August 7, 2020

Medgar Evers College Re-Opening Plan: Fall 2020

The following re-opening plan is based on CUNY’s phased approach and protects the health and safety of the Medgar Evers College community. Moreover, it ensures that the College complies with all federal, state, and local regulations regarding re-opening.

The plan limits the risk of infection, encourages social distancing, restricts building access, necessitates staggered work schedules, and requires PPE, as well as cleaning and disinfecting protocols.

MEC requires mandatory disclosures of COVID-19-related health issues for all individuals arriving on campus.

New York City has not yet lifted its quarantine order for the workplace. For this reason, no one is allowed on campus except essential personnel or those whose supervisor has obtained prior approval from the senior vice president of finance and administration. If permission has not been granted, access will be denied.

Reporting to Work in an Office Setting

The Centers for Disease Control and New York State’s Department of Health stipulate that faculty, staff, and researchers should not report to work until a mandatory quarantine or recommended self-isolation period has expired and they are free of all COVID-19 symptoms for at least 72 hours. All departments should provide adequate space for employees to distance and provide them with the following guidelines:

  • Employees should maintain a social distance of six feet apart from others at all times;
  • Staggered or alternate work schedules (two days in person, three days remote work); vulnerable employees should continue working remotely;
  • Rearrange workstations to maintain physical distance to eliminate contact with others, e.g., handshakes, embraces;
  • Employees should avoid touching surfaces touched by others to the extent feasible;
  • Employees should avoid being in proximity to anyone who appears to be ill or who is coughing or sneezing. If an employee exhibits any such symptoms, he or she should refrain from coming back to work. See more below, under “Health Self-Screening.”

Health Self-Screening

All faculty, staff, students, and visitors must complete a health self-screening questionnaire daily before entering the building. Only those who pass the daily screening will be admitted into the building. Employees must not report to any of the buildings or leased space on campus if any of the following conditions occur:

  • Individuals are experiencing (even mild) symptoms of a respiratory infection or other COVID-19-related symptoms;
  • Employees who experience these symptoms should immediately contact their physicians and use their allotted sick leave to self-quarantine;
  • Individuals must not return to campus until they are symptom-free for at least 72 hours;
  • Individuals have tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 14 days;
  • Individuals have had known contact with any person(s) suspected of having, under investigation for, or who has a confirmed active case of COVID-19 within the last 14 days.

 In addition:

  • Only approved and scheduled individuals will be allowed to access the buildings. All researchers working in labs with chemicals must hold a valid C-14 certification while building occupancy is limited;
  • Non-touch forehead thermometers will be available on campus to check an individual’s temperature;
  • Entry into Academic Building 1 (AB1) must be through the Bedford Avenue (East Entrance) and not the Parking Lot (West Entrance). Individuals must show the public safety officer confirmation of the daily health screening questionnaire on their telephones or complete the screening on-site;
  • Individuals will be required to provide details of any significant contact with others while on campus daily;
  • Should anyone develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19, test positive, or come in contact with someone suspected of having or confirmed with COVID-19, he or she should email Mohamed Bangura at mbangura@mec.cuny.edu.
  • The College will contact state and local health officials regarding any positive case.

New York City has not yet lifted its quarantine order for the workplace. For this reason, no one is allowed on campus except essential personnel or those whose supervisor has obtained prior approval from the senior vice president of finance and administration. If permission has not been granted, access will be denied.

If you are allowed on campus, you MUST meet these requirements:

  • Complete the health self-screening questionnaire beforehand on your telephone or when you arrive on campus. This questionnaire must be completed every time you arrive on campus. If you answer “yes” to any question, you will not be allowed on campus and sent homeIf this occurs, notify Human Resources and your supervisor immediately.
  • You must take the mandatory Return to Work Training on Blackboard. Completing this training does not allow you to come to work. You must have the permission of your supervisor and the senior vice president of finance and administration.
  • Wear a mask or face covering for entry into all buildings.
  • Your temperature will be taken before entering any building. If your temperature is equal to or higher than 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit, you will not be allowed on campus and sent homeIf this occurs, notify Human Resources and your supervisor immediately.

Physical Distance

  • Social distance of six feet from each other will be required at all times, unless essential for laboratory safety and only with the use of additional personal protective equipment (PPE);
  • The College will put in place other protective measures, including physical barriers such as clear glass dividers (sneeze guards) between high traffic areas;
  • Occupancy limits have been established by phase at the building level to comply with state guidelines. Restrictions include all personnel, contractors, and visitors. During phase 2, occupancy will be limited to 20%, and this will increase after two weeks of steady or improving health metrics to 50% for phase 3. CUNY and New York State will determine the timing of further occupancy above 50% for phases 4 and 5;
  • Occupancy limits have also been defined for specific types of locations in each building, such as open-plan, shared lab, and office spaces; enclosed lab and office spaces; and common areas (e.g., elevators, restrooms, conference rooms). Signs are posted throughout the buildings as a reminder of these limits and detail appropriate traffic patterns in corridors and stairwells to further limit interactions;
  • Principal Investigators/Faculty Researchers (PIs/FRs) have established flexible and staggered work schedules for their students and staff to limit foot traffic on campus and potential exposure;
  • Supervisors should limit individuals on campus by requiring only one person to be on-site if he or she can accomplish a task;
  • While there are occupancy limits, remote working should continue unless on-site work is necessary;
  • Meetings and events will be conducted virtually until further notice.

 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • Personnel must review the proper way to put on, take off, clean, and discard required PPE (masks or face coverings). More information can be found here;
  • Masks or face coverings must be worn inside all buildings at all times, except in closed-door private offices and for as little time as possible while eating, drinking, or changing masks;
  • Suitable mask types include cloth, dust, and surgical unless work requires more extensive PPE (e.g., N95, face shield);
  • Face shields are not considered an alternative to masks or face coverings, but may provide additional protection if work requires individuals to be within six feet of each other for any period. Masks and face coverings must be worn in addition to a face shield;
  • Disposable masks will be provided if an individual needs one while on campus;
  • Disposable masks worn inside laboratory spaces should be disposed of at the end of the day. Cloth masks should be washed daily;
  • Disposable gloves are available throughout the buildings.

 Hygiene, Cleaning, and Disinfecting

  • Frequent handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is strongly encouraged to reduce contact transmission, that is, before and after touching shared objects unless clean gloves are worn;
  • Hand sanitizer will continue to be available throughout the buildings and in conference rooms. This will be available in addition to handwashing stations in each restroom;
  • Personnel is required to clean surfaces, workstations, and personal devices several times throughout the day or shift, and at a minimum at the beginning and end of the day or shift;
  • High-touch surfaces, such as elevator buttons and door handles, common areas, and restrooms, will be cleaned regularly by MEC custodial staff, according to requirements from the Centers for Disease Control and Department of Health;
  • No sharing of food or beverages is allowed;
  • In the case of a confirmed COVID-19 case of an individual who has been in a MEC building, Facilities Management will coordinate cleaning and disinfecting, including the areas accessed by the individual and high traffic, common areas.

All employees with underlying medical conditions that may increase their risk exposure should self-isolate and not come to campus. If an employee requests an accommodation or leave, he or she must contact and communicate all restrictions and health concerns to his or her supervisor and the Office of Human Resources.

Temperature Screening

Non-touch forehead thermometers will be available throughout the building should anyone wish to check his or her temperature. If an individual has a fever, he or she must notify his or her supervisor and then leave MEC’s campus as soon as possible. If required, MEC can coordinate transportation and/or provide a mask or face covering.

Conclusion

Though this comprehensive re-opening plan serves the College’s needs, its final implementation is contingent on CUNY’s acceptance and approval. The College may need to make adjustments that CUNY deems necessary and so that it may fulfill its mission and teaching objectives. As the situation evolves and more information becomes available, the College will update the campus community accordingly.

Tools and Resources

Email Addresses for Departments
Cougar Country Food Pantry The Medgar Evers College Cougar Country Food Pantry offers nutritionally balanced, non-perishable food items to students who are enrolled at the College and who are experiencing or facing food insecurity. Interested students must be enrolled for Spring 2020 semester and must present their class schedule to access the pantry. For more information about how to sign up, email transitionacademy@mec.cuny.edu. Charles Evans Inniss Memorial Library The Library offers virtual chat reference services. Visit www.mec.cuny.edu/library and click “Chat with a Librarian.” Chat is available during the following times:
  • Monday to Thursday, 9:00am to 11:00pm
  • Friday, 9:00am to 6:00pm
  • Saturday and Sunday, 10:00am to 6:00pm
The Learning Center Students can now access The Learning Center remotely. The Learning Center conducts tutoring using Google Duo, which is a simple video calling app that brings you face-to-face with your tutor. After reviewing the tutoring schedule below, reserve your spot by emailing the designated tutor. Be sure to include the following:
  • Your first and last names
  • Your 8-digit EMPL ID number
  • The relevant course name and course number
  • The time and day you desire tutoring
Tutors are available at the following times: The Writing Center The Writing Center is now available remotely on from Monday through Friday, from 10:00am to 5:00pm. Students can send an email to writingcenter@mec.cuny.edu. Your email must include the following:
  • Your first and last names
  • Your 8-digit EMPL ID number
  • Your work attached in a Microsoft Word doc format with detailed assignment instructions from your professor
Please remember that the Writing Center is not an editing service; tutors send comments on ways to improve your body of work.
Spectrum and Comcast offer free internet and phone service access to New Yorkers. AT&T is offering relief for users that may have difficulty paying their bill.

SPECTRUM will offer free broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription and at any service level up to 100 Mbps. To enroll, call 1-844-488-8395. Installation fees will be waived for new student households. Spectrum has also pledged to open its Wi-Fi hot spots for public use.

COMCAST will provide new, low-income customers complimentary internet service for 60 days. To sign up, visit www.internetessentials.com. The accessible website also includes the option to video chat with customer service agents in American Sign Language. There are two dedicated phone numbers: 1-855-846-8376 for English and 1-855-765-6995 for Spanish.

AT&T will keep public Wi-Fi hotspots open. For AT&T customers that may be in financial difficulty, call 1-800-288-2020 for AT&T broadband, residential wireless, or small business services. Dial 611 from your AT&T device for wireless.
You can install the following apps and software on your device from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.
Apps and Software for Dyslexic Learners
  • DD’s Dictionary: A Dyslexic Dictionary
  • Dyseggxia
  • Dyslexia Quest
  • Happy Math Multiplication Rhymes
  • Phonics with Phonogram
  • ReadToMe 2
  • ReadToMe 2 Lite
  • Rhymes
  • SoundsLiteracy
  • What is Dyslexia
Apps and Software for Autistic Learners
  • Autism DDT Letters
  • Autism iHelp – Comprehension
  • See. Touch. Learn.
  • Sequences for Autism
  • Sight Words – Record and Read
  • Speech With Milo
  • Verbal Me
  • Words on Wheels
Apps and Software for the Visually Impaired
  • Accessnote
  • Be My Eyes – Helping Blind See
  • Color Identify
  • Dragon Dictation
  • Light Detector
  • Saytext
  • Talking Calculator
  • Taptapsee
  • Visual Brailler
This is not intended to serve as endorsement of any particular service and is for informational purposes only. Medgar Evers College/CUNY operates independently of all the following companies and is not liable for their policies or practices.

July 22, 2020

On July 9, 2020, the Board of Trustees approved a resolution recognizing that by “(i) reducing the density of individuals on the University campuses and (ii) offering classes and support services in a primarily online and remote format, the University can better ensure the continued health, safety, and welfare of its students, faculty, and staff and further ensure continuity of educational curricula and better outcomes for our students, and preserve the availability of its physical spaces for those academic programs and support services that require them.”

Consistent with this resolution, a Task Force convened by the President worked diligently on a re-opening plan to ensure that Medgar Evers College creates a safe and healthy environment for its students, faculty, staff, and the immediate community. For the Fall 2020 semester, most courses will be offered through distance education. The Task Force was charged with developing a plan to address topics such as our modes of instruction, classroom occupancy, distance learning, staff returning to campus, and virus testing. Within this reopening plan, the three most important factors are:

  • Protecting faculty, staff, and students, and surrounding community health and safety;
  • Maximize the success of the students with their education and the faculty in their research and creative activities; and
  • Fully meet the expectations of New York State and CUNY.

The report of the taskforce places utmost priority on the safety and health of the students, faculty, and staff, while we maintain the integrity of the academic enterprise. The plan includes health and safety measures to sustain the operation while recognizing that the most effective way to minimize the spread of COVID-19 is to reduce drastically the number of people on campus.

As a result, the College has chosen to re-open in Fall 2020 with at least 80% - 90% of its courses offered in the online format. For classes that may run in person, the College will ensure that structures are in place to allow for the decrease in seating. A standard classroom designed for 30 students will be reduced to meet the recommended social distancing standard. In alignment with the Board’s resolution, most courses that will run in person are those that are considered highly experiential, such as labs or clinical studies, and support services such as food pantries.

These are particularly challenging times and we will continue to ensure our campus community remains safe.

Sincerely,
Augustine Okereke, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President & Provost

April 16, 2020

Loaner Laptops Are Available (Laptop Distribution Has Ended)

Medgar Evers College is committed to providing students with academic continuity, despite interruptions due to COVID-19. To ensure that students are able to continue their education and complete assignments, loaner laptops are available for any student who does not have access to a personal computer off-campus.

Interested students must email studentaffairs@mec.cuny.edu in order to secure a laptop. All requests must include student’s first and last name, 8-digit EMPL ID number, and telephone number. In addition, a MEC student identification card will be required at pickup.

Students who have access to a personal computer off-campus are strongly encouraged to reserve the use of loaner laptops for students who do not have such access. In addition, all students are required to maintain a distance of at least six (6) feet between themselves and other members of the college community during their visit to campus.

Inquiries about the laptop retrieval process can be directed to the Office of Student Affairs (studentaffairs@mec.cuny.edu).

Thank you,
Office of Student Affairs

March 19, 2020

Reaching Key Departments During Distance Learning

The manner in which we deliver services may be changing; however, Medgar Evers College’s commitment to you remains the same. As part of the College’s efforts to protect the health and safety of our community, many of the services you rely on will serve you virtually for the foreseeable future. Listed below are the dedicated email addresses to reach key departments on campus.

Thank you for your patience and flexibility as we transition to our new normal given the challenges of COVID-19.

March 18, 2020

As we move to distance learning, please review the CUNY Blackboard User Guide for Students to help you get started. Blackboard Collaborate for Students and Faculty gives detailed instructions on how to get the most out of the online environment for learning.

Visit the the student online resource center at www.mec.cuny.edu/students. There you can review the current academic calendar, access CUNYfirst, log into your MEC email, receive Help Desk support, and much more.

March 10, 2020

Medgar Evers College Student Coronavirus (COVID-19) Academic Continuity Plan

Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency in New York State on Saturday, March 7, 2020 as the number of coronavirus cases in New York State increased. Medgar Evers College is committed to the safety of our students and the continuation of our academic operations in case of any interruption in classroom instruction. The entire teaching faculty and students must be prepared to teach and be taught fully online at any time.

Medgar Evers College faculty were first notified on March 8, 2020 with detailed instructions. Our Academic Continuity Plan is as follows:

  • With the recognition that some Medgar Evers College faculty will need additional hands-on instruction in the use of Blackboard for course and instructional delivery to students, instruction will be offered.
  • Some courses at Medgar Evers College are taught by adjunct faculty who are not trained to teach online, and so instruction will be offered.
  • We have many students who have never taken an online or Blackboard course and may be unfamiliar with how to enroll and take an online course, and so instruction will be offered.

Additionally, the following actions will be taken to further implement our Academic Continuity Plan:

  • On Tuesday March 10, 2020, all students will be notified that if they have not used Blackboard in any of their classes, they will need to attend a Blackboard training session.
  • Beginning on Thursday March 12, 2020, large-scale training of students will begin. The exact times and locations will be announced on Wednesday March 11, 2020.
  • All current faculty members should immediately inform their own students by Blackboard and/or email that students who have not taken a Blackboard or online course will need to attend training offered by the College starting Thursday March 12, 2020. Please encourage your students to frequently monitor their College email accounts. Faculty currently teaching online should give their students any additional guidance as needed.
  • Chairs and any faculty with instructional oversight of students attending nursing clinicals and other majors where instruction is conducted outside the College should make additional accommodations. The policies of the facilities where students attend instruction must be monitored and followed.
  • All students and faculty must monitor their College email accounts.
  • The College's Health Services provides information about COVID-19 here: https://ares.mec.cuny.edu/student-affairs/health-services.

The College is committed to updating our website frequently. We also encourage you to visit the CUNY's coronavirus webpage for updates here: https://www.cuny.edu/coronavirus.

If Medgar Evers College or CUNY closes before training is completed, you will receive Blackboard self-training links that you can use to attend training sessions and classes online.

ATTENDANCE AT A BLACKBOARD LEARNING SESSION IS REQUIRED IF YOU HAVE NOT BEEN TRAINED. ALL COURSES WILL CONTINUE ONLINE.

Location: Edison O. Jackson Auditorium, Academic Building 1

Thursday, March 12 and Friday, March 13

  • 9:0010:30am
  • 11:0012:30pm
  • 6:007:30pm

Saturday, March 14

  • 9:0010:30am
  • 11:0012:30pm
  • 6:007:30pm

Additional sessions will be announced.

Each session will last 45 minutes with an additional 15 minutes for questions. There will a 30 minute interval between sessions to ask further questions. If CUNY or Medgar Evers College tranisitions to fully distance learning, you will need this training in order to continue your coursework.

You will need a valid spring ID card in order to access the library and use library online resources. You will need access to these resources to continue your coursework online.

If you do not have a valid spring ID card, you must go to the Security Office/Student ID Center in room C109 in the basement of Academic Buliding 1, and then go to the library for access to distance education and online resources.

If you do ave a valid spring ID card, stop by the library as soon as possible to get your ID code, which will allow you to access the library's online resources.

After attending a training session, you are encouraged to go to the library and practice accessing Blackboard.

Further communication about the Academic Continuity Plan will be managed by the Office of Academic Affairs (OAA). Mr. Ian Josephs will be the contact person for OAA. His email is teachonline@mec.cuny.edu. Please only contact Mr. Josephs for urgent questions as he will likely be fielding many questions via email and telephone. We cannot guarantee that telephone messages will be returned if there is a large volume of requests. You will be fully informed of any updates.

Provost
Dr. Augustine Okereke
Office of Academic Affairs
Medgar Evers College

A malicious website is pretending to be the live map for Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by John Hopkins University and is directing users to visit a malware website. Visiting this website infects the user’s computer or mobile device with the AZORult trojan, an information-stealing program which can exfiltrate a variety of sensitive data from the user’s computer. It is likely being spread via infected email attachments, malicious online advertisements, and social engineering. Anyone searching the internet for a coronavirus map could unwittingly navigate to this malicious website and have their data compromised.

Please be extra vigilant while accessing your email and browsing the internet.