Pandemic roundup: Secure Zoom accounts, pay for cafeteria workers


Midway Staff

Obama’s commencement speech and changes to the food delivery industry are covered in May 14’s roundup.

Berk Oto and Grace Holleb

The Midway is providing periodic updates regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on U-High students, faculty and others in the community. 


Lab activates secure Zoom accounts for middle, high school students

The Laboratory Schools will activate a secure Zoom account, under their existing enterprise contract with Zoom, for every middle and high school student under their University of Chicago Computer Network identification credentials. Although the accounts are available now, the new security measures will be put in place on April 13.

“The goal is to secure class Zoom calls and prevent Zoom-bombing,” Brian Hewlett, Lab’s director of innovation and technology, said. “Meetings will only allow accounts whose usernames correspond to a University CNet ID — that’s the one that ends in ‘’ and not ‘’ — so it’s very important that students sign into their new accounts by Monday.”

The new accounts will also better address legal concerns surrounding student privacy.

Mr. Hewlett said the accounts will comply with FERPA, the federal law about student privacy, and since all students will be under the university’s account name, students won’t have to violate Zoom’s legal policy that only those 18 and older can make accounts on the platform.

Students can email Lab’s Helpdesk if they need help signing into their new accounts.

— Berk Oto


University of Chicago maintains pay for cafeteria workers through pandemic

Contracted food service workers at the University of Chicago, both full- and part-time, will continue to receive their regular pay for the duration of spring quarter, according to an email sent to the university community, but the message did not specify whether Lab’s food service workers will receive pay during the school’s extended campus closure. 

 Ivan Samstein, vice president and chief financial officer, sent the email March 20, but Lab uses a different food service contractor, Quest. 

“Lab’s Quest team is working with University Dining to structure Quest’s role in supporting the University’s community service project,” Laboratory Schools Associate Director Carol Rubin said in an email to The Midway April 8. 

Lab began using Quest for food service at the start of the 2018- 19 school year. 

— Grace Holleb