Updates to the CMU Experience This Spring
Dear Carnegie Mellon University Students:
As we embark on the spring semester still impacted by COVID-19, we do so with the knowledge and experiences gained from a successful fall semester in hybrid mode. Although life as a Carnegie Mellon student is of course different living through a pandemic, I am so proud of how our students have created new ways of coming together to enrich our university culture and explore your passions. We adopted a motto of Tartans All In, Everywhere last semester, and you demonstrated that together we can maintain the privilege of an in-person experience and ensure continuity in your CMU education.
Our planning for the semester ahead has been informed and guided by student feedback from the fall survey and various student advisory councils. Throughout the spring, we will provide offerings that are creatively designed, virtually and in-person when possible, to support your individual and collective well-being, sense of belonging and connection to others, no matter where you are living and studying. We look forward to your engagement as we kick off the semester with Winter Welcome events. During this time of necessary physical distancing, it is even more important to reach out, connect, and ask for help when you need it or when you feel someone else may need it. The entire CMU community — faculty, staff, and your peers — is here to support you.
Earlier this week, our COVID-19 Coordinator, Daryl Weinert, shared information about arrival protocols, asymptomatic testing and other campus logistics. Today, I write to share information and updates about the CMU experience for the spring semester.
- All students are requested to update your residential location information in SIO so we may align resources and services to best support your individual experience.
- All students are expected to complete the Canvas module called “A Tartan’s Responsibility Training” by the start of classes on February 1. This training course has been fully revised for the spring semester. Students who are new to campus or Pittsburgh for the spring semester, whether on or off campus, will be automatically enrolled in the full-length training course and will be sent an email invitation to log on when it launches tomorrow, Friday, January 22. Returning students are also welcome to complete the full course but are expected to complete a shorter, “refresher” version of the course. As part of the module, students will learn about important details related to the modified arrival quarantine, including activities that are permitted and those that are not.
- To help protect our community by preventing exposure to people who have or may have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, the university uses a combination of isolation and quarantine plans. Students who are impacted will be guided and supported by the university to uphold these plans.
- Winter Welcome kicks off the spring semester on January 23 and runs through February 13. The three weeks of virtual programming include events focused on well-being, community, making friends and having fun.
- Many on-campus dining locations will be open beginning January 23. Visit the Dining Services website for information on opening hours and carry-out ordering options while we are in restricted posture.
- CMU’s Group X classes are available in person or via Zoom, and campus recreation facilities are open with safeguards to support your health and well-being.
- “Touchdown spaces” are available throughout campus where students can spend time between classes. These spaces are identified with signage across campus.
- Protocols for visiting University Libraries in person, as well as hours of operation, are detailed on the library website. Library personnel are available during operating hours via phone, email or chat to offer assistance to students who are studying remotely.
- In addition to free tutoring, academic coaching, communication consulting and workshops, accommodations and support for students with disabilities, and language support for English language learners, the Student Academic Success Center offers the Study Partners program, which helps CMU instructors and students create peer-led study groups.
- While in-person activities continue to be suspended while we are in a restricted posture, student organizations, including those student groups who are affiliated with an academic department, will utilize a streamlined submission and approval process for hosting in-person activities once the event suspension is lifted. The adapted process and spring 2021 student organization guidelines can be found on the SLICE website.
Even as we reshape the definition of “campus” beyond the physical space in Pittsburgh, we remain committed to sustaining a robust and meaningful student experience. Our students, faculty and staff have collaborated to co-create opportunities to build community, promote learning and personal growth, and instill pride in being a Tartan — incorporating new, creative twists to leverage technology and in-person experiences to reduce Zoom fatigue. I am energized by these collaborations and confident that we will continue to adapt, together, as we navigate the months ahead.
Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students