By Bonnie Gorman, Dean of Students and Vice President for Student Affairs
We’re in a tough situation. I just finished watching some news reports featuring physicians and ER doctors from around the country. Several mentioned their concerns that young people are not taking this virus seriously. This is serious—more than 6,000 people have died in Italy, and New York is now the epicenter of the pandemic.
Yesterday, Governor Whitmer announced Executive Order 2020-21, “Stay Home, Stay Safe,” requiring the people of the state of Michigan to stay at home. This order went into effect today and will continue until at least April 13. The goal is to reduce the spread of the virus both in the state and across the nation. Your help is needed in adhering to this request and Michigan Tech will do all we can to assist you. Below are some guidelines, changes, and resources for your information.
What Executive Order 2020-21 Means for Students
Students living in the residence halls are allowed to remain and a separate communication was sent yesterday providing specific instructions. If you live off campus, please be aware that the governor’s order allows you to travel in order to return to your permanent place of residence. Returning home may be worth some serious consideration—especially now, since students are no longer able to access any University classroom, laboratory, shop, computer lab, or other facility.
If you do decide to stay, you should not be gathering in groups of more than 10 people. In addition, it is recommended that you maintain at least six feet of distance between each other. This applies to those of you working on group projects, participating in social and/or religious gatherings, and just hanging out.
Even while you are studying remotely, campus services are still available. Academic advisors, Learning Centers, Career Services, Counseling Services, the Waino Wahtera Center for Student Success, and my office are all available for virtual appointments and are happy to help. In addition, you can look here for some strategies to stay on track.
Remember, your conduct in an online classroom should be the same as your behavior in a physical, face-to-face classroom or lab. Here are a few netiquette tips.
If you need internet access, here are some resources available.
Give yourself some time to get adjusted to this new environment, and keep in mind that the date to withdraw from a class has been extended to Friday of the 14th week, April 24.
Emergency Resources and the Husky Food Pantry
During this time of uncertainty, we realize unexpected needs may be higher than normal. Emergency resources (food, utilities, car rentals, and more) are available from a variety of sources, including generous Tech alumni and friends. If you need some help, submit the brief application.
Since the Husky Food Pantry is located in Fisher (now closed), food packages have been made and delivered to Public Safety and Police Services. This service is ongoing; stop there if you need food (it’s like going to the grocery store and that’s permitted under the order).
In addition, here’s a very useful guide written for students who are disrupted by COVID-19.
Mental Health Resources
Your mental health is as important as your physical health and you need to take care of both. Find a few friends you can connect to regularly. Take a break and read a good book. If you need to talk with someone about your concerns, you can reach out to Counseling Services at 906-487-2538. Virtual appointments are available.
If you are in a crisis, text “START” to 741-741 to reach the Crisis Text Line. To reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
The Husky Campus and Daniell Heights shuttle services have been suspended until at least April 13. The Wednesday through Saturday Shopping Shuttle will continue to operate using social distancing protocol—that means no more than 10 passengers are allowed on the shuttle at any time. Please plan ahead for your shopping needs, keeping in mind that there will not be Shopping Shuttle service on Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays.
The City Commuter Shuttle operated by Houghton will be suspended beginning Wednesday, March 25, until at least April 13. The City of Houghton will continue to provide on-demand service: call 906-482-6092 to request a ride. The cost within Houghton is $3 each way. The cost to Hancock is $4 each way.
Huskies, if we all do our part, we’ll get through this. Let’s continue to stick together to support one another and our community.
P.S. Keep an eye on the Michigan Tech COVID-19 website for updated information.