Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,
Here we are, on the cusp of true spring weather and perhaps on our way to breaking the pandemic through widespread vaccination. And yet positive case counts and hospitalizations in Maine continue to creep up.
I think I understand one of the underlying causes. I, too, want to shrug off the weight of all the precautions much the same way I want to forgo a heavy jacket and put winter behind me.
But the two are not the same. Even when milder weather is here to stay, vigilance will be essential. Especially this close to the end of the semester, we must stay strong by doing the things that have kept our case counts relatively low at USM: wearing a mask, watching our distance, and washing our hands.
Yesterday, everyone in the USM community who is 16 and older became eligible for vaccination. When it comes to the importance of getting vaccinated, I believe Dr. Nirav Shah, head of Maine’s CDC, said it best: “We talk a lot about the light at the end of the tunnel. Vaccines are our vehicle out of that tunnel.”
Let’s get behind the wheel — and floor it.
#ThisIsOurShotMaine. Please make plans to get your vaccine through the registration options that are available to you. It’s the fastest way back to normal for all of us.
With best wishes for good health,
President, The University of Southern Maine
You Are Now Eligible to Receive the Vaccine
As of yesterday, Maine residents 16 and older are now able to get their COVID-19 vaccine. That means every member of the USM community is now eligible. Show your USM ID Card at a vaccination clinic, and it will be accepted as proof of eligibility.
- Northern Light Health is booking appointments now
- Here are other vaccine sites where you might get your shot
Please Tell Us What You Think About the Vaccine
The University of Maine System Science Advisory Board and COVID-19 Vaccine Planning and Partnership Task Force are conducting a survey to gather information on perspectives about the COVID-19 vaccine among students, faculty, and staff within the UMS community. This survey should take less than five minutes, and your responses are completely anonymous. Participation is voluntary and you may skip any questions you prefer not to answer. Please complete the survey as soon as you are able.
Connor’s New Video: Pro Tips on How to Pool Your Drool
Providing a saliva sample for the System’s Asymptomatic Testing program is a cinch — as long as you follow USM senior Connor Blake’s helpful advice.
Testing During Ramadan
For Huskies who will be fasting in observance of the holy month of Ramadan, starting the evening of April 12 through May 12, USM's Asymptomatic Testing Team encourages you to take your COVID test as early in the morning as possible. This will provide you with the best chance of being hydrated enough to produce a valid sample. Test centers will be open at 8 a.m. on Monday & Tuesday at the Gorham Ice Arena, at 8 a.m. Tuesday through Friday at 109/110 Abromson in Portland, and at 9 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday in Rm. 283 at Lewiston-Auburn Campus. If you are have having difficulty making this work, please email email@example.com.
Students, You're Invited: A Town-Hall Meeting with President Cummings and Dean Mondor
USM students are invited to join a Town Hall with student leaders, USM President Glenn Cummings, and Dean of Students Rodney Mondor at 6 p.m, Wednesday, April 21. Moderated by USM senior Connor Blake, the conversation will focus on student questions relating to the end of the semester and our return in fall 2021. The Town Hall will be presented with ASL and live captioning. Students are invited to submit questions for discussion in advance of the event and need to register to receive the Zoom link.
This Wednesday: Learn "How to Live Mentally Well & Crush It During Difficult Times"
USM Counseling Services and the Recovery-Oriented Campus Center (ROCC) will present "How to Live Mentally Well & Crush It During Difficult Times" with Josh Rivedal, Wednesday, April 14, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Preregistration is required for this event that is free and open to all members of the USM community.
Testing Is Required — Even If You're Vaccinated
A reminder that per System policy, students, faculty, and staff that have an on-campus presence are required to participate in asymptomatic testing — even if they are fully vaccinated.
Will You Be Coming to Campus This Week?
Faculty, staff, and non-residential students, please continue to let us know your anticipated weekly presence on campus by completing the One-Time or Intermittent Visit to USM Form. Your responses help us better understand the population that should participate in weekly asymptomatic screening. If you have questions about the form, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and see the FAQ page on USM’s Asymptomatic COVID Testing site.
PointnClick to Your Next Testing Appointment
The Safer Community mobile app has been replaced by PointnClick, a more straightforward web portal that can be accessed by smartphone, tablet, or computer.
For the remainder of this semester, please sign up for weekly testing using the PointnClick web portal.
- Sign in to the PointnClick portal using your USM username and password.
- Step-by-step instructions are available and for PointnClick support, please contact the IT Help Desk.
- Testing Ambassadors will be available on-site to answer questions.
What To Do If You Test Positive
Students who test positive as part of the UMS asymptomatic screening may receive notice of their result through an alert sent from the ClicknPoint web portal. If you receive a notice that you have tested positive or you have been informed that your roommate or housemate has tested positive, there are some important do’s and don’ts to keep in mind. And perhaps the most important don’t is don’t panic. Please see these instructions for on-campus students and off-campus students to know what to do, what not to do, and what supports are in place to help you. (Scroll down to the "Students: If you test positive for COVID-19" option on the page at the link above.)
Fall 2021 Priority Registration Is April 5–16
See the recent email from the Office of Registration & Scheduling Services to learn more about the Fall 2021 Priority Registration Schedule that runs from April 5 to April 16. And be sure to resolve any holds on your account prior to your registration date to ensure a smooth course registration process.
Now Is the Time to Meet with Your Advisor
USM's Advising Team recommends that you book your registration appointment with your advisor through their "youcanbook.me" site or by calling the Advising Office front desk: 207-780-4040 (Portland) or 207-780-4555 (Gorham). Learn more about how to access Advising support via Zoom and the team's Virtual Front Desk.
Tomorrow Is the Deadline to Withdraw from a Course for a W
Students have until Friday, April 9, to withdraw from a course for a grade of W. After grades are posted, students will have until May 28 to elect the Pass/Fail grade option in their courses.
The Spring 2021 Pass/Fail Option Deadline Is May 28
Concerned about a grade you earned this semester? Thinking about asking to change a letter grade to pass/fail grading in one or more of your classes? Making the switch to P/F isn't difficult. Just follow these steps by Friday, May 28.
SilverCloud Online Mental Health Tool Available for Students
In addition to Zoom workshops, support groups, and individual counseling appointments, USM's Counseling Team offers SilverCloud, a free, online mental health tool for USM students. 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 and get started. (Log in with your USM email and password.)
Counseling Services' Spring Groups & Workshops
If you are struggling with your mental health, USM's Counseling Services team encourages you to call their front desk at (207) 780-4050 to set up an individual counseling appointment. And please keep in mind that they still have some groups and workshops that are open to new members.
Lower Your Stress with Mindful Mondays
Academic Advisor and Nationally Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) Katie Tomer will continue to offer Mindful Mondays from 4:45 to 5:15 p.m. every Monday, excluding university holidays. This ongoing Zoom-baed program is open to all students, faculty, and staff. Participants are invited to learn and practice evidence-based breathing and meditation techniques that have been shown to lower stress levels and increase well-being. Join Mindful Mondays through this Zoom link.
For Graduate Students: The New Shaw Innovation Fellows Program
The Shaw Innovation Fellows Program at USM, a distinctive initiative launched with a $500,000 gift from USM alum David Evans Shaw ’76G, ’15H and the Shaw family, will provide select USM graduate students with fellowships for innovative and applied research projects. Emphasizing mentoring, collaboration, and engagement — and integrated with USM’s Promise Scholarship Program — the Shaw Innovation Fellows Program will award five one-year fellowships will be to USM graduate students whose projects demonstrate bold and innovative approaches to solving human, environmental, economic, and societal problems of the 21st century and beyond. Learn more about the Shaw Innovation Fellows Program.
Campus Food Pantry Offers Pre-Order and Pickup
With this Google form, you can now pre-order a weekly bag of groceries for pickup from the Campus Food Pantries in Portland (102 Bedford Street) and Gorham (in the UCU Den of Brooks Student Center). Pickup times for the Portland and Gorham CFP are listed on the Google Form. LAC students can find food security support in the LAC Library or by emailing CFP staff. Please see the CFP website for hours of operation in Portland, Gorham, and LAC.
Sometimes Required, Sometimes Recommended: When to Use the COVID-19 Reporting Form
Employee and student use of the COVID-19 Reporting Form is sometimes required and sometimes recommended, but not required. Learn more about when the COVID-19 Reporting Form must be used and when it can be used at your discretion at the Healthy Huskies website.
Need a Study Buddy? Use Navigate USM
With the free Navigate USM app, you can easily find a study buddy for a class, see campus events, build to-do lists, manage your class schedule, explore careers related to majors and interests, find out if you have holds on your accounts, and check out campus resources — all in one place. Learn how to find and download the app.
Your Passport to Fun Activities
USM’s Passport Initiative is your ticket to access campus programs, events, and the USM community. With uniquely numbered and assigned passports, undergraduate students can earn multiple chances to win valuable prizes — all for nothing more than having fun. The more passport-approved events you attend, the more times your name gets added to end-of-semester raffles for a PlayStation 5, an Xbox Series X, an iPad Air, Apple Watch, a book stipend, and Husky Bucks among other prizes. Check the Passport Initiative website for information about upcoming events.
Find a Zoom Lounge Location
USM has designated several spaces on all three campuses for socially distanced group study, individual quiet study, and Zoom/online course participation. Please see this updated list of Zoom lounges and study spaces for the spring semester — and don’t forget to stay socially distanced and bring headphones for use in these spaces.
How to Be More Successful on Brightspace, Zoom
With spring semester courses starting on Monday, Jan. 25, now is a good time to revisit resources on how to be a more successful learner on Brightspace and Zoom. Find out how to submit an assignment, engage in a discussion and take quizzes on Brightspace in the Student’s Guide to Brightspace video series. And the Learning with Zoom video series is just as full of pro tips. These academic resources and many others are brought to you by USM’s Academic Gains Through Improved Learning Effectiveness (AGILE) program.
These Face Coverings Are OK
By now, you know face coverings are required on campus. If you need a refresher on which face coverings are acceptable for use on campus, please see the System's Face Covering Guidelines.
Monitor Your Symptoms with #CampusClear
System-wide, hundreds of students, faculty, and staff have downloaded and signed up to use #CampusClear, the free app that provides a daily prompt to indicate any symptoms you may be experiencing. Self-screening is easy and takes only a few seconds. Learn how to download and use #CampusClear for iOS and Android.
See System-wide Campus COVID Counts
There are two ways to see the latest positive-case counts at USM and each System campus: The University of Maine System provides daily announcements of positive counts at each campus and other testing-related updates on the Together for Maine website. You can also find aggregated test result data on the System’s COVID-19 Testing Summary dashboard. (Scroll down a bit at the link to see the dashboard.)