August 13, 2020

Dear Fellow 'Cane

With classes starting in just a few days, we want to take this opportunity to share with you some insights on what to expect and how to make the most of your fall semester.

Whether this is the start of your time as a University of Miami student, you are returning to finish your final year on campus, or you are attending your classes remotely, remember you are a Miami Hurricane and you have our support.

Public health guidelines

There is no escaping the many new expectations that have been placed on all of us that will re-shape how we collectively learn, live, and work on campus. Know that these guidelines are based on sound science and will help to slow the spread of COVID-19.

It is important to remember that all University of Miami students must abide by such guidelines and policies—whether residing on or off campus. We are confident in your ability to make responsible decisions, but please know that we will enforce a zero-tolerance policy for any type of behavior that puts the safety of our community at risk.

  • Continue to wear a face covering whenever you are in public, maintain physical distancing from others, and frequently wash your hands
  • If you haven’t already, complete the We Are One U: COVID-19 Safety Principles module. This is required of all students, staff, and faculty as we are all members of the same community.
  • Each day you are on campus, complete the daily symptom checker via the University of Miami mobile app or a web browser.
  • All students pursuing their academics on the Coral Gables or Marine campuses are required to test negative for COVID-19 prior to attending class. More information is available on our COVID-19 website.
  • Like many of you, we are especially concerned about the potential for “super spreading” events that may take place off campus (house parties, large gatherings at restaurants, or other activities that bring many students close together). Simply put, these types of events cannot happen, and this behavior can cause an abrupt end to our on-campus experience for everyone for the entire semester.
  • Any student who witnesses an unsafe situation is encouraged to submit a report—anonymously if you wish—to our ’Canes Care for ’Canes team.
  • Be on the lookout for our Public Health Ambassadors who will be located around campus from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily to provide you with peer-to-peer education and resources.

Your health and well-being

With this semester bringing many new experiences and potential areas of stress into your life, maintaining your mental and physical well-being will be paramount. Take the time now to familiarize yourself with some of our services and resources that are available to you.

  • The Student Health Service is prepared to continue serving as your initial point of care through primarily telehealth appointments.
  • The Counseling Center has made necessary modifications to continue serving students via telehealth and other methods of outreach.
  • The Patti and Allan Herbert Wellness Center is open and has followed, if not exceeded, local guidelines for the safe operation of a workout/recreational facility.

Student support

Whether attending classes face-to-face, via our hybrid protected model, or fully remote, continue to communicate with your professors and connect with your classmates to make the most of your University of Miami education.

  • Reach out to your professors or academic advisors if you’re having trouble navigating our new course modalities.
  • The Camner Center for Academic Services will continue to provide its range of tutoring and other services via online methods.
  • If you live on campus, reach out to your resident or community assistant, first-year fellows, or live-in faculty and staff.
  • Non-residential commuter and transfer students should stay connected to their commuter assistant or transfer assistant for help.
  • Students taking classes remotely will be connected to a remote assistant to keep you engaged with our ’Canes community.
  • ’Canes Central can address your questions and concerns related to financial aid, student accounts, and academic records.
  • The newly opened Student Services Building will bring together ’Canes Central, the Camner Center for Academic Resources, and the Counseling Center in one facility located behind the Lowe Art Building.
  • The University and academic ombudspersons can provide you with assistance when facing a difficult situation or if you need advice navigating the University.

Campus life

In addition to changes in how you’ll be attending your classes and accessing campus services, please be prepared and remain flexible for changes to life on campus in general.

  • Indoor events and meetings are canceled until at least Nov. 1, but you can look forward to numerous outdoor events and online programming provided by many familiar campus departments and student organizations
  • We made modifications to the dining halls and food court, libraries, and other campus spaces so these facilities can remain open to serve you.
  • We are thrilled to open the transformational Lakeside Village this semester, which will provide a multitude of new outdoor programming spaces for the campus community.

Now more than ever, it is important to remember our 'Canes Care for 'Canes philosophy. Don’t let physical distancing get in the way of social connections. By working together and supporting one another, we will overcome this challenging time together.

Patricia A. Whitely
Vice President for Student Affairs
Jeffrey L. Duerk
Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost