As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis continues to evolve, USG is offering services remotely through the end of the spring semester. As USG remains open with remote/online services and university partners provide online classes for their students, USG campus buildings will not be open to the public through at least May 31. This is in accordance with directives from the State of Maryland and the University System of Maryland (USM), which are intended to protect the health of all community members and minimize opportunities for community spread of the virus.

Following are answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about USG operations and services at this time:

Is Security still present on the USG campus?

Yes. USG Security guards remain present, providing security services and patrolling the buildings and grounds, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

What is the status of events that were scheduled to be on campus?

All on-campus events that were scheduled through at least May 31 are canceled or postponed. This includes both USG events and those by outside organizations that would have been held on campus and scheduled through the Conference and Events office.

Can staff or faculty members come onto the campus to work in their offices?

No. Campus buildings are shut and locked, and building systems have been turned off or set to minimums. Limited numbers of workers may be on campus, at periodic times, to maintain vital functions.

Can staff or faculty members come onto the campus to pick up property, equipment, files, or plants?

All visits to campus are strongly discouraged at this time. However, if staff or faculty members absolutely must pick up needed materials from their offices, they can do so under the following provisions. All who arrive on campus must check in at the Security Desk in Building III and present a valid ID.  Security guards will log you in and out, and escort you to and from your office, with proper social distancing. We strongly urge you to call Security at 301-738-6065 in advance if you absolutely do need to make a visit to campus.

Can staff or faculty members pick up campus mail and packages.

Yes, USG is receiving and sorting mail and other deliveries once a week. Mail-sorting is being done on Wednesdays. Recommended days for staff or faculty to come in to check your mailbox are Thursdays or Fridays. You may call ahead to the Security Desk at 301-738-6065.

What guidance and information is available for staff, with regard to telework, leave managements, and other services related to Human Resources?

USG staff members are advised to consult the Working through COVID-19 FAQ page on the USG website for more information on telework, leave managements, and other HR related services. 

How can students get help with research now that the Priddy Library is closed?

The Priddy Library’s Chat service will be monitored by librarians Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.  Student library assistants will be monitoring chat Monday through Friday from 7- 9 a.m. and from 5-10 p.m. Questions received outside of those hours will be answered the next business day. Librarians will also be available to answer questions via email and/or via online meeting tools such as Google Hangouts or WebEx.

How can students return library materials that are due?

Please keep all items (books, equipment, DVDs) at home. Do not return items in the book drop. If something is due, request a renewal in My Account. Any overdue, recall, or replacement fees accrued during the period the physical library is closed will be waived upon the item’s return. If you receive any emails related to fines, fees or billing for items you have on loan, please email shadylib@umd.edu.

How can students and/or faculty members access print course reserves?

For faculty: If your students need access to print course reserves, contact your liaison librarian. She will advise whether we can provide access to the item, and if not, suggest alternatives. We also recommend considering alternative readings/resources during this time that students can access online, such as articles or eBooks available through your home institution’s library  or open educational resources (OER). Several publishers have also made electronic versions of their textbooks available for free for the rest of the semester. Check out this COVID-19 Subject Guide for more information. 

For students: Several publishers have also made electronic versions of their textbooks available for free for the rest of the semester. Check out this COVID-19 Subject Guide for more information. You can also get in touch with your instructor if you need access to something on print course reserves for your class.

Can students still buy textbooks?

Yes, please visit the online store to place textbook orders and items will be shipped directly to you.   

How can students or faculty access electronic resources (articles, eBooks, streaming video, databases)?

Go to the Priddy Library website. Under the search bar, click on the arrow next to the words “FIND ARTICLES.” Select your institution from the drop-down menu, which will take you to the databases provided by your home campus library.

Can students still request electronic journals and book chapters through interlibrary loan (ILL) while the library is closed?

You make these requests through your home institution. The following campuses are still accepting requests for electronic journal articles and book chapters:

  • Bowie State University
  • Salisbury University
  • Towson University
  • University of Baltimore
  • University of Maryland, Baltimore
  • University of Maryland, College Park
  • University of Maryland Eastern Shore
  • University of Maryland Global Campus

Requests for print materials cannot be fulfilled at this time so please do not make them. Also, please note that due to the uncertainty of the situation, many libraries across the country may be closed or short-staffed.  This will negatively affect the libraries’ ability to fulfill electronic journal article and book chapter requests on your behalf. They might take longer than normal or might not be able to be filled at all.

Is the library still offering its workshops?

All scheduled workshops for the rest of the spring semester will still be held, but online only. You will need to register for the workshop and then the workshop presenter will email you login information to attend. If you missed one of our scheduled workshops, but would like to attend, you can request it at another time, either one-on-one or with a small group. 

How can students who may need to access technology get information on what equipment, tools or services may be available to them?

The Office of Information Technology has provided extensive information for both students and staff on the OIT website.

Can students still get help with research papers, writing assignments, and other classwork?

The Macklin Center for Academic Success continues to offer writing support virtually. Students make appointments the same way they always have (through our appointment system) and then meet with us through video conferencing tools. Feel free to share our quick tutorial about making and attending an online appointment. Please note that students are encouraged to sign up early as our appointments have been filling up quickly. 

For students who have been seeing a counselor at the Center for Counseling and Consultation, are they still offering services even though the USG campus is closed?

The Center for Counseling and Consultation is open with remote services, through phone calls and videoconferencing, where possible to do so.  Students can set up an appointment with a counselor by calling 301-738-6273 and leaving a message.  The center’s receptionist is checking messages hourly throughout the business day and will get back to you as soon as possible.  Since the staff is working from home, students will likely see the return call as a private or anonymous number.

What about students who had not previously accessed counseling services? How can they access these services at this time?

During this crisis, the Center for Counseling and Consultation has arranged to be able to accept new clients through videoconferencing. Call 301-738-6273 or visit the CCC website for details.

With many students and families facing extreme financial challenges during this crisis, is there any available funding to assist students on an emergency basis?

 In an effort to support students who are facing such challenges, the Universities at Shady Grove Foundation has launched a new Emergency Assistance Fund. This special fund is being made possible thanks to the generosity of private donors, including the USG Board of Advisors and the non-profit organization, Montgomery County Business Leaders Fighting Hunger. The purpose of the new Emergency Assistance Fund is to provide students with financial support for a variety of basic needs, including food, educational materials, and technology to support online learning and academic success.

Students may apply for USG emergency assistance support by completing this short request form. All requests will be reviewed and responded to within three (3) business days.

Please note this special fund is intended not to replace, but to supplement USG’s traditional Emergency Financial Assistance program, which exists to help any student facing financial hardships due to unexpected circumstances.)

With the temporary suspension of the monthly USG Mobile Market and the Grover Essentials pantry on campus, what other resources can individuals turn to if they are in need of food or other items?

Please visit this page for information on available resources in the area for food distribution and other essential supplies.

For students who have been receiving Disability Support services at USG, what should they do now?

The coordinator for Disability Support Services is maintaining contact with faculty to assist with virtual testing accommodations.  However, questions related to testing should be emailed to professors regarding format and submission guidelines. Any concerns or questions related to accommodations, students should contact their home campus DSS offices. A list can be found on the USG Disability Support Services page.

For students who have participated in Guided Study Sessions, are these sessions still being offered?

Yes, Guided Study Sessions (GSS) will continue.  You may get additional information on the CAS website.

Will Writing Fellows sessions still be available?

Yes, Writing Fellows will continue support to students remotely using university google services. Writing Fellows will directly contact their assigned students. Writing Fellows.

For students who need help understanding their financial aid, is someone available to assist them?

Yes, the Center for Student Engagement and Financial Resources professional staff will continue to provide individual appointments and consultations using WebEx video conferencing. Students can schedule an appointment per normal procedures.

Can students still apply for scholarships at USG?

Yes. The fall 2020 Scholarship application is open, with a priority deadline of June 30 and the final deadline of July 31. Inquiries may be submitted via email to: usg-scholarships@umd.edu

How about student organizations? Are they continuing to meet and function through remote and virtual platforms?

Yes. The USG Student Council, Graduate Student Association, Student Ambassadors, and the various student organizations and clubs, along with the CommUNITY Book Club, and Diversity and Leadership Learning Cohorts, are all continuing to operate in a modified format. Members will be contacted via standard communication channels by the lead coordinator for each specific cohort with more information and updates on the organization’s activities.

For students who are part of the ACES (“Achieving Collegiate Excellence and Success) program at USG, are they continuing to receive assistance and support for their studies?

Yes, the ACES Success Coordinator will continue to provide individual appointments and consultations using WebEx video conferencing.  ACES students may contact the coordinator through email. 

For prospective students who may be interested in applying to any of the various academic programs offered at USG by our partner universities, is anyone available at USG to answer some of my questions about these programs and/or the campus?

Yes, the Senior Coordinator for Recruiting continues to provide appointments and consultation using WebEx video conferencing. Students may  Schedule a virtual appointment or Request general information about USG programs and resources. In addition, in place of this spring’s scheduled Undergraduate Expo at USG, the recruitment team created an “Undergraduate Expo: Virtual Edition” of the event, which includes an informative “USG 101” video presentation.

What services are available from the Center for Career and Internship Services? Are the career coaches still available?

Career Coaching continues for resume and interview preparation, internships and other career experiential opportunities, and job search strategies. Career coaches will provide 30-minute sessions virtually using "Google Hangout."  Students can schedule an appointment via the standard procedures.

With many students having some time available to focus on building their career search skills, what resources are available to help them from home?

Students have an excellent opportunity to access a variety of online services through the Career and Internship Services Center, including:

  • Big Interview: Learn and practice your interview skills with this online interview platform.
  • Virtual Job Shadow: Explore various jobs and industries through short video reviews.

Additional resources and new virtual event offerings, such as workshops or career fairs, will be posted on the CISC website as they become available.

Will I receive a refund of my USG student fees for the spring 2020 semester?

Student parking fees are being waived for the period of the spring semester following March 23. Students should either receive parking fee refunds for that portion of the semester or will have their automatic bi-weekly payments stopped. However, other USG student fees will not be refunded for spring 2020, as they are used to support ongoing operations that are continuing and remain available to students as services are provided remotely. USG student fees support our technology infrastructure and services, as well as various activities and services, including academic support services (i.e. writing support and tutoring), student life and events (i.e. activities, clubs, cultural programming, publications and workshops), library services, counseling and consultation, and career and internship services, all of which are continuing.