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Campus Updates

Memorandum

Date: May 13, 2015

To: MICA Students, Faculty and Staff

From: Samuel Hoi, President

Re: Year-End Thank You and Best Wishes


Dear MICA Community,

The end of an academic year is inherently eventful with finals, thesis exhibitions, graduation, and preparation for summer work or vacation. This year, our year-end was further marked by city events that garnered world-wide attention and generated a collective call for civil rights and social equity that, with hope, points to a better and stronger path for the future. It takes a special campus community to strive through such events with awareness, determination, self-confidence, and care for others. I am so proud to witness abundant evidence of the MICA community rising to the occasion. I hope you feel the same way.

In addition to acknowledging your exceptional work throughout this academic year, I thank all of you for your respective efforts in helping MICA and the city cope during the past few weeks. It literally took a MICA village to keep our campus safe, it took genuine care for one to comfort another under stress, and it took courage and compassion for our community members to venture beyond the safety of MICA without hesitation to make a difference in neighborhoods and in protests. Whether you stayed on campus and focused on safety and work, volunteered in the community, or wrote to provide a balanced picture of Baltimore to others who don't live here, in each of your own inimitable ways, you made the MICA spirit shine.

In conversation with many of you, I understand that there is a common desire to know how the MICA community has responded to city needs and will continue to do so. Attached is an incomplete, but still very impressive, collection of sample actions undertaken by students, faculty and staff immediately after the unrest on April 27th. Such organic MICA action demonstrates our individual, as well as community, commitment to common good and equal rights.

In case you have missed it, I would also like to share a Baltimore Sun Op Ed piece that appeared online last week, in which I wrote about the special role of artists and designers in society and reflected on the path forward for our city. The article ends with a note of togetherness that I think rings very true at MICA, thanks to all of you.

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/bs-ed-freddie-gray-mica-20150508-story.html

I look forward to working with you over the next academic year through our campus dialogue on diversity, equity, inclusion, and globalization to weave in and continue a dialogue about Baltimore and our efforts for the city. Although order has returned, life in Baltimore has pivoted and should not stay status quo. At this moment, we have a real opportunity to build trust, mend wounds, and deepen reflections so that we can move forward boldly for change and sustained justice.

That said, right now, it's still year-end for everyone at MICA and it is Art Walk and Commencement time. Therefore, let me close by sending best wishes to every student, faculty, and staff member for a great conclusion of this academic year - and to the graduating students my warmest wishes for a magnificent culmination of your studies at MICA.

Memorandum

Date: May 3, 2015

To: MICA Students

From: Michael Patterson

Re: MICA Weekend Updates & Academic Support for the Final Week


Dear Students,

Wednesday afternoon the nation witnessed more than one hundred MICA students and many more MICA community members join an estimated 2,000 college students for a Peace March. This was a powerful statement and I am proud of the leadership of our student community, for their activism and thoughtful understanding of safety during this time.

MICA continues to work with the City of Baltimore for updates, and the College is monitoring events as they develop. We anticipate that the curfew will remain in effect through Tuesday morning, as will the elevated police and national guard presence. There will be several protests through the weekend and heavy traffic congestion should be expected downtown. The numerous stories of good - multiple peaceful protests, communities working together to heal - are beginning to surface through social media and the press.

The College is aware of the unique pressures this situation places upon each of you as the semester rapidly draws to a close. MICA community members continue to be thoughtful in their support and understanding of one another.

The curfew continues to limit MICA's ability to keep buildings open late into the evening. The curfew is currently scheduled to end Tuesday morning and MICA will immediately move into 24/7 building access for the remainder of the week. The College is taking proactive steps to support faculty, staff, and students as they finish the semester, including:

  • MICA has provided faculty more flexibility to assist students in completing the semester's work. Faculty have been asked to outreach to each of their students to help identify anyone who may be struggling to complete assignments. You do not need to wait for that contact, please outreach to your faculty directly if you need assistance.
  • To help with this process, MICA has given faculty latitude to extend their final grade submission to the Registrar. Please note: this may have an impact on the timely distribution of diplomas for Commencement. More specific information about diploma distribution will be forthcoming.
  • Buildings will open at 7:00 am through the weekend, and on Monday and Tuesday buildings will open at 6:00 am. Once again, beginning with Tuesday's opening MICA buildings will stay open 24/7 through the close of classes so long as the curfew is not extended.
  • The Fabrication Studios Department is working to schedule additional open shop hours for this weekend and through next week. Any alterations to schedules will be posted here. Please check this document often as schedules may change and hours added.
  • This weekend's social shuttles will be replaced by a shopping shuttle route to maximize student access to supplies and groceries. Please check with the residence hall front desks for specific information. Due to the curfew hours for tonight's shopping shuttle will be from 4:30 - 8:30 pm.
  • Meyerhoff Dining Hall will maintain normal hours over the weekend. Glace Grill is operating on a modified schedule during the curfew of 3:00 - 9:00 pm.
  • Safety Shuttles will continue to operate until 9:30 pm for the duration of the curfew.

As an opportunity to gather and reflect on the events of the week, please join us this weekend for the following events:

  • The Black Student Union will be creating care packages of non-perishable food for those in need. Any member of the MICA community is welcome to participate by donating supplies or assisting with the creation of packages. This will take place from 10:30 am - 1:00 pm Saturday, May 2nd at Cohen Plaza/Cafe Doris.
  • There will be a MICA Community Gathering on Sunday, May 3rd from 4:00 - 6:00 pm in Cohen Plaza.

Stay strong, take care of yourself, and please know that MICA faculty and staff are committed to working with you on managing these challenges. Thank you for being thoughtful, creative, and committed not only to your individual success, but to our community as well.

Sincerely,

Michael Z Patterson
Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students

Memorandum

Date: April 28, 2015

To: MICA Community

From: Samuel Hoi, President

Re: MICA Community Conversation



Dear MICA Community,

We invite students, faculty and staff to participate in a MICA Community Conversation, Wednesday, April 29, at 2:30 pm. The location is the BBOX at Gateway.

During this time of unrest in the city, the well-being of our students, faculty and staff members is paramount. By coming together, we aim to create a space for the MICA community to reflect on the state of our city, to listen to each other, and to exchange thoughts and information. Please join this get-together to share any concerns or questions you have about the current events and our community response.

Power/Equity Forum
Office of Diversity and Intercultural Development
Office of Community Engagement

Pray for Baltimore

MICA student leaders from the Koinonia Christian Fellowship have organized a prayer meeting at 7 p.m. in The Gateway in the 1st floor conference room. The event is organized as a way for the MICA community to "come together and reflect and pray as one body." All members of the MICA community who would like to pray for reconciliation and justice in Baltimore are welcome.

Date: April 28, 2015

To: MICA Parents

Re: Our City, Your Safety, and Acting Together

Dear Parents:

Baltimore continues to experience a dynamic and volatile environment related to unrest associated with conflict between police and Baltimore communities. Additional law enforcement from multiple jurisdictions are now present around the city, as is the National Guard. You must be watching the news and talking to your children, and are obviously concerned. We hear your voices and want you to know that we are doing everything possible to ensure the safety and academic and emotional well being of students, faculty, and staff.

Please check the College's website, mica.edu for updates. If you haven't, like our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/mica.edu or follow @mica on Twitter. You can also sign up for our MICA Alert system, and get alerts sent directly to your cell phone, by clicking here.

We are continuing to educate students about our safety procedures, including "Shelter-In-Place" directives, the curfew that will take effect tonight from 10 p.m.-5 a.m., and how to access our shuttle and escort services for safe movement around campus.

We have also taken steps to close campus when necessary, and will do so again this afternoon as classes end at 4 p.m.

Following are additional steps that we are taking to address the needs of our community as we work through this trying time together:

SAFETY

  • Anyone who feels unsafe should call 911 or Campus Safety at 443-423-3333.
  • MICA Campus Safety Guards in uniform are active in all residence halls and academic buildings.
  • Campus Safety officers are on constant patrol around campus (on foot, in vehicles, and on Segway).
  • The senior-level Critical Incident Management team is monitoring the situation along with the protocols of other Baltimore colleges and universities.
  • In regular contact with the Baltimore City Police, Fire Department, Department of Public Works, Department of Housing, and the mayor's office, along with nearby neighborhood associations.
  • MICA is encouraging students to utilize MICA shuttles and safety escorts for save movement around the area.

EMOTIONAL WELL-BEING

  • Walk-in professional counseling services are available to students.
  • We are continuing to educate students about emergency procedures, such a "shelter in place").
  • MICA is planning time and space for reflection and discussion about the events happening in the city.
  • Corpus Christi Church has made spiritual support available for individual's needs around quiet, reflective space.

ACADEMIC ACCOMMODATIONS

  • Academic buildings remain accessible, but schedule is dynamic and will adapt based off the current situation (as long as MICA remains open).
  • Faculty and students are working together to support reasonable accommodations for the completion of their academic work.
  • Faculty are providing resources and information about how people can help and contribute.

STUDENT LIFE ACCOMMODATIONS

  • Dining services open and available, although the schedule will adapt based off the current situation; changes in the schedule will be communicated directly to residence halls. Off-campus students who need to utilize dining services on MICA's campus may do so, whether they have a meal plan or not.

We recognize the stress associated with this situation and will continue to make every effort to be transparent and communicative as the situation evolves.

MICA Logo

Memorandum

Date: April 28, 2015

To: MICA Community

From: Samuel Hoi, President

Re: Our City, Your Safety, and Acting Together


Dear MICA Community,

The last 24 hours for most of us have been unprecedented. As we watch our city coping with unrest and violence, I write to provide assurance of MICA’s commitment to safety of our campus community, to remind us of our strengths as a campus family, and to prepare us for action to help mend our wonderful city as it returns to order.

The safety and wellbeing of our students, faculty and staff members are paramount. We are doing everything we can to ensure the safety of the MICA campus. A leadership team is monitoring the evolving situation and will keep you, as well as parents of students, posted and offer advice and alerts as needed.

Together, the MICA community will soon develop a college-wide action to help heal our city physically, emotionally, and communally. We understand that many community members are individually seeking ways to contribute to the city now. We respect such desire and action, and would like to remind everyone that we are in the midst of a volatile, dynamic situation that is unfolding. Therefore, we counsel everyone to take extra caution and sensitivity if you feel moved to act in some constructive ways.

I recognize that this is the busiest time of the year on campus due to finals, thesis work, and year-end activities. The College is doing everything possible to make academic accommodations and to balance decisions regarding campus operation hours between the needs of access and your safety.

The emotions and anxiety of our community are fully understandable and recognized. At a time of stress, our connection with and support for each other are crucial for comfort and healing. Starting today and over the next few days, MICA will create times and spaces for campus members, depending on your needs and preferences, to come together, reflect in your privacy, or seek counsel. As immediate measures for today:

  • Corpus Christi Church will be open from 12 – 4 pm for anyone wishing a reflective space, and campus members of all faiths are welcome.
  • The Student Counseling Center will be open for walk-in appointments from 8 am to 1 pm and again from 3 pm to 5 pm.

All members of our community are encouraged to follow updates on supportive measures, campus dialogues, and volunteer opportunities in the coming days by visiting www.mica.edu/campusupdates.

Historic times challenge us to be the best we can possibly be, both as individuals and as a community. This is a time for compassion, hope and action, and a time for all of us in this city to stand together for change and order, not apart. Creative leadership, so abundant at MICA, is particularly valuable right now because we need innovative ways to call out injustice and resolve conflict peacefully. As MICA students, faculty, staff and alumni have served as catalysts for change around the city and the world, we continue to encourage campus members and alumni to be leaders in our collective discourse as a society. I am honored to stand with you as we move forward together in advancing an inclusive society.