August 03, 2017

Staff/faculty information on Eclipse Day

Where do I park on eclipse day? Will I get safety glasses? Will university offices be open? How do I volunteer? These are among the questions that may be on faculty and staff members’ minds as Aug. 21 approaches.

Here are some answers:

Parking: Staff and faculty can park as they normally do on eclipse day, parking officials said.

Parking officials are utilizing lots that are not used by faculty and staff, as well as a large, unpaved field on the far west side of campus, to handle the thousands of campus guests expected that day. Because of this, no impact on staff and faculty parking is expected, officials said.

In an effort to expedite eclipse day traffic flow, faculty and staff will be issued a special parking permit, consisting of a half-sheet of letter-sized paper, to place on their dashboards prior to entering campus so they are easily visible to parking and public safety officials. Employees will be asked to write the number of their parking stickers on this permit.

Given anticipated heavy traffic that day, employees should consider bringing their lunches or eating elsewhere on campus.

Classes will not be in session on eclipse day, which should cut down on some student road traffic. Members of the media and vendors will park in Lot 52, which provides 160 spaces near the SIU Arena, while Lot 56, a large square lot with 1,012 spaces in the same area, is reserved for stadium ticket-holders.

The university also is making a large field available just south of McLafferty Annex on the campus far-west side, and a shuttle will run from there to the area near Saluki Stadium, where most of the events are taking place that day.  Officials estimate the two lots there will hold about 3,000 cars, depending on weather. Spaces are $20.

Visitors camping at the Student Recreation Center will park in Lot 55, which has 183 spaces, while those who rented suites at Schneider Hall will part in Lot 106, located off of Wall Street and containing 534 spaces. 

The university also is making several paved pay lots available to eclipse-goers, including Lot 13 east of the Student Center (192 spaces); Lot 5 by Woody Hall (67 spaces) and Lot 29 adjacent to the Northwest Annex (124 spaces).

Emeritus faculty and staff may pick up their eclipse day dashboard parking permit during normal business hours, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., starting Tuesday, Aug. 8, at the Department of Public Safety Parking Division, 1175 S. Washington St., Trueblood Hall.

Additional Eclipse Day parking information is available here.

Eclipse glasses: Appropriate eyewear is a crucial tool for safely enjoying the eclipse, and the university will begin distributing eclipse safety glasses to its faculty and staff as early as Monday, Aug. 7.

Each vice chancellor and those who report directly to vice chancellors will be in charge of distributing the glasses to faculty and staff in their reporting areas. The Office of University Events and Protocol is preparing the packets of glasses, along with the special dashboard parking permit so that employees will be able to pick up both items at the same time. The packets will be available for pick-up for final distribution as early as Aug. 7. Just one pair of glasses per faculty and staff member will be available.

Students living on campus will receive glasses through University Housing. Students living off campus will be able to pick up glasses at various event sites on eclipse day. Those volunteering to help with events will receive glasses as part of their materials.

Staffing of offices: As announced in a Feb. 16 memo to faculty and staff, all offices are expected to be open as usual. AP and civil service staff members who do not plan to be on campus that day must request leave. As always, supervisors will have the discretion to approve or deny leave based on office and campus needs. Students with on-campus jobs should be advised to report to work as scheduled unless other arrangements have been made with supervisors.

Volunteering: Volunteers are still needed during the eclipse activities on campus. You can now sign up online.

The university has a bevy of events and activities planned for the days leading up to and including eclipse day, Aug. 21. Officials say they need about 500 volunteers to help accomplish the many tasks involved.

University employees will need their supervisor’s approval in order to volunteer during their regularly scheduled work hours, in order to ensure offices and duties are covered. They will not have to use leave time in order to volunteer.

Volunteers will do everything from helping coordinate parking to providing information for the thousands of visitors expected for the events. Most of the volunteer opportunities are scheduled for Aug. 20 and 21, but a few volunteers also are needed to provide eclipse information as new students arrive at the Student Center, Aug. 16 and 17.

Volunteers will be asked to attend a training session where officials will provide further information and updates for each volunteer shift. They also must sign an assumption of risk document. Those younger than 18 will need permission from a parent or guardian.

Volunteers will receive a T-shirt, eclipse glasses, snack or meal, and water on the day of their event.