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Student Resources

Snapshots: What Does the Mount Look Like in 2020-21?

The Mount Safe Initiative seeks to safeguard the health and well-being of all members of the Mount community during the COVID-19 crisis while fostering student success. Our policies and procedures will be updated as our knowledge about and understanding of the virus evolves.

Video Resources

Risk Reduction Measures
Use of Common Areas
Residence Hall Procedures

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FAQs: General

Is Mount St. Mary’s open for on-campus classes?

Yes. The Mount is holding on-campus classes. We are operating in a modified normal environment with appropriate social distancing protocols in place. The specifics of the changes implemented are described in the questions that follow. Protocols are subject to change because both the virus and the public health response to it are subject to a certain level of uncertainty. Know that the university is making all decisions based on information from public health experts and that our number one concern is the safety of our students and community.

What did the Mount do to reopen safely?

The university formed eight Mount Safe Initiative teams of faculty, staff and administrators from across the university to plan for reopening for in-person instruction in Fall 2020. After a successful fall semester on campus, the teams are making any needed changes for Spring 2021. The goal of the initiative is to safeguard the health and well-being of all members of the Mount community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the issues addressed by the teams are COVID-19 response, social distancing operations, technology and instruction, innovation, the seminary and athletics.

Will the university require students to be tested for COVID-19 before they arrive on campus?

Yes. Viral testing is required to return to campus, and we are asking students to get tested 7-10 days before returning to campus. Students should ask their testing provider on average how long it is taking to get results.

Will students be required to take a temperature every day?

Yes, residential students will be required to take their temperature and complete a health survey every day before leaving their room in the morning. Commuter students will be required to do the same before coming to campus. New students or students returning to campus in Spring 2021 will receive a kit with hand sanitizer, a thermometer and a face mask.

Is the Mount’s academic calendar being modified due to coronavirus?

Yes. The academic calendar for the Spring 2021 semester is being altered so that classes begin one week later on January 28. There will be no spring break, but there will be no classes on the Exploration Day (March 3) or on Good Friday (April 2). The last day of classes will be May 6 and May 7 will be a Reading Day, in advance of final exams. Commencement is scheduled for May 15.

When will students move in?

Students will move in between January 23 and 27. The phased move in plan will aid in physical distancing.

How much of the class time will be online vs. in person?

Some classes with smaller enrollment and/or more square footage per student will be entirely in person. For larger classes, it is anticipated that some students may take turns attending classes remotely from their dorm rooms or other locations on campus to spread out as needed. Some students may choose to live at home and take classes entirely online.

Can a student opt to do their semester online?

The Mount is ready to accommodate any student who wishes to learn remotely for the semester. We have upgraded all our classrooms with technology needed to deliver instruction simultaneously to students in the classroom, dorms and others who want to join remotely. This technology helps implement physical distancing in classrooms on our campus and allow students off campus to connect to classes remotely.

Students will need to request this option through the Office of the Provost. The provost will then communicate this to all other offices.

Will tuition be reduced if students are taking online classes?

No. The Mount prides itself on doing remote learning the Mount Way, which means that students have access to most of the same learning resources and campus life activities that they enjoy on campus, including peer tutoring, counseling, the Career Center, Learning Services, fitness, Campus Ministry, library and many others. Visit our Student Resources During Remote Instruction to learn more about the services that the Mount offers to ensure student success and engagement.

How many students will live on campus/how will housing be structured?

Our residence halls vary in the size of rooms and amenities available so we have developed a building-by-building plan that allows the majority of students to live on campus while implementing appropriate physical distancing measures. 

Will housing still be guaranteed for all students?

Every effort is being made to ensure that every student who wants to reside on campus is able to do so.

How will access to the dining hall be monitored and controlled?

Meals on campus are at staggered times and social distancing protocols in Patriot Hall, our dining hall, are being enforced through a reservations system. We have enhanced options for takeout meals through Emmit's Street Eats Food Truck and expanded seating in the Four Seasons Pavilion.

Will there be sports on campus?

Yes, while fall athletic programs in the Northeast Conference were delayed until spring, winter and spring seasons are expected to be held. The men's and women's basketball seasons are underway. Mount athletic teams successfully practiced in the fall, and many had intersquad competitions.

What measures is the university taking to encourage Mount community members to protect each other?

As you have been accustomed to in your personal lives over the past several months, social distancing and face coverings are required and traffic flow in and out of buildings is managed. The size of gatherings is limited based on state and county guidelines, and when possible, meetings and events are virtual. Options are available, when appropriate, for employees to telework and students to learn remotely. Every classroom is technologically equipped so that classes are available both in person and remotely in order to spread students out physically distant in line with public health recommended practices. More grab-and-go meal options are available, and the food court and dining room are rearranged so physical distancing is possible.

What processes and procedures is the Mount putting in place to provide a healthy environment?

Our award-winning custodial team, who have been trained on sanitation of coronavirus, have implemented enhanced and more frequent cleaning and disinfection of common areas and bathrooms are cleaned twice a day. We also have adjusted HVAC systems to optimize air flow and filtering and every room has air conditioning in place.

Visitors on campus are limited to those with official business, and field trips and travel have been sharply reduced. Students are encouraged to remain on campus as much as possible.

How will the university monitor for and contain coronavirus?

The monitoring and containment program includes testing of 100 percent of students before the semester begins, weekly wastewater testing of residence halls, weekly testing of a sample of several hundred students and testing of student-athletes per NEC guidelines. Students and employees are required to take their temperature and complete a daily wellness questionnaire. 

What will happen if students need to be sent home mid-semester?  Will room and board be refunded?

If students are sent home mid-semester, they will continue their classes remotely the Mount Way, with a full suite of learning resources and campus life activities to support students. Room and board would be refunded on a prorated basis.

Will I need to reapply if I attend another college after deferring enrollment?

If you have been enrolled at another college or university for more than two full semesters, you would need to reapply as a transfer student and would be considered for transfer scholarships/aid.

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FAQs: Daily Health Attestation

1. How often do I need to submit the attestation?

Daily. All students and employees are required to submit the attestation on a daily basis on days when they would normally be on campus.

2. I’m not going to be on campus today. Do I need to submit the attestation?

Yes. If you would, under normal circumstances, be expected on campus (work, classes, etc.) you need to submit the form. The attestation allows you to note you do not plan to be on campus today).

3. Do I have to wait for someone to tell me I can come to campus?

No. If you are able to answer ‘no’ to all questions, you may proceed.

4. What does “close contact” mean?

Close contact means someone was closer than six feet for more than 15 minutes from an individual who is positive for COVID-19. It does not matter if the individuals were wearing face coverings.

  • If the COVID-19 positive person had symptoms, the contact time would start two days (48 hours) before they developed symptoms.
  • If the person did not have symptoms, the contact time would start two days (48 hours) before the date of the positive COVID-19 test.

5. What happens if I answer ‘yes’ to any of the questions?

If you answer yes to any of the questions on the attestation, you will be advised to not come to campus. If you are an employee, follow your department’s procedure for calling out sick or requesting to work from home and contact your healthcare provider. If you are a student, inform your professors, work supervisors and/or coaches about your absence and contact the Mount’s Health Center.

6. What if my situation changes after I submit the attestation?

  • If an employee, stay home, follow your department’s procedure for calling out sick or requesting to work from home and contact your healthcare provider.
  • If a student, go to your room (residence hall or home), and contact the Health Center.

7. What if I answer a question incorrectly and submit the attestation before I catch it?

Contact Human Resources (for employees) or the Dean of Students Office (for students) to inform them of your error. Only these offices can override the error.

8. What if an employee or student comes to campus and shouldn’t have based on the attestation responses?

  • Supervisors should confirm with employees that they responded correctly to the attestation questions. If that is the case, they should then be advised to go home and consult with their health care provider.
  • Students should be referred to the Mount’s Health Center.

9. Why is this form necessary if I'm working from home?

Completing the Health Attestation Form daily on your regularly scheduled work days even if you will be working remotely from home will allow the university to track our community’s responses in the event of an outbreak.

10. Is the attestation HIPAA compliant?

  • In order to assist with the public health collection of information about those who are sick with, exposed to or test positive for COVID-19, the US Dept. of Health and Human Services issued a bulletin describing greater flexibility in the HIPAA law.
  • Mount St. Mary’s University is not a healthcare entity and as such is released from the regulations tied to HIPAA. We are, however, responsible for handling any COVID-19 related health information about our employees and students in a confidential manner. This means that though we can call any of your close contacts, IF you happen to test positive for COVID-19, to tell them they’ve been exposed to you, we CANNOT describe your health/symptoms, etc. We can also inform the Mount community that one of our employees or students is positive for COVID-19, but we can’t divulge the individual’s name.

11. What is the university doing with the information from the attestation?

  • Data collected will only be stored for the duration of the global pandemic.
  • The university’s supervisors and Dean of Students will be able to see the following information for those individuals who report to them: Name, and whether their direct report completed the survey and is able to access campus that day. They will not have access to the individual’s answers to each question on the attestation.

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FAQs: Campus Dining

What are the hours of operation?

Patriot Hall

Monday-Friday: 7 a.m.-3:30 p.m., 4:30-8 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday: 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m., 4:30-8 p.m.

Mount Café

Monday-Friday: Coffee only: 7:30-11 a.m.; Food: 11 a.m.-11:30 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday: 4:30-11:30 p.m.

Emmit’s Street Eats

Monday- Friday: 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m., 4:30-7 p.m.

Why are there only three chairs at a table?

The university has asked us to help keep everyone 6 feet apart while their mask is off. The best way to do this is by only having three chairs per table. Please don’t move chairs to different tables.

Why are there buckets on the seats?

To help with physical distancing we have filled seats that can't be used with a bucket to take up a seat. In the four-person booths you will find two buckets. This means no more than two people should be at these tables.

Do I have to make a Patriot reservation if I want my food to go or get something from the C-Store?

Yes. The reservation is for admittance to the food court, not for a table. The capacity for the food court is 60.

Can I get a wrap from the Café and my sides from Patriot?

No. You can only visit one location per meal swipe. For example, if you go to Emmit’s, you must get your sides and drink from the food trailer.

Why didn't I receive a notification that my food was ready in the Café?

You must have push notifications turned on to receive the notification.

I love Emmit's but there are limited options.

Due to the food truck's limited storage and cooking space, the menu has to be limited. We plan to expand operations as we can and add a Beyond Burger to the next cycle.

Why does it seem like different things are out of stock every day?

Just like in grocery stores, we are experiencing shortages from our suppliers. We are actively working to get proper substitutes and different items, but some supply chains have been interrupted with the pandemic.

My order was cancelled after it was placed!

It is likely that the payment source you used has been declined.

The Café charged my flex and not my meal plan.

The app payment screen has two buttons: MountCard and Meal Plan. Press on MountCard to select MountCard or credit card. Press on the Meal Plan button to select what tender on your MountCard to charge from the dropdown menu of Meal Plan, Flex and MountMoney

Why did I receive an "Exceeded the spending limit for that period" message when I tried to use my dinner swipe in the Café?

There is an internal clock error in our app host system. The meal plans used between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m. will be denied if you have eaten lunch that day or you are on a 7 or 5 plan as the system still thinks its lunchtime. The host company is aware of this problem and is working to fix it. We will update you once it has been fixed.

Why does my transaction keep getting denied?

Just as we have adopted a mobile app to help with physical distancing, so have many universities. This is stressing the app host servers. The host company is actively working on bringing new servers online to fix this issue. In the meantime, if your transaction is denied, give it a few minutes before trying again. Some transactions are taking 2-5 minutes to show up.

Why was my payment source declined?

Breakfast meal plan is from 7 to 10:45 a.m. Lunch meal plan is from 10:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Dinner Meal plan is from 4:30 to 8 p.m.. Any orders after 8 p.m.. will have to be charged to flex. You can only use one meal swipe per meal period. If you have used your meal swipe already for the day or it is past 8 p.m.., your meal will be declined or canceled.

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Student Services

Learning Services

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The goal of Learning Services is to help every student at the Mount become confident and successful on his or her journey. And while the ultimate responsibility for their success rests with themselves, our Learning Services team is here with a large variety of programs to help them sharpen their skills, focus their abilities, and empower their spirit.

Find out more about how Learning Services can help you on your academic journey during the spring semester.

Counseling Services

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Counseling Services is a health services office that aims to support students in achieving success in areas of academics and personal growth through short-term, outpatient mental health and substance abuse treatment, educational presentations, and collaboration with other student support services at Mount St. Mary’s University.

Counseling Services works to enable students to address behavioral and emotional concerns so they are able to take full advantage of the academic and social opportunities of their college experience. All support provided by Counseling Services is free of charge. Counseling Services provides counseling during the fall and spring semesters.

Individual Counseling

In order to offer greater access to students in need of support, Counseling Services has adapted to offer students the option of in-person or remote counseling sessions.

For in-person sessions, counselors and students abide by University guidelines in practicing COVID precautions, including:

  • A new waiting area (separate from Health Services)
  • Physical distancing in the counseling office
  • Wearing of masks during sessions
  • Windows open for ventilation, as much as privacy and weather will allow
  • Counselors will disinfect office surfaces between sessions

For remote sessions, counselors can offer phone support (available to any student) or Zoom appointments (open to only those students physically in the state of Maryland)

Scheduling an Individual Appointment

Students may visit msmary.edu/counseling and complete an inquiry form. A counselor will call or email you within one business day.

Students may call or email a counselor directly:

Walk-in appointments are available for students experiencing a crisis or emergency during office hours.

For any mental health crisis or emergency outside of office hours, please contact Public Safety at 301-447-5911.

Other Services and Resources

Counseling Services provides different offerings each semester. In Spring 2021, students may utilize the following services:

  • Mount Mindful Drop-In Group: date and time TBD
  • Grief/Bereavement Support Group: date and time TBD
  • Upperclassmen Transition Group (Life after College): date and time TBD

Learn more about what Counseling Services offers.

Center for Campus Ministry

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For information about Mass, including live stream information, please view our Masses and Liturgy information, check the Chaplain's Memo emailed each Wednesday, or email the Center for Campus Ministry at centerforcampusministry@msmary.edu.

Find out more about how to get involved with the Center for Campus Ministry.

Center for Student Diversity

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The mission of the Center for Student Diversity (CSD) is to meet the needs of underrepresented and historically marginalized students by providing support, advocacy, guidance, and training services for the greater Mount community. We develop students, faculty, staff, and administrators who are more culturally aware and accepting of others who may be different from themselves to produce a socially justice minded environment for all.

This fall, CSD will be hosting a number of events, such as dance performances, panel discussions and movie screenings. View the CSD events calendar or visit msmary.edu/csd to learn more about how to get involved.

Career Center

career-center-student-with-advisor

The Career Center is an invaluable resource during your journey at the Mount. Career Counselors are available for virtual and in-office walk-in hours Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. (January 19-February 18) and Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. from February 23-May 5.

Learn more about how the Career Center can help with your internship or job search, or complete our appointment request form for an individual appointment on the phone or Zoom.

Phillips Library

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The Phillips Library is committed to assisting students with all of their research needs. Students can search both print and electronic library materials through our catalog and library databases. When accessing library resources from off-campus, students will be prompted to sign in using their Mount email address and password. Students may request articles and print books through interlibrary loan.

Students are encouraged to reach out to a librarian for research assistance. Please use our Schedule a Meeting with a Librarian form to set-up a time to meet with us over Zoom or phone. For quick questions, students can connect with us over our Online Chat, text questions (301-709-7577), or email ask@msmary.libanswers.com.

The Phillips Library will continue to update its policies and procedures, including library building use, at libguides.msmary.edu/fall2020.

Additional Offices and Departments

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Student Resources for Remote Instruction

Resources for students who may be taking some or all of their classes online.

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