Planning for the Spring 2021 Semester

The following message was sent to the University of Portland community on November 20, 2020

Dear UP Community,

As Co-Chairs of UP’s COVID-19 Steering Committee, we hope and pray this message finds you well, and your family and friends healthy.  In this email, we will provide important new updates about our planning for the Spring 2021 semester.  Whether you’re a student, faculty member or staff employee, this information is relevant to our campus experience.

Fall 2020 Experience with Health & Safety During COVID-19

We are pleased to report that COVID-19 cases at UP during the fall semester have been infrequent and minimal.  The COVID-19 Health and Safety Preventative Measures have been effective and will continue in 2021.  These include reduced residential density, mask wearing, physical distancing, daily symptom checking, sanitizing high-touch areas frequently, and many other components.  All shared spaces like lounges, kitchens and select classrooms have been reconfigured to support social distancing.  Additional products have been purchased to help protect and sanitize workspaces.  Our new COVID-19 Dashboard is updated every Wednesday with the latest information about testing and confirmed cases.

Academics

As announced previously, most instruction will remain online for the Spring 2021 Semester.  However, 33 UP faculty, including UP Provost Dr. Herbert Medina, have volunteered to teach 53 in-person course sections, mostly within the Core Curriculum. Only on-campus residential students are eligible for these classes, as they will be participating in the rigorous testing protocols established by the COVID-19 Steering Committee. These courses will be held in classrooms that have been retrofitted to reduce capacity to meet COVID-19 guidelines and ensure safety and distance protocols will be followed. Currently, most first-year students who will be living on campus have been assigned to one in-person class, and the process of registering other on-campus students for the remaining spaces begins soon. While space is limited, students who apply for housing now may have the opportunity for one in-person class as space allows. 

COVID-19 Testing

We are pleased to partner with Carbon Health to roll out a comprehensive prevention strategy on campus, including screening, conducting both baseline and surveillance testing, contact tracing, and case management.  Carbon Health has established itself quickly as a leader in the industry. Today, they are working with large, reputable companies like Alaska Airlines and Oakland Athletics, as well as the City of San Francisco.  In addition to the student testing, plans are being finalized for the testing of faculty and staff who will be regularly interacting with students.

Spring 2021 Housing is Still Available

Though continuing to de-densify halls, Residence Life reports there is limited capacity available to add more on-campus residents for Spring 2021. The University is offering private rooms at no additional charge.  Residence Life has also reserved our largest rooms, and rooms with attached bathrooms, for any students who desire to live safely with a roommate.  Students  can sign up now by visiting the UP portal at pilots.up.edu and clicking the eRezLife icon or by navigating directly to up.erezlife.com. Log in with your UP credentials and then click the Spring 2021 Campus Housing & Meal Application.

To promote community and reduce the risk of exposure, we are grouping students with similar activities together. First-year students will share their residence hall wing with other students from their Fall First-Year Workshop. Similarly, student athletes will be housed in the same residence hall; ROTC will be grouped together; and our newest Pilots (enrolling for Spring 2021) will also live in the same areas.

Students signing up for on-campus housing can rest assured that once here, we want you to remain here for the duration of the Spring 2021 semester.  The University's policies are designed to help ensure we can keep students on campus all semester.  Supplementing state and local public health guidance,  the CDC recommends that colleges and universities not send students back into their home communities should there be COVID-19 concerns on-campus.

Campus Social Programming

In the weeks ahead, students can expect more details on how to prepare for move-in, including specific COVID-19 protective measures to follow during the two weeks prior to arrival. Students can also expect more details about on-campus life, including dining, recreation, library usage, activities, optional in-person courses for on-campus residents, Campus Ministry, Student Clubs, Campus Programming Board events, and more. The goal is to provide a dynamic, engaging, fun, and safe campus life.

During the week of move-in and the first week of classes, students will participate in a modified quarantine. This will involve staying on campus for this period, limiting outdoor activity and shopping, etc. After their second baseline test, the semester will resume a much more normal lifestyle.  As is our practice with the few students living on campus currently who are safely and responsibly leaving campus to run to the grocery store, appointments, etc., next semester students will enjoy outdoor activities such as biking, hiking, walking, and small programs and activities outside with masks and appropriate distancing to promote safe interactions.

Campus Arrivals

Move-in will be scheduled over the week of Jan. 18-22, 2021, between 8 AM and 6 PM (PST).  If a student already has a residence hall assignment, the arrival/move-in schedule below is to be followed: 

Please note: Early and late arrivals are not permitted given the developed baseline testing protocol to reduce the risk of spreading the Coronavirus.

Arrival/Move-In Information

Residence Hall Arrival/Move-In Date*
Christie Hall Tuesday, January 19, 2021
Corrado Hall Thursday, January 21, 2021
Fields Hall Wednesday, January 20, 2021
Kenna Hall Thursday, January 21, 2021
Lund Family Hall Monday, January 18, 2021
Mehling Hall Tuesday, January 19, 2021
Schoenfeldt Hall Wednesday, January 20, 2021
Shipstad Hall Monday, January 18, 2021
Haggerty & Tyson Apartments Friday, January 22, 2021
Villa Maria Hall Friday, January 22, 2021

*Student athletes move-in dates will vary based on team reporting dates determined by NCAA rules and regulations.

Special Instructions:  Students may bring up to two adult guests to help them move in.  Residence Life asks that only one guest accompany the student into their residence hall at any given time. All will be required to wear face masks and have temperatures below 100.3 degrees Fahrenheit for entrance into our residence halls.

We are enthusiastic about beginning the transition to having some students on campus and a limited number of in-person classes. If you have additional questions, please write to pilotsprevent@up.edu

And watch for more information in a new weekly “Helping Pilots Prevent” e-newsletter.

Sincerely,

Rev. John Donato, C.S.C., Vice President for Student Affairs
Dr. Elise Moentmann, Associate Provost
Mr. James Ravelli, Vice President for University Operations

Co-Chairs of the COVID-19 Steering Committee