July 28, 2020

Updated Olin Ahead Employee FAQ

We will continue to update our FAQs as we proceed with planning for Fall 2020. Please check back regularly for new information.

Return to Campus

Q:  I have children at home and have no idea what their schedule will be or what care will be available. Exactly how am I supposed to work and in particular have uninterrupted meeting or class time? 
A: Great question. This struggle is truly real. In the absence of standard school and childcare options, we continue to recognize that no one’s lives are normal right now and many people are not operating at their full capacity at work. We must continue to have compassion for ourselves and each other. We know that everyone is doing as much as they can and we are appreciative.

Q: If there are going to be students on campus in the fall, will staff be expected to come back to campus?  
A: The presence of faculty and staff who are on campus should be limited to those whose work must be accomplished at Olin. This means that many employees will continue to work remotely, some employees will work a hybrid of remote and on campus as determined by their duties, and a small number of employees will work on campus daily. For those who must work on campus, they will be required to follow public health guidelines as recommended by the CDC and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. If you are unclear about whether you will need to come back to campus please check with your supervisor.  

Q. What if I don’t feel safe? What if I am worried about someone I live with, care for, or need to interact with on a regular basis? 
A. Employees who can perform their jobs remotely may opt to do so on a no questions asked basis. In fact, we are initially asking all who can reasonably work from home to do so in order to keep the on-campus population to the necessary minimum as we make the return to a residential campus.   

Q. How will I know  what I need to do to stay safe on campus?  Where do Massachusetts regulations fit in? 
A: The Campus Reopening Working Group has shared A Guide for Employees, which is a draft document that will be frequently updated in the coming weeks. It provides details of safety information. The information in the Guide is based on guidance from the CDC and Massachusetts.

Q: If staff or faculty come to campus will we need to be tested for COVID-19?  
A: Yes.  Please see the Health and Safety FAQ for more information. 

Q. Will I have to wear a mask on campus? Even if I stay 6 feet away from others? 
A. Yes. Please see the Health and Safety FAQ for more information.

Q. Who will provide my PPE? 
A. Many employees have already acquired multiple cloth masks with which they are comfortable, so they may continue using them if they wish. Olin will provide masks to employees who need them and will provide additional PPE to employees whose job responsibilities require it. Please see the Health and Safety FAQ for more information.

Q. Will I be able to use shared spaces such as conference rooms? Will these be cleaned between uses? 
A. Conference rooms may be used for small meetings where it is more appropriate to hold the meeting in person than on Zoom. A maximum occupancy will be designated for each conference room. Meetings in conference rooms should be limited to two hours and should be spaced at least one hour apart. While conference rooms will have a regular cleaning schedule, users will also be asked to wipe down the room when the meeting ends as a courtesy to the next users.

Q: I work in a shared office space; can that be changed?  
A:  For those who share offices, no more than one occupant should be working in the shared office on any given day. Please consult your supervisor regarding scheduling.

Q: I am not comfortable coming back to campus, but I’m worried about losing my job. What can I do?  
A: The presence of faculty and staff who are on campus should be limited to those whose work must be accomplished at Olin. This means that most employees are encouraged to continue to work remotely. No one should be afraid of losing their job.  

Q: What cleaning measures are being taken to prevent any virus spread at Olin?  
A: The College is conducting a thorough review of its facilities based on CDC and Department of Public Health recommendations. Measures such as changing/restricting traffic flow in buildings, increasing outside air flow, installing physical barriers (such as plexiglass), enhancing cleaning routines, and other initiatives may all be appropriate. The Campus Reopening Working Group in collaboration with relevant departments across campus will enact a procedure for enhanced cleaning, disinfection and other anti-virus measures.  

Q. How many people may I have in my office at one time? 
A. Most offices will be restricted to a maximum of two occupants at a time. Some larger offices will be allowed to have three; if this applies to your office, you will be notified. 

Teaching and Other Student Interactions

Q: I am a faculty member; can I do research in my lab? Can I involve students? 
A: Yes, you can certainly be in your space. Please observe safety and occupancy protocols. We will work with individual faculty to provide further guidance on occupancy and cleaning protocols for each of our unique spaces and uses.  

Q. What am I teaching this fall? 
A. Course offerings and staffing are nearly finalized for the fall. At this time, almost all faculty members should know what they are teaching for the fall.

Q. When am I teaching this fall? 
A. It is likely that the existing course blocks will be significantly reconfigured to accommodate cleaning schedules, different classroom use, appropriate time frames for altered pedagogy, etc.  Classes that will not have an in-person component will not be subject to the same classroom constraints as in past semesters. It may also be possible – or even desirable – to create additional all-college “free blocks” to enable different kinds of interactions and activities. 

Fall classes will begin on September 8, 2020 and end on December 14, 2020.

Spring classes will begin on January 28, 2021 and end on May 5, 2021.

All class schedules will be built around Eastern Standard Time.

Q. How am I teaching this fall? 
A. You should expect that you may have remote-participant students, either because some students will not (be able to) return to campus in the fall, or because students will be asked to stay away whenever they are at all symptomatic. You should expect that students must maintain physical distancing from one another, wear masks when in proximity, and can only share equipment that is sanitized between uses. The number of students in a classroom may be limited (likely to less than a “normal” class size). Shop and library access may also be limited. The Campus Reopening Working Group (CRWG) and the Academic Planning Working Group (APWG) may identify ways to relax some of these guidelines safely under some circumstances.  We recommend that you plan for the most extreme forms until that time. 

Q. May I teach online only? 
A. Yes.  

Q. How many students will be able to come to class at once? How close can they get to one another? To me? To the boards on the walls? To shared equipment? 
A. The Campus Reopening Working Group will be issuing guidelines for campus spaces. These are unlikely to permit contact closer than 6’ for most conversation-style interactions. 

Q. How will classrooms be cleaned between uses? 
A. The College is conducting a thorough review of its facilities based on CDC and Department of Public Health recommendations. Measures such as changing/restricting traffic flow in buildings, increasing outside air flow, installing physical barriers (such as plexiglass), enhancing cleaning routines, and other initiatives may all be appropriate. The Olin Ahead Coordinating Team (OACT) in collaboration with relevant departments across campus will enact a procedure for enhanced cleaning, disinfection and other anti-virus measures. 

Q. How will I be expected/allowed to interact with my advisees this year? How will I meet my new first-year advisees? 
A. StAR is currently preparing for all-remote advising. If you are on campus and able to meet with students in appropriate, physically distanced ways – following Olin’s public health guidelines – this is of course also permitted, but not required.

Q. How will I be expected/allowed to interact with my research students, course assistants, or other students? 
A. As with other student interactions, our baseline expectation is remote. If you are on campus and able to meet with students in appropriate, physically distanced ways – following Olin’s public health guidelines – this is of course also permitted, but not required. 

July 15, 2020

Olin Ahead Employee FAQ

We will continue to update our FAQs as we proceed with planning for Fall 2020. Please check back regularly for new information.  

Return to campus

(7/21) Q: I have children at home and have no idea what their schedule will be or what care will be available. Exactly how am I supposed to work and in particular have uninterrupted meeting or class time?
A: Great question. This struggle is truly real. In the absence of standard school and childcare options, we continue to recognize that no one’s lives are normal right now and many people are not operating at their full capacity at work. We must continue to have compassion for ourselves and each other. We know that everyone is doing as much as they can and we are appreciative.

Q: If there are going to be students on campus in the fall, will staff be expected to come back to campus? 
A: The presence of faculty and staff who are on campus should be limited to those whose work must be accomplished at Olin. This means that most employees will continue to work remotely, some employees will work a hybrid of remote and on campus as determined by their duties, and a small number of employees will work on campus daily. For those who must work on campus, they will be required to follow public health guidelines as recommended by the CDC and the Department of Public Health. If you are unclear about whether you will need to come back to campus please check with your supervisor. 

Q. What if I don’t feel safe? What if I am worried about someone I live with, care for, or need to interact with on a regular basis?
A. Employees who can perform their jobs remotely may opt to do so on a no questions asked basis. In fact, we are initially asking all who can reasonably work from home to do so in order to keep the on-campus population to the necessary minimum as we make the return to a residential campus.  

Q. How will I know what I need to do to stay safe on campus?  Where do Massachusetts regulations fit in?
A: In the coming weeks, the Campus Reopening Working Group will determine and communicate all necessary protocols to reduce the risk of virus transmission within the Olin Community. These protocols will meet the various federal, state and local public health requirements. 

Q: If staff come to campus will we need to be tested for COVID-19? 
A: Yes. We are participating in the Broad Institute’s Safe at School program.  More details are available in our (new) Health and Safety FAQ, and we will continue to share details of this program as we adapt it to rapidly evolving circumstances. 

Q. Will I have to wear a mask on campus? Even if I stay 6 feet away from others?
A. Staff will be required to wear PPE – for most individuals, cloth masks -- and to follow social distancing guidelines as established by the CDC, local and state boards of public health. We will publish a student-facing list of those guidelines in the Student Intent package on 21 July, and we expect to have an employee-facing version in a similar timeframe.  on Olin.edu within the next few weeks. In the meantime, answers to many of your health and safety questions – including initial information about our testing program -- may be found in our (new) Health and Safety FAQ

Q. Who will provide my PPE?
A. Many members of our community, especially those in the local area, have already acquired multiple cloth masks with which they are comfortable.  In those cases, we encourage individuals to continue using their own PPE.  For those who may not have, or have access to, adequate PPE, we will be collecting information to identify the best way for Olin to provide what you need to be safe on campus. 

Olin will continue to provide PPE for those – like the staff members who work in our dining hall – whose job responsibilities requires additional PPE.

Thank you for your feedback on this point, which has helped our approach to evolve. Please follow updates in our (new) Health and Safety FAQ.

Q. Will I be able to use shared spaces such as conference rooms? Will these be cleaned between uses?
A. Shared spaces will likely require reservations for use and adequate intervals for cleaning between uses. Where possible, employees are asked to hold meetings remotely so as to minimize physical contact.

Q: I work in a shared office space; can that be changed? 
A:  No one will be expected to work in an environment in which they feel unsafe. If you have a concern about your working environment, please contact your supervisor.  

Q: I am not comfortable coming back to campus, but I’m worried about losing my job. What can I do? 
A: The presence of faculty and staff who are on campus should be limited to those whose work must be accomplished at Olin. This means that most employees are encouraged to continue to work remotely. No one should be afraid of losing their job. 

Q: What cleaning measures are being taken to prevent any virus spread at Olin? 
A: The College is conducting a thorough review of its facilities against CDC and Department of Public Health recommendations. Measures such as changing/restricting traffic flow in buildings, increasing outside air flow, installing physical barriers (such as plexiglass), enhancing cleaning routines, and other initiatives may all be appropriate. The Campus Reopening Working Group in collaboration with relevant departments across campus will enact a procedure for enhanced cleaning, disinfection and other anti-virus measures.  

Q. How many people may I have in my office at one time?
A. The Campus Reopening Working Group will be issuing guidelines for campus spaces. These are unlikely to permit contact closer than 6’ for most conversation-style interactions.

Teaching and Other Student Interactions

NEW (7/21) Q: I am a faculty member; can I do research in my lab? Can I involve students?
A: Yes, you can certainly be in your space. Please observe safety and occupancy protocols. We will work with individual faculty to provide further guidance on occupancy and cleaning protocols for each of our unique spaces and uses. 

Q. What am I teaching this fall?
A. Course offerings and staffing are nearly finalized for the fall. At this time, almost all faculty members should know what they are teaching for the fall.

Q. When am I teaching this fall?
A. It is likely that the existing course blocks will be significantly reconfigured to accommodate cleaning schedules, different classroom use, appropriate time frames for altered pedagogy, etc.  Classes that will not have an in-person component will not be subject to the same classroom constraints as in past semesters. It may also be possible – or even desirable – to create additional all-college “free blocks” to enable different kinds of interactions and activities.

Fall classes will begin on September 8, 2020 and end on December 14, 2020. 

Spring classes will begin on January 28, 2021 and end on May 5, 2021.

All class schedules will be built around Eastern Standard Time.  

Q. How am I teaching this fall?
A. You should expect that you may have remote-participant students, either because some students will not (be able to) return to campus in the fall, or because students will be asked to stay away whenever they are at all symptomatic. You should expect that students must maintain physical distancing from one another, wear masks when in proximity, and can only share equipment that is sanitized between uses. The number of students in a classroom may be limited (likely to less than a “normal” class size). Shop and library access may also be limited. The Campus Reopening Working Group (CRWG) and the Academic Planning Working Group (APWG) may identify ways to relax some of these guidelines safely under some circumstances.  We recommend that you plan for the most extreme forms until that time.

Q. May I teach online only?
A. Yes. 

Q. How many students will be able to come to class at once? How close can they get to one another? To me? To the boards on the walls? To shared equipment?
A. The Campus Reopening Working Group will be issuing guidelines for campus spaces. These are unlikely to permit contact closer than 6’ for most conversation-style interactions. 

Q. How will classrooms be cleaned between uses?
A. The College is conducting a thorough review of its facilities against CDC and Department of Public Health recommendations. Measures such as changing/restricting traffic flow in buildings, increasing outside air flow, installing physical barriers (such as plexiglass), enhancing cleaning routines, and other initiatives may all be appropriate. The Olin Ahead Coordinating Team (OACT) in collaboration with relevant departments across campus will enact a procedure for enhanced cleaning, disinfection and other anti-virus measures.

Q. How will I be expected/allowed to interact with my advisees this year? How will I meet my new first-year advisees?
A. StAR is currently preparing for all-remote advising. If you are on campus and able to meet with students in appropriate, physically distanced ways – following Olin’s public health guidelines – this is of course also permitted, but not required.

Q. How will I be expected/allowed to interact with my research students, course assistants, or other students?
A. As with other student interactions, our baseline expectation is remote. If you are on campus and able to meet with students in appropriate, physically distanced ways – following Olin’s public health guidelines – this is of course also permitted, but not required.