AUC to Begin Gradually Reopening Campus
June 18, 2020
Dear AUC Students,
Following last week’s announcement that our September 2020 semester will be taught online, I have an update on campus access for students in Sint Maarten. We are now ready to move into the next phase of our reopening plan and will begin allowing students gradual access to campus starting Monday, June 22, 2020.
As campus reopens, you will be able to access certain areas of the university for study and internet service. Please be aware, however, that several facilities remain closed, including the gym and dining areas. As the semester progresses and as conditions allow, we will evaluate if and when additional facilities can reopen. We may also decide to modify campus status or access depending on changes in local conditions or new public health guidelines.
As you prepare to re-enter campus, please be ready to follow new safety measures and protocols that we have put in place to keep our community healthy:
Increased Safety Measures on Campus
- Campus Access: In this first phase of reopening, students can access the Library (normal hours), Building 1 small group study rooms and classrooms (LH1 and LH3), and the outdoor patio behind the Cafeteria. Please continue to reserve study rooms using the Library website. Students are not permitted in Building 2 at this time except to use the ATM machine. The gym and dining services (Cafeteria and FitFoodsSXM Cafe) are also closed until further notice.
- Temperature Screenings: Anyone seeking entry into campus (students, colleagues, family members and other visitors) will be stopped at the Welcome Center and required to complete a biweekly questionnaire and have their temperature taken. If your temperature is 100.4 F / 38 C or higher or you have other symptoms of COVID-19, you will not be permitted on campus. Please also monitor your temperature from home and refrain from coming to campus if you have a fever or feel sick.
- Social Distancing: Mandatory social distancing will be enforced. Anyone who enters campus will be required to keep a minimum distance of 6 feet from another person and must follow distance markers and signage placed in common areas. For example, some building entrance/exit ways are now designated as one-way.
- Face Masks: Community members are required to wear a face mask as they enter and traverse around the campus and are only permitted to remove them when alone in an office or study space with no people moving near or around you. If you do not have a mask, one will be provided for you at the Welcome Center.
- Physical Distancing: To promote physical distancing, we have removed furniture from common areas, sectioned off seating (red tape = do not sit), and restricted access to certain rooms and buildings. Campus community members will need to observe maximum occupancy numbers in common spaces like the Library and outdoor patio space. Areas with increased potential for person-to-person contact have been outfitted with plexiglass barriers.
- Sanitization: We will continue to conduct enhanced cleaning and disinfecting of all campus facilities daily. Additional hand sanitizing stations and disinfecting wipes have been installed and are accessible throughout campus. Please wipe down your study area before and after you have finished using it.
We all share the responsibility of keeping our campus community safe. Please continue to follow CDC-recommended personal hygiene practices (e.g., wash your hands often with soap and water and for at least 20 seconds) and avoid close contact with other people. Anyone who does not comply with our policies and protocols will be asked to leave campus or prohibited from entering.
Academic Instruction & Student Services
While campus access expands, please remember that all classes and lectures for the May and September 2020 semesters are being delivered remotely. As such, there will be no in-person instruction on campus nor will faculty or staff be able to meet with students. Please continue to contact teachers and other student services departments and offices (e.g., housing, student accounts, immigration, etc.) via email.
I am pleased to begin our gradual campus reopening and look forward to welcoming back students who are in Sint Maarten. Please continue to monitor your email for additional updates and instructions as we approach June 22.
Heidi Chumley, MD, MBA
Update on September 2020 Semester Plans
June 12, 2020
Earlier in the semester I shared an update on how AUC is approaching the rest of the academic year and the many factors that contribute to our planning for next semester. As we continue to make decisions regarding the upcoming months, I want to share the latest update on our medical sciences curriculum for the September 2020 semester.
After careful consideration, we have decided to continue delivering our Sint Maarten-based curriculum online. Courses will be remote for the entirety of the September 2020 semester using the virtual learning platforms students have grown accustomed to since March.
As Sint Maarten has lifted its “shelter-in-place" restrictions, we have begun to gradually reopen campus for essential operations. Access and services will continue to expand as local circumstances allow and with additional safety protocols and social distancing in place. Our hope is that students in Sint Maarten will be able to use some common areas and university services soon. Regardless of our campus status, courses will be delivered remotely, and we will not require students to return to Sint Maarten for the September semester.
The campus environment is an important part of our AUC medical school community. We appreciate the desire by many to start the semester together, but conditions dictate otherwise. With travel restrictions still in effect and the pandemic still very much a threat, we feel this is the right approach and one that provides flexibility while allowing students to stay focused on their studies. For those AUC community members who remain in Sint Maarten, we will continue to work hard to make sure that the campus is open for those who wish to take advantage of campus access.
Your health and safety remain our top priority as we continue to focus on providing a quality educational experience. As always, please continue to monitor your email for updates and new information.
Heidi Chumley, MD, MBA