With the start of Summer II, President Johnson updated campus on the planning underway for fall—More than 175 students returned to campus this week for Summer II classes, and while our plans for fall are not yet complete, Mines President Paul C. Johnson shared an outline of the decisions made so far with all employees and new and returning students. Among the highlights of Monday’s message:
- The Fall 2020 semester will kick off as planned on Monday, August 24, with the academic calendar for the term unchanged. Classes will continue on campus after Thanksgiving.
- Approximately 60 to 70 percent of Mines courses in the fall will occur on campus. The other courses will be offered in remote, online or hybrid formats.
- Before returning to campus, all Mines community members will complete training to learn required safety practices and expectations for learning, working and living on campus.
- All Mines community members will be asked to commit to the Oredigger Promise to protect our classmates and colleagues, our families and neighbors and ourselves by adopting the practices and attitudes needed to safely return to and remain together at Mines.
- All Mines community members will wear cloth masks that cover the nose and mouth when indoors and in any other setting where it is difficult to maintain social distancing.
- Custodial capabilities have been expanded in order to provide enhanced cleaning in all campus facilities—including twice-daily disinfection of classrooms and other high-contact areas.
- Free COVID-19 tests will be available to students with symptoms at the Student Health Center. External partnerships to offer on-campus testing for faculty and staff are being explored.
Got a question about Fall 2020? Let us know, and we’ll work on getting and sharing an answer in a future update—We’ve received more than a dozen questions from students, employees and parents since Monday’s email went out to the Mines community. Share your questions with us by using the form on the Mines Climbs Together website. Here are a few updates based on the questions we’ve received this week:
Q: Is move-in to Jackson and Mines Park still scheduled to start on August 1?
A: 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.
Q: When will the sorority houses be open for move in?
A: The sorority houses and Phi Gamma Delta will be open for move-in starting August 15.
Q: How will mask wearing and social distancing rules be handled?
A: 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.
Q: Will housing contracts and assignments for sophomores and others change?
A: This will not be changed. Residence Life reports that upperclass apartment assignments will remain as assigned.
Q: If Mines is forced to close again, will residents in Mines Park (and/or the other residence halls) be allowed to stay?
A: 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.
Q: 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?
A: 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.
Q: 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?
A: 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.