Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,
With the start of saliva-based asymptomatic testing this coming Monday, today's Healthy Huskies Update begins with essential steps that need to be followed to ensure that testing goes smoothly and that the testing samples collected are viable. I cannot overemphasize the importance of these instructions and the need for those selected to participate to follow them. Please carefully take in this information and give yourself the time needed to set yourself up for success with this new phase of screening.
Thank you, in advance, for doing what is necessary to keep yourselves, your loved ones, and everyone in the USM community healthy and COVID-free.
With best wishes for good health and success,
President, The University of Southern Maine
Before you participate in your first saliva-based screening on Monday, Feb. 1, you will need to download and set up the Safer Community App by Rokmetro, which is now available through the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
The Safer Community App is the most convenient, most secure, and most direct tool for managing your COVID-19 testing. It’s the tool for
- Scheduling your testing
- Seeing available testing locations
- Checking in at your testing location
- Receiving your test results
For testing to go smoothly, everyone selected for participation needs to download and use it.
The Safer Community App supports Single-Sign-On, meaning you should be able to log in with your @maine.edu email address and password.
- If you need assistance with installing and setting up the Safer Community App, please see the UMaine System’s Step-by-Step User’s Guide.
Next Week's Saliva-Based Testing: What We Need From You Is Clear
With the start of weekly, saliva-based asymptomatic testing this coming Monday, there are four things to keep in mind to make sure your saliva sample is viable:
- Your saliva sample must be clear — meaning free of food particles and not cloudy or discolored.
- You’ll need to fast for 60 minutes prior to your scheduled testing time. That means don’t eat, drink or smoke, chew gum, brush your teeth, or use mouthwash within an hour of your test. When in doubt, don’t put it in your mouth in the 60 minutes before the test.
- Make sure you hydrate with water so you can produce the 1 to 1.5 milliliters of saliva needed for the test. But make sure you stop drinking water 60 minutes before the test time!
- Bring your smartphone.
Anna and Rodney Explain How Saliva-Based Testing Works
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 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.)
New Dining Services Hours Announced
See Sodexo’s new spring semester hours of operation for the Quarantine Express Lines, Brooks Dining Hall, Husky Hideaway, Luther Bonney Café, and On the Spot Vending in Abromson on the Healthy Huskies website.
USM Advising Offers Virtual Drop-In Appointments through Jan. 29
If you need last-minute assistance with your spring schedule, USM's Advising Team is offering all-day virtual "drop-in" appointments through Jan. 29. To connect with a professional advisor, visit the Advising Team website and look for the blue and orange boxes to either request a meeting with an advisor or more immediately connect with an advisor through the virtual front desk from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Add-Drop: Signatures Required Next Week (But Not Now)
USM's Advising Team reminds students who wish to make a schedule change that add-drop period is open this week. Next week, starting Monday, Feb. 1, adding a class will require instructor permission.
Don’t Miss Weeks of Welcome Activities
Now through Sunday, Feb. 7, Student Engagement & Leadership is hosting its Weeks of Welcome events that offer fun opportunities to engage with fellow students, faculty, and staff. and faculty. Taking advantage of social media accounts, Zoom, and other online agencies, the majority of Weeks of Welcome events are virtual with no large in-person gatherings. From the Madden 21 Esports Tournament to Tie-Dye Grab-and-Go to Virtual Open-Mic Night, you can see all the activities on the Weeks of Welcome website.
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.
Enter to Win AirPods — and Learn A Career Path While You’re At It
One lucky Hired Huskies Podcast listener will soon be tuning in with a new set of Apple AirPods. To celebrate the launch of the podcast, the Career Hub is giving away the wireless earbuds that are perfect for use in USM’s many study spaces and Zoom lounges. You can enter to win by a) following @USMCareerHub on Instagram, b) liking the giveaway post and tagging three USM students, and c) sharing the giveaway post on your Instagram story with a @USMCareerHub mention. For a bonus entry, screenshot the Hired Huskies podcast playing on your device, share it on your story, and mention @USMCareerHub. The giveaway ends at noon on Friday, Feb. 5.
For Faculty and Staff: Please Tell Us Where You Are Working
In order to support the Public Health Testing Ambassador Team with the implementation of weekly asymptomatic screening that begins February 1, we are asking all employees to fill out the Work Location Submission Form. We need to understand if you are already working on campus, when you will return to campus, or if you are not planning on returning to campus at all this semester. We also need to know which location would be most convenient for you to be scheduled for testing. If you have questions about the surveying of employee work plans through the Work Location Submission Form, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Campus Locations for Key Student Services
With the closure of the Woodbury Campus Center at the end of the fall semester, several important student service offices have been relocated for the start of the spring semester. The following services have been relocated to the Second Floor of the Abromson Center: Student Diversity Center, Prayer and Meditation Room, Student Government Association Office, Campus Safety Project, and the Student Affairs Office. These spaces are located behind the University Store. The second floor also features a Zoom Lounge and tables and chairs on the mezzanine overlooking the first floor.
Also, the Campus Food Pantry has relocated to 102 Bedford Street (on the basement level) of the white house occupied by TRiO Services, Promise Scholars, and Veteran’s Upward Bound. For hours and more information, please visit the website or email: email@example.com.
On the Portland Campus, Dining Services will be open for business starting on the first day of classes in the lobby of Luther Bonney Hall, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sodexo will provide new hot meal options, a variety of Simply to Go offerings (salads, sandwiches, cups), freshly brewed coffee, and a variety of snacks and beverages. Sodexo also will feature LTOs (limited time offers) that will change every two weeks. To expedite food pick up, make sure to download and use the Bite App to order your meals ahead of time. 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. Meals will be provided to residential students on the Gorham Campus beginning on move-in day, and in Brooks Dining Hall and the Husky Hideaway when classes resume.
New Zoom Lounge Locations
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.
Spring Semester Counseling Workshops and Groups Announced
USM’s Counseling Team has developed a preliminary — and growing — schedule of workshops and groups for the spring semester. The Counseling Team will email students, faculty, and staff during the first week of classes with an updated list of workshops and groups that includes new additions. Remember: workshops are FREE to all enrolled students.
Mindful Mondays Continue for Spring Semester
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.
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.
Which 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.
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.
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.)