Friday Futurecast — October 15

Health and safety update for university community members

Welcome to this week’s Friday Futurecast

These updates are archived on the UMaine COVID-19 website. The University of Maine at Machias also has a COVID-19 website.

Message from President Joan Ferrini-Mundy:

Dear members of the UMaine and UMaine Machias communities,

I want to wish everyone an enjoyable UMaine Homecoming Weekend. We look forward to seeing everyone on campus, following our health and safety guidance for indoor and outdoor gatherings.

Last Sunday, the Bangor Symphony Orchestra returned to the Collins Center for the Arts to open its 2021–22 season. We are thrilled to have one of our valued community partners back on campus, offering a live event in person and online from the region’s premiere cultural hub.

The event, with upward of 500 in the Hutchins Concert Hall, also marked UMaine’s implementation of health and safety protocols for non-class-related, indoor events in university facilities with more than 250 participants. The Collins Center leadership team, following UMS guidance and in collaboration with the BSO, put in place an admission process that started with advance communication to ticket holders, followed by checks at the door for proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test (PCR or antigen). 

Today, UMaine Athletics also takes a leadership role in implementing the health and safety guidance for indoor gatherings, starting with the women’s ice hockey game this afternoon. Again, like the Collins Center team, Athletics is communicating directly to ticket holders and broadly to all fans joining us on-site for indoor events. The process will include face coverings at the outdoor check-in to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test, before proceeding to ticketing. Check out Athletics’ new video on what to expect when coming to an indoor Black Bear sports event.

To all the staff on the Collins Center and Athletics teams, and all our campus community members who are doing so much to make these events possible and help ensure the safety of all involved — thank you. To all our arts and sports enthusiasts on and off campus joining us — we appreciate your support and commitment to community health and safety. 

Sincerely,

Joan Ferrini-Mundy

Partnering to address health 

  • As noted in Chancellor Malloy’s message yesterday, today is the deadline for students to comply with our COVID-19 vaccination requirement. If you’re among those UMaine and UMaine Machias students who have not yet visited our COVID compliance portal, please do so now. For questions, contact the Division of Student Life, 207.581.1406.

  • All members of the UMaine and UMaine Machias communities are invited to participate in weekly asymptomatic COVID-19 testing on campus as another means of monitoring overall campus well-being. Please schedule appointments via PointnClick.

  • If you are symptomatic, please seek a test at Cutler Health Center or from your primary care physician. Community members also can schedule symptomatic COVID-19 tests via PointnClick, which will be administered outside the Estabrooke Hall testing entrance at the designated tent. Follow the instructions posted at the Estabrooke entrance for symptomatic testing. Symptoms include: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose.

  • UMaine will offer a public COVID-19 vaccination clinic from 11 a.m.–1 p.m. on Oct. 20 in the Coe Room, Memorial Union, providing the two-shot Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Vaccination cards are required if receiving second doses or boosters. No appointment is necessary. Pfizer booster shots are being provided for those who qualify six months after their second dose: 

    • Students who are six months out from their second Pfizer shot, and live in a residence hall or apartment with others

    • Individuals 65 years of age and older

    • Individuals 18 through 64 years of age with medical conditions at high risk of severe COVID-19

Transparent and continuing communication 

  • Per University of Maine system guidance, UMaine Athletics will require all guests attending home hockey and basketball events to provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test, which must have been administered within the previous 72 hours. Patrons must have a mask in place covering their nose and mouth prior to entry to — and in — the venues. More information is online.

  • The national CDC offers 12 tips for a healthy fall.

In-person, on-campus experiences and other learning modes

  • Foster Center for Innovation is holding an innovation challenge for aspiring entrepreneurs, designers, creative thinkers and engineers on Oct. 22. Bring Your Own Brain is a collaborative experience to produce a viable startup business model between 6 p.m. and midnight. All UMaine and UMaine Machias students are invited to participate in the in-person competition, with $2,000 in prize money for the top teams.

  • Today, the Division of Student Life opened an eSports Arena in the Memorial Union. The new arena will be a hub for the student gaming community with 16 computer gaming stations and monitors. The space is open to all levels of student, faculty and staff gamers, from casual gamers to competitive teams. The arena has been a two-year project, supported by multiple departments in the Division of Student Life and equipped by University of Maine Student Government Inc. The arena is open in the afternoons and evenings, and on weekends.

  • In UMaine Athletics for Homecoming Weekend, Women’s Ice Hockey opens Hockey East play at home when they host UConn at 4 p.m. today and Northeastern at 4 p.m. on Saturday. Both games will be streamed live on College Sports Live. Football hosts William and Mary at noon on Saturday, with broadcasts on ABC-7 in Bangor, WPXT in Portland and streaming on FloSports. The game also can be heard on the Black Bears Sports Network. On Sunday, field hockey takes on Bryant in a nonconference, neutral site game hosted at New Hampshire. Women’s Soccer travels to Binghamton to meet the Bearcats at noon on Sunday, live on ESPN3.

Flexibility, responsiveness, empathy, and science

  • The UMaine Career Center and College of Engineering have partnered for 23 years to connect students with employers at the annual Engineering Job Fair. This year’s job fair, from 10 a.m.–2 p.m. on Oct. 20, will be a virtual event. More than 100 companies will be offering full-time employment and summer internship opportunities. All current UMaine and UMaine Machias students and alumni from the last three years are encouraged to participate. Students and alumni planning to attend the job fair should visit the Career Center website to register, create a CareerLink profile, search for participating employers or learn more about the event. Questions on the day of the fair can be directed to 207.581.1359 or umainecareercenter@maine.edu. A live chat feature also will be available at umaine.edu/career.

Continuing our missions for Maine

  • Reminder of two events Oct. 21: 

  • UMaine experts and partners are among the participants leading the virtual 2021 Life Sciences Summit, from 9–11:30 a.m., Oct. 19–20, sponsored by the Bioscience Association of Maine and Maine Center for Entrepreneurs. Among them: Renee Kelly, UMaine assistant vice president for innovation and economic development; and Kristy Townsend, graduate faculty member in the Graduate School of Biomedical Science and Engineering, and co-founder of Neuright, which got its start at UMaine. Registration and more information are online.