NEWS

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March 15, 2020

University, Hyde Park, Chicago Respond to Coronavirus

Editors’‚Äč Note:

The Maroon will continue to update this page through finals week with information about the ongoing response to the novel coronavirus and the disease it causes, COVID-19.

Some resources for students as they navigate the transition to “distance learning” include the Mutual Aid Facebook group, especially the Housing Request form and Food Donation form. The Emergency Fund provides grants to students for transportation, medical supplies, and housing emergencies. 

Additional information about the response to the coronavirus can be submitted using The Maroon’s News Tips page.

March 20, 2020

  • Governor Pritzker announced a state-wide “stay-at-home” order today, which will last from 5 p.m. on Saturday through at least April 7. For the most part, the order formalizes other directives and recommendations issued by the state in recent days by discouraging residents from leaving their homes unless necessary. Provost Ka Yee Lee sent an email urging the University community to comply with the order. 
  • National Nurses United, the union that represents nurses working at UChicago Medical Center, held a press conference this evening. The union said that nurses at the Medical Center have not been provided adequate safety equipment, and some have contracted COVID-19.
  • Part- and full-time foodservice employees at the University will receive regular pay during Spring Quarter, Ivan Samstein, the University’s Chief Financial Officer, said in an email to the University community. 
  • College U-Passes will only be renewed in Spring Quarter for students who will be in Chicago and fill out a form circulated by the College.

March 19, 2020

  • The Office of Financial Aid announced in an email to the College that students living on-campus who will be completing spring quarter either off-campus or at home will receive an adjusted financial aid package reflecting an off-campus budget.
  • Dean of the Harris School of Public Policy Katherine Baicker said in an email that a student has tested positive for COVID-19. In response, administrators have closed the Keller Center to begin immediate professional cleaning and mitigate potential community spread. 
  • Provost Ka Yee Lee wrote in an email that student hourly employees—Federal Work-Study and non-Work-Study positions—who are able to transition their work remotely will be paid for continued work during the spring quarter. For students who are not able to translate their work remotely, the University will provide six weeks of pay based on projected hours reported by the student’s supervisor.

March 18, 2020

  • The IOP announced that there will be no Speakers Series events or Pritzker Fellows during Spring Quarter. 
  • The College has extended the winter quarter grading period deadlines and moved all exams scheduled to take place on Thursday and Friday to next Tuesday and Wednesday. The change was prompted to accommodate students who are leaving campus during scheduled exam periods. Dean of the College John Boyer said in an email that “all undergraduate students who have not yet left campys for Spring Break, and who can return home, should do so as soon as feasible.” 
  • The University will close the Regenstein Library on Friday at 5:00 p.m., and all other libraries have already closed. Provost Ka Yee Lee said in an email to the University community that libraries will be closed for the next two weeks, at minimum. 
  • Flights out of Midway International Airport remain limited, and airport administrators recommend travelers should check their flight status with their airline. 

March 17, 2020

  • Over 8,000 non-faculty staff members at the University are wrestling with the effects of the transition to remote learning and the closure of most campus dorms.
  • Campus shuttles are currently operating normally, Associate Vice President for Safety and Security Eric Heath announced in an email to the University community. The email also said that Gerald Ratner Athletics Center and Henry Crown Field House will be closed until April 5. 
  • Dean of the College John Boyer sent an unusually personal email to College students in service of providing “perspective in difficult times.” The email referenced giants of University history including UChicago’s first president William Rainey Harper. 
  • The air traffic control tower at Midway closed temporarily today after three technicians tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Students who checked out of their dorms and are unable to travel to their destinations should contact their Resident Heads in order to return to their accommodations.
  • The Illinois Department of Public Health released new guidelines regarding patient testing for the novel coronavirus, which will increase the number of people in the state who can be tested, the Chicago Tribune reported. 
  • At least one Illinois primary voting location in Hyde Park was relocated today, as voting across Cook County was interrupted by concerns about COVID-19. A spokesperson for the Chicago Board of Elections told Crain’s Chicago Business yesterday that election judges, who are often elderly, were resigning faster than the Board could count them. Illinois Governor J. B. Pritzker said he would not move the election, as leaders in other states have done. 

March 16, 2020

  • Spring quarter will begin a week late, on Monday, April 6, instead of Monday, March 30, Provost Ka Yee Lee said in an email to the University community this morning. The quarter will be shortened to nine weeks of instruction. The changes do not apply to the Law School, where classes will begin on the original date. 
  • UChicago libraries will remain open until the end of finals week to accommodate students, according to a letter to staff, but will close for cleaning throughout the entirety of spring break.
  • UChicago Dining announced that food will be served in take-out packaging at campus dining halls between March 17 and March 22, in accordance with Illinois Governor J. B. Pritzker’s order to close all restaurants in the state.
  • UChicago Dining also announced that Maroon dollar balances will roll over to the next academic year. Graduating students will receive a refund. 
  • The Center for Leadership and Involvement has suspended all RSO activities through the end of spring quarter. 
  • The Emergency Fund is accepting donations from RSOs that wish to donate portions of their budgets that have gone unused so far this year. As of now, the Fund is not accepting donations from RSOs’ spring quarter budget allocations.

March 15, 2020

  • All restaurants across Chicago must close at the end of business tomorrow, according to an order by Illinois Governor J. B. Pritzker. Drive-through and take-out services may operate as normal, but dine-in services will be suspended until March 30. The directive comes after a St. Patrick’s Day weekend that saw block-long lines and busy public spaces. 
  • Meetings with academic advisors and deans will be conducted over the phone or the video conferencing service Zoom, the College Academic Advising Office announced today in an email to students. 
  • University administrators changed course and announced that Resident Assistants (RAs) will now have the option to work remotely during spring quarter. RAs will be paid their quarterly stipend of $3,404 if they choose to do so. The move came after mounting pressure from students, faculty, and Student Government representatives. 
  • The University published additional resources for instructors who will be teaching online next quarter. These include training sessions for Canvas and Zoom, two services which are expected to contribute significantly to remote learning in the spring.
  • Chicago hotels are offering reduced rates to college students affected by the coronavirus, the Chicago Tribune reported.

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Live Updates: Coronavirus Updates from UChicago, Hyde Park, and the City of Chicago

By Maroon Staff

This blog will be updated on an ongoing basis during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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