MRC Reopening Plan

Center Operations

This is the MRC Operational Plan for the 2020-2021 school year or until such time that COVID-19 is no longer a threat to public health. See below for the specific circumstances for which patrons may use the MRC. 

General Operating Hours - The MRC will have adjusted operating hours for the Spring 2021 semester, 

  • 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Monday - Friday, the Center will be open to students, faculty and staff for the following services: general inquiries, virtual appointments with MRC staff and utilization of our Multifaith Meditation and Prayer Room. However, due to current COVID-19 social distancing guidelines, the center will not be open for room reservations and prolonged visits.
  • Bartle Library Tabling and MRC Library and Resource Requests will be unavailable for the beginning of the semester to give time for the campus community to catch-up with COVID-19 testing and other protocols.

Meetings and Events - All meetings and events should continue to be held virtually, both to include employees who are telecommuting or on staggered schedules, students who are learning completely online or in split schedules, and to maximize social distancing among employees and students who are working on campus. 

  • Individual virtual meetings with guests who are not able to meet remotely, i.e. limited access to Wi-Fi or a private concern, may be scheduled to utilize our designated reception/meeting rooms. At the MRC and QC, the designated spaces are the NSLS office and MRC Conference Room. Guests will conduct meetings with MRC staff via phone or video conference. Please also see Face Coverings for additional requirements when scheduling Zoom or in-person meetings with students.

Center Visitors - The Center will be closed to prolonged usage, reservations and events. General visitation for the purpose of using the Multifaith Meditation and Prayer Room, making resource or library requests/pick-ups, making appointments to meet with staff or asking quick questions will be allowed and encouraged. 

  • The MRC's new Virtual Center, vMRC at www.kumospace.com/mrcbinghamton, has officially launched. The virtual center will be open from 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. Monday - Friday and staffed by one of our Student Managers or MRC staff. The vMRC is an immersive video chatroom where you can connect with MRC staff and other students on campus. Our new space allows for multiple students to have simultaneous conversations in the same space. You can also move between three virtual rooms:

    • MRC Lounge

    • Office

    • Group Study Room

  • Let's Talk - the MRC Let's Talk with Counselor Arlene Arisme will begin on Monday, February 22. This semester sessions will be held on Monday at 4 - 5 p.m. and Thursday 11 a.m. - noon. Sessions are available on a first-come, first-served bases and can be now be scheduled at mrcletstalk.youcanbook.me/.

Face covering - Staff and guests of the MRC spaces must wear a face covering or mask that covers both nose and mouth at all times, (including in shared areas, such as hallways, conference rooms, breakrooms, storage rooms, restrooms, the MRC Resource Room, and the Meditation and Prayer Room). The only exceptions are when alone in a private office.

  • Employees have the option of wearing their own mask or utilizing those provided by the University. Please find guidelines for washing cloth masks at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) here:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/how-to-wash-cloth-face-coverings.html.
  • Welcome desk staff and Center staff will have access to clear masks to be worn when interacting with hearing impaired students or employees. Masks will be stored in the Welcome Desk filing cabinet.
  • Questions regarding PPE, should be address to MRC Associate Director or Director.

Hand Sanitizer and Cleaning - All employees will be provided one 2-oz. personal bottle of hand sanitizer. This alcohol-based sanitizer may be used to sanitize your hands as well as work surfaces and touch-points. Do not discard this bottle, as you will only receive one. Refilling stations will be located throughout campus where these personal bottles may be refilled. 

  • Staff are encouraged to wash or sanitize hands following such activities as opening mail or packages, returning from outside of the Center, etc. 
  • Following the use of equipment in common spaces it will be the responsibility of each staff member to sanitize the equipment using the cleaning supplies provided. This  includes but is not limited to tables, chairs, countertops, refrigerator and microwave handles, printer pads, etc.  
  • Individuals and departments should not purchase their own cleaning chemicals or bring chemicals in from home. The use of chemicals other than those used by PF custodial staff could damage surfaces, react dangerously with the chemicals used by PF staff, cause allergic reactions or other issues. Chemicals used by custodial staff are specifically selected for safety, compatibility with other chemicals and surfaces, and compliance with the New York State Green Cleaning Law.
  • Office cleaning frequency by physical facilities staff may be decreased if needed to allow for more frequent disinfection of touchpoints in common areas throughout the building. Therefore, Center staff should dump their waste baskets into common area trash cans (corridors, bathrooms, etc.).

Use of Breakrooms – staff may use breakrooms to store and/or prepare personal meals, but may not congregate there to eat. Staff will work through the office manager and student managers for access to the space.  To encourage self-care through socialization, staff may look for opportunities to eat together outdoors, while maintaining social distancing. Due to the size of the space, multiple staff will not be allowed in the Breakroom at the same time.

Center Staff Schedules

  • The full time professional staff will work on a staggered schedule and should connect with the MRC Director/Associate Director for information about schedules.
  • The graduate assistant staff will work mostly remote schedules with one day in the office, unless other arrangements are approved by the supervisor in conversation with the MRC Director/Associate Director.
  • The student manager staff will work a hybrid schedule both in the center space and remotely, unless university and/or division leadership make decisions that require all MRC operations to move to a virtual/remote operation.
  • The intern and ambassador staff will work remotely unless other arrangements are approved by the supervisor in consultation with the MRC Director/Associate Director.

Center Programs

Given the mission and goals of the Center and the lack of access to feasible spaces on campus, meaningful programming would be hard to achieve using the social distancing protocols enacted by the University, therefore the vast majority of Center programs, including the In the Lounge Series, Cultural Presidents’ Council Meetings and Signature Programs, will be conducted virtually. Given the experience from the move to virtual during the spring semester, all Center goals and objectives can be met using various tools like Zoom, Hopin, Kumospace, Discord, Trello, Slack and GroupMe.

Please address questions or concerns to Tanyah Barnes, MRC associate director.