Student and Employee Policies

The University continues to take a common-sense approach using multiple strategies to promote campus safety. Our practices have been effective at reducing the spread of COVID-19 and we remain committed to providing a safe environment for students, employees, and visitors. 

The policies outlined below will be updated as appropriate and consistent with applicable government guidance. Last updated January 5, 2023. 

  • COVID-19 vaccination requirements

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    Our goal is to have every member of the campus who is able to do so be up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines. The COVID-19 vaccines are free, safe, and effective at protecting people from getting seriously ill, being hospitalized, and even dying – especially people who are boosted. Toward that end, EMU has enacted several policies and programs to promote vaccination.

    Students living in University student housing facilities must be up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines and must verify their vaccination status through the University’s COVID Vax Certification system. You may learn more about the vaccination requirement for on-campus housing residents here.

    Other students participating in certain activities that create a higher risk of COVID-19 exposure are also required to be vaccinated, including student-athletes; students participating in Marching Band, Cheer team, and Dance team; and students participating in certain academic programs. Those students will be notified of their vaccination requirements and deadlines.

    Beyond the students listed above who are required to be vaccinated, any other student who attends any in-person EMU activities is required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or, if not vaccinated, may be required to undergo weekly COVID-19 testing. Free at-home COVID-19 tests are available at on-campus residence hall/apartment front desks and at the Student Center Information Desk. You may upload a test result to the University’s confidential and secure online portal. You may learn more about this policy here

    You can learn more about the safety of vaccines, and where to receive a free COVID-19 vaccine, here.

  • Reporting COVID-19 cases

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    All employees and students are required to complete the University’s online COVID Report Form if you are known to have COVID-19 by medical diagnosis or by testing positive - even if you are not showing symptoms of COVID-19.

    If you learn of an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 or has been in close contact with someone with COVID-19, you may complete the COVID-19 Report Form, but you may not share that information with other individuals.

  • Students who become ill while on campus

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    If a student develops symptoms of COVID-19 while on campus, they should make arrangements to return home as soon as possible and avoid contact with other individuals as much as possible. A student must notify their instructor(s) that they will miss class, and, if employed on campus, notify their supervisor that they are ill.

    Students who have tested positive for COVID-19 must also complete the COVID-19 Report Form and may, if they wish, contact their primary healthcare provider or the University Telehealth Clinic at [email protected].

    Here are helpful tips about assessing whether to stay home if you don’t feel well and steps students should take if they miss class or work due to illness.

  • Testing for COVID-19

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    Students may be required to undergo periodic COVID-19 testing. You will be notified by email if you are required to undergo such testing. Students are also encouraged to undergo regular COVID-19 testing for any reason. Free at-home tests are available at on-campus residence hall/apartment front desks and at the Student Center Information Desk.

    Students who test positive for COVID-19 must (a) return to their residence immediately, taking care to avoid contact with other people (or, if they are not on campus, they should stay home), (b) notify their instructors that they will miss class, (c) notify their immediate supervisor (if employed by the University) that they will miss work, and (d) complete the COVID-19 Report Form.

    A student who has questions about possible exposure to COVID-19 and how that impacts their ability to come to campus or remain in their residence hall may contact the University TeleHealth Clinic ([email protected]).

    Any individual who has symptoms of, or believes they may have been exposed to, COVID-19, should contact their primary healthcare provider or the University Telehealth Clinic ([email protected]).

  • Face Masks

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    Policy

    Face masks are optional in most indoor public spaces on campus, but are required in the following spaces:

    • Instructors may require students in their specific class/lab to wear face masks while class/lab is in session. The syllabus for a class/lab in which face masks are required must include language approved by the University.

    • Face masks will continue to be required in various specific settings that have been approved by the Office of the President.

    • Face masks may be required in private individual offices at the office occupant’s discretion because these spaces are typically smaller and used for longer interactions, and because only one individual occupies the space. However, there will be no requirement for masking in shared reception or student or employee service areas. By way of example, in an office such as the University Advising and Career Development Center (UACDC), the reception areas will have no masking requirement, while an individual advisor or career coach may require face masks in their private individual office.

    • Consistent with CDC guidance, employees or students may be required by University Telehealth to wear a face mask for a period of time after having a close contact or testing positive for COVID-19.

     

    It is important to respect the choice of community members who choose to continue wearing face masks. No employee may prohibit any other person from wearing a face mask. The University will continue to make face masks available for free at the Student Center Information Desk and at DPS Headquarters (1200 Oakwood). 

    We expect every member of the campus community to follow these standards as part of our community commitment to safety. Students who do not comply with this policy are subject to disciplinary action under the Code of Community Responsibility.

    Here are tips for how to properly wear a face mask:

    When choosing a face mask, you should wear a mask that offers the most robust protection possible. You should consider how well it fits, how well it filters air, and how many layers it has. Gaps can let air with respiratory droplets leak in and around the edges of the mask. Ensure that it fits snugly over your nose and mouth. 

    A three-layer mask provides enhanced protection against COVID-19, especially when using the knot and tuck method for fitting. New EMU-branded green or white surgical masks contain three layers and are available at the Student Center or DPS Headquarters.

    Watch video to see the Knot and Tuck Method for a Better-fitting Face Mask

    When a three-layer mask is not available, wearing two masks, such as a cloth mask over a traditional face mask, can provide added protection. Cloth masks worn without a surgical mask are not recommended.

    N95/KN95/KF94 masks may be worn at your own discretion. KN95 masks will be made available at the Student Center Information Desk or the DPS Headquarters with a limit of two per person. The State of Michigan also provides free KN95 face masks at various locations around the State. Persons with underlying medical conditions may want to check with their physician before wearing any of these respirator-type masks for extended periods of time.

    N95 masks may be worn, but are neither provided nor required by EMU. N95 respirator masks require medical clearance and customized fitting. EMU departments that require N95 masks work with the Office of Environmental Health & Safety to do so. 

    A face shield is not a substitute for a face mask; a face shield should only be worn with a face mask.

  • Hygiene

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    Good hygiene practices help reduce the spread of respiratory and other viruses, including COVID-19.

    • All individuals should regularly wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. At a minimum, individuals should wash their hands before eating and after using the restroom, touching anything in a public area, or blowing their nose. The Custodial Services Office will ensure that public restrooms are equipped with soap.
    • Use hand sanitizer when needed (but not in lieu of hand washing when soap and water are available). Hand sanitizer stations are in all buildings, and offices may purchase hand sanitizer for use by employees and visitors.
    • Do not cough into the air. Instead, cover your mouth when you cough using your sleeve or a tissue (but not your hand). If you use a tissue when coughing or sneezing, throw away the tissue after use. If wearing a face covering, do not remove it to cough or sneeze.
    • Blow your nose using a tissue, and immediately throw away the tissue after use. Individual offices may purchase tissues for use by employees and visitors.
  • Cleaning supplies

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    Classrooms are supplied with hand wipes. Instructors may also request hand sanitizer for classrooms.

  • Ventilation

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    The University has aligned ventilation and circulation systems consistent with guidelines from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) “Clean Air in Buildings Challenge” and other appropriate agencies. For example, the University has modified building ventilation systems to use ventilation filters with higher ratings and to increase the use of outside fresh air. The type and number of ventilation filters used varies depending on the type of work performed in the building and any limitations on the building’s filtration systems. Fans should not be used in classrooms and other interior public spaces. 

  • Class instruction

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    EMU is offering a full selection of courses during the 2022-23 academic year. The majority of course selections will be offered in-person, but there are also ample options for online asynchronous, online synchronous, or hybrid format course selections. Decisions about how individual courses are delivered will be made at the college and department level to ensure that each course’s pedagogical needs were addressed and that students receive access to the excellent education they expect. The Office of the Provost worked with Deans to execute this process. Room scheduling is managed centrally by the Office of the Provost.

    Instructors may require students in a specific class/lab to wear face masks while class/lab is in session. The syllabus for a course/lab in which face masks are required must include language approved by the University. Students who violate this policy may be subject to the University’s Code of Community Responsibility.

  • Housing

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    EMU Housing developed a comprehensive plan to enhance the health and safety of on-campus housing residents and, as a result, the entire campus community. For example, all on-campus housing residents during the 2022-2023 academic year must be up-to-date on their COVID-19 vaccines unless they have requested and received from EMU a reasonable accommodation from vaccination due to medical or sincerely-held religious beliefs.  You can learn more about this requirement here.

    Additional health protocols will be implemented and communicated to housing residents.

  • Athletics

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    All student-athletes (including students participating in Marching Band, Cheer Team, and Dance Team) are required to be up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines. Students may be notified if they are required to undergo periodic COVID-19 testing.