Campus Life

See weekly updates from Student Affairs' "UC Family Portal"

UC's Family & Family Programs sends a weekly emails each Friday with relevant, timely information and action items for your family. Please review this information carefully to be sure your student is taking steps toward successfully beginning their UC journey. Over the next few weeks, we will cover financial information (Friday, July 31), campus safety precautions (Friday, August 7), and Welcome Week/Move-In (Friday, August 24). We are archiving all of the emails on the UC Family Portal.

See and listen to the Return to Campus Q&A Panel.

Student life

Student Affairs advocates for and meets students' diverse needs by providing innovative co-curricular experiences that enhance well-being, foster life and academic skill development, engender responsibility and grow leadership capability. The division’s work is driven through four strategic pillars:

  1. Accessible Culture of Academic Success
  2. Holistic Student Development
  3. Intentional Student Advocacy
  4. Engaging Experiences and Relationships

Student Affairs programs and services are critical to students’ ability to establish their sense of belonging on campus, develop career-readiness skills and support timely progression toward graduation. To maintain these activities and programs in a safe manner, Student Affairs will modify the co-curricular experience to ensure students can remain highly engaged in campus activities while being supported through the delivery of impactful services and programs.

Programs and services that are able to remain in-person will abide by physical distancing guidelines, uphold the campus requirement of wearing a facial covering, and encourage safe hygiene practices of using hand sanitizer and the frequent sanitization of surfaces. These expectations will be clearly communicated to students and staff through a required health and safety training, as well as through campus signage and social norming campaigns.

Online and hybrid programs—both synchronous and asynchronous—will be provided in accessible formats for all students to participate. Online programs will vary from one-on-one advising and mentoring, student organization meetings and trainings, leadership programs, telehealth therapy and social programming. Face-to-face programs and services are dependent upon population density requirements, and those decisions will be made in the weeks leading up to Fall Semester. Face-to-face programs and services will also be offered online for students who are unable to participate in person. Student Affairs will continue to communicate campus programs and activities through the online engagement portal, CampusLINK and through the Corq calendar app.

Throughout Fall Semester, the Division of Student Affairs will continuously monitor student needs and engagement trends through formal and informal feedback channels and make updates to programs and service delivery accordingly to ensure student satisfaction and engagement goals are met.

The functions and services of the Division of Student Affairs are conducive to remote work for many staff. Additionally, we will include staff office rotations to ensure timely program and service delivery. Staff will be responsible for sanitizing their workspaces and common areas frequently.


Accessible culture of academic success

Accessibility accommodations and testing services

Intake, coaching, student support meetings, accommodated testing, adaptive technology services, and communication services (ASL, captioning, etc.) will all occur online. Students will continue to use pre-existing registration software to make appointments for these services.

Scholarship programs

Scholarship Programs, including the Darwin T. Turner Scholarship program and the Gen-1 Program, will continue to operate online, with the exception of Gen-1 students living in the 1MPACT House on campus. Requirements of the programs may be modified to meet students' needs during online learning.

Commencement ceremonies

Commencement ceremonies will be held in the format that is safest for the health and safety for all participants and consistent with CDC, state, and university guidelines for social distancing and crowd density. Current plans are for the August 2020 and December 2020 Commencement ceremonies to be held online. Spring 2020 graduates will be recognized in the August 2020 Commencement ceremony planned for Friday, August 7, for doctoral and master’s student graduates and Saturday, August 8, for undergraduates. December graduate dates are set for Friday, December 11, for doctoral and master’s students and Saturday, December 12, for undergraduates.


Holistic student development

Counseling and psychological services

Continuation of student mental health services is critical during the ongoing stress and trauma of a global pandemic. Intake and individual therapy will continue via HIPAA-compliant telehealth operations. Walk-in crisis services will be transitioned to the 24-hour crisis line (513-556-0648). Group therapy, workshops, and Let’s Talk drop-in services will also continue to operate via telehealth services.

Student conduct and community standards

To ensure students understand their responsibility for the health and safety of other members of the Bearcat community, expectations will be referenced in the mandatory health and safety trainings and articulated in ongoing communications with stuents.

Please remember that any student who fails to abide by UC’s COVID-19 guidelines and state-issued mandates may be subject to charges under the Student Code of Conduct (SCOC). Students identified as not complying with guidelines risk being placed on interim suspension. This includes not wearing masks, attending parties or gatherings that occur on- or off-campus that exceeds safety guidelines, or engaging in behavior that may endanger the UC community. Students who are placed on interim suspension are prohibited from completing courses, being physically present on campus, and participating in university activities, events, and student organizations. 

Intentional student advocacy

The Dean of Students provides timely and appropriate response to various forms of crisis, conflict and risks to students. Crisis response services, including the Care Team and Safe Apartment, can be utilized and managed remotely. The Bearcats Pantry and Career Closet will continue to use an appointment system should students need access to food and other necessary supplies. To request an appointment or groceries, students should email BearcatsPantry@ucmail.uc.edu.


Engaging relationships and experiences

Residence life and housing

In order to maintain appropriate physical distancing, move-in would be extended ahead of and throughout Welcome Week to reduce the number of students/families in the residence halls at any given time. The Hall Opening Team (HOT) — a group of student volunteers who typically help new Bearcats move in their belongings — will not participate this year. Students and families will need to move their belongings on their own. See more about move-in further below in the Housing section.

After move-in is complete, residential activities (programs, hall and floor meetings, etc.) will occur online. Residents will not gather together for programming, floor meetings or other events. Resident Advisor (RA) training has already been shifted to an online format.  

Adapted residence hall guest policy

As a health and safety measure, University Housing modified the standard guest policy this fall to reduce the spread of COVID-19 among residents. The modified guest policy prohibited residents from entering other students’ rooms.

Over the past several weeks, we have observed a strong commitment to taking care of each other and a high level of compliance with UC’s COVID-19 safety measures.

We understand that living on campus and building community with your peers is important. As promised, we have and will continue to reassess the modified guest policy to support community building efforts while ensuring we are promoting the safety and well-being of residents.

Effective immediately, we are adjusting the policy to allow one guest per one resident as follows:

  • Any guest must also be a resident of the same residence hall as the host student.
  • You and your guest must maintain proper social distance and wear facial coverings during the entirety of their visit.
  • Per UC’s Return to Campus Plan, gathering size is limited to 10 people.
  • In traditional style halls, one guest would be allowed per room resident ​host provided all maintain proper social distancing and wear facial covering requirements at all times.
  • In apartment/suite style halls, one guest would be allowed per apartment/suite resident host with a maximum of 10 total individuals in the entire living space at once provided all maintain proper social distancing and wear facial covering requirements at all times.

Your continued compliance is necessary to ensure this new guest policy will remain in place. We appreciate your commitment to upholding the Bearcat Bond and helping us to meet health and safety needs and requirements.

Welcome week and new student convocation

Welcome Week is a series of programs held at the beginning of the academic year that provides a foundation for student persistence through a developmentally purposeful agenda designed to help students. Welcome Week 2020 will be a combination of synchronous and asynchronous online and in-person events and programs. Examples of in-person events include arts/creative events where supplies aren’t shared, outdoor movies and photo scavenger hunts. Online events will include e-gaming, talent shows, trivia and social networking. A highlight of Welcome Week—the student organization fair—will be held in an online format that allows student organizations to have their own chat rooms to showcase their activities, chat with new members, and show slideshows and videos. Finally, New Student Convocation will be a week-long online experience that highlights President Pinto, student speakers, learning campus traditions and other special surprises, including messages from alumni.

Ongoing online experiences

Many campus activities, including leadership development programs, identity development programs, fraternity and sorority recruitment, speakers and student organization operations will be moved to online formats. Trainings will be held for student leaders to equip them with the skills necessary to run effective organizations and programs in online spaces.

CampusLINK and Corq

CampusLINK and Corq will be utilized to showcase and promote the various on-going student activities. Students can sort events in CampusLINK and Corq to highlight in-person and online programs, as well as programs based on certain topics or areas of interest. CampusLINK can be accessed at campuslink.uc.edu and Corq can be downloaded in the App Store or through Google Play.


Housing

University Housing and our mix of accommodations will be open during Fall Semester.

All housing, dining and recreational facilities have undergone a deep cleaning. Additionally, our continuing cleaning procedures have been expanded and will remain in effect throughout the semester.

See a photo gallery of recent campus readiness efforts.

Room assignments, roommates, move-in

  • Entering first-year students will be able to self-assign rooms and roommates starting mid-July.
  • For students who will reside in Living-Learning Communities, self assignments began July 15.
  • The open self-assignment process began July 21 and closes July 31.
  • The reservation system to select move-in dates opened on July 29.
  • The move-in process will open on Friday, August 14, and extend through the start of the school year on August 24, 2020.
  • The earliest move-in dates (August 14-15) will consist of a “drop-off only” process. New students and families may drop off / set up belongings in their rooms, but will then return home.
  • New students will begin to move-in and immediately reside in the residence halls starting on Monday, August 16, or anytime thereafter.
  • Contact options are email at uchousing@uc.edu or phone at 513-556-6461. Find more information online.

All students, with a completed housing application, who want to live within the University Housing portfolio can be accommodated; however, for our students and their families, we understand that some have concerns about living away from home during these unprecedented times and require flexibility.

We will work with students and their families to find the best solution to fit with needs for a successful living and learning experience. Options are being developed that range from modified assignments up to relaxing the housing requirement for first-year students. Any students or families with concerns are encouraged to reach out to the University Housing team prior to July 15. Contact options are email at uchousing@uc.edu or phone at 513-556-6461. Find more information online.

Because of unprecedented events, UC has expanded its housing exemption criteria in order to accommodate students and their families:

  • At present, automatic exemptions exist for students who are outside of the 50-mile radius and are fully online.
  • If a student desires a single room, we will work to accommodate the request, first with our existing inventory of single rooms. If nothing is available, we are open to converting a two-bed room into a single, at an increased rate, and subject to availability.
  • If students/parents are not comfortable staying in the residence halls, we will work with them to provide a waiver from the housing requirement for first-year students. Waiver requests are subject to approval by UC as it is important to ensure safety for our incoming first-year students.    

Occupancy

  • Revised maximum occupancy per room may be required to adapt room setups and to foster improved cleaning procedures.
  • UC Housing staff, University Health Services staff and Environmental Health & Safety staff will set and adapt room capacity based on health and safety protocols that optimize social distancing and a robust cleaning program. Any adapted room capacities will be set by the time first-year student self-assignment begins in mid-July.
  • Students may request a single room. If room is a multiple-occupancy setup, there would be an increased cost, and the request would be subject to availability.

Room assignments

  • Students returning to UC Housing self selected and confirmed rooms and roommates in January.
  • Entering first-year students will be able to self-assign their rooms and roommates starting mid-July. For students who will reside in Living-Learning Communities, self assignments begin July 15. The open self-assignment process begins July 21.
  • Self assignment related to rooms and roommates will close on July 31.

Move-in process

  • Process has been adjusted to be a contactless as possible. Please note that the student, faculty and staff teams that normally assist with move-in will not be available this year.
  • The move-in process has traditionally been over a 3-5 day period. However, due to needs around social distancing, the process will be modified, and the move-in process and opportunities will be spread over a 10-14 day period.
  • The move-in process will open on Friday, August 14, and extend through the start of the school year on August 24, 2020.
  • The earliest move-in dates (August 14-15) will consist of a “drop-off only” process. New students and families may drop off / set up belongings in their rooms, but will then return home.
  • New students will begin to move-in and immediately reside in the residence halls starting on Sunday, August 16, or anytime thereafter.
  • The reservation system to select move-in dates opened on July 29. The reservations are opened by hall, and more information was sent directly to those students and their families who have completed UC Housing applications.  

Bathrooms

  • Residence Halls with community bathrooms (Calhoun, Siddall, Dabney, Daniels) will receive enhanced cleaning to ensure bathrooms are cleaned every-other-hour between 8 a.m.- 8 p.m., with a deep clean overnight.
  • Residence Halls with individual or shared bathrooms for the suite/apartment (CRC, Marian Spencer, Morgens, Scioto, Schneider, Turner, Stratford): The university will continue to clean the in-unit bathroom once every two weeks. The university will provide an initial cleaning kit (one per bathroom) that university staff can refill on behalf of occupants.

Block leases

  • In these locations (UPA, 101 E. Corry, USquare, Edge, Deacon), residents will be responsible for bathroom cleaning. The university will provide an initial cleaning kit for each apartment, stocked with supplies, that can be refilled by university staff. 

Healthy living

  • Each suite/apartment will be equipped with an initial cleaning kit of paper towels and disinfectant spray.
  • Residence Hall lobbies will be augmenting the existing hand sanitizer supplies currently in place.
  • Social distancing will require removal and revised arrangement of most lobby seating.
  • Residence Hall public/floor kitchens will be closed.

Space plan

  • If instructed to quarantine or isolate, it's recommended that students in University Housing return to their permanent homes to do so. If that is not possible due to extenuating circumstances, UHS, Student Affairs and UC Housing will work with that student to provide appropriate accommodations in vacant, single-occupancy rooms with private bathrooms to allow for quarantine and isolation. They may continue their classes remotely. Meals will be delivered by Food Services (meal plan required). Please note that UC Housing may not be available for all quarantined or isolated students.
  • In order to encourage social distancing and manage the need for living space, the university may convert some communal/common spaces in the residence halls into residential rooms for students.
  • See images of changes we've made to our classroom, public, recreational and living spaces.

Dining and food services

UC Food Services will focus on providing the best food and service experience possible, while adhering to health and safety protocols.

As such, dining procedures have been adjusted to promote socially distant dine-in activities as well as expanded take-out options.

On-campus dining options

  • Service will be a combination of carry-out and dine-in options and will be subject to change.
  • Dine-in options on the Uptown Campus include four traditional dining centers.
  • Mick and Mack’s restaurant in Tangeman University Center will be primarily carryout and will serve students, faculty and staff.
  • Floor markings will guide flow and queueing for all diners, whether carry out or dine in.
  • For dine-in operations, sanitization kits will be available so that patrons may clean dining locales in addition to Aramark cleaning activity. 
  • See more information on Fall 2020 dining.

Residential dining

  • Operations will be conducted in accordance with state and local guidelines.
  • Service will be a combination of carry-out and dine-in options and will be subject to change.
  • For dine-in options on the Uptown Campus four traditional dining centers (MarketPointe@Siddall, CenterCourt, Stadium View Café and On the Green) as well as the Bleeker Street Café on the UC Blue Ash Campus. Density capacity will be no more than 50% of normal occupancy with 6 feet between tables.
  • Mick and Mack’s restaurant in Tangeman University Center will be converted to residential dining, primarily carry out.
  • Varsity Club in Lindner Athletic Center will be available as a carry-out option only.
  • Floor markings will guide flow and queueing for all diners, whether carry out or dine in.
  • Aramark will complete a daily health assessment of staff as per company protocols.
  • For dine-in operations, sanitization kits will be available so that patrons may clean dining locales in addition to staff cleaning activity.

Retail dining

  • TUC Food Court will provide dining options like Chick-fil-A, MainStreet Pizza and TUC Tacos. Qdoba is scheduled to open midway through the Fall Semester. Panda Express is slated to open in spring 2021.
  • Other retail locations that will be open this fall include: SSLC Subway, CCM Starbucks, Quick Mick’s, Langsam Starbucks, LCOB Starbucks, and Tim Hortons. Based on expected campus traffic, service at select college cafés will be paused for the upcoming semester.
  • All operations will be conducted in accordance with state and local guidelines.
  • Floor markings will guide flow and queueing for all customers.
  • Mobile ordering and payment platform will be in place for high-demand locations. Cincy to Go (the mobile ordering app) will be rolled out in the coming weeks for retail eateries. Where available, guests will be able to place and pay for orders via a mobile device and pick up at a designated time to minimize time spent waiting in lines. 
  • In-store seating will be limited.
  • Excess TUC food court seating will be relocated to Great Hall and TUC 400 in order to provide additional seating in support of food services and to offer students with a blended academic day of in-person and online classes with a place to go.
  • Catskeller will cease dine-in food and beverage operations, residential meal plan equivalency and the historic bar food offerings.
  • Seating will be available in a social distancing manner for TUC food court customers.
  • Victory Parkway Café will close in the short-term due to limited use as staff continue to work from home. 
  • UC Blue Ash and UC Clermont will continue to maintain grab-n-go food options.
  • All retail food locations plan to have facial coverings available for sale.

Catering

  • Services will be offered, although limited primarily to box lunches.
  • As demand is predicted to drop off dramatically, the catering kitchen will be utilized to augment production for the Mick and Mack’s residential program.

What to expect in isolation and quarantine

If isolating or quarantining on campus, a student will receive outreach from a member of the UC Housing team to assess the student's needs, situation and explain the process for temporary relocation.This will include

  • Students will be offered transportation to and from quarantine or isolation housing.
  • Students receive recommendations on what to bring with them to quarantine or isolation as relates to bedding, clothing, toiletries, schoolwork material, laptops, chargers, etc.
  • Information on meal options, via UC Food Services, as well a laundry service is reviewed.
  • This initial conversation is followed up with an email to the student containing their quarantine or isolation room assignment along with a listing of "what to bring" for their quarantine or isolation stay.
  • UC's Division of Student Affairs periodically calls students in UC quarantine and isolation and seeks to determine how those in quarantine and isolation are doing, how students might be staying active and engaged, physical activiites, in contact with family and friends, etc.
  • Resident education staff also provide UC quarantining and isolating students with their cell phone numbers to allow for immediate access and assistance.

Campus recreation center

UC’s Campus Recreation Center plans to reopen by August 24 following the mandated protocols required by the Ohio Health Department for reopening gym facilities as well as university health and safety restrictions. Until further notice, the Fitness Center at CARE/Crawley will remain closed.

Due to the restrictions on gyms, as mandated by the state, the CRC will have limited space available and will only be available to campus faculty, staff and students. Hours of operation will be adjusted to allow sufficient time for deep cleaning of the facility.

In order to best provide a safe environment, a reservation system will enable members to reserve time on the fitness floor or in the lap pool. Information on how to make a reservation will be available on the CRC website prior to opening.


Transportation

Bearcat transportation

  • UC shuttles will continue to operate, following CDC guidelines. While these guidelines do not restrict crowd sizes, we encourage people to socially distance to the extent possible when riding on shuttles.
  • Face coverings will be required on the shuttles.
  • Enhanced cleaning procedures have been established, with the shuttle drivers cleaning shuttles each hour, focusing on high-touch points
  • Shuttles will be deep cleaned every night.
  • Hand sanitizer dispensers have been installed on each shuttle.
  • Any changes to routes or schedules will be communicated via the DoubleMap app.

Alternative transportation options

  • Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to consider use if alternative transportation options In order to minimize risks, perhaps walking, cycling, scooters or the Metro bus system. Although not a formal part of the UC transportation program, additional information on those options is provided below.
  • Scooters – Bird and Lime scooters have temporarily halted service due to a lack of demand. Each indicates they will install more scooters when more people arrive on campus and demand picks up. These third-party operators have stated riders will be responsible for cleaning the scooters as well as individual hand washing or use of hand sanitizers after each use.
  • Metro – Metro buses are considered an essential service and are operating under normal schedules. As with our UC shuttles, Metro has indicated it will be following CDC guidelines. Additional information about Metro operations can be found online.
  • Zip Car – Zip Car will return to normal operation when students return. Additional information about the ZipCar program and its efforts related to safety and COVID-19 are on the company’s website.

Athletics

UC’s student-athlete population has returned to campus. Although football is the lone sport currently scheduled to compete, the Bearcats other 17 teams are engaged in practices, workouts and team activities in line with American Athletic Conference and NCAA guidelines.

The basketball season is tentatively slated to begin in late November. Three fall sports, cross country, women’s soccer and volleyball, will compete beginning in early 2021. It's currently anticipated that spring sports will follow their usual competition calendar.

Thus far, no fans have been permitted at athletics events beyond families of players and coaches along with members of the band and spirit squads. Further discussions on fan and student attendance are ongoing and decisions made based on guidance provided by Athletics medical staff, university administration, state and local authorities, the AAC and NCAA.