January 7 Student Memo

Information regarding spring semester, with updates to testing, campus shuttles, KN95 masks and more.

Dear Students,

Happy New Year, and I hope that you are excited to return to campus for the upcoming Spring 2022 semester! As was promised in the College’s January 4th communication, I am writing to provide you with additional information about how the semester will open as we work to navigate the current COVID-19 Omicron variant. The campus is well prepared for opening, and for continuing your excellent educational experience while addressing the public health context.

MICA will continue in Operational Mode 4 as previously announced with a continued commitment to in-person teaching and learning for the semester. Course modalities, shop, and studio access will be the same as they were in the Fall, except for the fact that the first week of classes (Tuesday, January 18th - Friday, January 21st) will be held virtually to allow students to stagger their arrival on-campus, to accommodate MICA’s student testing requirements, and minimize longer duration gatherings at the start of the term.

As a reminder, all students are required to test for COVID-19 twice through MICA’s on-campus testing program upon their arrival to campus, once within the first 72 hours after arrival, and again 5-7 days later. Additionally, all students are strongly encouraged to take a PCR COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to arrival to campus. As an extra precaution, if you are able to quarantine in advance of coming to campus to minimize risk of bringing COVID to campus, please do so. If you test positive or are symptomatic, stay home and do not come to campus until medically cleared. Please contact Student Health Services (410-225-4118) to notify them of a positive test result.

Additional updates for the start of the semester are as follows:

  • MICA will be distributing two KN95 masks to all students, faculty, and staff. Students will pick-up their masks at the MICA on-campus testing site when they test. MICA’s indoor mask mandate remains in place.
  • The evening safety shuttle and daytime campus circulator shuttle will operate as planned, using the same schedule as the Fall semester.
  • The weekend Canton Crossing Shopping Shuttle will begin operations on Saturday, February 5, 2022, and run every other Saturday for the remainder of the semester.
  • All dining facilities will be grab-and-go only through at least Saturday, January 23rd. Grab-and-go meals can be consumed in any designated campus dining location.
  • Non-curricular gatherings will be limited to no more than 10 individuals through February 1st. Events that require unmasking - such as events including food - are also prohibited through February 1st.
  • Spring Orientation will be conducted in a largely virtual format. Detailed information will be sent directly to new students.
  • Non-MICA visitors will continue to be prohibited from the residence halls, with the exception of no more than two move-in helpers for any students moving in for the first time this semester.

It is expected that you will have many questions about COVID-19 / Omicron, and the College’s opening plan. To that end, a discussion session with MICA’s consulting epidemiologists has been scheduled for students and parents on Friday, January 14th from 3:00 to 4:00 pm (ET). Registration information will be available in advance of the session.

Please remember one of the purposes of conducting classes virtually during the first week is to allow students to return to campus staggered throughout the first week, instead of having your return condensed over the weekend prior. Please consider this as you plan your return to the region.

I hope that winter break has been peaceful and that you are eager to return. I look forward to seeing you back on campus in the coming days!


Sincerely,
mike

Michael Z Patterson
Vice President of Student Affairs & Dean of Students