Announcements and Webinars

October 15, 2021
Campus Mask Requirement Continues

Dear SAIC Community,

With COVID-19 infection rates in Chicago declining and a high vaccination rate among our campus community, we have continued to see low case numbers on our campus. Although these numbers are encouraging, the Delta variant still poses risks, and with flu season now in full swing, it remains critically important that you wear a mask and do not come to campus if you are ill. We continue to work with public health expert Terri Rebmann, PhD, RN, CIC, FAPIC, who advises that even if you have mild symptoms, it’s essential that you stay home and get tested as soon as possible for COVID-19, even if you are fully vaccinated and/or do not have a known exposure. Because vaccinated individuals who become infected often have mild symptoms, they can unknowingly infect members of our community if they choose to come to campus.

This month, a community member with mild symptoms came to School. The individual subsequently tested positive for COVID-19, and our contact tracers identified dozens of close contacts. This compelled all close contacts to engage in COVID-19 testing and forced an unvaccinated close contact to go into quarantine. The incident was upsetting to all involved and put significant strain on our dedicated Wellness Center staff. Please stay home when you feel unwell.

Below are some reminders about each of these campus requirements.
 
If you are ill, stay home.
If you're vaccinated, your symptoms may be very mild, so it’s essential to stay home if you experience any COVID-19 symptoms—congestion, sore throat, or a fever. If this is the case, please get tested as soon as possible. Here is a list of local testing options. If you are symptomatic, students should contact SAIC Health Services at healthservices@saic.edu or 312.499.4288 during business hours, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. CT. Faculty and staff should contact their primary care provider.
 
Wear a mask.
Illinois is still under a state-wide mask mandate. Masks must be worn indoors at all times on campus, unless you are in a room by yourself with the door closed. A face mask must fully cover your nose and mouth. It may only be removed inside our classrooms when actively drinking, and then only for as brief a time period as possible. As Dr. Rebmann noted in her research, published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in September, universal masking can limit the spread of COVID-19 on college campuses.

Please continue to be diligent to protect your health and the health of our community members. Thank you for all that you do to mitigate risk on our campus. As always, if you have any questions about these requirements, please contact us at saicinfo@saic.edu.

Sincerely,

Tom Buechele
Vice President for Campus Operations

September 29, 2021 
You Must Submit to Weekly COVID-19 Testing

Dear SAIC Student,

Governor JB Pritzker announced a mandate requiring that all students and employees at higher education institutions be vaccinated. This mandate allows for medical and religious exemptions; however, the law requires that all unvaccinated students and employees––even those with exemptions––submit proof of a negative COVID-19 test at least once per week. 

If you are not fully vaccinated and have not received a medical or religious exemption, you will lose access to campus beginning this Friday, October 1.

If you are not fully vaccinated and you have received a medical or religious exemption, you must submit to weekly COVID-19 testing. Your first test must be taken no later than Wednesday, October 6. 

We are pleased to announce that the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) has partnered with SNT Biotech and Medstar Laboratory to conduct COVID-19 testing on campus for students who are not fully vaccinated and have received a medical or religious exemption. The test is PCR and is self-administered. If you are unvaccinated, you must test on campus each week. 
 
Testing Location
MacLean Center
112 South Michigan Avenue, room 501

Testing Dates and Times
Testing is available every week during the following dates/times:

  • Mondays: 12:00 to 5:00 p.m. CT
  • Tuesdays: 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. CT
  • Wednesdays: 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. CT

Testing Procedure

  • Arrive at the MacLean Center, 112 South Michigan Avenue, room 501 during one of the testing times listed above.
  • Swipe your ARTICard upon entering room 501, and complete a form which asks for your health insurance information and approval for SAIC to receive your test results.
  • SNT Biotech staff will show you how to self-administer the nasal swab to complete your test, and once you complete your test on campus, you will be considered compliant with this weekly requirement.

Test Results
Medstar Laboratory will email you with your test results each week, typically between 24 to 48 hours after taking your test. SAIC will also receive your results through a secure portal. If you test positive, you must self-isolate and immediately notify SAIC Health Services at healthservices@saic.edu.
 
To protect the health and safety of our community, if you do not test by 3:00 p.m. CT on Wednesday of each week, you will not have access to campus starting on Thursday morning. You may regain access to campus after you test the following week. It will likely take one to two business days from when you test for you to receive access back to campus. For example, if you do not take your test by 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, the following timeline will be in effect:

  • Beginning Thursday, 12:01 a.m. CT: You lose access to campus until you test again the following week.
  • Monday, 9:00 a.m.: You will be allowed access to the MacLean Center to take your COVID-19 test. You will be given access only to the MacLean Center and only to take the test. You must leave the building after you take the test.
  • By Wednesday, 9:00 a.m.: Your campus access will be restored.

If you provide proof of being fully vaccinated, you will no longer be required to submit weekly PCR tests. 

Thank you in advance for your cooperation. As always, if you have any questions, please contact us at saicinfo@saic.edu

Sincerely,

Martin Berger
Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs 

Felice Dublon
Vice President and Dean of Student Affairs

 

SEPTEMBER 24, 2021

Dear Faculty and Staff,

We write to share an update on COVID-19 vaccination efforts on our campus. Over the summer, we announced that the School of the Art Institute of Chicago would require COVID-19 vaccination for all students, faculty, and staff who will be on campus this academic year. By requiring students, faculty, and staff to be fully vaccinated, our goal was to protect the health and safety of our campus community and the city of Chicago.

Our decision to require COVID-19 vaccinations was reaffirmed when Governor Pritzker issued an executive order on August 26 mandating that all students and employees of higher education institutions must provide proof of having received the COVID-19 vaccine or submit to testing on a weekly basis. In light of the executive order, we adjusted our approach and asked staff and faculty who would be on campus this academic year to then submit proof of vaccination. And you responded in an impressive way: 98 percent of faculty and 99 percent of staff are fully vaccinated. Additionally, 98 percent of students who are coming to campus also provided proof of vaccination. Thank you for attesting to your status and for taking the additional step to submit your proof of vaccination. With the vast majority of our campus community vaccinated, according to our public health expert, Dr. Terri Rebmann, we have drastically reduced our risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19. However, the risk is not zero, so we must continue to be diligent about wearing masks and washing our hands.

Our deadline for faculty and staff to submit proof of vaccination was September 15. Those who have not submitted their proof were informed that their campus and museum access has been suspended. Unvaccinated employees, including those who received a medical or religious exemption, will need to submit to weekly testing in order to comply with the governor’s mandate. We are currently working to set up an on-campus testing protocol, and we will be in touch with those individuals regarding the testing details.

As we said when we first began this process, becoming vaccinated against COVID-19 is the most important thing we as individuals can do to ensure our own safety and the safety of our community. We are grateful for your partnership and your commitment to taking care of one another.

Sincerely,

Elissa Tenny
President

Martin Berger
Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs

Michael Nicolai
Chief Human Resources Officer

Shawn Michelle Smith
Interim Dean of Faculty and Vice President of Academic Affairs

 

SEPTEMBER 10, 2021

Dear Colleagues,

Over the summer, we conducted an assessment of campus modifications made last year to ensure they continue to follow the latest local, state, and federal guidance. I want to provide you with an update on some of these facilities modifications:

  • On the advice of our public health expert, Terri Rebmann, PhD, RN, CIC, FAPIC, there is no evidence that plastic barriers prevent the spread of COVID-19, and they could disrupt proper air circulation. We started removing these barriers, and the work will continue over the next few weeks.
  • As we did last year, all classrooms, studio spaces, and common areas will continue to be cleaned during overnight hours.
  • Campus sanitation kits are available in all classrooms, common areas, and office cores last year and supplies will continue to be replenished. If you notice that your supplies are low, please contact irfm@saic.edu.
  • The tent installed last year outside of the 280 Building will continue to be available for outdoor classes and meeting spaces this fall, and the space can be reserved through the room reservation system.
  • Our upgraded HVAC filtration system was assessed over the summer and continues to filter out biological contaminants in buildings where we don’t already have either carbon or UV filtration systems. We also increased the percentage of outside air brought into a building from 40 to 60 percent, where environmental conditions permit.
  • Installed updated campus signage to reflect current Make Together guidance and we are in the process of removing outdated signage.

Dr. Rebmann continues to advise that the two most effective ways to protect yourself from the virus is by wearing a mask and becoming vaccinated. An article written by Dr. Rebmann and published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week underscores the importance of masking in university settings. We are working with Dr. Rebmann to record a video that discusses the paper and her findings. We will share this video with our community in the coming weeks.

Sincerely,

Thomas Buechele
Vice President, Campus Operations

 

SEPTEMBER 3, 2021

Dear Colleagues,

In response to increased COVID-19 infection rates across the state of Illinois, Governor JB Pritzker announced a mandate requiring that all students and employees at higher education institutions be vaccinated. Fortunately, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s (SAIC) vaccination policy is largely in alignment with this mandate; however, the governor’s new executive order requires us to go beyond an attestation and receive proof of vaccination from all employees. Proof of vaccination must be submitted by September 15.
 
To comply with Governor Pritzker’s mandate, only the following may serve as proof that you have received a COVID-19 vaccine:

  • A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 record card;
  • Documentation of vaccination from a health care provider; or
  • State immunization records.

Only documents showing an approved vaccine––those of which have received full or emergency use approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration or World Health Organization––will be accepted. Below you’ll find details on how to submit your proof of vaccination. 
 
We’ve updated our vaccine policy to reflect the state requirement, and you can find the full policy here. We’ve previously asked you to submit an attestation; thank you to the nearly 86 percent of faculty and staff that have attested to their status. We know this is an unanticipated additional step, and we appreciate your prompt response. As always, if you have any questions, please contact us at saicinfo@saic.edu

Sincerely,

Martin Berger
Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs

Mike Nicolai
Chief Human Resources Officer
 
 
How to Submit Proof of Your COVID-19 Vaccine
 
Later this morning, you will receive an email containing a link for you to submit your documentation. The email will come from AIC/SAIC Human Resources and will have the subject, “One or more tasks are pending your action.” When you receive this email, click on the link and take the following steps. Click here for detailed instructions and answers to technical questions.

  1. Scan or take a photo of your proof of COVID-19 vaccination documentation and save it as an image file or PDF on your computer or mobile device.
  2. In the email, click the blue “Complete Tasks” button.
  3. Locate your saved proof of vaccination documentation and upload it by dragging the document into the “Upload Files” section or click “Browse Files,” then “Upload.”
  4. Wait for your document to complete uploading. This could take several minutes. The icon will change to “Uploading” and will be grayed out until the upload is complete.
  5. Click “Submit for Review.” Once submitted, the icon will change to read “Task Submitted.”

If you have questions about this requirement, please contact Human Resources at ask_hr@saic.edu. If you have technical questions or issues, SAIC faculty and staff may reach out to crithd@saic.edu and Central Administration staff may reach out to itsupport@artic.edu.

 

AUGUST 31, 2021

Tuesday, August 31
Click here to watch. 

 

Dear Faculty,

As we begin the fall semester, we've been getting many questions from faculty about social distancing, contact tracing, and the other ways being a fully vaccinated campus is changing School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) policies. To that end, we're sharing a video update from public health expert Terri Rebmann, PhD, RN, CIC, FAPIC. In this video, Dr. Rebmann answers questions from Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies Paul Jackson, Associate Professor Shaurya Kumar, and Executive Director of Campus Security John Pack. 

For additional information, please visit saic.edu/maketogether. As always, if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to us at saicinfo@saic.edu.

Best,

Thomas Buechele
Vice President for Campus Operations

 

AUGUST 19, 2021

Dear SAIC Community,

With the uptick in daily COVID-19 cases across the country and here in Chicago, we want to provide you with an update on our health and safety guidance. Earlier this week, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced that beginning tomorrow (August 20), face masks are mandated in all indoor public settings, no matter your vaccination status. The CDPH advises:

  • Masks are required in all indoor public settings, including bars and restaurants, gyms, common areas of condos and multi-residential buildings, and private clubs.
  • Masks can be removed at restaurants, bars, and other eating/drinking establishments by patrons when they are actively eating and drinking.
  • Masks remain mandatory on public transportation and in healthcare settings, schools, and correctional and congregate settings.
  • Masking remains optional in outdoor settings, where the risk of COVID-19 transmission is lower.
  • Masks are recommended for unvaccinated individuals in crowded outdoor settings.

We will continue to require the use of face masks on our campus. While the new mandate does not change our approach, the return to a mask mandate, particularly for those who have been vaccinated against COVID-19, may be disappointing to hear. Because we are requiring a COVID-19 vaccination for all students, faculty, and staff who will be on campus at any point this upcoming academic year, we had hoped we would be able to relax our masking requirement at the beginning of the school year; however, that will not be possible right now. As always, we will continue to review guidance from local, state, and national health authorities and will update you with any changes to our processes and protocols.

We continue to consult with Terri Rebmann, PhD, RN, CIC, FAPIC, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s public health expert, and she acknowledges that while the risk of contracting COVID-19 if you’re vaccinated is not zero, your risk is greatly reduced if you and others around you are wearing a mask. Dr. Rebmann shared her thoughts on this topic during a summer Q&A with staff and faculty. Click here to watch the video.

As we return to a more normal campus experience, we’ve launched Make Together: A Return to Creating on Campus. On Make Together, you can access the latest information on processes, policies, and guidance; understand the expectations for working and learning on campus; and know what to do if you’re feeling ill or have been exposed. We encourage you to check the site frequently for updates, and as always, please reach out to saicinfo@saic.edu if you have questions.

Sincerely,

Martin Berger
Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs

Tom Buechele
Vice President for Campus Operations

John Pack
Executive Director of Campus Security

 

AUGUST 18, 2021

Dear Students,

Our staff and faculty at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) are looking forward to welcoming you to campus in just a few short weeks. As you prepare for the beginning of the semester, we want to provide an update on several of our practices. As you know, during the course of the pandemic, we adapted policies and processes to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 on our campus. We continue to consult guidance from federal, state, and local health agencies, as well as SAIC's public health expert Terri Rebmann, PhD, RN, CIC, FAPIC, and today we write to you with updated guidance for:

  • Masks
  • Visitors
  • International students and vaccination

As you know, becoming vaccinated against COVID-19 is required for any students intending to be on campus. If you haven’t already done so, please submit your proof of vaccination to Health Services as soon as possible.

If you have questions, please email saicinfo@saic.edu.

Sincerely,

Martin Berger
Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs

Tom Buechele
Vice President for Campus Operations

John Pack
Executive Director of Campus Security
 
 
Masks

  • SAIC continues to require that everyone on campus wear a face covering indoors, regardless of their vaccination status. This policy will undergo regular review by Dr. Rebmann, and we will notify our community of any changes.
  • For classes, events, or meetings that are restricted to the SAIC community, there are no size limitations.

Visitors to Residence Halls (Effective August 21)

  • Any current SAIC On-Campus resident may use their ARTICard to scan in at Jones Hall or the 162 Residences. As always, only Buckingham residents may access that building. All residents must be masked whenever they are outside of their own room and/or if people other than their roommate(s) are in their room. 
  • Residents may have other non-resident SAIC students and/or non-SAIC affiliated guests as visitors.
  • External visitors are allowed to assist residents while moving in/out, following the policy shared with students this summer.
  • Residents may sign in up to three visitors at any one time at the residence hall where they live. All visitors must leave the building during quiet hours. Prior to their arrival on campus, hosts should inform their visitors that they will be required to wear face coverings at all times. Masks will be available at the security desk in all buildings.

Visitors to Academic Buildings (Effective September 1)

  • Visitors must be escorted by an SAIC employee or student host at all times. Hosts are responsible for the conduct of their visitors. Prior to their arrival on campus, hosts should inform their visitors that they will be required to wear face coverings at all times. Masks will be available at the security desk in all buildings.
  • Visitors are prohibited when the building is closed.
  • Students may sign in up to three visitors at any one time for any academic building (only when the building is open).
  • Alums must be signed in as a visitor by a student or SAIC employee.

International Students and Vaccination

  • Students who have, or may have, received a COVID-19 vaccine that is not FDA authorized or WHO approved will be required to get revaccinated in the US immediately upon their arrival, following current FDA guidelines.

In June of 2020, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago launched Make Ready: A Framework for Returning to SAIC’s Campus. The website outlined the School’s approach to mitigating risk on campus and has served as an invaluable guide for our community over the past 14 months.

As we return to a more normal campus experience this fall, we’ve launched Make Together: A Return to Creating on Campus, marking a new chapter in our School’s work to mitigate risk and build community during the COVID-19 pandemic. On Make Together, you can:
 
 
Stay Informed
Access the latest information on processes, policies, and guidance. You can also read all emails sent under the Make Together banner, as well as check the COVID-19 Dashboard, which will continue to be updated weekly.  

Know What to Expect
Make sure you know what to do before you arrive on campus. 

Take Care of Yourself
Know what to do if you’re feeling under the weather or have been exposed, or if you just need some information on vaccines and testing. 

Access Make Ready Info
A lot has changed since we launched the original Make Ready website, so we’ve catalogued information and emails from the past year. 

As always, we will continue to share critical information via email and update this site regularly.

Please continue to send questions you have to saicinfo@saic.edu

 

AUGUST 17, 2021

Tuesday, August 17, 12:00 p.m. CT
Click here to watch. 

 

AUGUST 12, 2021

Dear SAIC Community,

As we prepare to return to a more normal campus experience in a few short weeks, we want to provide you with an update on several of our practices. As you know, during the course of the pandemic, we adapted policies and processes to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 on our campus. We continue to consult guidance from federal, state, and local health agencies, as well as the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s (SAIC) public health expert Terri Rebmann, PhD, RN, CIC, FAPIC, and today we write to you with updated guidance for:

  • Classes, events, and meetings
  • Off-campus study programs and activities
  • Visitors
  • Campus tours
  • Domestic and international travel

SAIC continues to require that everyone on campus wear a face covering indoors, regardless of their vaccination status. This policy will undergo regular review by Dr. Rebmann, and we will notify our community of any changes.

Additionally, all faculty and staff who will be on campus at any point in time in 2021–22 are required to submit an attestation on their COVID-19 vaccination status by September 1. Vaccines are also required for any students intending to be on campus.

Dr. Rebmann will host a live Q&A session on Tuesday, August 17, at 12:00 p.m. CT to answer questions you may have about these updates. We will send out Zoom details shortly. In the meantime, if you have questions, please email saicinfo@saic.edu.

Sincerely,

Martin Berger
Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs

Tom Buechele
Vice President for Campus Operations

John Pack
Executive Director of Campus Security
 
 
On-Campus Classes, Events, and Meetings

  • For classes, events, or meetings that are restricted to the SAIC community:
    • There are no size limitations.
  • On-campus classes may contain a single non-SAIC guest per class session to participate in critique or lecture. The guest must follow the same masking guidelines as other campus visitors.
  • For meetings and events that are open to the SAIC community and non-SAIC participants:
    • All participants––SAIC and non-SAIC participants––must wear masks.
    • Total attendance must be limited to 50 percent of the posted room capacity.
    • Non-SAIC participants must remain below 10 percent of the reduced room capacity.
    • Eating and drinking is not permitted at indoor events.
    • Proof of vaccination is not required for non-SAIC attendees.
  • For classes, events, and meetings taking place outdoors (whether open solely to the SAIC community or including non-SAIC participants), there are no size restrictions, face covering rules, or food restrictions.

Off-Campus Study Programs and Activities

  • SAIC is considering resuming domestic off-campus study programs this spring. We are also considering resuming international study programs to locations for which the US State Department has not issued either a “reconsider travel” or “do not travel” advisory . While we deem it safe to allow such trips to proceed, it will take us time to plan for the resumption of off-campus study programs. Updates on the status of trips will be provided this fall.
  • SAIC departments may resume off-campus field trips, off-site courses, and other learning activities this fall.
  • Attendance at off-campus indoor venues will be limited to 50 percent of room capacity. Specific guidance will be provided by the Dean’s Office.
  • Face coverings and social distancing guidelines should follow those of the venue or city, whichever is stricter.
  • Public transit may be used for travel to and from off-campus activities.

Visitors to Academic Buildings

  • Visitors must be escorted by an SAIC employee or student host at all times. Hosts are responsible for the conduct of their visitors. Prior to their arrival on campus, hosts should inform their visitors that they will be required to wear face coverings at all times. Masks will be available at the security desk in all buildings.
  • Visitors are prohibited when the building is closed.
  • SAIC employees may sign in up to three visitors at any one time for any academic building (only when the building is open).
  • Students may sign in up to three visitors at any one time for any academic building (only when the building is open).
  • Alums must be signed in as a visitor by a student or SAIC employee.

Campus Tours

  • Tour guides should instruct visitors that they are required to wear face coverings regardless of their vaccination status. Masks will be available at the security desk in any campus building.
  • Tour groups may include people from more than one family but not more than 10 visitors in total.
  • Departments scheduling tours must collect and retain clear records and contact information of all tour participants should contact tracing prove necessary.

Domestic and International Travel

  • SAIC staff will resume domestic and international business travel as approved by their departments. Faculty may resume domestic and international travel at their discretion.
  • International business travel is not approved for locations for which the US State Department has issued either a “reconsider travel” or “do not travel” advisory.
  • SAIC community members traveling for business must follow local, state, and federal travel guidelines as they travel and upon their return to Chicago. This includes but is not limited to testing, self-monitoring for symptoms, and quarantine, if required. Please visit the Chicago Department of Public Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention websites for details.

Dear Colleagues,

As you know, becoming vaccinated is one of the most important things we can do to ensure our own safety and the safety of our community. The COVID-19 vaccines, which are proven to be safe and effective, will help us return to a more normal campus experience and help put this pandemic behind us. 

That’s why it’s critically important that you attest to your vaccination status today

By September 1, all faculty and staff who will be on campus at any point in time in 2021–22 must submit an attestation on their vaccination status. If you do not attest to your status, you will lose access to campus and your ability to perform your job may be impacted. Please take this important step now by: 

  1. Logging in to Self-Service
  2. Clicking on Employee Self-Service
  3. Clicking on SAIC COVID Vax Attestation

After clicking on the SAIC COVID Vax Attestation, you’ll have the opportunity to attest that you’re fully vaccinated, request a religious or medical exemption, or attest that you are not fully vaccinated/decline to provide this information. While exemptions will be accommodated for medical reasons and sincerely held religious beliefs, the expectation is that our campus will overwhelmingly consist of vaccinated individuals. To request an exemption, click on the Exemption Forms & Instructions link on the SAIC COVID Vax Attestation page.

If you’ve already attested your status, thank you for helping us get to 100 percent compliance. We look forward to seeing more of you on campus in the coming weeks. 

Sincerely, 

Gene Adams, Chief Information Officer
Martin Berger, Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs 
Tom Buechele, Vice President for Campus Operations
Paul Coffey, Vice Provost and Dean of Community Engagement
Delinda Collier, Interim Dean of Graduate Studies 
Leslie Darling, Executive Vice President and General Counsel
Felice Dublon, Vice President and Dean of Student Affairs
Brian Esker, Vice President of Finance
Dawn Gavin, Dean of Undergraduate Studies
Allison Green, Chief of Staff 
Scott Hendrickson, Vice President of Marketing and Communications
Alexandra Holt, Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration
Rose Milkowski, Vice President of Enrollment Management
Michael Nicolai, Chief Human Resources Officer
Stephanie Oberhausen, Vice President for Advancement
Jefferson Pinder, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Academic Affairs
Devarajulu Ravichandran, Vice President of Educational Technologies and Chief Information Officer
Shawn Michelle Smith, Interim Dean of Faculty 

Live Dr. Rebmann Q&A Next Tuesday, August 17

Dear SAIC Community,

Join us Tuesday, August 17, from 12:00 to 12:45 p.m. CT for a live Q&A with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s (SAIC) public health expert Terri Rebmann, PhD, RN, CIC, FAPIC. Dr. Rebmann will answer questions regarding the science behind updates to campus health and safety protocols. The Q&A session will be recorded and posted on Make Ready.

Please submit questions in advance to saicinfo@saic.edu by Monday, August 16, at 5:00 p.m. CT. Dr. Rebmann will do her best to answer these questions as well as take questions during the meeting using the Q&A function.

When it’s time to attend the meeting:
 
Please Click Here to Participate
Password: SAIC817

You can also call in if you are unable to join by video:
Dial 312.626.6799 or 646.876.9923. Webinar ID: 863 1432 1830
International numbers are available here.
 
Tom Buechele
Vice President for Campus Operations

John Pack
Executive Director of Campus Security

Policy Updates

Dear SAIC Community,

As we prepare to return to a more normal campus experience in a few short weeks, we want to provide you with an update on several of our practices. As you know, during the course of the pandemic, we adapted policies and processes to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 on our campus. We continue to consult guidance from federal, state, and local health agencies, as well as the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s (SAIC) public health expert Terri Rebmann, PhD, RN, CIC, FAPIC, and today we write to you with updated guidance for:

  • Classes, events, and meetings
  • Off-campus study programs and activities
  • Visitors
  • Campus tours
  • Domestic and international travel

SAIC continues to require that everyone on campus wear a face covering indoors, regardless of their vaccination status. This policy will undergo regular review by Dr. Rebmann, and we will notify our community of any changes.

Additionally, all faculty and staff who will be on campus at any point in time in 2021–22 are required to submit an attestation on their COVID-19 vaccination status by September 1. Vaccines are also required for any students intending to be on campus.

Dr. Rebmann will host a live Q&A session on Tuesday, August 17, at 12:00 p.m. CT to answer questions you may have about these updates. We will send out Zoom details shortly. In the meantime, if you have questions, please email saicinfo@saic.edu.

Sincerely,

Martin Berger
Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs

Tom Buechele
Vice President for Campus Operations

John Pack
Executive Director of Campus Security
 
 
On-Campus Classes, Events, and Meetings

  • For classes, events, or meetings that are restricted to the SAIC community:
    • There are no size limitations.
  • On-campus classes may contain a single non-SAIC guest per class session to participate in critique or lecture. The guest must follow the same masking guidelines as other campus visitors.
  • For meetings and events that are open to the SAIC community and non-SAIC participants:
    • All participants––SAIC and non-SAIC participants––must wear masks.
    • Total attendance must be limited to 50 percent of the posted room capacity.
    • Non-SAIC participants must remain below 10 percent of the reduced room capacity.
    • Eating and drinking is not permitted at indoor events.
    • Proof of vaccination is not required for non-SAIC attendees.
  • For classes, events, and meetings taking place outdoors (whether open solely to the SAIC community or including non-SAIC participants), there are no size restrictions, face covering rules, or food restrictions.

Off-Campus Study Programs and Activities

  • SAIC is considering resuming domestic off-campus study programs this spring. We are also considering resuming international study programs to locations for which the US State Department has not issued either a “reconsider travel” or “do not travel” advisory. While we deem it safe to allow such trips to proceed, it will take us time to plan for the resumption of off-campus study programs. Updates on the status of trips will be provided this fall.
  • SAIC departments may resume off-campus field trips, off-site courses, and other learning activities this fall.
  • Attendance at off-campus indoor venues will be limited to 50 percent of room capacity. Specific guidance will be provided by the Dean’s Office.
  • Face coverings and social distancing guidelines should follow those of the venue or city, whichever is stricter.
  • Public transit may be used for travel to and from off-campus activities.

Visitors to Academic Buildings

  • Visitors must be escorted by an SAIC employee or student host at all times. Hosts are responsible for the conduct of their visitors. Prior to their arrival on campus, hosts should inform their visitors that they will be required to wear face coverings at all times. Masks will be available at the security desk in all buildings.
  • Visitors are prohibited when the building is closed.
  • SAIC employees may sign in up to three visitors at any one time for any academic building (only when the building is open).
  • Students may sign in up to three visitors at any one time for any academic building (only when the building is open).
  • Alums must be signed in as a visitor by a student or SAIC employee.

Campus Tours

  • Tour guides should instruct visitors that they are required to wear face coverings regardless of their vaccination status. Masks will be available at the security desk in any campus building.
  • Tour groups may include people from more than one family but not more than 10 visitors in total.
  • Departments scheduling tours must collect and retain clear records and contact information of all tour participants should contact tracing prove necessary.

Domestic and International Travel

  • SAIC staff will resume domestic and international business travel as approved by their departments. Faculty may resume domestic and international travel at their discretion.
  • International business travel is not approved for locations for which the US State Department has issued either a “reconsider travel” or “do not travel” advisory.
  • SAIC community members traveling for business must follow local, state, and federal travel guidelines as they travel and upon their return to Chicago. This includes but is not limited to testing, self-monitoring for symptoms, and quarantine, if required. Please visit the Chicago Department of Public Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention websites for details.

 

AUGUST 5, 2021

Dear SAIC Staff and Central Administration Staff,

Thank you to those that were able to join last week’s live Q&A with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s (SAIC) public health expert, Dr. Terri Rebmann. If you were not able to attend, you can find a recording of the webinar here.

As we previously announced, all faculty and staff who will be on campus at any point in time in 2021–22 are required to submit an attestation on their COVID-19 vaccination status by September 1. To attest your vaccination status or request an exemption, please follow the steps below.

  • Log in to Self-Service
  • Click on Employee Self-Service
  • Click on SAIC COVID Vax Attestation.

After clicking on the SAIC COVID Vax Attestation, you’ll have the opportunity to attest that you’re fully vaccinated, request a religious or medical exemption, or attest that you are not fully vaccinated/decline to provide this information. While exemptions will be accommodated for medical reasons and sincerely held religious beliefs, the expectation is that our campus will overwhelmingly consist of vaccinated individuals. To request an exemption, click on the Exemption Forms & Instructions link on the SAIC COVID Vax Attestation page.

Becoming vaccinated against COVID-19 is the most important thing we as individuals can do to ensure our own safety and the safety of our community. If you have any questions, please reach out to us at saicinfo@saic.edu.

Sincerely,

Tom Buechele
Vice President for Campus Operations

John Pack
Executive Director of Campus Security

 

JULY 29, 2021

Dear SAIC Community,

In response to increasing COVID-19 cases throughout the US, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its guidance around mask-wearing. The CDC is now recommending that all individuals, including those who are fully vaccinated, wear masks in public indoor settings in “areas of substantial or high transmission.” County-level transmission data can be found here.
 
At present, the city of Chicago is not considered an area of substantial or high COVID-19 transmission; however, our current protocols require everyone to wear masks while on the School of the Art Institute of Chicago's campus. As a result, our existing practices are aligned with this new recommendation. We will continue to review guidance from the CDC, Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH), and SAIC's public health expert Terri Rebmann, PhD, RN, CIC, FAPIC. As a reminder, when you are on campus, you must abide by our shared responsibilities, including by wearing a mask. If you feel ill for any reason, stay home, and if you show signs or symptoms of COVID-19 or are a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, please let us know:

Last week, we shared with faculty and staff that they will be required to attest to their COVID-19 vaccination status. As part of this announcement, we shared that those who have attested that they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will no longer need to wear a mask on campus beginning September 1. This is currently the plan; however, we know that national and local guidance may dictate a new course, and we will let you know of any changes.

Masks are critical to curtailing the spread of COVID-19, but vaccines offer us the best hope of emerging from this pandemic. The COVID-19 vaccines have proven to be safe and effective. If you haven’t done so already, please get vaccinated against COVID-19 now. Below please find more details regarding the COVID-19 vaccine.

If you are not vaccinated and you travel outside of Chicago, you may be subject to testing or a quarantine. Yesterday, the CDPH updated its Chicago Travel Advisory by adding nine more states to its list. There are now 14 states and one territory on the travel advisory. Any unvaccinated people traveling from these states and territories are advised to obtain a negative COVID-19 test result no more than 72 hours prior to arrival in Chicago or quarantine for a 10-day period upon arrival. If you are traveling outside of Chicago, please reference the travel advisory so you are aware of the requirements for your return. 

As always, if you have any questions, please email saicinfo@saic.edu.

Sincerely,

Tom Buechele
Vice President for Campus Operations

John Pack
Executive Director of Campus Security

About the COVID-19 Vaccine

  • All Chicagoans aged 12 and older now qualify to receive a vaccine. According to the CDC, there are several benefits to getting your COVID-19 vaccine:
  • All COVID-19 vaccines currently available in the US have been shown to be safe and effective at preventing COVID-19.
  • COVID-19 can have serious, life-threatening complications, and there is no way to know how COVID-19 will affect you. Experts believe that getting a vaccine also helps keep you from getting seriously ill even if you do get COVID-19.
  • Getting vaccinated will not only protect you, but may also protect people around you, particularly people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
  • After you are fully vaccinated for COVID-19, you may be able to start doing some things that you stopped doing because of the pandemic. For example, the Chicago Travel Advisory does not require fully vaccinated persons who have traveled domestically to quarantine if they are asymptomatic. A person is considered fully vaccinated when they are two weeks or more beyond the receipt of their second dose in a two-dose vaccine or two weeks or more beyond the receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine.

Additionally, if you are fully vaccinated and are in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, you may not need to quarantine.
 
Accessing a COVID-19 Vaccine
As the COVID-19 vaccine is currently widely available in the US, if you haven’t already started the vaccination process, please do so as soon as possible. Available to every Chicagoan, the city launched its Protect Chicago at Home initiative to provide in-home vaccinations on demand. Those who receive a vaccination through this program will receive a $50 gift card from Grubhub or a $25 Visa gift card. Here you’ll find more details.

Additionally, the COVID-19 vaccine is available at many locations near campus and throughout the city. You can make an appointment at WalgreensMariano’sJewel Osco, or via these websites:

Walgreens and other clinics are also offering walk-in vaccines for those who do not have an appointment.

 

JULY 23, 2021

Dear SAIC Faculty and Staff and Central Administration Staff,

As was shared earlier this week, becoming vaccinated against COVID-19 is the most important thing we as individuals can do to ensure our own safety and the safety of our community. By September 1, all faculty and staff who will be on campus at any point in time in 2021–22 must submit an attestation on their vaccination status. Below you’ll find more details on how to attest your vaccination status or request an exemption.

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s (SAIC) public health expert, Dr. Terri Rebmann, will host a live Q&A session on Wednesday, July 28, at 12:00 p.m. CT to answer questions you may have about the vaccine. Below you’ll find details on how to join the live Q&A. Please send your questions to saicinfo@saic.edu by Monday, July 26, at 5:00 p.m. CT. Additionally, in the coming weeks, SAIC's Director of Health Services Megan Skarr will host a follow-up informational session. Details are forthcoming.

Lastly, at Tuesday’s All Faculty and Staff Meeting, we received a number of questions about protocols for the fall. Below you'll find important information about campus adjustments, and additional policy updates for the fall are forthcoming. As always, we continue to review guidance from local and national public health agencies, as well as Dr. Rebmann, and we will make adjustments as guidance evolves.

If you have questions, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions page on Make Ready or reach out to saicinfo@saic.edu.

Sincerely,

Martin Berger
Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs

Michael Nicolai
Chief Human Resources Officer

Tom Buechele
Vice President for Campus Operations
 
 
Attestation and Exemptions
All employees must submit their attestation on their COVID-19 vaccination status or request an exemption by September 1. Complete these steps to submit your attestation:

  • Login to Self-Service
  • Click on Employee Self-Service
  • Click on SAIC COVID Vax Attestation

After clicking on the SAIC COVID Vax Attestation, you’ll have the opportunity to attest that you’re fully vaccinated, request a religious or medical exemption, or attest that you are not fully vaccinated/decline to provide this information. While exemptions will be accommodated for medical reasons and sincerely held religious beliefs, the expectation is that our campus will overwhelmingly consist of vaccinated individuals. To request an exemption, click on the Exemption Forms & Instructions link on the SAIC COVID Vax Attestation page.
 

What to Expect on Campus

  • The COVID-19 vaccine is required for all students, faculty, and staff (including Central Administration staff) who will be on campus for any point in time.
  • If you will be on campus at any point this summer, please continue to follow our shared responsibilities: wear a mask, maintain physical distance, and conduct daily symptom and temperature checks.
  • Beginning September 1, it is our current plan that those who have attested that they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will no longer need to wear a mask on campus (though you may certainly choose to do so even if you are vaccinated) or conduct daily required temperature and symptom checks. Classroom capacity restrictions will be lifted.
  • Staff and faculty who are not fully vaccinated will be required to wear a mask on campus. Those without an approved exemption will be required to follow additional health and safety protocols, including but not limited to submitting proof of a negative COVID-19 test on a regular basis.
  • SAIC’s PTO policy for staff will return to normal beginning August 1. Updates on additional policies, such as travel, study trips, visitors, and in-person events and meetings are forthcoming.
  • We’ll continue to have housekeeping services on campus; however, each of us is responsible for maintaining cleanliness of our own office space. Supplies will be provided to clean surfaces such as desks and shelves in your office space, and everyone with a trash or recycle bin should empty their bins in the centralized area located on each floor or near groups of offices. For vacuuming services, additional trash liners, or other cleaning requests, please complete a 360 facilities request.

Live Q&A with Dr. Rebmann
Wednesday, July 28, 12:00–1:00 p.m. CT

To submit a question in advance, please email saicinfo@saic.edu by 5:00 p.m. CT on Monday, July 26. Dr. Rebmann will do her best to answer these questions as well as take questions during the meeting using the Q&A function.
 
Submit Your Question by Monday, July 26, at 5:00 p.m. CT

When it’s time to attend the meeting:
 
Please Click Here to Participate
Password: SAIC728

You can also call in if you are unable to join by video:
Dial 312.626.6799 or 646.876.9923. Webinar ID: 869 0845 8255
International numbers are available here.
 
We recommend joining the meeting five minutes prior to the start to ensure you are connecting properly. Having trouble connecting? Please try following these preparatory tips:

  • The Chrome browser works well with Zoom. You can download the latest version here.
  • Make sure you have the latest version of Zoom. If you're on a computer, check the updates for macOS and Windows. If you're on your phone, check the updates for iOS and Android. For tech questions, click here.

 

JULY 20, 2021

Dear SAIC Faculty and Staff and Central Administration Staff,

Over the last academic year, you made extraordinary efforts to support our students while taking care of one another to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 on our campus. Now, with safe and effective vaccines widely available in the US, we look forward to welcoming many more of you back on campus beginning next month.
 
To be able to offer a more robust in-person experience and, ultimately, return to a more normal campus, in May, we shared that all students who intend to be on campus for any period of time will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19. We are now extending this vaccination requirement to all faculty and staff, including Central Administration staff, who will be on campus at any point in time in 2021–22.
 
Becoming vaccinated against COVID-19 is the most important thing we as individuals can do to ensure our own safety and the safety of our community. The vaccines have proven to be safe and effective. Throughout the year we’ve consulted with our public health expert, Terri Rebmann, PhD, RN, CIC, FAPIC, and she is a strong proponent of vaccines given the positive impact they have had globally. By requiring students, faculty, and staff to be fully vaccinated, our goal is to achieve the highest possible campus-wide vaccination rate, allowing us to lift capacity restrictions while adjusting our health and safety protocols according to federal, state, and local guidance.
 
While exemptions will be accommodated for medical reasons and sincerely held religious beliefs, the expectation is that our campus will overwhelmingly consist of vaccinated individuals, greatly reducing the risk of infection for all. Any faculty or staff member not fully vaccinated will be required to wear a mask on campus and those without an approved exemption will be required to follow additional health and safety protocols, including but not limited to submitting proof of a negative COVID-19 test on a regular basis. 
 
The deadline for submitting an attestation on your COVID-19 vaccination status, or requesting an exemption, is September 1. Later this week, we will share instructions for submitting your attestation via PeopleSoft along with instructions for filing exemption forms.
 
Beginning at the start of the fall semester, those who have attested that they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will no longer need to wear a mask on campus (though you may certainly choose to do so even if you are vaccinated). Additionally, we will no longer require daily temperature checks and symptom checks for those fully vaccinated. As a reminder, faculty and staff are encouraged to come to campus only when they’re in good health. If you feel ill for any reason, please stay home to help curtail the spread of germs.
 
As always, we are following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), and the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH), and we will continue to adapt as guidance from these agencies evolve. We also continue to work with Dr. Rebmann, and she will be hosting a webinar and live Q&A session next week to address questions or concerns you may have regarding vaccines and our 2021–22 safety protocols. We’ll share more information in the coming days.
 
Below you’ll find more information about COVID-19 vaccines as well as an update on campus policies. If you have questions, please reach out to saicinfo@saic.edu.
 
Sincerely,
 
Elissa Tenny
President
 
Martin Berger
Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs
 
Michael Nicolai
Chief Human Resources Officer
 
Shawn Michelle Smith
Interim Dean of Faculty and Vice President of Academic Affairs

 New divider
 
COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement

  • The COVID-19 vaccine will be required for all students, faculty, and staff (including Central Administration staff) who will be on campus at any point in time.
  • Exemptions will be accommodated for medical reasons and sincerely held religious beliefs. To apply for an exemption, faculty and staff must complete and follow the instructions on the medical and religious exemption forms. Links to the forms will be shared later this week.
  • Staff and faculty who are not fully vaccinated will be required to wear a mask on campus and those without an approved exemption will be required to follow additional health and safety protocols, including but not limited to submitting proof of a negative COVID-19 test on a regular basis.

Our Shared Responsibilities

  • At the start of the fall semester, those who have attested that they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will no longer need to wear a mask on campus (though you may certainly choose to do so even if you are vaccinated) or conduct daily required temperature and symptom checks.

Other Policies

  • SAIC’s PTO policy for staff will return to normal beginning August 1.
  • There are additional policies under review, such as the travel policy and visitor policy. More information is forthcoming.
  • About the COVID-19 Vaccine

All Chicagoans aged 12 and older now qualify to receive a vaccine. According to the CDC, there are several benefits to getting your COVID-19 vaccine:

  • All COVID-19 vaccines currently available in the US have been shown to be safe and effective at preventing COVID-19.
  • COVID-19 can have serious, life-threatening complications, and there is no way to know how COVID-19 will affect you. Experts believe that getting a vaccine also helps keep you from getting seriously ill even if you do get COVID-19.
  • Getting vaccinated will not only protect you, but may also protect people around you, particularly people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
  • After you are fully vaccinated for COVID-19, you may be able to start doing some things that you stopped doing because of the pandemic. For example, the Chicago Emergency Travel Advisory does not require fully vaccinated persons who have traveled domestically to quarantine if they are asymptomatic. A person is considered fully vaccinated when they are two weeks or more beyond the receipt of their second dose in a two-dose vaccine or two weeks or more beyond the receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine.

Additionally, if you are fully vaccinated and are in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, you may not need to quarantine.
 
Accessing a COVID-19 Vaccine
As the COVID-19 vaccine is currently widely available in the US, if you haven’t already started the vaccination process, please do so as soon as possible. Available to every Chicagoan, the city launched its Protect Chicago at Home initiative to provide in-home vaccinations on demand. Those who receive a vaccination through this program will receive a $50 gift card from Grubhub. Here you’ll find more details.

Additionally, the COVID-19 vaccine is available at many locations near campus and throughout the city. You can make an appointment at WalgreensMariano’sJewel Osco, or via these websites:

Walgreens and other clinics are also offering walk-in vaccines for those who do not have an appointment.

Dear SAIC Students,

We hope you’re having a fun, enriching, and safe summer. As you prepare for your fall studies, we want to remind you that the School of the Art Institute of Chicago will require COVID-19 vaccines for all students who intend to be on campus for any period of time starting in the fall 2021 term. SAIC will accept any COVID-19 vaccine approved for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or World Health Organization (WHO).

If you haven’t already started the vaccination process, please do so as soon as possible. Please submit your proof of COVID-19 vaccination as soon as you are vaccinated but no later than August 8. Here you’ll find more information on how to submit your records. For students currently in Chicago, the city launched its Protect Chicago at Home initiative to provide in-home vaccinations on demand. Those who receive a vaccination through this program will receive a $50 gift card from Grubhub. Here are more details. Please note, students living in the residence halls cannot move in until they’ve submitted proof to SAIC that they’ve been fully vaccinated.

Consistent with existing practice, students are also required to have proof of immunization on file with Health Services for the following communicable diseases: measles (rubeola), mumps, rubella (German measles), diphtheria/tetanus/pertussis, and meningitis. As is the case with all of our immunization requirementsmedical and religious exemptions will be accommodated for the COVID-19 vaccine, but the expectation is that our campus will overwhelmingly consist of vaccinated individuals, greatly reducing the risk of infection for all. All students must prove they are compliant by October 1 or they will lose access to SAIC’s campus and facilities.

To further mitigate the risk of COVID-19 on our campus, we are extending the COVID-19 vaccine requirement to all faculty and staff. The extension of the vaccination requirement to faculty and staff will help us to return to a more normal campus, and will allow us to lift capacity restrictions while adjusting our health and safety protocols according to federal, state, and local guidance. We will share further updates to our protocols and processes in the coming weeks. In the meantime, as always, if you have questions, please reach out to saicinfo@saic.edu.

Sincerely,

Martin Berger
Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs

Felice Dublon
Vice President and Dean of Student Affairs

 

JUNE 30, 2021

Dear Students,

As the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic lessens in Chicago and restrictions ease, we at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) are excited to inform you that we are working to increase the level of in-person time in many of our undergraduate courses for the upcoming fall semester. As undergraduates who studied with us during the 2020–21 academic year, there are several steps you can take right now to take advantage of these new opportunities to engage in more on-campus learning this fall.

As always, we remain in consultation with public health authorities and our public health expert, Terri Rebmann, PhD, RN, CIC, FAPIC, and are looking forward to making the following adjustments to the fall 2021 schedule over the course of the summer:

  1. Some of SAIC’s fall 2021 modified in-person courses will include more in-person content, since more individuals may be able to use classrooms, shops, and other instructional spaces at any given time. Many modified in-person courses are tagged in PeopleSoft Self-Service to indicate how much in-person instruction the courses will contain; we will update these tags throughout the summer as we're able to make decisions to include more in-person instruction in specific courses. Note: Courses marked “Online” will take place fully online as planned.
  2. A small number of courses have been utilizing reduced maximum enrollment capacities since fall 2020 based on the maximum number of individuals who could safely participate in a corresponding classroom or other making space. As social distancing requirements are eased, the enrollment capacity of these courses will be restored throughout the summer as we verify that it is safe and permissible to do so.

What Can Students Do Right Now to Prepare for the Availability of Additional Seats?

Utilize automatic course waitlists.
Make sure you are enrolled on any waitlists for full courses you’d like to join (students can register for a maximum of two individual waitlists). When we raise capacities for fall courses over the course of this summer, the system will automatically register students from the waitlist in order to fill any new seats before releasing any remaining unclaimed seats. If you are added to a class from a waitlist, you’ll receive a notification via email.

Should you need a refresher, here is a guide to course waitlists. You may also contact the Office of Registration and Records or the Academic Advising office for assistance if you are having any difficulty signing up for a waitlist.

Review in-person content tags.
Monitor PeopleSoft Self-Service to review the current tags on any in-person courses to see how much content is expected to be delivered in person. These tags can be found under “Course Attributes” on the “Class Detail” page for individual courses. Students can also search for a specific level of in-person instruction using the “Search for Classes” function in Self-Service. Over the summer, you may see the amount of in-person time rise for individual courses. We will make changes as soon as we can to give everyone the most up-to-date information. We will also send a general notice later in the summer when we have finished re-assessing all our course caps and in-person tags so you know this work is complete.

Like many of you, we are excited to see a greater return to SAIC’s classrooms, shops, and community spaces, and we will continue working to maximize the time we spend in class, in person, and together this fall.

Sincerely,

Paul Jackson
Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies

 

JUNE 10, 2021

Dear Students,

We are excited to be planning for the new school year and look forward to welcoming you to campus this fall! On May 11, President Elissa Tenny, Provost Martin Berger, and Vice President and Dean of Student Affairs Felice Dublon informed the community that the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) would require all students who will be on SAIC’s campus for the fall 2021 semester to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving their final dose. 

We understand you may have many questions related to the required vaccines. Please join us for the following webinars next week:

International Student/Parent Vaccine Webinar 
Tuesday, June 15
7:00 p.m. CT
Click here to join the Zoom.
 
Domestic Student/Parent Vaccine Webinar 
Wednesday, June 16
7:00 p.m. CT
Click here to join the Zoom.
 
We have provided a list of FAQs below to help answer some of your questions. If you have any other questions about vaccines, please contact Health Services at healthservices@saic.edu or 312.499.4288.
 
Sincerely,
Debbie Martin
Dean of Student Life
 
Which vaccines will SAIC accept?
SAIC will accept any COVID-19 vaccine approved for emergency use by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or World Health Organization (WHO). Here is a list of FDA-approved vaccines. For a list of WHO-approved vaccines, click here and scroll to “Footnotes.” Students should upload their vaccine information as soon as possible to the Health Services Patient Portal, but no later than August 8. Students living in the residence halls cannot move in until they’ve submitted proof to SAIC that they’ve been fully vaccinated.

If I have received an FDA- or WHO-approved vaccine, what are my next steps?
We expect that all students living in the US have access to the vaccine and should be fully vaccinated no later than August 8. After obtaining the vaccine, students should submit their records to the Health Services Patient Portal. Students who are fully vaccinated (two weeks after their final FDA- or WHO-approved vaccine dose) may move directly into the residence halls on their selected residence hall move-in day (August 21, 26, 27, or 28). Residence Life will send out more information later this summer about how to sign up for your move-in time.

What if I am NOT able to obtain an FDA- or WHO-approved vaccine prior to coming to the US?
We understand that not all students who are living abroad currently have access to an FDA- or WHO-approved vaccine. We are very interested in working with you to develop a plan that best meets your needs. SAIC staff member Younsoo Kim Flynn is available to work directly with you to help you become vaccinated for the fall. Younsoo can be reached at ykim14@saic.edu.

I am living on campus for the fall semester and will need to obtain my vaccine in Chicago. What is a sample timeline for obtaining a vaccine and being fully vaccinated? 
The following sample timeline lists key dates. This timeline assumes the student:

  • is coming from abroad and does not have access to an FDA- or WHO-approved vaccine;
  • arrives in Chicago on July 23 and receives their first dose on July 24; and
  • has a completed housing application and is living on campus for the fall.
                                                 Johnson and Johnson/Janssen                             
One-dose vaccine; fully vaccinated two weeks after the single dose
Pfizer

Two-dose vaccine; you can be fully vaccinated five weeks after first dose       

 Moderna 

Two-dose vaccine; you can be fully vaccinated six weeks after first dose

First Vaccine                   July 24 July 24 July 24
Testing for Travel Quarantine                        July 27 July 27 July 27
Last day of quarantine (7 days)                          July 30 July 30 July 30
Second Dose of COVID Vaccine n/a August 14 August 21
Move to Hotel n/a August 17 and 18 August 17 and 18
Fully Vaccinated August 7 August 28 September 4
Transition to Permanent Space August 17 and 18 August 28 and 29 September 4 and 5
Begin Attending Classes September 1 September 1 September 1
 

I have a completed housing application for the SAIC residence halls. Will I be able to live in my assigned room while I am being vaccinated?
Students who need to obtain a vaccine in the US will not be allowed to live in their assigned room until they are fully vaccinated. We recommend students arrive in the US as early as their visa status permits. Currently, new students with an I-20 reflecting an August 21, 2021, program start date are able to arrive in the US as early as July 23. Returning students may arrive on or after August 2. Please continue to watch for updated guidance on these dates and any updated travel information from International Affairs.

SAIC will provide temporary housing for students who are living on campus this fall and are unable to receive an FDA- or WHO-approved vaccine prior to coming to the US. Students will be housed in a single room in an unoccupied residence hall (Jones Hall) until August 18. This will not be the student’s permanent fall room assignment. SAIC will not provide housing for students who are living in the US and/or have access to the vaccine. Those students should obtain the vaccine as soon as possible. After August 18, students who are not fully vaccinated will need to secure their own off-campus housing at a hotel or other accommodation at their own expense.

How can I get a vaccine appointment in Chicago?
Vaccine appointments are currently easily accessible in Chicago, with many sites offering walk-in appointments. However, most sites do not allow individuals to register for an appointment more than two weeks in advance. It is likely a student will be able to schedule an appointment just prior to arriving in the US. Appointments can be scheduled through:

  • Zocdoc Vaccine Appointment Finder
  • City of Chicago's Vaccine Finder
  • Vaccines.gov

The current timelines for becoming fully vaccinated are distinct for the three FDA-approved vaccines (Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, and Johnson and Johnson’s Janssen), so students should consider which vaccine they will register for depending on their preferred move-in date. Please review the sample timeline chart. 

What if I have a completed housing contract but would like to live off campus due to not being able to be fully vaccinated when I arrive in Chicago?
Students and their families have provided positive feedback on our policy to require all students to be fully vaccinated this fall. However, we understand that for international students who might not have access to an FDA- or WHO-approved COVID-19 vaccine in their home country, this requirement may be challenging to meet prior to the start of the fall semester. While living on campus has immeasurable benefits for students, we recognize that some students might want to consider finding off-campus housing for the fall semester. Younsoo Kim Flynn (available at ykim14@saic.edu) can provide students with a list of living options near campus. We will also refund the prepayment for a student who makes this choice, up to July 1, 2021.

 

JUNE 9, 2021

Dear SAIC Community,

This Friday, the State of Illinois is expected to enter its fifth and final phase of its COVID-19 response plan: Restore IllinoisOn June 8, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidance for colleges and universities. Until we review the guidance with Dr. Rebmann, and receive additional input from the Chicago Department of Public Health, we continue to ask all community members to follow our shared responsibilities, even if you are vaccinated. Additional updates will be shared with the community as soon as they are available.

As you may recall, in the beginning stages of the pandemic in spring 2020, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) activated its Campus Emergency Operations Plan (CEOP)—a crisis management strategy that all Illinois colleges are state-mandated to follow—to help align our operations to the state’s response plan. For the past 14 months, more than 120 faculty and staff members have served on CEOP working groups and have worked tirelessly to uphold SAIC’s mission during an unprecedented moment in the School’s history. Throughout the process, the CEOP groups prioritized the health and well-being of our community, and highlights of their efforts include (but are not limited to):

  • supporting faculty and students during the pivot to online classes;
  • creating the Make Ready Advisory Group of students, faculty, and staff, who helped shape policies and encourage community awareness and dialogue;
  • establishing facilities modifications and protocols that allowed us to hold in-person classes;
  • facilitating staffing plans to ensure there were no interruptions to student support;
  • hiring public health expert Terri Rebmann, PhD, RN, CIC, FAPIC, to advise on key health and safety issues; and
  • developing key policies for events, visitors, and travel.

Please join us in thanking these dedicated faculty and staff members who served during such a challenging time. While the CEOP will continue to guide our decision-making process as we prepare for the fall semester and bring our campus back closer to pre-pandemic operations, we plan to retire the CEOP later this summer.

If you have any questions about the CEOP or campus operations, please feel free to contact us at saicinfo@saic.edu.

Sincerely,

Martin Berger
Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs

Tom Buechele
Vice President for Campus Operations

 

JUNE 4, 2021

We are very excited to welcome you to our residence halls this fall. As a resident, you will be able to immerse yourself in a community of fellow artists, live in the heart of Chicago's Loop, and enjoy conveniences you won't find in most student apartments.

On May 11, President Elissa Tenny, Provost Martin Berger, and Vice President and Dean of Student Affairs Felice Dublon informed the community that the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) would require all students who will be on SAIC’s campus for the fall 2021 semester to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. A person is considered fully vaccinated when they are two weeks or more beyond the receipt of their final dose.

SAIC will accept any COVID-19 vaccine approved for emergency use by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or World Health Organization (WHO). Here is a list of FDA-approved vaccines. For a list of WHO-approved vaccines, click here and scroll to “Footnotes.” Students should upload their vaccine information as soon as possible to the Health Services Patient Portal, but no later than August 8. Students living in the residence halls cannot move in until they’ve submitted proof to SAIC that they’ve been fully vaccinated.

If you are a student who is able to obtain an FDA- or WHO-approved vaccine prior to coming to the US: 

We strongly urge students to obtain an FDA- or WHO-approved COVID-19 vaccine prior to coming to Chicago. After obtaining the vaccine, students should submit their records to the Health Services Patient Portal. Students who are fully vaccinated (two weeks after their final FDA- or WHO-approved vaccine shot) may move directly into the residence halls on their selected residence hall move-in day (August 21, 26, 27, or 28). Students will sign up for their move-in date in July.

If you are a student who is NOT able to obtain an FDA- or WHO-approved vaccine prior to coming to the US: 

We understand that not all students currently have access to an FDA- or WHO-approved vaccine in their home country. We are very interested in working with you to develop a plan that best meets your needs. Case Investigator and Contact Tracer Younsoo Kim Flynn is available to work directly with you to help you become vaccinated for the fall. We ask that you complete this brief survey to let us know your plans and Younsoo will be in touch as needed. Younsoo can be reached at ykim14@saic.edu.

Sample Timeline. To give you a better understanding of the vaccination timing, the following sample timeline lists out key dates and assumes a student arrives on campus on July 23 and is able to receive a vaccine on July 24. When they arrive on July 23, they will be able to temporarily reside on campus; more details on this are shared below.

                                                 Johnson and Johnson/Janssen                             
One-dose vaccine; fully vaccinated two weeks after the single dose
Pfizer

Two-dose vaccine; you can be fully vaccinated five weeks after first dose       

 Moderna 

Two-dose vaccine; you can be fully vaccinated six weeks after first dose

First Vaccine                   July 24 July 24 July 24
Testing for Travel Quarantine                        July 27 July 27 July 27
Last day of quarantine (7 days)                          July 30 July 30 July 30
Second Dose of COVID Vaccine n/a August 14 August 21
Move to Hotel n/a August 17 and 18 August 17 and 18
Fully Vaccinated August 7 August 28 September 4
Transition to Permanent Space August 17 and 18 August 28 and 29 September 4 and 5
Begin Attending Classes September 1 September 1 September 1

While you are considering your plan for the fall, please take into account the following:

  • Students who need to obtain a vaccine in the US will not be allowed to live in their assigned room until they are fully vaccinated. We recommend students arrive in the US as early as your visa status permits. Currently, new students with an I-20 reflecting a August 21, 2021, program start date are able to arrive in the US as early as July 23. Returning students may arrive on or after August 2. Please continue to watch for updated guidance on these dates and any updated travel information from International Affairs. While you are considering your plan for the fall, please take into account the following:
  • If you are unable to receive a vaccine until you arrive in the US, SAIC will provide housing for unvaccinated students in a single room in an unoccupied residence hall (Jones Hall) until August 18. This will not be the student’s permanent fall room assignment. After August 18, students who are not fully vaccinated will need to secure their own off-campus housing at a hotel or other accommodation at their own expense.
  • Vaccine appointments are currently easily accessible in Chicago, with many sites offering walk-in appointments. However, most sites do not allow individuals to register for an appointment more than two weeks in advance. It is likely a student will be able to schedule an appointment just prior to arriving in the US. Appointments can be scheduled through:
  • The current timelines for becoming fully vaccinated are distinct for the three FDA-approved vaccines (Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, and Johnson and Johnson’s Janssen), so students should consider which vaccine they will register for depending on their preferred move-in date. Please review the sample timeline chart. 
  • Students and their families have provided positive feedback on our policy to require all students to be fully vaccinated this fall. However, we understand that for international students who might not have access to an​​​​​​​ FDA- or WHO-approved COVID-19 vaccine in their home country, this requirement may be challenging to meet prior to the start of the fall semester. While living on-campus has immeasurable benefits for students, we recognize that some students might want to consider finding off-campus housing for the fall semester. SAIC’s Case Investigator and Contact Tracer Younsoo Kim Flynn can provide students with a list of living options near campus. We will also refund the prepayment for a student who makes this choice, up to July 1, 2021.

Vaccine Webinars

We understand you may have many questions related to the required vaccines. Please join us for the following webinars in mid-June:
 
International Student/Parent Vaccine Webinar 
Tuesday, June 15
7:00 p.m. CT
Click here to join the Zoom.

Domestic Student/Parent Vaccine Webinar 
Wednesday, June 16
7:00 p.m. CT
Click here to join the Zoom.

I look forward to seeing you in Chicago and on campus this fall! If you have any other questions about the residence halls, please email reslife@saic.edu.

Sincerely,

Abigail Holcomb
Assistant Dean of Student Affairs for Residence Life  ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

 

MAY 13, 2021

Dear SAIC Community,

Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced an update to its mask-wearing and social distancing guidance. However, at this time, SAIC community members should continue to follow our shared responsibilities, which includes wearing masks and social distancing on campus.

Throughout the pandemic, we've followed guidance from the CDC, Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH), and SAIC's public health expert Terri Rebmann, PhD, RN, CIC, FAPIC. We will review the CDC's latest guidance with the CDPH and Dr. Rebmann, and will inform you of any changes to our practices. For now, please continue wearing masks and practicing social distancing while on campus. 

Thanks,

Tom Buechele
Vice President for Campus Operations

John Pack
Executive Director of Campus Security 

 

MAY 11, 2021

Dear SAIC Students,

Over the course of this year, you’ve been vigilant in taking care of one another by adhering to our shared responsibilities, thereby mitigating the risk of COVID-19 on our campus. Because of your efforts, along with those of our dedicated faculty and staff, we’ve managed to keep infection rates low among our campus community. Now that effective vaccines are widely available in the US, one of the most important things we can do to ensure the safety of our community is attain a high rate of vaccination on campus. Vaccines, along with continued mask wearing, social distancing, and personal hygiene, will make it possible for more of us to safely be on campus and allow us to return to a more normal campus life. As of May 9, more than 152 million Americans have safely received at least one dose of the vaccine, and recent data indicates that the vaccines are highly effective in protecting individuals from severe illness and death.

Throughout the year, we’ve consulted with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s (SAIC) public health expert, Terri Rebmann, PhD, RN, CIC, FAPIC, on our safety plans. She is a strong proponent of vaccines and anticipates that at least two of the vaccines will receive full US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval this summer. In the spirit of continuing to take care of one another, SAIC will require COVID-19 vaccines for all undergraduate, graduate, post-baccalaureate, and Continuing Studies students who intend to be on campus for any period of time starting in the fall 2021 term.

Consistent with our existing practice, in addition to the COVID-19 vaccine, students will be required to have proof of immunization on file with Health Services for the following communicable diseases: measles (rubeola), mumps, rubella (German measles), diphtheria/tetanus/pertussis, and meningitis. As is the case with all of our immunization requirements, medical and religious exemptions will be accommodated for the COVID-19 vaccine, but the expectation is that our campus will overwhelmingly consist of vaccinated individuals, greatly reducing the risk of infection for all. Because COVID-19 vaccines are now available to all Chicagoans age 16 and over—and the FDA recently expanded the use of vaccines for those 12 to 15—we encourage all members of our community to get a vaccination now.

For students, SAIC will accept any COVID-19 vaccine approved for emergency use by the FDA or World Health Organization (WHO). Please note that we will continue to follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), and the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH), and we will keep you abreast of any changes as guidance from these agencies evolve. A person is considered fully vaccinated when they are two weeks or more beyond the receipt of their second dose in a two-dose vaccine or two weeks or more beyond the receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine.

Students living in the residence halls cannot move in until they’ve submitted proof to SAIC that they are fully vaccinated. More information will be sent to residence hall students in the coming weeks.

As the COVID-19 vaccine is currently widely available in the US, if you haven’t already started the vaccination process, please make an appointment now so that you are fully vaccinated before you come to campus. Please submit your proof of COVID-19 vaccination as soon as you are vaccinated but no later than August 8Here you’ll find more information on how to submit your records.

Below you’ll find more information. As always, if you have questions, please reach out to saicinfo@saic.edu.

Sincerely,

Elissa Tenny
President

Martin Berger
Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs

Felice Dublon
Vice President and Dean of Student Affairs 
 
Required Immunizations and Submitting Your Records
SAIC will accept any COVID-19 vaccine approved for emergency use by the FDA or WHO. We will continue to follow guidance from the CDC, IDPH, and CDPH, and we will keep you abreast of any changes as guidance from these agencies evolve. In addition to providing proof of the COVID-19 vaccine, in accordance with the Illinois College Immunization Code, all students who enroll in six or more credit hours per semester must have proof of immunization on file with Health Services for the following communicable diseases:

  • Measles (Rubeola)
  • Mumps
  • Rubella (German measles)
  • Diphtheria/Tetanus/Pertussis
  • Meningitis

Please submit your proof of COVID-19 vaccination as soon as you are vaccinated but no later than August 8. All other immunization records are due on July 1. All students must prove they are compliant by October 1 or they will lose access to SAIC’s campus and facilities. Click here for information on submitting your immunization records.

For the COVID-19 vaccine, a person is considered fully vaccinated when they are two weeks or more beyond the receipt of their second dose in a two-dose vaccine or two weeks or more beyond the receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine.

International Students
SAIC will accept any COVID-19 vaccine approved for emergency use by the FDA or WHO. We will continue to follow guidance from the CDC, IDPH, and CDPH, and we will keep you abreast of any changes as guidance from these agencies evolve.

If you’ve completed or partially completed a COVID-19 vaccine series with a vaccine that has not been approved for emergency use by the FDA or WHO, you will need to be vaccinated in the US. The minimum interval between the last dose of a non-FDA or WHO authorized vaccine and an FDA or WHO-authorized COVID-19 vaccine is 28 days.

About the COVID-19 Vaccine
All Chicagoans aged 16 and older now qualify to receive a vaccine. On May 10, the FDA expanded the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to include adolescents 12 through 15 years of age. According to the CDC, there are several benefits to getting your COVID-19 vaccine:

  • All COVID-19 vaccines currently available in the US have been shown to be safe and effective at preventing COVID-19.
  • COVID-19 can have serious, life-threatening complications, and there is no way to know how COVID-19 will affect you. Experts believe that getting a vaccine also helps keep you from getting seriously ill even if you do get COVID-19.
  • Getting vaccinated will not only protect you, but may also protect people around you, particularly people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
  • After you are fully vaccinated for COVID-19, you may be able to start doing some things that you stopped doing because of the pandemic. For example, the Chicago Emergency Travel Order does not require fully vaccinated persons who have traveled domestically to quarantine if they are asymptomatic. A person is considered fully vaccinated when they are two weeks or more beyond the receipt of their second dose in a two-dose vaccine or two weeks or more beyond the receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine.

Additionally, if you are fully vaccinated and are in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, you may not need to quarantine.

Accessing a COVID-19 Vaccine
As the COVID-19 vaccine is currently widely available in the US, if you haven’t already started the vaccination process, please make an appointment now so that you are fully vaccinated before you come to campus. The COVID-19 vaccine is available at many locations near campus and throughout the city. You can make an appointment at WalgreensMariano’sJewel Osco, or via these websites:

Additionally, Walgreens and other clinics are now offering walk-in vaccines for those who do not have an appointment. Students facing barriers to vaccination should contact Health Services at healthservices@saic.edu for assistance.

 

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