Campus Update: Oct. 28, 2021

To the Eastern Michigan University community,

We’re more than halfway through the semester and I would like to take the opportunity to thank our students, faculty and staff for your commitment and dedication to a safe and successful semester. Students, as you proceed to the end of the semester, know that you are getting a step closer to making your dreams and goals a reality.

For all of you who participated in the Higher Learning Commission site visit, open forums and meetings this week, I thank you deeply for your involvement. Your openness and honesty in these discussions are both important and valuable. The engagement of our campus community helps ensure EMU’s continued ability to be a quality provider of education, an effective partner to our community, and a rewarding place to work.

We have several items to share in this week’s update:

  • COVID-19 Dashboard: Low Campus Positivity Rates
  • Reminder to Students: Mandatory Sexual Assault Prevention Training
  • Department of Public Safety to Offer Self Defense Spray/Personal Safety Alarms
  • Professors Testify in Support of Legislation to Protect Vulnerable Adults from Online Predators
  • CAS Detroit Theme Year Continues
  • Swoop’s Food Pantry: Update and Thanksgiving/Holiday Gift Baskets
  • Volleyball: Pride Night and Dig Pink Highlight Weekend Competition
  • Football Seeks to Become Bowl Eligible With Win Next Tuesday

COVID-19 Dashboard: Low Campus Positivity Rates 
Campus positivity rates for COVID-19 remain low. In the seven days ending Oct. 26, the University administered 988 COVID-19 tests that resulted in eight positive cases, for a positivity rate of 0.88 percent. During this time, we confirmed a total of 26 positive cases among students and employees. Complete details can be found on the University's COVID-19 Dashboard. 

These positive data are reflective of our comprehensive COVID-19 mitigation strategy – a multi-layered effort that includes encouraging vaccinations and providing free on-campus vaccination clinics, Get the Vax to Win prizes, regular on-campus testing, a disciplined contact tracing process, mandatory daily health screenings, and much more. We routinely update the EMU Safe website with the latest information and resources to support your safe experience on campus. 

The COVID-19 Dashboard has been improved to make it easier for the community to review campus COVID-19 data. For example, the graph showing COVID-19 case counts is now at the top of the Dashboard and the most recent case counts appear prominently on the left. The charts showing the cumulative and past week's numbers of COVID-19 tests performed by EMU at our Testing Center have also been improved for clarity. 

Reminder to Students: Mandatory Sexual Assault Prevention Training
All students are required to complete mandatory online training focused on sexual assault prevention and awareness. Students have received an email with a link to the mandatory training; and students who have not completed the training will receive reminder emails. Registration for winter semester begins Nov. 9, and students will not be permitted to register for winter semester until they complete this training. Students needing technical support to access and complete the online training should contact [email protected]. Students with general questions about the training may contact the Title IX office at [email protected].

Department of Public Safety to Offer Self Defense Spray/Personal Safety Alarms
The Department of Public Safety will begin offering self defense spray and personal safety alarms to students and employees as part of its community engagement effort to promote a safe campus environment. Students and employees wishing to carry personal defense spray must participate in a 10-minute training session on the purpose and use of the spray, instructed by a member of the public safety team. Self defense spray will be offered at various safety presentations throughout the semester. Beginning Wednesday, Nov. 3, the spray and personal alarms will be available in the lobby of DPS. Please visit the DPS website for additional information on safety programs and services.

Professors Testify in Support of Legislation to Protect Vulnerable Adults from Online Predators
Assistant Professor Annemarie Kelly and Associate Professor Christina Marsack-Topolewski from the College of Health and Human Services, spoke to Michigan lawmakers in Lansing last week, advocating for new state laws to protect vulnerable adults with disabilities against online exploitation, abuse, aggression, and bullying. Their support of the legislation was featured on WXYZ-TV last evening. You can read more about the legislation, and their testimony, on EMU Today.

CAS Detroit Theme Year Continues
As part of the College of Arts and Sciences Detroit-themed year, Dr. Kevin Boyle, a well-known author, historian and professor, will once again enlighten us during his upcoming talk "History as Narrative: The 1960s," at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 4 in the Student Center Auditorium. This presentation comes on the heels of his newly released and highly talked about book The Shattering: America in the 1960s (2021), where he traces this tumultuous decade through the stories of the men and women who lived through it. You can join live or watch the live-stream – click on the Zoom registration page to join online.

Swoop’s Food Pantry: Update and Thanksgiving/Holiday Gift Baskets
According to the team at the John and Angie Sabo Swoop’s Food Pantry Room, Swoop's has been “super” busy and food is flying off the shelves. The top items needed are peanut butter, cereal, large snacks and strawberry jelly. They also remind us that they are always seeking clean reusable bags.

Once again this year, Swoop's Food Pantry is gearing up to provide 50 Thanksgiving and 50 Holiday baskets to students. Please sign up below to contribute to the baskets:

Thanksgiving Baskets

Holiday Baskets

Visit the Swoop’s Food Pantry website for hours of operation and other information.

Volleyball: Pride Night and Dig Pink Highlight Friday/Saturday Competition
Tomorrow night’s match versus the University of Buffalo at the Convocation Center celebrates Pride Night. EMU Volleyball is partnering with the LGBT Resource Center to help kick off National Transgender Awareness Week. 

Saturday's Dig Pink match versus University of Akron is in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The Eagles will sport pink jerseys during the contest; the team encourages fans to do the same. Additionally, we will be celebrating “Volloween” inside the Convo. 

Please read the EMU Athletics release for game times and details about both matches.

Football Seeks to Become Bowl Eligible With Win Next Tuesday
With a record of 5-3, a win on the road against the University of Toledo next Tuesday, Nov. 2, would make Eastern bowl eligible for the fourth time in the previous five full seasons, and just the sixth time in program history. Eastern scored a big 55-24 win over Bowling Green State University last week. Please visit the game information page for additional details about Tuesday’s matchup and bowl possibilities.

Final Comments
I encourage you to regularly check the University calendar to view the wide array of campus activities taking place, including lectures, movies, music, dance, theatre, exhibits, wellness events, and community initiatives. There is truly something for everyone.

I look forward to seeing you on campus soon.

James Smith, Ph.D.