Fall 2020 Q&A

Academics

How will classes be offered in the fall semester?

Unless directed otherwise by the state or county, Mines will have students back on campus and in classrooms and labs on August 24. At this point, we expect the majority of class sections to have in-person instruction, along with some hybrid and fully remote and online options. Academic departments and campus leaders are also adjusting class times, classroom and lab occupancy practices and preparing to offer mixed modes of instructional delivery to support different types of classes this fall. Additionally, Mines is preparing to ensure that all in-person instruction is recorded for students choosing or requiring remote options.

How is Mines going to deliver lab and design classes?

Research, design and labs are important components of the Mines experience. As we prepare to resume classroom instruction on campus, the Return to Mines Task Force and other teams are preparing our facilities so we can deliver face-to-face lab, design and other classes while adhering to government and public health guidelines.

Can I enroll in only remote classes this fall?

Yes, students wishing to only complete classes remotely and/or online may do so.

One of my classes is in-person, but I’m uncomfortable with the arrangement and would prefer to be online. Will my professor stream lectures or maintain online curriculum for me?

All classes will be recorded to accommodate students working remotely and/or online. 

If I have courses that are online but an on-campus class right after it, will there be safe spaces on campus where I can take my online class?

Several teams are working to ensure students have the spaces (and space) they’ll require to join remote courses while on campus. Specific plans, locations and services will be provided to students as soon as they are finalized.

Housing

When will the residence halls open and what’s the plan for operating those?

Mines will open all residence halls, including newly completed 1750 Jackson and Spruce Halls, for the fall semester. Residence Life is offering single and double room options only, with an occupancy rate of 80 percent. This will allow for 20 percent of rooms to be reserved for COVID-19 isolation or quarantine use.

Students will be asked to participate in cleaning and other measures to keep themselves and communities health. More information on these measures will be communicated prior to move-in. Mines will be revising the Residence Hall Contract to reflect these and other changes meant to provide a safe and engaging learning and living environment for all Orediggers. Students will have an opportunity to review these changes before making a final commitment to live in the residence halls.

When will I get my housing assignment?

Residence Life will be making room assignments this year instead of allowing students to select their own rooms. Rooms will be manually assigned based on the room type students requested on their application. Building and roommate requests will be taken into account but not guaranteed. Students will continue to be assigned in the order that their enrollment deposit was received.

Housing assignments for first-year students will be delivered prior to July 15 and will include assigned move-in dates, which will occur during the day from Sunday, August 16 through Thursday, August 20. Students who require it may request an alternate move-in date by contacting Housing and Residence Life.

Is move-in to Jackson and Mines Park still scheduled to start on August 1?

Yes, move-in for our apartments at 1750 Jackson and Mines Park starts August 1 and will continue through the month of August until classes begin. Students living in these areas will be sent an email very soon asking when they plan on moving into their spaces.

When will the sorority houses be open for move in?

The sorority houses and Phi Gamma Delta will be open for move-in starting August 15.

Will housing contracts and assignments for sophomores and others change?

These will not be changed. Residence Life reports that upperclass apartment assignments will remain as assigned. 

How will mask wearing and social distancing rules be handled in residence halls?

Jefferson County public health officials have said that students sharing living quarters, including an apartment or a room, are considered a family unit and do not need to wear protective gear within their home. Residence Life expects students to be thoughtful and kind to one another and considerate of their roommates. All students are expected to keep their apartments clean and participate in disinfecting surfaces. Masks will be worn if students are leaving their apartments or rooms until they have exited a building or if they are within 6 feet of others. Housing is very full at this time, and there are no alternatives to students’ assignments. 

If Mines is forced to close again, will residents in Mines Park (and/or the other residence halls) be allowed to stay?

The residence halls may have to close if directed by the state or county. If no directive is given and classes move online, residential areas will remain open so long as we are able to keep them open.

Campus Life

Will Mines Market and Periodic Table be open?

Yes, our dining facilities will be open but with new services and safety precautions in place. Mines Dining is expecting to offer expanded carry-out options across campus dining facilities, as well as other services, while also keeping dining rooms open—with new configurations and lower seating density in place to ensure appropriate social distancing.

If I’m uncomfortable visiting dining halls, will there be a delivery or a pick-up option available to me?

Student Life is working with Sodexo to evaluate dining options and procedures to adhere to public health guidelines, while offering students flexibility and value. More details about possible pick-up and delivery options will be announced soon.

How do you plan to maintain Mines’ close-knit community during the COVID-19 pandemic?

While COVID-19 precautions and restrictions will present challenges, we expect to continue to offer students a robust university experience in the fall and spring of the coming academic year—both in person and online. Many of Mines’ signature programs, clubs and organizations, student activities and more will continue but with some required precautions and limitations to conform with public health guidance. More details will be provided throughout the summer.

When campus offices be open in person for the fall?

All campus offices and most services are available remotely at this time. Information on accessing individuals and services is available on individual office websites and under “Student Resources” on the Mines Climbs Together website. Mines faculty and staff are mostly working remotely through June 30, after which many offices, research centers and services will begin to prepare for fall opening.

How will students still have access to meaningful tutoring, advising and professor office hours?

While planning for fall is still underway, Mines will continue to ensure students have access to tutoring, advising, counseling and career services, among other things. Faculty and staff will also continue to hold sessions for one-on-one and group discussions, office hours and more. Many of these services will likely be delivered remotely in the fall with a limited number in person. More details will be provided as they become available.

Safety

Will masks be required on campus this summer and fall?

Yes. In keeping with public health and government guidance, everyone on the Mines campus or at a Mines facility (such as the Catalyst building and Edgar Mine) will be required to wear a cloth mask.

Will Mines provide masks for students, faculty and staff this fall?

Yes. Mines is preparing to provide at least one cloth mask to every student, faculty and staff member. These will be distributed on campus. The university is also asking all employees and students to secure their own masks as well to ensure they have a reliable supply available.

How will you handle a COVID-19 case on campus?

Mines is following public health and government guidance on how to prepare for and respond to a COVID-19 case on campus. Additional details will be made available prior to August regarding health services available to students who become ill, public information policies and cleaning and sanitation practices.

If a Mines community member tests positive for COVID-19, will HIPPA laws prohibit communication of this to others on campus?

Mines will be adhering to federal and public health directives regarding the notification of close contacts about COVID-19 cases. Our practice at this time is to avoid sharing identifying details, including the person’s name, while adhering to Department of Education guidance.

What plans are in place if employees or a group of students contracts COVID-19?

Environmental Health & Safety officers, as well as pandemic response team members, are following CDC and Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) guidance when alerted to COVID-19 cases among our community members. When a Mines student, employee or vendor gets a confirmed COVID-19 result and has been on campus within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms, Mines officials are notifying close campus contacts of that diagnosis and urging those contacts to closely monitor their symptoms and self-quarantine for 14 days. This approach and policy will continue to evolve as additional guidance is offered.

How will Mines handle students or employees who get sick?

Mines students who become ill will have full access to the Student Health Center for care and assistance securing additional aid when required. Mines employees who become ill will be required to seek assistance through their healthcare provider. Mines officials are also preparing to offer regular COVID-19 testing to all students, faculty and staff.

How will cleaning/sanitation practices change moving forward?

Mines is carefully developing and implementing cleaning and sanitation plans and practices, in keeping with federal and state guidance. Several Mines task forces are also building proactive plans to adjust traffic patterns, front desk procedures, facilities, classroom layouts and more to accommodate social distancing requirements and other best practices for reducing transmission.

What sort of social distancing/safety precautions will be in place in public spaces on campus like the library, dining halls or computer labs?

The Return to Mines Task Force and its subcommittees are preparing guidelines for campus buildings to ensure students and employees can return to campus as safely as possible. This includes spatial guidelines for common spaces and Student Life auxiliary areas, occupancy and directional signage and other measures that will be made apparent in those spaces. Face coverings are required for everyone on campus, and everyone should maintain a 6-foot distance from others whenever possible.

What happens if a Mines community member is not wearing a mask or practicing social distancing?

Mines faculty are allowed to ask students to leave their classroom or lab if the student is not wearing a mask or following appropriate safety precautions. Mines employees will be sent home if they are not wearing a mask.

Do students, faculty and staff have to quarantine after traveling?

Self-quarantine is no longer required following domestic travel. However, employees are required to self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days upon return. Employees can work on campus while self-monitoring but are required to closely monitor themselves for symptoms. All employees working on campus should be checking for symptoms prior to coming to work, regardless of if they are returning from travel or not. Mines is requiring those returning from travel to be even more attentive for symptoms for this 14-day period, including conducting twice-daily personal checks. To help campus take extra precautions, if an employee is able to work remotely upon return from travel, they should try to do so, but this is no longer required.

Tuition and Finances

Will Mines extend any refunds if all classes are required to be online and in-person classes are entirely discontinued due to a COVID-19 outbreak? What happens if students are asked to totally leave campus and go back home due to a state directive?

Should in-person classes be interrupted due to local, state or federal directives, we expect to transition those classes to remote delivery, as was done in March this year. Students in Spring 2020 were credited a prorated amount for dining, housing and other services. In the event of local, state or federal orders that necessitate students leaving residence halls or Mines closing elements of campus operations, similar responses will again be considered. 

Campus Calendar and Events

Will Oredigger Camp occur this summer?

Yes, but not in person due to Colorado guidelines and the camp site’s limitations due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Instead, Mines will host virtual Oredigger Camp sessions where entering students will meet classmates, learn about campus services and make new friends.

Will there be an M Climb and other welcome activities in the fall?

As is our tradition, new students will climb together in August to the M on Mount Zion, where they’ll deposit a 10-pound rock from their home. Campus officials have indicated their intent to support student programming, particularly for new students during move-in and the start of classes.

Is Mines considering an adjustment to its fall calendar?

At this time, Mines officials do not expect to make any changes to the fall academic calendar. Classes will start as scheduled on August 24 and final exams are still scheduled for December 11-12, 14-16. Residence halls will remain open throughout the semester, including over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Will the fall commencement ceremony occur on campus?

Mines will make an announcement about fall commencement as soon as possible but not before the fall semester begins. The latest information on commencement is available at commencement.mines.edu.  

What are the plans for Homecoming?

The Homecoming committee is preparing for multiple Homecoming scenarios, both in-person and virtual. The fall status of campus and Colorado will drive Homecoming decisions. More information will be announced as it becomes available.

Athletics

How will Mines ensure the safety of our student athletes starting in the fall?

Mines Athletics takes the health and safety of student athletes very seriously. They are following public health, government and NCAA guidance as they prepare to welcome Orediggers back to campus this fall.

Will there be fall, winter and spring sports this academic year?

Mines Athletics is preparing for a somewhat abbreviated competitive schedule, based on recent NCAA guidance. However, neither the RMAC nor NCAA have finalized plans or schedules at this time.

Will the Student Recreation Center open in the fall? What about club sports and intramurals?

A final determination about facilities, such as the Student Rec Center, has not been made for fall. However, Mines officials (along with public health officials) recognize the importance physical activity has on the mental, physical and social health of students. Mines will provide many, if not all, of these opportunities in the fall but cannot provide a detailed listing at this time.

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