Table of contents
Wellness

We are fully committed to maintaining our sense of community under these new circumstances. Because we are moving to online courses, we are suspending our campus-based services for spring term and cancelling programming that was planned for spring break. We plan to continue to meet student needs by offering programming and resources in new ways as we ensure that we have a supportive and engaged educational environment.

Student Life staff will continue to be available to students to advise and provide support, and to offer creative programming. We are talking with campus counselors about the possibility of offering mental health services by phone or video call, and we are actively exploring options for a virtual outing club, online wellness resources, social hangouts and virtual residence life offered by RAs. In addition, COA2 will continue to offer programming that will be available to all students. We are talking with the writing center, study skills person and others about academic support options.

We know that these decisions and changes are significant and disruptive to people’s spring plans. If individuals are having a hard time or finding that they are dealing with anxiety and increased stress, please reach out to:

Managing anxiety can be a challenge in times like these. Staying informed is important, but balance that with caring for yourself. If you find you are dealing with increased stress and anxiety as a result of COVID-19, consider limiting the amount of health-related news you are consuming, and make sure what you do look at is from a reputable source. As much as you can, do things that support wellness such as exercising, meditating, creating art, playing music, or connecting with friends and family by text, phone, Facetime, and other media. Treat yourself by taking a few minutes to do something restorative that gives you a little lift in energy or spirit. Employ distraction by getting lost in a book, taking a virtual museum tour, or finding a wildlife cam or videos of cute baby animals that you enjoy.
As always, please contact any member of the student life staff with questions. We are also still responding to the Student Life Emergency Line at 207-266-5890.   
 
Student packages and mail

Effective Thursday 3/19, only students living on campus may receive mail through the COA mailroom. 

  • Students who are not living on campus will need to update their “local address” within their student portal. First Class USPS mail will be forwarded to the “local address” in your student portal. 
  • Student packages (Amazon, FedEx, UPS, and USPS) will be refused by the mailroom. We will continue to accept packages through Wednesday, March 18. FAQ’s

    For mail and package questions, contact Sydnie White
Mailroom protocol moving forward (March 25, 2020)

Twice a week package/mail deliveries/drop offs
We have asked USPS, UPS and FedEx to limit their deliveries/pick ups to campus to twice a week and, subsequently, the sorting and internal distribution of received mail and packages will also occur twice a week.  

  • USPS/UPS/FedEx deliveries & pickups for outgoing mail and packages: 
    • Monday & Thursday each week
  • USPS/UPS/FedEx sorting & internal distribution of received mail and packages: 
    • Tuesday & Friday each week

Getting your mail metered
As Kaelber Hall and Turrets are both locked, getting your mail metered and picking up your faculty and staff mail and packages is going to look a bit different this term. 

The library book drop box located outside of Kaelber Hall is going to temporarily serve as our outgoing mailbox for campus. Only mail that needs to be metered should be placed in here. Please include your name/department information somewhere on your pieces of mail so that we can charge the appropriate accounts for their mail. This is very important. This drop box will be checked regularly, but not daily, so please plan accordingly and be in touch with Sydnie White (swhite@coa.edu ) if you have a particularly large mailing, any special requests for a mailing, etc.. 

Retrieving your packages & mail
No one will be allowed to retrieve their packages from the mailroom, in an effort to limit the foot traffic in that building. Twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays, Buildings and Grounds will transport any packages/mail received for faculty/staff down to Turrets building and they will be placed inside the building by the faculty/staff mailboxes. Keep in mind that Turrets is locked and you will need a key to access this building and your faculty/staff mailbox. 

If it is at all possible to have any mail/packages temporarily forwarded to you at your residence during this time, please do so. Especially if it is something that has a time crunch associated with it. You can use this service for as short as 15 days or as long as 1 year. It only takes a second to redirect your mail and has a $1.05 charge to your credit card (the charge verifies your identity) and you can do it right here .  

If you have something already on its way and you’d like to try to redirect it, please do so:

  • USPS Package Intercept - for a fee, this service lets the sender or recipient stop delivery or redirect a package, letter, or flat that is not out for delivery or already delivered. Most domestic mailings with a tracking or extra services barcode are eligible for Package Intercept. You can only request a Package Intercept online.
  • UPS - Request Delivery Intercept - with this service you can maintain control of your packages as they move through the UPS network. This fee-based service for shippers allows you to request the intercept of packages prior to delivery. Through this service you can: 
    • Return to Sender: Return the package to the shipper
    • Deliver to Another Address: Reroute the package to a new address
    • Reschedule Delivery: Hold the package for delivery on a future date
  • FedEx - Reroute of shipment - for a fee, reroutes can include delivering to a different address in the same city or changing a hold-at-location instruction to courier delivery. Only one reroute is allowed per package.

    Any questions at all, please contact either mailroom@coa.edu or swhite@coa.edu .
Adobe Creative Cloud access

As a result of campus closure, access to Adobe Creative Cloud in our labs and classrooms is not available. Adobe has provided temporary at-home access for impacted students and faculty, so that they can continue their work remotely. Please follow the instructions below to enable access to Creative Cloud Desktop Apps on your personal device.

  1. Visit https://creativecloud.adobe.com  and use your school credentials to sign in.
  2. If prompted, select Company or School Account and then enter your password. Or provide your credentials in your school’s login screen.
  3. From the Creative Cloud website, browse for and download your desired app. Click Apps on the top of the page to view all apps.

For more information on how to download or install apps, see Download and Install Creative Cloud apps .

Workstudy
Our goal is to offer and provide workstudy employment to all students who want to work, and we feel that this is something we can definitely accomplish, albeit with a little flexibility. We plan to provide as many positions as we can that will allow students to work remotely, while still providing limited on-campus employment to those living locally. It’s important to understand that this may mean some shuffling of assignments, due to individual department needs, but our intention is to keep this to a minimum to maintain as much stability as we can for each of you. Many of you had assignments for spring already and it is entirely possible that you will continue on with those positions remotely.
 
In order to get workstudy finalized for spring term and to offer as many positions as we can, we need to know where you are and whether you want to work. Please fill out the Workstudy and Location Survey  by Sunday night, March 21, so we can get everything figured out.
 
Medical point person
We have appointed COA Director of Student Support and Wellness Barbara Conry as our medical point person for the reporting of COVID-19 symptoms. If you have or develop a fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other relevant symptoms, please send Barbara an email explaining what your symptoms are and when they started. This will help us track potential exposure and work with state and local authorities to determine when notifications need to be sent. Contact your medical provider immediately if you have these symptoms.
 
Social distancing
Public health goals are to prevent rapid spreading of COVID-19 through social distancing, as the virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person, between people who are in within about six feet from each other. Along with good hygiene practices, social distancing is considered the best practice for protecting our personal health, along with the health of the most vulnerable in our society. 
 
All COA staff and faculty who can have started to work remotely, and we are instituting social distancing practices for those who continue to work on campus, as well as Millard’s workstudy crew. Public spaces are now closed or are in the process of closing, including the library, museum, freebox, academic buildings, Deering Common, and TAB. Each of those areas are working to move their services online or to deliver them in new ways that reduces risk. Please email or call rather than go to any office in person. Only people required to be on campus because of work or living arrangements should be on campus.
 
There are things that each of us can do as well. Best practices state that individuals should remember the following:
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick or feeling unwell
  • Maintain more than six feet of distance between yourself and others as much as possible
  • Limit the sharing of things like towels and utensils
  • Limit gatherings and use alternate methods for social connection (connection is still critically important for mental health, so let’s be creative— see below)

And the following guidance still applies:

  • If you are sick, stay home and cover your cough
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after being in a public space or after you cough or blow your nose
  • Use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if hand washing is not possible
  • Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands
Travel
Last week the college put the following restrictions in place for people planning to travel and those who have recently returned:  
  • If you leave the state after March 12, remain off campus for 14 days, beginning with the day you returned to the state.
  • If you have traveled and returned to the state within 14 days prior to March 12, remain off campus for 14 days after your return to the state, beginning with the day you return.
  • If you have not traveled, but are in close contact with someone who has traveled outside of the state, please practice social distancing, wash your hands, and limit all unnecessary contact with others while on campus.
  • If you have any reason to believe you have been in contact with someone who has been exposed to COVID-19, remain off campus for 14 days from the day you were in contact with that person.
Social connection and things to do while social distancing is in effect

All this talk of social distancing, self isolation, and quarantine can affect our mental health. This community is built on connections and relationships, and we can all be mindful about how we nurture those relationships, and build new ones, even if circumstances make it difficult or impossible for us to meet face to face. There have been some wonderful ideas for ways to connect and for things to do, so we’ve created a place where those ideas can be collected and shared. Please  use this Google doc  to share your ideas, sites, platforms, links, and more. We would love to have you populate it with thoughts around how to stay connected with and things that we can do to help each other stay engaged, active, and occupied while travel and in-person gatherings are curtailed.

Petitioning for reduced course load or leave of absence

With the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting many of your personal and family lives, a few students have asked how to petition for taking fewer classes or taking the entire term off. For spring 2020 term only, we will offer students the opportunity to petition for: 1) a 2/3 credit load reduction; or 2) a full leave of absence in the following cases:

  • Medical/Mental Health: Petitions for a leave or reduced course load for medical/mental health reasons should be directed to Dean of Student Life - Sarah Luke (Sluke@coa.edu  ). Medical/mental health petitions must have accompanying documentation from a clinician stating that the leave is medically necessary for your personal treatment protocol
  • Profound Curricular Disruption: Petitions for a leave or reduced course load for curricular reasons should be directed to the Provost - Ken Hill (khill@coa.edu ). In order to receive an academic exception, you should present a compelling case that full-time academic enrollment next term would be a considerable detriment to meeting your academic goals. Preference for in-person courses in itself is not sufficient reason to meet this criteria. Remember COA can offer independent studies, residencies, and internships as well as on-line classes in the next term.  All academic petitions should be supported by the student’s academic advisor with a signature or accompanying letter. 
  • Financial Change of Status: Students who can demonstrate a significant change in financial status may petition to Interim Director of Financial Aid, Linda Black (lblack@coa.edu ). Financial hardship may be a result of things such as: parental unemployment due to COVID-19, family member sickness, and the like.

If this is your plan, please be aware that in order to be eligible for federal financial aid (Pell grant, Stafford loan, etc.) you must be enrolled in at least two classes during the trimester. To maintain F-1 status, international students must be enrolled full-time. COA has no control over federal aid policies or the F-1 status regulations. In addition, COA’s merit aid and special scholarships typically require full-time enrollment. Hence if a student’s petition is denied, and the student elects to take the term off or not enrolled full time they risk losing scholarship aid for future terms.

COVID-19 emergency fund for students

In the wake of the necessary campus closure and move to online instruction as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, College of the Atlantic recognizes that some students may be experiencing financial hardships. Because some students may now find themselves without the resources they need to succeed, COA has set up a student emergency fund.

Who is eligible?* Enrolled students who find themselves in financial need due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

How do you apply? Simply email to hardship@coa.edu  with “COVID-19 emergency fund” in the subject line. We ask that you write a statement explaining:

  • What your needs are
  • How much money you are requesting to meet these needs
  • When you would need funds
  • Any relative or supporting documentation or information you can provide to help us understand your situation

What scenario qualifies?* Maybe you find yourself needing to set up a reliable internet connection. Perhaps you need to get home and are waiting on funds to do so. Maybe you need to come up with first month, last month, and a security deposit for a rental. These are just a few examples, there may be more situations that qualify.

Deadline to apply? Open. We will accept and review requests on a rolling basis.

Other important information: This fund is specifically for students struggling as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic and is entirely separate from financial aid or credit balances. If you find yourself struggling as a result of another occurrence, you can reach out to the hardship@coa.edu  email and we may be able to work with you to advance a credit balance. If you and your family are now struggling to afford college as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, then you and your family may qualify for revisions to your financial aid package. Please contact Linda Black (lblack@coa.edu ) for more information, as financial aid may be able to help.

Other help out there: In addition to our in-house emergency fund, there are other groups out there who are helping students during this time. An organization called SAGE Scholars has opened their emergency funds to all students. If you would like to apply for their fund, please review the information found here , fill out the attached form found here , and send it back to lblack@coa.edu  – COA needs to submit it on your behalf.

*Note: Even if you do not fit these exact criteria, but have other compelling circumstances, please reach out and explain your situation as we may be able to help.