Dear MCAD Faculty, Staff, and Students,
I hope this note finds you and your loved ones well. Like you, I am alarmed by the growing number of COVID-19 cases that are surging in Minnesota and across the country. This past Wednesday, Minnesota Governor Walz announced Executive Order 20-99 designed to “take decisive and aggressive action to contain the most recent spread of the pandemic.” This order includes a four-week shutdown of bars, restaurants, and fitness clubs beginning at midnight tonight. Additionally this order limits social gatherings to individual households and urges the postponement of any unnecessary travel. The Minnesota Department of Health has issued additional restrictive measures for institutions of higher education. In light of these developments, we have decided to further reduce our in-person presence and activities on campus. We must do everything we can to reduce the spread of this virus. This email details out what actions MCAD is taking at this time and what these changes mean for you. Please read it carefully.
Changes on Campus
Effective Friday, November 20 at 11:59 p.m.
- All gatherings on campus are prohibited.
- The Fitness Center will be closed.
Effective Tuesday, November 24 at 11:59 p.m.
- All academic buildings will be closed from 10:00 p.m.- 4:00 a.m.
- MCAD Cafe will remain open for grab-and-go meal pick up only.
- On-campus resident students will not be allowed to have visitors in their apartment units until further notice. Only students assigned to the apartment are permitted.
- All administrative offices including Financial Aid, Student Affairs, Human Resources, and Business Office will move to remote support with no change to staffing hours.
- Printshop, 3D Shop, and Service Bureau will be closed for in-person work access. Each of these areas is working on methods of support to provide limited services for remote orders and contactless pick-up. Details to follow.
- Media Center equipment due dates and proposals are still valid. Email email@example.com to arrange equipment check in and check out.
- Individually assigned studio spaces will remain open and accessible to the students assigned to those studios.
- Shared, group studio spaces and labs, such as the Entrepreneurial Studios, Comic Studio, Computer Labs, Digital Print Lab, and Animation Studio, will remain open by appointment via http://pas.mcad.edu/ and https://sbdpl.mcad.edu/.
- The Library will be closed to public access. Remote services will remain available including contactless pick-up. Details to follow.
- Art Cellar will be closed to customers, but purchases can be made via phone, Gchat, or email and scheduled for pickup between the hours of 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
- Mailroom will continue to be staffed 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Monday-Friday, with a maximum occupancy of two people at any given time. Mail services requiring any special handling will be available by appointment only.
Requirements for Returning to Campus
This past September all of you signed a shared pledge to keep everyone in the MCAD community safe and healthy. It included an acknowledgment that our individual actions can directly impact the larger community. In the spirit of that pledge, we are asking you do the following over the Thanksgiving break:
- Consider canceling your travel or social plans, remembering that out-of-state travel is highly discouraged unless you are returning home to stay home. As per Governor Waltz’s new order incoming visitors and Minnesotans who travel out-of-state are asked to quarantine for 14 days.
- Avoid gathering with others outside of your individual household as it greatly increases the risk of exposure. If possible, celebrate Thanksgiving virtually with friends and family.
- For students who return home for Thanksgiving, stay home if possible until the start of spring semester.
- If you have socialized with anyone outside of your individual household over Thanksgiving, get tested before returning to campus. Take a free, at-home virus test provided by the state of Minnesota available at COVID-19 Test At Home.
While we are trying to reduce the number of people on campus during this phase of COVID-19, Public Safety’s 24-hour presence on campus will remain unchanged and enhanced cleaning protocols will continue to be implemented.
I know these decisions have a profound impact on all of you. For our graduating seniors this moment is particularly hard and we will work to support you and your colleagues. As many of you will have questions after reading this email, we are holding two community forums so that we can answer questions and address concerns: Monday, November 23 at noon for students and Tuesday, November 24 at noon for faculty and staff. Details will follow.
These past months have been stressful and exhausting. That said, I sincerely hope you are able to enjoy the much-needed break and take a moment to find inspiration in the world around you.
All my best to you,