Restricted Access to Campus

March 16, 2020 @ 11:58 a.m.

Dear students, faculty, and staff,

We are writing today with an important operational update for those faculty, students, and staff who are not already working or learning remotely. With the COVID-19 situation escalating, we believe it is our public health duty to institute extreme measures to impede the spread of the coronavirus.

This situation is unprecedented in the last century, and these decisions are made with the utmost concern for the lives of those within our campus community and beyond.  As we have heard almost daily from various sources, and in consultation with faculty, leadership and subject matter experts: In order to reduce the spread of this pandemic, we must strictly limit gatherings of individuals and minimize the migration of individuals in and out of our campus communities. Working and learning remotely, practicing social distancing and isolation, for the time being, is the only way to significantly impact the spread of this virus.

Beginning on Tuesday, March 17, at 5 p.m., we will drastically restrict access to all CU Denver buildings, both on the Auraria Campus and on the downtown side of Speer Blvd.

After Tuesday at 5 p.m., only those deemed “critical” (for essential functions that must be performed on premise) should come to work. You may access buildings today and tomorrow; please be sure to retrieve anything you’ll need to get your work done remotely.

Beginning on Wednesday, March 18, even those “critical” employees should be on campus only when absolutely necessary and hold meetings virtually. Exceptions, such as projects that may need more than two days to suspend, can be requested through campus leadership:

Building closures

After 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 17, most classroom buildings will be closed on the Auraria Campus, including the Science Building and North Classroom and the CU Denver buildings on the downtown side of Speer (Lawrence Street Center, CU Denver Building, Business School). This includes a closure of the Tivoli Student Union. Note that the Tivoli computer lab will be open and staffed until 7 p.m. today and tomorrow.  

A few buildings will remain open:

  • The Health Center at Auraria, to support the health needs of our community;
  • Lynx Crossing (formerly known as Campus Village) residence hall, to accommodate the needs of residents who don’t have other living alternatives.

The Auraria Library will physically close, but will continue to offer services remotely.

Resources available to students

Student success and enrollment services are functioning as normal, though operating remotely. Here are additional resources that may be helpful as students shift to remote learning:

  • Food Bank - We know that this is a difficult time for those in our community experiencing food insecurity and we are identifying new ways to support them. We will be offering a food pantry pick up at the Lola & Rob Salazar Student Wellness Center tomorrow, Tuesday, March 17, from 2-5 p.m. Students will have the ability to secure twice the weekly amount of food (20 points).  As campus moves to remote services, we are working to relocate our food pantry so that we can continue to serve our students who rely on it. In the meantime, the Food Bank of the Rockies is operating at a number of locations in the area metro Denver. The list is distribution locations is changing during the current circumstances. Please use the “get help” link on to find the most current locations.  We will have more information soon. 
  • Laptops - The university is seeking resources to help meet technological needs and will try to accommodate student requests. Students needing a laptop or hotspot should email as soon as possible. Currently, there are a limited number of Chromebooks available at the Auraria Library. They can be checked out on loan for the remainder of the semester. They will be available for check-out March 16 and 17 between 10am-5pm by going to the Ask Us desk and filling out a form. Please contact the library at 303-315-7700 about availability prior to traveling in to check one out.  We are working with partners to identify ways to obtain additional computer resources so please let us know if you are in need.

  • Internet access - In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Comcast will offer two months free Internet access to new customers of its Internet Essentials program (which provides low-cost Internet access for low-income families). If you receive approval after filling out their online form, you will be shipped a self-install kit that includes a cable modem and a WiFi router. For more information, click here


Managing stress and anxiety

We understand that the adjustments in the campus operating conditions may cause stress and anxiety as you plan your day-to-day lives and activities. While so much about the coronavirus remains unknown, we do know that fewer people on campus means fewer risks to our entire community. Please do all you can to take care of yourself and those around you during this difficult time. 

  • The CU Denver Student and Community Counseling Center will be providing remote, online counseling services. Mental health services will be available via telehealth/online video calls from 9am- 5pm during this time. Call 303-315-7270 for additional information. 
  • You can also talk to a medical professional or counselor at the Health Center at Auraria. Simply call 303-615-9999 and indicate that you would like to schedule a “Coronavirus Consultation.” There will be no charge for this visit.

I want to express my deep appreciation to the faculty who are working tirelessly to ensure that our students are able to continue their studies. We have seen tremendous collaboration in the effort to go remote in such short order.  Thanks also to our operational and student affairs staff who are going above and beyond to support our campus community, continue our mission and keep us all safe. And to our entire CU Denver community, we are grateful for your continued understanding and cooperation. Please monitor the CU Denver COVID-19 website for updated information.

Even while we practice social distancing to stem the tide of this virus, I hope this is a moment in which we can come together (virtually!) and practice compassion, empathy and caring for those in our community and beyond.   


Dorothy Horrell


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