COVID-19 Update to Campus: April 3, 2020

To the Eastern Michigan University community:

As we head into the weekend, I want to again acknowledge the outstanding collaboration we continue to see from across the University. In these challenging times, our Eastern community is working tirelessly and creatively to support one another and our students.

We have several updates to share with you today.

Support of health/medical professionals at IHA and St. Joe’s

As part of the University’s ongoing support of our community and our health partners, Eastern will assist IHA and St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor Hospital physicians, nurses and health professionals by providing temporary living arrangements in the Village Apartments. This helps to address a major issue for St. Joe’s and IHA -- helping provide a nearby apartment living space for their professionals who are working long hours in the face of this crisis and need a place to self-isolate. These professionals will occupy a single building in the Villages complex – students will not be housed in the same building. The use of Village Apartments for this purpose begins next week.

Students living on campus

The number of students living on campus is now less than 400. We expect that number to continue to decline slightly in the days ahead. Students remaining on campus include international students – some who are not being allowed to enter their home countries due to the crisis, as well as students from long distances away, students who consider Eastern their permanent address, and those who are unable to return to their permanent address for other reasons, such as someone in their home being at high risk for COVID-19.

As this transition continues, we remain 100 percent committed to supporting students who are still living on campus. Students with questions about their on-campus housing or the move-out process should email [email protected].

Registering for summer and fall classes

Processes for summer and fall registration remain underway. Students interested in fall registration should visit the fall registration appointment page for details. Students interested in summer classes, which are moving to an online format, should visit the summer registration appointment page to learn the schedule for registration.

Adjustment to student account hold policies to support students

As one of many steps the University is taking to support students in completing their degrees amid the health crisis and the disruption it has created, students currently registered for the Winter 2020 semester will now be able to register for Summer and Fall semesters with up to a $500 account balance. The previous outstanding balance limit was $200.

We recognize that there are unique situations that students and the University have never encountered as a result of the pandemic. For unique situations, please contact the business office via email at [email protected] to arrange a time to discuss your situation.

Swoop’s Food Pantry hours next week

The John and Angie Sabo Swoop’s Food Pantry Room will be open next week on Tuesday (4/7) and Thursday (4/9) from noon – 3:30 p.m. Clients are requested to complete an online shopping request form before arriving. Items will be bagged by staff and brought out to clients when they arrive. Visitors to Swoop’s can enter through the main entrance on the north side of Pierce Hall near the elevator. Swoop’s requires any student who has not used the pantry this year to complete the Swoop's Food Pantry Intake Form.

Please maintain social/physical distancing guidance when picking up or delivering items to the Pantry.

Swoop’s continues to receive great support and is well stocked to support students’ needs. The “hot list” of needed items includes bread, milk, pasta sauce, pasta, rice and tofu.

For those wishing to make donations, drop-off times are Monday (4/6) from 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., and on Tuesday (4/7) and Thursday (4/9) from 10 a.m. – noon. Donations can be dropped off to The John and Angie Sabo Swoop's Food Pantry Room in 104 Pierce Hall. Swoop’s can pick up items from your porch for those in the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti area. Send an email to [email protected] to arrange a donation pickup.

Financial donations to assist students should be directed to:

Campus Medical Pharmacy changed hours of operation

Beginning Monday, April 6, Campus Medical Pharmacy, located in the IHA Health Center @ EMU, will be changing its hours until further notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The new hours are 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., Monday – Friday, and 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

The Pharmacy encourages patients to contact them ahead of time at (734) 547-5995 to set up a curbside pick-up of medications to limit exposure to others. Contact the Pharmacy with any questions.

Community volunteer opportunities

As you might expect, there continues to be high demand among social service and not-for-profit organizations for volunteer assistance. Eastern has a wonderful resource for people who have some time to share and an interest in helping others. Through our VISION Volunteer Center, and in tandem with the University of Michigan Ginsberg Center and the United Way of Washtenaw County, volunteer opportunities can be found at the EMU Volunteer Connection website.

Further, organizations who wish to have assistance from the EMU community as they combat the disease can fill out this form on the engage@emu website. The staff at engage will connect these organizations with EMU community members who may be able to help. Please feel free to share this website throughout the wider community, and to use it to channel all requests for EMU assistance with supplies or volunteers.

In addition to the community support opportunities listed on the Volunteer Connection, we continue to receive information about other efforts to support one another and our community. This is one you can do from home. The team at engage@emu is collecting thank you notes for our friends at St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor Hospital who, like many others, are working tirelessly to treat patients with COVID-19 as well as provide care for all other patients. More than 40 notes have already been generated. One example of the positive messages received reads:

“Your love and commitment to your job, but more importantly, to the people that you serve every day in the healthcare setting is an amazing and admirable trait. Compassionate and caring people like you make this world a better place, even more so during these dark times.  Thank you for just being you!” 

Any and all support we can give to them is appreciated. If you are interested in writing a note of support, please visit this form. The notes, which can be anonymous if you choose, will be printed and shared with the St. Joe’s staff. For more information, contact Engage at [email protected].

Please continue to relay details of any other special efforts you are aware of to [email protected].

And, just as important today as when the public health guidance was initially issued -- please “Stay Home, Stay Safe” and continue to observe physical distancing guidance, as well as hand washing and other prevention measures.

Follow your University email, the University’s COVID-19 website and our Frequently Asked Questions for additional information and updates, as well as resources to help keep you safe.

Stay well!

James Smith, Ph.D.

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