Classmates, faculty member notified of positive COVID-19 case on campus—The Mines Pandemic Response Operations Team notified students in a Summer II course being taught in Brown Hall of a confirmed positive COVID-19 case among their classmates this week. Due to the safety precautions in place—including active mask wearing, social distancing and frequent cleaning of the classroom—those notified were not required to take any special action and/or self quarantine. We ask all Mines community members to continue to closely monitor their health and carefully follow all safety guidelines on campus and off. Should you exhibit symptoms of COVID-19, please stay home and report your illness to email@example.com (students) and HRcovid@mines.edu (employees).
Return to Campus safety plans due July 29 for all departments—The Return to Mines Task Force has finalized its guidance for the safe reopening of campus buildings and is asking all academic and administrative departments to complete a department-level safety plan for returning employees to campus. Department heads should review the Building Reopening Guide and then submit a department safety plan on the EHS website. The building reopening guide includes guidance that is intended to help departments consistently and safely outline their activities and plans for returning employees to campus.
Directors and supervisors will determine which individuals and offices need to report to campus and when. Departments are encouraged to pursue remote work options, staggered schedules and other actions to ensure essential in-person services are delivered on campus while still reducing physical headcount in workspaces as much as possible. The Return to Campus safety plans are intended to help departments consider these options while preparing for a gradual and thoughtful return to campus.
Once submitted, Return to Campus safety plans will go to a review panel that will evaluate the completeness of each plan and offer refinements and assistance, as necessary. The deadline to submit safety plans is Wednesday, July 29. All adjustments/changes to your spaces must be in place by Monday, Aug. 17. Contact EHS@mines.edu with questions.
Speaking of which, a clarification on how to order COVID-19 signage—As departments complete their safety plans, signage orders should be placed through your designated department representative with access to the COVID-19 Safety Supply Store in FAMIS.
COVID-19 occupancy signs (numbers 1-20) will be available for order through the store; requests for other occupancy signs (20-100) should be made directly to firstname.lastname@example.org. Occupancy signs for all registrar-controlled classrooms will be delivered to the responsible departments within the next two weeks.
The Safety Store will fulfill orders as we receive signs in stock over the coming weeks—thank you for your patience. Need a custom sign? Contact email@example.com for assistance.
COVID-19 supplies and the One Card: Eligible items and allocation information—Mines is opening the COVID-19 Safety Supply Store to requests for fall semester supplies. Your department administrator and lab coordinators have access to the store where you can obtain hard-to-find items to help protect your students, faculty and staff from the coronavirus. If there are safety items you need that are not in the supply store or if an item is out of stock, your administrator is authorized to obtain these items using their One Card (One Card procurement rules/limits apply). These charges should be allocated to index number 117270 to allow us to centrally track COVID-19 response expenditures.
Items that qualify for purchase using the COVID-19 account include face masks, hand sanitizer, disinfecting spray, paper towels, hand soap and gloves. If you have already procured and allocated safety items related to COVID-19 and need to reassign the expense to the appropriate index, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
Paper towels and hand soap in mounted dispensers can be replenished by submitting a work order to custodial services.
Admissions resumed undergraduate info sessions and campus tours this week—The Office of Admissions resumed undergraduate info sessions and campus tours this week, offering two daily options for up to nine visitors to get an outdoor, staff-led info session (in front of Marquez Hall) and student-led campus tour. According to Mines’ new Executive Director of Admissions Dale Gaubatz, interest was high, with both tours full on Monday and most other weekly time slots also at capacity. Students and families, who are required to wear masks and are not taken into campus buildings, were said to be grateful for the opportunity to visit in-person.
Make Masks for Mines Phase II: Materials for 7,000 Mines-branded masks are being readied for pickup—Sign up now to secure your spot to make Blaster-print masks for our Orediggers! After signing up, volunteers will receive a mask pattern, mailing instructions and/or pickup and drop-off instructions. Local volunteers can schedule a time to pick up the Mines-branded fabric; out-of-town volunteers can make arrangements to have the fabric mailed to them. If your talents don’t include sewing but you’d still like to support this effort, donations to The Mines Fund are still being accepted.
Check Trailhead for a new Residence Life contract—Residence Life has a new contract in Trailhead for all students living in on-campus housing (except Mines Park). The new contract has been put in place due to changes in the halls as a result of COVID-19 precautions and actions that may need to be taken if outbreaks occur. All students planning on living in Residence Life housing next year are required to read through the new contract and sign it within their Trailhead account.
A message for international students at Mines—Provost Rick Holz was featured on CBS4 Denver on Wednesday, July 8 to discuss how Mines is working with its international students to ensure that new guidance from U.S. immigration authorities does not impact their ability to continue their studies on campus in the fall. “We’re going to do all we can to accommodate our international students,” Provost Holz said. “I’m quite confident that we’ll be able to assist the vast majority of them and help them remain in school and advancing toward their career goals.” Read the full story here.
Pass/no-pass? Temperature checks at the door? Community questions get answered
Questions submitted on the Mines Climbs Together website in recent weeks ranged from queries about course delivery options (and decisions) to the availability of parking passes for first-year students. The communications team at Mines worked with those in-the-know to get answers.
Q: Will tuition rates be lowered for hybrid and remote classes? If not, why?
A: Our tuition and fee structure for this coming academic year was approved in June by Mines’ Board of Trustees and did not include reductions for remote or hybrid courses. Those courses will continue to be built and led by Mines faculty, who are asked to deliver these courses in both an asynchronous and synchronous fashion, building in weekly dialogue, bi-weekly Zoom office hours and other practices that are proven to enrich the learning experience.
Q: Will there be a pass/no-pass option for classes this upcoming semester?
A: At this time, Academic Affairs is not considering a campus-wide pass/no-pass option.
Q: When will we learn how classes are being delivered—online, remote, on-campus or in a hybrid format?
A: Mines faculty and officials are currently working to finalize delivery modes for all fall classes. These details will be finalized and communicated by mid- to late-July.
Q: To what degree will the administration ask instructors to make remote meeting times flexible? Clearly class work will vary by professor but will the physical presence in a Zoom room be required?
A: Remote classes will meet on the same days and times as they would if they were being held on campus and students will be expected to participate remotely in accordance with that schedule. All lectures will be recorded, however, should illness or a personal emergency prevent a student from attending.
Q: Can you describe what the words “remote,” “online,” “hybrid” and “in-person” mean specifically to Mines?
A: Of the two virtual options—remote and online—remote courses are offered synchronously, meaning students will meet with Mines faculty (via Zoom) on the same days and times as they would if the courses were being held on campus. Students will be expected to participate remotely in accordance with that schedule.
Online courses are offered asynchronously, meaning that students can participate in instruction on their own schedules, whenever it is most convenient to them. All online courses are designed and taught by Mines faculty, with technical and pedagogical assistance from the Trefny Center for Innovative Instruction at Mines.
In-person courses will meet on campus in traditional classroom and laboratory settings, with masks, social distancing and other safety procedures in place to protect the health of students and faculty. All in-person lectures will be recorded to provide flexibility and allow students to keep up with their classes should they be required to self-quarantine or isolate.
Hybrid courses will provide a combination of in-person and remote instruction, often with lectures offered remotely and labs in-person. The exact combination will be up to individual instructors, but students should expect to spend some portion of time receiving in-person instruction on campus.
Q: Can I take my lab courses online this fall? Are any, some or all lab courses available to remote students?
A: Mines faculty intend to offer as many lab courses in-person as possible. However, delivery modes for all courses, including labs, have yet to be finalized. Delivery modes (in-person, hybrid, remote or online) will be communicated to students in mid- to late-July.
Q: How will Greek life be impacted by the precautions this fall semester?
A: Each organization will follow Mines policies and state and local regulations, as well as guidance from their national headquarters. Mines is currently working on guidelines for individual houses and recruitment and new event regulations. Further questions can be directed to Alexis Lakers at email@example.com.
Q: Will the Beta fraternity house be open and, if so, when?
A: The sorority houses and Phi Gamma Delta will be open for move-in starting August 15. For the non-Mines owned fraternity houses, their move-in dates are at their own discretion as long as they are following local and state guidance, in addition to regulations from their national headquarters.
Q: When will the parking permits go on sale for the first-year students who have elected to live at home since the requirement was lifted?
A: Permit sales for the fall semester begin Monday, July 27. First-year students will be allowed to purchase permits beginning Saturday, August 1. Fall semester permits are valid August 1 through December 31, 2020. You may purchase your permit online through the parking portal or by stopping by the parking office. We are not able to process permit sales over the phone.
Q: Will the university perform temperature checks of students on campus?
A: Mines is requiring all employees and students to perform daily health checks on their own prior to reporting to class or campus. Temperature checks must be performed by individual students and employees. Anyone exhibiting signs of illness are required to stay home.
Q: Can I elect to only take remote and/or online classes in the fall?
A: Yes, all students will have the opportunity and ability to enroll only in remote or online courses for the fall. While not all Mines classes will be available to students not on campus, we anticipate that more than 50 percent of classes will be available for remote delivery. Final decisions about delivery formats (on-campus, hybrid, remote or online) will be made and communicated in mid- to late-July.
Q: If a student gets sick, is hospitalized and misses classes, how will this be managed?
A: As it does each academic semester, the Dean of Students Office will work with students who become ill and miss class as a result of illness or injuries. This fall, all Mines classes—including in-person courses—will also be recorded so that students who need or wish to miss class can access class material.
Q: If there is to be contact tracing on campus, what will that look like, and will all students be required to take part in it?
A: When Mines is notified of a positive COVID-19 case among our campus community (faculty, students and staff), members of our newly-created rapid response team will reach out to the individual to inquire about their last day on campus and any close contacts (as defined by the CDC) they may have had while on campus, and initiate communications with those close contacts as appropriate. All Mines community members are required to participate as laid out in The Oredigger Promise.