Happy Spring Semester, everyone!
I know it seems unimaginable that nearly two years into this pandemic, we are still unfortunately having to plan our lives around the COVID-19 virus.
And now, as we continue to deal with the Omicron variant, we find ourselves once again operating at USG on a mostly virtual basis until February 7. Most classes will be offered online through at least that time and our services and on-campus functions will be delivered on a remote basis. There will be some limited exceptions for a small number of classes that may require the use of lab facilities.
We know and understand how frustrating this is for everyone.
However, as always, our primary concern is to do all we can to keep everyone within our campus community safe and healthy. That’s why we took this two-week pause until cases of the virus would begin to level off and to give everyone a chance to get tested or to get their vaccine booster shots.
Our plan right now is to resume on-campus operations on Monday, February 7. We look forward to welcoming back students, staff and faculty at that time. If, for any reason involving the virus, we find that we may need to postpone that return date, we will notify you.
But as of right now, I look forward to seeing many of you back on campus, beginning the week of February 7.
Of course, we will still be requiring everyone to wear masks – KN95 when in classes and in close contact with others. And if you need a mask, you will be able to find them at our security desks in buildings 3 and 4.
We also expect everyone to be in compliance with the vaccine requirement of the University System of Maryland and to be up-to-date on booster shots, as soon as you are eligible.
We ask that you take a COVID test within 24-48 hours of your return to campus and that you can confirm that the test is negative.
Throughout the semester, we will have COVID-19 PCR testing clinics on campus three times a week in the BSE building.
Two of the clinics will be exclusively for members of the USG community on Mondays and Thursdays. And on Wednesdays, we will continue to host the clinic that is operated by Montgomery County Health and Human Services, and open to the general public.
You can find more details about the testing clinic hours and location, and plenty of other information about our operations during COVID-19 on our website… on the USG Onward page.
Despite the continuing challenges brought on by the pandemic, we are looking forward to a great semester and 2022.
Students, we are here to support you in your educational journey at USG, every step of the way. As we speak, we are putting the finishing touches on a new strategic plan for USG – which I call “USG 2.0.”
While this plan will help us to chart an exciting new future for our institution, at the center of it always is the student experience… and how we support and enhance the success of all students from our nine university partners.
The USG team and all of our partner university staff and faculty are all here to make sure that your USG experience is a memorable and successful one.
Please take advantage of all that USG has to offer. Join a student organization. Make use of the outstanding services of our Priddy Library, our student and academic service centers, our information technology team, our recreation center and our study rooms.
Have a great semester and to those who may be nearing graduation time in May, best wishes for a great home stretch! Let us know how we can help in anyway. USG is here to serve you.
Anne Khademian, Ph.D.
Executive Director, USG, & Associate Vice Chancellor, University System of Maryland