School of Architecture Spring 2021 FAQs

Updated January 6, 2021

The School of Architecture has updated the FAQs with information specific to the Spring 2021 semester. The first day of Spring classes is Monday, January 11, 2021

While we will try our best to keep this page current, please refer to the university’s coronavirus page for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

If you have a question that’s not answered here, please email arch@uic.edu.

Classes, scheduling, and fees

Which School of Architecture classes will be held fully online?

Arch 200: Architecture and Society
Arch 210: Architecture as Archetype
Arch 252: Modern Architecture
Arch 360: Architectural Technology 2
Arch 372: Architectural Theory 2
Arch 466: Research Studio (Zago)
Arch 471: Structures II
Arch 499: Special Topics (Eisenschmidt)
Arch 532: Architectural Theory and History II
Arch 564/522: Tech IV / Topics in Arch Technology (Preissner)
Arch 567: Research Studio (Zago)
Arch 588/520: Pro-Seminar II

Which School of Architecture classes will be held on campus, and where will they meet?

On December 8, the university announced that all Spring classes will begin with online instruction only. While the following classes are designated as “on campus,” it is not yet clear when they will be able to meet in person.

Once in-person classes resume, courses classified as on-campus may meet partially or primarily online, as was the case in the fall.  

Arch 106: Architectural Studio 2 - 4300 studio
Arch 206: Architectural Studio 4 - B100 studio
Arch 366: Architectural Studio 6 - 2100 studio
Arch 466: Advanced Topic Studio 2 (all sections except Zago) - 5300 studio
Arch 544: Professional Practices - 1100
Arch 552: Architectural Design II - 4300 studio
Arch 554: Architectural Design IV - 4300 studio
Arch 555: Design Development - 4100 studio
Arch 562: Architectural Technology II - 3100 gallery
Arch 564/522: Tech IV / Topics in Arch Technology (Blankenbaker) - 1100
Arch 573: Structures I - Lecture Center C006
Arch 567/466: Research Studio (Lyster) - 4100 studio
Arch 586/520: Topics in Arch Theory / Theory and History IV - Brown, 1100; Marullo, 1300

Where is my class meeting on the first day/week?

All classes will meet online. Faculty will be in contact with students to clarify their plans and share access links/instructions.

Are students required to come to campus for in-person classes?

The provost has communicated that students are expected to attend synchronous online and in-person classes. However, there may be many reasons why students are unable to attend in-person classes, including that a student does not feel comfortable traveling to campus, and the provost is encouraging faculty to work with students to accommodate these situations to the greatest extent possible. Students with health conditions that prevent them from attending in-person classes should contact the Disability Resource Center to discuss accommodations, and be in touch with their faculty.

What is the school’s attendance policy for Spring 2021, given the combination of online and in-person classes?

The school attendance policy remains in effect for all in-person and synchronous components of Spring courses. Given the range of instructional formats, individual faculty may modify this policy as necessary and as articulated in their course syllabus. Each faculty will communicate what constitutes an excused absence and what kind of documentation is required. Students who anticipate needing accommodation for attendance-related issues (health, technology, transportation) should be in contact with their instructor to make arrangements in advance.

To what extent are school faculty required to accommodate students who cannot attend in-person or synchronous class meetings?

The provost is encouraging faculty to record their synchronous online and in-person classes, but recognizes that there are cases when this may not be possible or advisable. In these situations, the university recommends that students and faculty work together to cover the content as necessary.

What do students do if they need to attend an online course while on campus?

All students will have access to properly distanced studio spaces in the Architecture + Design Studios building. We assume that the university will also designate study spaces for students to use if they need to attend an online class while on campus, as happened in Fall, but they haven’t yet shared this information for the new semester. (The Fall 2020 rooms are listed here and here.)

Will university tuition and fees be decreased?

Not as far as we know, though the university did issue a fee adjustment for Fall 2020, so this may change in the course of the term. Students also have the choice to opt out of the U-pass again.

Will School of Architecture lab fees be reduced this year?

Yes. The school will reduce lab fees for all studios for Spring 2021. For first- and second-year undergrad students, fees will drop to $25 (from $50). For third- and fourth-year undergrad students and all grad students, fees will drop to $40 (from $100). The reduced fees will continue to fund maintenance as well as purchases of lab supplies and personal protective equipment.

Are the adjusted grading policies from Spring 2020 or Fall 2020 still in effect?

No. The university has not announced any changes to grading policies for Spring 2021.

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Health and safety on campus

Note: In mid-August, the university posted its comprehensive COVID-19 campus-wide public health policy; please refer to that page for more detailed information.

What do students, faculty, and staff need to do before arriving on campus? Are there consequences for failing to follow these procedures?

Students, faculty, and staff must complete a daily self-screening survey to access the campus, including the Architecture + Design Studios building and all outdoor spaces. The survey is available at healthcheck.uic.edu.

The system will notify school staff if you enter the AD+S building without having completed the self-check. Students who consistently fail to complete a daily self-check will be referred to Student Affairs for disciplinary action, which could include loss of access to the building. Employees could also face disciplinary action, per policies outlined by Human Resources.

Is everyone required to wear masks on campus? What about outdoors?

According to the Circle Back to Campus plan, face coverings are required at all times on all property that is owned or operated by the university, including outdoors and in classrooms. Exceptions include when a person is alone in a private office or personal residence hall room, or when an individual has a medical condition or disability or other reason that prevents them from safely wearing a face covering.

The the provost has clarified that masks can be removed for eating or drinking, but only when maintaining appropriate physical distancing from others. No one is allowed to eat in classrooms.

Will masks be provided on campus or in the Architecture + Design Studios building?

We still have a few university health kits available. If you need supplies, please contact arch@uic.edu for more information.

What do I do if I see someone not following the university’s health and safety guidelines?

If the person is a faculty or staff member in the School of Architecture, notify Bob Somol, the school’s director. If the person is a student, notify Tom Moss, Associate Dean of Student Affairs for CADA, or Linda Deanna, Dean of Students.

Will there be consequences for students, faculty, or staff who fail to follow health and safety guidelines?

University-wide policy is that students who do not wear a mask will be asked to leave the classroom and will not be allowed back in class unless they wear one. Faculty can also contact Tom Moss, Associate Dean of Student Affairs for CADA, or Linda Deanna, Dean of Students, with concerns.

The “Workplace Expectations” section of the Road to Recovery plan outlines what happens for faculty and staff who don’t follow the policies.

Will there be testing available for the UIC community?

The university will continue to conduct required saliva-based surveillance testing for certain groups on campus, including all students living in university housing, and voluntary saliva-based testing for other members of the university community. For more information, see the university’s COVID-19 testing page.

What happens when a student, faculty, or staff member tests positive?

The university has set up a reporting page for members of the UIC community who have been exposed or have tested positive via this link. In general, the university is coordinating closely with local public health departments to supplement contact tracing for all COVID-19 cases that are related to UIC faculty, staff, or students, and cleaning all rooms known to have been occupied by anyone who is COVID-19 positive or presumed positive. 

What if I test positive, feel sick, or believe I have been exposed to COVID-19?

The Road to Recovery plan says that you should not not report to campus if: you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and need to be tested; you may have been exposed to COVID-19; and/or you tested positive for COVID-19 outside of University Health Services. 

University faculty and staff in this situation should isolate at home, contact your UIC supervisor, and submit a report via this link or call University Health Services at 312-996-7420 (select the COVID-19 option). The University Health Services line is available twenty-four hours a day, seven days per week.

Students who think they have been exposed to COVID-19 or who have tested positive should inform Student Health Services at 312-996-2901 or via this link as soon as possible so that the university can take action in accordance with university policies. Students should also notify their professors in order to make arrangements to cover any classes or work missed because of illness or the need to isolate.

I’m coming from a state or country that is subject to the City of Chicago self-quarantine order. What should I do?

The Office of International Services has published a set of FAQs for international students who need to self-quarantine. The Student Housing office asks students living in campus housing to contact housinghealth@uic.edu to determine quarantine options. Any other School of Architecture students in this situation should notify their professors that they will be quarantining at home in order to make arrangements.

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AD+S building use and resources

Will there be any changes to how the building is organized or cleaned for the Spring? 

No. The organization of studios and classrooms will follow the same reduced-capacity plans, and school and facilities staff will follow the same university protocols. 

How and when will the building be accessible to students, faculty, and staff?

The Architecture + Design Studios building is closed for winter break and will reopen via swipe-card access at some point during the first week of Spring classes. (We will share the exact date in the newsletter.) Students will be able to use their I-cards to access the building from 7am until 9pm Monday through Friday. The building will be closed overnight, from 9pm until 7am, and all day on Saturdays and Sundays to allow for additional cleaning. Faculty will still have twenty-four-hour access, seven days per week. 

The building will remain locked to the public, though various other groups—design students, facility managers, and building service workers, for example—will be able to enter the building with proper clearance. Because studio spaces cannot be locked, we cannot guarantee their security, and students should continue to exercise caution in leaving personal belongings, supplies, models, etc., in these spaces.

Will any guests be permitted in the building?

No. Students, faculty, and staff will not be permitted to bring any guests into the building (e.g., family members / children, friends). Anyone who does not have personal swipe access to the building may not enter.

Will students be permitted to keep supplies, models, and personal belongings in the studios?

Students can keep studio supplies, including model-making materials, in studios only at their assigned desk space. Students may not keep any personal belongings in studios (e.g., clothing, dishes, coffee mugs). Students should also keep in mind that studios are not fully secure and should continue to exercise caution in what they choose to keep in studios. (This was obviously also the case pre-COVID.)

Are there limitations on activity in the studios? Is there anything students are not permitted to do?

Students should not enter any studio or classroom space that is not associated with a class they are enrolled in (i.e., no visiting other studios). Eating is not allowed in studios, per university policy about eating in classrooms.

How will the Project Lab work?

Lab staff are coordinating directly with instructional faculty to manage fabrication needs and supply orders for individual courses. Please direct questions about fabrication needs to your professors.

How will the Fab Lab work?

Lab staff are coordinating directly with instructional faculty to manage fabrication needs and supply orders for individual courses. Please direct questions about fabrication needs to your professors.

How will the Print Lab work?

Beginning the first week of the semester, the Print Lab will be accessible by appointment only Monday through Friday from 9:30am to 2pm. To request lab access, please email arch@uic.edu or call 312-996-3335. Staff may be available in the building to open the lab as needed, but appointments are recommended. For other printing options on campus, visit accc.uic.edu/services/computing.

Will the school library (in the old office on the third floor) be accessible?

Generally, no. Students or faculty who have borrowed books from the library should contact Jayne Kelley to make arrangements for their return.

When will the school office be open and staffed?

The school office will remain locked and accessible only to staff and faculty. Staff who need to work in the building will work on a staggered schedule that will be finalized in the coming days. Please contact arch@uic.edu or individual staff for specific concerns.

Will the school office remain open to faculty?

Faculty will continue to have swipe access to the office to use the copier, get supplies, etc., but they should not work in the office, congregate in the break room, or hold any meetings in the office, including meetings with students. Faculty will be able to reserve seminar rooms or other large spaces in the building to hold meetings if necessary.

Are there any limitations on the use of outdoor space around the building? Do members of the school community have to complete the daily self-check if they don’t plan to go inside?

All the general campus policies about masks, distancing, etc., apply to outdoor spaces owned or maintained by the university. This also means that anyone planning to use these spaces must still complete the self-screening available at healthcheck.uic.edu

Can I eat in the Architecture + Design Studios building?

Eating is not allowed in any classrooms on campus, including studios in our building. In general, students, faculty, and staff should eat or drink only in places where it is easy to keep your distance from others. When the weather permits, it’s best to eat outside; otherwise, students may use the 3100 octagon as a distanced break/eating room. Students can also find spaces designated for eating in the Behavioral Sciences Building or Student Center East.

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