In effort to keep campus safer from COVID-19, Eastern Michigan University modifies winter semester calendar; students to return from holiday break a week later

Students walking by Sherzer Hall on EMU's snowy campus

YPSILANTI – As part of its ongoing efforts to safeguard the health and safety of its students, faculty and staff, Eastern Michigan University has revised its academic calendar for the Winter 2021 semester.

Public health factors resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic are prompting two modifications:

  1. The first day of class meetings will occur one week later than originally planned, on January 13. This move extends the winter break between semesters, which begins on Dec. 24.
  2. There will be no winter break in 2021; the University will hold classes that week. Data indicates that minimizing community members’ travel to different locations can help minimize the spread of the disease. The semester will end as originally scheduled, on April 27, 2021, with the final day of classes on April 20. Commencement is tentatively scheduled for April 25.

The changes to the winter calendar mirror the robust and ongoing efforts to safeguard the health, safety and well-being of EMU students, faculty and staff that are in place this fall semester, which so far have resulted in a relatively low number of positive cases.

This fall, Eastern delayed student move-in to residence halls and increased the number of online classes. Together, these actions reduced the number of people on campus on any given day.

“It’s very important that we continue to take the necessary steps that have enabled us to limit the spread of COVID-19 on our campus,” President James Smith said. “Remaining home for another week during the holiday break and not holding winter break are unprecedented but crucial steps in our ongoing efforts to preserve the health, safety and well-being of our EMU community while still ensuring the best possible academic experience for our students.”

Other #EMUSafe initiatives the University has established include: mandatory wearing of face coverings when on campus, indoors or outdoors; COVID PASS daily health screenings for those coming on campus, expanded COVID-19 testing for students and employees, check-in stations at campus buildings, and extensive directional and instructive signage throughout campus.

The EMU Board of Regents approved the revised academic calendar at its regular meeting on Thursday, Oct. 22.

About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves nearly 18,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and, its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.

October 22, 2020

Written by:
Geoff Larcom

Geoff Larcom