COVID19 Update: Financial assistance to student employees

Interim Chancellor SheryI Van Gruensven announced today (April 8, 2020) a program to provide assistance to student employees whose positions have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This Student Employee Income Continuation Program will include a one-time COVID-19 leave payment to all active student workers who have been paid through payroll on or since Feb. 1, 2020. The details of these payments are as follows:

  • The payment will be $100 per week for two weeks — a total of $200.
  • The payment will be paid on the April A payroll, with a pay date of Thursday, April 23, 2020.
  • Each student worker will only receive one payment, even if they have held multiple jobs.
  • Student workers who log hours during the April A pay period due to approved remote work will receive this payment in addition to their logged hours during the same pay period.To provide operational budget relief for the University, after these lump payments are made the HR office will be working with divisions to properly end student employee appointments for the semester if they are not currently providing essential services. We look forward to the time when the safer-at-home order is lifted and student employees once again return to their on-campus jobs.As an institution, UW-Green Bay is doing all it can to advocate for and support students that are experiencing financial hardships. Students are urged to stay in their spring classes and to register for classes in the summer and fall. Please see below for additional resources:

    Questions related to financial barriers to learning or completing coursework, including questions related to financial aid can be directed to gboss@uwgb.edu.

    Questions about the payment as announced within this email can be directed to the Office of Human Resources and Workforce Diversity at hr@uwgb.edu.

    It is hoped that this program will provide our valued student workers with some comfort and financial assistance during these uncertain times. Wherever you are, please continue your efforts to stay home, stay safe, and stay healthy.

Housing and Meal Plan Refunds for students who have moved out of Residence Life

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, all students no longer living in University Housing will receive a prorated room credit, as well as a prorated credit for any remaining Housing resident meal plan funds. These credits will be applied to students’ campus SIS account. If the student has any outstanding balance on their SIS account, the amounts due will be subtracted from the credit total, and any remaining credit balance will be refunded to the student.

In order to receive refunds as quickly as possible, students are encouraged to enroll in Electronic Refunding, which allows for a direct deposit to be made to student bank accounts. More information on Electronic Refunding can be found on the Bursar’s website. For questions about electronic refunding, please call the Bursar/Student Billing at 920-465-2224 or email bursar@uwgb.edu.

Efforts are being coordinated with campus and UW System on the exact timing of when this credit will be issued. It is anticipated that credits will be applied to student SIS accounts in late April. Updates will be shared when new information is available. Thank you for your understanding and patience through this challenging time.

For questions regarding these Housing credits, please email the Office of Residence Life at housing@uwgb.edu, and someone will respond during normal work hours (Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) For questions regarding your dining plan, please email the Union at universityid@uwgb.edu.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it a “credit,” not a refund?
While we are refunding students for these housing and meal plan costs, we refer to it as a credit, because it is applied to their SIS account first, and any outstanding amounts due are subtracted before a refund payment is issued.

When will the credit be applied?
The credit is expected to be applied to SIS accounts by late April.

How long will it take to receive the refund?
At this time the Bursar/Student Billing are processing refunds on Wednesdays. Once you see the refund posted on your SIS account, if you are enrolled in electronic refunding you should see the deposit in your bank 2 to 3 days later. If you receive paper checks, the paper check will be mailed 2 business days after refund has posted to your SIS account.

Can I enroll in Electronic Refunding now?
Yes, students can enroll, but must be enrolled 48 hours before refunds are processed. The vendor sets this timeframe. If a student enrolls on the same date refunds are processed, the refund will not go electronically. Information on enrolling in Electronic Refunding can be found at https://www.uwgb.edu/bursar/refunds/electronic-refunds/.

What if I have a balance due?
If a student still has a balance due in their SIS account after the Housing credit is applied, they will not receive a refund payment and are still expected to pay their outstanding balance.

Can the credit be applied to next year’s housing?
No. Students cannot carry their refund into the next school year because of rules related to federal financial aid.

What are the dates that will be credited back?
As determined by UWS, prorated room reimbursements for students who vacated the residence halls will cover March 22, 2020 through the remainder of the spring semester (May 16, 2020).

Will the amount of my credit be affected by when I moved my belongings out of the room?
No. Students who were not able to get their belongings until later this semester will not be assessed any fees or see any impact on their housing costs/credits.

What if I moved out after March 27, 2020?
If you moved out after March 27, 2020, you could receive a prorated refund based on the date of your check-out as long as it happened before April 16, 2020. Per the housing contract, no refunds will be processed for move-outs during the last 30 days of a semester.

How much will the credit be?
The amount of the credit to the student’s SIS account will vary depending on the rate for their particular room type as well as the remaining balance on their meal plan.

Will the amount of my credit include my Advance Deposit?
Students who have departed campus who do not have any future housing contracts, will receive a refund of their Advance Deposit as a $200 credit to their SIS account. Any students with future housing contracts will not receive a refund. Their deposit will be rolled over to the next contract.

What happens with meal plan balances?
Remaining balances in resident meal plan accounts will be credited as a payment on the student’s SIS account. Pass Points always carry over from year to year and remain on the student’s account.

CDC: Wearing a mask is a must!

During cold and flu seasons, face masks are common sights in heavily populated areas, both home and abroad. Now, during the coronavirus outbreak, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends the use of a mask in areas where social distancing is difficult.

Unfortunately, most stores are sold out and “medical grade” masks must be reserved for health-care professionals. In light of these challenges, Facebook and other social media sources are filled with hints and plans for creating your own “DIY” mask.

The primary function of this type of mask is to protect you from someone already carrying the virus who may not have obvious symptoms. So if everyone wears a mask, the risk of transmission and spread significantly decreases.

Here’s some tips to making a “hand-crafted” coronavirus mask more effective:

  • The more layers of fabric, preferably cotton (as in a bed sheet or pillow case) the better.  But not so many layers you can’t breathe through the mask.
  • Add a layer non-woven interfacing, like a reusable grocery tote or lunch bag to help block droplets of virus.
  • Tape a pipe cleaner onto the outside of the mask, making it possible to pinch the mask onto and much easier if you wear glasses.
  • Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams has released a video showing his method for using a square of cloth (or a bandana) and two large rubber bands. See the video.

Reminder to students: Watch for scams and phishing

UW-Green Bay students, stay alert! Scammers are taking advantage of the current coronavirus situation. They are monitoring the news and hoping to pray on your fears. UW-System has announced prorated room and board refunds and the scammers are aware of it as well.  Protect your account and think before you click.  For more information on the refunds, check out the FAQ. As always, if you question an email at all please forward it as an attachment to abuse@uwgb.edu and the IT Security team will verify it for you.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has a site dedicated to the scams that are being reported to them regarding coronavirus.  See Cornoavirus Scams: What the FTC is doing.

Resilient Wisconsin Resources Announced

In this unprecedented time of uncertainty, adopting healthy practices for coping with stress and stay connected with friends, family and co-workers is more important than ever. Resilient Wisconsin offers resources and tools to encourage self-care, maintain social connections and reduce stress. When we utilize these tools, we help build a healthier Wisconsin for all. Here are a few practices you can put to good use today and moving forward:

  • Get the three goods: “good-for-you (healthy!) foods, a good night’s sleep, and a good amount of exercise every day.
  • Stay connected to your support system. Reach out to family and friends, colleagues, and community groups in whatever way you can—calls, texts, video chats, and more.
  • Spend time away from focusing on COVID-19. Don’t let the pandemic take over what you read, watch, or talk about. Encourage friends and family to talk about other topics.
  • Reduce anxiety by reducing your risk. You stay safer staying at home. Wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds. Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze. Practice social distancing by staying at least 6 feet apart while running essential errands at the store, pharmacy, or gas station.
  • Check in with yourself. Everyone’s reaction to stress is different. Difficulty concentrating or sleeping, irritability, fatigue, and even stomachaches can be normal.
  • It’s OK to ask for help! If you find you are overwhelmed or having thoughts of self-harm or suicide, reach out for help right away. Text HOPELINE to 741741 or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Staying Safer-at-Home is important, but we know it is not easy. Resilient Wisconsin offers us a way forward as we all work towards a healthier Wisconsin. For more information, please visit resilient.wisconsin.gov. and follow DHS on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Updated guidance for State employees (travel, masks, symptoms)

As the COVID-19 virus has reached community spread levels throughout the United States, specific regional travel restrictions are no longer relevant. All in-state business travel, regardless of location, has been limited to essential operational needs where no reasonable alternative is available. Regarding personal travel, all employees should follow the Safer at Home order.

Employees with the following symptoms should contact a health care provider. In most cases, you will be advised to self-isolate by staying home and not working until you are free of fever (>100.4°F), signs of a fever, AND respiratory symptoms (for example, cough, shortness of breath) for at least three days (72 hours) without the use of fever-reducing medicine AND seven days have passed since symptoms first appeared:

·        Flu-like symptoms* [fever of 100.4° F or higher (with an oral thermometer)]

·        Cough or sore throat*

·        Headache or body aches

·        Diarrhea and vomiting

·        Symptoms of acute respiratory illness (fever of 100.4° F or higher using an oral thermometer), coughing, shortness of breath*

* Denotes COVID-19 Symptoms ​

In addition, the Department of Health Services has released guidance related to the use of cloth face coverings. Employees of DOC, DHS and DVA should follow the specific direction given by the agency and may be required to wear other masks, or personal protective equipment, if available. Where other direction is not in place by an agency, employees can wear clean, work appropriate, fabric face coverings, or masks, to work but are not required to do so.

Simple cloth face coverings may be helpful in slowing the spread of the virus to others. This is particularly true for people who may have the virus and do not know it. However, wearing a cloth face mask does not replace DHS recommendations for physical distancing and frequent hand washing. Key points include:

·       Before putting on a mask, clean your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub.

·       Make sure the mask covers your mouth and nose with no gaps between your face and the mask.

·       Do not touch your mask while wearing it; if you do, clean your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub.

·       Replace the mask with a new one as soon as it is damp.

·       Always wear your cloth reusable mask with the same side facing outwards.

·       Clean your hands frequently with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub.

·       Continue staying at least 6 feet away from other people.

·       Continue following the recommendations for social distancing: avoid crowds, stay at home as much as possible, and just leave for essential tasks (e.g. work, grocery shopping, going to the doctor, getting medications).

The DHS COVID website has additional information about using cloth face coverings as masks including making, wearing, and washing of the masks.

COVID-19-related FMLA expansion for UW-Green Bay employees

As communicated early last week, effective April 1, 2020 additional paid family and medical leave for a qualifying need related to a public health emergency is provided as outlined in SYS 1200-Interim 03, FMLA Expansion and in compliance with the provision of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020. In order to be in compliance with the expanded FMLA provisions, the Office of Human Resources is requesting that all employees who are unable to work (or telework) due to childcare reasons related to COVID-19 reach out directly to hr@uwgb.edu or 920-465-2390. Please see the Frequently Asked Questions, for more.

The University Union will no longer be a polling location for the April 7 primary

As campus is closed to the public per COVID-19 state emergency order, the University Union will not be a polling place in the Spring Election and Presidential Preference Primary on April 7, 2020. Students residing in the City of Green Bay or the surrounding communities should go to myvote.wi.gov and use Find My Polling Place for a specific voting location. Using this form requires that the voter is registered and has submitted their current address.

If you are registered, you can request an absentee ballot through April 2

From Gov. Evers office: If you are already registered, you can request your absentee ballot through April 2 at 5 p.m. For indefinitely confined voters, you must request your absentee ballot on or before April 3 at 5 p.m. You can find a full timeline here. Here are the steps you can follow to get registered, request your ballot, and stay safer at home while you vote: 

  1. Go to www.myvote.wi.govon your computer or mobile device.
  2. Check to see if you’re registered to vote
  3. If you are not registered to vote, you can do so by clicking the “Register to Vote” tab on the website.
  4. From there, the website will take you through a series of questions confirming your identity and address.
  5. Note: you will need to include your driver’s license number, which is the 14 digit code on your ID that begins with a letter.
  6. Already registered at your current address? Please skip ahead to Step 3.
  7. Return to the main page and choose the “Vote Absentee” option.
  8. You will need to enter information to confirm your address, which should be good to go if you’re registered to vote.
  9. You will see some options when you get to the next page, including requesting a ballot for all elections in calendar year 2020, the April 7 election or other elections in 2020, or the ability to request a ballot for this and future elections, if you’re indefinitely confined. Please pick whichever option applies to you.
  10. If you are an overseas or military voter, you can follow the above steps, too. Your ballot will be accepted until 5 p.m. on Election Day.
  11. This will take you through a series of prompts, including verifying your identity by providing a photo of your driver’s license or ID card.
  12. To upload a photo, use your cell phone, mobile device, or camera to take a picture of your state ID. This website is safe and secure.
  13. After that, the website will direct you to a confirmation page, which can you choose to print if you would like.
  14. Once you have requested a ballot, you can follow up with an email to your local clerk confirming you sent in your ballot request. You might not get a response right away, but this is helpful for both you and the clerk’s office to track your submission. You can find a list of clerks here: https://myvote.wi.gov/en-US/MyMunicipalClerk.
  15. Include in the email to your clerk your first and last name, address, and that you’re requesting an absentee ballot for the April 7 election.
  16. If you requested an absentee ballot, you will receive the ballot by mail prior to the April 7 election.
  17. Once you receive your ballot, please note that someone needs to witness the signature of your ballot. Considering the Safer at Home order, we understand this could be challenging for some folks. Here are some guidelines for who can serve as a witness:
  18. Vote the ballot in the presence of one adult witness. The witness cannot be a candidate for the election.
  19. Follow proper social distancing techniques, like washing your hands before and after interacting, and staying at least six feet away from each other. Try not to share pens, and make sure you cough into your elbow.
  20.  If you have questions or are in need of further assistance, please feel free to respond to this email or call our offices, the Wisconsin Elections Commission, or your local clerk.