March 20, 2020 UM Student Weekly


UM Student Weekly - Campus News You Can Use

A picture of Abbigail Belcher

Dear UM Students,

As your ASUM president, I wanted to provide you with an update on the top COVID-19-related topics impacting students at the University of Montana. It is important that we all stay as informed as possible as we face this challenging outbreak.

  • Student employment — We encourage students to discuss options for telework with your on-campus supervisor. If that is not a possibility, there are employment opportunities available in the Missoula through Handshake. While the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education has placed a temporary moratorium on the hiring of any new staff on campus — including students — there are still employment opportunities in our broader community. If you have questions about navigating that process, please contact the Office of Experiential Learning and Career Success. If you are facing additional hardship, please contact the Office of the Vice Provost for Student Success at 406-243-5225.
  • Due to the newest guidelines published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ASUM Services are now available by appointment only. Students who may be facing issues with housing are encouraged to contact the Renter Center or ASUM Legal for help.
  • We have food bags available outside the UM Food Pantry for your use.
  • We continue to closely monitor the childcare situation and will let students and parents know as soon as there is a change. We are sorry for the inconvenience this has caused.
  • ASUM Transportation is still operational. We are boarding all ASUM transportation vehicles via back doors to limit contact with the driver, and are limiting the loads on each vehicle to allow for increased social distance. 
  • Social distancing, after handwashing, is by far the best way to protect yourself from COVID-19 and help stop the spread of the coronavirus. Even if you are young, or otherwise healthy, you are at risk and your activities can increase the risk for others. It is critical that you do your part to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
    • You should work or engage from schooling from home whenever possible.
    • Avoid social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people.
    • Avoid eating or drinking at bars, restaurants and food courts — use drive-throughs, pick-up or delivery options.
    • Avoid discretionary travel, shopping trips and social visits.
    • Do not visit nursing homes or retirement or long-term care facilities unless to provide critical assistance.

Your student government is here for you. If you have any student concerns related to COVID-19, email

We also have created a list of FAQs for you.

We’ve got this, Griz. Let’s take care of one another.

Abbigail Belcher
ASUM President

To Our UM Residential Students:

As you have read in previous campus updates, while the residence halls remain open to those who need to stay, to protect the health and safety of all students we are asking students not to return to campus unless they have nowhere else to go. Please read this email in its entirety as it will answer many of your questions and understand our staffing and services may be limited.

Students Not Returning to Campus

In order to maintain social distancing and cleaning procedures in the halls, we ask students not returning to the residence halls who wish to come pick up their things to sign up for a time slot over the next week to do so. Once that time has passed we will communicate with anyone remaining in the halls regarding coordinating move outs between then and the end of the semester.

Move-Out Instructions

To sign up for a checkout time during the week of March 20-28

  • Log into your myHousingPortal (
  • Select the Spring 2020 Check Out Sign Up option from either the grey menu bar or the menu icon.
  • Select a time from the available slots in the calendar.
  • Once you select a time, confirmation will show on your screen and you will also receive a confirmation email with your timeslot details and checkout instructions.

Carts will be available in the lobbies for your use. Please follow any posted instructions and return carts to the same lobby when you are complete. Students do not need to interact with staff to check out. Simply get an express check-out envelope from outside your area desk, fill it out, put your mailbox key and access card (not Griz Card) in the envelope, and place it in the Express Checkout Drop Box on the office door.

Please practice social distancing whenever possible during the move-out process. Do not congregate at the desk or in hallways. Also due to limited space in the hallways and rooms, please limit the number of people helping you move your belongings out to one person.


At this time refund decisions will be made by the Montana University System Office for the Commissioner of Higher Education. We will communicate any updates on changes to that policy, but University officials do not have additional information at this time. At this time we are not authorized to process refunds.


Please note we have limited storage available on campus and will work to make other arrangements. If you need to discuss storage, call 406-243-2611. Students with items currently in storage should call that number. We will grant you access to your storage unit as quickly as possible, but please be patient with our response time.

In addition to on campus storage, Eagle Self Storage in Missoula is offering one month free storage rental of a 5x10 unit to the first 40 to 50 individuals. This offer is only for UM college students with valid ID. The special starts now and runs until April 30. On May 1 normal rental prices will begin again. If you are interested, call Eagle Self Storage at 406-251-8600 or visit

Students Choosing to Remain on Campus

While we strongly recommend students do not return to the residence halls, we do understand that is not realistic for some students, and we will do our best to support you. These are some of the operational adjustments you can expect. Further adjustments will likely be made when we know how many students will remain in the halls.  

Residence Hall Staffing 

Area coordinators and area desk administrators will still be working and available via phone or email. Area coordinators also are able to meet students via Zoom. Most resident assistants will still be engaging with residents, though they may not be present on every floor. Your area coordinator will update you on the staffing in your building next week.

Desk Operations

Area Desks will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekends. We only will provide services for packages and lockouts. Other services will not be provided, including checking out equipment, games and kitchen supplies. If you need assistance outside of these services, call the duty phone (follow this link for your Area Desk and Duty phone numbers) before visiting the desk as we are trying to limit the foot traffic at the desks. If you have maintenance issue work orders, those should be entered online through the myHousingPortal. If you have an emergency maintenance issue, call the duty phone.

Staff On Call

Outside of these hours, staff will be able to respond to the duty phone for emergencies but we will not be able to issue packages. During this time, it is imperative that everyone take responsibility for their mailbox key and access card to lessen the number of lockouts. This is for the health and safety of you and of our staff.

What to do if you feel sick?

IMPORTANT: If you develop fever, cough and/or difficulty breathing or have been in close contact with someone who has had a positive test for COVID-19, call CHC 406-243-4330 to discuss your illness and plan for how we will see you at our clinic. Curry Health Center now offers a cold and cough clinic. Please use the west entrance to access this clinic.

If you are sick, do not knock on your RA’s door or visit the Area Desk. You should try to stay in your room and contact Curry for further instructions. Report all illnesses to UM Housing online.

Student Conduct Reminder

All students are expected to follow the Student Conduct Code, and residential students must comply with the policies outlined in the Residence Hall Handbook. If a resident is causing a serious disruption or posing a risk to the health and safety of the residential learning environment, they may be asked to move out of the residential facilities immediately.  


The guest policy is being suspended during this time frame. Until further notice, residents may not have guests or visitors in their residential areas, including personal space and community spaces such as lounges. We are defining guests as any persons not approved to live in a specific building (i.e. students who live in one building may not visit another building). Further, we are encouraging residents to limit entering personal spaces of other approved residents and implement suggested practices of self-hygiene and social distancing in common spaces.

In case of emergencies

Please call UM Police at 406-243-4000 or call 911.

Thank you for your patience and flexibility in this unprecedented time. We care about the health and safety of our residents and staff and are working hard to support everyone as we respond to an evolving situation.

UM Housing

Get Ready for Social-Distance Dining

In order to create social distance for on campus dining, all self-service dining options at UM have been suspended. The Food Zoo will reopen at 5 p.m. Sunday, March 22, with entry limited to the north doors. Only to-go meals will be offered. The Food Zoo dining room will not be open for guests to stay and eat, and all patrons will need to leave the dining room as soon as they have obtained their carry-out meal. Campus Dining has discontinued allowing personal water bottles or coffee mugs for safety. Campus Dining will modify its hours to non-continuous service, but will allow students who have the “Food Zoo Exclusive” meal plan to change to the “All Campus Meal Plan,” which gives access to use their plan at the Market in the UC.

Hours of operation for dining effective Monday, March 23, are: 

  • Food Zoo –  Breakfast: 7-9 a.m.;  Lunch: 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.;  Dinner: 5-7 p.m.; seven days per week (no weekend brunch)
  • The Market – 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Saturday; Sundays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Jus Chill’n –  8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday-Friday
  • All other Campus Dining operations are temporarily closed. 

Updated Info for Accessing Offices 

Going forward, UM Housing and the Griz Card Center will provide services in the following manner:

Housing Office (Turner Hall)
The Housing Office will be staffed from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, but the doors will remain locked. We ask that everyone call 243-2611 or email before they walk over to the office. We will allow people in if they cannot be assisted over the phone or by email. 
We encourage rent payments to be made by phone or by check. We will only take in person rent payments from 9 a.m. to noon.
Area Desks
Desks will be staffed from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekends. 
Lewis and Clark Village Office
The office will be staffed from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, but the doors remain locked. Residents are asked to call or email the office for assistance.
University Villages Office
The office will be staffed from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, but the doors remain locked. Residents are being instructed to call or email the office to get assistance.
Griz Card Center
The office will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, but the doors will remain locked. We ask that everyone call 243-6943 or email before they walk over to the office. We will allow people in if they cannot be assisted over the phone or by email.

Zoom to the Rescue

Zoom may become a vital tool for campus in the weeks ahead. If you have never used Zoom, join us on one of our Open Sessions. You will get the chance to try the tool, ask questions about how to best use Zoom and the proper etiquette of joining a live session.

Saturday, March 21 – 11-11:30 a.m.

Monday, March 23 – 10-10:30 a.m.

Tuesday, March 24 – 3-3:30 p.m.

Wednesday, March 25 – 10-10:30 a.m.

Thursday, March 26 – 3-3:30 p.m.

Friday, March 27 – 10-10:30 a.m.

How to join us?

  • Click on the link of the session you want to join a few minutes before the session starts.
  • You might be prompted to download the Zoom app if you have never used it.
  • The session will start at the top of the hour.

Note: If you cannot attend a Zoom meeting please refer to the Keep on Learning site.

Mansfield Library Adjusts for COVID-19

To minimize the impact of COVID-19, the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library is closed to user visits, with limited exceptions. The Missoula College Payne Family Library is completely closed. 


We understand the Library is essential for the continuity of teaching, scholarship and learning at UM. Access to electronic resources and research and instruction support remains available. Please visit our Library Resources for Remote Research and Instruction website for information about library services and resources that are available online. 


Physical Course Reserve materials are not available while the library is closed. Whenever possible we will provide electronic copies of physical course reserve materials and will purchase electronic versions if available. Email or call 406-243-4071 if you need access to a course reserve item. 


The library will admit UM users with prior appointments beginning Monday, March 23. Campus users with valid Griz Cards will be able to make an appointment using an online calendar system linked from the library homepage for computerslaptopsstudios and the Accessible Technology Room. Appointments will be available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and must be made 24 hours in advance. 


Laptops may be reserved as long as they are available. Laptops checked out will be due at the end of the semester. 

If You Need IT Help ... 

UM IT is still available .

We are working with extra precautions to provide appropriate social distancing and the safest environment for our employees and clients. With this in mind, IT is closing walk-in support at locations in Social Sciences, the UC Service Desk, UM Online and the CHBPS IT Helpdesk.

Please understand we have increased call volume and limited staff, so we encourage you to visit the appropriate sites if possible for information that may help address your issue:

Students – Keep on Learning

Faculty/Staff – Keep on Working

Instructors – Keep on Teaching

If you need to call, IT employees are available at 243-2002 or 243-4357 for immediate remote assistance between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday or to schedule in-person aid. There is a possibility that you may need to leave a voicemail, which we will work diligently to address as promptly as possible during business hours. (Note: some return calls may come from non-UM numbers as we have a number of employees working remotely).

You may also submit a support ticket at for non-urgent issues.      

VitalSource Makes E-Textbooks Available

As UM moves to remote learning, here is a resource that may help. VitalSource has made thousands of e-textbooks available online.

SARC Moves to Telehealth Options

Beginning Monday, March 23, the Student Advocacy and Resource Center will offer exclusively remote/telehealth services. We will not have staff in our physical office space on a regular basis, but will continue to offer services via phone, email, and/or video chat (Zoom) options during regular business hours (9 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday-Friday) and after-hours support through our 24-hour support line 406-243-6559.

For scheduling services, contact the SARC main office at 406-243-4429. Students who have an upcoming in-person appointment scheduled in our office with a SARC advocate/clinician should call 406-243-4429 office to set up a telehealth appointment.

We will continue to offer “drop-in” services for both new and returning clients via telehealth options. Please call our 24-hour support line at 406-243-6559 to connect with a clinician for immediate support.

OSS Moves to Remote Delivery

The UM Office for Student Success will move to fully remote service delivery. This OSS website leads to the basic COVID-19 remote-work plan for all OSS units that provide direct service to currently enrolled students (Undergraduate Advising Center, Writing and Public Speaking Center, Financial Education Program, Study Jam Tutoring, TRIO Student Support Services).

The OSS office in Lommasson 269 will be closed to external guests. Please direct students and other visitors to email or call 406-243-2800. 

Disability Services to Offer Services Remotely

Disability Services for Students will offer services remotely beginning Monday, March 23. Learn about DSS remote service online. Disability Service staff may be reached at 406-243-2243 and

American Indian Support Services Goes Digital

AISS staff will provide remote service via email and Zoom. For assistance with Native American tuition waiver forms, tribal higher education forms, Curry Health and other questions you may have, AISS will be happy to assist you with your online needs.

Writing and math tutoring will happen remotely. For writing visit For math email

AISS will stay in contact with you through emails about updates and on our AISS UM Facebook page. Please do not hesitate to call or email AISS with any concerns.

Phone: 406-243-6308, 406-243-6306

Other Services ... 

The VETS Office can be contacted by calling 406-243-2744 or emailing While the VETS office will have staff available, please first communicate via phone or email.

The Experiential Learning and Career Success office has moved to remote advising and services. For individual appointments, students will have the option to do Zoom or phone appointments. Please contact us at to discuss meetings and services. Please keep an eye on your email for Zoom webinars on topics like job search skills, resume tips, interviewing skills, etc.

At this time, professional and licensure testing for March and April has been canceled or postponed.  

University Transportation Offers Updates

For the rest of the semester, students, faculty and staff who need to come to campus are encouraged to drive, walk or bike to campus. Walking and biking, while maintaining social distancing, can be a great way to get out and relieve stress.

UMPD will waive parking charges for Lot U at the base of the M Trail. ASUM Transportation will resume limited UDASH bus service Monday, March 23. Routes will run with reduced frequency to provide transportation for students who are transit-dependent. Mountain Line will continue to operate bus service for the foreseeable future. For up-to-date transit schedules, visit
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