COVID-19 Updates and Resources for Students

Published March 19, 2020

Thank you to the Graduate Student Government for collecting and sharing (via the GSG Facebook page) many of the resources listed in this email! 


UC Coronavirus COVID-19 Updates

For the most up-to-date information, visit If you still have questions after reviewing the information available on that website, please email or call the university’s COVID-19 helpline at 513-556-7200.

Still Need to Defend Your Thesis/Dissertation? Review Our Guidelines

Since the publication of GradCurrents on Tuesday, March 17, the Graduate School has provided an update to its recommendations regarding public defenses. We now strongly recommend that all defenses be conducted remotelyPlease visit the Electronic Thesis / Dissertation Information page for the most recent recommendations

Connect Virtually with Other Graduate Students via Microsoft Teams

Connect virtually with other graduate students using the new UC Graduate Students team in Microsoft Teams (join code: bwgvjax). This team currently offers “channels” for TAs, RAs, and other GAs to chat with each other and share resources and tips for working virtually. This team is intended for cross-college and interdisciplinary conversation. Request additional channels on topics/concerns that would be applicable to students across graduate programs by emailing Megan Tischner

To access Teams via a web browser, go to and sign in with your UC credentials. From the “Teams” page, join the UC Graduate Students team: click on the “Join or create team” button in the upper right-hand corner, and then enter the code bwgvjax in the “Join a team with a code” box.

University Housing Closures and Limited Shuttle Services

Update 3/20/20, 4 p.m. University residence halls will be closing for the remainder of the spring semester 2020. Students are not permitted to live in residence halls after Wednesday, March 25 at 4 p.m. without receiving a prior waiver.  Submit your housing waiver request here.

However, tenants in graduate housing are permitted to stay without a waiver. The graduate housing communities are Senator Place, Deckeback, and Bellevue Gardens. (We had mistakenly stated that the waiver policy applied to graduate housing.) The University Housing website also lists Food Service locations that will remain open. 

Based on the university decision to move classes on-line and to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus, Shuttle Services has adjusted the shuttle schedule. If you plan to stay with your family and need to travel by air, UC Transportation is providing an additional shuttle route, named "AP" for "Airport," in order to help students traveling from Uptown West Campus to CVG Airport. This CVG Airport shuttle will be available from Tuesday, March 17, through Wednesday, March 25. If you need to use this service, please sign up for the shuttle to the CVG airport.

Limited Drive-Thru Testing Appointments Available at UC Health 

UC Health is now offering a drive-thru COVID-19 screening and testing clinic at their Clifton Campus for all members of the community; however, testing will be available by appointment only. In order to be seen in the drive-thru clinic, patients must have a scheduled appointment made by their physician’s officeFollow UC Health on Facebook for updates.

Support Resources

Bearcat Emergency Fund and Bearcats Pantry

UC offers the Bearcat Emergency Fund (BEF) to support current students in emergency and crisis situations. If the COVID-19 restrictions are affecting your ability to meet expenses, please consider submitting an application for the Bearcat Emergency Fund

The UC Bearcats Pantry provides free food, hygiene items, cleaning supplies, and professional clothing to students of all backgrounds with food and other insecurities. The Bearcats Pantry is remaining open; however, this will be on a limited schedule. The physical pantry location in Stratford Heights will be open on an appointment basis Wednesdays and Fridays from 12 to 2 p.m. through the rest of this semester. To-Go Bag and Voucher services are suspended. If you would like to visit the pantry to use the service, please email or call 513-556-5064 to set up an appointment.

The UC Foundation is currently working to raise emergency relief funding, which will provide additional support to the BEF, Bearcats Pantry, and other services

Counseling and Psychological Services Available via Phone

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) will remain open and available via phone but is not offering in-person meetings. Please visit the CAPS website for additional free resources, including a telehealth service and apps. If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, please call the CAPS 24/7 at 513-556-0648 and select “1” to speak with a crisis counselor.

Charter Offering Free Spectrum Internet for College Students without Access

Charter will offer free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription and at any service level up to 100 Mbps. To enroll call 1-844-488-8395. Installation fees will be waived for new student households.

Work Resources

UC Office of Research: Conduct Research Remotely Whenever Possible

Please visit the UC Office of Research website for guidance on conducting research during the COVID-19 outbreak. While the university remains open, you may proceed with essential research activities while continuing to enforce social distancing best practices and supporting research actions that can be conducted remotely. However, the Office of Research strongly advises that you minimize research and scholarship that needs to be done on campus. This guidance will be maintained and modified as circumstances warrant.

Resources for Teaching Assistants (TAs)

The Graduate Association for Teaching Enhancement (GATE) and Graduate Student Government (GSG) partnered to create a webinar to help people shift their teaching from in-person to online. A recording of this webinar is now available. Click on the webinar link on the page to view the recorded webinar and chat conversation; the presentation begins at the 8 minute, 15 second mark.

The Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (CET&L) offers robust guidance and resources for switching to online instruction on the CET&L Preparing to Teach Remotely page

Tech Resources for Remote Work

Microsoft Teams allows people to connect virtually, chat, share files, and collaborate on projects. Browse the Microsoft Teams FAQs at the IT@UC Knowledge Base or take the Microsoft Teams Essential Training course via LinkedIn Learning. (LinkedIn Learning is FREE for all current students.)

For webinars and meetings, UC offers Cisco WebEx. WebEx is a web-based conferencing tool that allows students and faculty to host a variety of events, from small group meetings or virtual office hours to large webinars and conferences. Faculty/students and staff can hold WebEx meetings with up to 1000 participants.

A Note About Accessing UC Buildings

If you need access to a locked campus building and you do not have keycard access, contact Access control at 513-556-4925. You may also contact UCPD via the non-emergency line at 513-556-1111 (West Campus) or 513-558-1111 (Medical Campus). However, only employees who provide critical functions that cannot be completely remotely should be working from campus. If you plan to visit your office to retrieve belongings and whatever you need for work, please make sure you take everything you might need for the rest of the semester so that you do not have to return. 

Questions or feedback? Email Megan Tischner, Graduate School program manager