Now, more than ever, it is important for USM students to have access to academic support. USM Libraries will continue to provide research assistance. We are also pleased to share that our peer academic support services will remain available to students virtually as well, including Subject-Based Tutors, Writing Assistants, Peer Academic Coaches, Technology Assistants, and Learning Commons Navigators.
To protect the students who use our services as well as our student employees from potential exposure to the COVID-19 virus, all appointments for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester will be delivered live online via Zoom. The scheduling process remains the same. Students can use our self-service online calendar to view available appointments and schedule a time for peer academic support. Please visit the Tutoring: Subject-Based Tutoring and Tutoring: Writing Assistance links under the “USM Quick Links” tab of the MyUSM portal.
We now have a dedicated page on our AGILE website that highlights specific academic support resources for being successful under the current conditions. Please feel free to contact Naamah Jarnot, our Coordinator of Tutoring Services, if you have any questions or concerns about connecting with peer support. We are here for you!
Please visit the LAC Writing Center website which explains how students can get online support with writing. Of course, we work with all USM students, but our Writing Assistants have worked closely with LAC faculty and are especially familiar with LAC assignments.
The Disability Services Center is actively meeting with students and providing a variety of services. Please visit the DSC website, call 780-4076, or email us to discuss services and schedule an appointment.
Students — Please consult USM's Disability Services Student FAQ page for a list of student-focused FAQ's and answers.
Faculty — Please consult USM's Disability Services Faculty FAQ page for a list of faculty-focused FAQ's and answers.
If you are feeling unsafe due to the threat of domestic violence, please call the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence 24 Hour Hotline: 1-866-834-HELP.
Call to talk, create a safety plan, get information on other resources — like how to file for a Protection From Abuse (PFA) or Protection from Harassment (PFH) order — or get connected with legal services.
At this time, in-person services are not possible, but they are ready and willing to be creative in how to best provide services 24 hours a day.
USM's Campus Food Pantry is available to help USM community members who are facing food insecurity.
In accordance with the March 23 statewide directive issued from Governor Mills and Portland Mayor Snyder’s emergency stay at home order, as of Monday, March 30, 2020, the Campus Food Pantry will be available by appointment only. USM Students or community members with a valid USM ID who are struggling with food security are encouraged to email USM's Campus Food Pantry to request access.*
Appointments are available between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., Monday–Friday. Please email at least 24 hours prior to the time requested.
SNAP: Many students struggling with food insecurity may be entitled to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Benefits. Please visit their website to learn about eligibility and to apply. For confidential assistance with completing the application, email USM Food Benefits. A staff member can walk you through the process and help you determine your eligibility for SNAP benefits.
Other Food resources in Maine:
- Community meals in Greater Portland
- Cumberland County food pantries
- Good Shepard Food Bank
- Maine Schools Providing Meals to Students During Closures (free meals — no one will be turned away)
Preble Street: To-Go Meals will be available during regular Soup Kitchen hours, 7 days a week. Their Food Pantry will be available daily from 1:30 to 3 p.m.
Due to the current Coronavirus pandemic, University Health and Counseling Services is providing services as follows:
At this time, Health Services will not be open for on-site patient services. This applies both to our Portland location at the Sullivan Gym and our Gorham location at 156 Upton Hall. However, we are able to take your calls, manage your health concerns as best able over the phone, refill prescriptions, answer your questions, or help to connect you to services in your community. Please call us at 780-5411 — we will do our best to get back to you in a timely way.
Counseling Services is offering teletherapy to students beginning March 30. For more information about this service, please call 780-4050.
If you have Computer Access Questions, please email the Help Desk.
If you are unable to access the Internet where you are, the University of Maine System’s NetworkMaine initiative offers free parking lot-based WiFi hotspots.
- For students without computers:
- Starting on Monday, March 27, the Luther Bonney Computer Lab will no longer be open to students for walk-in service. For those students needing access to a computer, the Luther Bonney Hall Computer Lab in Portland will be available by appointment only. In Gorham, there are two computers available for use in Philippe Hall.
- Appointments are available from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, on a first-come, first-served basis. To schedule an appointment please call 780-4280. Please be patient and understand there are a limited number of resources to handle these calls at this time.
- UMS IT is working on a virtual lab solution for students who need access to specialty software (Windows only). This will provide you access to what has been traditionally offered on campus from your own computer. More information will follow once this solution is available.
The City of Portland's Multilingual Resources page provides information and resources for COVID-19 in Portland's most spoken languages (Arabic, French, Portuguese, Somali, and Spanish).
Video Resources for Somali Speakers:
- Portland Imam Mohamud Ali explains why it’s important to follow CDC guidelines
- Dr. Ahmed of Deering High school explains the impact of COVID-19 on students and parents and provides advice
- Yusuf Yusuf, a social worker with Gateway Community Services, discusses the pandemic's impact on people's ability to schedule appointments relating to DHHS, SSA, Immigration, housing, and many more topics
- Mohamed Ibrahim, a Community organizer with Maine People’s Alliance, shares a new online resource
CARES Act Direct Aid Funds
Many USM degree-seeking students will qualify for funds through the CARES Act. CARES Act direct aid funds will be disbursed to eligible students via MaineStreet student accounts. Eligible students will receive these funds in the form of a check or direct deposit.
We encourage students who are not eligible for CARES Act dollars but still have financial need to apply for assistance through USM’s Student Emergency Fund.
USM Student Emergency Fund
Students may request support from the Student Emergency Fund for an emergency situation, or for unanticipated and compelling circumstances that jeopardize their ability to successfully continue in school.
Student Emergency Funds will be provided in the form of grants, awards will be determined by a committee based on the individual need. Award amounts typically range from $100 to $500. Decisions regarding the amount and disbursement of funds are made on a case-by-case basis. Awards are not considered loans and do not require repayment. Some funds may be considered income and are therefore subject to federal taxes.
The Chancellor’s Office offered a plan for enacting prorated financial adjustment for students who paid room and board this term. These prorated assessments will be applied to current student account balances by March 31. After credits are issued to the student accounts, if there is a surplus balance, we will issue a refund. To ensure timely transactions, we encourage you to update your student account information to allow for electronic deposit from USM to your desired account. These four steps walk you through how to arrange that in your student portal.
Call the confidential 24-Hour Hotline: 1-800-871-7741
Between the hours of 8 a.m. and 11 p.m. Monday–Friday, you can also text the hotline number OR chat online.
Call to talk, create a safety plan, get information on other resources, or get connected with legal services.
Advocates are available by phone to accompany anyone wishing to get a Sexual Assault Forensic Exam (sometimes called a Rape Kit) at a hospital. They can talk through the process and any questions or decisions that someone may have.
USM based resources for sexual assault and harassment
Need to talk?
Contact Sarah Holmes, the Deputy Title IX Coordinator if you have questions or concerns about anything that has happened to you in the past or is currently happening.
Need more info?
Please complete the Not Anymore Training on your MyUSM Portal in order to learn more about the signs of abuse and/or violence, as well as ways to keep others safe. Under UMS Student Announcements, look for "Sexual Assault Prevention Training."
Want to Keep in Touch?
Follow Campus Safety Project on Instagram @campussafetyproject4usm or on Facebook to keep the conversation going!
Need to Safety Plan?
Learn more about safety planning and how you can safety plan if you are concerned about your own well-being.
The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN): 1-800-656-4673
OR chat online
The Libraries’ electronic reserves (e-reserves) system is available and many classes contain the required reading materials for your course. If you have been using the Textbooks on Reserves in the Libraries in print format, first check Vitalsource (use your @maine.edu email to log in or create an account) and Redshelf to see if the textbook is available for free for the rest of the semester. If it is not, ask your faculty member to request the appropriate chapters or pages be scanned and placed on e-reserves. Faculty can also submit scanning requests via email.
If you have questions about eligibility or applying for unemployment benefits, please consult the Maine Department of Labor's The Bureau of Unemployment Compensation website.
The Career & Employment Hub has gathered employment resources that support students with employment concerns related to COVID-19.
The Southern Maine Workers Center also has a helpline for anyone with questions. If you have questions about how to file for unemployment or what your rights are as a worker or how to organize in the time of COVID-19, please call the Workers' Support Hotline: 207-888-1010.
Please contact Student Employment Specialist Suheir Alaskari if you have questions.
From March 23, 2020, Monday Missive: Many students with federal work-study this week received the good news that revised federal guidelines will allow continuity of payment through the end of the semester — or up to a point when their federal work-study funds have been exhausted. If you are a federal work-study student, please check your email for the detailed memo that went out. Discussions on how to help students who receive departmental or university funding, rather than federal work-study, began this week at the system and university level.