Student Services During the Fall Semester
Thursday, August 06, 2020
The fall semester at UTEP is quickly approaching and, like every fall, we are preparing for an exciting and impactful year of learning, research, and student involvement. For the past several months, faculty, staff, and many of your fellow students have been working hard to prepare the campus for a COVID-19 reality. We’ve been cleaning and disinfecting campus facilities, installing updated signage, rearranging classrooms and common areas to enable social distancing, and training teams on how to ensure your safety and success during the semester. Whether you will be physically on campus or taking your courses remotely online, your health and safety is our highest priority. We wanted to take a moment to share what you may see and experience this fall semester.
Required COVID-19 Student Training Video
All students, regardless of where you are taking classes, are asked to watch a COVID-19 informational and training video no later than Aug. 19, 2020. Students can access the 6-minute training video at covidtraining.questionpro.com.
Face Coverings Required On Campus
Face coverings (cloth face covering, surgical mask, etc.) that cover your mouth and nose must be worn by all individuals (faculty, staff, students, and visitors) while on campus in the following areas:
- Indoor public areas on campus even if you are alone. This includes all non-private office or residential spaces, such as: lobbies, restrooms, classrooms, teaching and research laboratories, common spaces in residence halls, conference rooms, and break rooms.
- Outdoor spaces where it is difficult to maintain at least six feet of social distancing.
Students unable to wear a face covering for health-related reasons must request an accommodation from the Center for Accommodations and Support Services.
A number of campus facilities will be open and operational during the fall semester.
Library – The Library will continue to provide access to study space, computers, and library resources. Entrance to the building requires a valid UTEP ID and a face covering. To meet health guidelines, only the second and third floors of the Library will be open, including the CLC computer lab and study areas located on those floors. You can check out books by submitting your request here. The Special Collections Department and microfilm collections are open by appointment only. Interlibrary loans continue to accept requests for digital items. Library services such as research assistance and library/information literacy instruction are available both online and in-person. The Library will be open:
Monday – Thursday 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Friday 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Union Building – The Union Building East will be open beginning Aug. 17, 2020. Common areas both inside and outside the building will be available for students to study or access Wi-Fi. The Cyber Café will remain closed until further notice. Please visit www.utep.edu/union for hours of operation.
El Paso Natural Gas Conference Center – The EPNGCC and Chick-Fil-A will be open beginning Aug. 24, 2020. Students may access the EPNGCC as a place to study or access Wi-Fi. Please visit www.utep.edu/union for hours of operation.
Recreational Sports Department – Students will be able to access the Student Recreation Center to utilize the cardio theater, free weight area, basketball courts, racquetball courts and the multi-activity court starting Sept. 1, 2020. Hours of operation will be Monday – Friday from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Staff will monitor access to the facility to control maximum capacity regulations recommended by local health officials. Students are encouraged to reserve a timeslot ahead of time by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org from your UTEP email account or by calling 915-747-5103. Please include first and last name and the date and time that you would like to visit for a workout. Virtual fitness programs will continue to be available online in addition to the equipment checkout program, where students can borrow such items as bicycles, tents, kayaks, and fitness and aquatic equipment. We hope to be able to open the swimming facilities sometime during the fall semester if public health guidelines permit it and if we can ensure student well-being and compliance with all safety protocols.
Housing and Residence Life – Safety measures are in place for students residing on campus, including enhanced cleaning of high-traffic/high-touch areas, assigning students to private bedrooms, and the reconfiguration of common spaces and computer labs to promote social distancing. Students interested in residing on campus can email email@example.com or call 915-747-5352 for more information.
Campus Dining and Vending – Chick-Fil-A (EPNGCC) and Texas Western Café (Library) will open on Aug. 24, 2020. Visit utepdining.sodexomyway.com for hours of operation. Vending machines will also be available in various campus buildings. Additional on-campus dining venues will open based on need and customer demand.
Bookstore – In-store access will be available beginning Aug. 10, 2020. Students can continue to shop online at utepbookstore.com. Web orders will have an additional option for in-store pickup.
Print Shop (Hertzog Building) – Counter services will be in place on the first day of school.
Post Office (Union Building East) – Counter services will be in place on the first day of school.
Student Health and Wellness Center – The center is available for students both virtually and in-person this fall. Services include general medical care as well as wellness exams, including STD testing and nutrition education counseling. The center also provides routine immunizations and TB testing required by many educational programs at UTEP. Services are provided by appointment only.
Childcare Center – The YWCA Early Learning Academy will reopen on Aug. 24, 2020. Students needing childcare services should contact the YWCA for enrollment information. To reserve a space, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 915-747-6000.
Technology Support, Study Spaces, and Wi-Fi on-campus
Technology Support will be available for all students studying remotely or taking classes on campus. Students may contact Technology Support for laptop repair, academic software needs or to set up personal computers to print documents utilizing campus printers. Laptops and Wi-Fi hotspots are also available for checkout. Students should contact Technology Support when help is needed with Blackboard or the online proctoring software. For more information on Technology Support resources available to all students, please visit Learning Remotely.
Lounges, lobbies, and common areas for studying have been reconfigured to support social distancing. Students are encouraged to take advantage of outdoor venues where Wi-Fi has been expanded and enhanced. These venues include:
- Centennial Plaza
- Engineering breezeway
- Interdisciplinary Research Building patio
- Fox Fine Arts 2nd floor breezeway
UTEP Food Pantry – Students may access the food pantry located in Memorial Gym with their Miner Gold Card. The pantry offers support and assistance to UTEP students who are dealing with food insecurity.
Miner Metro – UTEP has reduced parking fees for the 2020-21 academic year. To do this, we had to reduce the Miner Metro Shuttle Service. The shuttles will be reduced to one route that will travel to and from Miner Canyon student housing only. All other routes will be out of service. For additional information, visit www.utep.edu/parking-and-transportation or call 915-747-5724.
Although things may look different this fall, staff have been busy planning a variety of activities and events for the fall semester.
Minerpalooza 2020 – UTEP’s biggest back-to-school celebration is going virtual for our 30th annual celebration in a way the campus has never experienced! We want to celebrate with YOU and our entire community. With new, first-of-its-kind elements, we’re gearing up to bring you an event that will bring the Miner Nation together for one special evening. We're creating a completely virtual event to ensure that we can celebrate a new school year in a safe environment. So, save the date for Friday, Sept. 4, 2020.
On-Campus Employment and Career Exploration – Programs and services such as career advising, résumé and cover letter review, career planning tools, and access to JobMine, UTEP’s online job database, continue to be available to students through the University Career Center. Students are also encouraged to participate in several upcoming events including:
- Work@UTEP Virtual Job Fair – Working on the UTEP campus is a great way for students to gain meaningful work experience that can enhance their résumés. Students are encouraged to learn about the on-campus jobs available at UTEP this fall, including remote work options, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Sept. 2, 2020.
- Career Expo – The largest career fair held at UTEP will be virtual this year, enabling all students to access the experience from anywhere. The expo attracts over 100 national, regional, and local employers.
Resources and support continue to be available for students, including:
CARES Act Funding – Over $6 million in student support grants will be available to eligible students this fall semester. For additional information, go to www.utep.edu/utepcares.
Counseling and Psychological Services – Staff continue to provide counseling services to students, including Therapy Assistance Online (TAO) , where you can get self-care guidance on stress management and mindfulness during this difficult time. On-call counselors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling 915-747-5302.
Center for Accommodations and Support Services (CASS) – Students can request accommodations 24 hours a day/7 days a week by logging into the Accessible Information Management (AIM) system by using their UTEP credentials at cassportal.utep.edu. Start the process by completing a simple three-question application, and a CASS staff member will coordinate a virtual appointment to discuss your case and develop a plan to determine which accommodations will help you be successful at UTEP.
A final note on the fall semester: In many ways, UTEP is like a family. We rely on each other for support and guidance through good times and bad. We care about each other. Each of us has a responsibility to ourselves and each other to stay safe and follow health guidelines. For those of you coming to campus for classes, you’ll need to wear a mask and maintain at least a 6-foot separation from classmates and University personnel. In addition to enhanced institutional cleaning protocols, sanitizing materials will be provided in your classrooms. You’ll be asked to wipe down your desk and work areas. All of us working together will help minimize the risk of coronavirus spread. Miners take care of Miners!
Everyone at UTEP wishes you the very best this fall semester. We are so proud of your grit, resilience, and determination. Continuing your education is important, and we want to do everything possible to support your success. Stay tuned for additional services that will be announced throughout the semester.
Stay safe and Miner strong!