As we officially enter summer, adjusting and re-adjusting summer vacation plans, who would have believed we’d be here – still distanced from each other, communicating through screens, and doing our best to navigate the continued, and perhaps enhanced, uncertainty?
Our team has been hard at work preparing for a possible return to campus this fall, should Multnomah County progress to Phase 2. Several of us are part of the UO’s Incident Management Team (IMT) and attend meetings that address academic, facility, HR, security, IT, case management/testing/contact tracing, and student issues. In turn, we are working with each unit at UO Portland to set protocols, arrange classroom space for adequate distancing, upgrade technology, consider plexiglass placement, directional signage and in every way plan for the safety of students, faculty and staff. And, we will have plans in place should classes need to remain, or return to being, remote.
We have also had many conversations, and proposed action items, related to the deserved attention to anti-racism, as well as the way in which the economic pandemic has impacted our neighborhood.
Coming to White Stag or Naito: as a reminder, an access form, with approval from your dean, is still required to access the campus this summer. This individual request will be replaced by unit plans once approved by your dean, or VP, and the IMT group. Once those plans are approved, individual requests will not be necessary, though until we are “really,” back, please inform John Woelfle, email@example.com of the day and time that you plan to be at either building. Please note there are restroom closures and other procedures to follow, including the wearing of face masks, that are in place to protect you and the people who need to be in the building every day. And, the university has now instituted a self-check process. If you've had even one COVID-19 related symptom within the previous three days, please stay home.
Transportation/parking: For those hoping to return to campus, we know transportation may be a concern. Considering there will be fewer folks on campus, even if we are in Phase 2, we are exploring options for our parking lot and are working with TriMet to understand what safety plans they will have in place, and how Hop Passes will work in the coming year.
Neighborhood safety: We continue to work with UOPD, our near-by neighbors, the Old Town community association, and the city to address safety concerns. Matt Roberts has taken the lead on much of the community work. We are hopeful we can impact the decision-making processes that will determine how the new tax dollars from Measure 26-210 will be spent, as well as many other efforts that are underway to ensure the safety of our neighborhood, including for those who are houseless.
Anti-racism: There has been a lot of really thoughtful activity in various units at UO Portland, and we will look for ways to share these in the coming weeks and months. Our Equity and Inclusion committee has continued to meet, and to consider various activities and actions for the coming year. If you would like to join the committee, please send an email to Carrie Toth, firstname.lastname@example.org, and she will add you to the committee, while also informing Sarah Kutten, the committee’s convener. One of the committee’s ongoing initiatives is ProDUCKtive Conversations. Look for an email next week, with an invitation for the next activity, and note that these conversations are open to everyone!
I could go on and on. There is so much to report and reflect upon. If I have not addressed something that you are curious or concerned about, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.