Category: Status of Events and Services

Residence Hall Students Action Required: Fall COVID Response Departure Plans

by Matt Weekley, Director of Housing Auxiliary Operations and Residence Education

Dear Michigan Tech Residence Hall students,

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to work through fast-moving developments with the State’s response to COVID-19. As you may know, on November 15, Governor Whitmer announced new orders issued by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to mitigate the spread of the virus. This email explains how this order impacts your residency and what actions you need to take.

Because COVID-19 cases are again on the rise in Michigan, the University’s goal is to minimize population density on campus as much as possible. With all Michigan Tech classes going fully remote for the remainder of the fall semester, we do not expect many students to return to campus after the Thanksgiving break, unless they have extenuating circumstances. In order for us to provide you with the support you may need as you get ready to depart, all residence hall students must complete a COVID Departure Plan Form to inform us of your plans. 

Housing Credit

Students are eligible to receive a housing credit (including housing and meal plan) in the amount of $1,100 that will be credited to their student account in December if all of the following apply:

  • The student has completed the COVID Departure Plan Form by Friday, November 20.
  • The student has left their residence hall by Sunday, November 29 at 5 p.m.and remains remote for the duration of the semester. 
  • The student is not receiving a Residence Education and Housing Services staff credit which covers full room and board expenses.

By receiving this credit, students may not use their room and meal plan after November 29 except to store property. Card access will be turned off. Students who attempt to use their meal plan (including dining dollars and guest passes) or rooms after November 29 will forfeit their housing credit. If you have left something behind, please contact your Residence Education Coordinator or housing@mtu.edu to coordinate retrieving things from your room.

Preparing to Leave

When students leave for Thanksgiving Break, they should make sure they have what they need for the duration of the semester and through Thanksgiving and Winter Break period.  When preparing to leave your room, please follow these guidelines:

  • Remember: Non-MTU guests are not permitted in the residence halls. Guests who are picking students up are permitted to meet students outside but cannot assist with checkout within the building.
  • Remove all trash and recycling from your room.
  • Clean all dirty laundry before you leave (or take it home with you to wash).
  • Unplug and defrost your fridge for 24 hours before leaving with a towel under the door of the fridge. Make sure to remove the towel before you leave.
  • Take your food with you or place it in a sealed plastic container so it does not attract pests.
  • Unplug all electronic devices and turn off your lights. Shut off all battery-operated alarms.
  • Keep your heat turned on at a low setting if you have a control unit in your room.
  • Take your bike home or put it in storage. 
  • Pick up all mail and packages from the reception desk.
  • Close and lock your windows and doors so they are sealed shut.
  • If you are leaving your car on campus, please park it in lot 26 and email Transportation Services so they know your car will be here during break.
  • If you have a private bathroom: please remove your personal property from your bathrooms so your bathroom space can be sanitized over Winter break.
  • If you are returning to the halls for spring:  Keep your room key and your Husky Card with you.  
  • If you are not returning to the halls for spring because you have been approved for a COVID waiver, a fall departure, or a contract release, follow these additional instructions:
    • Remove your property from the room.
    • Clean and restore your side of the room to its original set up (bed lofted above the desk, chair, and set of drawers).
    • Arrange to complete an Express Check-Out through your RA.
    • Return your keys in the provided blue envelope to your front desk. Hillside residents who do not have keys will turn in the blue check-out card.

Students who applied to stay during Thanksgiving Break

Students who have a need to stay during Thanksgiving Break can continue to do so by completing the COVID Departure Plan Form.  

Students who have extenuating circumstances and need to stay for the remainder of the semester

Students are expected to leave by Thanksgiving Break to study remotely for the duration of the semester.  Students who have extenuating circumstances that prevent them from leaving can apply to stay beyond November 29 using the COVID Departure Plan Form. Decisions on approval will be communicated to the student by Michigan Tech email. Students that are approved will be permitted to stay through December 19 but will not receive a housing credit. More information on availability of Winter Break accommodations, including cost, will be released in the future.

Visitation Restricted

With the elevation to Health and Safety Level Five, all visitation is restricted for all residence hall rooms. Students are prohibited from visiting other halls, with the exception of eating in Wadsworth Dining Hall during meal hours.

Residence Hall Access Restrictions

All exterior residence hall doors will lock Friday, November 20 at 8 p.m. Resident students will still have Husky Card tap access to their residence hall through November 29 at 5 p.m.  

Dining Hall Operations

Dining halls will continue operating through Friday, November 20. Dining halls will be closed for Thanksgiving Break. After November 29, only Wadsworth Dining Hall will be open during select meal periods through the duration of the semester.

Front Desk Operations

Front Desk operations will change effective Wednesday, November 18 with limited hours of service. Mail service will pause between November 20-29 and resume November 30 with limited mail service only. The front desk will stop checking out equipment (such as dollies and vacuum cleaners) effective November 20 for the duration of the fall semester.  

Residence Hall Space Closures

With most students moving home and the elevation to Health and Safety Level Five, we will be assessing spaces in the halls to close and making sure the ones that remain open are in close proximity to the most amount of students in an area. Students should be prepared that many spaces in the halls will likely be closed. Additional restrictions (number of people permitted, hours of operation) may apply.

With the recent national surge of COVID-19 cases, we urge all residents to continue following the mitigation strategies and be extra cautious in all their travels. If you have any housing questions or need additional assistance, please do not hesitate to contact Residence Education and Housing Services at housing@mtu.edu 

Be safe in all your travels.


Move to Health and Safety Level Five on November 18

by Bonnie Gorman, Dean of Students and Vice President for Student Affairs

Last night, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued the Pause to Save Lives emergency order, which takes effect Wednesday, November 18, at 12 a.m. This means Michigan Tech will transition to Health and Safety Level Five.

As a result, the following changes will take effect starting Wednesday, November 18, at 12 a.m.:

  • All in-person educational activities are suspended through December. 
  • No group gatherings will be allowed. 
  • With the exception of Thursday’s flu shot clinic all campus events are canceled, including commencement. 
  • Dining and other campus operations will be scaled down. Details will be provided on the Campus Operations page of the MTU Flex website.

All student support services will be available virtually. Let us know if you need something. Also, because the vast majority of you will not be on campus, filling out the Daily Symptom Monitoring Form will no longer be necessary to access Canvas. You’re required to fill out the form, however, if you need to come to campus. Should you have any symptoms of COVID-19 and have questions, please send an email to contact-tracing@mtu.edu.

As President Koubek mentioned in his email on Friday, the University will issue housing and dining credit for the remaining three weeks of the semester to students who live in the residence halls and do not return to campus after the Thanksgiving break. Residence Education and Housing Services will provide more information on this soon. 

We remain optimistic that we will return to face-to-face instruction in January. However, there are contingency plans in place should we need to continue with remote instruction. A decision about the spring semester will be made no later than December 28, 2020.

Huskies, your efforts to Be Smart and Do Your Part in order to finish the fall semester face-to-face were terrific. Everyone on campus appreciates your hard work and #tenacity. Thank you.


Move to Health and Safety Level Four on November 23

by Rick Koubek, President

Dear Members of the Michigan Tech Community: 

I want to begin this email by restating how proud I am of the MTU campus community’s behavior throughout this pandemic. We have kept our case counts under control with positivity rates well below statewide averages. Classes are progressing, and we continue to move forward as a University. However, we are cognizant of the rapid growth of COVID-19 cases around us—in the UP, Michigan, and neighboring states. Projections show this outbreak growing through the end of the year, and these are all areas students will be visiting during Thanksgiving break. In response, Michigan Tech will transition to Health and Safety Level Four effective Monday, November 23. This transition is a targeted effort to mitigate further spread among our community at large by significantly reducing the number of people on campus after Thanksgiving.

Lecture-based classes will move to a remote format after the Thanksgiving break. However, a small number of labs, Enterprise, Senior Design, and other hands-on courses (including graduate research) will remain face-to-face. Instructors will notify their students early next week whether their classes will continue with face-to-face instruction. Students who continue with face-to-face instruction after Thanksgiving will be tested for COVID-19 upon their return to campus, and then again during the following week. 

We ask students living in the residence halls who do not have face-to-face classes after Thanksgiving to leave their residence hall at the Thanksgiving break and not return for the remainder of the semester. Students leaving the residence halls will receive prorated housing and dining credit/refunds. All students will receive additional information early next week regarding University housing.

Effective November 23, on-campus indoor gatherings will be limited to no more than 10 people and outdoor gatherings may not exceed 25 people, which may affect planned student activities. The library, SDC, dining halls, transportation services, and other student support offices will remain operational. However, retail dining facilities will be closed beginning Monday, November 23, until further notice. 

Research activities on campus will continue with slight modifications. Information will be posted on the COVID-19 Research Information web page early next week. 

With this shift, we ask supervisors to accommodate employees who are able to work from home. 

And, finally, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, we are grateful to all of you for helping to keep Michigan Tech safe and healthy. Thank you for doing your part, and for being part of our outstanding community.

Sincerely, 
Rick Koubek
President



Michigan Tech to Shift to Health and Safety Level Four

by Rick Koubek, President

Thanks to the collective work of our employees and students, detected cases of COVID-19 in our student population continue to decline. But, as we work to satisfy our mission as an educational institution, we remain mindful of our commitment to the community. 

The Copper Country has seen a recent surge in COVID-19 cases. Given the seriousness of the situation, Michigan Tech will transition to Health and Safety Level Four for a period of two weeks (through October 11) effective Monday, September 28. This transition is a targeted effort to mitigate further spread among our community at large by temporarily reducing the density of people on campus.


Play Parade of Nations Hide and Seek

by Jennifer Donovan, Parade of Nations Committee

Does your organization want to take the community on a Parade of Nations scavenger hunt? Help celebrate our multicultural heritage by signing up to be a “Hide Team” for the 2020 Parade of Nations.

Hide Teams will create clues to a particular country or cultural heritage and hiding places for those clues. The Parade of Nations committee will hide the clues and send the first clue to Find Teams that have signed up to play the game.


SDC Welcomes Faculty and Staff Members on Monday

by Recreation

Michigan Tech’s Student Development Complex (SDC) will reopen to faculty/staff members as well as current students on Monday (Aug. 17). A team of staff from Recreation has continually updated its reopening plan since the July 13 soft opening to students. The facility is implementing an enhanced cleaning schedule based on guidelines from the CDC and recreation facility standards.


GLIAC Suspends Competition Until January 1

by Calvin Larson, Director of Athletics Communication

Following a thorough evaluation of all COVID-19 risks and safety protocols, and numerous meetings involving various GLIAC governance groups, the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Council of Presidents and Chancellors voted unanimously Tuesday (Aug. 11), to suspend all sports competition until Jan. 1, 2021.


HuskyFAN Donation Request

by Husky Food Access Network

The Husky Food Access Network (HuskyFAN) is asking the Michigan Tech Community to support the pantry through food and/or monetary donations from Aug. 10-14, as we get ready to welcome our campus community back to Houghton.

Donations from our campus community help HuskyFAN to continue providing food to those in need. This summer we were able to provide 126 meal packs to students facing financial hardships. To make food donations, please drop them off between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday outside of the HuskyFAN Food Pantry located on the first floor of Fisher Hall, down from Fisher 135 (previously the Aftermath Cafe).

A box with the sign ‘FOOD DONATIONS’ will be placed in front of the Food Pantry to receive donations. Some suggested items to donate include rice, canned vegetables, vegetarian soups, deodorant, shampoo, shave gel, feminine products and cleaning supplies. (Please check the expiration dates as we cannot accept items past their date.)

To make monetary donations, please use this link. If you have any questions about the food pantry, contact huskyfan@mtu.edu.

Thank you to everyone who has supported the HuskyFAN Food Pantry through food, monetary, or bag donations this summer! We greatly appreciate your support.


No Parade of Nations—but We’re Still Celebrating Multiculturalism

by Jennifer Donovan, Parade of Nations Committee

There’s not going to be a physical Parade of Nations this fall. Due to COVID-19, the popular parade and multicultural festival that followed it have been canceled, but Parade of Nations lives. Its sponsors are still making plans to celebrate the Keweenaw’s rich international heritage in safe and healthy ways.

This year’s theme is “One World, Our World.” A logo designed by Linnea Oja of Hancock won a competition to represent the theme.


GLIAC Opts for Conference-only Fall Schedule

by Calvin Larson, Assistant Athletic Director – Media Relations

The Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Council of Presidents voted Friday to play a conference-only schedule during the Fall 2020 sports season and will evaluate the feasibility of league competition on a sport-by-sport basis.

Playing a conference-only schedule affords GLIAC members additional time to get student-athletes back on campuses and through COVID-19 monitoring protocols, as well as the necessary time to conduct pre-season training in football, volleyball, soccer, cross country and women’s tennis. Collegiate athletics has been on hold since mid-March.