Welcome to Issue 23 of Recap, MICA’s regular communication on the College’s progress and planning around the return to campus for Spring 2022 and beyond.
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Welcome to issue 23 of Recap, MICA’s regular communication channel.

Recap’s mission has been—and will continue to be—to help build shared understanding among the MICA community as the College navigated the complexities of the COVID-19 and reopening. As we begin to move beyond the pandemic, the ongoing need for an official College communications channel has not diminished—and Recap will carry on to fulfill this need. Here, we will continue to build shared understanding as One Team MICA.

We encourage you to use the Comment on This Topic button at the end of each story, and be sure to use the suggestion section at the end of each Recap not only to suggest ideas for future issues, but also topics for future One MICA Town Halls as well as feedback for previous ones.

And as always, some information may not apply to all programs and constituents, such as Open Studies. For specific information, please use the departmental directory at the end of this issue.

In This Issue:

  1. Coming Up: ArtWalk and 2022 Commencement Ceremonies

  2. Looking Ahead: Summer and OM5

  3. Recap Reminder: April, May One MICA Town Halls

  4. What If: What if COVID cases increase? What flexibility do we have around policies?

  5. Transparency Report: A Snapshot of Responses from the Previous Issue of Recap

ArtWalk and 2022 Commencement Ceremonies
With less than two weeks before the big day, MICA has officially launched our 2022 Commencement website, which is home to everything you need to know about this year’s ceremonies, ArtWalk, and beyond.

Here you can find key dates, informational sections specific to students, faculty, and families, and details around this year’s ceremony speakers, plus fun repeats from last year like the chance to make Capsule videos congratulating the graduates, links to purchase student work through the MICAMade Marketplace, and more.
Make sure to check out the Commencement site in full, but here’s a breakdown of key information for this year’s celebrations, tl;dr style.
  • An in-person Commencement is happening on Monday, May 16
    • Graduate Commencement beginning at 10:30 a.m. (EDT)
    • Undergraduate Commencement will begin at 3 p.m. (EDT)
    • Ceremonies will also be streamed live at mica.edu/commencement22.
  • Students from the Class of 2020 and 2021 have been invited back to walk at this year’s Commencement ceremonies.
  • Ceremonies are not open to the public, but students have received a set number of tickets for invited guests who will be required to follow all COVID-19 protocols in order to access MICA’s campus.
    • These protocols include proof of vaccination and booster or negative PCR test, masking while inside MICA’s spaces and the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, on-campus dining for guests and visitors limited to outdoor dining spaces, and more. See a full breakdown of COVID protocols here.
    • Proof of vaccination/booster or negative PCR test documentation and government-issued ID card will be verified by a Symphony Hall usher prior to entrance.
  • Similar to Commencement, ArtWalk is not open to the general public, but open to ticket holders only.  Tickets have already been distributed but if you have any ticketing questions, please email events@mica.edu.  
  • Some key dates for ArtWalk are:   
    • On Friday, May 13 from 1-4 p.m. ArtWalk is open to all MICA employees. Employees are invited to take some time off work and celebrate our graduating students by visiting their thesis exhibitions across campus.  You don’t need to record your time away from work in Workday. Just enjoy.
    • On Sunday, May 15 ArtWalk is open to ticket holders and invited guests from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    • On Monday, May 16 ArtWalk is open to ticket holders, invited guests, and Commencement participants from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Additionally, all Sunday ArtWalk ticket holders will have continued access to the MICA campus for ArtWalk on Monday. So hang on to your wristbands!
  • The same COVID protocols in place for the Commencement ceremonies will be in place for ArtWalk
    • Guests should check in at the reception desk located in MICA's Cohen Plaza on Mount Royal Avenue in order to confirm ticketing and vaccination status. Once that has been completed, they will receive a wristband.
    • Approved guests with wristbands will have viewing access to all ArtWalk galleries throughout MICA's campus.
In addition to our in-person elements, MICA also has a number of online elements highlighting our 2022 graduates. These include:
Summer and Operational Mode 5 (OM5)
Throughout the pandemic, MICA has worked closely with our consulting epidemiologists to make decisions around COVID policies to help keep our campus safe. Moving into summer, our campus will move into a modified Operational Mode 5.  

PLEASE NOTE: OM5 goes into effect on Monday, May 23.

As we outlined in Recap 22, with high vaccine efficacy protecting against severe infection and outcomes, the College’s consulting epidemiologists continue to relate that pandemic navigation across the country and the world is beginning to pivot toward COVID-19 becoming endemic—where the virus circulates throughout the global population similar to other viruses, like the seasonal flu.

Because of this, modified OM5 begins MICA’s transition toward a flexible guidance model, which will allow for making temporary adjustments to COVID-19 policies based on evolving public health conditions and science-driven decision-making.

For example, the College is currently monitoring the rising infection rates in the city and state and, if needed, may use this information to potentially institute a short term policy adjustment to modified OM5.

So, what does this new operational mode look like?

MICA’s campus will look pretty similar to how it does now under OM4. The full policy can be read here, but here’s a quick visual rundown of some of the key differences:

Here are some additional elements to modified OM5:

  • Unvaccinated community members with approved exemptions will still be regularly tested on campus.

  • Students enrolled in on-site classes will have full access to studios, workspaces, shops, and fabrication studios, though some remote production services that began during the pandemic will continue.

  • The default instruction mode for residential programs and on-campus activities will be in-person. Alternate instructional modes will be defined through the Course Modality Definitions/Expectations for face-to-face and hybrid courses.

  • In-person class gatherings will operate at full capacity.
    • Curricular and co-curricular in-person engagements will be allowed at full capacity. In-person field-based experiences—including academic field trips—are allowed but must abide by the policies for field-based activities.

  • Campus Shuttles operating normal routes and schedules for on-campus buildings and residences.

You can read the full policy here.

We know this is a lot of information, and our campus community will have questions about these changes. Please make sure to use the Comment on This Topic button at the end of this story, as well as attend the May One MICA Town Hall, where our consulting epidemiologists will be present, to voice any concerns.

April, May One MICA Town Halls
Did you miss the One MICA Town Hall in April? You can find a recording of it here. In the April 12 meeting, administrators discussed the final stretch of the academic year, the Make Your Mark campaign, Commencement and ArtWalk, staff union elections, open enrollment, and more.

Don’t miss the May 10 One MICA Town Hall, which will be held from 2:15-3:45 p.m. MICA will be discussing plans for summer and Operational Mode 5, and our consulting epidemiologists will be in attendance as well.

As a reminder, all town hall recordings can be found at mica.edu/townhalls.

What if COVID cases increase? What flexibility do we have around policies?
As a reminder, What if? is an ongoing feature of Recap intended to help create a shared understanding by posing real-world "what if" scenarios submitted by the community.

What if COVID cases increase? What flexibility do we have around policies?

MICA’s OM5 is built to be flexible and allows the College to make temporary changes to the COVID policies as needed. Examples of this would be bringing back an indoor masking policy, making changes to policies around eating and drinking, lowering densities, and altering public access to campus. These decisions will be made based on health metrics in the area, current science, and conversations with our consulting epidemiologists.
A Snapshot of Responses from the Previous Issue of Recap
As mentioned previously, we’ve included the ability for you to submit comments on individual topics for each issue of Recap in order to help provide an open dialogue around the complex and evolving issues of mounting the 2022 semester.

We thank all of you who have submitted thoughtful comments from past issues. Those comments are used to inform future issues, raise awareness on topics, and ultimately help build shared understanding as One Team MICA. And while we cannot provide individual recognition for each comment, we are providing a summary snapshot of those comments to promote transparency.

Please address specific questions to an appropriate departmental contact.
Graduate Studies: graduatestudies@mica.edu

Undergraduate Studies: ugstudies@mica.edu

Student Affairs: studentaffairs@mica.edu

Open Studies: openstudies@mica.edu

Technology: helpdesk@mica.edu

Strategic Communications: communications@mica.edu

People, Belonging, & Culture: pbc@mica.edu

Strategic Initiatives: strategicinitiatives@mica.edu

Advancement: advancement@mica.edu

Admission: admissions@mica.edu

Parent Relations: parentrelations@mica.edu

That’s it for this installment of Recap. Thank you for your engagement in this ongoing dialogue and building of shared understanding. If there are any topics you would like to have addressed in future installments—or in future One MICA Town Halls—please provide your ideas here.

Stay safe and be well.

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