Category: Campus Experience

COVID-19 Campus Update

By Rick Koubek, President

In spite of the new realities imposed by COVID-19, the MTU Flex team is working hard to assure the Michigan Tech experience is excellent for our students, faculty and staff this fall. There will be new expectations of our entire campus community, requiring extra effort from everyone. There will also be a need to maintain flexibility as circumstances change. But, I am confident that by working together, we can provide a healthy and safe campus environment along with an excellent academic experience. Below are a few of the changes you will see on campus this fall.

The 1,000 Words Project: “SARS-CoV-2: What Kind of Crisis is This?”

by Institute for Policy, Ethics and Culture (IPEC)

All of us in the University community have been deeply submerged into a world dominated by the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Several months into responding to this health crisis, many parts of our lives have been challenged, disrupted and changed. The shock, dislocation and sometimes despair people feel are often not explicitly health related, but result from encountering aspects of the crisis that, while seemingly peripheral, are actually integral to this new “pandemic culture.” IPEC members have been discussing the reach of this crisis into almost every aspect of our lives and we want to make available to you what is also “in crisis” as seen from our various areas of expertise in policy, ethics, and culture.

To address this, we began the “1,000 words project,” in which we asked IPEC members to explore the nature of the crisis, dislocations and challenges as they see it from their unique perspectives. To date, we have pieces that consider changes to social relations and physical distance, the crisis of resistance to expertise, the challenge of math communication, the impact of science denialism, emerging challenges in marketing, the significance of trust, and the ethical perspectives that guide responses to the crisis.

SDC Opening to Students July 13

by Recreation

In keeping with federal, state and University guidelines, Michigan Tech Recreation will reopen the Student Development Complex (SDC) to current students on Monday, July 13, with limited hours and access to the fitness center and pool.

The health and safety of our students, members and staff is our first priority. Due to the current state-mandated criteria for the opening of gyms and fitness centers, we will phase people back into the facility, beginning with Michigan Tech student-athletes, followed by current students. We look forward to welcoming our members back at a later date, as health and safety protocols permit. Membership and locker rentals will be extended for the length of the closure.

The Importance of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

by Diversity Council

During this global pandemic, we must continue to value diversity, equity and an inclusive community. We’ve all seen the disparate effects of the disease itself and the stay-at-home policy response in our lives and our communities. The disease has disproportionately taken the lives of people of color, the elderly, and those with pre-existing health conditions. The work-from-home period eliminated child and elder care, placing additional care burdens on faculty and staff with care responsibilities, reducing their professional productivity. The disease has emboldened discriminatory actions targeting immigrants and foreign workers, as well as their descendants. Many students have struggled to finish their schoolwork without the on-campus support systems on which they depend. Many in our Michigan Tech community, and their families, have faced economic hardship from job losses. This disease has caused a devastating effect on our economy on every level: our students, employees, the community and the world as a whole.

Accessible Event Planning

by Institutional Equity

Now, more than ever, it is important to remember that all online public events need to be accessible to individuals with disabilities. If you are planning a public presentation, meeting or conference, please be sure to plan for the accessibility needs of the participants.

There are many ways to support individuals with disabilities in an online environment. For instance, supporting participants who are deaf or hard of hearing may require planning and adjustments so that services such as CART, captioning and interpreting can be provided effectively. The May 21 edition of Tech Today had a helpful article regarding the Zoom Audio Transcription Feature.

For more information or further assistance, please contact the Institutional Equity ADA Coordinator Susan Sullivan or Center for Teaching and Learning Accessible Technology Coordinator Jeff Toorongian.

On-Campus Guidelines for Summer Custodial Operation

by Administration

Because on-campus activity is limited this summer, custodial services have also been scaled back. Essential employees with approval to be on campus won’t see a custodian in their building every day. Occupied buildings will be serviced on alternate days using a team staffing approach with staggered schedules. Unused spaces, such as classrooms and conference rooms, will remain unavailable.

We appreciate your help with these precautionary measures and guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and ensure campus operations continue safely and efficiently. If you are an essential on-campus employee:

Update on Virtual Graduation Celebration

by Commencement Committee

The Spring 2020 graduate celebration website is now ready for graduates to upload their profile information. A series of video messages and a Huskies Pep Band performance recording will be added on May 23. In the meantime, check back often to see new celebration profiles created by the class of Spring 2020.

Everyone can join in! The Celebrating Spring 2020 Graduates website has information and links for graduates, family, friends and community. Take a look.

The Impact of COVID-19 on Student Employment

by Beth Williams, Career Services

Typically in Career Services, as the school year ends and most Michigan Tech students head off for summer jobs, we complete the assessments of the past year and incorporate lessons learned into planning for our fall events. This year, however, our department has been busier than normal amidst the COVID-19 disruption. The last few weeks have been a constant buzz of virtual appointments with students, phone calls with employers, and Zoom meetings with career services colleagues around the country.

So, what impact is COVID-19 having on corporate recruiting and our students’ job prospects? The following is what we’ve been hearing in Career Services and our response to this situation.

Summer Plans

by Rick Koubek, President

Dear Members of the Michigan Tech Community:

Friday officially marked the end of the spring term at Michigan Tech. On Saturday, we would have celebrated the success of 1,066 graduates at our Spring Commencement ceremony. Had things been normal, Mike Pulick, former president of Grainger International, a Michigan Tech electrical engineering alumnus, and former Blue Key president, would have served as our keynote speaker. Instead, we are redirecting our energies in creative ways as we adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic—including the launch of an online 2020 commencement celebration web page on May 23. 

Be Aware of Scammers

by Brian Cadwell, Director and Chief, Department of Public Safety and Police Services

The Department of Public Safety and Police Services (DPSPS) reminds the campus community that scammers are very much active in leveraging the current crisis to steal your personal information, your money or both.

While most of the scams that were present before the pandemic have merely been updated to use words/themes associated with the crisis, there have been reports of some unique techniques that criminals are using to take advantage of the uncertainty that we currently face. Some of these techniques are: