(COVID-19): Campus Health Updates
12/11/2020 - Daily COVID-19 Graduate Division Update
Dear Graduate Students and Postdocs,
We’ve made it through another Friday and only two left in 2020 (not that I’m counting!). I like to continue to point out that making it through a week is an accomplishment in itself. As the quarter winds down and the holidays start to ramp up, know you can make it and you have to this point. For those who celebrate, tonight is the second night of Hannukah or Channukah or Hanukkah or however you want to spell it! Spin that dreidel and come up Gimmel (also known as jackpot!) We had our final Town Hall of 2020 today and the focus was on Diversity and Inclusion at UCI (For those who missed it you, you can watch the recorded version here: https://www.facebook.com/UCIrvineGD/videos/?ref=page_internal ).
While we certainly don’t have all of the answers yet, it was good to hear from our students and see how passionate you are for a better tomorrow. I say this to say, as we close out this calendar year, we have all been through a lot, but we’re not done fighting for you. We will keep making the adjustments needed to make this a safe and inclusive environment for all.
Campus Closure for the Break
Hopefully by now you have seen that campus will close at the end of day December 18 and not reopen until January 4. However, we have gotten a lot of questions about what “close” really means.
- Limited housing and dining will still be open to accommodate those who live and dine on campus. Click here for holiday hours: https://uci.campusdish.com/LocationsAndMenus
- Academic instructional staff, including many of you, are still working together to ensure grades will be submitted on time. Thank you!
- Subsets of groups, such as Grad Division, the Registrar, and so on will also be operating at reduced capacity to ensure your degrees are conferred and other year-end tasks are handled.
I will be attempting to take a bit of time away and spend some quality time with family (not homeschooling for once!). However, I will be on email, and while I don’t have any office hours scheduled, I would be happy to Zoom with you if you need me. Even if you just feel lonely or want to share good news or just want to chat and decompress, drop me an email, and we will figure it out.
Graduate students are encouraged to participate in a focus group on their experience with the UCI Police Department.
The campus Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC) is overseeing a review of the UCI Police Department. The review is being supported by external reviewer Mike Davis of MBD Innovation. To learn more about Mike Davis, here is a link: https://www.mbdinnovation.com/team.
An integral component of the review is substantive engagement with campus stakeholders and communities to gain a better understanding of their experience with the UCI Police Department. To this end, Mike Davis (https://www.linkedin.com/in/michael-davis-8a20493b/) is conducting one-hour focus groups of three to five people from different groups, including faculty, undergraduates and graduate students, staff, and the UCI Medical Center. While there is no need to prepare in advance of the scheduled focus group, Mike Davis is interested in three salient questions:
1. What has been your personal experience with the UCIPD?
2. How would you describe your sense of safety on campus?
3. What would the optimal public safety construct/approach be at UCI?
Stemming from these three subject areas, the focus group will engage in a robust discussion, with the goal that everyone's voice is heard.
There are several open slots next week. These are:
- Monday, December 14, 3-6:00pm
- Tuesday, December 15, 1-2:00pm; 4-6:00pm
- Wednesday, December 16, 3-6:00pm.
We realize that your time is precious, but your input is critical to this review. To schedule a time slot, please contact:
Exec. Asst. to the Chief of Staff & Office Operations Coordinator
Office of the CFO/Vice Chancellor
Tel: 949-824-1828 | firstname.lastname@example.org.
IMPORTANT REMINDER CONTENT FROM LAST WEEK:
Asymptomatic Testing for Grad Students and Post-Docs
Starting December 7, asymptomatic testing was expanded to a broader range of students and staff, including a variety of essential workers. I know many of you have been eagerly awaiting this kind of testing and advocating for yourselves as well as our staff on campus, so thank you for your patience. I hope this will be good news for you.
- Students who are living off campus but coming to campus for instructional purposes should begin asymptomatic testing.
- Even though nearly all in-person instructional activities have now been moved to online, students who were enrolled should still begin asymptomatic testing. Please do so through the Student Health Portal.
- Both students and post-docs coming to campus for research should also begin asymptomatic testing.
- Grad students, you can sign up for an appointment through the Student Health Portal.
- Post-Docs, please add your information to this secure form so that you can get into the system https://tinyurl.com/y6yttzx5.
- If you already did so, you will soon get a confirmation email noting that you have been added to the system.
- You can then begin signing up for appointments: Please visit the testing website https://uci.edu/coronavirus/testing-response/testing.php and refer to the “Staff and Faculty” directions to schedule your weekly test.
If you have left campus but maintain a lease on campus, you should tell your department manager, often referred to as an MSO, and you should file an absence form: http://cglink.me/s39479 This form lets us know that you are not here and so are not required to be tested.
Funding for Continued Studying at Home
One of the things that came out loud and clear from our survey of students is that many of you need some basics to help you make progress on your courses, research, and so on while you are at home, such as printers, office supplies, or even a chair. We have put aside some modest funds to try to support these needs. If your advisor/department has the ability to support such things, we hope they will do so and we have communicated with grad chairs to try to support your needs as best as possible. However, we know not all students study in such environments or have access to these kinds of funds locally. So, you can apply by December 16 for such small funds from Grad Division:
These will depend on demand, are not guaranteed, and will be taxable like other fellowship funds.
Winter and Spring 21 Hybrid
As a reminder, Winter and Spring will likely look much like fall, which means limited research and instruction on campus.
- We are committed as a university to allowing you to attend class remote even if the course winds up being offered in person during these quarters.
- We expect grad classes to be back in person in Fall 21.
- In the meantime, you may break your lease in UCI owned grad and family housing until Dec 31 with no penalty, including Palo Verde, Verano Place, and Campus Village.
- Unfortunately, this does not apply to leases in ACC housing, which is a public-private partnership and not owned by UCI. I apologize for the confusion I created when mentioning lease cancellations last week.
Save the Date: First Graduate Division Town Hall of 2021
Date: January 8, 2021 | 3:00pm – 4:00pm
Topic: Job Market Success and Survival During COVID-19
Description: Dean Hayes and other UCI leaders will be discussing career options and how to navigate a challenging market across career pathways.
- Gillian Hayes, Vice Provost & Dean of Graduate Education
- Goran Matijasevic, Chancellor, Alumni and Constituent Relations, Chief Executive Roundtable
- Jaymi Smith, Associate Dean of Graduate Education
- Lauren Lyon, Career Engagement Specialist for Grad Students, Division of Career Pathways
- Beth Van Es, Professor, School of Education
- Matthew Hansen, Director, New Ventures, UCI Beall Applied Innovation
Our new ADs are here to serve and really want to learn more about you and all your experiences, so please come visit them. They will be launching a variety of initiatives over the next couple of years, and your input is essential. And of course, as those of you who have come before know, Gillian just likes to spend time with students. Make sure to join us next week for our last office hours of 2020.
- Monday Dec 14: noon - Dean Hayes - https://uci.zoom.us/j/7277477057
- Tuesday Dec 15: 2PM - AD Rodrigo Lazo - https://zoom.us/j/3555252120?pwd=Nm43MmxzVkZvV2grNmNCZlVidk9pQT09
- Wednesday Dec 16: 1PM - Dean Hayes - https://uci.zoom.us/j/7277477057
- Thursday Dec 17: noon - AD Jaymi Smith - https://uci.zoom.us/j/4520706918
- Friday Dec 18: 9AM - Dean Hayes https://uci.zoom.us/j/7277477057
Like so many weeks lately, this one seemed to last a minute and a year all at once. Capping off the week with both a really great town hall on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and then a deep discussion with almost 40 students who came to office hours really emphasized to me how dedicated all of you are to each other, to making the university the place we all hope it can be, and to making the world a better place. Thank you to those of you who came to each of those events, who continue to come to office hours, and to engage. As I say often, I can’t always do or say what you want, but I will listen, and I will try to explain why I have to say no when I do. I hope we can continue to engage in those important conversations.
And now, for a little weekend reading and in the spirit of diversity and inclusion, I invite you to read this insightful piece written Doug Haynes, Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Office of Inclusive Excellence, Professor, School of Humanities https://www.forbes.com/sites/douglashaynes/2020/12/09/kobe-bryant-and-george-floyd-americas-tragedy-and-horror-in-two-lives/?sh=7244497a6cb3. On a day where we focused on Diversity and Inclusion here at UCI, it does a great job of summing up two different American tragedies and how differently the country reacted to them so differently. It was certainly food for thought for me.
All my best wishes for a restful weekend after week ten and peace, justice, and calm during Finals Week.
On behalf of Graduate Division,
Kleist Professor of Informatics
Vice Provost for Graduate Education
Dean of the Graduate Division