Message to Students

October 13, 2020

Good morning Bulldogs!

I would like to share several updates and important information with you.

COVID-19 Impact Survey

Please share about your experience thus far this semester with us by completing our brief COVID-19 Impact Survey.

Wednesday, Oct. 21 Deadline for December Virtual Commencement Ceremonies

Graduates participating in the virtual Commencement Ceremonies this December have until Wednesday, Oct. 21 to submit their personalized information.  Visit our Commencement Page for more information.

Student Town Hall Scheduled for 11 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 29

Hear the latest updates from the Re-entry Committee and have the opportunity to ask any questions you have regarding University operations for the remainder of the fall semester and the plans for the spring.

Please register in advance for this meeting. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email and link to join the meeting.

The University Will Remain Open After Thanksgiving, Most Courses Will Finish Fully Online

Most courses in Big Rapids will occur by remote delivery beginning Monday, Nov. 30, after the Thanksgiving recess. There will be some programs or classes, most notably those with laboratories that require significant amounts of specialized equipment, that will continue on-campus during this period. Questions about specific programs or classes that may continue on campus should be directed to the College’s academic dean.

During this time, the plan is for the Big Rapids campus to remain open and for campus operations to continue, with housing and dining available throughout the end of the semester.  For Kendall College of Art and Design (KCAD), all classes will transition to fully online delivery after Thanksgiving recess through the end of the semester.  During this time, the KCAD campus will be closed to students and employees.  Student support services will continue during this time via remote delivery.  At our statewide locations, the student support services will be fully remote for the final three weeks of the semester. The Grand Rapids statewide location will have some classes meeting in person and open computer lab hours. Please contact the Grand Rapids statewide location with any questions.

Check With Your Supervisor Regarding Your Student Employment After Thanksgiving

If you are a student employee, please work with your supervisor to understand your location, hours and options for continuing your student employment over the final three weeks of the fall semester.

Ways to Manage Stress

As we get deeper into the semester, students often report feeling an increased academic demand.  These strategies can go a long way to managing increased stress: set goals and maintain a routine, eat well and be physically active, maintain a consistent sleep schedule of 7-9 hours per night, connect with friends and family even if it is by video or phone call, and take a break every day where you take time just for yourself.  If your feelings begin to impact your ability to function like your normal self, please reach out to our Personal Counseling Center (PCC) for additional support.  For main campus and statewide students, visit the PCC website for a list of resources and support and/or call (231) 591-5968 or send an e-mail to [email protected] to set-up an appointment with one of our counselors. Students at our KCAD campus can reach out to Marie Yowtz, director of Counseling and Disability Services, at (616) 259-1136 or via e-mail at [email protected], for resources and support.

Thank You

Six weeks have passed since we began the Fall 2020 semester amidst a global pandemic and continued uncertainties surrounding COVID-19. Your efforts have been critical to overcoming these challenges and to a successful first half of our semester. Thank you for your continued careful attention to the COVID-19 health and safety protocols that have helped us keep the University open. Thank you for making this success possible. 

As we approach the cold months, a time when respiratory illnesses are adept at spreading, do not let up on the efforts that are working including maintaining physical/social distance, wearing a face covering over the nose and mouth, practicing good personal hygiene, staying at your personal residence when feeling ill, and limiting your social gatherings to your small social family.

Best regards,

Joy N. Pulsifer,
Dean of Student Life