UM-Flint Cancels Nearly All Programming. Here’s What That Includes and What Remains Open:

COVID-19%27s+quick+spread+and+deadly+nature+is+causing+panic+across+the+world+but+the+numbers+are+starting+to+show+a+slow+down+in+cases.+

Courtesy of The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

COVID-19's quick spread and deadly nature is causing panic across the world but the numbers are starting to show a slow down in cases.

Sara Alouh, Writer

UM-Flint is taking precautions in reaction to 16 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Michigan, canceling most events scheduled to take place until the end of the winter 2020 semester in late April. 

In an email to campus, Chancellor Debasish Dutta announced that classes are “not meeting in person – through April 17, the last day of classes this semester.” For UM-Flint students, this means all classes will be transitioned online but many questions remain about the disruptions this transition may cause. 

Classes were canceled yesterday and today, Friday, March 13. Starting Monday, March 16, online-only classes will remain in place until the last day of classes, April 17. All finals will also be held online. 

“Gathering in large groups is not recommended – and this includes gathering socially,” said University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel in an announcement made on March 13. “Reducing the density of people in physical spaces will help to prevent the spread of disease not just within our community but for society at large.”

Students are not prohibited from coming on campus currently, and many services remain available. For students who live on campus, the residence halls will remain open but students are being encouraged to “move home as soon as possible.” 

Food services will also remain open, but with modified business hours. The Frances Wilson Thompson Library is also staying open and maintaining their regular hours. The Wolverine Food Den, though no longer being operated by students, will stay open. Staff within the Student Involvement and Leadership department will be present to let in those who need access to the pantry. 

Commencement ceremonies are canceled for all University of Michigan students. However, UM-Flint is tentatively rescheduling the ceremony to Sunday, Aug. 16. More information will be provided as the date draws nearer. 

All events with 100 or more people in attendance are canceled, as are most other events that are happening on campus. According to Michigan Athletics, the university has canceled “all athletic activities, including practices, effective immediately, until further notice.”

Study abroad trips scheduled for the spring 2020 semester are canceled. All study abroad programs that start July 1 or later are still under consideration, with no decision made yet on whether or not to continue with them. 

In an effort to mitigate the damage these delays and cancelations will bring to the UM-Flint community, the university “has established a one-time paid time off bank related to the pandemic.” Full-time employees of U of M are eligible for up to 80 hours of paid time off that can be used in situations related to COVID-19. Accommodations for part-time and temporary employees, including student employees, have also been made. 

“We will get through this. We [will] continue to work together, come together and support each other, come together as a community. We’ll get through it and learn from it and hopefully we will be better for it,” said Christopher Giordano, PhD, vice chancellor of student affairs. 

For more information, contact the Office of the Dean of Students or visit UM-Flint’s COVID-19 update site.