COVID-19 Update to Campus: March 18, 2020

To the Eastern Michigan University community:

Due to the continuing spread of COVID-19 and based on declarations of emergency and guidance from federal, state, and local government and public health officials, the University has made the important decision to extend online/virtual class program delivery through the end of the winter semester, April 27. This decision was made after discussion and consultation with bargaining unit leadership and support, which I greatly appreciate. In person, on campus classes will not take place for the remainder of the semester.

Employees, other than those designated by their supervisors, will continue to work remotely for the time being. A return date to regular on campus operations for employees will be communicated at a later date, as this evolving situation warrants.

These are important actions. They would have been unheard of just months ago. But they reflect the severity of the health crisis facing our community, state, nation and world. It is not a time for business as usual. It is a time for reassurance. It is a time for action, and leadership. And, it is a time for addressing the University’s number one mission and priority – protecting the health and safety of our community. It also is a time for creativity and ingenuity as we deliver Eastern’s high quality education to students in new and different ways to ensure their continued success.

I again want to offer my sincere appreciation to everyone who is adjusting to these changes. Our faculty and staff have responded with overwhelming support, with a “can do” attitude that reflects the very best qualities of everything Eastern Michigan University stands for. Your passion for what we do and your commitment to making a monumental operational transformation to an online/virtual environment is a source of deep pride for all of us.

Several other operational items are important to address in today’s update, including helpful information for students about the computer lab, Holman Success Center, and CAPS:

Computer lab to open

The ground floor computer lab in Halle will open tomorrow, Thursday, March 19, and Friday, March 20, from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. The technology computer labs also will open for technology students. Usage will be limited to meet social distancing guidelines, with many computers not activated to ensure more than six feet of distance between users. In addition, a new hand sanitizing station has been set up just outside the computer lab. Anyone who enters the lab will be required to use it, or wash their hands in the nearby restroom. Users also will have to use the hand sanitizer or wash their hands upon leaving the lab.

Due to space limitations and the observance of social distancing, users will not be allowed to bring guests or family members with them to the lab. Given the limited number of computers available under these circumstances, we are asking users to work as efficiently as possible on only university academic assignments so that others can have access to the computers. There may be times when capacity is reached and students will not be allowed inside. They will have to return at a time when computers are available. Swipe card access will be required to enter the building, and access is limited to the computer labs only. The library areas of Halle will be closed and gated. Lab hours for next week are being determined.

Students living in residence halls

Due to this public health crisis, and in light of the need to continue online course delivery through the end of the semester, we strongly encourage students living on campus to return to their permanent place of residence for the remainder of the semester (unless they are international students, are from far distances, or have other special circumstances requiring them to remain).

Dining hours are continually being adjusted to meet our on-campus student population and directives from the State of Michigan. Please check hours at EMU’s dining website.

The University is developing plans to provide financial adjustments for students who have moved out of residence halls and for those who have dining contracts. We will provide further details in the very near future as those plans are finalized.

Holman Success Center

The Holman Success Center services have been adjusted during this period of modified operations. A detailed list of the Center’s online services can be found here. You may e-mail the Holman team at success.center@emich.edu

Supplemental Instruction (SI) sessions will be held via Google Meet. Sessions will continue during their regularly scheduled times. If you are registered for a course that offers SI, the Center will send you links to the Google Meet session.

Tutoring will also be available virtually. Students should navigate to the tutoring schedule, locate their supported course, and e-mail the listed tutor for the day and time they choose to attend. Tutors will e-mail links to a Google Meet to all students for a specific session.

Peer Academic Coaches (PACs) will be available for virtual meetings via Google Meet. PACs are available to assist students with how to manage their time and stay organized in an online environment. They can also assist with learning strategies for virtual learning. Links to schedule virtual meetings with peer academic coaches can be found on the EMU Engage app.

Success Coaches will continue to meet with students virtually through Google Meet. Students can schedule virtual meetings with success coaches here and here.

The Holman team is also creating a series of videos for students about how to remain an active learner in an online learning environment. Those videos will be posted to the Holman website and YouTube channel as they are completed.

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

During the on-campus modification of operations, CAPS is working to provide support to students, while maintaining the physical health of our campus community. All in-person appointments have been canceled. Current clients have been contacted by email and will also be called by a CAPS therapist. CAPS will be offering phone support to any students in need from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday - Friday. CAPS will continue to offer after-hours phone support through the main CAPS phone line (734-487-1118) after 5 p.m. and on weekends. If you have questions or need to speak with a counselor, please contact CAPS at 734-487-1118 or counseling.services@emich.edu.
 
Other mental health resources include:
1. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
2. Crisis Text Line: Text "hello" to 741741

IHA Health Center @ EMU

IHA has notified the University that due to a surge in urgent care volume, it has expanded urgent care capabilities and shifted more routine care to its Arbor Park location. Students and employees who need routine care should go to the Arbor Park Location at 4940 W. Clark Road. IHA requests that anyone experiencing upper respiratory or fever symptoms should complete this form, at which time IHA will contact individuals with further information and appropriate care.

The Campus Medical Pharmacy located in the health center will remain open with regular hours.

Swoop’s Food Pantry

More than 60 shoppers visited Swoop’s yesterday. The number reflects the importance of the Pantry. Using appropriate social distancing and cleaning protocols, Swoop’s was open today and will be open again tomorrow, Thursday (3/19), from 11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. We will have an update on next week’s schedule later in the week.

To minimize social contacts, the shopping process has been adjusted: Staff walks the aisles with clients and staff fills the bags, thereby reducing touching of handles, food and produce by clients. Visitors to Swoop’s can enter through the main entrance on the north side of Pierce Hall near the elevator.

Many have asked how they can support Swoop’s during this time. Staff is on hand from 11-11:30 a.m. tomorrow to take food donations.

For those who want to contribute financial support so that Swoop’s can purchase necessary items based on client need, donations are accepted here:

Swoop's Student Food Pantry donations

In addition, donations to support students can be made here:

EMU Student Emergency Fund

Community Resources

Engage @ EMU has compiled a list of community resources. It includes services available for financial assistance, childcare, business support, food services, housing, internet, volunteer opportunities, and other community needs.

Campus events cancelation extended

Today, I am instructing that the cancelation of University events be extended beyond the initial March 31 date we announced last week to May 8. This reflects Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance announced earlier this week for an eight-week moratorium on large gatherings. Out of an abundance of caution, our actions will not only limit large events, but smaller ones as well. All University and non-University hosted events scheduled at Eastern Michigan are canceled through May 8. As we had announced previously, this includes the postponement of Commencement ceremonies on April 25 and the Multicultural Graduation on April 24.

EMU Credit Union (EMUCU) open by appointment only

The EMU Credit Union in the Student Center has moved to a “by appointment only” schedule during its regular business hours, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday - Friday. Please email the branch at EMU-SC@emucu.org to schedule an appointment. Nearby EMUCU branch offices are open for drive-thru (Jackson Road, Carpenter Road, South State Street, Bristol Road). If you any questions, contact the EMUCU during regularly scheduled business hours at 800-968-8628.

IBM SPSS

During the COVID-19 situation, IBM SPSS is allowing free home-use licenses for SPSS Statistics Standard for instructors and students. To obtain the software please visit http://emich.onthehub.com and sign on with your EMU NetID and password. IBM limits the SPSS Statistics Standard software to one download per user.

For graduating students – questions about diplomas and transcripts

Information about diplomas and transcripts is available on the Office of Records and Registration website.

Moving forward

I am committed to keeping our community well informed of our updates and actions as we proceed through these uncertain times. I ask that you share with me any items that we need to know about, positive ways we are working together, or challenges we face, so that we can learn more, and share that knowledge and information.

While this is indeed a challenging phase in all of our lives, it is one that we must continue to meet together by embracing the very best in one another, and the noblest qualities of our human spirit.

Please continue to monitor your University email and visit our COVID-19 website for ongoing updates, as well as resources that are helpful during these difficult times.

Sincerely,

James Smith, Ph.D.

March 18, 2020

Written by:
James Smith

Contact:
Geoff Larcom
glarcom@emich.edu
734.487.4401