not come to campus until you receive further instructions.

Students will be expected to remain socially distant while on-campus. Please observe occupancy signage and ensure you maintain 6 feet of social distance between you and others.

Testing, Quarantine and Isolation
UM-Flint has created a comprehensive plan for the evaluation of students with suspected symptoms of COVID-19. All students are expected to follow these steps if experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, have been exposed to COVID-19, or have been tested for COVID-19:

  • Stay home and self-isolate until provided with further advice from your physician and direction from the University;
  • Notify your instructors; and
  • Complete the Student COVID-19 Illness Reporting Form at www.umflint.edu/covid-19.

Academic Updates 
Campus will feel quieter this semester with density (i.e., people on campus at any given time) reduced by over 75% based on daily averages. Faculty are adjusting their office hour policies so that face-to-face meetings are not required to occur on campus.

Course Schedules and Formats.  Changes to the Fall 2020 course schedule, including locations, have been completed.  Please work directly with your professional academic advisor to make any changes to your schedule or if you have any questions about modalities. This video explains the difference between online synchronous and online asynchronous course formats. Faculty will be providing more information if your class is planning on operating in a hybrid or hyperflex format - this means that only some of the students will come to campus to be in the classroom physically, while others will join online.

Classroom Spaces.  For face-to-face courses, you will find that new “COVID-19 Student Capacities” have been configured for each classroom space using 8-foot diameter “bubbles” around each student; this will allow you to maintain physical distance while seated in a classroom or moving about a laboratory. Please do not make any adjustments to the layout or move any tables around within the assigned classrooms. Cleaning supplies will be placed in all classroom spaces for you to use to sanitize your space before use, which will be in addition to our overall daily cleaning schedule. 

Thompson Library.  The Library will be open for your use throughout the semester and has implemented new systems to make sure you have the resources you need. Check out their website for more information on hours of operation and the new curbside pick-up option. The Library has also implemented a new seat reservation system available here that will allow you to reserve your study spot (with or without a computer) in advance or in real time. Laptops will be available for you to check out for use within the library.

Computer Labs. Students will have access to computer lab space through access to 56 stations that will be open on campus for your use during posted building hours.  Please check the ITS website for updated information here

Online Resource Guide.  For more regarding online education resources, please see the online student resource guide.

Screening, Greeters & Building Hours 
Students are expected to check themselves for COVID-19 symptoms each day through ResponsiBLUE, the University of Michigan Health Screening questionnaire.  Each day, you will log into the system to answer a small set of questions.  Currently, the UM-Flint community is using the following web app for daily screenings:  https://healthscreen.umich.edu.  A phone app will be available soon. 

In addition to completing the self-screening questionnaire, individuals entering university buildings will be asked to show the completed ResponsiBLUE health screening page to greeters.  Greeters will be stationed at a single point of entry welcoming students and employees to campus buildings. Additional screening may be required in a few select areas depending upon those specific program requirements.

Building hours of operation will vary by building and day of the week. Please review building hours here

Face Coverings
UM-Flint requires all students, staff, faculty, and visitors to wear a face covering that covers the mouth and nose while anywhere on campus grounds. This includes when inside buildings, outdoors and on UM transportation on all campuses. Please click here for the full policy, including the approved UM exceptions.

Students who are unable to wear a face covering due to a medical or psychological condition should initiate an accommodation request with Disability and Accessibility Support Services (DASS) prior to coming to campus. Contact Chip Evans at 810.762.3456 or email dassflint@umich.edu for more information.

The Division of Student Affairs and Student Government have purchased two cloth face coverings for students who have face-to-face courses. Students can pick-up their face coverings beginning August 31st by visiting the Office of the Dean of Students in 375 UCEN.

MCards (Student ID Cards) and Parking 
The Department of Public Safety will be waving the requirement of a MCard for health assessment entry to buildings during the first two weeks of class; however, if you do not have a MCard you will need a valid driver's license or state ID.  If you have not registered on the MCard portal for a MCard, please do so by logging on through the website and submitting your picture. 

There are two options to receive your MCard:

  1. DPS will mail MCards to students who submit a photocopy of the front and back of a valid driver’s license with mailing address.
  2. Students may pick up their MCard during the first 2 weeks of the semester (8/31 - 9/11) at the UPAV Ice Rink from 8am-4pm. 

Students will need to pre-register their car at my.umflint.edu under the Parking tab. Once logged into this page, you will need to enter your license plate and car make, model, and year. This will speed up the process of receiving parking passes for the semester. Parking passes can be picked up between 8/31 - 9/11 at the UPAV Ice Rink from 8am-4pm.

Food Service
Consuming food and beverages will not be permitted in any classroom or hallway and may only be consumed in designated dining locations with limited seating and 6’ of distance between people.  Locations where food and beverages can be consumed on campus safely are as follows (each location is designated by clear signage):  

  • UCEN - 2nd Floor
  • WSW - 1st Floor
  • UPAV - 1st Floor

If food or water is required for medical or instructional (such as singing or presenting) reasons, please ask to be excused to the hallway to eat or drink. Maintain 10-12 feet of distance and only partially remove your mask. You can also be excused to the restroom if additional safety is required. 

Winter 2021
UM-Flint continues to work out the details of the Winter 2021 schedule. We anticipate a modified schedule that will include a later start date with the possibility of removing winter break in order to maintain the appropriate number of instructional days for the term. We will be working in the coming weeks to make sure the Winter 2021 schedule is ready and up-to-date to allow you to register for your winter courses in November. 

To support all of these efforts, students at the University of Michigan-Flint partnered with students at the University of Michigan-Dearborn to create the Wolverines Care Pledge as demonstration of our ongoing commitment to keeping everyone in our community safe. Let’s meet the challenge together. Take the Pledge!

For Me. For You. Go Safe. Go Blue!

Best wishes for a safe and successful semester.

Christopher M. Giordano, PhD
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs