(COVID-19): Campus Health Updates
9/18/2020 - Daily COVID-19 Graduate Division Update
Dear Graduate Students and Postdocs,
I am writing today’s message with a heavy heart. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a champion for so many and one of the finest legal minds of our time, has passed away. Today’s message will include the usual information that I think you need to know, responses to your queries, and things campus needs to share as well as some wisdom from Justice Ginsburg. Justice Ginsburg once said, "I would like to be remembered as someone who used whatever talent she had to do her work to the very best of her ability." Personally, I will definitely remember her this way, and I hope we can all be remembered this way. I am also aware that Justice Ginsburg enacted much change in her 87 years on this planet, in part because she knew, in her own words that "real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time." I am proud to work alongside all of you to make changes on this campus and around the world.
No Late Fees for Fall
For those who may have had trouble with the fee payment deadline on Tuesday, please note that the Registrar has agreed that there will be no late fees for the fall quarter.
Graduate Division will Remain Remote Through Fall
Please continue to use email as your primary way to get in touch with people from grad division. If you aren’t sure who to contact, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
COVID-19 Policies and Executive Directives
As you saw in the message earlier this week, the Dean of Students is tasked with enforcing executive directives that have been developed to keep our community as COVID-19-free as possible. We have received concerns about two that I want to highlight.
- Mandatory testing:
- Thank you to each of you who went and participated in the mandatory COVID test over the past two weeks.
- The good news is, the tests done during this Phase 1 testing (which is all students currently residing in UCI or ACC housing) all came back NEGATIVE. Congratulations!
- Disability Services and Student Health are working together to improve accommodations of at-risk students and students with disabilities
- Final schedules and processes will be created based on latest public health advice and will change with experience.
- Phase 2 is for those moving in next week during move in week and will take place at the Bren. If you have not completed your test yet, you need to log in to the Student Health Center Portal and make an appointment to get tested at the Bren next week.
- Phase 3 testing will begin next month and will incorporate regular testing of ALL students living in university housing. Faculty and Staff asymptomatic testing plans are still being determined but should be released soon.
- We are examining the guest policy, and I expect there to be progress early next week.
- The Gatherings ED applies to all individuals on UCI controlled property, including students, and is separate.
- If you are nervous, have specific concerns, or are having trouble talking with a roommate about your concerns, you can always come to me during office hours, talk with the folks in housing, or reach out to Phong Luong (email@example.com).
- All policies, including this one, change regularly in response to changing public health contexts. You will be informed of updates as they happen.
Thank you to those who shared their concerns with me about the above two issues. As a reminder, you can always come to me directly as well as others in leadership to talk about your concerns and help us find solutions. I know it's begun to sound cliche, but we are in unprecedented times. Talking is the fastest way to make change right now, and we so appreciate those of you who are active in being a part of the solution as we all work together as a community to care for one another.
If you are teaching, please read this:
- Check the TeachAnywhere site for resources for starting the fall: https://sites.uci.edu/teachanywhere/home/getting-started/starting-fall-2020/
- In-person courses should use the common syllabus content is available at: https://sites.uci.edu/teachanywhere/home/teaching-in-person/syllabus-health-guidelines/.
- Consider completing a ~90 minute self-paced training created by DTEI to help prepare for remote teaching.
- For Teaching Assistants, classroom space is available inside the Anteater Learning Pavilion via the Registrar’s Office. Please contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 949-824-6124
UCI Affiliate Program for Graduating Graduate Students
In response to the challenges of the current job market, we are creating a UCI Affiliate Program for graduate students who complete their degrees during the pandemic.
- You will receive guest UCINetIDs for two years following degree conferral, which gets you:
- Library access
- Active UCI email
- Departments will be encouraged to keep recent alumni on departmental lists, so that you will be invited to events, receive announcements for fellowships and jobs, and otherwise stay connected with your UCI community.
- We hope that this will ease some of this transition in such a difficult time. We are still working out this process but wanted to let you know that it is happening.
This evening marks the start of a 10-day period of introspection and repentance for some of our campus community, and while as always, neither UCI nor I endorse any particular religion or even religion as a general broad category, we are also about two weeks from the start of fall quarter. And so, this may be a time when a period of introspection may be a useful or helpful concept for many. We are six months into this time of physical distancing and limits on our lives. What I see in so many is that six months is a limit of sorts on our capacity to push through, to work it out, to keep going as we have been. I invite you to take some time to pause, to reflect on what you have managed to accomplish in the last six months. Many of you are grieving loss of life, loss of freedom, loss of research projects, loss of employment, loss of opportunity. Others of you are celebrating… despite all we’ve been through, grants have still been won, babies born, jobs secured, papers published, marriages completed, and dissertations defended. I won’t tell you to be hopeful or resilient or any of the rest. You’ve heard it from me a million times before. I will tell you to take the time to reflect though. You’ve been through a lot.
To close and thank you for all you do to care for your communities, both small and large, one more piece of wisdom from the late Justice Ginsburg:
"Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you."
I believe in all of you and your ability not only to change the world but to lead others to do it.
On behalf of all of Graduate Division, wishing you a weekend of peace and justice,
Kleist Professor of Informatics
Vice Provost for Graduate Education
Dean of the Graduate Division