Welcome to Issue 07 of Recap, MICA’s regular communication on the College’s progress and planning around the return to campus for Spring 2021 and beyond.

Welcome to issue 07 of Recap, MICA’s regular communication on the College’s progress and planning around the return to campus for Spring 2021 and beyond.

Recap is also a place for dialogue, so we encourage you to use the Comment on This Topic button at the end of each story. We use your feedback to help build our shared understanding as One Team MICA.

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. It's Official: The Spring Reopening Decision

  2. Recap Revisit: On-Campus Testing Procedure and Schedule

  3. Return to Campus Checklist: 5 Things You Need to Know

  4. Good Eats: Local Restaurants Open for Business

  5. What If: Social Agreement Violations and Enforcement

  6. Transparency Report: Comments from Community

The Spring Reopening Decision
In November, MICA officially announced its plan to reopen for the Spring Semester under Operational Mode 3 and we noted in Recap 06: “The final decision on the College’s opening operational mode will be made in consultation with MICA’s epidemiologists on January 8th.”

Today, as promised, the College released a campus-wide memo officially confirming that plan and its intent to reopen in Operational Mode 3.

Here’s what you need to know - TL;DR-style.

  • MICA’s Spring Semester will begin on January 25 with all classes being held remotely.

  • The campus will be greatly de-densified with roughly 100 students living in the residence halls.

  • Access to fabrication studios and shops will be by appointment only and limited to graduate students and undergraduate seniors to facilitate thesis work.

  • Certain on-campus services and activities will not immediately be available or permitted on opening day and will be delayed by approximately two weeks. These are the fitness center and in-person field-based activities, including off-site film shoots and community-based residencies.

  • Residence Hall Move-In will start as-planned the week of January 18. New Student Orientation will similarly take place as planned.

  • If you are scheduled for on-campus move-in, but are feeling sick, please stay home. In this situation, please contact the Office of Residence Life at, and they’ll make alternative arrangements for you. Don’t worry, our Student Affairs teams will make sure you don’t miss anything important.

  • On-campus COVID-19 testing will begin on January 19 and will follow a weekly schedule based alphabetically by last name, and we strongly encourage anyone who is able to get tested that week to do so. If you are on-campus and available, there is no reason to wait for the week of the 25th. (See Testing Process and Schedule later in this issue.)

  • Weekly Testing is required if you are planning to be on campus regularly—at least once a week.

  • The Meyerhoff Dining hall will be the only on-campus food service option. Grab-and-go will be available for the first two weeks only.

  • Staff and faculty will not have access to Meyerhoff Dining. Cafe Nancy and other non-MICA eateries are your best bet.  See “Good Eats” below for a list of friendly neighborhood dining establishments.

  • While there has been a recent surge in positivity rates in the city and state, MICA’s reopening plan was designed to accommodate such increases and have put into place several important measures to minimize risk to our community. Our on-campus metrics, such as campus positivity rate, will be our most important. It will take all of us to keep the College open—personal responsibility and following MICA’s Social Agreement are our best tools to do so.

On-Campus Testing Procedures and Schedule
Among the many anticipated changes in the Spring Semester, mandatory weekly surveillance (asymptomatic) COVID-19 testing is required for anyone who accesses the MICA campus at least one day a week or more. Faculty, staff, students, and vendors who routinely access campus will be assigned a specific day to attend surveillance testing. It is important to attend your assigned day to prevent  lengthy lines  in the testing area.

Below are important details regarding testing:

  • First, testing is not a substitute for personal responsibility and appropriate behavior.  Please be careful before your arrival on campus by limiting travel and following all public health measures mandated by your region. Preventing community spread and keeping MICA open is up to all of us.

  • Testing will take place in Gateway/BBOX on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays with testing assignments determined by an individual's last name.

  • Students living on campus in residence halls will need to quarantine in their apartments upon arrival until both apartment residents have received a negative test result.

  • Students who are living off-campus and traveling from outside the area will need to follow Maryland state requirements. Those who travel to Maryland must either obtain a negative COVID-19 test result or self-quarantine for 10 days. This applies to all states, with the exception of Delaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, DC.

  • Anyone regularly accessing campus (defined as one day a week or more) will receive an email confirming their testing registration and should check the testing schedule included below and soon to be posted on MICA's Reopening web site for your designated day and time.

  • Upon arrival at BBOX, individuals will have their temperature taken and be asked questions about COVID-19 symptoms and exposure.

  • After being checked-in and given necessary materials, individuals will self-swab their noses while being observed by trained medical staff.

  • Testing turnaround is expected to take 48 hours and lab results will be sent to either the Student Health Center for students or a MICA designated administrator for staff. 

  • Individuals will be able to access their test results via a secure patient health portal.

  • Individuals with negative tests will have continued access to campus. Individuals with positive tests will be contacted with further instructions for quarantine, contact tracing, and care.

  • Individuals coming to campus infrequently, defined as less than one day a week, but who will engage with other community members are required to schedule those engagements far enough in advance that they can be registered for testing during the week leading up to their campus visit.

  • Registration is facilitated by contacting Dr. Judith Kinney at

  • Individuals with infrequent or occasional access to campus, again defined as less than once a week, and who will have no contact with other community members while on campus are excluded from the mandatory weekly testing.  
Note that surveillance testing is intended for asymptomatic individuals only. Anyone presenting to the testing site with active COVID-like symptoms will be directed to either follow up with the Student Health Center or their PCP.  Anyone who fails to complete surveillance testing may have campus access restricted.

Testing Schedule
5 Things You Need to Know
As this is our Reopening issue, it’s worth repeating the steps we all need to remember before coming onto campus. So we’re providing our previously published 5 step checklist here again. It’s also available for download here.

Local Eateries Open for Business
As mentioned in our “It's Official” article above, there will be no on-campus food service options for staff and faculty. Thankfully, several local establishments are open for business and ready to feed the MICA community. Sheri Parks, MICA’s VP of Strategic Initiatives and firm believer in the caring and restorative powers of a good meal, took the lead in compiling a non-exhaustive list of restaurants in the North Avenue Corridor that are open for carry out and delivery to the MICA community. Remember to call ahead and check their websites as operating hours are subject to change. Grazie and Buon Appetito, Sheri!
Nancy by SNAC  13 W. North Avenue

Tapas Teatro  1711 N. Charles Street; (410) 332-0110

Sofi's Crepes  1723 N. Charles Street; (410) 727-7732

Orto  1709 N. Charles Street; (410) 759-7200

Mera Kitchen Collective  1701 N. Charles Street; (443) 681-9855

Alma Cocina Latina  1701 N. Charles Street; (667) 212-4273

The Crown  1910 N. Charles Street, 2nd Floor; (410) 625-4848

Jong Kak  18 W. 20th Street; (410) 837-5231

Kong (Pocha)  12 W. 20th Street; (410) 801-8963

Sophomore Coffee  2323 Maryland Avenue

Milk and Honey Market by Vagrant Coffee  10 E. Lanvale Street; (667) 309-3506

Soul Kuisine Cafe  203 E. North Avenue; (410) 539-7685

Larder  3 W. 23rd Street; (410) 982-6246

Terra Cafe  101 E. 25th Street; (410) 777-5277

The Tilted Row  305 McMechen Street; (443) 552-1594

Joe Squared  33 W. North Avenue; (410) 545-0444

Social Agreement Signing and Enforcement
As a reminder, What if? Is an ongoing feature of Recap intended to help create a shared understanding of what the 2020 - 2021 academic year will look and feel like by posing real-world "what if" scenarios submitted by the community.

Here’s one that seems to be on everyone’s mind as we approach the first day of classes.

The social agreement is great, but what if someone doesn’t sign it?  Or worse, what if someone signs it but then ignores the rules and doesn’t wear a mask, or wears it improperly, or isn’t social distancing, or… you get the idea. Am I expected to handle the situation myself? Do I report them? What if I’m uncomfortable with that?

Great questions and thanks for bringing this topic up.

The first part of your question is easy to answer and important to remember:

For the Spring Semester, ID cards for all MICA students, faculty, and staff will be deactivated by default. ID cards will only be activated after you have signed the social agreement and have proof of receiving the flu vaccine or an approved exemption on file. So if you plan on coming on to campus—even for only one day the entire semester—it’s best to sign the social agreement. For those who missed the original email, a reminder email will be sent out in the coming days.

The Second Part of your question isn’t as clear cut and requires a bit more explanation. Let's break it down:

Am I expected to handle the situation myself?
We believe the overwhelming majority of MICA community members are fully committed to doing their part to keep everyone safe and will not intentionally be disrespectful of the rules. With that in mind, we hope all members of the MICA community feel comfortable having friendly conversations with each other, inclusive of kindly reminding someone, for example, to use a mask. It is not expected, however, for employees to leave their traditional spaces or step away from their standard duties in order to address a reported or observed violation of the Social Agreement.

Should I report an observed violation?
It depends:

  • If you engage someone and they promptly and appropriately adjust their behavior, it is likely that no further action is necessary.

  • If you engage someone and they respond inappropriately or refuse to comply and they leave the area, meaning there is no further immediate threat to public health, please document the incident via our online report form.

  • If you engage someone and they respond inappropriately or refuse to comply and they remain in the area, causing continued public health risk, please contact Campus Safety (443-423-3333), who will respond. Campus Safety is always the backup for support in the event of an active situation, and Campus Safety officers are prepared for such engagements.

Comments from the Community
Please address specific questions to an appropriate departmental contact.
Graduate Studies:

Undergraduate Studies:

Student Affairs:

Open Studies:

Finance and Operations:


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, please provide your ideas here.

Stay safe and be well.

Coming Up in Issue 08: Revamped Reopening Website, Campus Services SIt Rep, and more.

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