Welcome to Issue 19 of Recap, MICA’s regular communication on the College’s progress and planning around the return to campus for Fall 2021 and beyond.
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Welcome to issue 19 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. Looking Ahead: Spring 2022

  2. Recap Revisit: Expanded Indoor Dining Locations and Heated Outdoor Tent

  3. Follow Up: Upcoming Staff Winter Break

  4. One MICA: October Summary, Upcoming November Town Hall

  5. Just the Headlines: Updated Building Hours

  6. What If: What If #CampusClear tells me to stay home, but I test negative for COVID?

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

Spring 2022
Last month, a memo detailing initial information about what Spring 2022 will likely look like was distributed to the MICA community. Below we’ve broken down what you need to know, tl;dr style, but encourage you to read the full memo.

  • This fall, students returned to face-to-face and hybrid learning, on-campus housing, access to studios and shops, and more.
    • Our reopening was  made possible due to initiatives like robust vaccination policies, weekly asymptomatic testing for individuals with approved vaccine exemptions, and an on-campus indoor masking requirement.
    • Campus COVID-19 positivity rates continue to hover near zero, and as of November 12, total case counts for Fall 2021 are 10 with no hospitalizations.

  • MICA continues to work with its consulting epidemiologist team in planning for Spring 2022. The doctors believe that the state’s vaccination rates will continue to increase, and that rates of community spread will decline—especially after the flu season ends in early March—as more people are inoculated or receive booster shots.

  • Operational Mode 4 will continue into the next semester, but will include expanded in-person campus activities such as:
    • Springs exhibitions are being planned with in person attendance as the goal.
    • Commencement is being planned as an in-person event.
    • The College is exploring possibilities for in-person attendance to MICA Grad Show, and potentially even Artwalk.
    • Course modalities will continue to prioritize face-to-face instruction.

It is important to note—while our goal is for a further expanded Operational Mode 4 in the spring, with increased external community members able to see the incredible work of our students, as well as plans for in-person celebrations—the pandemic remains unpredictable, and plans could change if conditions were to require additional public health and safety measures.

We  will continue to share updated thinking and planning, starting with further discussion at this month’s One MICA Town Hall, slated for 2:15 p.m. on Tuesday, November 16.

Expanded Indoor Dining Locations and Heated Outdoor Tent
As the weather gets colder, MICA is expanding approved indoor eating locations, and also outfitting the two tents on campus with partial side flaps and heating units. A full memo on the updates can be found here. Below, we’ve broken down what you need to know.

Outdoor Tents:

  • The tents have been closed on three sides, and heating units will be functional by Wednesday, November 17.
    • The heaters will operate between 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., and are currently planned to remain operational through December 17 for Cohen Plaza and December 23 for Lazarus.

Indoor Eating Locations:

  • The lower level of Brown Center has increased capacity to 50 people.
  • JHU-MICA Film Centre will continue established practices in accordance with MICA and JHU guidelines.

  • Bunting 207 and Bunting 360 have been set up to accommodate six people at a time each.
    • In both rooms, those eating will need to be a minimum of three feet apart, and put their masks back on as soon as they’ve finished. When eating in these rooms, doors should also be left open to promote air flow.

  • Graduate Studies students whose program spaces are located in Lazarus Center + 1801 Falls Road will be permitted to unmask briefly in their individually-assigned studios or their individually-assigned desk-workspace in order to eat or drink, and then replace their mask immediately after consuming their food and drink, as there are no other indoor spaces available in Lazarus that meet the requirements for safe, accessible, indoor-dining during cold-weather months.

    • The impacted areas include the LL, first, fourth, and fifth floors of Lazarus Center, and the studios and desks/workspaces on the ground, LL, and first floors of 1801 Falls Road.

    • MAT Project Room (L165) has been designated for graduate students in the MAT program, as MAT students have no individually-assigned workspaces. Those eating in the MAT Project Room will need to be a minimum of three feet apart, and put their masks back on as soon as they’ve finished. When eating in this room, the door should be left open to promote air flow.
      • NOTE: While serving as the Designated Indoor Dining space for MAT students in the coming months, the MAT Project Room will not be available for other activities.

    • There are no indoor spaces available in Lazarus + 1801 to designate for groups to dine in proximity to one another, so groups must eat in the spaces on the Mount Royal side of the bridge or dine outdoors in the Lazarus tent.

    • Indoor dining options for the Undergraduate Studies areas of Lazarus Center are in the process of being finalized, and will be announced by the undergraduate programs directly to their community members next week.
Upcoming Staff Winter Break
As announced in the October 20 memo from People, Belonging, & Culture, MICA is now implementing a Winter Recess in an effort to provide time for rest and relaxation. We’ve broken down the key details here, but please see the memo for full information, including dates for subsequent years.

In addition to the previously scheduled holidays—Friday, December 24, Monday, December 27, and Friday, December 31—MICA is also providing three floating days to use for the Winter Recess. Those three days are to be used on Tuesday, December 28, Wednesday, December 29, and Thursday, December 30 if you will not be working on those days.

Although during this time between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day, the College’s academic and administrative offices will be closed, there are a few areas of the College that provide critical, essential services, and will not be off during this time.

If you are an essential employee and work during the Winter Recess, you will enter your hours worked as you normally do. These employees will be allowed to take the equivalent number of Winter Recess days off prior to May 31, 2022.  

Employees in the following areas have been classified as essential during the Winter Recess:
  • Facilities Management
  • Building Services
  • Campus Safety
  • Some employees in the Registrar’s Office, Open Studies, Student Affairs, and Advancement may also be deemed essential by their managers

Employees in regularly scheduled part-time positions will receive pay for time not worked during Winter Recess on a prorated basis.
  • Part-time employees in departments that work a standard 35-hour week will receive 3.5 hours of pay for each MICA Winter Recess day.
  • Part-time employees in departments that work a standard 40-hour week (Facilities Management, Building Services, and Campus Safety) will receive 4 hours of pay for each MICA Winter Recess day.

All MICA benefits-eligible, full and part-time staff are eligible to participate in Winter Recess. Employees not designated as essential may not work during the Winter Recess.
  • Student RA’s who are hired to work and support students in winter break housing will be paid for hours worked, but are not eligible for an equivalent number of Winter Recess days.  
  • All other student employees are not eligible and should not be scheduled to work during the Winter Recess period.
  • Temporary and casual employees are not eligible and should not be scheduled to work during the Winter Recess period.

For 2021, all employees who are eligible for paid Winter Recess will have 3 floating holidays (Winter Recess days) added in Workday. If you do not work during Winter Recess, then you will enter these floating holidays on Tuesday, 12/28/2021; Wednesday, 12/29/2021; and Thursday, 12/30/2021.

October Summary, Upcoming November Town Hall
Don’t forget: The One MICA Town Hall is scheduled for November 16 at 2:15 p.m. This month’s town hall will go into more detail about the Spring 2022 semester, further conversation regarding eating spaces on campus, discussion around shared governance, and more.

Make sure to sign up for the town hall here.

We also encourage you to submit questions ahead of Tuesday’s meeting using the “Comment on This Topic” button at the end of the section.

Did you miss last month’s town hall? In it, we covered Spring 2022, flu vaccinations, staff compensation, the budget forecast, DEIG work, the winter recess, and more.

You can watch a replay of it here, and remember, all town halls are recorded and can be found at

Updated Building Hours
NOTE: For full information regarding building hours during Thanksgiving break, see this memo.

As laid out in a November 1 memo, MICA will expand its building hours beginning Monday, November 29, through the end of the semester on Friday, December 17.

The following buildings will allow 24-hour access:
  • Brown Center
  • Fox Building
  • 15/15 Mount Royal
  • Mount Royal Station Building
  • Dolphin Design Center
  • Fred Lazarus IV Center

The Main Building, Film Centre, and the Evening Safety Shuttles will offer extended hours:
  • The Main Building will remain open until 1 a.m.
  • The Film Centre will remain open until 1 a.m. to allow Film Centre students to access the facilities.

Beginning the night of Monday, November 29, MICA Evening Safety Shuttles will run from 5 p.m.-7 a.m. to accommodate the change in building hours. The extended shuttle service will continue through 7 a.m. on Saturday, December 18 when the service ends for the semester.

A full list of building hours for Fall 2021 can be found here.

What If #CampusClear tells me to stay home, but I test negative for COVID?
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 I have cold-like symptoms, #CampusClear tells me to stay home, but I get a COVID-19 test and am negative for COVID? Can I return to campus the next day? Should I not put those symptoms into the app the next day?

MICA's COVID-19 Exposure Policies, Procedures, and Protocols webpage remains your primary resource in the event of a COVID-19 exposure depending on the type of exposure and the type of MICA community member you are. The #CampusClear app is designed to notify community members to stay home and/or seek medical assessment if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

Individuals experiencing symptoms who have received a negative PCR COVID-19 test result are cleared to return to campus and should not endorse those symptoms on the app.  However, if symptoms worsen or an individual develops new symptoms, you should endorse those symptoms on the app and stay home and seek medical advice.
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 2021 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:

Undergraduate Studies:

Student Affairs:

Open Studies:


Strategic Communications:

Human Resources:

Strategic Initiatives:



Parent Relations:

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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