Students Stay Safe Program: Vaccination or testing of all students - Aug. 24, 2021

To the Eastern Michigan University community:

As we approach the start of the fall semester, the University continues to evaluate guidance from local and state health agencies to assess the best tools available to promote health and wellness for our campus community. Important to this analysis is yesterday’s announcement from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granting full approval to the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine after applying the FDA’s “high standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality.” Based on this comprehensive analysis, EMU is adding another layer to our robust safety practices by launching the Students Stay Safe program in which all students attending on-campus classes who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 must undergo weekly testing.


Students who choose to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and report their vaccination status through EMU’s Vaccine Certification system are not required to undergo regular testing, and are eligible for the Vax to Win program. We encourage all members of the campus community to be vaccinated against COVID-19.The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective, and free. There are many opportunities available to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, including pop-up clinics the University has scheduled for Saturday, August 28, and in September (with more to be scheduled soon). Please check this website regularly to learn about opportunities to obtain a free COVID-19 vaccine. 


Students who attend at least one class with an on-campus component and who are not vaccinated must undergo weekly COVID-19 testing. They will be notified of their testing requirement through their EMU e-mail. Testing is available at EMU’s on-campus testing center or students may upload test results to a portal that will be provided via email. 

Some student populations may be required to undergo more frequent testing if they participate in certain activities. Those students will be notified of their additional testing requirement separately. Similarly, some students and staff may be required to be vaccinated in order to participate in certain programs (e.g. on-campus housing, intercollegiate sports, Marching Band, etc.). 

Students are exempt from the Students Stay Safe program if they are not enrolled in any EMU courses with an in-person on-campus component and are not subject to a vaccination mandate as part of another University program. For example, students who live in on-campus housing must be vaccinated against COVID-19 even if they are enrolled in exclusively online courses.


This policy is effective with the start of the fall semester on Monday, August 30. Students who have not received their final COVID-19 vaccine shot and reported their vaccination status through the University’s Vaccine Certification system by Friday, September 3, 2021, will receive an email with details about their weekly testing requirements. Students who receive their final shot after that date will no longer be subject to weekly testing as soon as they report their vaccination status via the Vaccine Certification system

The Students Stay Safe program will help reduce the spread of COVID-19 on our campus, in combination with other EMU Safe policies, such as the use of masks indoors regardless of vaccination status, our COVID PASS Daily Health Screening, and our wastewater testing system. You may also learn more about the Students Stay Safe program here

As we have repeatedly shared, the University will continue to evaluate applicable guidance from government health agencies and will update our policies as appropriate. Throughout this pandemic, we have been committed to promoting the safety and wellness of our campus community. Please continue to monitor your University email for updates.
James Smith, Ph.D.