COVID-19 Information

Texas A&M is doing its part in responding to the worldwide COVID-19 outbreak. Keep up to date with the latest university-wide news, new development, and policy changes on the Texas A&M Coronavirus page. Here, you can find resources and information specifically relating to the Texas A&M graduate community. For questions, please see our FAQs page or contact us at ogaps@tamu.edu

OGAPS Operations

To comply with Texas A&M’s latest guidelines on minimizing person-to-person contact, our office is closed to walk-in visitors and our staff is working remotely. We are adjusting to a new mode of operations with the goal in mind of continuing to serve our graduate and professional studies community with minimal disruption. We appreciate your patience as we strive to maintain continuity and progress for all our graduate and professional students. If you need to contact us, you may do so via email at ogaps@tamu.edu

Classes/Teaching

Stay up-to-date with changes regarding classes on at https://www.tamu.edu/coronavirus/. The University is recommending that all classes move to an online format. Only small graduate classes (<10) may continue to meet in-person, but must be held in classrooms that allow for the social distancing of 6 feet between attendees. No student can be required to attend a face-to-face class. If you are ill or required to self-isolate, you may not enter any labs, classrooms, or seminar rooms.  You must stay home and follow the appropriate protocols [see the self-isolate and self-monitor protocols found in the Frequently Asked Questions section on the university web site and on the CDC Care Guide]. Please contact your course instructors if you are self-monitoring, self-isolating, or at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19 and need accommodations. Graduate Assistants who teach must conduct instruction remotely. For information and resources, visit the Texas A&M Keep Teaching page.

Forms

As a result of limitations/restrictions on person-to-person contact imposed on campus to combat the Coronavirus outbreak, OGAPS has implemented some changes in the way we process documents. Our goal is to minimize person-to-person contact while continuing to process documents in a timely manner, avoiding disruptions and delays. We are now accepting electronic submissions of all forms. See our forms page for details. Please be sure to follow the instructions, as failure to do so could result in processing delays. If you encounter any situation that prohibits you from utilizing the revised processes for securing approvals or submitting documents, please contact OGAPS at ogaps-info@tamu.edu.  

Graduate Assistants and Student Workers

  • Graduate assistants should follow the same guidelines issued for non-essential personnel, meaning at this point you should work remotely. Your supervisors should be able to provide guidance on how you can continue to perform your work duties.
  • Only grad assistants providing essential services should continue to work on campus. Essential services include those related to on-campus housing, food service, and student health service. These work responsibilities must be carried out with social distancing practices in mind.
  • GATs (Graduate Assistants Teaching) and GALs (Graduate Assistants Lecturer): Graduate students who are teaching or supporting instruction should be doing so online. Online instruction will continue through at least the end of the spring semester. Grad students who are teaching should do so in a way that minimizes or eliminates time spent on campus. Grad students who need campus facilities to teach an online course can contact their respective department head for details on access. Please refer to keepteaching.tamu.edu site for additional teaching resources.
  • GARs (Graduate Assistants Research): To the extent possible, Texas A&M researchers are encouraged to engage in activities that can be performed remotely (e.g., writing, data analysis, etc.); essential laboratory operations are permissible, provided they can be performed while meeting the "6-feet" requirement for social distancing. Graduate researchers may come to the research labs to conduct research activities that cannot be performed remotely. For further information, see guidelines listed on the TAMU Division of Research Website
  • GANTs (Graduate Assistants Non-Teaching) or paid graduate student workers may continue to carry out important support functions necessary for continuing laboratory operation. Any individual who is in a high-risk category should not be required to come to campus. Please see vpr.tamu.edu/covid-19 for additional information.
  • All students must comply with applicable local government orders. Beginning at 9:00 PM on March 24, a “shelter-in-place” order will take effect in College Station and Bryan. This order allows students to leave their residence only for essential activities, such as going to the grocery store or picking up to-go meals on campus or from restaurants, visiting a healthcare professional, and engaging in outdoor activities such as walking, hiking, running, or riding a bicycle, with proper social distancing. Students may also leave to go to university-designated locations for accessing computers and internet resources as indicated on keeplearning.tamu.edu. Please consult the central COVID-19 TAMU site for facility availability and hours updates.

Dissertation Defenses and Oral Exams

Preliminary Exams and Final defenses are still allowed. These may be done fully online at the discretion of the student and Advisor. In-person final defenses should be limited in attendance to the committee and research group in order to keep the total number low enough that attendees can have 6-foot social distancing in the venue and attendance <10. Hybrid in-person/remote meetings are an option as well.

Travel

No university travel is permitted domestically or internationally unless approved by leadership as mission-critical or health-critical. The university strongly discourages out-of-state and international personal travel. Only international travel should be recorded on the travel reporting portal. If you were planning to engage in international or domestic research or course-related travel anytime over the next five months, you must follow university policies and should discuss with your instructor, PI, or department head before making any reservations.

Grad Student Well-Being

Coronavirus is disrupting our lives by posing a grave risk to our health and safety. It is important that we do what we can to maintain our physical and mental well-being during this time. The Texas A&M Coronavirus page contains health information and tips for staying safe, including the following precautions:

  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds
  • Use hand sanitizer
  • Avoid shaking hands
  • Disinfect frequently touched objects using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
  • Stay home when you are sick and avoid close contact with those who are sick
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

For mental health concerns, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is open and conducting appointments remotely. For physical health, do what you can to stay active. While gyms, including the A&M Student Recreation Center, are closed, exercise in your residence or outdoors in spaces that allow for social distancing. Student Assistance Services also offers emergency financial support. If you or someone you know is in need or seems to be in distress, please contact their office at 979.845.3113 or submit a “tell somebody” report.

Other Resources

Financial Information and Assistance

Food Resources
Feed Maroon – http://www.thebatt.com/life-arts/feed-maroon-offers-meals-to-students-in-need-for-the/article_d4225a02-6fb5-11ea-8f69-9be55f569fc8.html