Healthy Huskies

Frequently Asked Questions: Faculty & Staff

As you browse the information below, please note:

  • The information on this page is subject to change. 
  • We will be continuing to develop the most appropriate guidelines across a range of services and student needs.

If you don't see an answer to your question, please contact Alexander Porteous, USM’s Chief Operating Officer and COVID-19 Ombudsperson.

This FAQ page is tailored to the questions of University of Southern Maine faculty and staff.


Return to Campus

Updated Aug. 27, 2020

Campus Study Spaces, Zoom Lounges and Outdoor Tent Areas Announced

For the 2020–21 academic year, USM has reimagined and designated several spaces on all three campuses for group study, individual quiet study, and Zoom/online course use.

Designated Zoom Lounges 
USM's "Zoom lounges" offer students physical spaces for participating in live Zoom courses and other Zoom-based learning activities. The spaces are socially distanced with internet access, and will require the use of masks. If needing information on how to use Zoom, check out USM's Learning With Zoom YouTube playlist.

USM has ordered a large supply of earbuds for use in these spaces, which students can then keep for ongoing use on and off campus. NOTE: there will not be computers provided in these spaces. Computer labs will still be open for use, but students should be mindful of others' quiet academic time-on-task in computer labs.

The following is a list of Zoom lounges, with the most up-to-date information to be listed on the Dean of Students website.

Portland Campus

  • 44 Payson Smith - Capacity 12
  • 241 Luther Bonney - Capacity 15
  • 213 Abromson - Capacity 14
  • 133 Wishcamper - Capacity 13
  • 205 Wishcamper - Capacity 12
  • Woodbury Campus Center - Common Areas and Husky Lounge (formerly the University Store)

Gorham Campus

  • 113 Bailey - Capacity 16
  • 207 Bailey - Capacity 9
  • 312 Bailey - Capacity 17
  • 403 Bailey - Capacity 12
  • Ice Arena Lobby Area

Lewiston-Auburn Campus

  • 147A LAC Library should be used first during library hours
  • 103
  • 104
  • 212

Outdoor Tents
To offer additional study and socially-distanced gathering spaces, there are three tents on the Gorham campus and another on the Portland campus with individual tables and chairs. Please note the tents do not currently have reliable internet access or power, but likely will later in September.

Other Study Spaces
Here are some additional notes regarding spaces in USM's Libraries:

  • Group study spaces: The group study rooms will not be open for use because of social distancing restrictions. The Library team has created group study areas on the second and third floors of the Glickman Library, and on the first floor of the Gorham Library in proximity to whiteboards.

  • Quiet study spaces: There are several designated quiet spaces in all three library locations, including the Great Reading Room on the seventh floor of the Glickman Library and the second floor of the Gorham Library. Individual study carrels and many other seating options can be used for individual quiet study.

For tips and strategies on how to maximize your study time in these spaces, or to connect with academic support resources, visit USM's Academic Support Resources Overview page, which includes videos on Brightspace, Zoom, the Google Suite, and being a successful learner.

Fall Calendar Change

  • This year, Tuesday, October 13 — the day immediately following the Indigenous Peoples' Day holiday — will be a University Convocation Day. The University of Maine System recently designated Oct. 13 as an instructional day rather than a break, which gives us the opportunity to engage the entire USM community — students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends — in a rich program of activities and events on a theme of importance to the institution. Since October 13 is now an instructional day, faculty must hold classes but may include Convocation Day events in their syllabi and offer students the opportunity to participate in the day’s events in lieu of attending the scheduled class meeting. We look forward to working with a group of faculty, staff, and students to plan this special day, and we will share more information when the program is formalized.


Can I complete a remote/virtual internship for academic credit?

  • Yes. Many employers have shifted to doing much of their work remotely for the time being, and that extends to their interns. Students interested in an internship that is being offered virtually will go through the same process of obtaining approval from a Faculty Sponsor, creating a Learning Contract, etc. that they would for any other internship. Due to current circumstances, we expect remote internships to be common for the foreseeable future. As long as the content of the intern's work is meaningful and deemed worthy of academic credit by an appropriate faculty member, a remote internship will be considered for academic credit just the same as an on-site internship would be. Internship opportunities posted in USM Job & Internship Board will often note whether or not the work can or will be done remotely. 

Lab Courses

Will lab courses still be offered?

  • Yes, by mid-March 2020, USM faculty were actively seeking ways to meet course learning objectives for 2020–21 academic year courses that might have a reduced in-person presence. There has been a near-universal reaction on the part of laboratory material providers in the corporate world, lab manual publishers, faculty, content area professionals, and faculty to collaborate on strategies for effective teaching and learning.
  • Among the strategies are: greater design of at-home learning experiences, "front-loading" in-person laboratory experiences at the start of the semester in anticipation of subsequent reduced in-campus experiences, greater use of pedagogical science in assessing learning objectives, and strategic scheduling of courses themselves, and individual learning experiences.

Who will be responsible for cleaning labs between classes (instructor, students, custodians)?

  • We will determine the best course of action prior to the fall semester start.

If we divide lab sections into smaller units, how do we keep students from congregating outside the rooms?

  • We will determine the best course of action prior to the fall semester start.

Will students need to wear lab coats or aprons in lab?

  • We will determine the best course of action prior to the fall semester start.

How, and how often, will labs be cleaned between classes (including benchtops, microscopes, and other equipment)?

  • We will determine the best course of action prior to the fall semester start.

MAT Courses

Will my MAT course be self-paced?

  • No. Each MAT course will have regular assignments with deadlines throughout the semester

Will my MAT 100, 105, 108, 120 courses have proctored exams?

  • Yes. Each section will have at least 30% of the grade determined by proctored exams.

How will my MAT exams be proctored?

  • While each section will have proctored exams, the format may differ. Some students will take their exams during their on-campus sessions, while others might take them at an approved testing site or online using a proctoring tool.

Will my MAT course have specific times when I need to be available? 

  • It depends on your section. Check MaineStreet and be sure to look at the notes for the specific section of the course in which you plan to enroll. 

School of Nursing

Will nursing student clinicals be offered face-to-face?

  • Hospitals are accepting requests for the fall semester.

Will nursing students be required to wear PPE during health-based labs?

  • Yes

Will there be additional time between lab sessions to allow for cleaning, disinfection, and resetting labs?

  • Yes

How will nursing students be screened when attending labs? 

  • Nursing students will be screened according to CDC Protocols.

Will nursing students be able to continue attending clinicals and practicum (assuming locations still accept students) even if the university moves courses fully online at some point in the semester?

  • Yes

Will nursing be able to offer our usual winter term Mental Health Clinical sections (assuming locations still accept students)?

  • Yes

If nursing students' clinical is suspended due to COVID-19, will they still graduate on time?

  • Loss of face-to-face clinical time may delay graduation. No more than 50% of clinical can be delivered via simulation-based upon Board of Nursing regulations. 

Will nursing students be able to continue living on campus in order to complete clinicals and practicum even if the university moves courses fully online at some point in the semester?

  • We will determine the best course of action prior to the fall semester start.

Will the nursing simulation labs be open when we return?

  • We will determine the best course of action prior to the fall semester start.

Additional Questions

In the coming weeks, prior to the fall semester start, we will be continuing to develop the most appropriate guidelines across a range of services and student needs. The information below will be updated as soon as we determine the best course of action.

  • What happens if I miss classes due to illness or Quarantine?
  • Will there be a pass-fail option as was offered in Spring 2020?
  • How will faculty be able to supervise/proctor exams to ensure their integrity?
  • What is the protocol for faculty and students who may become ill during the Fall semester?
  • Will faculty and students be tested for COVID-19? If so, how often?
  • If we have a course suitable for face-to-face instruction, do we need to change classrooms?
  • Will people have their temperature checked before entering buildings on the USM campuses?
  • Will faculty be allowed to hold office hours remotely by Zoom next semester?
  • Can I meet with someone in my departmental major office in July or August?
  • Is there a date for university offices to be open in-person?
  • When will students be notified that some classes are moving to on-line?
  • When will the Planetarium open?
  • As a student, how do I fill out a mask-wearing exemption? Will I be permitted on campus if I don’t wear a mask?
  • Will I be able to access computer labs and what will be the hours of operation?

Updated Jan. 20, 2021

Spring Semester Dining Hall Hours Announced

  • January 19th – January 22nd

Quarantine Express Lines – For those students who are currently awaiting test results, please join us in our Quarantine Express Lines until you receive a negative test result. There are two lines set up (Upper Brooks & Lower Brooks). Please watch the signage at the front door of Lower Brooks to let you know which line to dine in. Once enough students have been cleared to eat in the main dining hall, we will break down to just one Quarantine Express Line. The signage will direct you where to go.

Hours: Lunch 11:00am – 2:00pm
Dinner 4:00pm – 7:00pm 
(Pickup Breakfast Meal for the next day at Dinner Time)

Brooks Dining Hall – For those students who have already been cleared through testing, please join us in Brooks Dining Hall.

Hours: Breakfast 7:00am – 10:00am
Lunch 11:00am – 2:00pm
Dinner 4:00pm – 7:00pm

Husky Hideaway – Will be open this week for Bite Orders only in order to ensure that we keep guests safe and socially distanced. Prepackaged items can be added to your order once you arrive to pick up your meals. Meal Plan Dollars for the Spring Semester have been activated for use already, so all resident students should be able to access these funds immediately.

Hours: Daily 4:00pm – 10:00pm

  • January 23rd – January 24th

Please note that we anticipate test results to be returned by this point. If they have not been returned, we will continue to offer a Quarantine Express Line for those folks still awaiting results.

Brooks Dining Hall – All students who have already been cleared through testing.

Hours: Brunch 8:30am – 2:00pm (Continental 8:30am – 10:00am)
Dinner 4:00pm – 6:30pm

Husky Hideaway – Will be open for Bite Orders only to ensure that we keep guests safe and socially distanced.

Hours: Daily 4:00pm – 10:00pm

  • January 25th - Beyond

Brooks Dining Hall – Full Operation and Normal Hours (Bite Orders will resume)

Hours: Monday – Friday 7:00am – 7:30pm; Saturday – Sunday 8:30am – 6:30pm

Husky Hideaway – Full Operation and Normal Hours (Bite Orders preferred)

Hours: Monday – Thursday 7:00am – 12:00am; Friday 7:00am – 11:00pm; Saturday – Sunday 1:00pm – 11:00pm

Luther Bonney Café (Portland) – Full Operation and Normal Hours

Please note: You will now be able to get a meal from the Luther Bonney Café on the Portland Campus. Stop in and see the daily grab and go hot and cold options.

Hours: Monday – Friday 8:00am – 2:00pm

On the Spot Vending (Portland) – Located on the second floor of the Abromson Center, On the Spot Vending offers fresh salads, sandwiches, and to-go cups, made daily in-house.

Hours: Anytime the Building is Open

Special Dietary Need? Please contact our Campus Dietitian, Chelsea Champagne, to assist you with any special requests.

Expedite Your Dining Experience with the USM Dining Mobile Ordering App

Whether you prefer Apple or Android, Sodexo has you covered for mobile ordering. Just go to the App Store for iOS or the Google Play Store for Android and type “Bite by Sodexo – Universities” to download the USM Dining Mobile Ordering App. USM Dining is encouraging all patrons to use the USM Dining Mobile Ordering App for all retail transactions, as it will streamline the ordering and pickup process and ensure we can keep our facilities socially distanced. 

Also, the App features promotions, tips from the dietitian and a built-in Loyalty Program where you earn points on every transaction that is processed on your account. The app will also work with your meal plan card for Meal Plan Dollars, Husky Bucks and Meals, as well as allow you to add a credit card for ease of purchase. Residential Dining transactions can also be ordered in advance through the app for your convenience.

What type of procedures will dining have in place to keep me safe?

  • All dining locations will have enhanced cleaning techniques in place in our facilities, guests will be required to wear face coverings, social distancing will be in place, foot traffic patterns will be clearly identified and there will be barriers in place to separate employees from guests during their dining experience.

Will there still be options for students with allergies or special dining accommodations?

  • Simple Servings and MyZone, the core of our allergy-free dining stations, will still very much be offered this fall and going forward.  Every station is also designed to allow guests to customize their dishes to eliminate ingredients that do not work for their dietary situation. We encourage all guests with any special dietary considerations to reach out to our Campus Dietitian, Chelsea Champagne.

With reduced seating in the dining hall, will there be take-out / delivery options?

  • Take out will be encouraged in all dining locations when we first open. You can also place orders in advance through our Bite+ App which is available on all mobile devices. Delivery will be available from the Husky Hideaway on the Gorham Campus and Woodbury Campus Center on the Portland Campus to all offices, residence halls, and classroom buildings.

Will I be allowed to sit with my friends in the dining hall?

  • For the safety of our guests, we will be implementing social distancing procedures in the dining hall when students first return in the fall. This will include reduced seating capacity following the six-foot rule. Due to the limited seating capacity, we encourage guests to take their food back to their room with them or order in advance to avoid having to come into the dining hall at all.

Will there be screening methods in place for dining employees?

  • All dining employees will have enhanced screening methods in place to ensure the safety of our employees and guests. Temperatures will be taken daily upon arrival — screening will be completed prior to starting their shifts and social distancing methods will be in place in the food preparation and serving areas. All employees will be required to wear face coverings while clocked in.

Will the meal plans change based on the new dining regulations around COVID-19?

  • Dining Services has put many safety features into our dining locations in order to allow students to maximize the use of their full dining plans. Our current meal plan selections can be found on the Sodexo website.

What if I have a question related to a special dining accommodation, who can I contact?

  • Any questions around special dining accommodations can be directed to our Campus Dietitian, Chelsea Champagne:

Will I be required to wear a face-covering in the dining locations on campus?

  • All guests will be required to wear a face-covering when entering or exiting our dining facilities. If you choose to dine in our limited seating, you will be able to take your face covering off when you sit down to dine at your table.

I'm worried about having to pass my payment back and forth to the cashier, will there be a way to do this virtually?

  • All guests will be able to use our new tap-and-go technology for meal plan and credit card payments in the dining facilities. Guests can also pay in advance through our new Bite+ App, which can be downloaded on all devices.

Will I still be allowed to change my meal plan once I get to campus and determine my new normal around dining?

  • All guests will be given the option to change their meal plan each semester for the first two weeks of the semester. Meal plans can be changed as often as they need to during that time period.

Visit the Dining Services site

Updated Aug.13, 2020

Bailey Hall Construction Update

Bailey Hall-based faculty and staff who had to vacate offices and workspaces while updates to the fire protection and suppression systems were installed will soon be moved back into the building.

The Bailey Fire Protection Upgrades project involves upgrading both the existing fire alarm system as well as the fire protection/sprinkler system throughout the entire building to bring that system up to current code. Due to the large amount of work needed to accomplish this, the project was split into two phases, with Phase I to occur this summer and Phase II to be done in Summer 2021.

Phase I work includes:

  • Fire alarm upgrades to the entire building
  • Sprinkler system upgrades to the Basement and 1st Floor level.
  • A new sprinkler pump room.
  • New sprinkler standpipes in existing stairwells extending from the basement to the 5th Floor.
  • A new underground main electrical feed and new transformer to upgrade the power supply to Bailey.
  • HVAC, lighting and ceiling upgrades to the Library (both 1st and 2nd Levels).

Phase I work is on schedule to be substantially complete and allow re-occupancy starting on August 17.

Phase II work includes:

  • Sprinkler System upgrades for floors 2 through 5.
  • Installation of a new secondary egress to the exterior from the new pump room.

During Phase I, all occupants needed to move out of Bailey for the duration of this initial phase as the existing fire alarm system was being replaced, as well as the overhead construction of the new sprinkler system. The local fire authority could not allow occupancy without an operational fire alarm system. The new fire alarm system has been installed and is being tested on Thursday, Aug. 13. All moves back into Bailey and contact with those returning are being scheduled through Jon Dore, the Facilities Move Coordinator, who has been working diligently on this and has communicated with those affected.

During Phase II, occupants of the Basement and 1st Floor will not need to vacate. Occupants of floors 2 through 5 will need to relocate as these areas will be an active construction site for a sprinkler system installation on those floors. It is expected that work will be complete and re-occupancy of floors 2 through 5 can occur in early August 2021.

July 24 Email Update to the USM Community from COO and CBO Alec Porteous

Dear USM Community Members,

During last week's Town Hall meeting, John Souther, USM's Executive Director of Facilities Management, and I had the opportunity to discuss measures that the University will be taking to ensure that our campuses are clean and sanitary this year for students, staff and faculty members. Since not everyone was able to attend the Town Hall, I wanted to provide a summary of our approach here and to provide my contact information should you have any questions or input on the planned additional cleaning, sanitizing and health safety measures.

Turning first to the classroom experience, the Facilities Management Team is working closely with the Provost and Registrar's Offices to ensure that furniture in classrooms and other teaching spaces (i.e., larger spaces converted for academic instruction) are appropriately arranged for social distancing. Additionally, each classroom will be equipped with hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, and disposable face coverings as well as plexiglass barriers that faculty members may request to teach behind. The Custodial team will be cleaning classrooms and teaching spaces at least once per day with an EPA-registered, hospital-grade disinfectant.

Classroom Buildings
Regarding classroom buildings, Facilities Management will be installing ample signage indicating maximum occupancy for classrooms, meeting spaces, study lounges and elevators. Floor decals will indicate directional flow for hallway foot-traffic; and, wherever possible, buildings will have separate entrances and exits. Restrooms will be cleaned at least twice per day, with the Custodial team cleaning high-usage restrooms on a more frequent basis.

Residence Halls
Residence halls, likewise, will be cleaned and sanitized on a regular basis with a particular emphasis on cleaning and sanitizing restrooms and high-frequency touch areas, such as doorknobs, railings and the like. While students will be expected to maintain the cleanliness and sanitation of their individual rooms, the Custodial team will ensure that sanitizing wipes and hand sanitizer are also available in common areas.

Campus Buildings
Campus buildings containing faculty and staff offices will be cleaned on a frequent basis. Shared spaces, such as lounges, will be cleaned daily, and faculty and staff offices will be cleaned weekly. For office spaces, Facilities Management will provide cleaning supplies and safety materials (i.e., sanitizing wipes, hand sanitizer, plexiglass shields) upon request to ensure that individuals are able to maintain a safe and healthy working environment. To request cleaning supplies and/or plexiglass shields, Facilities Management requests that faculty and staff members submit requests through their respective departments in the form of a maintenance request work order. Facilities Management will fund the supplies, but inputting requests through the work order system will provide for more seamless processing and timely turnaround. Please place orders using this link.

Over the course of the summer, Facilities Management has been testing ventilation systems in each of USM's buildings. All HVAC systems located in campus buildings are being inspected to ensure proper functioning. Facilities Management will replace all air filters prior to the beginning of the fall semester. In addition, we will be extending HVAC schedules to run later into the evening to increase air turnover in campus buildings. Further, outside air dampers will be opened in buildings that have the capability of introducing outside air. Facilities Management encourages faculty and staff to open windows in occupied space and close windows upon leaving the space.

Face Coverings
Lastly, we had the opportunity at the Town Hall to update attendees on USM face covering and mask inventory for the fall semester. At this point, we have placed the following orders:

Cloth face coverings for students: 6,000
Cloth face coverings for employees: 4,630
Clear face coverings: 5,600
Disposable face coverings: 35,000
Cloth face coverings / N95 masks for Health Services: 2,700

In addition, the University Store will be selling USM-branded cloth face coverings at cost.

Student Affairs will distribute cloth face coverings to students, and cloth face coverings for employees have been delivered to Public Safety. Any faculty or staff member seeking to obtain a cloth face covering should contact Chief Ron Saindon ( and Captain Tim Farwell ( to arrange for pick up or delivery. In addition, Public Safety will have disposable masks available for any student, faculty or staff member. These can be obtained on a walk-in basis, and disposable masks will also be available in each classroom as well as in other common spaces on campus. The Disabilities Services Center will have clear face coverings available for distribution upon request. Please contact Director Joanne Benica ( to arrange for pick up of a clear face covering.

Thank you for your consideration and partnership. Hopefully, this information proves helpful for those who will be returning to campus this fall. Please don't hesitate to contact me and/or John Souther ( with any questions, concerns or ideas for improving USM's approach to health and safety on our campuses this fall.

Alec Porteous
Chief Operating Officer & Chief Business Officer

What is USM doing to Sanitize Campus?

  • USM Facilities Management (FM) custodial staff has enhanced cleaning efforts, increasing the cleaning frequency of high-usage areas, high-touch surfaces, and restrooms. Disinfecting cleaning (wipes) materials will be provided for students, faculty, and staff in classrooms. Additional checklists, training, and supervision will be provided to FM custodial staff.

How will Facilities Management clean and sanitize classrooms?

  • Every classroom will be disinfected and sanitized daily. In addition, disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer and disposable face coverings will be made available for students and faculty to wipe down their individual area before class starts. 

How will Facilities Management sanitize offices?

  • Cleaning and sanitizing of independent work areas (offices/cubicles) will be provided once per week. This will include the disinfecting of doorknobs and light switches as well as vacuuming. Occupants will be responsible for removing recycling to the central area waste stations. Occupants should participate in the "Tiny Trash" program and remove trash by bringing it to the nearest waste station. Personal areas such as desktops will not be maintained by custodial staff.

Will Facilities Management be providing cleaning materials and supplies for all departments?

  • Facilities Management will be providing disinfectant wipes, Hand sanitizer and plexiglass barriers for all departments.  Departments are required to put in a Maintenance Request Work Order for supplies needed for the department.  See link to put in a Matenance Request Work Order -

What disinfectant chemicals are used on campus?

  • Our custodial staff primarily uses Proctor and Gamble’s Pro-Line Disinfecting Floor and Surface Cleaner II, a no-rinse cleaning and hospital-grade disinfectant. This product meets OSHA Blood Borne Pathogen (BBP) requirements and is EPA registered. It also kills a broad spectrum of bacteria, viruses and fungi, including MSRA and VRE, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HIV-1, Influenza A, H1N1, Athletes foot fungus, mold and mildew.

Will Social Distancing signage be installed?  

  • Yes, Social distancing signage will be installed on floors and in areas where waiting lines will form on all campuses.

Will extra dorm room furniture be removed from rooms?  

  • Yes, any room with a third set of furniture will have that furniture removed and stored. If it is a double room with only a single occupant living in it. The second set of furniture will not be removed.

Updated April 1, 2021

Spring Semester Counseling Groups and Workshops Announced

USM’s Counseling Services Team is ready to support you. Through tele-mental health services, it's never been easier to engage in counseling because now you can do it from the comfort of your living space. If you are interested in engaging the Counseling Services Team for support, just sign in to your Health Record through the portal under USM Quick Links to read our consent form and sign it. Then give our front desk staff a call to set up your first appointment (207) 780-4050.

If you are interested in scheduling an individual counseling session please contact our front desk at 207-780-4050.

Below is the preliminary list of workshops and groups offered during the spring semester. The USM Counseling Team is still finalizing the full schedule of workshops and groups and will be sending out an update on the A-List and Current student List during the first week of classes with new additions. Remember — workshops are FREE to all enrolled students.

Coping with Quarantine

A supportive, activity-based weekly group for any USM student currently in or starting COVID19-related isolation/quarantine protocol. Connect with others, share struggles and successes, and reduce the isolation, stress, and boredom of the isolation/quarantine protocol. This group is open to USM students both on-campus and off-campus. Noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday via Zoom, starting March 3, 2021. For more information or questions, contact: Colm Daly or Tessa Smith.

Graduate Student Support Group

This is a semi-structured, weekly support group for current USM graduate students. The focus of the group is to help members navigate and succeed in their journey through graduate school. While topics will vary and be chosen by group members at each meeting, processing the adjustment(s) of being a graduate student, effectively managing stress, and maintaining self-care and healthy relationships will all be important parts of the group’s focus.

Thursdays at noon. For more information, please contact Colm Daly

Mastering Mindfulness

A structured weekly workshop with guided mindfulness exercises, this group will help assist you with practicing mindfulness throughout the fall semester. Each session will include guided mindfulness activities, weekly inspirational quotes, and chances to check-in and debrief on your practice. Tuesdays 3-4pm until April 27. Please contact Anna Gardner for more information and to sign up for this group.

Stress Management Workshop

Learn healthy ways to identify and manage stress to enhance your student experience in college. Tuesdays 3-4 pm. Please contact Keith Danner for more info and to sign up. 

Ongoing Grief Loss Group

The Grief and Loss Group focuses on helping members understand and move forward in the grief process, facilitate the expression of thoughts and feelings, and help members identify and use healthy coping strategies. Wednesdays from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. If you are interested in joining, please contact Liza Little.


New 'SilverCloud' Online Mental Health Tool Available for Students

In addition to Zoom workshops, support groups, and individual counseling appointments, USM's Counseling Team is now offering SilverCloud, a free, online mental health tool for the USM student community. SilverCloud provides self-guided programs to help students cope with anxiety, depression, stress, sleep issues, and resilience. Based on cognitive behavioral therapy principles, the self-guided modules are available anytime, on any device. The SilverCloud website provides an overview of options and a brief quiz to help you find the right program for you to get started. 

Mental Health Tip: Engage in Movement and Connection

One of the best ways to continue to manage the stress of the pandemic on our minds and bodies is movement and connection. It sounds so simple, but during these times of isolating indoors engaging in these actions takes more intention. So many are not engaging in this practice enough, and the health impact is significant. So our challenge to you this week is this: mask up, bundle up, get outside, and take a walk with someone. Push yourself to be open about how you are really doing. Take the space you need to say your piece and make sure you give your companion that space as well.

Please see our previous Mental Health Tips

Want to check in on your substance use?

ScreenU is an anonymous, free, and confidential screening to help you identify your level of risk.

· Learn about Low-Risk Choices.

· Discover if your use of alcohol, marijuana or prescription drugs is putting you at risk.

· Identify useful resources that are available to you.

You are the expert on You!

Check out the ScreenU resrouces:

ScreenU Marijuana

ScreenU Alcohol

ScreenU Rx

Testing Information

Why is testing important?

  • Until there is a vaccine for the novel coronavirus, testing can identify new cases of COVID-19 and be used to isolate infected individuals and track down others who may have been exposed.

How much does the test cost?

  • This test is free of charge to you; it is being provided by the University and will be administered by professionals from ConvenientMD on the dates provided below.

Who will be tested?

  • All students arriving from outside Maine
  • All residential students
  • Other students identified by the University based on other factors (for example, students scheduled to participate in field-based learning experiences).

Will individuals be required to quarantine after testing?

  • Yes. Individuals will be required to quarantine until test results are returned. Individuals should expect a quarantine period of 48 to 72 hours in their residence hall rooms or off-campus housing.

  • Students who can show proof of a negative PCR diagnostic test taken within 72 hours of arriving on campus will not need to be tested at USM. You must bring proof of your negative test to your appointment testing time. Virus antibody tests and rapid tests are not acceptable. The test must be a diagnostic test, often referred to as a PCR test. Please consult with your primary care provider about where you can obtain a diagnostic/PCR test.

  • Please note that if you opt to be tested prior to your arrival on campus, the cost of the testing will be your responsibility. Also, receiving test results in less than 72 hours is often difficult due to a surge in cases in the United States. As such, to help students be in the best position to move in and attend classes, we encourage everyone to take advantage of the on-site testing process as outlined.

What can I do while in quarantine after the test?

While you are in quarantine as you await your test result ...

You Can

  • Move freely about your individual residence hall space (room, suite or apartment).
  • Do solo exercise outside (not with or nearby to others, and not passing a ball around or touching equipment others will touch).
  • Interact electronically (via Zoom, phone, text, games, email). 
    Get meals in Brooks.

You Cannot

  • Exercise outside with someone else, even if you are social distancing.
  • Visit other in-person resources on campus, including libraries and gym.
  • Hang out with anyone, indoors and out.
  • Attend in-person work (remote work from your room is just fine!)
  • Invite a guest into your room.
  • Use public restrooms apart from the one in your space.
  • Leave campus to visit with friends, shop, etc.
  • Get on the bus or in a car with someone else.
  • Exit your room without a face covering that is covering your nose and mouth completely.

Please let us know before or during that time if you need assistance with quarantine logistics. We are here to help you best comply with quarantine to keep the community safe.

Here are a few things we suggest everyone think about as they consider how to manage the period of quarantine:

  • Food shopping — Please do your food shopping ahead of time for the three days. If you encounter difficulties, please let us know and we’d be happy to help.
  • Medication refills — Plan to refill and pick up prescriptions before the testing occurs.
  • Work — Please discuss with your work supervisor that you’ll need to be out for three days.

You will get a call from our testing service if your test is positive. USM will then work with you through isolation options and supports. We are building a robust support structure, including meals, housing, and other needs. You will not have to navigate this process alone!

Are Health Center staff available to see students for in-person appointments during the pandemic?

  • Yes. Health Services will still be able to see students for non-COVID-related health issues that require in-person contact such as immunizations, physicals, STI screening, injury assessment, etc.

What should I do if I think I have been in contact with someone with COVID-19?

  • The degree of exposure and risk of transmission varies depending on the duration, proximity and frequency of contact. In general, an interaction with an infected person that is within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more in an enclosed space can increase the risk of becoming infected even if the other person is wearing a mask. If you have questions/concerns about a possible exposure, please call us for additional guidance: 207-780-5411

What should I do if I think I may be experiencing symptoms of COVID-19?

  • If you have a primary care provider in the area, we would advise you to contact them for further guidance and possible testing. If your primary care provider is a long distance away or you have no primary care provider, call us and we will assist you in getting access to testing: 207-780-5411.

How can I make an appointment for Health & Counseling Services this summer?

  • Although Health Services will not be open for appointments this summer, we are open to taking your questions. Please call 207-780-5411. Counseling Services is seeing patients for appointments on a more limited basis via teletherapy over the summer months. Please call 207-780-4050.

How can I make an appointment for Health & Counseling Services this fall?

  • For Health Services, call 207-780-5411. Telehealth and in-person appointments will be available, but in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19, no walk-in appointments will be taken.

What will happen if a student or employee is found to test positive for COVID-19?

  • The Maine CDC is notified whenever someone tests positive for COVID-19. A case investigator from the Maine CDC will make contact with the now isolated individual to determine who might have been exposed and then contact them to recommend quarantine. In some cases, the Maine CDC may determine that it is necessary to notify the university so that measures can be taken to protect the campus community while maintaining privacy for the affected individuals.

To engage USM Counseling Services, please call 207-780-4050. Teletherapy and arranged in-person crisis appointments will be available. Students may also contact the Maine Statewide Crisis Hotline: 1-888-568-1112.

 Visit the Health & Counseling Services site

Updated Dec. 28, 2020

Move-in for Spring 2021

Move-in for Spring 2021 is on January 19th. Much like fall, students will come on campus, get tested, and then head to their hall to move-in and quarantine. Because we are moving all students in on one day, guests will not be able to enter the halls on move-in day. However, we are developing a process for folks to drop items off early, and guests would be able to assist during that time. This will allow families or friends to help move in items, make beds, etc. It will be open first to new residential students moving on campus for the spring, and then it will be open to all returning students. We are finalizing the last details, and more information will be coming soon.

Upon moving in, students will test, and then quarantine until they receive their results. This is typically within 72 hours, but has been longer in a few cases. 

Here is what we share with the students around what quarantine looks like:


  • Move freely about your individual space (room, apartment, suite), and use your assigned restroom.
  • Do solo exercise outside (not with or nearby to others, and not passing a ball around or touching equipment others will touch).
  • Pick up meals through the prescribed process (more info coming soon).
  • Interact electronically (Zoom, phone, text, games, email).


  • Do exercise outside with someone else, even if you are social distancing.
  • Visit other in-person resources on campus, including libraries and gym.
  • Hang out with anyone, indoors and out.
  • Attend in-person work (remote work from your room is just fine!).
  • Invite a guest into your room.
  • Use public restrooms apart from the one in your space.
  • Go off campus to hang out with friends, go shopping, etc.
  • Get on the bus or in a car with someone else.
  • Exit your room without a face covering that is covering your nose and mouth completely.

There are a number of great programs and events happening during his time as well. More information on those activities is coming soon!

What to Do If You're Feeling Sick from USM's Housing and Health Services Teams

Let’s start with the signs and symptoms of COVID-19:

  • Common symptoms: cough, chills and/or fever, muscle and body aches, headache, sore throat, nasal congestion or runny nose, new loss of taste or smell, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.
  • Severe but less common symptoms: Very high fever, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. We recommend that everyone have a thermometer on hand to check for possible fever. The Husky Hideaway has them for sale.

Some of these symptoms may be related to conditions that are already known to you (such as asthma or allergies). However, if you are experiencing a new onset of one or more of the symptoms that are listed above, we recommend that you take the following steps:

  • If you are experiencing severe symptoms, call 911 for urgent attention
  • If you have a primary care provider in the area, we would advise you to contact them for further guidance and possible testing. After you make that call, please call Health Services at 207-780-5411 so they can assist you as needed with other steps that you may need to take such as isolation or arranging for meals..
  • If your primary care provider is a long distance away or you have no primary care provider, call Health Services and they will assist you in getting access to testing: 207-780-5411.
  • Please minimize your interactions with others when you are feeling ill. You will be protecting them from a potentially contagious illness even if it's not COVID-19.
  • We recommend that you have a thermometer on hand to check for possible fever. The Husky Hideaway currently has them for sale at cost.
  • If you would like to arrange a test elsewhere, you can schedule a time at a local test site. You will also likely be asked to isolate until you get your test results. Email us for help and guidance.

Another great preventative measure to help protect yourself is by getting a flu shot. USM Health Services will be offering flu vaccine clinics in the near future (keep an eye on your email!). There are also many urgent care clinics or pharmacies in the area that offer flu shots.

If you have any questions about this information, please let me know.

Christina Lowery, USM Director of Housing and Residential Life

Please Note:

Because the on-campus portion of the fall semester will be shortened, housing and meal plan rates will be 80% of the original cost. This is part of USM's ongoing effort to mitigate the financial impact of COVID-19 for students. Please see the Return to Residence Halls website for details on the cost reduction. 

Residence Hall Policies

Will we have to wear masks in the residence halls?

  • Yes. Anyone within the residence hall is required to wear a face-covering over their nose and mouth when in public spaces. This includes, but is not limited to, common bathrooms, laundry rooms, hallways and the main lobby.
  • Students are not required to wear a face-covering in their apartment, suite, or room unless there is a staff member present for facilities work or emergency response.
  • Everyone should put on a mask before approaching their residence hall.
  • All residential students will be given a face covering at move-in.
  • Staff will ask you to wear a face covering, and if you need assistance acquiring one please email

How will I know if someone in my building/room is sick?

  • If someone is sick, we will notify the building, anyone sharing a restroom with the individual, and any close contacts. 

What is the quarantine/isolation process for someone who is sick?

  • For residential students, USM will assist students to quarantine or isolate away from other students in USM provided spaces. We have a robust team to support the needs of these students, including meal delivery and advocacy with academics. Because we want to prevent the spread of Covid-19 to homes and families, the CDC asks that students stay with us for the duration of quarantine and isolation.

Can I go home on weekends?

  • Once you arrive on campus, minimizing travel is going to be imperative to reduce the risk of exposure for you and the entire USM community. Once you arrive on campus, please make every effort to minimize travel plans outside the state and our USM community. There may be forthcoming guidance on this, but for now, please do not plan on making any out-of-state travel for the fall semester. On-campus instruction will end no later than November 25 to allow students to go home for November break without concerns about traveling back to campus.

Will guests be allowed on campus?

  • Guests from outside USM as well as guests from other buildings and residence halls will not be permitted. This is to prevent unnecessary risk of exposure in our communities. If there are no COVID-19 cases on campus within the first weeks of the fall semester, we may reconsider this policy.

I have my own health-related considerations specific to COVID-19. Can I request disability-based housing accommodations?

Will I be able to change my room after I move in?

  • We will not be able to consider room changes for the fall semester. Having students move around campus would increase the potential for the spread of COVID-19. We will work with students to work through a developmental mediation process for any interpersonal conflicts with roommates.  

What activities will there be in the residence halls?

  • Hall activities will be held online, through social media and Zoom, and may include things like contests, challenges, virtual paint nights, dance competitions, and more. RAs will also be checking in frequently with residents as part of community-building and keeping residents and the halls safe.

Will lounges and study rooms be available for student use?

  • Not at the beginning of the fall. If there are no COVID-19 cases in the residence halls within the first weeks of the fall semester, we may reconsider the closure of the common spaces.

What is the residence hall cancellation policy?

  • COVID-19 has caused much disruption and hardship for many families. As such, penalties for canceling before August 15th will be waived. You must notify Residential life in writing at that you'd like to cancel your housing.

What happens if people are not following these new policies?

  • Our first step will always be to assist people with ways to follow policies. For example, if someone is not wearing a face covering, we will offer a face covering. Hall policies will have different levels of enforceability, and the consequences will vary depending on the policy and the behavior. Due to the risks if many of our new policies are not followed, repercussions will be higher than usual. Ensuring the safety of our community is our first priority, and we ask that it be yours as well.

Support and Resources

Who can I talk to if I'm feeling anxious or nervous?

  • USM Counseling Services is a great resource for students. In addition, Residential Life staff are available and happy to talk, and can connect students to resources on and off-campus. 

What do I do if I'm locked out?

  • Monday-Friday: 
    • 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.: Call the Residential Life office at 207-780-5240 
    • 4:30 p.m — 8:00 p.m.: Call Public Safety at 780-5211.
    • 7:00 p.m. — 7:00 a.m.: Call the hall RA on duty.
  • Saturday & Sunday: 
    • 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.: Call Public Safety at 780-5211.
    • 7:00 p.m. — 7:00 a.m.: Call the hall RA on duty.

How can I contact Residential Life if I have questions?

  • Monday through Friday:

Visit the Office of Residential Life site

Updated August 20, 2020

HR Provides COVID-19 Situation Matrix For Quarantine Decisions

Not sure what to do if you think you have symptoms or have been in contact with someone with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19? Wondering if and when you might need to self-isolate or communicate about symptoms? Human Resources has developed a COVID-19 Situation Matrix (Who Needs to Self-Isolate) and a COVID-19 Communication Protocol Flowchart to help you understand the if-then scenarios.

  • FFCRA Extended to March 31, 2021

Please take note that the original Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) legislation expired on December 31, 2020. However, employers such as the University of Maine System have been granted the option to allow employees to continue to access any unused FFCRA sick leave/family care balances up to the limit of eighty (80) hours and FFCRA Childcare Family Medical Leave of ten weeks to address appropriate circumstances such as child or home care coverage as a result of COVID-19.

While not legally required to offer an extension of the FFCRA benefit, UMS recognizes the unique challenges its employees confront as a result of the pandemic and has determined it will extend available FFCRA benefits as provided for in the recent Federal legislation to March 31, 2021, or until new legislation is enacted, whichever is sooner.

Updated Workflow Support Chart Provides Guidance
For the latest guidance on the process of accessing appropriate leave options, documenting Pandemic Leave requests, and the potential to use remaining FFCRA balances, please consult the updated Employee Workflow Support Chart featuring easy-to-follow pathways to meeting challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you are ill with COVID-19, medically at-risk, caring for an immediate family member who is ill or medically at-risk, or caring for a child because daycare or school is closed, please see the COVID-19 Employee Support flowchart.  

Is there a point person a department can contact to help them work through the set up of their workspace/building (social distance, one-way hallways, blocking off cubicles, etc.)?

Visit the USM Human Resources site

Updated July 1, 2020

Will USM campus mail be delivered this year?

  • Yes, campus mail will be delivered to departments based on our three campuses.

Are students now able to visit the Mail Room on the Gorham campus to collect mail?

  • Yes. Students can visit the Gorham Campus Mail Room to collect mail from their mailboxes and packages from the Mail Room.
  • We are following CDC guidelines and will be placing social distancing signage and place markers in our space.
  • We do request that students wait until they receive an email notification directly from USM Mail Services that their package is ready for pickup. (Please wait until you receive an email notification directly from USM Mail Services, rather than the vendor or shipper, as we still need some time to process receipt of packages).


Visit the Mail Services site

Updated Jan. 14, 2021

Reminder: The Parking Garage is closed on weekends and when USM is closed. 

All Faculty and Staff 2020 Parking Permits have expired. Faculty and staff parking on either the Gorham or Portland campuses will need to obtain a new 2021 Parking Permit. The cost of a new permit for 2021 is $25.

To provide a safe and contactless renewal/purchase process, we are urging all faculty and staff to renew their permits online at the USM Parking Portal. U.S. Mail is the preferred delivery method. During the online renewal process, you can designate delivery to either your home address or office location.

If you are unable to complete the registration and delivery process online, or do not have computer access, please contact the Parking Office ( or 207- 780-4718) to make alternative arrangements.

If you are traveling to Portland and plan to park in the garage, your 2020 permit will no longer allow for access. Simply pull a parking ticket at entry and stop by the Parking Office, (located in the office lobby of the parking garage on level one of Abromson), where your ticket will be validated.

If you are an employee, not currently traveling to either campus, but would like to secure your permit now for the 2021 calendar year, you may do so by accessing the above referenced USM Parking Portal.

Any questions should be directed to USM Parking Services by either emailing us at or calling (207) 780-4718.

For more information please see the Parking Garage website.

Parking Services Office is located on Level 1 in the Portland Parking Garage.

Updated July 1, 2020

How do I get help in an emergency?

  • Dial 9-1-1 or push the large button on any emergency call box located on campus.

Where do I go to get a parking pass?

  • The Public Safety building on the Gorham campus, or the Parking Office located on the first level of the Parking Garage on the Portland campus.

 Who do I contact to learn more about parking information?

  • Contact the Parking Office at 207-780-4718.

 Who do I call if I am locked out of my room or building?

  • Contact Residential Life at 780-5240, or Public Safety (after hours) at 780-5211

 How do I report a crime anonymously?

 When is Public Safety open?

  • We are open and available to serve the USM community 24/7, 365 days a year.


Visit the USM Public Safety site 

Teaching Support

Updated Jan. 6, 2021

Advising Offers Zoom-Based Drop-in Hours

The USM Advising team met with more than 5,500 students through remote options this past spring and will continue to offer virtual/online individual and drop-in advising meetings with students during the 2020–21 academic year.

Do you have a quick question or need assistance before classes start? Connect with an advisor during drop-in hours (no appointment is necessary). 

Students can make appointments with their advisor throughout the semester using Advising's online easy-to-use booking tool. (Click on your advisor's name at the link above for information on how to book an appointment.)

Students can also call 780-4040/4555 for assistance.

Visit the Advising site

Updated July 1, 2020

Is my course online, face-to-face or blended? What is the correct way to list my course delivery modality in MaineStreet?

I have questions about Brightspace. Where can I find information about how to use it, what training is available, etc.?

Is grant funding is available to support small technology purchases for faculty teaching from a distance?

  • Yes. Information about CTEL grant programs for faculty can be found on the CTEL website.

I'd like to use the Lightboard recording studio. How do I schedule a time?

Who should students contact if they have questions about using Brightspace or other campus technologies?

Visit the CTEL site

Updated Jan. 6, 2021

Is the Disability Services Center (DSC) open?
Yes, the DSC is open Monday – Friday, 8:00AM - 4:30PM. There is at least one staff member in the office during these hours. Our student appointments will continue via Zoom or phone. We are asking all students, faculty and staff to call us before coming to the office as we want to reduce overall traffic in the office and adhere to our maximum capacity allowance. At this time, we’ve set that maximum capacity at 5 so that we can maintain social distancing guidelines and allow for sufficient space in the office to serve students and others.

How should I contact the DSC?
Testing questions:

General questions: or call 207-780-4706.

Or contact us directly:

How will exam accommodations work?
Extended time on exams as an accommodation applies to in-class or online time-limited exams. If your class is online this year, all exams should be administered online or through other remote assessment methods by faculty. If your class is hybrid and other students will be coming to campus to complete an exam, the DSC will have some proctoring capacity. We ask that the student complete our current testing form and once received, we will contact the faculty to determine how the student’s needs can be met. We will be limited with the number of exams we can proctor at one time in our space. This could mean that we ask for a student’s exam to be administered at a later time or date.

The DSC is available to instructors and students to consult about testing needs. Please contact us by calling 780-4706 or at

The following is the information we have given to students about exam accommodations and proctoring services at the DSC:

  • If you have a fully online course, your exams will be administered online.
  • If you have a hybrid or in-person course, please review your syllabus to determine how exams will be administered.
  • Talk to your professor about your testing accommodation needs.
  • The DSC will have limited test proctoring available in our office and we are working on procedures for physical distancing and safety precautions.
  • Please stay tuned for more detailed information about testing accommodations.

How do I give students their extended time for online quizzes/exams?
The DSC has been working with faculty for several years on how to provide extended time for an online exam in Blackboard. As we shift to Brightspace this fall semester, we developed a new guide with step-by-step screenshots for how to adjust time in Brightspace.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us with questions or assistance on how to create access in Brightspace.

What should I be considering with regards to disability access and the virtual environment? How do I best support my students?
The DSC staff encourages faculty to contact us to discuss accessibility strategies for course lectures, documents, activities, etc. If there is a specific student need, we will reach out to faculty individually.

Below are some tips to keep in mind as you are creating virtual course content (adapted from DO-IT):

  • Use clear, consistent layouts and organization schemes for presenting content, and make instructions and expectations clear for activities, projects, and assigned reading.
  • Offer outlines, scaffolding tools, and adequate opportunities for practice to help students learn.
  • When selecting new materials, try to find videos that are already captioned, and articles that are available in a text-searchable format (meaning you can highlight and search the text within the document).
  • Images can be made accessible to blind and low-vision students by providing captions or inserting alt text into the image. Use large, bold fonts on uncluttered pages with plain backgrounds and color combinations that are high contrast.
  • Provide flexibility and understanding as this experience may cause disruption to the student’s home life and available resources – which may negatively impact a student’s disability symptoms.

Will anything change with regards to the receipt of accommodation letters?
We are following our regular process that asks students to request their faculty letter to provide to individual faculty. You will receive most letters electronically and we are encouraging students to request a virtual or phone meeting to discuss implementation. Please remember that accommodation letters can be requested by students throughout the semester.

Is there any guidance on whether I should provide synchronous lectures versus pre-recorded lectures?
We understand the importance and value of both types of lectures. One advantage that pre-recorded lectures provide is an opportunity for students to listen again to a lecture in the online environment. This may be very important to a student who finds the online learning environment difficult. Pre-recorded lectures also allow the DSC to download the video and have the video captioned for a student with hearing loss or a student with a learning disability.

That said, if you have determined that live lectures are the most appropriate, please consider using Zoom with the record feature. This will allow a student to access the materials for a second time AND provide an opportunity to caption the lecture if needed for some students. If you are not familiar with how to use this feature in Zoom, please review this document which provides detailed instructions. You can also contact our office and we can help you with this feature.

Here are some instructions for how to enable cloud recording and audio transcripts in Zoom.   

Visit the Disability Services Center site

  • Updated Nov. 21, 2020

  • Help Desk and Computer Lab Hours, November 26 — December 21

    Glickman Computer Lab (3rd Floor):

    M - F: 10 am – 6 pm

    Sun 12 pm -6 pm

    Luther Bonney Computer Lab:

    M-F: 8 am - 430pm

    Sat: 10am- 6pm

    Help Desk IT Support (phone/chat/email):

    M-Th: 730am-8pm

    F: 730am-6pm

    Sun: 10am-6pm

    Thurs, November 26- Sat November 28 – CLOSED (Thanksgiving Break) 
    Sunday, Nov 29 Glickman - CLOSED
    Sunday, Nov 29 Helpdesk Support - OPEN

    December 21st - January 22nd

    Glickman Computer Lab (3rd Floor):

    M - F: 10 am – 4 pm

    Luther Bonney Computer Lab:

    M-F: 8 am - 430pm

    Help Desk IT Support (phone/chat/email):

    M-Th: 730am-8pm

    F: 730am-6pm

    Sun: 10am-6pm


    Thursday, December 24 - Friday, December 25 - CLOSED

    Friday, January 1, 2021 - CLOSED (New Years Day)

    Monday, January 18, 2021- CLOSED (Martin Luther King Jr Day) 

    Visit the Help Desk site

    How can I get IT help?

    Will there be a walk-up service available for IT help?

    • Currently, onsite assistance can be scheduled.

    Can I use a computer on campus?

    • Computer labs are open on all campuses with reduced capacity due to social distancing. There are also lab computers available that can be accessed remotely. Learn more about how to remotely access a computer lab
    • The Luther Bonney Lab in Portland is open M–F 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sat. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
    • The Glickman Library (Portland) and Bailey Library both offer computers for student use. See the library hours

    Will I be able to use computers on campus?

    • Yes. CDC guidelines for spacing and cleaning will be followed and students are responsible for sanitizing the computer station they use BEFORE and AFTER they use it. Wipes are provided for this purpose in each computer lab. Masks are required while using the computers and at all times.

    How can I find help with Brightspace?

    How will printing be handled?

    • Printing is available in the computer labs. Each student is responsible for collecting their printouts and doing their best to minimally handle other patron's printouts.


Visit the Help Desk site

USM's Libraries will be open only for current UMS students, faculty, and staff (UMS ID required).

The information below is intended for currently enrolled students.

Updated January 22, 2021

Spring Semester 2021

USM Libraries Open for Online Librarian Chat Services

Monday-Thursday 9:00am-8:00pm

Friday 9:00am-6:00pm

Saturday 10:00am – 6:00pm

Sunday 12:00pm – 8:00pm


Glickman & Gorham Library open physically 

Monday, January 25, 2021 - Friday, May 7, 2021

Monday-Thursday 10:00am - 8:00pm 

Friday 10:00am - 6:00pm (Portland) 

Closed (Gorham)

Saturday Closed (Portland)

12:00pm - 6:00pm (Gorham)

Sunday  2:00pm - 8:00pm

LAC Spring Semester

Monday, January 25, 2021 - Friday, May 7, 2021

Monday – Thursday 8:00am – 4:30pm

Friday Remote service 10:00am – 4:00pm

Saturday – Sunday Online service via Library website

Computer and printing available in the 2nd floor lobby all open building hours.  Writing support available online by appointment



Monday, February 15 Closed (President’s Day)

Wednesday, March 24 March mini-break, No Classes (Libraries remain open)

Monday, April 19 Patriot’s Day (USM Classes, Libraries open, reduced staff)

Sat/Sun, May 8-9 Closed (Commencement May 8)

Franco American Collection

Hours by appointment only - Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:00am - 3:00pm

Special Collections

USM/UMS Visitors (By Appointment Only)

Osher Map Library


USM/UMS Visitors (Drop In Welcome; Classes by Appointment Only):


Sunday and Monday: Closed

Tuesday: 10am-4pm

Wednesday: 10am-4pm

Thursday: 10am-4pm

Friday: 10am-4pm

Note: We can/will make exceptions to open hours for University Course Visits, e.g. we will welcome class visits on Mondays, or in the evening, etc..


Public Visitors (By Appointment Only):


Gallery (Timed Tickets):

Thursdays: 10:30am, 12pm, 1:30pm, 3pm

Fridays: 10:30am,12pm, 1:30pm, 3pm

Saturdays: 10:15am, 11:30am, 12:45pm, 2pm  


Research Visits:

Thursdays: 11:30am-1:30pm (2 researcher slots) and 2pm-4pm (2 researcher slots)

Fridays: 11:30am-1:30pm (2 researcher slots) and 2pm-4pm (2 researcher slots)

Saturdays: 10:15am-12:15pm (2 researcher slots) and 12:30pm-2:30pm (2 researcher slots)


Visit the Library site

Are all three campus Libraries open?

  • Our buildings will be open only for current UMS students, faculty, and staff (UMS ID required). Face coverings and proper physical distancing are required in all libraries. Library building hours are available here.
  • We continue to offer robust online services

Do I need my USM or UMS ID to enter the library?

  • Yes. Please have your ID ready when you enter the building. We will be scanning UMS ID Cards. Visit the USM Card Services website if you do not have a card.

Do I have to wear a face-covering in the library?

  • Yes, everyone is required to wear face coverings at all times while on the USM campuses and inside USM buildings, including in the libraries.

Can I get help using Library resources and with my research?

How can I get books? Do you have contactless pick up or can they be mailed to me? 

  • Yes! We are offering contactless pickup and mailing services for books from the USM collection and the UMS System Libraries, including the University of Maine. These services are available to all current USM faculty, students, and staff. Email for further information.  

Step by Step Guide to Curbside Ordering and Pick-Up

  1. Search URSUS or MaineCat. You may request items with the status “available.” Select “available” titles you want from USM or from another campus or library.
  2. Click on the “Request” button near the top of the page. Enter your name, library barcode, and delivery location (Portland, Gorham, LAC).
  3. Once we have received the items, we will check them out, bag them, and email you with instructions on how to pick them up. Please wait for these instructions.
  4. We are also happy to mail items to you. Please email for further information. 

Are you offering Interlibrary Loan, scan and deliver services to faculty, students and staff?

Do you have textbooks on reserve? Do you have electronic textbooks available?

  • Yes! We have scanned chapters for a variety of textbooks and electronic textbooks available. Students, you can search for course reserves on Ares. If you do not see the materials you need on Ares, please email and provide the course name, number, instructor, and the book chapters/pages you need. 
  • We urge Faculty to request textbooks and required readings be placed on e-reserves. The Library will scan materials within the parameters of Copyright Fair Use for your reserves. You can also share your syllabus with the library.  Contact
  • Please note: Due to current quarantine guidelines for print materials, we are not offering physical check out of the textbooks at this time. 

I’m a new faculty member and need library assistance. Who do I contact?

Can I find study space in the Library?  

  • Yes, the library is open for studying. Seating areas have been modified to maintain social distance. You will need to wear your face covering the entire time you are in the building. Staircases offer one way access. Please observe signs and protocols throughout the building. Please wipe down the area upon leaving. 
  • The Libraries on all three campuses have a variety of spaces for you to study while maintaining appropriate social distance. For quiet study, we recommend the Glickman Library 7th floor Great Reading Room on the Portland Campus, the 2nd floor of the Gorham Library, and a variety of study carrels/tables in the Lewiston-Auburn Campus Library. 

Are there spaces where I can take my online class via Zoom? 

  • A list of Zoom Lounge locations at USM can be found here. This list is updated and maintained on the Dean of Students website.  

Can I still come to the library to use the student computers and printers? 

  • Yes, current UMS students, faculty, and staff may visit our libraries and use computers and printers. You will be required to present UMS ID upon entering the library, wear a face covering at all times, practice social distance, and wipe down the area upon leaving. 

Are the Libraries open to the general public?

  • No, we are not open to the general public. We are only open to current USM/UMS students, faculty, and staff.

Are there Guidelines for using the Libraries in person?

  • Our guidelines are university-wide guidelines. Face coverings are required at all times. Social distance measures should be practiced at all times. We will have floor decals at service desks and arrows to direct people throughout the building. We request you wipe down the area you used upon leaving. 

Will there be a maximum number of people allowed in the library at one time?

  • We will be guided by CDC, State of Maine, and USM guidelines. Bathrooms, elevators, classrooms, and meeting spaces will have occupancy limits posted. 

Have you reduced the seating capacity in the Libraries?

  • Yes, we have changed seating arrangements, reduced chairs at tables and in spaces as necessary to create appropriate physical distance. 

Can I reserve a group study room?

  • Not at this time. Due to the pandemic, our group study rooms will remain closed. Some spaces have been repurposed as storage spaces or spaces where a library staff member may remove a face covering to eat a meal. 

Is the library accepting purchase requests for print and e-books from faculty?

What safety and cleanliness measures are in place in the library?

  • We have a quarantine period set for the intake and processing of materials. Staff will be following UMS and CDC safety guidelines and the buildings will be cleaned by Facilities Management based on their protocols. Facilities Management will be cleaning classroom and meeting spaces, bathrooms, and office spaces regularly. Hand sanitizer and wipes will be available when entering our buildings and in several locations.Face coverings are required in all areas. 

I cannot travel domestically or internationally to work with the research materials that I need at another archive or library. Is there anything the library can do to help?

  • InterLibrary Loan service can obtain electronic or print materials from many libraries around the country/world. Library staff are happy to help you identify access to other collections as you need.
    Email InterLibrary Loan

Is the IT computer lab open for student use in Glickman?

  • The Glickman 3rd floor computer lab is open when the Glickman Library is open. 

Is the IT Help Desk open in Glickman?

Will the elevators be available in Glickman?

  • Yes, the elevators will be available at a much-reduced capacity. The two elevators in Glickman will allow two people per elevator at a time. No talking and no cell phones will be allowed in the elevators. The one-way stairwells will need to be used regularly if you are in the Glickman Library. 

Are the University Events Room and other event spaces in the library available?

  • There are no events on campus. Event spaces in the Glickman Library will be used as classroom spaces to allow for physical distancing. Please note there will be elevator capacity limits of 2 people per elevator (no talking, no cell phones), which means access to get to the 7th floor, as an example, will require using the stairs for most people.

Will food and drink be allowed in the Libraries?

  • Lewiston-Auburn Campus Library allows beverages only (face covering back in place immediately). Any food should be enjoyed outside the library. 
  • Gorham and Portland Libraries allow beverages and light snacks only (piece of fruit, cereal bar, etc.), with face covering back in place immediately. We recommend the use of the 1st floor Atrium and the 5th floor Cafe in the Glickman Library. 
  • Meals need to be enjoyed elsewhere. Takeout food deliveries will be refused and turned away. 

When will the Starbucks Cafe in the Glickman Library re-open?

  • The 1st floor Sodexo Starbucks Cafe in the Glickman Library will remain closed.

Visit the Library site

Email with any questions.

Updated July 24, 2020

        Is the Osher Map Library open this summer?

  • We are fully open remotely this summer with electronic resources and services. In-person visits will resume for the campus community and general public (by appointment) when the Glickman Family Library reopens for the start of the fall semester on 8/31/2020. If you have any reference questions or image needs, please call: 207-780-4850, or email:

    Is the Osher Map Library currently open to the USM Community?

  • We are fully open remotely this summer with electronic resources and services. In-person visits will resume for students, faculty, and staff when the Glickman Family Library reopens for the start of the fall semester on 8/31/2020

    How can I access your collections while you are physically closed or when hours are limited?

  • Over 75,000 items from our collections are fully digitized and searchable online at the Osher Map Library website. If you have any reference questions or image needs, please call: 207-780-4850, or email:

    Will the Osher Map Library be open to the public during the fall semester?

  • Yes. We will be open to the public, by appointment only, beginning Thursday, September 10, 2020. During the fall semester, we will be open to the public on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays for gallery visits (timed appointments, no more than six people per appointment time) and collection research appointments (four appointments per day). We will share the links to our new appointment reservation system in August. 

    Do I need to make an appointment to visit?

  • Yes, if you are a member of the general public, you will need to make an appointment to visit. USM faculty, staff, and students will not need to make an appointment for individual visits, but will, as usual, need to make an appointment for class visits.

    Can I check out a book from your reference collection?

  • Yes. Books in our reference collection can be requested via USM Libraries (URSUS). As of July 20, 2020, curbside pick-up is now available at USM’s Glickman Family Library for USM and UMS faculty, staff, and students. 

    Can USM students visit the OML to do research for classes?

  • Once the Glickman Family Library opens to the USM Community on 8/31/2020, students, faculty and staff may resume individual research and gallery visits in the OML collections, providing they show their USM ID.

    Can USM faculty bring students into the OML for class visits?

  • Yes, we will welcome USM class visits in person and online (synchronous and asynchronous) during the fall semester. In order to comply with social distancing guidelines, class visits will be limited to 10 students per visit (if you have a larger class, we can split the group in half). Please email our Executive Director, Libby Bischof to schedule a virtual or in-person class visit for fall 2020. 

    Are you currently accepting digitization projects/requests from external organizations?

  • Yes. We will restart digitization services for external organizations in July 2020. Please email with any questions.

    Will you be offering in-person work-study employment opportunities?

  • Yes, we will have limited in-person work-study opportunities (socially distanced). When available, job opportunities will be posted on relevant USM employment websites.

    Will you be offering remote work-study employment?

  • Yes, we will continue to have limited remote work-study opportunities.

    Are you hosting any in-person events (gallery openings, lectures, etc.) this summer and fall?

  • No, our summer and fall 2020 programming will take place virtually, via online Webinars. Stay tuned for our program schedule.

    Are you hosting K-12 onsite Field Trips at the Osher Map Library and Smith Center for Cartographic Education for 2020-2021?

  • No, all K-12 field trips and class visits will take place online (both synchronous and asynchronous) in 2020-2021. Please contact our K-12 Education Outreach Coordinator, for more information.

    Can I book a meeting in the Cohen Center?

  • No. For fall 2020, while USM campuses are closed to the public (except by appointment), the Cohen Center will be used primarily for USM class visits. We will not be hosting internal or external face-to-face meetings in Glickman 103 (Cohen Center).

Visit the Osher Map Library site

Updated July 1, 2020

When will the testing center open?

When can students take a CLEP or other prior learning test?

  • We don't know yet when it will be possible to safely offer on-campus testing. If you are interested in taking a CLEP, DSST, FLATS, or NYU exam at USM please fill out our test registration form and we will contact you. Visit the Academic Assessment: Testing Services webpage to learn more.

Where can students take a math placement test?

If students have completed the CPCE registration process for the on-campus test administration, will they be able to take the test this summer on the USM campus?

  • Students who have already registered for the CPCE exam for the scheduled August 7th test administration will be notified in early July about whether we can safely offer the CPCE on the campus. Please email Susan King for additional information and other alternative options.

Are there any exams students can take from home for USM credit?

What are students' other options for earning credit for prior learning?

When will the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) be administered on the campus?

Updated Dec. 29, 2020

  • Until January 19, 2021, the University Store will be closed to foot traffic.

There is a staff member in the office from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on business days to answer questions, fill orders, and offer curbside pickup at the Skywalk. 

We take orders through our website and over the phone: 207-780-4070.

We have created a convenience item catalog so you can order a bottle of water, a pack of tissues, Tylenol, chapstick, stamps, etc., for pickup at the Skywalk on the Portland Campus.

Please note our office will be closed on Dec. 31, Jan. 1, and Jan. 18. While we are closed to foot traffic you can reach us by phone at 780-4070 or by emailing

Standing Pandemic Operating Protocols

  • The store is open for students, faculty, and staff ONLY and they may enter via the parking garage.
  • Up to 3 customers in the store at a time. We have rearranged the store for one-way traffic and have our plexiglass shields up. 
  • The University Store is CLOSED to the general public but they may order online or
    over the phone and pickup via curbside pickup at the skywalk. 
  • For USM clothing, giftware, or school supplies please visit call (207) 780-4070 or email to place an order.
  • Textbook orders are filled by eCampus.  Use this link to order your books:

Will the University Store sell masks?

 How are students getting their books now?

  • Students can elect to have their orders shipped to their home addresses or to the following University locations,
    • Portland Campus - University Store
    • Gorham Campus – Library
    • Lewiston Campus - Library 

Visit the University Store site

Student Internships, Work Study, & Career Planning

Updated July 1, 2020

Should I send students to Human Resources (HR) to fill out their I9 paperwork?

  • No, department supervisors should complete I9 paperwork in person. If unable to do so in person, HR has open hours for this.

How do students know if they qualified for Federal Work-Study funding?

Will there be work-study jobs on campus?

Updated July 1, 2020

Will the expectation be to still have face-to-face meetings with students if there is already a system in place for alternative methods such as Zoom, text, phone, and email?

  • Whenever possible, face-to-face meetings can still occur, but students and staff can adjust as needed.

How do incoming JMG students meet the JMG Specialist on campus?

Updated July 1, 2020

Should I still pursue service-learning pedagogy in an online setting?

  • Yes, service-learning is possible in online courses. Contact Tyler Kalahar for assistance.

Are there additional liability issues for service-learning during COVID-19?

  • We expect the UMS will issue guidance on this issue in the coming month. In addition, specific community partners may require additional liability waivers for students volunteering on-site.

I’d like to volunteer and get involved. How can I do so, and safely?

  • The Service-Learning and Volunteering office maintains a current and active list of community partners seeking volunteers at this time. Visit our website for currently available opportunities. Our community partners are providing volunteers with their required safety protocols.


Visit the Service Learning and Volunteering site

Updated Jan. 6, 2021

Will there be work-study jobs on campus this year?

What is happening with Career Events?

How can we access Career & Employment Hub Services?

What physical distancing precautions will be taken to ensure that visiting the Career & Employment Hub is a safe environment?

Can Career Advisors still present to my classes?

  • Yes! Career Advisors can do presentations in-person and via Zoom. They can also send presentations ahead of time to be watched. 

Visit the Career & Employment Hub site

Early College, Lifelong Learning, & Professional Development

Updated July 1, 2020

How do my students activate their email addresses?

  • If they did not set up their address at the start of the semester via instructions sent to the email address they provided during registration, they must contact Jamie Austin in the Office of Registration and Scheduling Services to reset their access.

How do I grade student performance in my concurrent enrollment course if my district converts to a Pass/Fail grading system?

  • If at all possible, USM encourages all concurrent enrollment instructors to give their students a letter grade. If you feel you have covered enough material and have enough information about student performance to assign a letter grade for their work, you may report a letter grade to USM, even if a Pass/Fail grade is reflected on the students' high school transcripts.
  • If for whatever reason you cannot assign letter grades to student performances in your concurrent enrollment course, please let us know as soon as possible. We must emphasize that this guidance is ONLY applicable in the event that your high school institutes a Pass/Fail grading system due to a coronavirus-related shutdown.

Where can I find materials to help me orient myself and my students to using Brightspace?

  • Please use this link to access a website maintained by Brightspace that contains tours, a manual, and other documentation that will assist you and your students in navigating and utilizing Brightspace.
  • Please note that you must be logged in to your account in order to enter Brightspace and some of the training materials as well.

Do I need to change my syllabus and/or file a new syllabus with the Office of Educational Partnerships to reflect a change to online delivery?

  • No, you do not need to file a new syllabus with the OEP. It's a good idea, though, to amend the syllabus you have shared with your students so that they have the same kind of map to follow that they were using for in-person delivery of the course.
  • Please be sure to maintain contact with your assigned faculty liaison so they are aware of any major changes to your course, and so they may assist you in navigating the shift to online delivery.

What if I cannot cover the required content of the course because remote learning does not allow for lab exercises, practitioner experiences, etc.?

  • Please consult your faculty liaison. They may be able to direct you to materials or practices that could substitute for the work you originally had planned. If that is not a possibility, the faculty liaison and the Director of Educational Partnerships will have to consider each instance on a case-by-case basis to determine a path forward.

Will USM provide access to a Learning Management System (LMS) for my concurrent enrollment course in the event that our school district decides to move classes online?

  • Each section of a course is assigned a course "shell" in USM's LMS, Brightspace, so the "real estate" is available. However, your USM-assigned faculty liaison must make you a co-administrator of that shell. In order for them to do so, you must have completed the Person of Interest process that assigns you a email address.
  • It is only through use of your address that you and your students will be able to enter Brightspace.


Learn more about Early College and Concurrent Enrollment

Updated July 1, 2020

Will OLLI classes be offered on the USM campus in fall 2020?

  • No, all OLLI classes and activities will be delivered online in fall 2020.

Is the OLLI office open?

  • No, the OLLI office in the Wishcamper Center is closed, but all staff are working remotely.

How can I learn more about OLLI?

How can I take classes at other senior colleges?


Learn more about OLLI

Updated July 1, 2020

Will you be running in-person Professional Development classes on campus this year or will workshops be online?

  • All of our professional development workshops will be instructor-led and held live online through Zoom. 

Learn more about our Professional Development Programs

Additional Questions

If you have questions about the 2020–21 academic year, please contact Alexander Porteous, USM’s Chief Operating Officer and COVID-19 Ombudsperson.

Browse additional faculty and staff campus resources.



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