It’s been a full month, and I couldn’t be more proud of our Husky community. For months we have made the necessary safety precautions to keep the residential community safe and stressed the importance of the “Be Smart, Do Your Part” campaign, calling upon everyone to physically distance themselves and wear face coverings. Your efforts over the past month have been phenomenal, resulting in an incredibly low usage of isolation spaces and mitigating the spread of COVID-19 in our residential communities. We have proven that collectively, we can mitigate the spread if everyone does their part. It’s a strong first step and we are thankful for the compromises you have made to keep us safe.
We all have collectively done our part, but as Dr. Koubek has announced yesterday, our commitment extends beyond our campus and to the greater community. With the recent surge of cases outside the MTU community, we have moved to Health and Safety Level Four for the next two weeks to ensure your continued safety. We have had a successful first month, but now more than ever we need to double down on our efforts to ensure our residential communities can remain safe and are not impacted by the local surge in cases. With the new elevated Health and Safety level, the following Level Four residence hall precautions are now in place to mitigate the spread of COVID-19:
- Visitation restricted to students residing in the same residence hall. Students can only have visitors to their rooms who live in the same residence hall. MTU students living off campus are not permitted to visit the halls during Level Four. Only two people can be in a double sized room at any given time (previously, three people could be in a double sized room at any given time). Only two people can be in a single sized room at any given time. Students from other halls who require dining can continue to utilize all dining halls across campus during meals but cannot enter residential areas of halls they don’t live in.
- No equipment can be checked out of front desks. Only mail services will be provided.
- Music room capacity is limited to one.
- Kitchenettes will have capacity reduced to two. Typically in Level Four, kitchenettes have been closed. We will not exercise this action at this time, however the capacity of all kitchenettes will be reduced to a capacity of two.
- Quad Core will remain closed during Level Four. Quad Core will only be made available at lower Health and Safety Levels and will be delayed from our initial mid October date. Feasibility planning for reopening Quad Core following the state of Michigan’s guidelines has been underway. Students can look for information soon on how Michigan safety restrictions will impact Quad Core availability for 2020-2021.
- Common area lounges will be closed.
- Residence Education and Housing Services staff are still providing support services, but in a hybrid remote capacity. Housing Services staff are responding to email to firstname.lastname@example.org and voice mail at 906-487-2682 during normal business hours, Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm.
- A REMINDER: eating in common spaces in the residence halls isn’t permitted in Level Three or Four. Residence hall common spaces face unique challenges since they are all part of a shared living space with many students. Dr. Gorman’s previous email addressed eating in academic and other public use buildings. Because of mask requirements, eating in shared common spaces in the residence halls continues to be prohibited.
- We recommend that you are mindful with your travel inside Houghton/Hancock whenever possible. More as a safety precaution, in light of the recent surge of cases in the Houghton/Hancock area we encourage you to take extra care when visiting throughout the community.
We know these added compromises will create greater inconveniences, however these actions are necessary to ensure the strong work of our first month is not lost. We are as hopeful as you are that these will be short term compromises that will yield the goal of a long-term, on-campus, in person experience for everyone.
Please be safe in your continued activities!
Director of Housing Auxiliary Operations and Residence Education