The following provides important health and safety information from the UNE Onward plan, organized for online reading. Download the UNE Onward plan (PDF).
Student Travel Policy
As of the date of September 24, 2020, individuals traveling to campus from areas other than Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont must sign an attestation that they have completed one of the following before returning to campus:
- A negative COVID test no more than 72 hours prior to entering Maine.
- Arrange for a test upon arrival & self-quarantine until the results are obtained.
- Self-quarantine for 10 days.
Individuals from Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont are required to sign an attestation that they have not traveled to states or countries other than the specified states within 10 days of their return to campus.
All community members are advised against travel outside of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont until further notice. If individuals do travel out of these specified states, they must follow the 10-day self-quarantine/testing guidelines outlined above upon their return to Maine.
These travel requirements are subject to change based on evolving state requirements.
Residential Housing Approach
The current plan is to maintain the on-campus residential experience for students, consistent with health and safety priorities. This plan is subject to change depending on the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. UNE adopted a double-occupancy model of residential housing and eliminated all triple-occupancy options. Lounges in some dorms were converted to double-occupancy rooms to accommodate the need for additional beds.
Hotel space was secured in the local community to accommodate students displaced by the need to reduce density in the traditional residence halls. As is the case in the on-campus facilities, the hotel is staffed by resident advisors, and an area coordinator has been assigned to conduct office hours and serve as a liaison for students residing there. Shuttle service is provided to and from campus for students residing at the hotel. As noted in Section II.G.8 of the UNE Onward plan, a quarantine space has been designated in East Hall.
Residence Move-In Plan
UNE adopted a plan for fall move-in, which reflected the shared guidance of the Offices of Housing and Residential/Commuter Life, Security, Facilities, and Housekeeping. The plan limited the number of people assisting with the move-in of individual students (i.e., no more than one family member or friend per student) in order to minimize the number of people in the residence halls at any given time, and it utilized assigned move-in times. Students living within a reasonable driving distance of the Biddeford Campus were provided the opportunity to travel to campus in the weeks before the start of the fall semester to drop off belongings in the residence halls. A communication was sent to residential students in July detailing this process and providing the opportunity for families to make these arrangements. The Offices of Housing and Facilities also developed a system that allowed residents to request room set-ups in advance of their moving-in, eliminating the need for staff to complete this work while students were present.
Residence Hall Conduct
The University has developed a comprehensive COVID-19 Attestation and Community Care Requirements policy (PDF) for students to set conduct expectations in the residence halls, consistent with CDC and State guidance. The policy, which is reinforced to students via a required training module in Blackboard, includes requirements and guidelines on topics ranging from social distancing in lounges, to the use of shared areas such as kitchens and laundry rooms. Guests, defined for this purpose as anyone who is not a resident of a Biddeford Campus residence hall (this includes commuting UNE students), are not permitted entrance. The only exception was during move-in, when resident students were allowed one family member or friend with them for assistance. (See Section VII. for more details on visitor policies.) Enforcement follows a tiered approach, recognizing that early offenses should be approached in the spirit of education, with only repeat or more egregious offenses warranting punitive action.
Visitors (Guests) and Events – External and Internal
To avoid risks of potential exposure to COVID-19, UNE restricts outside visitors on its campuses, unless they have reason to be present for official business. The general public is not allowed in campus buildings or residence halls in order to use the libraries, fitness centers, and dining areas; to attend lectures/athletic events or similar functions, or to visit friends in residences for daytime or overnight stays. (See Section IV.A.2 for more details on the policy regarding guests in residence halls.)
Allowable exceptions to the restriction on visitors include pre-scheduled, approved visits of students’ family, admissions tours, athletics recruitment visits, contractors, and other visitors conducting essential business with the University.
Conference services may resume scheduling events on a limited basis in accordance with CDC and state guidance. Conference services will consider bookings where possible to utilize low traffic areas and will schedule events during off-peak hours to reduce density in campus spaces and mitigate the risk of exposure to COVID-19 for the UNE community. Signage has been placed throughout the campuses to inform the general public of temporarily restricted access to UNE facilities.
Internal student serving events, such as award ceremonies, inductions into honor societies, and professional student organizations will be coordinated for the college, department, or student group by Conference Services and the Office of Communications. Many events will be virtual, requiring advanced prep, set assembly, graphic design, and videography. Many internal events will be a combination of campus-based and virtual, often requiring live stream and social media components. Requests for planning internal virtual or live streamed events may be made to the Office of Communications.
The University developed policies and procedures regarding the provision of food services in alignment with state and CDC guidelines. Parkhurst, the University’s dining services vendor, works with a group of UNE faculty and professional staff to provide safe access to meals and snacks for students and employees in the main dining facilities and via the various satellite retail locations on both campuses. Parkhurst is also responsible for providing meals to any students in quarantine on campus, should that become needed. Access Parkhurst's dining site.
Clubs and Activities
In spring of 2020, club and organization activity, as well as the social and educational programming coordinated by Student Affairs team members, was moved to the virtual environment. Much of this activity will continue to occur via the use of Zoom, minimizing the need for in-person organizational meetings. To the extent possible, in compliance with state and CDC guidelines, UNE will provide on-campus shared experiences for students. However, some traditional activities that brought together hundreds of community members have been modified or eliminated for health and safety reasons.
Athletics, Club Sports, and Intramurals
Our primary goals for all our athletics and recreation planning are to offer the highest quality of student experience possible while balancing the health and safety of our students, athletics staff, and others in our community. In addition to our own deliberations, we are guided by recommendations from governmental agencies and professional organizations, including the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA), the state and federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA), and the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). We also work closely with our athletic conference, the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC). An Athletics COVID-19 Action Team has been established consisting of the director of Athletics, UNE’s medical director, the NCAA compliance coordinator, the Faculty Athletics Representative, and representatives from Recreational Sports, Athletic Training, Strength and Conditioning, and Facilities Management, to oversee policies and procedures with respect to athletics. This group continues to make recommendations to the Provost and President regarding Athletics and related sports and recreation programs.
Varsity Sports: The University is engaged in discussions with the presidents, medical professionals, and athletic directors of other universities and colleges throughout Maine and those in the CCC, and is monitoring the evolving guidance from the NCAA, CDC, and other regulatory bodies noted above to inform decisions regarding the resumption of varsity sports.
On July 17, 2020, the CCC announced that it suspended intercollegiate athletic conference competition for the fall 2020 semester. UNE has suspended all fall semester athletic competition, including swimming and rugby, which are not part of the CCC.
On Jan. 20, 2021, the CCC announced that it suspended conference competition for winter sports for the 2020-21 season. The cancelation of conference competition applies to contests scheduled by the league office, including the conference championship. UNE continues to evaluate the feasibility of competitive options later in the spring for those sports that have been previously cancelled while keeping the health and safety of the students, staff and community central to all discussions.
UNE remains committed to providing our student athletes with experiences in athletics, including training and practice opportunities, that comply with institutional policy, CDC, and state of Maine executive orders regarding safety protocols.
Updated safety procedures include, but are not limited to, verification of daily symptom screenings, temperature checks, and other risk mitigation strategies. Even while intercollegiate competition may not be possible, our coaches and athletics staff are working hard to ensure meaningful experiences for our athletic teams, including intrasquad scrimmages.
Please note that student athletes did not lose their National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) eligibility as a result of these decisions. However, these decisions do not affect the process of required pre-participation forms and documentation. All student-athletes are required to complete the necessary NCAA Compliance/Athletic Training/Sports Information elements prior to engaging in sport-related activities.
However, these decisions do not affect the process of required pre-participation forms and documentation. All student-athletes are required to complete the necessary NCAA Compliance/Athletic Training/Sports Information elements prior to engaging in sport-related activities.
Also note that because preseason for fall sports was canceled, all student-athletes returned to campus with the general student population. Because winter sport competition was suspended for the fall semester, all student-athletes left campus at the same time as the general student population in November. (See Section I. A for more information about modifications to UNE’s academic calendar for 2020-21.)
Club Sports: As with varsity sports, UNE is reviewing all return-to-sport protocols, safety guidelines, and information from governing bodies.
Intramural Activities: Intramural sport/activity programming is being assessed for the potential for COVID-19 transmission, and scheduled offerings will be adjusted as necessary. Activities will be amended to comply with social distancing and gathering size limitations. Examples of virtual and other activities that comply with social distance recommendations may include eSports, singles tennis, cornhole, badminton, singles pickleball, one-on-one basketball games such as HORSE, free throw and 3-point competitions, punt/pass/kick competition, disc golf, billiards, air hockey, scavenger hunts, etc.