COVID-19 Update to Campus

March 25, 2020 (6:00 PM)

To share information on the coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impact on our campus community, we will issue this update between 4 and 5 p.m. each day, as needed. Significant resources are available at the University’s Coronavirus Campus Information and Updates page and these are updated daily. Below are today’s updates:

  • Today The Ferris Foundation announced the creation of the Student Hardship Fund. We are very thankful to Fran Rosen for her extraordinary lead gift to kick-off this support for our students. Together we can help students who are experiencing food and housing insecurity, loss of income, unanticipated travel expenses, and other challenging situations. Many have inquired about what they can do to help. This is a tangible way to make a difference. At 5 p.m. today $35,375 had been raised with gifts from 55 donors. You can track the progress of this campaign On behalf of our students, thank you so very much.

  • Glen Okonoski created a video highlighting his Studio Production students and their response to the Governor’s Stay Home, Stay Safe executive order and how COVID-19 has affected their lives. This is well worth watching. It provides a look into how some students are managing, coping and adapting to their “new normal.” Thank you Glen and students for sharing this insightful piece.

  • The Ferris Virtual Help Desk is attracting attention from educators and universities from across the country. This resource is accessible on the Academic Continuity webpage. We are grateful to Amy Greene and the eLearning team for establishing this resource for our students.

  • As we look for ways to cope with the anxiety surrounding COVID-19, the Birkam Health Center has multiple resources available to the campus community from their coronavirus page. Students may contact the Personal Counseling Center via e-mail at [email protected] or telephone (231) 591-5968. Additionally, Listening Ear is a 24/7 Mental Health Crisis Hotline (989-772-2918) that provides immediate support, information and referrals for our students. All members of the University community may use TAO, a secure, private online library of interactive and engaging programs to help overcome anxiety, depression and other common mental health concerns. If you are dealing with anxiety or fear issues, or know of someone who is, these resources are available for assistance. I encourage you to review this important information.

  • There are a number of imaginative virtual activities that Ferris faculty and staff have developed.

    • There is a Virtual Speaker Series coordinated by Retention and Student Success. In the first of these, Monica Frees presents Read with a Plan.

    • Students can log into a series of virtual campus events through the Bulldog Connect portal. To do so choose the tab marked TAGS and scroll down to click on Virtual.

    • Ali Molnar, activities coordinator at the Racquet and Fitness Center, is offering virtual yoga using the web conferencing tool, Zoom, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:15 to 12:45 p.m. She is also organizing a body and health challenge with an intent to track 10 different daily mind and body health habits. The top three point leaders win gift cards to local businesses. She says, “This challenge is an opportunity to focus on all that you CAN do during this unique time. This is a great way to establish and/or maintain a routine while being primarily home, as well as support our local community and enjoy some friendly competition along the way.

  • The registration deadline for students to withdraw from classes with a “W” grade has been extended to May 1, 2020. If you know of students who may be considering this and would like to discuss the implications and process of withdrawing from a course, encourage them to e-mail [email protected] for assistance. This is important to ensure students make Satisfactory Academic Progress and remain eligible for federal financial aid support.

  • Dining Services is assembling care packages for students with meal plans who remain on campus. These care packages will include items such as boxes of cereal, Pop Tarts, crackers, chips, etc. These students will also receive a gift card to help them with food and other necessities they may need.

Please know how much I appreciate the extraordinary efforts described above and the rest of the incredible work happening across the University. You are making it possible for our students to continue their education and to help meet their basic needs. The outpouring of support from you for our students is truly inspiring. Many people are working to not just survive in this new reality, but to succeed. We can and should be justifiably proud.

Please keep informed. If you have information you would like included in this update to share with faculty and staff, please e-mail your information to [email protected].

Most off all, thank you for making a difference.

David L. Eisler, president