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 publication of this plan (July 8, 2020), individuals traveling to campus from areas other than Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey 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 14 days.
Individuals from Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey are required to sign an attestation that they have not traveled to states or countries other than the specified states within 14 days of their return to campus.
All community members are advised against travel outside of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey until further notice. If individuals do travel out of these specified states, they must follow the 14-day self-quarantine/testing guidelines outlined above upon their return to Maine.
These travel requirements are subject to change based on evolving State requirements.
New Student Orientation
Face-to-face orientation for new undergraduate students (including residential transfer students) ordinarily scheduled in the summer months will be held from Friday, August 21 to Tuesday, August 25. Orientation for commuting transfer students will be held on Tuesday, August 25.
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. A plan has been established to proceed with a double-occupancy model of residential housing and to eliminate all triple-occupancy options. Lounges in some dorms may also be converted to double-occupancy rooms to accommodate the need for additional beds.
Hotel space is currently being explored in the local community to accommodate the projected number of students needing a housing option. As noted in Section II.G.8 above, a quarantine space has been designated in East Hall.
Residence Move-In Plan
A plan for fall move-in is being finalized, which reflects the shared guidance of the Offices of Housing and Residential/Commuter Life, Security, Facilities, and Housekeeping. The plan will limit the number of people assisting with the move-in of individual students (i.e., no more than one family member or friend per student) and minimize the number of people in residence halls at any given time by utilizing assigned move-in times. Students living within reasonable driving distance of the Biddeford Campus will be 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. Communication will be 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 are also developing a system that will allow residents to request room set-ups in advance of their moving-in, eliminating the need for staff to complete this work while students are present. The July communication will describe this process.
Residence Hall Conduct
The University is currently finalizing its comprehensive COVID-19 policies and procedures to set conduct expectations in the residence halls, consistent with CDC and State guidance. These policies will include 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), will not be permitted entrance. The only exception will be during move-in, when resident students may bring one family member or friend with them for assistance. (See Section VII. For more details on visitor policies.) The enforcement of residence hall conduct policies will also be communicated to students in July. Enforcement will follow 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 will restrict outside visitors on its campuses, unless they have reason to be present for official business. The general public will not be 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 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 will be 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 has developed policies and procedures regarding the provision of food services in alignment with State and CDC guidelines. Parkhurst, the University’s dining services vendor, is working collaboratively with UNE 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 will also provide meals to students in quarantine on campus, should that become needed.
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 will need to be 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, the CCC announced that it is suspending 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. UNE remains committed in the coming semester 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. New safety procedures include, but are not limited to, verification of daily symptom screenings, temperature checks, and maintenance of social distancing.
Additionally, student athletes will not lose their National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) eligibility as a result of this decision. Per current NCAA rules, student-athletes do not use a season of eligibility if their team does not compete during the traditional sports season. Therefore, no UNE student-athlete will use a season of eligibility during the fall semester.
Please note that the decision does 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 has been canceled, all student-athletes will return to campus with the general student population. Because winter sport competition is suspended for the fall semester, all student-athletes will leave 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.)
With improved public health conditions and relevant NCAA guidance, the CCC hopes to begin competition for winter sports athletic competition as early as January 1, 2021. Spring sports currently remain on schedule as planned, with the exception of the cancelation of their non-traditional fall play date. In addition, should NCAA legislation permit fall sports teams to conduct athletic competition in the spring 2021 semester, CCC schedules and championships may be adjusted accordingly.
Club Sports: UNE will suspend all fall athletic club competition. 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 will be 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.