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UHD Issues Reminder for COVID-19 Safety, Announces Updates as Students Return

See Changes to Grading Options, Parking, Campus Dining and more

As University of Houston-Downtown students prepare to return to campus, many are wondering what updates to expect as face-to-face instruction resumes. Below is a summary of COVID-19 safety reminders as well as the most important changes students will experience.

COVID-19 Safety Protocols
UHD’s Office of Emergency Management reminds everyone that all mask and distancing protocols remain in place on campus. Also, until further notice, anyone coming to campus must sign in at designated entrances.

When on campus, only four persons are allowed on elevators at a time. Stairwells in One Main Building are designated as either “up” or “down” to ensure appropriate distancing. Stairwells in the North side of the building have been designated to go up and those in the South side of the building go down. In the event of an emergency or an evacuation, the up or down designation does not apply. In an emergency, exit the building through any appropriate stairwell. To further ensure the safety of our Gators, hand sanitizer is located at campus entrances, labs and other areas of the University. Also, drinking fountains will remain out of order until further notice, but water refill stations are available.

If You Are Feeling Ill
If you feel like you have COVID symptoms, or if you have been exposed to the virus, you should undergo testing. Harris County Public Health offers testing at several sites across the area. The City of Houston has also set up a webpage with a list of where COVID testing is available for free. Most importantly, do not come to campus if you are sick, are awaiting test results, or have been exposed to the virus and contact UHD Emergency Management at uhdcovid19@uhd.edu.

It is crucial that if you have had contact with someone who has COVID-19, that you submit an Exposure Form and quarantine for at least 10 days. Submit a request to Return to Campus Form when your quarantine has ended. In the event you are returning from any international travel, you are required to self-quarantine for 10 days, or get tested 5 days after travel and stay home for 7 days upon return to the United States. All International Travel must be documented using the UHD Travel Registration Form.

Students who seek COVID-related academic accommodations may do so through the Office of Disability Services. Students are also urged to communicate with instructors with any concerns about success in the coursework due to COVID-19.

For more information regarding COVID-19 safety precautions, visit the Frequently Asked Questions webpage.

Vaccination Information
As COVID-19 vaccines become more readily available, UHD Community members are encouraged to get vaccinated by their primary healthcare providers or sign up for an appointment at one of the Houston area's vaccine hubs.

Veterans of all ages can now receive a COVID-19 vaccine through the Houston Veterans Affairs office. No registration is necessary for veterans who are already enrolled at the office to receive the shot at the VA’s drive-through and walk-in events this week. Appointments are still available by calling 713-794-8985. Additionally, the Texas Department of State Health Services announced that all adults in Texas will qualify to receive any available coronavirus vaccines beginning Monday, March 29.

As a precaution, all UHD Community members are still encouraged to not only follow campus protocols but other recommendations from the Centers of Disease Control such as frequent hand washing and avoiding large crowds. 

The University will also roll out a messaging campaign this spring to remind students about the ease and importance of vaccination in attempt to stem the spread of COVID-19. Artwork and messaging about vaccination will be seen around campus on printed signs, television and computer screens, digital billboards and social media.

Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Grading Option
UHD will offer students the option to select an S/U grade in any of the following semesters: Spring, May, and Summer 2021.

The S/U (Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory) grading option allows students to choose the S or U grading option instead of a traditional letter grade (A, B, C, D, or F). Choosing the S/U option will not impact a student’s GPA. Students are allowed to choose this option on a course-by-course basis and can select it for one or up to all Spring, May, or Summer 2021 courses. If a student wishes not to pursue the S/U grade option for any of your courses, no action is needed at any time – you will earn a traditional letter grade.

To request the S/U grading option, follow these steps:

  • Students should contact their instructor(s) directly requesting the S/U grading option via email or Blackboard (or other method specified by your professor). The request must be submitted in writing (email is acceptable) to each faculty member for each course. Please refer to the Academic Calendar for Timeline and Requirements for Grading.
  • With Spring 2021 grades expected to post in Blackboard by the designated session deadline, students will have an opportunity after viewing their letter grade to consider requesting the S/U option.

If a student chooses the S/U option for any of their courses, the grades will be assigned as follows:

  • For undergraduate courses, a C or above will count as Satisfactory and hours will count toward graduation. For undergraduate courses with a D or F will count as Unsatisfactory and hours will not count toward graduation.
  • For graduate courses, a B or above will count as Satisfactory and hours will count toward graduation. Graduate courses with a C, D or F will count as Unsatisfactory and hours will not count toward graduation.

Students are encouraged to consult with an advisor about the possible implications of selecting the S/U grade option with respect to making progress toward a degree and considering applications to graduate programs. Also, students should contact the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid regarding impacts the S/U grading option could have on aid.

Find more information about this grading option on the Registrar’s website.

Student Parking
The University of Houston-Downtown’s Parking and Transportation Services will not charge for parking in the student lots or student garage as Gators return to campus in the spring semester.Student parking areas include the Daly Street parking lot, Parking lot B, Naylor Lot, Washington Street parking lot and Vine Street Garage.

Additionally, Parking and Transportation Services will issue refunds to UHD students who have purchased parking passes for spring but did not utilize the permits due to classes being held online instruction through mid-March.

For more information, visit the Parking and Transportation website or email parking@uhd.edu.

Expanded Dining Options on Campus
UHD Dining Services is welcoming Miss Patty’s Wagon food truck back on campus for the remainder of the spring semester. The food truck will operate on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. at the College of Sciences and Technology Building.

Starbucks will continue its regular hours of 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Fridays.

Library/Computer Hours
The campus will be open for students to access resources such as the W.I. Dykes Library and computer labs. The library will be open 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. Wednesdays, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, and 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Saturdays. Computer lab hours vary by location, so visit the website for specific hours.

Academic Support Center
The Academic Support Center offers free online tutoring for students to improve their writing, reading, math, and statistics skills. The spring online tutoring schedule allows for meetings 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Students are welcome to schedule an appointment with a tutor at UHD NAVIGATE.