Message to Students

August 18, 2020 

Good afternoon Bulldogs! 

We look forward to welcoming you to the new academic year! Please review the opportunities listed for our annual Bulldog Beginnings welcome, along with new expectations put in place to protect the health and safety of you and our entire community this fall. 

BULLDOG BEGINNINGS 

Whether it is your first year or your final semester at Ferris State University, we are excited to reunite the Ferris family once again! All students, faculty and staff will receive a Ferris-branded face covering to protect themselves and others, and to show off their Ferris pride. Masked up and socially distanced, we will be ready to host our First Impressions tents and Move-In Day experiences on the Big Rapids campus as we proudly welcome our newest incoming Bulldogs.   

The first two weeks of class feature plenty of opportunities to engage and connect with your fellow students while learning more about Ferris State University (in-person and virtually). Be sure to check out our event schedule. Plug into the always popular “Headphone Disco” or cruise-in for our Residence Hall Association (RHA) drive-in movie! Connect with others virtually through the Office of Multicultural Student Services (OMSS) and LGBTQ+ Resource Center open houses, Bulldog Bonanza, and so much more! And get outside to enjoy activities such as the LatinX Welcome, TikTok Dance Competition, and the Big Alleyway Cleanup. Then top off the week by celebrating the legacy of our founder, Woodbridge N. Ferris, with our new Traditions Walk on Founders’ Day. 

PREPARING YOURSELF TO RETURN TO CAMPUS OR A STATEWIDE LOCATION 

Prior to arriving:  Monitor your health, wear a face covering, maintain 6 feet of distance when around others, frequently wash or sanitize your hands and avoid large gatherings.  Taking these steps will reduce your risk of exposure and minimize the risk that you expose others when you arrive on-campus or a statewide location.  In addition, we will be asking you to complete a COVID-19 online module next week before arriving on-campus or at a statewide location.  More information will be emailed later this week with instructions on how to complete. 

Medical studies regarding COVID-19 and immunity, and whether or not infection equals immunity, are continuing.  At this time, it is unclear as to the level of antibodies required to prevent individuals from becoming infected with the virus more than once.  Given this, if you have already had COVID-19, it is still advised that you proceed as if you can become infected again. 

Take some time to educate yourself on the latest science on COVID-19 and debunk the myths.   

Life on campus and at our statewide locations will be different this fall. The new normal includes the following expectations for all faculty, staff, and students: 

  • Completing the daily self-screening symptom checker  
  • Wearing face coverings over your nose and mouth inside buildings and outside when physical/social distancing of six feet cannot be maintained  
  • Staying at your personal residence when feeling ill  
  • Practicing good personal hygiene including frequent hand washing of at least 20 seconds 
  • Avoiding large gatherings and crowds 
  • Staying to the right when entering buildings 
  • Limiting elevators to two people at a time and using the stairs if you are able 
  • Answering your phone when called 
  • Reporting a positive COVID-19 test result to the University within MyFSU  
  • And if necessary, contact tracing, quarantining and self-isolating 

Daily Symptom Checker 

As students, faculty and staff are returning to campus, please be aware that our online daily self-screening Symptom Checker will go live on MyFSU Wednesday, August 19.   

Everyone is encouraged to complete the Symptom Checker every day, including on the weekends. The Symptom Checker is an easy-to-use health safety tool that can help us all make informed decisions about our personal health and to help protect the health of our community.    

All students, faculty and staff will receive a daily email reminder each morning to complete the Symptom Checker. You are expected to complete the Symptom Checker every day that you are residing on campus, coming to campus for classes or work, and/or working remotely.

Please note that all students, faculty and staff will receive the reminder email 7 days a week.  

Ferris Forward Together Bond 

Each of us has an important role in maintaining a healthy environment for our University community. Individually, and collectively, we must all operate differently now than we did pre-pandemic so that we can all engage in the full Ferris experience.  The need galvanize community unity in the endeavor led to the creation of our Ferris Forward Together Bond.  We ask you join in this bond to help illustrate our commitment to reduce and stop the transmission of COVID-19 within and around the Ferris State community. 

WILL THERE BE EVENTS & ACTIVITIES OUTSIDE OF THE CLASSROOM? 

Yes! The Office of Student Life is actively preparing Registered Student Organization (RSO) guidelines for meetings and programs, and the following are some examples of how we are working to keep all students connected to organizations and activities: 

  • The Center for Leadership, Activities, and Career Services will host a virtual student organizations fair (Bulldog Bonanza), and many RSOs will host interest meetings virtually. 
  • RSOs may also hold some in-person events, subject to University and state and federal guidelines.  
  • University traditions and in-person activities will continue in a modified or hybrid format with a mix of virtual and in-person experiences. 
  • Multicultural Student Services, the Veterans Resource Center, the LGBTQ+ Resource Center, and the Center for [email protected] Studies will continue to support students with programming, resource support, educational training and workshops that will primarily be held virtually, with some limited in-person offerings. 

There will be opportunities to socially engage and make new friends while on campus or at a statewide location, but the experience will be different.  Given the Governor’s current executive orders: 

  • No indoor exercise facilities will be available. 
  • Any in-person activity or event will be limited to 10 people or fewer for indoor settings, and 100 people or fewer for outdoor settings. In both settings, face coverings must be worn and appropriate physical distancing must be maintained.  

For answers to other frequently asked questions, visit our student specific FAQ.  All additions and revisions are flagged with a red date of revision.   

HOW TO ACCESS ADDITIONAL INFORMATION 

Please continue to check your email for updates and frequently visit the University’s COVID-19 webpage for updated information.  We will also share more information at a virtual Re-entry Town Hall for Students on Monday, August 24 at 7 PM (RSVP & ZOOM link forthcoming).  

You may also direct other unanswered questions to the appropriate contact listed below: 

  • For academic questions, contact your advisor or your academic dean's office: 
    • College of Arts, Sciences and Education: 231-591-3660 
    • College of Business: 231-591-2420 
    • College of Engineering Technology: 231-591-2890 
    • College of Health Professions: 231-591-2270 
    • College of Pharmacy: 231-591-2254 
    • College of Optometry: 231-591-3706 
    • Retention & Student Success: 231-591-2360 
    • Kendall College of Art and Design: 616-259-1203 
    • Statewide location email contact info is located at:
      www.ferris.edu/HTMLS/statewide/locations.htm 
    • If you are unable to reach your advisor, please contact your College (numbers above) or [email protected]   

  • For housing & dining questions, please email [email protected]  

  • For questions about your student bill, please contact Student Financial Services at one of the contact options listed here www.ferris.edu/htmls/administration/businessoffice 

  • For questions about your financial aid, please email Financial Aid at [email protected]
     
  • For questions related to a reasonable accommodation please email Educational Counseling & Disabilities Services at [email protected] or for students at Kendall College of Art & Design, please email Marie Yowtz at [email protected] 

We look forward to opening the semester in less than two short weeks and to the rewarding semester of education and engagement on campus this fall!   

Take good care.  And let’s all move #FerrisForwardTogether.  

Joy N. Pulsifer 
Dean of Student Life