Your Student Guide - Fall 2020

Weekly Update: September 21, 2020

Need to Knows


Students Show Support

Video montage of students wearing masks

Important Dates

Next Steps: Campus Testing

Thank you to everyone who participated in the first round of COVID-19 surveillance pool testing. Watch your email for an invitation to participate again in future testing. 

Continued testing helps us track and reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the UB community. Thank you in advance for your continued participation.

The Support You Need is Here

Whether you’re living on- or off-campus, fully remote or commuting from home, get the helpful advice and support you need.

How (and Why) to Get a Mentor

A mentor can answer your questions, give you advice about your future, and help you during your time at UB — and beyond.

Step 1: Determine What Type of Mentor You Want

Academic Mentors

  • Faculty (professors, TAs, etc.)
  • Visiting Scholar
  • Research Assistant
  • Faculty advisor for clubs and organizations
  • Someone specific to your field of interest (for example, there are Venture Coaches for students interested in entrepreneurship)

Peer Mentors

Staff Mentors

Alumni Mentors

Step 2: Find a Mentor

  • Look at the lists in Step 1 and think about people who would be a good mentor
  • Ask your school or department; some schools (e.g., social work, engineering and management) have established mentor programs for students
  • Ask people you know if they know someone who would be a good mentor for you

Step 3. Ask Them To Be Your Mentor

  • Be prepared — research your potential mentor’s background, and tell them why you think they’re the right mentor for you
  • Be direct — ask them if they’ll be your mentor
  • Be respectful — respect their time, and if they decline, ask if there’s someone else they would recommend

Learn More

Get Involved to Have Fun and Make Friends

Whatever clubs and groups you’re interested in, you’ll almost definitely find them on UBLinked. Start searching today and remember the Rule of 3:

  1. Do something you already did in high school (since you already know you like it or you’re good at it)
  2. Get involved in something related to your career (learn more in career communities)
  3. Try something new to challenge yourself and make new groups of friends

Looking Ahead

Keep Up the Good Work

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases at UB is staying relatively low. Please keep doing what you can to help stop the spread, as we work together to help keep everyone healthier and safer.

> See the number of confirmed cases

Featured topics in the coming weeks include:

  • 9/29 Progress Check: are you where you want to be? 

Week of September 14

Using Time Management and On-Campus Resources to Stay on Track

You are well on your way to a successful semester. Making good use of your time and staying healthy will help ensure you keep the momentum going and stay on track.

Time Management

Increase your productivity and learn time management skills with these tips and tricks.

Help! It’s Week 4 and I’m Already Behind!

Join Student Engagement Ambassadors for a workshop on time management and tips for success when you’re feeling behind. Workshops will be offered Sept. 24 at noon and 6 p.m..

See Details and Register

This time management and priority management workshop will teach you some tips and tricks to help you catch up and finish the semester strong. We will talk about ways to reduce your stress and resources to help get you out of the weeds!

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Student Success

UB’s Student Success Gateway can connect you to advisors, resources and support throughout your academic journey.

  1. Download the Navigate app to make advising appointments, request a tutor, find Study Buddies and connect with resources and support.
  2. See your advisor if you have any questions regarding your major, academic schedule, or concerns about a class. Make sure you know your responsibilities before asking your advisor for help!
  3. Developing an academic plan and setting expectations can help to balance your academic schedule with your social schedule.

Understand your class schedule / Meet with your advisor / Staying on track / Academic FAQs for fall 2020

Maintaining a Healthy Mind and Body

A healthy mind and body is important no matter where you are on your academic journey. Managing your stress and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can improve your academic performance, so make sure you eat healthytake charge of your mental health and emotional well-being, and learn more about your health, wellness and personal safety (our featured content during the Week of September 7 - see below.)

Upcoming Events

Mentoring Workshop

Student Engagement is proud to offer the 6th Annual LEAD UB Conference (Leadership, Engagement, Advocacy, and Development) running from Monday, October 26-Thursday, October 29, 2020

Week of September 7

Your Health, Wellness and Personal Safety

Most of you are making smart choices—including staying home when you’re feeling sick, wearing a mask, physical distancing and washing your hands. Here are more tips for staying healthy and being well:

  • Hanging out with friends? Know who you’re with, in case someone gets COVID-19 and authorities need to do contract tracing.
  • Lower your stress by taking advantage of tutoring, advising and other student services early in the semester—before it’s too late
  • Focus on your mental health by keeping a daily routine, taking a walk, or just making time to spend with your friends (physically distanced, of course)
  • Talk with a Wellness Coach about time management, healthy sleep habits, making friends and other questions

The Student Life Gateway is Your Source for:

Making Healthy Decisions

Eating Well (Even During COVID-19)

Going to lunch or even the grocery store is different these days. But what you eat and drink can still make a big difference, whether you’re on-campus or off-campus.

Virtual Workshops from Counseling Services and Health Promotion

Upcoming Events

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How Alcohol and Other Drugs Affect Your COVID-19 Risk

Cannabis and Nicotine

Both smoking and vaping substances (including cannabis and tobacco/nicotine) can make you more susceptible to viral infections such as COVID-19, as well as put you at higher risk for more severe symptoms. 

If you currently smoke or vape any substances, stopping or reducing use (temporarily or permanently) is strongly advised.

For help reducing nicotine use (smoking or vaping), Health Promotion offers a Quit Smoking/Vaping Drop-In Clinic.

For help reducing cannabis use, appointments can be scheduled with a Harm Reduction Specialist from Health Promotion by calling 716-645-2837 ext. 5.

If choosing to use:

  • Do not share cigarettes, joints, bongs, vaping devices, etc. 
  • If using inhaled substances, use away from children and anyone who may be high risk or unwell.
  • Remember that it can take up to two hours to feel the effects of edible cannabis products, and be careful not to overconsume. (Edibles cause a disproportionate number of cannabis related hospital visits due to overconsumption).
  • Do not drive after using cannabis. Wait at least six hours if smoking or vaping, and even longer if ingesting cannabis products.


Alcohol use can weaken your immune system. Even moderate amounts of alcohol or occasionally occurrences of binge drinking can impact immune responses. 

If you are healthy:

  • Avoid overconsumption. Pay attention to alcohol content and drink sizes if choosing to drink.
  • Stay hydrated. Drinking alcohol can lead to increased dehydration (this is one of the causes of hangovers.) For every standard alcoholic drink, drink 8 oz. of water.
  • When planning virtual hangouts with friends, make sure to include other activities beside “virtual happy hours.” This will help you avoid overconsumption as well as include friends who choose not to drink at this time.

Virtual Health and Wellness Services

Even with in-person appointments limited, you can still get virtual appointments and services from:

Week of August 31

Connect for Success - We're Here for You

As you start classes, think about your goals for the year — and know that Student Life is here to help support you. From getting involved and staying connected, to being prepared for change, you’ll find ideas and advice on the Student Life Gateway and by following us on social media.

Strategies for Connecting

Whether virtual or in-person, connecting with others at UB is essential.

  • Student clubs and organizations continue to be an important part of the UB experience. Search for interests and get involved at UBLinked.
  • In every class – in-person or online – make a point to connect with at least one peer. Share contact information, trade notes, and check in on each other. Don’t forget to ask “how’s your day?” or “what’s the best thing you did last week?” or “what’s for lunch?”
  • For those on campus and in Buffalo, take advantage of the summer weather! Invite a classmate to explore the area by bike, grab a Frisbee and toss it around with friends, or try an at home fitness class. Just remember to keep your mask on and stay 6ft apart. 
  • Check out UB’s virtual engagement opportunities.

Strategies for Succeeding

Get organized, take charge of your learning, and use your resources.

  • Look through each syllabus carefully and make a plan for your semester. 
  • Put key exams and project dates in your calendar, block out enough time to complete every assignment and class session, and make sure you have all the materials you need – books, lab materials, software, etc. 
  • Find a space to work that minimizes distractions and maximizes productivity. (If you're on-campus, consider touchdown spaces.)
  • College learning takes discipline. Consider how you will stay on track. Suggestions include:
    • Use a planner
    • Find accountability partners
    • Set timers for studying
    • Create master to-do lists for the month 
  • Whatever strategy you use, remember why you’re in college – to learn and to prepare for a successful life and career.
  • Use resources! Introduce yourself to your faculty and check out tutoring resources and the Center for Excellence in Writing.

This Week on Instagram (@ubstudentexp)

  • Wednesday 9/2 - advice for meeting people and making friends at UB, new ways to spend time on campus, and your chance to share your favorite physically distanced activities
  • Wednesday 9/9 - advice for getting good grades, info about academic support resources, and your chance to share tips for meeting academic goals
  • All week - opportunities to win UB merch
ICYMI: Return to Campus Q&A
Welcome Back Seniors

We’re here to help you make the most of your senior year, from your last “first day” through commencement.

Join our student hosts, Lily and Lauren, as they ask university leaders your most frequently asked questions.

Week of August 24

Updates for the week of: August 24, 2020

Last updated: August 21, 2020

In this Section

Affirm Your Status

Know the Health & Safety Guidelines

Before You Come to Campus

  1. Pack your personal protective equipment (PPE). (You can also receive and purchase face coverings at multiple locations on campus.) 
  2. Restock your personal health kit.
  3. Request a parking permit (by mail only for Fall 2020)
  4. Get your technology up-to-date for online classes, and learn about new touchless printing  
  5. Pre-order textbooks and school supplies
  6. Learn how to use your UB Card, manage your account, use Mobile ID, submit a card photo or report a lost card
  7. You've always got your phone - now get the apps to make things easier:
    • Daily Health Check - coming soon
    • DUO (authentication access)
    • UBMobile (essential UB info and services)
    • MobileID (your UB card without the card)
    • GET (dining services)
    • Navigate (academic success) 
    • UB Guardian (safety app)
Living on Campus?

Once You've Arrived

On Campus or At Home, We're Here For You

Helping you have a great fall semester.

Stay Healthy Do Your Part Socialize Safer Keep Thriving Academics Living & Dining Resources

Together, We Are Stopping the Spread

Help our community stay safer and decrease the spread of COVID-19 by making these behaviors part of your routine. 

Opening panel: maintain physical distance.

Physical (Social) Distancing

  • Practice social distancing from others.
  • Follow directional and spacing guidelines and instructions.

Quick Tips

Here are some simple ways to keep a safe physical distance (at least 6 feet) between you and others.

  • In hallways and stairwells, walk to the far right in a single file.
  • Travel outdoors when possible.
  • Limit elevator occupancy to 2 people. 
  • Limit restroom occupancy to the number of fixtures available in each restroom.
  • Avoid gatherings of 25 people or more.
  • Seek less crowded routes.

Campus Transportation

Buses and Shuttles

UB Parking & Transportation has implemented several practices to ensure passengers of buses and shuttles can be safely spaced apart.

  • Face masks are required on all UB buses and shuttles.
  • Please stay 6 feet away from other passengers while waiting for, boarding or disembarking the bus or shuttle
  • Choose a seat that will put physical distance between you and other passengers.
    • Some seats may be blocked off to create safe distances between passengers. When necessary, we may need to limit the number of passengers on buses or shuttles.
  • Swiping of UB ID cards at boarding has been suspended until further notice.
  • Follow guidance and direction provided by bus/shuttle drivers or UB Parking & Transportation.
  • Use hand sanitizer before and after touching surfaces. Wash hands thoroughly before and after riding.
  • Open windows (when feasible) to improve ventilation.

Rear-Door Boarding on the UB Stampede

Temporarily, all passengers riding the UB Stampede buses will enter and exit from the rear door for the safety of our drivers until such time as protective barriers can be installed on each bus.

Source: Parking and Transportation Services

All passengers on UB buses and shuttles are required to wear a face mask.

Source: Parking and Transportation Services

Opening panel: wash your hands.

Keeping Things Clean

  • Wash your hands frequently, or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your inner elbow.
  • Dispose of used tissues immediately and wash your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Keeping Your Hands Clean

Here are some tips for preventing the spread of COVID-19 from touching potentially contaminated surfaces.

1. Wash hands frequently for at least 20 seconds.

2. Use hand sanitizer when handwashing is not possible.

3. Be mindful of touching commonly touched surfaces or shared items such as:

  • Elevator buttons
  • Door handles
  • Restroom fixtures
  • Faucets
  • Printers, copiers
  • Bus, shuttle fixtures
  • Credit card readers
  • Wash your hands (or use hand sanitizer) immediately after touching commonly shared items, and  before and after getting to your destination.
  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly (20 seconds) using soap and warm water.
  • Avoid touching your face, especially after removing your face mask or after touching commonly shared items.

Source: University Facilities

Cleaning Surfaces

We all need to do our part to stop the spread of COVID-19. Here are some quick tips for keeping your personal spaces disinfected:

  • Wipe down surfaces in your room or office with disinfectant wipes or sprays at the start and end of every day, including:
    • Computers, keyboards, mouse
    • Coffee pots, water spigots, water fountains
    • Lab equipment
    • Remote controls (clickers) in shared meeting spaces
    • Workshop tools
    • Copier keyboards
    • Phone dials and panels
    • Entry keypads
  • Wash your hands frequently, or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.
Opening panel: Your guide to face coverings.

Wear a Face Covering/Mask

  • A face covering must be worn at all times including outdoor spaces on UB’s campuses, to further reduce the risk of transmission as people travel from place to place.

Where to Get a Mask On Campus

Students can receive one mask at no cost from the following locations:
  • Student Union Welcome Center 
  • 1 Capen
  • 1 Diefendorf (South Campus)
  • Buses and shuttles on campus
  • Libraries
Purchase a Mask
Anyone can purchase a mask at the following locations:
  • Retail locations
    • The Elli (Ellicott Complex)
    • Teddy’s (Governors) 
    • Campus Tees (Student Union)
  • Vending machines (disposable masks)
    • Clement Hall
    • Ellicott Food Court South (by Perks)
    • Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences 
    • Knox Lecture Hall
    • Main Street Market (South Campus)
    • Natural Science Building
    • Student Union (second floor)

Helpful Tips

Face Coverings: Basics

Woman wearing cloth face mask.
  • Members of the UB community and campus visitors must wear face coverings at all times 
    • When inside UB buildings, classrooms, labs, facilities, and buses and shuttles and in outdoor campus spaces.
  • UB provided one reusable face covering to each student, faculty and staff member at no cost. 
  • You may use your own face covering, provided it:
    • Is snug but comfortable against the sides of the face.
    • Covers your mouth and nose.
    • Is secured with ties or ear loops.
    • Is made with multiple layers of material.
    • Allows you to breathe without restriction.
    • Will not be damaged or change shape with washing and drying
  • Do not wear face coverings (masks) with plastic valves. These are one-way valves that do not filter air you expel and are therefore unsafe to others if you are infectious.
  • Face shields will be provided if there is a medical reason a person cannot wear a face covering.
  • Do not share face coverings.
    • Label your face mask with your name to reduce risk of mixing masks with coworkers.
  • Wash or sanitize your hands after removing your mask.

Source: University Facilities

How to Wear a Face Covering/Mask

It is important to understand how to effectively put on, take off, clean (as applicable) and discard face coverings. 

Put On Your Face Covering

  • Wash your hands before putting on your face covering
  • Put it over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin
  • Try to fit it snugly against the sides of your face
  • Make sure you can breathe easily
  • Wear eyeglasses outside of the mask, above or resting on the face covering.
    • To limit fogging, wash your glasses with soapy water, shaking off excess prior to wearing.

Take Off Your Cloth Face Covering Carefully

  • Do not touch the outside of the mask when taking it off. Remove it by the straps.
  • Untie the strings behind your head or stretch the ear loops.
  • Fold outside corners together
  • Place covering in the washing machine (learn more about how to wash cloth face coverings).
  • Be careful not to touch your eyes, nose, and mouth when removing and wash hands immediately after removing.

Source: University Facilities

Opening panel: Be a Team Player

Feel Sick? Stay Home!

  • Do a CDC COVID-19 symptom self-check every day before leaving your home.
  • Stay home and contact your health care provider if you are sick or experiencing any symptoms.

Know the Symptoms

COVID-19 Symptoms

New information about COVID-19 symptoms is being confirmed often. As of this writing, common COVID-19 symptoms include the following. Symptoms may appear two to 14 days after exposure to the virus. Please be sure to check the CDC website for the latest known COVID-19 Symptoms.

People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Make sure you’re taking care of your mental health and wellness, too. See the Keep Thriving tab for more information. 

Keeping You Informed

UB’s goal is to continue to deliver the best educational and research programs possible while protecting the health and safety of our university community from COVID-19.  View campus-wide announcements:

Latest on coronavirus
Visiting UB?

Student Life proudly partners with local hospitality services to offer both convenience and value to guests visiting UB and attending our events. Reserve early to avoid disappointment.