Student and professional staff are both essential parts of the Michigan Housing team, and we are always ready to listen when ResStaff have concerns. While we hold that trust and dialogue are better ways of accomplishing a common goal, we understand that some ResStaff may have felt that disruptive action is necessary.
We assure you that this is not the case, and we are grateful for the recent ResStaff feedback that prompted us to provide new PPE to all communities, clarify our public health policies with residents, and improve communication with you.
For ResStaff who are continuing to serve their communities over the next few days, we ask that you let us know, so that we can organize work coverage for the future. The work you do and services you provide to our residents is valued, and greatly appreciated throughout all levels within Housing and beyond.
We would also like to address the latest concerns brought forward.
- ResStaff will have priority in the university’s voluntary surveillance testing program, testing 3,000 students weekly from September 9. You may register for testing here.
- We will resume daily email updates to ResStaff each business day beginning Monday, September 14.
- Data on the COVID-19 dashboard on the Maize and Blueprint is refreshed daily. There is no plan at this time to break out data by residential community. The university is also working on posting the community public health notices that go out building-wide to the website.
- When a suspected or positive COVID case has been confirmed in Housing, the university’s first priority is contact tracing through Environmental Health & Safety (EHS). Notifications are only sent after this has been done appropriately.
- Through the contract tracing process, students exposed or who have tested positive for COVID-19 are given the option to move to quarantine or isolation housing or another location of their choosing that may better meet their needs; such as returning home. ResStaff are not expected to physically interact with these residents.
- While EHS has confirmed the effectiveness of the face coverings originally provided, Student Life is ready to supply ResStaff with additional, different face coverings. We welcome ResStaff recommendations. Until then, we will be providing disposable face masks to all community centers, to be used in conjunction with your regular face covering and/or face shield.
- Since last week, Michigan Housing has been using a new rigorous and robust conduct process for public health policies. As we have shared, follow up measures may include housing contract termination. At the same time, it is fundamental to our shared value of restorative justice not to impose automatic measures out of a “three strikes” rule or similar punitive system. Each person's situation dictates the outcome and next steps. Given the gravity of COVID-19, that means contract termination may be appropriate after one or two serious violations.
- We share a belief that for our conduct process to be effective, it needs to be on an expedited timeline. Please know that without your support as ResStaff over the next few days, we will be working through this caseload less quickly than we would like.
- ResStaff are not expected and will not be asked to take on additional work as a result of staff vacancies.
- Compensation for ResStaff is primarily in the form of room and board. The university does not provide hazard pay.
We hope the above is sufficient to bring you back to the job we are all here to do: supporting our students. For ResStaff who have individual concerns, we invite you to discuss them with your professional staff individually, in hopes of arriving at a shared understanding.