Campus Update: Nov. 22, 2021

To the Eastern Michigan University community,

As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday and a much deserved abbreviated week, it is an appropriate time to reflect on all for which we have to be thankful.

 I am especially thankful for our students, faculty, staff, alumni and community partners who make Eastern Michigan University a distinctly supportive and transformative institution. It is truly a University that, as an institution of opportunity, changes lives and is a place where our differences are embraced.

 Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate traditions old and new. However, let’s remember that the pandemic is still with us and protective measures remain important. As we prepare to gather with our loved ones and friends this Thanksgiving, please keep the following reminders top of mind to ensure everyone returns to a safe campus.

The CDC recommends the following guidelines for safe holiday gatherings:

  • Protect those who have not received the vaccine by getting yourself vaccinated. You may also consider getting a booster shot before gathering with your friends and family. Please visit the University’s vaccination information website for information about where to obtain a vaccine. Don’t forget to certify your vaccination status.

  • Wear well-fitting masks in public indoor settings.

o   Even if you’re fully vaccinated, you should wear a mask in public indoor settings in communities with substantial to high transmission.

o   Avoid crowded, poorly ventilated spaces.

o   If you are sick or have symptoms, don’t host or attend a gathering.

o   Get tested if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have had close contact with someone who has COVID-19.

Once you return to campus: Upon returning from Thanksgiving recess, we urge members of the Eastern community to receive a free COVID-19 test at the Student Center. The hours of operation can be found on the testing center website. Frequent testing is encouraged. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus.

Get the flu shot: Health experts are warning we could see a "twindemic" of COVID-19 and flu this coming winter. Watch your email for important information about upcoming pop-up flu shot clinics on campus.

By working together, we can enjoy a safer holiday and protect our health, as well as the health of our loved ones. Let’s do our part in keeping our EMU community safe!

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

  • Reminder to Students: Mandatory Sexual Assault Prevention Training
  • Register for RAVE Campus Closing and Emergency Text Alerts
  • December Commencement Ceremonies
  • Swoop’s Food Pantry Update
  • Football Seeks Eighth Win on Friday, Plays for Michigan MAC Trophy
  • Quick Highlights

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. Students who have not completed the training will continue to receive reminder emails. Registration for winter semester is open 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].

Register for RAVE Campus Closing and Emergency Text Alerts

All students, faculty and staff should register for RAVE text message alerts, which are used to notify our campus community of weather-related closings and cancelations, as well as emergency notifications.

To register for the first time, or to review or update your current information, simply follow the process below.

1)   Go the Department of Public Safety Emergency Management website’s Emergency Alert Messaging (

2)   Click on “Sign up for Emergency Text Alerts.”

3)   Log in using your NetID username and password.

4)   Select “My Account.”

5)   Follow various prompts to register/update your information.

It is extremely important to be registered to receive text alert notifications. In the event of a weather-related closing or emergency, the University will activate the RAVE text alert system first, before any other form of communication is sent.

December Commencement Ceremonies

The University is pleased to once again offer an in-person experience for our graduates on Sunday, Dec.19, at the University’s Convocation Center. This is being done with the utmost caution to help ensure a safe experience for everyone involved. The primary adjustments include:

  • Splitting the ceremony into two smaller ceremonies, divided by colleges, in order to create smaller events with more open space for physical distancing.
  • Requiring facemasks to be properly worn at all times by all graduates, participants, family members and guests while inside the Convocation Center.
  • Restricting the number of guest tickets per graduate to four.

Graduates from the College of Business, GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology, and the College of Health and Human Services will participate in the 9:30 a.m. ceremony. Students must arrive and check in at 8:30 a.m.

Graduates from the College of Arts & Sciences and the College of Education will participate in the 1:30 p.m. ceremony. Students must arrive and check in at 12:30 p.m.

Additional details can be found on the commencement website.

The University is planning to host an in-person ceremony in 2022 (date TBD) for graduates from the spring and winter of 2020, and spring of 2021, who did not have in-person ceremonies due to the pandemic.

Swoop’s Food Pantry Update

The John and Angie Sabo Swoop’s Food Pantry Room will close at the end of business today for the Thanksgiving holiday. It will reopen next Monday, Nov. 29.

Thanks to the generosity of the EMU community, 62 Thanksgiving baskets were given out to EMU students. This surpasses the target of 50 baskets that were originally planned. And, again thanks to our generous donors, at least 50 Holiday baskets will be given out to students. There’s still time to donate. Please visit Swoop’s Holiday Baskets website to learn more.

Football Seeks Eighth Win on Friday, Plays for Michigan MAC Trophy

With bowl eligibility already in place, the Eagles travel to Mt. Pleasant on Friday for a noon “Black Friday” matchup against Central Michigan University. Coming off last week’s win against Western Michigan, the Eagles can win the Michigan MAC Trophy, which is given annually to the Michigan-based, Mid-American Conference institution that has the best head-to-head record. The game will be televised nationally on ESPNU and broadcast locally on WEMU-FM.

With a victory, Eastern can get to eight regular-season wins for the first time since 1987. In the 130-year history of EMU football, only 14 teams have finished with seven or more wins. Only two teams have done it in the 21st century; both coached by Chris Creighton (2016, 2018).

Quick Highlights

Final Comments

I hope you will take advantage of the Thanksgiving break to rest, regroup and reflect on all that you have for which to be grateful. I know that when we return on Monday, Nov. 29, we will be on the fast track to the end of the semester.

James Smith, Ph.D.