October 1, 2020
Provost Richard Locke, Executive VP for Finance Barbara Chernow, VP for Campus Life & Student Services Eric Estes

To Brown Students, Faculty and Staff: Preparing for Hybrid Instruction - Accessing Space as of Oct. 5

Updates

Members of the Brown Community,

We look forward to Monday, October 5, when, in addition to resumed research and some in-person graduate courses, there will be in-person undergraduate classes of 19 students or less taking place on campus. We have all worked hard to get to this point, bringing students, faculty and staff back to campus gradually and thoughtfully, following public health guidelines, and taking steps to ensure a safe and secure learning environment.

As a result of the substantial efforts made over the last few months, we write to let you know what to expect as campus transitions from primarily remote instruction to more in-person teaching and learning. There will be more people on campus, including in classrooms, libraries, the bookstore and mail room, on shuttles and in tents and outdoors spaces. To be successful will require adhering to strict public health protocols, including wearing masks, distancing, and attending to personal hygiene and proper care of common spaces. While staffing will be in place to encourage and reinforce healthy behavior, members of the campus community can contribute to this effort by modeling best practices and encouraging them in others when necessary. Concerns about behavior in violation of the Campus Safety Policy can also be reported anonymously.

What follows is detailed information to guide this transition to more in-person activity, including:

--Actions taken to prepare for in-person instruction;
--Protocols for accessing buildings for classes and study space;
--Opportunities for use of some less-formal spaces.

In addition to closely reviewing this message, we encourage you to review the Healthy Brown website and download the Brown App for up-to-date information and resources.

PREPARING FOR HYBRID COURSES & INCREASED CAMPUS POPULATION

De-densifying Campus:
Over the course of the late spring and summer, employees across the University have been preparing the campus for the resumption of residential teaching and learning. Even as we welcome many students, staff and faculty back to campus, we have remained attentive to de-densifying campus, requiring those able to work remotely to continue to do so through the calendar year. Departments have created Return to Campus plans to inform who can be on campus, the frequency of visits and levels of interactions with others. This information has guided important efforts such as the covid-19 testing program.

Testing, Tracing, Education:
In addition to comprehensive covid-19 testing and contact tracing programs, the University has launched a public health campaign to promote awareness of health protocols, policies and expectations. This has included extensive signage located across campus. Community members are expected to comply with protocols to prevent the spread of covid-19 within the Brown and Providence communities.

Preparing Facilities & Grounds:
Facilities Management has provided deep cleaning of buildings, enhanced ventilation systems, installed many upgrades and touchless technology in restrooms and other spaces, distributed hand sanitizer dispensers and DIY (“do it yourself”) wipes, and deployed comprehensive signage to reinforce the campus safety policies.

Classrooms designated for instruction have been equipped with technology for remote learning, and configured for de-densified in-person instruction.

Campus greens have been outfitted with tents, additional furniture and social distancing markings, and dining services has prepared for grab-and-go service.

As a result of these efforts and more, we are now prepared to move forward with planned hybrid courses and some in-person teaching, learning and informal interactions.

ACCESS AND USE OF CLASSROOM BUILDINGS

Classroom Buildings:
Classes are scheduled to take place in more than 50 buildings across campus. Most of these facilities are equipped with card access technology. Buildings with scheduled classes will be open during class periods using card access. This means that faculty, students and staff approved to be on campus will be required to use their Brown ID to access these spaces.

Please note that classes have been arranged with furniture and technology specific to instructional needs, and we are urging that furniture and technology remain in place and intact. Further, courses have been arranged to promote safe access and egress, and to avoid crowding in hallways and doorways, we ask that classes not begin early or end late.

Departmental Spaces:
While most classes are assigned through the Registrar in spaces across campus, some are managed by academic departments within departmental buildings. In these instances, departments will determine hours of operation, using either card access or, in the case of key access, ensuring proper staffing while buildings are open. Departments will communicate directly with students, faculty and staff assigned to those spaces about access protocols.

RESERVING INTERIOR COMMON SPACE FOR INDIVIDUAL OR GROUP STUDY OR INFORMAL INTERACTIONS

Study Spaces:
Moving forward, there will be additional study space on campus available by reservation. Graduate and medical students have been able to reserve study space in the Library since Sept. 16, and as of Oct. 5, undergraduate students will be able to reserve study space in the Library. (Please see this link for additional information)

In addition, during a pilot phase, the main hall of Sayles Hall will be available to students to reserve for study space during weekdays, evenings and on weekends. Sayles will be outfitted with appropriate furnishings, signage, DIY cleaning wipes and hand sanitizer, and there will be staffing to ensure occupancy limits and other protocols are followed. If successful, additional spaces will be made available for reservable study space. Please visit libcal.brown.edu to reserve study space in Sayles Hall.

Reservable Informal Spaces: 
Space will also be provided during this pilot phase for limited informal gatherings and meetings of students. We hope that this space will provide another place to meet with friends or classmates for informal conversation and community building. As a reminder, all student organization events, activities, and meetings should remain virtual. During the pilot phase, students may reserve spaces in the following buildings on weekdays, evenings and on weekends, under the same conditions noted above:

--Alumnae Hall Auditorium, Pembroke Campus
--Stephen Robert ’62 Campus Center, Kasper Auditorium, Main Campus

Please visit libcal.brown.edu to reserve time in the informal spaces. Again, if safe use of these spaces is successful, additional space will be allocated for informal use following the pilot phase.

UNSCHEDULED SPACE OPTIONS

Campus Greens and Tents:
In addition to campus greens and outdoor spaces that have been equipped with furniture, the University has installed tents to offer flexible space for members of the Brown community to access. The following tents are available daily, and call for the same adherence to healthy behaviors.

--Pembroke Field Tent (shared with the Wheeler School)
--Pembroke Green Tent
--Simmons Quad Tent

SIGNAGE AND STAFFING

For all of the spaces noted above (classroom, study and informal spaces)  the University is devoting careful attention to signage to remind members of the community approved to be on campus of room occupancy limits; the importance of social distancing, hand-washing, and wearing masks when indoors or when distancing outdoors is difficult; restrictions on eating or drinking; and clean-in/clean-out requirements. All members of the community have a responsibility to adhere to these protocols, practice them individually, and politely remind others to do so to protect the health and safety of the campus and our neighbors in Providence.

Teams of student and staff employees will collaborate to monitor spaces and promote overall compliance. This will include Campus Space Coordinators working closely with staff team leaders who will be responsible for designated campus zones, and supported by Healthy Ambassadors and others. This structure will minimize the number of people required to be on campus while advancing health and safety.

While we are enthusiastic about moving forward, many restrictions remain in place to promote overall health and wellness. Please visit the COVID-19 Campus Activity Status page of the Healthy Brown website for updates, including reminders about limitations on visitors, travel, and social gatherings. (https://healthy.brown.edu/campus-activity-levels) While we look forward to easing these constraints very soon, we’re not yet there.

We are deeply grateful to everyone who has contributed to the planning, preparation and progress that is permitting the University to move to this important milestone. We will continue to rely on the collaboration, cooperation and generosity of spirit that has defined our community over the last several months.

Sincerely,

Richard M. Locke, Provost

Barbara Chernow, Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration

Eric Estes, Vice President for Campus Life and Student Services