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UMS COVID-19 March 18 update: spring break extension, room and board rebates, work-study student compensation


On Wednesday, March 18, the University of Maine System released updated information on room and board rebates for residential students, pay for federal work-study students, the transition of employees to remote work and an extension to spring break.

While classes were originally scheduled to resume on Monday, March 23, the University of Maine System announced that they would be extending spring break by two days to promote additional preparation for the student and faculty transition to remote learning through online classes. Classes will now resume online on Wednesday, March 25. The only school within the University of Maine System to be exempt from this extension is the University of Maine School of Law, which will resume classes as originally scheduled on Monday, March 23.

The University of Maine System hopes this extension will allow faculty and staff additional time to adjust to the upheaval and disruptions that have resulted from the coronavirus pandemic. The extension will have no effect on the rest of the semester calendar. A University of Maine System decision on commencement ceremonies is expected by April 15.

According to the University of Maine System press release, “Approximately 90% of the University of Maine System’s 5,800 residential students will have moved out of their residence hall rooms by the end of spring break.”

With many students being forced to vacate their on-campus residence as part of the effort to limit campus occupancy following spring break travel, students are being encouraged to contact their residence or student life office to complete proper residence checkout. Proper competition of the checkout process is all that is required for students to receive a room and board adjustment and refund for displaced students. These rebates will be posted to the students’ existing accounts as either reductions or refunds to their existing balances.

The University of Maine System projects the room and board adjustments to be completed by March 31, 2020.

As the restrictions of on-campus employment increase, many work-study employees, staff and faculty have been waiting for instruction from the university.

Starting Thursday, March 19, all university employees who are able to work remotely have been asked to begin working away from campus. Both employees who continue to work on campus and those who shift to remote employment are asked to work closely with their supervisors to establish arrangements and expectations.

Federal work-study students who have worked in the last six weeks and are unable to work through remote arrangements will be continued to be paid by the University of Maine System. More details on the limitations of the payment plan and how work-study students can establish a direct deposit can be found on the university’s public health advisory page.

In addition to these changes, in an attempt to minimize the spread and effect of the coronavirus, the University of Maine System will be prohibiting gatherings of 10 or more people and banning all university-sponsored domestic travel. There will be occasional and limited exceptions for in-state travel.

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